Save the Best for Last!

Pioneering and loving to travel is a delicately balanced life to live and I’m constantly trying to perfect it. Recently, one of my fav elders told me that when you really work hard for Jehovah, you deserve to play just as hard. With that sentiment in mind, I think there was no better way to celebrate the end of a successful service year than to take a well-deserved vacay with some of my favorite friends.

For the past week and a half, we happily cruised to Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. Here’s some highlights from our fun-filled trip:

*Grand Turk:

If you’re  one of the (few) readers who have been keeping tabs on my blog for quite a while, then you might remember that I’ve cruised to and blogged about Grand Turk before. My opinion is this:

If you’re traveling to a place you’ve already been before, do different things or take different people with you.

If this case, I did both and really enjoyed myself. Instead of doing a driving tour like last time, my friends and I headed straight to the beach to maximize our chances of achieving a golden tan. The beach right near port was just as pretty as I remembered it was from last year.

Later we checked out the Margaritaville restaurant and had such a great time! It was like one big, island party. The music was awesome, the drinks were delicious, and  it was an epic way to kick off the vacation.

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Ash & Dee

After our time in Grand Turk, I think my friends love it just as much as I do. We definitely need to go back again.

*San Juan, Puerto Rico:

The 2nd stop on the cruise was San Juan, Puerto Rico. I really enjoyed my time seeing the Old San Juan city. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel like you stepped into a time machine destined for the past. The city is covered with so much history, cobble stoned streets, brightly colored antiquated buildings, and old ruins to explore.

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Dee and I in Old San Juan

 

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The interesting part about our tour in Puerto Rico was seeing how drastically different it is from how the media tries to portray it. One of the tour guides we met spent a great majority of his time trying to convince us of all the beauty of Puerto Rico and how it was nothing like the horrible, poverty-stricken place it is painted out to be. But we walked around for ourselves, passed the tourist parts and formed our own appreciation for how historically rich and beautiful Puerto Rico truly is.

 

After our adventures, we were hungry and decided to get directions to a restaurant I had heard excellent reviews about. I always try to find great restaurants to eat at when I travel anywhere. It’s the foodie in me. Travel tip:

Research restaurants in a place you’ve never been to before. Why? Because it saves you time from aimlessly wandering around and spares your taste buds from eating at a nasty place.

The restaurant we dined at is called La Madre and they specialize in margaritas and modern Mexican cuisine. La Madre is Trip Advisor certified and I can definitely understand why. The food, drinks and service was amazing! (S/o to Franklin who was our awesome waiter!)

My fish tacos were so delicious and worth every penny. The drinks were just as tasty. Dee ordered a strawberry mojito which she loved and Ashley and I ordered cherry/lime and strawberry margaritas. However, the best margarita I’ve ever had (in life!) was the coconut margarita which comes with real coconut, almonds & cinnamon piled on top. It was incredible and known as a La Madre favorite.

This quaint, little restaurant is located at 351 San Francisco Street in the heart of Old San Juan. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk away from the ship port. If you ever find yourself in San Juan and you’re looking for some amazing, flavorful food then be sure to pay La Madre a visit. My friends and I are so glad we did!

On our walk back to the ship, I was able to hold two iguanas. It was so cool. Definitely ended the day on a high note.

Onward to the next stop…

*St. Kitts:

When we arrived in St. Kitts we were more excited than we were arrived at the previous ports because we signed up to do some fun excursions on the island. Dee and Ash signed up to do a zip line adventure and I was set up with a trip to Dolphin Discovery. Despite doing different things this particular day, we each had awesome experiences and made some great memories.

It was my friends first time going zip lining and they had a lot of fun.

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Dee and Ash with their zip line gear on

 

While my friends were zipping through the hills of St. Kitts, I was swimming off the ocean with my new friend, Mandela. It’s taken me years but I can finally check swim with dolphins off of my bucket list! Woohoo.

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Me and my dolphin friend, Mandela
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I got to hold Mandela like a big baby
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The best kiss ever lol

The excursions weren’t the only thing that made our time in St. Kitts so special. We went to an outdoor souvenir market and saw something that caught our eyes…IMG_1672

Ashley pointed out the BE book propped up near some jewelry and dresses. We asked around the market and soon we met our dear sister Patricia, who the book belonged to. She happily introduced us to Sis. Caines and some other friends who also sell items in the same market. They were very sweet.

We enjoyed meeting our extended family in St. Kitts. Jehovah’s happy people truly are everywhere and I love it.

To wrap up an awesome day on the island, I got to hold 3 little monkeys. They were so adorable!

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Monkeying around

The final stop…

*St. Maarten:

When we sailed into the port at St. Maarten, we all had only one goal in mind: Maho Beach. It’s a very popular beach also known as the Airport Beach. The reason being because it’s the one spot on the island where onlookers can get fantastic views of planes flying in to land.

 

Some of the planes flew really low. The photos don’t really do it justice. I recorded a short clip of one of the landings on my Instagram page. Be sure to check it out. It was such an exhilarating experience! I recommend everyone to go to Maho Beach if you’re ever in St. Maarten. It was a nice highlight to my trip.

This vacation was everything I needed plus more! My friends made sure I had a great time. They know (and now you know too) that this will be my last trip for a while. There are a lot of things I wish to accomplish next year and hopefully with Jehovah’s help I will be successful. Therefore, this vacation was my last big travel adventure for 2016 and I must say that I saved the best trip for last.

During this cruise, I made some fun memories with some of the best people I know. I will cherish all the inside jokes and heart-to-hearts I exchanged with them for a long time. It’s been a blast yall! Until 2017…

It’s not a goodbye, just a see you later.

#CantWaitToSeeWhatsNextForMe!

B.P ❤

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