So, for my recent trip to Trini carnival, I decided to do a package based on a friend’s recommendation. Now, I am not throwing my friend under the bus or anything, but I will say that this group/service, which purportedly brings the vibes wherever they go, was full of crap. I am not turn-up Tammy or Wine down Wendy by no stretch of the imagination, but I also am not stush Stacey. I am more liker Responsible Rachel who knows her limits, but still will bruk out and buss a wine when her chune comes on. That said, I was looking forward to this season for carnival because it was to be my 2nd and last trip. So, I planned to turn it out a little.
Prior to the trip, there was periodic email conversation with one of the two owners of the group. She would post updates on what had been paid, request that we check our email and respond in a timely message to notifications and just prepare ourselves for this awesome experience we would have. Why? Because they bring the vibes. One thing the group leader kept stressing is that you will be left if you were not on time when the transportation was ready to depart for the fêtes and things. I was happy to see this because it showed me they were about their business and despise being late. No one pays 2-3 mortgage notes to be late to events and have a sappy time on vacation. Especially when they can use that same money to fund 4 other vacations.
Of course, anyone who knows anything about carnival know that Carnival Monday and Tuesday are the big draw; however, the fêtes are what a lot of people truly look forward to because that is when you get to dine on local cuisine (think doubles, bake and shark, and corn soup), see some of the major soca players and enjoy the wotless behavior of others. So, naturally people were asking questions about which fêtes we were going to so that they can plan their schedules (and attire yes, it’s that deep). Unfortunately, she could not release a full itinerary to us for quite a time because she was waiting to have all tickets in hand. That’s understandable. But of course, it would be nice to have an idea of what you are shooting for so that people can arrange for tickets to some of the other fêtes that may not have been included.
So, January 2015 rolls around. One month and some change until blast off and we get the schedule and list of fêtes. Most of the most popular are on there. What is different from most groups is that this one goes to Tobago (sister island to Trinidad) on Saturday vice Wednesday like other groups. So, prior to the schedule release, I actually purchased a ticket for a different boat ride than the group was slated to go to on carnival friday morning. I also purchased a ticket to a fête right after the boat ride on friday afternoon and two group limes on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Other than that, I was good to go with the rest of their offerings. After the schedule was released all I needed to do was make it to 11 February 2015.
So moment of truth finally arrived. The pre-carnival festivities actually started with a small group lime at gate in the MIA airport, complete with soca and liquid vibes. Hey, we complied with the TSA 3-1-1 rules… Tee Hee! A little under four hours and we were in Trinidad. It was late when we arrived and the immigration line was really long, but once I retrieved my bag and headed outside to meet the driver, the vibes were in full pump. There was a dj blasting soca, people drinking and dancing and happy faces all around. I was tired, but excited for what was about to take place over the next 7 days.
Our first fête is on Thursday afternoon at 2p.m. and the schedule time to depart the hotel is 3p.m. Hmmm? Why are we leaving an hour later, especially when we are going to have to contend with traffic? Of course I am annoyed, but let’s just go along for the ride. We arrive at the fête, which is well underway of course, and immediately run to the food. I hadn’t eaten anything since the plane ride and food in first class simply isn’t first class. The lines were kinda long, but the food was good. Grabbed a couple of drinks and headed straight to front to wine a bit. The group we traveled with hung out at the back of the event… no vibes like in the front of the stage. Party done around 8ish (or maybe 10ish, not sure because I was on cloud 9) and we headed down the hill to meet our ride. One fête down, 5 more to go. Can’t wait until tomorrow because that is where I get to let my hair down a bit and enjoy the wickedest boat ride and Phuket up a bit.
Carnival Friday is here and…. to be continued in part two.