Saturday, 22 August 2015

Barbados Cropover 2015 - South Gap Hotel

Now as Virgin had a really good deal at South Gap Hotel and my cousin and uncle had stayed there before and liked it I thought this would be a good choice for my holiday. I loved that literally every room had an ocean view and that it wasn’t a huge sprawling hotel it’s quite a small, cute, intimate boutique type self catering hotel. The hotel is on the South Coast of Barbados and is located right in the middle of the very popular St Lawrence Gap so you’re right by all the action, like seriously all the main nightclubs and bars are literally on your doorstep, its great! It’s basically the perfect place to stay if you are simply going to Barbados to enjoy all the Cropover festivities.

So the rooms are quite big. I stayed in room 114 on the 1st floor and had a king-sized bed, a big flat screen TV, Fridge/Freezer, Hobs and a Microwave. There was also a ceiling fan and Air Conditioning (which didn’t seem to like me and kept switching itself off) plenty of storage and a huge balcony where I enjoyed sitting with a rum punch and looking out on the ocean.

The ladies at reception were all so friendly and helpful as well as the manager Cecile who went out of her way to try and sort out my crazy A/C that just seemed to rebel against everyone who tried to fix it. The room was cleaned everyday (well the days I wasn’t sleeping off a hangover...) and the housekeepers were lovely. My phone charger also decided to die and the ladies at reception and even the night guard had no problems with lending me their phone chargers. They also sorted out the nicest Taxi guy who really looked after us and gave us a good deal so we just used him all the time.

So I was given a Rum Punch voucher on arrival and then a lunch and dinner voucher towards the end of my stay which I was sooo grateful for because the food was soooo tasty, so much options and all come with a starter (that was more like a main) a main, desert and a drink which could include Rum Punch or a cocktail. Seriously the portions are generous and you could easily share. I had steak on the last night and it was so fat I couldn’t even finish it... but I gave it a good go. Also you know how dodgy my belly is and the food never gave me a stomach ache so clearly the food is good J Also if you fancy mixing it up a bit there are street vendors literally just outside the front of the hotel that sell various Caribbean and familiar American dishes.

So they have water aerobics in the pool downstairs twice a week that I really wanted to go to but kept missing. The pool was quite big for the size of the hotel and goes to around 6ft (I believe) so if you’re a swimmer you could comfortably get in a few laps. I was bursting to but I didn’t bring my swimming cap and there was no way I was getting my hair wet, so I just kinda paddled *cough cough posed and took selfies* around the pool.

Now South Gap doesn’t have direct access to the beach but you can literally go a few minutes down the road and Dover Beach is just there. Make sure you walk with the 2 necessities; Bottle of Water and a Rum Punch. The beach can get a bit rough, if you’re taking the munchkins I wouldn’t let them go in by themselves. But as you probably already know the beaches on the West Coast are calmer so always worth taking a trip up that way.

Kids Activities
OK so, I wouldn’t bring my 2 monsters here because they would just be bored as there’s no kids clubs so I would be exhausted from entertaining them 24/7 and cooking for them that I wouldn’t even enjoy the holiday. But if they were a bit older; maybe teens, where they’re a bit more independent and happy to just split their time between the pool and beach then that would be fine.  Actually... I stayed somewhere similar a bit further down The Gap when I was 16 and thought it was great and me and my cousin did just that, split our time between the pool and beach and town.

South Gap is definitely somewhere to come with your friends/family if you’re on a tight budget but still want somewhere nice, safe and central that doesn’t look or feel cheap. It is also very very popular, so be sure to book early. Also despite the bi polar A/C I loved this place, it almost felt like I was staying with family which made it harder to leave. But they can’t get rid of me that easily, I will be back next year J

Friday, 21 August 2015

Barbados Cropover 2015 - Music

So if you were in Barbados during Cropover you would've heard this song a lot. If you wasn't there this was like the Cropover anthem and will probably be played at lot at Nottinghill Carnival.

I love Barbados everyone thinks I’m young :)

So one of the biggest ego boosts is when someone thinks you're a lot younger than you are. I get it every now and then over here, but in Barbados I got it all the time. Everyone thought I was early 20s and a few even thought I was a teen, OMG how much did my head swell. All those lovely compliments more than made up for that jackass saying I was too fat. It felt even better watching peoples reactions when I told them I was actually 10 years older than they thought, although I didn’t correct everyone, I mostly just basked in the moment, it was great! So if you’re having a fat and ugly day, go to Barbados the people will make you feel young and beautiful, unless... you bump into that annoying Rasta then he will make you feel fatter and uglier, TWAT!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Barbados Cropover 2015- Foreday Morning

As I was in charge of finding us a good Foreday morning band to jump with I made sure I did my research well as I didn’t want to be hated for choosing a really crap one. For those who don’t know what Foreday morning is, it’s basically a carnival that takes place at night and comes before the main daytime carnival. Some islands also refer to it as Jouvert.
After a lot of Facebook and YouTube searches I decided on Mas Invasion as I loved how they seemed to be the only band glowing with flashing lights which looked like fun. I also didn’t want a really commercial or ridiculously huge band full of English people, I wanted a band that had more local people in it, as I’ve found from experience that more ‘diverse’ the crowd the less Soca they play as they feel they have to cater to everyone and play a mix of annoying music that you could easily hear any day of the week in the UK.

So this year’s theme was all about the Neon which me and my Cropover crew (My auntie and her friend) loved. As it was our first time jumping we decided to go for the cheapest costume which was a neon baby Tee, bright blue 50s style high waisted knickers and a bright purple wig that had flashing lights in it (OMG amazing!) as well as flashing glasses.

It was very easy to order online and came to around £60 but that also included food and unlimited drinks, which was pretty reasonable and seemed to be the standard price across all the bands I looked at.

The folks who run Mas Invasion were very professional, helpful and friendly and quickly responded to my 10 million queries. The band house wasn’t too far from town but I have the worse sense of direction and between us didn’t have a clue so luckily my great aunt walked us there (But you could easily catch a ZR up from town) Once at the band camp everyone was lovely and we didn’t have to hang around forever waiting for our costumes, we had a look and they were happy to help if we needed to change anything. They told us our truck number and where and when to meet and we were on our way.

So the Friday night of Foreday morning we arrived at the meeting point near Bridgetown around 11.30pm and we didn’t actually get moving till near 1am, but it wasn’t a big problem as there were lots of other bands at our meeting point, so we got to socialise and there was also lots of music and free drinks. By the time we were ready to start the route we were suitably liquored up. It was soooo much fun everyone in the band was happy and enjoying themselves no bad vibes at all. There was lots of paint being thrown around, so although we started off completely clean and immaculate, by the end we looked like a rainbow, but that’s all part of the fun. As well as the free drinks another thing I noticed which I thought was a really good idea was the travelling portaloos. They actually had 2 portaloos on one of the trucks so you didn’t have to wonder off and pee in a bush (like we sometimes have to do at Nottinghill carnival) it was just so convenient and such a strange sensation peeing in a moving toilet.

Foreday morning went on until the early hours of the morning, it was bright by the time it had all finished and we all had the best time. We saw all different ages there (obviously no children) but I’m in my 30s and loved it and my auntie and friend obviously are a lot older than me and they both enjoyed it as much as me and we all can’t wait to jump with them again. So if you’re looking to go Barbados for Cropover next year I would definitely recommend Mas Invasion, trust me you will have soooo much fun. 

Barbados Cropover 2016

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

You're too fat!!

That’s exactly what I got told by some rude annoying jackass Rasta while riding the ZR in Barbados. I thought I must’ve heard him wrong, he didn’t just tell me I’m fat, let me not lose my rag. What was even more annoying was he could only see my boobs and my head from where he was sitting. He then continued to waffle on and sell me some nasty looking ‘herbal’ drink (Which looked like watery diarrhoea by the way) that would help me to lose weight.

I was like ‘Who told you I wanted to lose weight?!’ then he went off on some rant about how his (black) people are getting too fat and killing themselves with diabetes and obesity, most of which went over my head as I had to confirm once again ‘Did you seriously just call me fat, have you lost your mind?!’ It’s almost like I had some sign on my head that day that said ‘Please, Please piss me off!' needless to say I-wanted-to-slap-him.

1st time flying Premium Economy

So when I booked my holiday through Virgin Holidays last year they had a fantastic offer on upgrades, so I decided to upgrade to Premium economy both ways. OMG one of the best decisions I could’ve made.
So 1st of all I was allowed to take 2 suitcases instead of the usual 1 and I could also pre select my seats in advance for free (as most airlines now charge you for this privilege) So as the configuration was 3-3-3 I decided to choose an aisle seat in the middle section as I figured a couple would sit next to me so wouldn’t need to bother me about moving when they need to use the toilet.
So after a swift check in I was told to go through the Premium security section, (which I didn’t even know existed till that day) and quickly sped through to duty free... well actually not before I took a few selfies by the Premium section sign J

So once on the plane, I realized how small it was and almost walked past premium as it was such a tiny section. But when I came back and found my seat I was pleasantly surprised. As someone who has only ever travelled in economy, I not only noticed how comfy the big, soft purple leather seat was, but also how much room I had to stretch my legs. Let’s not forget the footrest, who knew such a tiny detail could make such a difference. I was so comfy resting my feet on the foot rest that I didn’t actually need to rock my seat back to get comfy to sleep (but I did anyway just because I could.)
Also did I mention the glass of fizz you get before takeoff, yes I said glass, you get a real glass in premium economy sweetie.
Now I’m not normally a fan of plane food, but the food in premium economy was soooo tasty I was shocked. I actually ate everything and you get real cutlery and they were not stingy on the drinks either, so I happily drank red wine for the whole flight. They also give you an after dinner liquor so you can either have Brandy or Kahlua (I think) I never said no to a drink.
As always the in flight entertainment was good, I found a few films that I wanted to watch like The Duff, Bessie and Get Hard. Well I say watch, but most of the time the films watched me. Mysteriously I always managed to wake up anytime the food or drinks trolley came around.

It goes without saying the cabin crew were lovely and friendly and chatty and nothing was ever too much trouble for them. The flight was also very smooth both ways which was a plus. So because I had such an amazing experience I now don’t want to go back to economy again. I LOVE PREMIUM ECONOMY!!!!!