Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Kenny's Kitchen

Good food is hard to find! Sometimes you just have to know where to look; other times you may just stumble upon it. I have found really good food in places where it was least expected and it's normally off the beaten path! During my latest weekend getaway to Bermuda; I was on a hunt to find the best Traditional Bermudian Style Sunday breakfast on the island! I stumbled upon Kenny's Kitchen which was noted as the best place for Codfish and Potatoes according to the locals! The interesting part is Kenny's Kitchen is actually a catering company that only serves restaurant style meals on Sunday mornings at the Ex-Artilleryman's Club. It is located at 72 Victoria Street in Hamilton, Bermuda. I had a large plate of salted codfish and potatoes sauteed in butter onion sauce and topped with onions (and I add hot sauce). 
This traditional dish is served with a hard boiled egg, and avocado pear, cornbread and a banana. They also serve the codfish and potatoes covered in tomato sauce; which is the true traditional way to eat it!  A small plate is $15 and a large $17 dollars. The amount of food piled in my to go plate was enough for two people to share. There are a few table to sit and eat at the Ex-Artilleryman's club but I would suggest you take it to go! The rest of the week Kenny's Kitchen caters for groups of 5 to 500. The catering menu is very extensive and covers breakfast, lunch dinner and desserts. Let them cater your next business meeting, wedding or event in Bermuda! Contact information and menus can be found on their website at http://www.kennyscatering.bm/. Bon Appetit!

Anjera Mari

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sunset Paradise Bermuda Vacation Rental










I love Bermuda but it is a very expensive place to visit or live! I have been there so many times I can't count them to give you an accurate number. In all of those visits I've only stayed in two hotels and mostly with friends. This last trip I turned to Airbnb for vacation rentals. To my surprise there are many reasonably priced vacation homes and rooms compared to hotel rates in Bermuda. I chose to stay at Sunset Paradise Bermuda Vacation Rental! The host V.G. Charlatta was very informative. She responded promptly to my questions and was always prepared to help! Her Airbnb page was very detailed and answered most of my questions. She offers a one bedroom apartment with a full size futon in the living room. Four people could sleep there comfortably. The decor is bright, happy and clean just like the Bermudian vibe.
It is located in Hamilton Parish close to the bus stop, gas station, grocery store post office and a couple restaurants.
You could walk to Shelly Bay Beach in about 10 minutes! The bus can take you east to the caves, Swizzle Inn, Grotto Bay Resort, the airport and St George's area. Or you can take the bus to the west to the Aquarium,  Shelly Bay Beach, more resturants or Downtown Hamilton.  There is a bus transfer center in Hamilton or you can utilize the ferry to see other parts of the Island! Ms. Charlatta provided information about all these things at the Apartment. She also provided a rules and information book! She also allowed us privacy. I only saw her once and she lives upstairs. She came by the night we arrived to make sure we were settled and every was ok! I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Paradise Bermuda Vacation Rental! I look forward to spending my next Bermuda vacation there!
The apartment faces the ocean which offered an awesome view!  Free WiFi and phone service for local and USA calls is included. Linens and towels are provided. There is a full kitchen furnished with coffee maker, kettle, blender, toaster oven, full stove with oven, dishes and utensils. The place was also furnished with washer, dryer and detergent! In the living room is a flat screen TV (probably about 40"), Apple TV box, movies and magazines. There is also a guest book where you can read about other guests stay and leave your own thoughts. The place is stocked with necessities in case you forgot something. She even had my favorite dark Starbucks Coffee in the cupboard...I really felt right at home!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Birth of a Nation

Really? Why another slave movie? These were my first thoughts as I sat in the screening room at Magno screening in Manhattan to watch "The Birth of A Nation". This story is not one learned about in that one month dedicated black history. Nor would you ever read about it in your America history book. I applaud the cast for their performance in this production. They did a great job of depicting life in that era. The movie evoked a lot of emotion for me. It showed rape, beatings and hangings; things that we would rather forget about. Some scenes truly brought tears to my eyes. While other scenes made me almost angry enough to fight. I also question the silencing and exploitation of women in this movie. Let's also remember women played a huge role in the fight for freedom. The story line unveiled love, oppression, dehumanization, despair, and rebellion.

The Birth of A Nation was written and directed by Nate Parker. Parker was also the Star as the character Nat Turner an enslaved, African American preacher who lead the slave revolution of 1831. I was prompted to read about Nat Turner because I saw this movie. I can not attest to the accuracy of the actual historical events verses those in the movie. We all know nothing is ever 100% accurate. However the movie was well put together.

The Birth of A Nation tells the life story of Nat Turner who as a slave child learned to read. His gift of reading led him to being taught the bible by the slave masters wife. Turner's slave master took him on the road preaching to slaves throughout Virginia to discourage a revolt. During that time Nat witnessed the unjust and inhumane treatment of slaves at other plantations. It saddened and ignited anger in him. Then his wife was brutally attacked. He began to have visions and felt he was called by God to fight. What he did next changed history! I will not spoil the ending for you. I would suggest you go see the movie if you can stand a little violence. Take your children. Have open discussion about how far America has come, where we need to go and the sacrifices made for the freedom of Black America! 


(Photo credits: www.rollingstone.com)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Travel Safety tips for women

In lieu of the recent robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris I felt compelled to offer som tips for women traveling alone, especially abroad!

1) Always pay attention to your surroundings! A predator likes to attack people who are preoccupied!

2) Don't make it obvious you are alone, in conversation mention you are waiting for some one or meeting a friend. When doing tours spark a conversation and attach yourself to a group or another person traveling alone.

3) Don't wear expensive jewelry or carry excess amounts of cash.

4) Do research on where you are going, get as much information as possible to avoid being lost. This will also help give the perception that you are comfortable in your surroundings!

5) If someone is watching you watch them back or ask someone a general question and point in their direction. They will most likely feel put on the spot and leave because  they see you are aware of their lurking. If you feel threatened tell someone, cause a scene or start yelling or talking loudly.

6) Don't go out late at night. If you must; utilze taxi or pre- arranged car service. Tell a friend or family member where you are.

8) Always keep you valuables close. Don't carry all your money, credit cards & passports in same place. Use handbags that can go over your head and/or under your top layer of clothes. Many hotels offer lockers. Utilize them to keep your things safe!

9) Don't give out too much information. Keep things like name of hotel and room number private.

10) Stay in well lit, open, high traffic areas and seek help from  police, merchants or unifomed people.

These are just a few tips to help you stay safe at home and abroad! Happy Tavels!

Hostel Bambu Mini, Puerto Igauzu

I had a wonderful stay at Bambu Mini Hostel in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina! The staff was very nice, knowledgeable and attentive to our needs. I e-mailed them in advance with questions and they provided me with very detailed responses that were very helpful for my journey! I took a taxi from the airport to Bambu Mini Hostel. I knew what transportion was available and how much it would cost because of the information I recieved from the hostel. It was about  a 20 minute ride. We were stopped to pay an entry tax. So don't be suprised by that. It was less than $2 usd.
Upon arrival at Bambu Mini Hostel I observed they were located next to a police station, so I knew we were in a safe place. A few blocks away there was a gas station, resturants and shops.
The bright colorful decor of the building gave it a very young and hip feel! I loved that they had a hammock right outside of their front door! We arrived a few hours too early for check in. They were able to accommodate us with locked storage space for our luggage and set up our tours and taxis.  It was also very helpful that most of the staff spoke English and they accepted US dollars!
They offer free Wi-Fi and free continental breakfast! The rooms were spacious and clean. You can rent a bed with shared bathrooms or opt to spend a little more for a private ensuite! We chose the ensuite which had one double bed when we arrived. It ran us about $50 Usd a night. I asked about a room with two twin beds. They had someone quickly accommodate us by dividing the double into two twin beds!
One night we decided to stay in for dinner. They offer a few stir fry options and pizza at their bar! We also got a free welcome drink!!! I had a chicken stir-fry with noodles that was delicious and very inexpensive! 
I found this place on hostelworld.com! What a great choice! Thanks to all the staff especially Valerie and Ivan for their help and patience!!! They strive to make your stay affordable and enjoyable! Check out their website for more information!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Atlantic Beach Hotel, Puerto Rico

I took a last minute mid-week getaway to Puerto Rico! I didn't want to spend too much money so I checked online for hotels with hotels.com, Hotwire, Expedia and Orbitz. I was looking for a beach front property close to the airport or Isla Verdes preferably with a pool for less than $100 bucks a night. Through Orbitz I ended up selecting Atlantic Beach Hotel in Condado for $79 per night. I'm my haste I did not realize they did not have a pool. I liked that they were 4.5 miles from the airport, it's only about a 15 minute ride. They do not offer transportation so the taxi was $20 bucks. I arrived at the hotel about 12 noon. Getting out of the taxi I felt this place could be a little sketchy a small cream colored building with the name written down the side with a few missing blue letters. It is located a the end of a small side street. 
Upon entering the hotel I really liked the Caribbean feel of an open lobby with a phenomenal view of the beach, sheer curtains blowing in the wind and plenty comfortable seating to just relax and take in the view. The room was not ready because check in was not until 4pm. The desk attendant was very resourceful and offered suggestions on places to get lunch while I waited for my room to be cleaned. He allow me to leave my luggage in the lobby. I used the bathroom in that area and got really scared about the possible condition of my room because that was smelly and not well kept.
I returned after lunch and relaxed on a comfy couch enjoying the lobby view. My room was ready about two hours before check in. They allowed me to go to my room early. They still use actual keys on key chains for the rooms. It was small, clean and very basic. There were two modern style twin beds with brown wooden frames and white linens. There was also a flat screen TV, a small white dresser and a black nightstand with a lamp between the beds. The bathroom was modern with a stone finished standing shower. Shampoo and body wash dispensers were provided in the shower. (Sorry I didn't get photos of the actual room.)  They had a very old elevator I tripped every time I got out because it didn't line up evenly with the floor. I took the stars a lot because I thought I might actually get trapped in that thing. It could definitely use some updating. There were many shops, restaurants and other hotels located nearby. The public bus came on the main road, you could get to  the airport or Old San Juan on the bus but there were plenty of taxi vans available as well. The location was very convenient and not far from Old San Juan.  I would recommend this place as a budget friendly location. Be prepared to pay extra fees,..There was a refundable $100 deposit and a $5 per person energy fee upon check in. They also charge $10 deposit for use of beach towels. The use of beach chairs is free but you gotta be out there early to snag you one!
The tides were too high for a swim and seaweed was close to the shore so the staff told us we could possibly swim at one of the nearby resorts. They are located a few steps from the Marriott and La Conchas two very large beautiful resorts. I think they should try to make some sort of deal with one of the larger resorts to allow guest to use their pools. They also have a bar but it is only open on weekends. I recommend this place for the budget traveler or backpacker that is not looking to spend a lot of money and doesn't need the frills! You can  check out their website for more photos and rates here! Save travels!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Restaurante Raices

I had a late lunch in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico at a very authentic place called Restaurante Raices! A facebook friend recommended this place and one of their house specialties was Munfungo. I had heard of this dish but never had it. My thoughts were, there couldn't have been a better time or place to try it! The staff was friendly and attentive! I loved there outfits!!! The women wore all white long flowing skit outfits and white caps that reminded me of a pillow case. place was cozy and quaint with fun funky decor. We found the silverware in a small metal bucket on the table. We drank out of metal mugs with the company's logo! I chose the munfungo with shimp. I switched to yellow plantains instead of the green ones, had to pay a little extra but worth it. The mufungo was served in a medium sized Pilon with a plantain chip sticking out the side! My mouth is still watering as I think about the flavors of sweet plantains mashed in garlic butter served with plump juicy shrimp! Foodgasm alert!!! I also tried the Chuleta Kan Kan, that was a huge porkchop served with rice. Both dishes very flavorful! I left too full for dessert!!! In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger..."I'll be back! They have three locations Old San Juan, Cagus, and Hato Rey... Check out the website for more info! http://restauranteraices.com/  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Flying Jet Blue to Ponce!!!

I was on my way to Ponce, Puerto Rico. The only airline I could find headed to my destination was Jet Blue. Upon booking my ticket I found their website  easy to navigate. I checked in online and printed my boarding pass from home! I arrived at terminal 5 at JFK airport at about 10pm for a red eye that departed at 11:59pm. The security process was a breeze and I found the terminal easy to navigate.  They had touch screen directory's just pass security. The terminal was very clean, well lit and had a lot of shops and restaurants. I liked the employee uniforms, navy blue with a pop of orange. I passed many employees smiling as they made eye contact with me. They played good pop music, I heard Michael Jackson playing in the terminal! They had alot of tv's an a kiddie play station too! 

My flight departed about 15 minutes late. Mr. Friday, the gate agent made a couple announcements about the boarding being delayed. I was so tierd I'm not sure of the reason but we made it to Ponce on time. I remember his name because I though "Mr Friday is here helping me on Tuesday!" Yes, I admit I can  be a bit corny, LOL!!! The flight was approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes. The flight crew was pleasant and attentive. After the drink service they offered free snacks and food for purchase. I was pretty stoked to see they serve Duncan Donuts coffee! The pamphlet in the seat back was very informative listing menu items and free movie selections. The announcements were made in both Spanish and English. I found that the flight attendants did a great job of coming back often to make sure everyones needs were met! Ponce has a very small airport with only three gates. It was very easy to navigate and find my party meeting me upon arrival! I truly enjoyed my first flight on Jetblue!!!