I know I’m a little late with this post…but what can I say? Life happened. But since we’re still in January, I thought it would still be appropriate to talk about our recent end of the year, holiday trip.
For the past 6 to 7 years, my husband and I have been alternating between our families for the holidays. We’ll spend one Christmas and New Year’s with my parents in Brazil and the other with his family in Jamaica. The perks of marrying outside of your culture.
This year was Jamaica. However, we also received an invite to spend New Year’s Eve in New York City and experience the ball drop in Times Square! And we certainly couldn’t turn that down so we had to find a way to swing it!
For me, every trip is an experience, even when it’s somewhere I’ve been multiple times before. Because when you travel, even to familiar territory, you are still removing yourself from your comfort zone and daily routines. So I always return with lessons learned and new takeaways after every getaway.
This year’s theme, for me, was “togetherness”. Which is an easy one since it is the holiday season. But it wasn’t just about the family all getting together in one room to exchange thoughtful gifts and indulge in home-cooked meals, it was about really spending time with each other, and getting to know people on a deeper level.
We started our trip in Kingston, Jamaica. We spend most of our time there when we visit. The views are spectacular and I always love the feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle. I’m obsessed with mountains, which is ironic because I live in Florida. But to me, they are nature’s most beautiful creations and I can stare at them all day.
To contradict myself a bit, we do develop little routines overtime whenever we visit family; foods we must eat, places we must go while we’re in town. And we’ve made it a ritual to visit this little beach called Helshire. I absolutely love the food and atmosphere. There are a ton of cute little huts lined up along the coast, each selling fresh-caught fish and other Jamaican goodies.
The people are a mixture of vendors, locals, and tourists. All appreciating the sea breeze and view, while enjoying a Red Strip, fresh fish, and lobster and listening to Reggae. We even had a celebrity sighting this time and ran into Tyson Beckford, sorry ladies, no pics…
Our next stop was Montego Bay. About a 4 hour drive from Kingston. To some, that may seem like a long time in a car, but the time flies when there is so much to see. The beautiful trees and mountains, the small towns we pass along the way. The funny signs and billboards, which I always find entertaining in different countries.
We arrived at a beautiful, all-inclusive resort. Those that know me, I usually stay away from these because I prefer staying at little boutique hotels in the middle of the city. But sometimes, you have to treat yourself, and since Jamaica is a second home to us, we’re already pretty familiar with the surroundings.
These 3 much needed nights we spent lounging; eating, sleeping and drinking. What more can you ask for? Also a great prep for what was to come!
After 4 glorious days. It was time to hit the road again and head to NYC! What a drastic difference. Since I knew we would be traveling for about 8 hours (driving back to Kingston and then flying to NY). I made sure to mentally and physically prepare for the journey with some morning yoga on the patio and beach, followed by a nice swim as we said goodbye to paradise.
New York, New York
New Years Eve in New York city is everything you would expect. Crowds, traffic and chilly weather. And I loved all of it! I’m not big on crowds, but there is something about the energy on holidays and especially NYE that’s a little different. Despite the recent events and rumors of NY being a target, things were pretty calm. And to be honest, it was not as cold as we thought it would be. The temps were around 35-45. Which yes, as a Floridian, this is cold. But for New Yorkers, it was nothing…
I didn’t quite know what to expect on the day of, how things would be set up etc. But that made it all the more exciting. I honestly had no idea the ball was up so high…but I guess that makes sense since people need to see it from many blocks away. We were fortunate enough to be indoors for all the festivities and able to observe from above.
We went down for the countdown so we can feel the energy of the crowd as the ball lowered and dropped. Confetti fell from the sky as the clock struck 12. It was an incredible experience.
We spent a few more days in the city. Even rented Citi Bikes to get around faster. As much as I love mountains, I also love the city, I guess it’s the “Carioca” in me.
Anywho, I hope you all enjoyed your holiday and time off, and I hope you all have a spectacular year! 🙂