Why Jamaica......? Why not????! I traveled with my Mom and the gray Panthers, along with my children and later a few friends came with us. I traveled with these amazing, brave, feisty, rambunctious, rowdy, wise Black Matriarchs. widows, single, mothers, aunts, friends, sisters, in the struggle, of just living life, day to day, surviving because of the knowledge that several times a year they would unite, to plan their annual around the country tour. Which usually consisted of no less than 9 days, and no more than 16 days, traveling from St. Louis, to California, next year , St. Louis to Florida, next year St. Louis to New York. Each year traveling in a different direction. Oh but did I mention? On a Bus. Stopping off in a different place for rest and adventures. Memphis, Albuquerque, Cincinnati, Pennsylvania, Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans, so much History, so much shopping, exploring, partying, gambling, so many exotic meals, so much Fellowshipping, bonding and reinforcing the bond established over many years of Friendship.... Sisterhood...Family.
I traveled with my girl friends to such places as Hawaii, San Juan, Jamaica, St. Croix, Bahamas, Barbados, Martinique, St. Thomas, Dominica,. My daughter and I went to Cancun, a place she hated so much, that she decided that if she won a free trip she would never return, she won, and never collected, never looked back. A place that average looking black women are not welcome , if you weren't in a tourist area you were completely ignored, they pretended not to understand English, never went back, no regrets. They did however have a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse with some of the most tender and juicy steaks I've ever tasted. Also an Italian Restaurant with a Seafood Pasta that I still dream of. But racism is unacceptable.
We've gone to the little island near Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and we loved it, just a handful of miles away, but many miles difference in the mindset, a live and let live, sleepy town, with an old world look and charm. We went over from Cancun one day for lunch and shopping, the lunch was great and I found some good bargains for sarongs, I had decided to use this method for covering my dining room chairs. Found some pretty ones that fit my plan. It was also here that we met a retired couple who had just docked their Yacht, they had stopped in for Ice Cream, that morning they had had breakfast in Cozumel, so they decided to jump over to Isla Mujeres for Ice cream and a few provisions, how cool is that. Get on your floating home have breakfast, lunch and dinner on three different Islands... the Ocean or Sea is your highway.
It was on a trip to St. Croix that I met a 72 year old woman with the energy of a 40 year old, who had stayed fit. She and her husband retired and moved to St. Croix, he had died a few years before but she decided to stick it out and continue her dream. You could tell that she loved getting company from home, but she was also comfortable in her own environment that she had created and was able to enjoy both. The day we went to visit and take her to lunch, when we pulled up, this very fit older woman came running around the building, skipped down the steps and talked non stop with out taking a breath . I realised this might be the way to keep your youth. Move to the Caribbean.
Charming is how I felt about Puerto Vallarta, the place of pure romance, well for Liz and Richard (Taylor/Burton) the place where they privately/publicly let the world know they were a couple, I guess if you lived in houses across the street from each other but built a connecting walk way that crossed high above the street, so that you could discreetly go back and forth, if you had the kind of money to do such, and put up such an expensive show of Respect, people would ignore your indiscretion of publicly/privately carrying on an illicit affair center stage of the world. They got away with it, she is still a beloved icon and an example for womanhood and femininity, the epitome of what a Real Woman is, Elegance, Style, Class, and Grace.
Lisa (my dawta) and I have also taken family trips with the amazon warriors, the female members of my family My 2 Scorpio sisters one older, one younger, my sister in law plus my niece, my older sister's BFFL who knows too many family secrets and my great nephew. We went to New York June 91. I have a picture of me standing on Ellis Island with the Twin Towers behind me, we went 2 years later and I stood in the same spots, tragically minus the 2 Towers. It was surreal, to say the least. We also had brunch at the Tavern on the Green, the food was nothing to write home about, but the experience is still a warm memory. Also the ladies went to one of the early morning shows and Santana requested my oldest sister and her party come to the front of the stage, because he liked her look. New York plays star to many a movie, it speaks for itself, and the diversity of the people and neighborhoods is just like Jamaica, which explains why they are both my favorite places to spend time.
. We flew into LaGuardia, picked up a van and a midsized car and drove to Buffalo, New York, to visit relatives, there were 8 of us.This was the trip that Gertude decided to take her grandson Carvon on his first adventure and the Aunties and cousins decided to go with., now that was an interesting time. We rode the subway from Time Square to Harlem, to the projects, we saw Apollo Theater, as well as the Lennox bar, from the Shaft movie, the place he hung out with Gordon Parks and Richard Roundtree, the place where they gave him the congrats party.
I also got a tattoo in Canada, went on a couple of around the harbor boat rides , went to Niagara Falls and stayed in a hotel that was right at the crest of the falls, on the Canadian Site, nothing is greater than that vision, the force of the fall could be felt in spirit if not in reality.,
I drove in New York, which was a feat in itself, full rush hour traffic at 10 o clock at night, a very busy city, but I have to admit how proud I was of my Daughter Lisa and my niece Sajorice, those ladies drove us from Buffalo, and into Manhattan like pros who had been driving.in New York forever, but they inspired me to drive in the city itself, 10 blocks through Manhattan, to return the cars. I still get off on that drive, that was some sexy ish, rolling through Manhattan 2 hours after you get there returning the rentals, felt like a natural woman, heavy, heavy traffic..
Okay Lisa and I have also taken road trips with my younger sister, she's the one I still call my little sister, pisses her off, hell I never thought it was an insult, I just forgot she was a grown a woman. Sorry. We've been to Atlanta, Memphis New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston, I always have to go through Memphis no matter which city we end up in. Actually I think that all of the cities in the US that I've visited are Sexy, romantic, hot, inspiring, interesting, I would return to each one.
But for now, my choice, the place I choose, that actually chose me through the magical, lyrical, aromatic, draw or spell that intices me here, is Jamaica, and all that My Beloved has to offer.