Hey there pals!!
Summer has come to an end, classes are in full swing, and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. The days seem shorter, the sun peeks into my window a little earlier, and I feel like I’m rushing against the clock. In an effort to keep the summer magic alive, in the middle of July, I made spontaneous plans and took a trip to Florida. I had no qualms about searching for a flight and booking it the same day, and it was so cheap, I couldn’t pass it up! (Let me know if you guys want details on how I book my flights and travel and I’ll be sure to post about it!)
From Monday – Saturday I had a whole spread of sunshine and opportunity to glow, recharge and enjoy life with my OG travel pals: family. From visiting places that I used to love as a child, to trying new foods, I could feel all my worries slipping away and becoming simple whispers upon the wind. There are tons of things that I want to share with you guys, videos and pictures and laughs, but I’ll save that for the Tube. (Yes, Guys!! I’m headed to YouTube finallyyyyy) All the content I’ve been creating will be live for you guys to see by the beginning of October, so stay ready so you never have to get readyyy!! For now, I’ll share with you guys some of my favorite highlights from the trip.
3291 W Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
To an outsider this may not look like much, but the Swap Shop is a Caribbean Gyal’s paradise. Here, vendors and hagglers, schemers and dreamers alike all gather the same roof to sell their goods. There are food carts, and clothing booths, electronic stores and beauty corners. But the best part has to be the fresh food isle. Located in the back of the market grounds, Haitian men and woman dominate the playing field.
There are fresh dragon fruit, sweets, mangoes and my favorite- fresh coconuts. As a little girl I used to come here and beg my dad to get a coconut for me and have the coco-man cut a hole into it. He would stick a straw in it and just like that, my favorite drink was ready for the taking. Over the course of the week I returned here 5 times with my parents, to buy new threads, eat coconuts and have a few laughs with the woman we always buy mangos from. It was all good fun- from the first day we got stranded there in the pouring rain to the final day when she gave me a free avocado for the road- I was in paradise.
It was first time this far south in Florida, and the drive was long. From Miami to the Keys during that 5 hour drive it seemed that with every 20 miles the sun shone brighter and the sky turned more blue.
How can you come to Florida and not visit the beach? You can’t. If you stayed on the coast like we did, then it is unavoidable, and for good reason. Here, you can find the house of Ernest Hemingway, one of my favorite writers, and some of the yummiest homemade ice cream on the coast. I was asleep the whole ride minus a few times I woke up to film the spreads of water that we would pass, and I woke up in an iguana filled wonderland. No seriously – this place was filled with iguanas! In the streets, on the trees, lurking in the grass, basking in the sun, they were living it up! The picture above is the southern most point of the continental US. Here, you’ll be just 90 miles away from Cuba!
This town is everything that I thought it would be. From the colorful murals ,the blues the pinks, the yellows, it was like stepping into a tropical crayon box. From the fruit filled markets, all the way to the warmth of the people who lived there, Little Haiti felt just like home. As a Haitian American living here, I make it my mission to stay connected to my culture. Diaspora communities like these are not few and far between, especially in Miami; little Haiti was in a less than glamorous part of town, but even so, the charm and genuine nature of the inhabitants was clear. We started off at a community center that had an art exhibition of Haitian paintings and a summer program for children in the community.
Rita’s Italian Ice
This way to Happiness! That’s how I feel whenever I eat Rita’s. I convinced the fam to stop and let me get some shopping in st Sephora; down the street something caught my eye- Rita’s! The Ice’s are either water or cream based and they taste so good and have such yummy flavors! My favorites are Swedish Fish and Cotton Candy, and I get it in a Gelato, which is a dessert that has a base layer of a cream or water ice, custard (vanilla, chocolate or swirl), another layer of italian ice, and then a last dollop of custard. The Vanilla is my favorite!! Ice cream and ices are one dessert that i can eat anytime and anyplace– this includes the winter time — and not feel guilty about it. xoxo Rita’s I love you.
This trip was essential to prepare me for the beginning of my last year at University. It was the first time in a long time that i travelled with family, I visited places that I only remember from memory and the food was bombbb. I can’t wait to share all the magic of this trip with all of you!! Be on the lookout for more updates on social media, and let me know in the comments below, or email, what you’d like to see more off, less of, of if you just want to say hello!
Sending you smiles and a healthy promise of good things to come. xoxo