Florida: a beautiful state filled with amazing beaches, beautiful people, and great way of life; a perfect destination for an escapade. Route: fly from DFW to Atlanta International Airport; land and transboard on plane taking me to my final destination- The Keys, FL.
It was time to get away. Spring was rolling out beautifully and after an uncertain start, a dream reassured me that I had to make this trip, so I booked the tickets and prepared to depart towards the sunny state of Florida. I planned to not only vacation, but also, to try to dabble in some musical ventures while there, especially in Miami. Looking back at this trip, I can honestly say that the one week I spent in Florida was one of my best experiences EVER. Not only was I able to bring with me a lot of unforgettable memories, but was also able to see life in an even more positive, uplifting way. I met a lot of wonderful individuals from which new friendships were created. All in all, I love to live an adventurous life and this trip proved to be a great example as to why.
THE KEYS TO PARADISE
The Keys- a chain of islands off the bottom peninsula of Florida- were awesome. The first day I arrived at Keywest, I was quick to notice that the island was tiny! Roosters were everywhere cock-a-doodling away while cats slept lazily under the palm tree's shade. It was a very weird, but interesting scenery. After arriving at the hotel, I dropped my bags off in the room, and went on a bike ride. Due to the excitement and joy of finally arriving at such a beautiful place, I forgot to put on sunscreen; it wasn't till later that I felt the consequences of my carelessness. After bicycling around I soon noticed that a lot of people made there ways around the island in either bikes, mopeds, or by feet. Coming from a big city that's so spread out that a car is needed for everything, this was definitely a relief and breath of fresh air. Great way to passively give the finger to the oil companies. =P I'm an outdoor activities lover, so this made me enjoy the island even more. In a matter of a couple hours, we (my good friend and I) managed to circle about two thirds of the island on just bikes. It was awesome. The salty, refreshing smell of the ocean, the waves soothing sounds of it crashing against the rocks, the green trees and sunny skies- I just couldn't get enough of the island. It was everything I was hoping for; a beautiful little paradise.
THE FURY TAKETH OVA
With so many activities and things to do, the week seemed to just fly on by. One of the most memorable activities I participated in had to be the FURY ultimate package extravaganza which included kayaking, jet skying, parasailing, & snorkeling topped with a FREE sunset boat ride. The view from the sky of the island and it's surroundings was spectacularly breathtaking on my parasailing adventure, but jet skying was the best!! The speed, the tricks, the adrenaline- I loved it all. Finally, on to kayaking which was a very intense workout. I could definitely feel the burn all around my chest and abdominal area. Felt completely worn out after this! Snorkeling I had to pass on as not only was I really sunburnt from the first day when I had forgotten to apply sunscreen, but also, I had once snorkeled in Cancun, Mexico and had a not-so-pleasant experience. Not only did I manage to drink like a gallon or two of salty ocean water, but also hit my leg on a rock causing me to bleed. I was lucky to not have gotten eaten by a shark that time; I swear I heard the jaw's theme song commence right before getting on the boat and leaving the area. The sunset excursion was done the next day, late afternoon and could best be described as very relaxing. It was actually very interesting and funny at times; there was a very diverse crowd in the boat (21 and over of course) and were just drinking away having a great time. The things they would do and say… definitely made me lol a lot. The illusion of what appeared to be the sun sinking down into the ocean was very beautiful and thankfully, I managed to record and capture this moment in time to bring with me back to Dallas. It took approximately two minutes and thirty seconds for the sun to completely disappear beneath the oceanic horizon. It was very beautiful and kind of helped put things in perspective. I mean, we are after all in a constantly rotating, tiny blue planet circling the sun amidst the Milky Way Galaxy in universe of stars and other planets. All in all the package was great. I LOVED it! No complaints here. I would definitely get down on it once again.
THE GURU ON DUVALL STREET
Duvall Street was where all the action was going on throughout the day. There were shops, restaurants, bars… you name it, it was all there. One calm, peaceful night after cruising down the street, I decided that paying a visit to a very mystical guy which I decided to nick-name "The Guru" would be an interesting experience to add to my life's resume. I let him read my palm and although I wasn't shocked or surprised with what he told me, I did enjoy the experience. It reassured me in so many ways, and at the same time, satisfied my curiosity. No, he's not the first person I've gone to for a reading, but as always, I kind of keep an open mind about this. It's interesting how somebody who knows you for such a little time can be so on point about things you haven't even mentioned to them. Captivating!
Cuba is 90 miles away from the Keys, the southernmost point of United States. I thought this was fascinating, so taking a picture at the very southernmost tip of the island was a must. Just kind of made me wonder about all those individuals who have risked there lives in ocean to leave there communist country and come to the US seeking better opportunities and a more desirable way of life. It wouldn't be an easy task, but definitely do-able. After all it's only 90 miles away. =P
One word- exquisite. I tried Italian, French, Cuban, and last but not least, Thai. Plus, I reluctantly tried a bit of the seafood entrees, and was very pleasantly surprised. I will admit I'm still a bit concerned about the whole after effects of the BP oil spill, so I was careful not to indulge in my seafood cravings. I did try a lot of firsts on this trip like calimari (squid), nutella, olive oil with bread sticks, and Thai cuisine.
Cuban food was similar to Mexican food in some ways. There rice was different; had kind of like a yellow/orangish, radioactive color to it, but was very tasty. Plus, it came with a side of plantines. Rice & bananas together- sooooo tasty! Plus, the bread that came along with my dish was delicious.
French crepes filled with nutella are my new guilty pleasure. Very addicting. Definitely a must try especially while in the area.
Italian food- one of my ultimate favorites- was very tasty. From fresh-out-the-oven, hot breadsticks to the the tasty pastas, I just couldn't get enough. Definitely had my Italian cravings fully satisfied. It was just perfect!
Thai food I had NEVER tasted before, but I really enjoyed. It was spicy and healthy- just how I like it. Only thing I wish I would have gotten at the end of my course- a fortune cookie. =( Maybe next time?
Needless to say, staying fit was tough, but nonetheless, I managed to hit gym almost everyday just to make up for all the guilty pleasures I was indulging in. =D
What a beautiful city! Wow! I was speechless. I finally understood why I had to make this trip. I ABSOLUTELY fell in love with Miami. It was just so breathtaking in so many ways; if the diversity and laid back attitude in Keywest had not completely won me over, then this definitely sealed the deal. It was such a breath of fresh air. While in town, I was able to check out the Hit Factory. Automatically when arriving at the location, I felt butterflies in my stomach. An overwhelming feeling of belonging there took over me. I was literally in a state of extreme joy, and if I once doubted that music was what I was meant to do in life, I knew then with certainty that I was on the right track. I met a couple of engineers (Andy & Sam) from this historical studio complex that had housed a rich wealth of creativity within its wall throughout the years. So many recording artists had created hit records precisely at this location I now found myself at; I was amazed and flabbergasted at the awesomeness and meaning of this building. I kind of felt for a second as if the world was mine- that anything and everything was truly possible. I mean I still believe that now, but it wasn't until that moment that I could really attach meaning to that statement. After so many doors had closed in my face, I felt as if the one I truly had been longing for was finally opening or at least, close to reach; I felt reassured and optimistic. I know that someday I'm gonna be working alongside some of my favorite producers here, in Miami's Hit Factory, on a huge, hit record that's gonna be massive. I honestly can't wait till it becomes a reality.
Later on that night, I decided to cruise around the city along with my friend. Went to South Beach & ate some Thai food. Then afterwards, headed straight to the clubs. Now, I hadn't gone out in such a long time. I didn't enjoy it as much any more, and so I had stopped going out altogether a while back. When I entered the club and saw such diversity, happiness, and excitement in people's characters, it kind of rekindled that fire within me. I was ready to dance and enjoy myself. That night, I met so many people from all over the world and had such a blast. I even somehow managed to run into Latin star Fedro which I thought was awesome. I mean, I truly didn't expect to see anyone famous on this trip, but meeting him was like the frosting on the cake. He was very friendly and thankfully, I was able to create a friendship with him too! I laughed, loved, and lived that night! As a matter of fact that whole week. Life was just amazing.
That week in Florida, I lost track of time and completely forgot about everything in my life. It was such a sweet escape from reality. I felt like I found the much needed motivation, reassurance, and inspiration in this trip that I was searching for. In short, I found my mojo. =P I arrived feeling uplifted and with a superbly positive outlook on life- even more so than before. Everyone has a mission here on Earth. Mysterious coincidences guide you towards your destiny. Question, dreams, daydreams, and intuitions lead us towards the answers, which usually are synchronistic. Nothing is coincidence; admitting that you know nothing of what appears to be everything is the first step towards awakening. Open yourself to the realm of all possibilities; step into the unknown. Surrender to the creative and just live life to the fullest. NO regrets! Anything is possible, you just got to work hard for it! This trip just made me stronger and fueled that fire within me. I understand why it was important for me to take this trip. God works in mysterious ways!!! Next stop, New York! =P