Friday, April 22, 2011

St. Eustatius

This blog post has the most meaning to me of all that I’ve done in the past. It was my main reason for creating such a blog. I have a very strong accent and because of this I am frequently asked where I’m from. I am from St. Eustatius, but we locals warmly call our little piece of heaven on earth, Statia.  I have taken an excerpt from the tourism website ( which offers endless valuable information about Statia) that gave the following description of Statia. “Just close your eyes and imagine the Caribbean about 25 or 30 years ago. Clean, unhurried and unspoiled. Pristine living, practically no crime, reefs teeming with fish. Gentle trade winds. People as warm and genuinely friendly as ever. Now open your eyes and discover the beautiful little island of St. Eustatius, affectionately known as Statia.”

Statia is located about 150 miles south of Puerto Rico, and is the neighboring island of St. Maarten, just 32 miles away. Getting to Statia one has to first fly into St. Maarten then take a 17 minute flight on a 19 “seater” plane called Winair. 

I wish everyone could experience a few days on this tiny sized paradise of just11 square miles, knowing that’s not logical click HERE for virtual tours from just about every point around the island. The people of Statia are extremely friendly and inviting. Having a population of under 4,000 you can just imagine the intimate relationship that we locals share. It’s an amazing feeling whenever I'm home for a visit and everyone welcomes me back. Coming from Florida it’s like going back in time, to when the world stood still at an unhurried pace and everyone truly cares about your well being.

As for things to do while in Statia there is plenty if you are a nature lover. Statia is the ideal spot for a peaceful getaway. Our island has been noted to have some of the world’s most beautiful diving sites. Our crystal clear blue waters lavished with volcanic black sand promises a diving experience like no other Caribbean island can offer. There are many shipwrecks to explore and endless exotic coral reefs to see. Apart from diving, there is hiking. There are many trails that lead to spectacular views that are sure to take your breath away. A very popular hiking trail is the one that leads to the Quill, an extinct volcano, of which you can go down inside to explore the crater. Once reaching the peak of the Quill the view is one to die for. You’ll overlook the entire island, and from personal experience I’ll be the first to tell you that the view is WELL worth the hike!

Statia is also very rich in history. Statia was actually the first to recognize the United States as a nation. Due to our discovery we received a plaque from President Roosevelt that is proudly displayed in Fort Oranje. There are many ruins, built by the labor of many slaves, which still stands tall today. A day spent exploring our ruins and visiting our local museum will leave you feeling quite knowledgeable.

Statia has earned the nickname “The Golden Rock”. It has been said that once you visit Statia, no matter how near or far you are, you’ll always have a place in your heart for the Golden Rock. I stand true to this saying as not one day goes by without me longing for a trip home to my hidden treasure of the Caribbean, St. Eustatius. I hope I have inspired you to visit Statia one day and I’m quite certain that you’ll enjoy my pictures! 

Sorry seems as if I can't rotate this pic or the 1 below... 

Imagine yourself enjoying one of our daily sunsets :)

Local Museum 

Our Tiny Airport Runway 

Entrance to Fort Oranje 

Super Awesome Aerial Shot from above

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is a great place for a vacation. I took a road trip to the keys last July with my sisters, and we had an amazing time. We drove there which took about 4 hours in total. The drive down was laced with amazing views, especially when we got on the 7 mile bridge. If you plan to drive make sure you have snacks in the car if you prefer not to make stops and lots of great music. On our drive down we listened to Bob Marley which set the vibe for what we were about to experience.

We stayed at the Casa Marina Resort which was very affordable. The hotel offered many amenities, prime location, and a VERY friendly staff. We enjoyed great dining and roamed the streets of Key West as if we were locals and getting lost was just half the fun! We dined in at a dessert restaurant called “Better Than Sex”. Having such a name I had very high expectations but the name was remarkably on point, as the desserts were absolutely delicious!

During our stay in Key West my sisters & I realized that the life of the locals is pretty much laidback and carefree.  Overall it was a memorable experience one that I would definitely do again.

The entrance to Casa Marina 

Breath taking views :) 
Super excited to try their desserts! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kusadasi, Turkey

My International Business Professor was from Turkey I loved her accent and it made me curious about her country. Upon doing research I found the hidden treasure of Turkey, Kusadasi!  Kusadasi is strategically place on the west coast of Turkey, specifically 90 KM south of Izmir. It has been said that Kusadasi is the most attractive city in Aegean. Though I haven’t been there personally the pictures I found led me to believe that this is indeed factual.

Kusadasi has the perfect tourism season as it offers the typical Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. Kusadasi is quite the popular tourist attraction with many cruise ships visiting its port daily. Prior to the 1980s Kusadasi was just a mere farming town with little to no tourism. A comparison of tourism statistics of the past and today would be quite interesting to examine.

Kusadasi offers several breath taking beaches and has an endless list of attractions and events to enjoy.  For a list of things to do while in paradise click HERE. One interesting event that captured my attention was the camel wresting festival, could you imagine that? Be sure to check it out!

As always I’m closing off with lovely pictures do enjoy them and be sure to come back J

The Rift Valley, Africa

This blog post was inspired from a long time friend of mine. She suggested that I blog about The Rift Valley of Africa, she mentioned that she saw a documentary and raved about it’s beauty. Needless to say I was intrigued and couldn't wait to conduct my own research.

Through research I found that this paradise has very interesting history behind its makeup. About 20 million years ago the crust of the earth weakened and was torn apart across the African continent and many years later beautifully transformed into The Rift Valley. I’ve concluded that this location would be ideal for a family who’s interested in learning about historical tales. Click HERE for more detailed information about creation of the rift system formation.
Things to do while in the area:
  • Bird watching
  • Visit Masai Mara (Zebras & Wildebeests cross this path to migrate to parks by the millions!)
  • Great Rift Valley Viewpoint (witness some of the world’s largest & deepest freshwater lakes at this point) 
  • Jumping with Masai's (locals who enjoy jumping competitions with foreigners, it has been said that they are extremely friendly individuals and rarely lose a jumping battle!)
I hope you enjoyed my post and I gave you inspiration to further research or one day visit this hidden treasure  J

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I heard several stories of Ecuador from one of my cousins, he spent one year in the country while doing a few semesters abroad.  He absolutely loved it. Hearing his stories made me want to visit Ecuador immediately! I did lots of research and found that Ecuador not only has beautiful sight seeing opportunities but there is an endless list of activities. gave great insight to this beautiful country. It lists the top 20 things to do and some of them are:
  • Rafting and Kayaking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Trekking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Visiting Indigenous Markets
  • Bird Watching
  • Whale Watching
  • Thriving Nightlife

I’m closing off with a fun fact about why the country is called Ecuador. It comes from its location and their native language Spanish. Ecuador is located on the equator and the Spanish word for equator is Ecuador. I hope you enjoy the pictures that I have selected to share with you of this paradise!!



I was inspired to do a blog post about Panama this week. Reason being I visited Panama on a cruise back in 2001 as I mentioned in one of my prior posts. From what I remember Panama was gorgeous. My family and I took a tour with a very friendly Taxi guy by the name of Mario. He took us to a park that over looked a lake. The view was exceptional and truly a blessing to see! Mario even took us to see the Panama Canal, as our cruise ship didn’t pass through the canal. However, we were fortunate enough to be right on time to see a Carnival cruise ship passing through the canal. Mario also took us to see a small development of homes that were reasonably priced. I remember very well the homes were all 2 stories and had a price tag of $125,000 (US dollars).

Overall my vacation to Panama was a memorable one. Panama City is a must see! Also, their lush tropical rainforests are so beautiful. My family and I didn’t have the time to explore the forests as I would have liked to do since we had limited time. The country of Panama also has lots of gorgeous beaches to enjoy. If you’re planning a trip to Panama rest assure you’ll have a FABULOUS time!

Friday, April 1, 2011

St. Maarten

I’ve decided to do my blog post this week about St. Maarten. I have been to St. Maarten countless times. It is an extraordinary island and has so much to offer. St. Maarten pride themselves on being known as the friendly island. St. Maarten is rich in cultural vibes and this is evident throughout the island.

St. Maarten has become quite the popular tourist attraction. There are many cruise ships that dock at their port on a daily basis. Also, there are flights that come into this tiny island from very far each day.

Many locals consider St. Maarten to be a “little America” because the nightlife is consistently thriving. There are several Hotel accommodations that are located right along the beach front. St. Maarten is a lovely place to visit with your loved ones and friends. I hope one day you and your favorite family members & friends visit this paradise!