Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cayamo 2013 - San Juan, Antigua, Tortola, & a whole lotta music!

The Norwegian Pearl was our home on the seas last week. I finally went on the Cayamo music cruise with my girlfriends who've been insisting I join them for the past five years. I've never been so ill-prepared for a trip in my life, but things were so hectic leading up to my departure that I literally threw some clothes into a suitcase and joined them in Miami.

I knew almost nothing about the ports we were scheduled to visit or the bands we were meant to see, and in a way, that was a good thing. Everything felt fresh and amazing, and it was fun to talk to people and learn about their music and the sights we were seeing. I'm still recovering from all the sensory overload and the boat moving feeling hasn't quite dissipated yet, but each swoosh is a reminder of how fabulous my trip was!

This little guy greeted us the second night in our cabin. My roommate Alana & I are still debating the type of animal - my vote is that it's an elephant. (As it should be.) 
I didn't take a whole lot of pics on the boat. I was too busy taking it all in. To quote my friend Patty, it was a marathon, not a sprint. There was so much music, and so little time, and I was so very tired going into this adventure. But I am glad to say that I am catching up on sleep this week, and I powered through every night on the boat last week!

Highlights for me were: Lyle Lovett (*swoon*, 'nuff said), Dawes (my mind is officially blown by these Jackson Brown-esque rockers), Shovels & Rope (Cary Ann was channelling Dolly Parton and she and Mike rocked the house down, y'all), Liz Longley (adorable singer-songwriter from Nashville), Teddy Thompson (hilarious Brit singer-songwriter and son of legend Richard Thompson who we also saw), Brandi Carlile (holy rock 'n' roll!), and Joan Osborne (she kicks a$& live - so glad I finally got to see her perform on stage.)

First stop in San Juan. We are SUCH Americans. (But the coffee on the boat was pretty wretched.)
Here are some other pics from the trip - my friends took more photos, and when I get some pics from them, I'll post. I didn't have a waterproof camera, and I figured they would get better shots than I could. I also didn't carry my iPhone around too much this week. It was glorious being completely unplugged for an entire week. I should get a waterproof watch for next time, though. It was kind of stressful not knowing what time it was b/c there was almost always another concert to attend. This vacation was a lot of work, y'all!
This is the view from one of the forts in San Juan. 
Tuesday - We walked off the boat in San Juan and wandered into town (after our coffee fix, of course.) We visited two beautiful forts that were used to protect the island and got a very nice view of the town and its shores from the top of both. We also did a little shopping before heading back to the ship. It was a really nice, relaxing day.
Another view from the fort in San Juan. 
Wednesday - Antigua was kind of a weird place to hang out. The port area itself is not in the best part of town, so we wandered around in a sketchy 'hood a bit before discovering the duty-free shopping center nearby. We had some fruity drinks, did some shopping, and then decided we should try to do some actual sightseeing before heading back to the Pearl. We walked up to an old Catholic church in town that was unfortunately closed and kind of a wreck. Then we went back on the boat for more music... after indulging in another round of fruity drinks, of course.
Antigua - we were looking for a place to have fruity drinks.  No fruity drinks here - just pizza. And an anatomically correct banana. 

Coasters in Antigua - If I tell you what it means, will you buy me a drink? 
Thursday - in Tortola, our group split up. Patty and her bf went on a catamaran excursion with the Sixthman crew and some of the artists. They got to hang out at a bar called Soggy Dollar, and everyone seemed to have had a really good time. Alana and I decided to take a tour of Virgin Gorda, which was a cool trek through some beautiful rock formations that finally ended in a beautiful lagoon called Devil's Bay. We had a wonderful time taking in the sun and swimming in the turquoise water. (She has all the pics from that day b/c she was smart and brought a waterproof camera bag.)
Everglades National Park
On Sunday I had some time to kill in Miami before heading back to NYC, so I did an excursion of the Everglades. Everyone on my tour was recovering from Cayamo, and it was kind of hilarious how tired everyone was. The puzzled tour guide even commented that he usually has more enthusiastic post-cruise crowds. But we rallied and saw the crocs, rode the airboat, and walked around the native hut before being deposited at our respective airports.
More Everglades

The folks that live in the Everglades are my kind of people. They like to sleep in the sun, eat, and do little else. 
That's all I've got for now. I'm heading off to Park City, UT tomorrow for Sundance. Guys, I can't even believe my life right now. I really can't. I think reality is going to be tough when I have to start working for a living again in Feb... but in the words of Scarlett O'Hara, I'll worry about that tomorrow.


Dan Wright said...

Great story! Felt like I was there too!

Manashi Mukherjee said...

Thanks Dan-o!