Have you ever seen those tee shirts, "My aunt went to NYC and all I got was this T Shirt?"
I want to make a shirt like that saying "My mom went to Trinidad and ate a shark and all I got was this t shirt."
Well, I didn't eat an entire shark. Just a little bit - maybe half of its fin?
I recently went to Port of Spain, Trinidad for the first time. As I asked friends and Twitter followers for suggestions of what to do and see while I was there, there came a resounding replies of "eat Shark and Bake!"
I arrived in Port of Spain, Trinidad on Friday afternoon and waited around the airport for....THREE HOURS until my husband's flight arrived.
I was not a happy camper. However, he was renting a car, so it would have been pointless for me to pay for a cab to the hotel and sit there and wait - without wifi - so I stayed at the airport - with wifi.
As you can probably guess, wifi is very important to me. <insert sheepish grin>
So, Saturday morning, my husband and I began the trek to Maracas Bay, which was supposed to be about a 20 minute drive, but with the rain and our unfamiliarity with driving on the left side of the road through a mountain, it took us the better part of an hour.
I may have shrieked most of the way there, clutching the dashboard for safety as my husband swerved (what I imagined to be) dangerously close to the side of the cliff, in case the car door suddenly fell off and I tumbled out of the car, over the side of the cliff and into the ocean.
Did I mention that I am afraid of heights? I always forget this until I look over the side of a cliff.
Where was I going with this? Oh yeah...
When we arrived on the beach of Maracas Bay, it was raining. I wasn't too impressed.
And then we walked a little farther along the beach and the rain stopped...and suddenly, the beauty of the beach came into focus. It literally took my breath away.
I felt like I was in another world. I live in Miami and have stepped foot on a ton of beaches around the country. Beaches? It takes a lot to impress me. I've been to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina a million times. Mountains are nothing new to me.
But beaches and mountains together?
As I stood on the beach at Maracas Bay, I was speechless. The beach is surrounded by mountains and the ocean - it is completely isolated with the exception of a small fishing village (and by village, I mean like 4 small homes) and a few Shark and Bake shacks.
We arrived pretty early in the morning, so the beach was empty. My husband and I walked the beach, feeling like the only people on the planet, and we just enjoyed it.
And then I remembered about the Shark and Bake! We saw three vendors selling it right next to each other, but acting on lessons I've learned from watching No Reservations, we headed to the vendor with the longest line, which was the world-famous Richard's Shark N Bake. And might I add, the only one that guaranteed they were serving shark...because you know, no one goes all the way to Trinidad to eat just plain old catfish.
What can I say about the Shark and Bake at Richard's? It was fried and served on fry bread and...it was good, but I didn't really see what all the fuss was about.
After our very anticlimactic brunch at Richard's Shark N Bake, I did what I do best when I am in foreign countries...I went shopping. For jewelry.
There was a sweet little couple next to the beach selling handmade jewelry - and everything was not only beautiful, but completely affordable. I bought three turquoise bracelets, a pair of turquoise earrings and two braided friendship bracelets for $50 US!
As we walked back to the car to head back into the Port of Spain, I saw this. And I freaked out a bit.
Yeah, that's right, it's a Tsunami warning sign.
And THAT, my friends, was my sign that it was time to go back to the safety of the city.