>> View Grenada Spicemas 2016 Coverage
The vibes start from just coming off the plane.....you walk through the door and Grenada Tourism Board is taking care of you proper
with your choice of mixed drinks or shots of local rum as you wait in the modest customs line
(keep in mind it’s only 1 plane full at a time – it’s not like multiple planes land overlapping so you’re in a crazy long line like some islands/countries). And they have no problem with you having coming back for seconds/thirds on additional “tastings”.
Light rain had cooled off the island sun before I landed & the relaxed vibes were apparent from the minute I exited the airport. There’s something very special about Grenada that is so comforting and familiar
, even though this was my first visit it felt like I was just being welcomed by extended family.
With roughly 100k people populating the island some may look at this as a relatively “big island” but it honestly reminded me a lot of teenage years in Anguilla
– which only had 6k & it felt as though everyone knew everyone, you could leave your house unlocked & the keys in your car while you took the ferry to St. Martin for the day. Grenada was just easy going & welcoming from jump.
I arrived Thursday evening & after settling in to our villa (by the way, another amazing thing for Grenada is how affordable the accommodations can be during Carnival for a spot that is both centrally located & comfortable
, which we all know can be an issue on some islands during this high demand time) we were off to Bienvenue
– the first of a series of Spice Addiction Entertainment fetes. This was a drinks-inclusive fete, with some light finger food early on, that was a relaxed setting to get the pumpments going for a great Carnival weekend. Others went to a long-standing established fete La Vida
but hey – I’m cool with whatever, and Bienvenue had everything I wanted – a sprinkling of familiar faces, plenty locals, local music in heavy rotation, and rum flowing all night.
(the smile on this man's face cracked me up - "Yes, I get in!!!!")
What became apparent over the course of my time in Grenada is that it doesn’t matter if there’s only a handful of people or a massive crowd.....Grenadians can take a lime, boat ride, fete, etc. from 0 to Level 10 in a heartbeat
. Grenadians truly know how to let loose – and the shot gyals went from handing out shots, to consuming shots, to some highly entertaining wining sessions
among themselves using people, the stage, a wall, a tree, whatever for leverage or a prop to get on bad. It was hilarious & a perfect way to let me know I’d chosen well in making it a priority to get to Grenada for Spice Mas
this year lol.
Friday, my partner, Lester, and I hit Silent Morning
while 2 of my friends, Ali & Dani, did something I’m incredibly proud of & actually have plans to build a philanthropic network around as we Carnival Chasers have the ability to give back to the communities that we come to enjoy/celebrate. Ali & Dani delivered books and read/spent time with children at a local orphanage.
This beautiful action is a win-win. There’s no doubt the kids were happy to have a full box of new books to read, have 2 great women love up on them & the memories/time spent with the children will leave a lasting impression for Ali & Dani to continue sharing their blessings with others.Silent Morning Grenada
is relatively in its infancy, which to me can be awesome because you don’t have people battling to position for tickets & a boat isn’t so oversold that you feel like you’ve been packed in like sardines. We loaded the double-decker boat after a quick 5 minute shower hit St. George so everyone huddled on the main level for coverage.
It’s always fascinating to see how some boat ride patrons come in so calm/tame, either sitting where possible or resting along the railings scoping out their fellow feters quietly & having a demure look to themselves...... while others come on & immediately look to get rounds of shots & drinks flowing at the bar ASAP – yet give it 20-30 minutes and those demure people are suddenly the ones in 6:30 positions & hanging from the rafters.The Silent Morning Crew didn’t disappoint; they definitely know how to get on bad bad. The liquor never stopped, D’Bandit got the crowd moving with Tony Cross on the mic & then Back to Basics took it out of this stratosphere. What I loved about the musical selections being in Grenada was that you heard a lot of local artists/songs that you don’t necessarily here on the “major circuit” rotation – it was fresh, it was fun & it was energizing.
One of the coolest moments had nothing to do with the music, people, or liquor flowing though --- it was the natural beauty of Grenada
. All of a sudden you felt the boat tilt as passengers excitedly all shifted to the right side of the boat as we saw a school of dolphins – no less than 20 of them jumping out of the water playfully racing along the coastline
...... The lush green mountainous vegetation in the background as these gorgeous animals hoping in and out of the water was so incredibly beautiful and reminded us that Grenada is really a touch of heaven on earth
We talk about people having no behavior at all in a fete – well, the Silent Morning Crew definitely makes it a judgment free zone for all types of wassi people to get on bad bad, yet it was this communal love & revelry that permeated the boat.
It’s funny how a couple hundred Caribbean men & women can wine and wuk up with each other, dancing with anyone/everyone, yet other cultures if someone were to ever even look too long, never mind dance with your spouse that ish would hit the fan in a heartbeat. I’ve got to give a big up to the UK Massive ..... this trip I truly learned to appreciate how hard they go for Soca – no one brought more vibes to “Circles”
than the UK crew, it was hilariously entertaining to see/feel their raw energy & joy to celebrating life with their friends.
After a quick plunge at BBC Beach
and soaking in the beauty of lush flowers overlooking Grand Anse Beach
we washed up & headed Le Crave, another in the weekend long line-up of Spice Addiction Ent. This was a food, rum & beer inclusive event (premium bottles were available for sale)
set at a open air restaurant at the docks in the Woodlands – so you had that natural vibe being surrounded by water. It was a nice pump, one of those events where in a long string of fetes where you come in get a good meal, have a more relaxed vibe, link with more folks you haven’t seen yet, turn up for awhile & then make moves to your next fete. We definitely dominated the dance floor (locals DJ’s decided to dub me “White Chocolate” which seemed to resurface at other fetes & on de road ...... not exactly how I’m looking to be known but hey I get it, it was meant to be complimentary & we can go ahead and leave that nickname in Greenz lol.)
Late night Friday, De Permit Fete by D’Bandit at Aquarium
took place – another great beach front property with multiple levels/dance floors and space on the beach. This was a cash bar event. One of those observations that seems to be validated the more fetes I go around the world...... When it comes to cash bar events – even if the DJ is killing it early the vibes seem to struggle to reach their peak. It just takes longer for most people to let loose & unless you are willing to stay there until late you may not see it reach level 10, personally I could care less what everyone else needs to let go of inhibitions because when it comes to carnival I’ll go 0 to 100 in a heartbeat and this fete was no different. Plenty people came in from foreign – large contingency of Trini, Bajan, UK, US (Brooklyn & DC in particular were strong), Canada, and then the other half was locals. This venue was large enough to have multiple settings where you could choose to go all the way in on one dance floor with no lights to show whatever was happening out there, another with enough space for crews to dance together, and multiple spots for people to lime & connect.
It was a great venue for whatever your mood was, you could easily find space to match those vibes/pace at De Permit Fete.
'Til next time, Soca to de World
-Jouvert Mike>> View Grenada Spicemas 2016 Coverage