If January is a party, February is the day after. The hangover? I dunno. Anyhoo. January is all GO GO GO!! Then it’s gone and you’re in February and you’re asking yourself where all of January went and realise time is so transient.
STORY TIME! This blog is about my Cancun trip and somethings to note for when you visit!! I should’ve titled it – “How to do a fab 50”. I’m breaking up the blog ‘cos Feb was much and I forget my life when I’m writing.
Oh February, you came, you saw, you conquered. My HEART. I love you. Thank you! It wasn’t all sweet lemonade but you gave me good lemons. A heart filling girls trip to Cancun, Mexico with amazing sister friends to celebrate a milestone birthday; a heart pumping fitness competition in Dallas, Texas where Terry and I (team 2 Ts in a pod) got 2nd place with the most incredible and supportive fitfam; and a lot of moments that have caused me to pause and let my heart do what it wants. Or maybe I’m just getting older, maybe, whatever. February is also the anniversary of my mum’s death. I didn’t know quite how I’d feel this year but so many good things happened, I was in a good place so it felt good that day and in the days leading up to it. I’m grateful for that. This continent hopping life, one minute my heart loves the excitement, other times it craves the familiar, sometimes it gets confused. Life of a Gemini.
Here’s my life in words and pictures, you know how I do…..
PART 1: Sisterhood!
Rotimi (aka Mimi) turned 50 on Feb 11. I’ve known her for close or more than 20 years. She is besties with Chinedu who she met in University and later went to Law School with, and who I went to boarding school with (from age 10-16). Rotimi and I worked in the same company in central London, Chinedu introduced and we became besties! Then she moved to Nigeria. On my 40th birthday party, moons ago, she SURPRISED me and turned up!! I was more than surprised!
So. Last month Chinedu told me, the plan was Cancun to celebrate Mimi’s 50th. “Nah”, I initially thought, I’ve already been. Well actually, I thought “why can’t you all go somewhere I’ve never been”?!! As she ran through the itinerary, I thought again. Titi. What is this life if you’re not “living it”? This is a once in a life time event. Ooooohhhh, maybe I could surprise HER this time!! It then became a covert operation. We pulled it off. SURPRISE!
This was the trip I never knew I NEEDED! The MEMORIES? Goodness me. In three days I racked up more than three years’ worth. Nine girls, one private villa with a waterfront view and lots of shoes. Most importantly, no drama. Some of the ladies I met for the first time but kinda “knew” who they were. Everyone was connected in one shape or form. By the end of the trip we were all besties! Single, married, divorced, on the border. We arrived in Cancun from Nigeria, England and the US. We reminisced about our teenage antics and questionable decisions and relished in each other’s achievements. There were so many “remember whens”, we put the LOL in laugh out LOUD.
Somebody was on a flight and as the landing announcement was made, she realised she was on the wrong flight. Someone arrived at the client site in a skirt suit, tights and dirty trainers and had forgotten to pack shoes. Someone….I will name no names. I can’t remember all the stories now. But I want to stay friends so maybe it’s good that I don’t. We partied, danced, ate, explored, stayed in, hugged, dressed up. We had a PHOTOSHOOT on her birthday! Dress, t-shirt, swimsuit. It was a glorious celebration of LIFE and living. And us. Love in, love out.
From left to right: Yemisi (aka Misi), Ehi, Bolanle, Tola, Rotimi (aka Mimi the birthday gal!), Banke, Chined, Titi and Tobi (Mimi’s sis)
Photoshoot credits including cover image to Julie Roman (@julie_roman_photographer)
A touch of bling Mimi said the theme was, and she proceeded to adorn herself in sequins throughout the trip. I forgot Nigerians don’t do “a bit” anything. DO YOU BOO!! 50 is not beans. As for me and my house, we are adding more sequins to our closet. Our t-shirts were G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S! Custom made and blinged out in NIGERIA, it was girl power and black girl magic. It was an attitude all by itself. Thank you for showing me the light Mims. All shiny and bright!
After a day of makeupping and posing, we had the birthday dinner at Lorenzillos, a seafood restaurant with an Italian flare, in the hotel zone area, overlooking the water, and with a crocodile in it. It was fine dining and we arrived in all our finery.
Meanwhile. There was no Wi-Fi in the villa the day we arrived. We were near apoplectic. WHATTT? HOW CAN???!!! WHYYYY? Really. Why do you need Wi-Fi Titi? We got over it and ourselves and immersed in ourselves. I decided to be just be “present”. Chinedu and I were there Sunday to Wednesday only. Last time I saw her and Mimi, it was 2017, when I went to Nigeria for my mum’s funeral. The trip “reminded” me of who I am, where I am from, the things that really matter. It also gave me a crash course in Naija songs! When the beat is in you, your “afro” will come out. Catching up was the soul food my heart was craving. I’m glad I gave myself “permission” to go!
They say you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends. Choose wisely people.
We hired a minivan/bus/car to take us on a local tour one day. 3 hours we agreed, it turned into a party bus and an unspoken contract that ended 5 days later. The driver, Wilder, became our go-to-guy, picking us up for dinners, dropping us of in consecutive groups at the airport and everything in between. We introduced him to Afrobeat and nicknamed him “Bros”, ok that was all Misi! I know he’s still talking about us. He would have never seen anything like us. I haven’t seen anything like us!
Bros took us to seafood restaurant in historic Cancun (3 and a half hours into our 3 hour contract), away from the touristy hotel zone. It was located above a 7-11 type shop. IT WAS THE BEST FOOOOOD! Marbella Fish Market, tell them we sent you. You’re welcome. Wilder ate with us, he was our bros (brother) after all.
Friends. For all your Cancun transportation needs, we gats the hook up. Message me for deets 🙂
We went to “Cocobongo” one night. I mean the name, really? It was “cost’. It was also one of the (many) highlights of our trip! Part show, part cirque de soleil, part club, ALL FUN. We were WOWED over and over again. The acrobatics? OMG. When a “Game of Thrones” themed extravaganza came on, I almost lost the plot. I danced my life away.
Add this to your itinerary NOW.
- Most touristy everything is in the “hotel zone” and that’s typically where most people stay
- Hotels and resorts in the hotel zone all have private beaches
- The hotel zone is one long road
- You can get a bus up and down the hotel zone for $1 or 10 pesos
- Buses run round the clock and are safe
- Stay somewhere with a beach or water view, thank me later
What a trip! We connected, we bonded, we talked life, we spoke life into each other, we were REAL with each other. I can’t say enough about what this trip meant to me, what it did for me. Three days after I bought my ticket, and 2 week to the trip, I woke up to the news of Kobe Bryant’s death. Perspective is all I’ll say. Nothing is guaranteed. This trip, these girls? We are in a whatsapp group now cracking each other up! We are all each other’s “Miss Nigeria”. They brought a slice of delicious home all the way to me. I mean for real, for real. Chinedu (on special instruction from your’s truly) brought plantain chips, peanuts (groundnuts) and cashew nuts from Nigeria, Banke produced malteasers, bounty bars, lion bars and other delectable chocolates from England. I was in my own special heaven! Thanks for a fab trip Rotimi. Ooh your swag bag???!!! FAAAAB!! Happy fab 50th birthday love xx
Ooh, and, this trip also reminded me how much of a performer I was (am) on a stage.
What happens in Cocobongo stays in Cocobongo! That’s all I’m saying. Get your own life.
Live, laugh, love. Love always wins.
#ageaintnothingbutanumber #girlstrip #visitcancun #fab50 #liveyourlife
Stay tuned for PART 2! Hit that subscribe button so you’re notified immediately it drops.
All images, my camera phone.
- If you missed my January blog, read it here – Do you speak American. It’s about my year arriving in Dallas from London, England, in 2012 felt like I was on another (from another?) planet! I still remember ordering “chips” (English version) and getting “fries” (US version). Sigh….