rule number one.
NEVER pass up a trip ticket to another country. Ever.
Okay! Moving on. I was asked to go to Capp Verde with my family to celebrate both mom and dad now entering their 50’s once upon a time and I said yes because (see rule #1.) So this is where I attempt to take the best week of my life and shorten it into a blog post.
Like I said. Family. I caught mom looking at flight tickets one evening and I said “I want in.” I was DYING to get back to somewhere tropical. Mom arranged everything and brought her dad (my grandpa) and her mother in law (my dad’s mom and my grandma) along on this little holiday getaway. Later, Magnus and Tinius came along to. Us 7, a solid group. Like definitely a family that would have an action film based around us. Or at least a really bad reality show with a Megan Trainor theme song.
After waking up at 4 am, driving for 1 hour, we finally made it to Gardemoen and boarded our 7 hour flight. I looked at grandma and said “give me the hard stuff.” She waived at the flight attendant and ordered bottles of red and white whine. She looked side to side, up, down, all around...and slipped me a nyquil. Then I woke up in Capp Verde. True story.
Capp Verde is an island located outside of Senegal in west Africa, and upon first glance, it doesn’t seem too promising. I speak for all of us when I say we weren’t too excited when we first landed and saw nothing but a dead dessert. But one day spent, on one of the most considered to be beautiful beaches in the world and we were sold.
I remember grandma, mom and I sprinting into the ocean, and the boys following behind us. We came up from out of the water and looked at each other and said the same thing “ITS SO WARM!!” We quickly realized that the beach is Capp Verde’s greatest treasure. We came back to the beach every single day to lay out in the sun and to catch the sunset.
Later, that first night we discovered that there was a massage shop driven by the bungalows/hotel management. On that note, Capp Verde will teach you to be very specific when asking for a massage. (Let’s just say grandpa left feeling a little ‘violated.’)
The next day we went on a tour island, where first stop included swimming in saltmine, then bathing with baby sharks and next visiting a cave, and we all got sunburned. Really, really sunburned.
Our one week trip wasn’t constant go go go. It was nice because we all really wanted the same thing: to go do something fun, but also relaxing. And everyone was easy going about it.
That day though, was in the running for one of my favorite days of the trip. The day we discovered the best form of transportation. Getting from one place to the other on the tour island they used PICK UPS. I would do just about anything in this world, to go back to Capp Verde right now to ride a pick up around the island. Everyone in Capp Verde rides pick ups. And there’s no rules of the road, no speed limits, no cops, so it’s safe to say we almost died a few times. But I’d say it’s worth it. (don’t tell mom I said that.)
For the most part our week consisted of us swimming multiple times a day in the ocean, read a lot, laying out on the beach and preparing for game night after dinner ever day.
Because most problems in life can be solved by a round of uno. Cards of game. Put this on my GRAVE. I’ll say it a million times but what made this trip was the people, and the people knew how to play. We were all so tired after laying out in the sun, drinking beer and pina colada’s all day long, but it was well worth it to wrap up every night with beating Magnus’s ass in uno. These uno nights were CRAZY. I knew a handful of people were going to be quite overwhelmed so I decided to make us alter ego’s. (as one does before a game.)
Mom aka Brit
Brit names her plants. Brit only wears clothes made from recycled products. Brit leaves hate comments on Kylie Jenners instagram. She wants to talk to the manager.
aftermath: Brit, while shuffling the cards ended up with a paper cut. Brit is suing the uno company for damages.
Magnus aka Brad
Brad is a frat guy. Brad has two middle names. Brad has a YOLO tattoo.
aftermath: Brad released his inhibitions those nights and made his mother proud. He won the pull up contest, naturally.
Grandma aka Debbie
Debbie likes Bella Thorne, coco Chanel and watermelon vodka. Hates women’s rights.
aftermath: Debbie hold her own and let loose for most of the game, but deep down she’s still Live Mugaas who likes to go to sleep at 10:00. Party ended early for Debbie. Grandma doesn’t talk about Debbie anymore.
Dad aka Xavier
Xavier. He only drink mojitos. Lana Del Rey is his “Queen.“ Only shops at forever 21. Will destroy you in a political debate on facebook.
aftermath: Xavier surprised us the most. We had to settle him down a couple of times.
Sofie aka Becky
I transformed into Becky that night, and she’s a girl I don’t get along with, but I definitely respect to some degree. Becky is the Alpha Phi president. Looking for a sugar daddy. Voted for Hillary because she’s a woman.
aftermath: Becky threw hands with all the players for being accused of cheating. Becky got kicked out of the game. You’ll be hearing from Becky’s lawyer.
Tinius aka Lil T
Lil T still believes in Santa Claus. Lil T still lives in the basement with his rap manager Lil Pump. Lil T still has hopes to be on Disney Chanel.
aftermath: as we all know he would, Lil T pulled out all the stops. He dabbed. He flipped off of a diving board and almost killed 15 people. He is what he always is. The life of the party.
Grandpa aka Alvarez
Alvarez joins us from Buenos Aires Argentina. He doesn’t speak english, but makes up for it in uno. He loves to play.
aftermath: Alvarez really stole the show. There was not one single round of uno we played that he did not claim territory on. He was a viral sensation by the end of the trip, signing autographs and taking selfies with adoring fans.
And there you have it. In squad we trust.
The message I hope you get out of this, is to be who you are. And if you can’t... be Becky, Xavier, Bradley, Debbie, Brit or Lil T. Cause they’re really fun.
Be okay being alone. I didn't read the fine print in preparing for this trip, which probably read “This is a place for couples, this is a couples trip and you will spend at least three nights crying in your bungalow about how no one loves you.”
Mom and dad. The couple who got engaged in the restaurant. Grandma and grandpa. (those two aren’t together but I do think they would be a cute couple? maybe? moving on.) I was surrounded by lovers. The ones you pin on your pinterest boards. They were all in love, and they were all RUBBING IT IN MY FACE. It wasn’t always that way. Once upon a time at the beginning of the trip I became friends with a guy named Andrew. And another friend named Shelby. Andrew, Shelby and I were single. We were in paradise, so chemistry was bound to happen. In the terms you would understand.... Andrew gave his final rose to Shelby. (In his defense, I would choose Shelby over me too. She could dance.)
It was a highlight of the trip for sure. Seeing their romance blossom. Me, mom and grandma had a kick out of it, and pretended we were producers of The Bachelor franchise, having producer meetings every couple of hours to decide if they were going to make it out in the real world, or if it was just a fling in paradise.
I hope I get a an update from them one day to tell me how it played out. My last story I want to share is a good one, and probably the most important lesson I’ll take with me from the entire trip. Get in the ocean if it all goes wrong. Seriously. Our last day on the island grandpa and I were the first ones to the beach, while the rest of the group were back at the bungalows still sleeping.
The first thing I notice when I take off my sundress is the feeling of something wet dripping down my thighs. And since I hadn’t been in the ocean yet, my mind went there immediately,
“UH OH IT’S THAT TIME OF THE MONTH.”
Apparently because of the climate change, my body picked up on it and so my period came earlier than expected.
I’m about to hop back on the sunbed and just die out of secondhand embarrassment, when I think of an idea. I threw the sundress back on and then grandpa and I set out on a journey to find mom and dad’s bungalow. I knew by experience mom always packed with her back ups. Grandpa and I came without back ups. And without money to buy some. Still, the bigger problem was we had no idea where their bungalows were. We were staying at a resort with bungalows for tourists and there were hundreds of them. It was one of the most stressful mornings of my entire life, we literally had to walk around all the bungalows in the early morning and knock on every single door because they weren’t answering their phones. The situation was so bad. Waking up strangers on vacation! We had knocked on a total of 3 different bungalows when we decided to head back to the beach. The real reason behind it was, we completely lost all motivation to continue the search when we got met with a frustrated, tired, newly father of a newborn raising his voice in a slightly manner at us in Italian. In all honesty grandpa and I didn’t know if we would recover from such an traumatic experience. We are *quite* sensitive. Remember? Yeah. We were just happy and called it a victory to get away from angry tourists getting woken up at 8 in the morning.
As we were walking back to the beach, traumatized and expressing how annoyed we were at everyone and how stressful the situation was. All of the sudden a heavy wind started. A good old Capp Verde heavy wind. It seriously blows harder there than anywhere else I’ve been, and mother nature was really showing off that early morning. Grandpa and I looked at each other and said “REALLY???.” as if it couldn’t get any worse.
Then we started laughing. Like really hard. This was too much. It suddenly hit me that this was our last day on this beautiful island. “This morning sucks, but someday you’re going to wish you were right back here on this beach.” Grandpa said, speaking some serious TRUTH. We both knew it. My current botherings were so insignificant and was going to eventually go away.
“I need to run in the ocean.” I said. He didn’t even hesitate to grab my hand and say “sprint out as fast as you can,” like I had done six days earlier for the first time. I ran out there fully clothed in my sundress and danced and played in the ocean for what seemed like awhile. That was a moment where I tried as hard as I could to hold on to it and cherish it. Because grandpa was right. I was going to miss this place someday. I was going to miss this someday.
I’d love to hear from you guys or answer questions about photos, advice, or the best food on Capp Verde. After all I’m practically an expert now ;)