“Is whole year that we waiting & we anticipating…”
I think Machel Montano summed up my Carnival weekend in his 2016 hit Waiting for the Stage. I waited a whole year for carnival & boy did it come with some hiccups but it was well worth the wait.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
On Friday, April 21, 2017 when I was heading to bed for a quick nap before Caesar’s Army A.M.Bush, it was like a mini hurricane outside. 😦 I was so bummed! After waiting almost 2 months & paying approximately $97 USD for the A.M.Bush experience I could not believe that this was when the rain decided to fall in Portmore that hardly gets rain.
None the less, my friends kept assuring me to go to sleep because it would be clear by 2 AM. What my friends didn’t know is that I had a dream a few months ago that I missed the party & the weather was behaving like it wanted to make that a reality.
At 2 AM when I got up & started getting dressed, the rain seemed much heavier than before my nap & I couldn’t get my driver on the phone!
I got ready in FAITH & by 3 AM I was out the door & on my way!
Ready for the A.M.Bush
When I stepped out of the car, a security guard was at my door with an umbrella waiting to escort me to the entrance of the party & then to the bus. I don’t know if they did this for everyone but I really appreciated that touch.
By the time I got to the music truck & found my friends it didn’t even matter that the rain was drizzling. I just found the bar, filled my cup with some red wine & I was ready to party.
Trust & believe when I say that this was the BEST fete I have been to so far this year. The service at the bar was quick & very pleasant. The security team was top notch as they ensured that everyone was safe during the event.
The selectors were top notch! The musical selections were on par. I love when I go to a fete & hear soca music from as many islands as I can & A.M.Bush’s DJs did just that. There was a wide selection of Bajan Bashment soca, Vincy soca, Lucian soca & Grenadian soca music.
I also have to commend the DJs for not sticking to a articular year. They just dropped tune after tune irrespective of release year.
During the height of the party, the rain began to pour but it did not deter anyone we just kept on jammin.
I was having so much fun that I didn’t even realize that the sun was rising.
By the time we got to the stage the sun had risen & the rain was back to a slight drizzle.
This was when we had one of my favourite parts of A.M.Bush… the performances!
This year we were treated to the sounds of Shal Marshall & the Viking himself Bunji Garlin. Shal had the girls dipping in the middle while Bunji reminded us that he is indeed the sound of soca.
Big Bad Soca is one of the BADDEST songs of 2017.
At the end of the road was breakfast. There was a Jamaican option & a Trinidadian option . I chose the Trinidadian option once I heard there was doubles (I was dying to try doubles!).
As always A.M.Bush did not disappoint me at all.
Dis iz di Band…
I decided to jump with the Bacchanal Jamaica band in the section “Auralight” by Peeny Wallie Mas. I had been waitlisted & was a bit impatient & about to select another section when they contacted me & told me I was approved. *Sprinkle Angel Dust*
I was able to pay for my costume in 3 installments via Pay Pal (so a little fee was charged). Communication is definitely a strong point for the Peeny Wallie Mas team because they communicated with me via email every step of the way.
Costume distribution for Peeny Wallie Mas was being done at Eden Gardens. Distribution days were shifted from Thursday & Friday to Friday & Saturday which I did not mind at all because I had my Alumni Annual General Meeting on Saturday so it would be easy to collect my costume on that day.
Collection day was a day & a half for me.
Saturday came & it was raining cats, dogs, llamas, birds… Kingston was literally washing away! Regardless, I got a ride to Eden Gardens. Once I got to distribution room, I had to sign in and wait.
I waited about an hour…
When I got to the table I realized why it took me an hour to get there. The team was very attentive & helped with the examination of the costume to ensure it all fit & revellers knew how to properly adjust the pieces & to explain what needed to be explained.
I made a huge faux paus when I ordered my costume. I selected the WRONG bra size. When I tried my costume, the cup ONLY covered my areola. I was so bummed by how STUPID I was :(.
I think my over excitement got the better of me.
None the less, I took my package (I will be posting my what’s in my Carnival Box on YouTube on Thursday) & Erica (co-owner of Peeny Wallie Mas) was kind enough to provide me with some gems & I headed home with the intention to channel my inner DIY Queen.
Later that night…
In the middle of my DIY session (my mom was sewing the same colour fabric to an old bra of mine) I received a call from Erica that they were able to find a large bottom & a bra that would cover more than my nipples, however, I would have no gems.
I was so grateful for that call!!!
Road March Morning
I got up early (5:30 AM to be exact) & headed out to meet Erica.
Lady luck was on my side because my friend Shani was staying at the Knutsford Court Hotel which turned out to be my saving grace.
By the time I collected the costume, all the sadness & shame of my faux paus subsided & I was ready for the road.
I did my own makeup (I have a weird thing about people doing my make up) which was very simple. I didn’t even highlight… my costume was doing enough shining for me.
Costume: Auralight by Peeny Wallie Mas
Shoes: Downtown Kingston
Wristlet: Bacchanal Jamaica
Vibes: 100% Shana
A few of the Road March essentials…
I purchased my stocking from Trinijah & the service was great. Ordering & pick up was so easy! Thank you so much for the great service Kandice!
When it comes to my Carnival style, I love & live for combat boots, maybe it’s the punk rocker in me but I love a good combat boot for the road.
When it came time to purchase my shoes, I headed downtown to Orange Street (the home of many fab, trendy & affordable stores).
On the Road
My friends & I got off to very late start so we joined the band at the Lunch Stop at the New Kingston Golf Academy.
Lunch was good. Each section was under their own tent & service was quick, no lines but seating was a bit of an issue. Shani & I opted to stand & eat.
I never knew that would be so grateful for the route change & I wasn’t bummed that we started late.
I couldn’t have asked for a better crew to chip with. The ladies were simply AMAZING!!
At Devon House we were suppose to find our sections to “cross the stage” for judging. We caught up with the section when the judging was almost done but it was still a fun experience.
Peeny Wallie Mas also set up a snack station near the stage which was a nice touch but we were to eager to party to stop.
After judging, we roamed the road until we found a truck that gave us the right vibe. We spent most of the march by the Mojito Vybz truck with DJ Rio. I didn’t know DJ Rio before Road March but he did such an AMAZING JOB keeping the vibe I sure know him now!
The road was AMAZING for me because I heard all my favourite songs, partied with my favourite people & got to wear one of the most beautiful costumes on the road.
I am so happy to see how far Jamaica has come with regards to Carnival.
I love that the DJ’s mixed up the music this year & didn’t stick to only NEW soca. I loved that the Dancehall vibe was infused into the soca vibe because it was legitimately made road a huge party in the streets of Kingston.
Like I said earlier, me & my friends stuck to one truck most of the march. When we did move, it was to the truck with Kes & I was finding the vibe with some bashment, Lucian & jab jab soca then bam! Music lock off!
I am still trying to understand why because we weren’t passing a hospital or residential area but I guess that’s the only mystery of the day.
After Road March
When we got back to the New Kingston Golf Academy, we had dinner & rested for awhile. Although the vibe was about to go up a notch, we decided to leave early because there was no vegan dinner option for Shani :(.
After Shani got some food we decided to head to the party Rio. That was a DISASTER! When we got there it was absolute chaos at the gate so we ended up partying on the sidewalk across the road until we thought we could attempt to enter. While waiting at the gate, we saw some other friends leaving & called it a night.
I was watching a review of the event & a certain TV show that was struggling at the gate to get in with us decided to omit the fiasco at the gate from their report tsk tsk… Can you say bias journalism?
If there was a vegan dinner option, we didn’t know about it & if we had we would have stayed & enjoyed Kes’ performance instead of experiencing the Rio gate nightmare.
I wish it could be jump up day every Sunday!
I don’t regret choosing Bacchanal Jamaica & Peeny Wallie Mas at all. I got my more than I paid for!
Peeny Wallie Mas provided EXCELLENT customer service & I am looking forward to jumping with them next year & giving them NO trouble :).
Look out for the vlog on my YouTube channel soon!
I am already anticipating 2018!
Until next fete