Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve in Key West, FL - The place to be!

Sloppy Joe's will host its 18th Annual Dropping of the Conch Shell.  Anything goes New Year's Eve in Key West on Duval Street. You'll find people all decked out for the midnight celebration, and folks still in their bathing suits and flip flops when the Conch Shell drops from the roof of Sloppy Joe's Bar.

(A Spicy drag queen named "Sushi" gets dropped each year)

The idea and implementation of the New Year's Eve Dropping of the Conch Shell is that of local artist Tobias McGregor.  In 1993, McGregor approach Sloppy Joe's management about the New Year's Eve plan.  "Before the dropping of the Conch Shell, everyone would just wonder around Duval Street, celebrating the New Year when their watches read midnight. The crowd was just not in sync," said McGregor.

The initial Conch Shell was rigged on a frame, the shell was lowered manually, and timed by watch, or by looking across the street into a window and watching the count down in Times Square on someone's TV. McGregor said, "the Queen Conch has come along way since the early years, and the crowd at the corner of Duval and Greene expects more each year."

The crowd starts to gather on the street around 10:00pm as Sloppy Joe's rooftop host entertains the crowd and everyone dances, catches beads and waits for the count down clock to begin.   As midnight strikes and the Conch Shell is lowered confetti, streamers and lights will fill the sky.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

BUSTED - 3 cruise ship empolyees caught sneaking in drugs...

Yesterday 3 dope dealing dumb asses tried sneaking in heroin and coke from the Dominican Republic to Baltimore but got busted by customs officials who were tipped off by the cruise ship's security!    It all went down on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas yesterday as the ship made it's port of call into the US.  

(Baltimore Harbor)

Recently, the cruise line was in the news, Royal Caribbean wants YOU to tip better, trying to get the customers to tip better.  Now they got staff sneaking in drugs.  What's going on over at Royal Caribbean?   After the smugglers arrest they reviled that they were going to be paid $4,000 for sneaking the goods in to the buyer whom they were trying to meet at a Wal-Mart before being busted.   In the end, the crew-members and drug buyers were all arrested and charged.

R&B's Teairra Mari gives us a holiday gift...

23 year old singer Teairra Mari got on her Twitter account,, last Thursday and wrote, "Steamin' it up does the body good." then proceeded to upload a photo of her mostly topless for her fans.  Ahhhh, she's so sweet.

(professional shot)

(Twitter photo)

If you're new to Teairra you can always download her MP3 "Sincerely Yours" below...

Sincerely Yours [Explicit]
Sincerely Yours [Explicit Version]

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowed in at the airport? Your rights...

Oh the joy of winter travel.  Maybe you're getting the hell out of the snowy Midwest and are heading for the Caribbean.  Perhaps holiday travel has you jumping form state to state.  Whatever the case, know your right if you find yourself stuck at the airport due to weather.  Since the big blizzard has kicked in this week almost 10,000 flights in the US alone have been canceled.  And at least 1,335 flights were canceled on Tuesday as airports cleaned up from the snowy mess.

 I can't even reach the airport, am I covered?

This depends. If you cannot reach the airport because your train or bus is delayed, for example, then you should be able to claim on your insurance.  However, if you take your car and miss your flight then it becomes a bit more difficult, as the insurer will want to know that you left enough time for your journey.  Aim to get proof of any issues that held you up, for example, if you had to call out roadside rescue then keep the paperwork to show your insurer.

 Delays while you're AT the airport

Most travel insurance policies pay out for delays at snowbound airports, although you usually have to be delayed by a specific period of time, often between eight and 12 hours.  Most policies will then pay a set cash amount, typically $50, for each subsequent 8/12 hour delay. It will usually be enough to buy you some hot drinks and food, but not to put you up in a hotel.

Snow means my flight is canceled, will my insurer pay?

Your travel insurer will not need to pay out if your flight is canceled due to poor weather as the airline will cover the cost.  However, depending on the level of cover you have purchased, you should be able to claim for other expenses and losses.  For example, if you cannot get a refund on hotels and other holiday expenses, such as booked day trips or car hire, a comprehensive policy should reimburse you for these irredeemable costs. Check your policy carefully as they all differ.

For more reads about travel insurance check our past posts here:  Travel Insurance Posts.   

Rihanna chills in Barbados

Everyone's favorite "rude boy lover" is in her homeland of Barbados this week relaxing around Sandy Lane Beach,  She was spotted out on the beach with her blond bodyguard who reportedly flashed her breasts to someone.  

*click the photos to enlarge them

She was buzzing around the beach on a jet-ski showing us that she's still just that little island girl at heart.  This week Rihanna's due back in the states for New Years where she's got a gig at a Las Vegas Hotel.   Till then, enjoy your stay Rihanna!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Did Santa hook you up with a Kindle this year?

If so, that's great.  Even better?  FREE Kindle books!   Just recently I blogged about the Kindle, E-Readers for Travelers, and you saw how you can get Kindle readers for either $139 or $189 depending on if you want "free" 3G to download paid books.  I say, don't!  Get the $139 Kindle and then go to these places on the 'net where you can WiFi your way to as many free books as you can possibly read...

The free area of Google E-Books is filled with thousands of free, scanned copies of books, available in Kindle-friendly PDF formats.

 This monster site has over 33,000 free e-books, including all of the classics, available in Kindle, HTML and simple text formats.  Nice!

 These guys have 1,000 of free audiobooks which you can play on your Kindle.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology

Keep in mind that with any of the above links but the actual Kindle Store, you’ll need to transfer the books manually using a computer and USB cable.   But at least it's free!

Delano Hotel in Miami Beach - get topless!

Located in trendy Miami Beach, Google Map, is a 195 room hotel that allows, in fact encourages, topless sunbathing at it's pool - Delano Hotel.   It's a $450 (average cost) per-night swank hotel with direct access to the beach.  From the flowy white drapes that hang everywhere and blow in the breeze, to the pristine, gorgeous pool area, to the chic all white rooms, to the excellent service - it's an 5 star experience all around.

As one reviewer noted, "Has a grown up party vibe, lots of chic couples of all nationalities lounging by the pool in the day, which really revs up in the evening into a lively bar, with people dancing barefoot in the shallows of the pool." 

A resident DJ keep the party going poolside and reports have about 4-5 topless ladies near the pool on most warm Miami Beach afternoons.  To visit them go to:, where they do have a few specials running.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hedonism II's EC staff dancing in 2010

Here's a clip of the infamous EC's from Negril's Hedonism II entertaining the guests.  These young people can MOVE!

It's always fun in Jamaica.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

You too can rent the very house President Obama does!

Want to live like a President does while on vacation?   Well, you can.  For real.   When the first family travel back to Hawaii most the time they book a house at 5BR 5BA house that's about 15 miles from Honolulu Airport in a city called Kailua, Google Map.   The cost for the house is $3,500 per night and it's currently booked till mid January, 2011.

The swank pad can accommodate up to 10 people so if you can travel with another family and share costs, MAYBE you can afford it.  Plus you can cook here at the house avoiding high costs of dining out.   So if you're down to vacation like the most powerful man in the world, go here and book:  Obama's "Winter White House".

Is American Express the best travel credit card?

When you travel you can rely on travelers checks, credit cards or plain old cash.  These days most people are using a combination of credit cards and cash.  (when have you last bought a travelers check)   We recommend you take about 25% of your extra spending in the way of cash and the rest in a rock solid credit card that's got your back.

American Express has been around since 1850 and often has been known as a "rich man's credit card."  They tend to offer a ton of benefits and perks that most other companies don't come close to matching but you also pay for it.  The annual costs for most are anywhere from $250 up to $450 for the super-exclusive Platinum Card.   And merchants don't always dig AMEX because they pay a higher cost to accept it over cheaper MasterCard and/or Visa.  That's why you sometimes see stores NOT accepting American Express.

(AMEX cards feature a Roman mascot adopted in 1958)

In 1915 AMEX came up with a travel division that hooked up it's high paying but rich customers with travel discounts and protection second to none.   In fact, on their web site, they have a trip booking service, Travel Services, where the user can book air, land and car rental packages themselves with built-in deals.  Plus when you book using that page, you get double the membership reward points that you can then use later down the road for other freebies. 

AMEX has partnerships with Delta Airlines and Starwood Hotels and Resorts to where you can use your membership reward points to pay for rooms and airfare.  You can also get discounts for local shows, entertainment, sporting events and more.   These points never expire once you earn them and you can earn as many points as you like - there's no limit.   American Express Point FAQ's.

(American Express spokeswoman, Beyonce and her mother)

American Express is also very good at other benefits like extending warranties on products you buy, replacing stolen items you bought with their card and if a cardholder is more than 100 miles from home, AMEX will offer medical, legal, and financial assistance. They will replace lost passports, misplaced prescriptions, arrange for an air ambulance, and monitor medical treatments.   They have other features that protect you when you travel if your air is delayed a day or more (free air travel and rooms).   The benefits are pretty insane and a lot of AMEX cardholders are not even aware of what they got.

So if you got good credit and good income you might want to try and get one of these bad boys.  Plus you'll look big pimping when you roll to the club with your date and whip out the legendary credit card of players.

Look for the offers and specials to the right of this post, above it or just below it.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Negril, Jamaica has a shooting, at a resort!

Last Tuesday, December 21st 2010, 3 men stormed a Negril All-Inclusive (rumor has it that it was RIU) and demanded money from the lobby employee's manger who has a vault key.  When the employee told the robbers the manager wasn't there, they told him he "better run" then shot him in the back as he did just that.  


The good news?  The employee is reported to be alive and in recovery at a Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.  He was initially taken to Savanna-la-Mar Hospital but transported due to his injures.  Nobody else was injured but hotel gusts did witness the event.

(The All-inclusive RIU Lobby)

The Press and Police in the area are being hush hush about which resort it was and I imagine they'd like to keep the story on the down-low to avoid hurting the tourists business.  But they better amp up security, it seems the violence isn't just kept to Kingston's "Trenchtown" anymore.

The Jamaica Observer recently put out Negril's most wanted:  Westmoreland's most wanted

Merry Christmas 2010!

This is the first Christmas of Vacation Barefoot Travel Blog and I want to thank all of you for your support and loyal following.  I've received many great comments, e-mails and I've made new friends along the way.

We're looking forward to another fun filled year of travel research and exportation right along side you...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Does Jamaica celebrate Christmas?

The short answer is YES!  Christmas in Jamaica, even though not much different from around the world, has it own flavor based on the many cultures that make up the island.  Lots of people paint their houses and hang new curtains and decorations for Christmas then most families spend Christmas Day at home with friends and family members.  However, Rastafarians celebrate Christmas on January 7th as opposed to the Christian celebration on December 25th.  Whilst Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, Rastas celebrate his life and works.  

One of the more telling signs of Christmas in Jamaica is the food. Mixed fruits, which are marinated in wine for months, are now used to bake the ever-popular Christmas Fruit cake.  The Christmas Drink of Jamaica is the delicious Sorrel (made from sorrel sepal - a meadow plant, cinnamons, cloves, sugar, orange peel and a little white rum) can be found everywhere. This is normally served over ice.

 And even tho Jamaica is an island that has never seen snow or have houses that boast chimneys, Santa Clause and his gifts are very much a part of their traditions as it is in many of the nations around the world.  In some rural areas on the island, Santa would ride a cart and a donkey!

Native Jamaicans will tell you why Christmas in back home is better...
  • Certain flowers will bloom and there is a festive mood in the air that cannot be found anywhere else.
  • Gate posts, rocks lining a driveway and tree trunks are given a coat of whitewash paint.
  • Even the music is unique. It is a joy to listen to carols being played with a tropical beat.
  • A dip in the warm blue waters of the Caribbean on Xmas day is the perfect way to welcome Santa.
  • Dancing on the white sand beaches listening to a reggae version of Jingle Bells is the best.
  • You decorate palm trees instead of X-Mas trees.
  • You can have fresh fish or chicken cooked instead of the usual frozen turkey from Walmart!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Courtney Black does Smooth Girl Magazine

Most models with Smooth Girl Magazine are either Black or Latina.  Here comes a European (English/Hungarian) model named Courtney Black who's been in Smooth Girl Magazine PLUS has a Youtube video that's gotten over 216 thousand hits.  Enjoy!

*click any photo to enlarge it

Bonus Video

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Space travel? Virgin's Richard Bronson can do it!

Ahhh, the dreams of kids (and some adults) all over the globe, space travel.  Flying high above (most consider the edge of space to be 62 miles up) the earth where gravity leaves you and the universe awaits you.   As a reference, most passenger planes fly around 30,000 feet which is 6 miles up.   Currently the most powerful military jets can't climb much above 100,000 feet, which would be just under 19 miles altitude. 

(Passengers get about 5 mins of weightlessness)

But Richard Bronson, founder of mega-company Virgin Galactic, wants to introduce space travel as early as 2012.   He has plans to use what they call a "SpaceShipTwo" to take high paying guests into space in weekly flights.  The 60 foot space ship will be escorted to around 50,000 feet wheren then rockets will kick in and take you to suborbital space. 

Once the boosters kick in you'll be about 68 miles above earth and you'll be cruising around 2,600 mph.  Inside there are two large windows passengers to look at earth from a view that's only been seen by astronauts.   All 6 passengers and the 2 crew member then have a 25 minute glide back down to planet earth.

(SpaceShipTwo soon to be in action)

How much will this wonderful trip set you back?  $200,000 for 2 on this 2.5 hour trip .  Already more then 375 people have plunked down deposits for the prospective trip.  When it comes time, if you had the money, would YOU pay 200k for this quick jog to space?

Too thick or Just Right?

Ok, we've had 2 polls and so far, Too thick 1 & 2, those ladies are a mixed bag of result but more of you think they're hot, than not.   How about this one?  Would you?  (be honest, it's anonymous)  I know I'm pushing it here.  :-)

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A way cool travel app!

A lot of apps for your I-Phone are pretty cool.  Angry Bird, Rosetta Stone tools, maps and the like.  But here comes an app that you can REALLY use while you travel to places where you're a little 'lost in translation.'  This is "Word Lens", a I-Phone app you can download for free from the app store.  In a nutshell this app translates printed words from one language to another instantly without any Internet connection using your I-Phone camera.    Just point the camera at a sign in Spanish and on your I-Phone screen you'll see that same very sign, but in English!     How cool is that?

Watch this clip to see Word Lens in action...

Word Lens Pros

  • The actual app is FREE and includes demos
  • Each translation is $4.99, not bad
  • Works even if you can't get internet

Word Lens Cons

  • It only works on I-Phone 4.0 and up
  • At the moment they only have Spanish
  • It only works on printed words, nothing handwritten

Of course you can always just snag a I-Phone below for $710 from Amazon.  It's the big boy at 16 gigs which should hold plenty of vacation photos, apps and even movies.

Apple iPhone 4 Black Smartphone 16GB
Apple iPhone 4 Black Smartphone 16GB

Monday, December 20, 2010

A last second Christmas gift? Booty dolls???

These are something else, and sure to please any fan of full figured women.  The folks over at have made a collection of limited figurines for sale.   With most figurines only 300 or so have been made and once they're gone, they're gone Jack.

("Godiva" for sale at $90 nude)

("Coco" and the dress DOES come off, nude)

("Karen" only 250 made)

Most of these figurines cost around $90 bucks plus another $12 for shipping.  Artist Spencer Davis started the line back in 1998.  They have both hand-cast with a solid porcelain dolls and vinyl dolls with the main difference being weight and price, the vinyl being more affordable.

Check them out futher at!

A few Reggae Christmas songs for you!

Frosty the Snowman


Santa Clause is coming to town

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Las Vegas Showgirl is missing!

File this one under "not cool" especially near the holidays.   Luxor showgirl, Debbie Flores-Narvaez, went missing this week and nobody had heard a thing.  Debbie is in the show "Fantasy" and also dances at Palms Hotel’s Rain Nightclub.  Here's a link to a post we did about the Fantasy show, Fantasy at Luxor.

(Debbie and her Myspace)
She was last seen December 12th heading to an ex-boyfriends home but nobody had a clue as to where she's at.  She's 31 and was also a cheerleader for the Redskins at one point.  Any information should be called into the Las Vegas Police Department at 702-828-3394.  

Do you really need that extra car rental insurance?

Business traveler Rey Manes often times declines the extra car insurance when he travels.  He has thought at times the extra care could have come in handy even tho he estimates he's saved thousands of dollars over the years.

What are you REALLY getting when you purchase the extra protection?  If you have car insurance, the type of coverage you bought, along with its deductibles, usually applies to rental cars as well.

 Assuming you purchased collision coverage, it will cover damage you cause to any car that you're driving. However, many auto insurance policies say that your collision insurance is "excess" to any other coverage, meaning that any coverage you buy from the rental car company kicks in first. Don't forget that your own collision insurance requires you to pay a deductible before the insurance company picks up the tab.

If you cause an accident, your liability insurance will pay for the damages you cause to someone else, plus any medical expenses that arise from your negligence. Your liability insurance will cover you up to the limits of your policy, and if you were driving a rental at the time of the accident, your personal auto liability insurance, like your comprehensive and collision, will likely be excess coverage.

 A lot of car rental companies do offer the extra protection that really allows you to be 100% worry free.  We paid an extra $15 per day for insurance from Enterprise Car Rentals that allowed us to "bring back the car with damage and pay nothing."

 So should you buy the protection?   Some things to remember...

If you don't have collision and comprehensive insurance and you're renting a car, it's a good idea to purchase the LDW or CDW, whichever your rental company offers. You might want to buy the waiver that offers you the broadest protection in this situation. Rental companies have several levels of damage waivers.

As a summary:  Before you rent a vehicle, check your auto and homeowners or renters policy to get an idea of what coverage you have while in the rented vehicle. And while at the rental car company, take some time to find out exactly what they offer. Compare those coverages to the ones you already have. That way, you can avoid buying coverage you don't need.   But if you got the extra cash and seek peace of mind, you can always just buy the extra coverage and cruise down the road to worry about other things, such as where to book your hotel that night.

The ultimate travel watch - a TAG Heuer beauty!

Here's the coolest watch this side of the globe, a TAG Heuer travel watch.  Suuuure, it'll cost you a few bucks but you'll be big pimping either in your travels or back at home.

About the watch:  Brushed black titanium PVD case with a black rubber bracelet.  Brushed black titanium PVD bezel.  Black dial with luminous hands and stick hour markers.  Date displays at the 6 o'clock position.  Two: 1/10th of a second and 1/100th of a second sub dials.  Automatic movement.  Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Case diameter: 43 mm.  Case thickness: 15 mm.  Titanium deployment buckle clasp.  Water resistant at 100 meters (330 feet). 

(got an extra $4,608 laying around)
 TAG Heuer Men's CAV518B.FT6016 Grand Carrera Automatic Chronograph Watch 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A hot deal at Tropican in Vegas

Here's a good deal but you gotta book quickly...

The Tropicana in Vegas is doing rooms from $39 and $49 if you can get your ass there by December 27th, 2010.   I guess they're running low on vacancy???   I did a quick check and for 2 people on Christmas it's $59 bucks indeed!

Click HERE to book the deal.  Remember to use the promo code:  IDECHOT

More and more people are going to Cuba

Cuba to travel is jumping up this year and next year it's expected to increase to 30% in 2011.  I blogged about Cuba travel this year, Travel to Cuba, and the trend just seems to encourage more travel.    Daily, around 1,000 US visitors are making their way to Cuba to enjoy it's tropical and kicked back nature.

 Since President Obama lifted travel restrictions recently more Cuban-Americans and those who can travel on academic, religious, cultural and other professional methods have gone to Cuba in droves.  

Also noted were the increase of American travelers arriving in Cuba via Mexico or the Bahamas skirting their way around the laws and avoiding the high costs American's can incur in their travels to Cuba.

LAX in Los Angeles has got it right!

I live in Los Angeles and the other night I went to our famed LAX airport to pick up a buddy from New York.  I had heard about the "LAX TSA Choir" a group of 17 holiday inspired TSA scanner employees that wear hats and belt out holiday songs as they give you the infamous pat-downs. 

(The LAX TSA Choir)
* Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

These guys have been going at it since 2003 when they decided to show a little love and Christmas spirit as they do their job.   Ernie Perez, a security supervisor and tenor said, "We've been taking a lot of heat for what we do", referring to body scanners and aggressive pat-downs of travelers. "We just put a new face on TSA — I think a positive face."
I enjoyed these guy's singing a few songs, I think I heard then doing Ray Charles "That's the spirit of Christmas" and it made my run to LAX a better experience.  And to my NY buddy, I saved you $30 bucks man, Merry Christmas!  :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kanye West has nice taste in women!

Kanye West, rapper, douche and general good dresser has a new girlfriend.  After dating Amber Rose for a few years it seems he's got a new babe, Shay the "UK Bombshell". 

So the question is...who's hotter?

Amber Rose

Shay "The UK Bombshell"

Miss Cougar 2011 at Hedo II in Jamaica

Miss Cougar International will be crowned during International Cougar Week, March 27 to April 2, 2011, at Hedonism II located in Negril, Jamaica.  Every sexy cougar at the resort that week will be eligible to compete, providing she's legally single, at least 35 years of age and available for interviews to the media.   The winner of this years contest will then win a free week of her choice at wicked Hedonism II (land vacation only).  NICE!

It might be a GREAT week for you single dudes to get your ass down to Hedo II with all these cougars running around, food for thought.   My buddy Lance, at GoClassy Tours, can hook you up that week for around $2,000 or so for the land and whatever it'll cost you to fly there.   Call him at 888.825.2779.   He's also in my links on the right part of this page, listed under "Sites I like but don't get paid a penny on."

(2009 Miss Cougar America Winner, Gloria Navarro)

Among this years contestants will be:
•Amy Roberts, Miss Cougar America
•Alison Brown, Miss Cougar Canada
•Amy Luna Manderino, Miss Cougar California

BONUS LINK:  Miss Cougar Canada to win a free Hedo II vacation.  <---our post about the event up north.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Using a Paypal Debit card in your travels...

One big concern as you travel around is your money and access to it.   When you're chilling in the states a lot of people use a PayPal account to pay for things online (like e-bay) to create a sort of "firewall" between your real bank account/credit card information and the person you're giving money to.  Well, PayPal also has a debit card that dubs as a MasterCard too,  Paypal Debit Card Info.  

(learn more here, FAQ's)

This card offers you the same type of protection as you might get back home while shopping online.  You pay with your PayPal card and it gives you instant access to your money that you have in your PayPal account.  Otherwise you have a 2-5 day stall on sucking your money out.  Plus, you can link this MasterCard to a bank account and if you run out of your PayPal "funny money" it can simply take from the bank account provided. 

According to PayPal...
  • It can be used worldwide at ATMs, online, or anywhere MasterCard is accepted.
  • Earn 1% cash back whenever you sign for a purchase.
  • Enjoy 100% protection against unauthorized charges to your card
Just make sure to use it as a credit card, don't use your pin, for the good benefits.

And with the MasterCard logo on there it may provide some travel benefits too.   Click here to read about that, PayPal Mastercard Perks.   So do you use a PayPal card in YOUR travels?  If so, please comment with your experiences.
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