Category Archives: Activities

All That Jazz

Want to be part of a global happening?  Next Tuesday, April 30 is International Jazz Day. More than 300 concerts will be taking place around the world to celebrate the musical art form.  From Australia to Zambia, Barbados to Uruguay, there will be live jazz music that you can log in to listen to!

You’ll be treated to today’s International jazz greats (Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Milton Nascimento, Hugh Masekela, to name just a few), up and comers from jazz bastions like the US, Brazil and France, and enthusiasts in Croatia, Kenya and Nepal where they are just getting a taste for jazz. Such far-flung locales promise plenty of regional riffs on the jazz theme, along with the standards.

In Barbados, that means a mix of piano and steel pan.  In a concert at Divi Southwinds, Ebe GIlkes, an iconic figure of jazz on the island, will lead his trio, along with Andre Ford, a steel pan artist, in classics as well as Caribbean jazz. Listen in at http://caribbeanwebcast.com/barbadosjazz/ at 7pm.

When you log on, you’ll be sharing the moment with people across the globe.  In Bhutan, for example, citizens have been invited to assemble near the palace to listen to the streamed concerts.  The concert at Divi Southwinds is just one of the many that will be streamed, meaning you can fill your entire day with live jazz from every time zone in the world on Tuesday, April 30.  More than 70 countries have planned events.  The concert schedule is available at http://jazzday.com/events/.  Also, more information is available at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/intljazzday.

Started last year by Herbie Hancock, famed American jazz musician, to highlight jazz as a form of communication that transcends differences, International Jazz Day is part of the official calendar of both UNESCO and the United Nations. It’s a momentous day when music and the Internet connect us to our universal delight.

What should you pack for a vacation in Bonaire?

Swimsuit.  Yes.  Driver’s License.  Yes.  Watch.  No.

Going on vacation is a time for turning off the clock for some people. No need to be anyplace at any particular time. Let the boats and buses leave when they must.  Banish the smartphones and watches.  Ahhhh.  This is the definition of vacation.  Let’s go shore diving when and where we want – and for as long as we want.  No wonder Bonaire is paradise for divers who want to be “off the clock.”

Bonaire is the world capital of shore diving.  All a diver needs is a full tank and wheels to get where they want to go underwater exploring.  There are more than 80 marked shore dive sites along the coastline of this little island, 50 miles north of Venezuela.   Selecting the day’s destination just might be the hardest thing a dive vacationer has to do all week.

The shoreline and coastal waters of Bonaire are designated as the Bonaire National Marine Park and this protection has helped make the island one of the world’s top dive destinations.   A coral reef, encircling the entire island, supports an array of fish, considered by some scientists as the most diverse fish population in the Caribbean and among the best in the world.  Prepare to be amazed.

It’s easy to enjoy all the riches and relaxation that Bonaire has to offer.  Divi Flamingo Beach Resort has a new special called the Shore & Explore that is a deal on accommodations and wheels for a seven-night stay.  A pick-up will be waiting for you at the airport.  You will soon hold the keys to a very relaxing vacation. Go to the website for more details.  Ahhhh.  Can you feel your blood pressure going down already?

Eat. Play. Love.

The Taste of St. Croix, set for April 18th, turns thirteen this year!  What began as a modest one-night celebration of local restaurants now has grown into a week-long food festival, called the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience.  It is now the largest culinary event in the Caribbean.

And, that’s a fact that makes Katherine Pugliese mighty proud.  Pugliese, proprietor of eat@canebay restaurant, together with Kelly Odum staged the first Taste of St. Croix in 2001, at Divi Carina Bay Resort.  Now, the Thursday evening event – the highlight of the Food & Wine Experience and the social event of the island’s social calendar – draws over 1500 people and stretches nearly the length of the Divi beachfront.  Speaking about last year’s event, Pugliese said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen St. Croix look so beautiful and so happy…”

Eat.  Play.  Beach.  Music.  A little wine.  A little rum. What’s not to love?

What are you doing for Memorial Day?

Pack your bags and your groove and hip hop on down to Aruba for the 13th annual Soul Beach Music Festival.  It’s five days of beach parties, nightclub events, big name concerts – and laughs, too.  Comedians Sinbad and Damon Williams, well known to Comedy Central audiences and beyond, entertain on Friday night.  And, Divi Resorts has sumptuous suites waiting.  Is there a better way to kick off summer?

The musical line-up for this year’s Soul Beach Music Festival will either stir your soul or soothe it – or both.  Elle Varner, D’Angelo and Tamia are among the music makers for the weekend along with Ne-Yo, who’s the big closer of the festival on Sunday night. Motown  artist, crooner and songwriter for his own recordings and others soulful stars – among them Queen B, otherwise known as Beyoncé – Ne-Yo’s songs win Grammys (three) and are huge crowd pleasers. If his Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself), has a certain ring to it, that’s because it has had a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the last 28 weeks.

Of course, there is nothing like being there to really feel the beat. Enjoy amped up nightclub events, sizzling beach parties, warm temperatures, fun people and party after party after party.  And, travel deals, too.

Divi Resorts is a travel sponsor of the Soul Beach Music Festival, and is offering Soul Beach Music Festival special rates at Divi Dutch, Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort as well as Divi Phoenix Beach.  Studio suites start at $129; one-bedroom suites start at $149.

Whether or not Aruba is your Memorial Day weekend getaway, right now is the time to enter to win a seven-day stay at Divi Resorts in Aruba.  The prize is good for any time of year. Find out about the Divi Resorts specials and enter to win a seven-night stay!

Did you set your clock on Sunday…for Taste of St. Croix?

Yes, you need to set your clock.  In just 5 days, tickets go on sale for the Taste of St. Croix, the annual food extravaganza that draws about 1500 people to the beachfront of the Divi Carina Bay Resort for a night of sampling, sipping and music.  The event is always a sell-out, so if there’s any hope of snaring a ticket, you will have to set your clock.  On March 23 at 3:00pm is when Taste of St. Croix tickets go on sale online at http://www.stxfoodandwine.com/buy-tickets/.

This year’s Taste of St. Croix is Thursday, April 19th.  About sixty of the island’s best chefs, bakers, chocolatiers and caterers leave their kitchens and set up stands on the Divi Carina Bay’s beachfront, offering samplings of their specialties under the stars. While guests sample and sip – wineries, breweries and rum distilleries also participate – a panel of renowned celebrity chefs from the States are hard at work determining prize-winning entries.

The Taste of St. Croix is the centerpiece to the six-day St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, which includes other food oriented activities such as Cuisine on the Green, a tasty golf outing, a tasting “crawl” through historic Christiansted, and a sunset jazz BBQ on the pier in Fredriksted.  It’s a great way to experience the local food scene and the island’s scenery itself.  For the full schedule of events, visit http://www.stcroixfoodandwine.com/.

Set your calendar and your clock.  April in St. Croix is sunny and warm.  It’s also delicious and philanthropic.  Tickets benefit the St. Croix Foundation.

Did He Pop the Question?

According to the latest edition of Advertising Age, six million people were expecting to make or receive a marriage proposal this past Valentine’s Day. That’s two million more than last year. Were you among them?

Ah, love is in the air. Soon, we will hear, “…in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.”

Are those the vows or was someone referring to the wedding planning when they penned those words? Nothing says stress like the phrase, “planning a wedding.” Experts say satisfying everyone’s expectations — the bride’s, groom’s, their parents’ and guests’ – leads to significant stress, to say nothing of sorting through myriad details and countless decisions.

And, then there is the overall quest for the perfect wedding – with something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. That is actually a good description of a destination wedding in the Caribbean. A couple can have the old with the new, the tradition but with a twist – like a barefoot walk down an aisle in the sugary sand of a beautiful beach. You can borrow a local custom or too, like tossing a shell into the gorgeous blue Caribbean Sea.

A Caribbean destination wedding has perks for everyone: wedding and honeymoon for the happy couple, beach vacation for the happy guests.

Aruba is among the Top Ten places for a destination wedding for American couples. Warm but always kissed by a breeze, it beckons lovers all year round. And, doesn’t an on-site wedding planner sound really appealing, too? Leave the stress up north. Divi makes it really easy. Aruba Weddings For You is located on the premises of the Divi Tamarijn and produces weddings of every scope, size and style on the grounds of all five of the Divi resorts in Aruba. Want to get married on the 7th hole of the Links at Divi? Under a fresh floral canopy on Eagle Beach? Or maybe at the new Pure Ocean restaurant at Divi Aruba Phoenix on Palm Beach?

Here is a proposal: A wedding planner will make the planning go happily ever after. Do you want to contact the wedding planner now? I do.