I'm doing the last few hours of crazy things you do before you go on a trip. I'm packed but have a few work bits and pieces to tie up, I have Duke (my 9 month old black lab) to drop off at my parents, I need to go vote and also pick up a package from the post office. I was going to go to yoga this morning but realised that for a change it would be nice to go to the airport with a few hours to spare instead of the normal mad dash. If I don't enjoy too many pina coladas tonight I will be able to visit my favourite Bikram studio on Miami Beach in the morning.
I love the ritual of a long haul flight as well as the peace and quiet of no phone or email for 8+ hours. I will load myself up with trashy magazines and TV on my laptop and decompress on the flight over to Miami. Work has been nuts for the last 7 months and lots of hard work which is about to pay off in the most delightful way but more about that later.
First stop is Miami, Rum Renaissance. This is the 2nd year of this brilliant international rum event, created and headed up by the wonderfully accommodating Burr family. It started yesterday and is 5 days of rum immersion. I will be joining the UK Tiki Off Team this evening as they warm up for the first UK versus US Tiki Off! If you want to read more about the team and their antics, check out www.thefloatingrumshack.com written by husband and wife team Peter and Pauline Holland. The team is quite the motley crew of UK rum bartenders headed up by Rikki Brodrick of Trailer Happiness, Papa Jules and Danny Smith of Mahiki , Richard Hunt of Kanaloa and pirate Lyndon Higginson from Keko Moku. The beautiful DJ Hukilau is also joining them.
I am then off to somewhere that has been no 1 on my 'places I would like to go' list since I was about 10, Cuba!!!! The lovely Michael Menegos, of Havana Club has invited me to blog their Havana Club Grand Prix Cocktail Competition with the charming Mr Jay Hepburn of Oh Gosh! It is a great honour for me and I feel very lucky to be going.
To top it all off, and before I return back to the UK, I will be spending a day in Barbados but more about that later.
So hello again, sorry I've been absent for a while and I look forward to seeing you on my travels.