In our quite little corner of the world….we live.
Life happens here like no other place on the planet, Trinidadians are truly unique; we love our drink, our bellies and we love to be out and about with family and friends (‘liming’ as we call it) no matter what the weather or the circumstance. We live with a flare that has a pinch of the countries and places we are connected to by the blood our forefathers still pulsing through our veins, yet remain idiosyncratic as a people. Distinct in our place as part of the collective Caribbean.
Fireworks and the Port of Spain Skyline
Independence Day celebrations this year was no exception to the bacchanal, recreation and spectacle that Trinis can generate on any Holiday (not that we need a reason). August 31, 1962 Trinidad and Tobago gained it’s independence from the British and the official celebration is recognized with Military style parades in the streets of the capital of Port of Spain, Trinidad and in the sister isle of Tobago in Scarborough.
National Awards are presented in grand ceremony in the afternoon to brothers and sisters of the soil, heros and significant contributors to the county’s good.
Later at around 9:00 p.m. fireworks displays are held, again in Port of Spain and Scarborough. Many have made a tradition of finding the right spot for their gathering, and make an outing of the night.
My husband and I, are two of the many who stay at a hotel (the Trinidad Hilton) overlooking the Port of Spain Savannah where the fireworks display is held in Trinidad. From a balcony (better of course if you get one of the upper floors), you feel as though you can touch the shards of light. The effect can hardly be explained, you don’t just see the two dimensional spread and shower of luminescence, you experience the third dimension of the pyrotechnics; it coming straight at you with the slightly delayed sound (BOOM), resonating in your chest after each explosion of visual sensory deluge. We have seen this spectacle many times over from the same balcony and I must say...It never gets old!
Fireworks Outside My Balcony - Amazing Colour
At the end of it you hear the screams of delight raise out of the dark all around you. From the hundreds of rooms at the Hotel, the crowd lined streets below, the open Savannah and in the hills and environs. The cheers are carried on the wind, undulating, waxing and waning until its no more, and signaling the start of the journey home for many.
The added bonus for those holed up in the hotels till the next day…….you get to party on, or sleep in a great bed that you don’t have to make in the morning and recover from the optical overload. For me, I get to partake of one of my favorite things in the whole world (I kid you not)….room service!
Hilton's Steak & Vegetables
The in-room dining menu at this Hilton is not extensive, but It covers the bases: Callaloo Soup, Traditional Trini curries (lamb and chicken with roti) and the usual suspects for the foreigners (burgers, pizza, panini, clubs etc) along with some fantastic deserts. I go for the steak with local vegetables on the side or the rack of lamb. Yes, the red meat. With their food I have experienced consistently year after year an execution of a basic culinary technique which allows them to score each and every time; they know how to cook a steak! Its heaven in every bite and I can’t wait till next year!

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