Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Independence Arch & Skybar 25

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On our last full day in Ghana, we visited Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park where he and his wife (Fathia Kkrumah) are buried. Growing up, my parents talked about Dr. Kwame Nkrumah so much. Dr. Nkrumah was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana and led the Gold Coast (now known as Ghana) to independence from the British in 1957. To put things in perspective as to how young Ghana really is ... my dad is older than Ghana.

I knew that I had to visit his Memorial Park while I was in Accra. He is a legend in Ghana and I couldn't help but feel an immense amount of pride touring his museum and reading about all that he accomplished to help make Ghana what it is today. There is a museum on the site that has tons of interesting tidbits about Dr. Kwame and although you are unable to take pictures in the museum it is definitely worth a visit.

His statue had actually been decapitated which is the reason why only his head is in the below picture.

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After that we toured the Independence Arch which I believe go hand
in hand with visiting Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.

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We also checked out the Black Star Square where Sean was approached by a teacher who told him that his students wanted to take a picture with him; and if he would allow it. It was honestly the sweetest and cutest thing I’ve seen in a while. After I snapped the pictures all of the kids (one by one) gave Sean high fives and the biggest smiles. As is customary whenever a trip ends we ask the other what their favorite memory of the trip was. I’m sure you know what Sean’s response was.

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After our exploring was done we went back to our hotel to relax by the pool.
Peanuts and plantain chips are my new jam.

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For dinner, we went to Skybar 25 which is a gorgeous roof top restaurant. It turns into a nightclub on the weekends and I heard it’s really good. Unfortunately we were not able to experience it as we left Ghana on Friday. Duly noted for our next trip to Ghana.

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After dinner we went back to FatFish and had a few drinks before calling it a night.

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The following morning we slept in and then went to Marina Shopping Mall and had lunch. It was here that I made the observation that we had only seen Burger King and KFC whilst in Ghana. I love that fast food is so limited here.

Accra has also expanded since the last time I visited and it was awesome to see all the new businesses being built.

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While in Ghana, I noticed that there were two things I always wanted to see. A baby wrapped to its momma's back or anyone leveling anything above their head. It was pure happiness whenever I saw both at one time. On our last day in Ghana I finally got up the courage to ask to take a picture and it's one of my most favorite pictures of the trip.

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After exploring for a little bit we went back to the hotel to relax by the pool. We were flying out in several hours so the front desk was holding on to our luggage. We were even invited to attend a complimentary cocktail hour by the staff which was really nice and so unexpected. I can't say it enough but the service at the Accra Marriott was top notch.

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Before we said our final goodbyes, I made sure to take a few pictures of the art all around the hotel. As I’ve gotten older I’ve really begun to appreciate art and can seriously sit and stare for as long as I’m allowed.

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This trip to Ghana was simply amazing and I cannot wait to go back. Sean loved it so much too so I know this will be a trip that we'll continue to take more over the years. I can't really put into words how much this trip meant to me so I'll just hold it close to my heart and just be grateful that I was able to experience it the way I was.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week! Happy Thursday! ♥

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Ghana: Labadi Beach & La Palm Royal Beach Hotel

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My dad and uncle dropped us off at Kumasi Airport. From Kumasi we took a 30 minute flight to Accra. Our flight was delayed about a hour so we had something small to eat and a few drinks to tide us over. I'm not a beer drinker but Sean loved Ghanaian beer.

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It was a very pleasant flight and Sean and I agreed that whenever we are traveling to Kumasi we won’t have my dad pick us up at the airport and we'll just take the short flight to Kumasi.

We checked into the Accra Marriott Hotel when we landed in Accra. It’s a gorgeous hotel and we had wonderful service.

We grabbed a quick drink at the hotel's bar before heading to the pool.

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Unfortunately, I must have completely forgotten to take pictures of the grounds which is completely unlike me. But if you saw my stories on Instagram you were able to see how beautiful the hotel is.

I did manage to take this picture while we walked the property at the Marriott.

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We quickly put on pool attire and grabbed seats by the pool which wasn’t hard because it appeared we were the only ones who wanted to swim. I think the Marriott is more of a business traveler's hotel so it soon became clear why we were the only ones hanging by the pool.

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By this time we were starving so we had lunch by the pool. I had beans with chicken stew and fried plantains and Sean ordered a double cheese burger with fries expecting America’s portion sizes. Imagine his surprise! Not surprisingly, he was completely full and it was another reminder that we don’t need so much food to be satisfied.

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We spent the rest of the day by the pool relaxing, swimming, reading and drinking fruity drinks. Well, I drank fruity drinks. Sean was drinking all the Ghanaian beer he could find.

At night, we went to AM&PM Sports Bar for some drinks. It is a great spot but wasn’t very busy considering the day. Afterwards, we went to FatFish (sadly does not have a website) which we loved. Gorgeous restaurant, awesome service and the drinks were delicious!

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The Marriott was not near the beach so we decided that we’d check into a hotel (for the night) by the beach that way we could have a beach day. The following morning we ordered room service and then requested a taxi to check into La Palm Royal Beach Hotel as it was right on Labadi Beach.

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Their grounds are stunning! Palm trees galore. However, as a disclaimer, it is not as luxurious as the Marriott. I would definitely stay there again but you are staying here for the grounds and not necessarily for their rooms. They have a delicious buffet breakfast and when I say that I had several plates of jollof for breakfast, I mean it.

It was so humid in the morning that my camera's lens fogged up immediately.

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But my noon all the humidity was gone.

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My favorite sign!

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The complimentary snack in Ghana.
A new favorite combination.

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Funny enough we ended up spending more time at the pool than we did the beach; even though the whole point of checking into another hotel was for the beach. There was an awesome swim up bar and a lot was going on because Ramadan had just ended. We were told the day after Ramadan is over is a big celebration. Everyone we encountered was just so social and we had the best time.

Labadi Beach isn’t the prettiest beach in Ghana, that’s for sure, but we still had a great time. Most of the people there were locals so we spent a good amount of time talking to as many locals as we could; which is always a perk when traveling. There were also some tourists riding horses on the beach and I’m kinda wishing we did it.

There are a lot of places to eat along Labadi Beach and we ended up eating at Vienna City (no website). I ordered a bottle of red wine and a delicious meal of jollof, chicken and shito. So, so good.

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These two young boys stopped at our table to entertain us :)

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We picked up several pieces of art while in Accra (and Kumasi) and I cannot wait to frame them all.
I need to get the perfect frames though.

In the evening we checked out the hotel’s casino. I always say wherever we are, Sean will find a casino.

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This post is already rather long so I’ll continue my final Ghana post in my next post.
I hope you all are having a wonderful week! Happy Thursday! ♥