Postcard from St. Lucia
Sorry I’ve been absent here this week. We’ve had a couple of issues here at home I’ve had to deal with, not the least of which is I’ve stopped receiving emails of your new posts. So sorry if I’ve missed a post or two. I’m still subscribed, my email is still in there.
Has anyone one else had this happen to them. What did you do?
Second, our new house misadventure continues to unfold.
We called out our local power company to do an audit to find out why our power bills have been so jigundous. It turns out the area over our master bedroom on our second floor has no insulation covering it in the attic.
Ceiling temps in our upstairs hallway were 74 degrees. Ceiling temps in our MBR were 85 degrees. It is no wonder our A/C continues to run all the time!
Our lovable new greyhound actually bit our nanny this week.
This friendly, submissive, 60lb ball of muscles turned on her and gave her a nip and broke the skin. Unacceptable! He actually growled at Mom today as she was trying to take some trash back that Chum pulled from the trash can. Not good!
So we are in touch with his trainers to try to figure this out. They call him a ‘fearful and not confident’ dog who is just coming out of his ‘honeymoon’ period in his new home, trying to establish himself, much like a child pushing some boundaries. Stay tuned. If he ever growls at these girls he has to go back. And we all agree that would be a shame.
These, along with more questions and anxieties arising for my cancer procedure next week, reminded me of my friend Jimmy’s saying, “When you attitude’s appalling, there’s a latitude that’s calling, so get yourself past that continental shelf.”
Coincidently, that verse come from Buffett’s “Party At The End Of The World” (sigh) ….
So I wanted to send you all a post card from our valentine’s day trip to St. Lucia a few years back.
First, I enjoy doing these Travel posts so much because doing the research and digging out out photos just bring back some great memories. So that is why this runs on. if you don’t have the time right now but want to take a quick trip with us to the island of St. Lucia, bookmark this and come back when you have some time or need that attitude fix.
If you only have time for a quick fix right now, here is a great, professionally done video, courteous of the island. I find it to be very accurate as to what we saw and explored. You can get a good look at this beautiful, romantic Caribbean island in 4-6 minutes. Or click on it and read on for a nice relaxing backdrop to the story.
Where did you go/what was it like?
We chose St. Lucia in part as part of our quest to explore every island in the Caribbean and in part for the great all-inclusives that are on the island. More on that later.
St. Lucia is part of the British West Indies. It celebrates a transient and colorful history from the days of pirates, new world exploration,and colonization, as all her sister islands do. You can get a good glimpse at her sorted-past right here.
The island hosts a myriad of twisting, winding roads that certainly keeps any tourist on the edge of his/her seat when traveling in a tour bus or shuttle! The trip to a remote part of the island to go zip lining was probably the most thrilling part of our getaway!
The island seems designed to be sort of a romantic destination due to its lush foliage (more on that) and resorts designed for couples only
The topography of the island is very diverse, featuring a canopy of a tropical rainforest:
to an actual live ‘drive in’ volcano at Sulfur Springs….
to twin mountain tops that are adoringly called the ‘Twin Pitons‘ in this romantic hideaway…
….to a tropical flower garden, Botanical Gardens, that even any high testosterone male could enjoy! It features an orchid garden, white lilies, a wide assortment of colorful tropical plants; a tropical delicacy in flowers….
The history of the Botanical Gardens gos back to the French in habitation, when they saw the baths in the gardens having ‘healing qualities’.
There is a stream flowing through the gardens, with the waterfall featured in ‘Romancing The Stone’. The clear water flowing down this fall illustrates the vast amount of minerals in the water.
The romantic Diamond Head Falls can heal whats wrong with you
You see the water flowing around Sulfur Springs volcano is a whopping 340 degrees. This hot water dissolves a lot of the minerals found in the soil and rocky landscape. So when filming the clear water it captures the colorful minerals trapped in the water. Besides touristy baths, advertising healing powers, today’s tourism also features mud baths as well. You won’t get cold!
Where did you stay/what was it like?
When looking for a vacation destination we didn’t chose St. Lucia per se, we chose Sandal’s Resorts. We always enjoy a nice all-inclusive offering, some good water sports, and Sandal’s was hard to ignore.
Sandal’s is part of a larger chain with the motto, “Luxury Included” in the all-inclusives. And they really try to pull it off. Sandal’s is actually a ‘couples only’ resort. Their sister company, ‘Beaches‘, is a family oriented resort chain.
We actually chose St. Lucia because there happen to be 3 Sandal’s resorts on this one tiny island. This was a BIG perk when it came to dining. We stayed at the Sandal’s Halcyon, which was actually the oldest and most modest of the 3 Sandal’s resorts; the only one that could fit our budget. But we weren’t slumming….
Sandal’s Halcyon web site reads, “By design, this resort is built naturally into the environment with no building higher than the highest palm. Enjoy Classic Caribbean architecture and quaint, charming ginger breaded cottages, creatively designed to meld into the luxuriant surrounding landscape, during your ideal St. Lucia vacation.”
Oh, and its a couples only resort so no loud teenagers or exhausted toddlers. It just could be ‘romantic’.
Below is a view from our room balcony…
The resort featured lots of lush tropical foliage…
Some nice restaurants with great views…
Like at Kelly’s Dockside—dramatically extending 130 feet out over the water. It’s just one of six restaurants and seven bars, plus with there dine around program on St. Lucia there are sixteen additional restaurants at the neighboring Sandals Resorts to try.
Some of the required water sports…
Being in some upscale settings (for once) we met a lot of nice people from all over the world here in the British West Indies.
We met some crabby locals too…
The grounds were lush and tropical as you would expect but with some FUN amenities that you might not expect…
plus a pool or two that were absolutely toxic!
Plus, we were on the western side of the island, by design. So we had the opportunity to see this every night….if we could find the time!
All in all, not too bad for the ‘budget’ Sandal’s on St. Lucia!
What was the food like?/Where did you have the best food?
The good and the bad of staying in all-inclusives is that you rarely venture off the property to explore and experience the local cuisine. That liability was really mitigated with Sandal’s in St. Lucia. In fact it was a perk!
If any part of our stay at the ‘luxury included’ resort typified luxury it was the dining.
What do you think of when it comes to dining at all-inclusives?
The same breakfast buffets? In expensive entree’s prepared on flashy ways? Nothing too pricey or even tasty?
These Sandal’s resorts featured some literal Four and Five Star restaurants. This was no hype. They were excellent. And you didn’t need your wallet or a credit card to try the best thing on the menu….it was already paid for!
The best illustration of this was at the Sandal’s Regency French Restaurant, La Toc.
We enjoyed a fantastic meal at La Toc. I tried a few new things that I have never tasted before. Like escargot for appetizers and caviar for sides with my beef wellington; at an all-inclusive!
It was great! It was a moment. It is what going on vacation in new places is all about. Memorable!
We also took the Sandal’s shuttle over to the Regency to enjoy dinner at their popular Japanese restaurant, Kimonos!
In the true definition of ‘a small world‘ the people seated immediately beside us were from our hometown. What are the odds?
The other Sandal’s resort, Grande we visited too. And it was! It was a gorgeous resort on the tip of the island with more restaurants that really put ours to shame. We went there for one special evening too!
What was the highlight of your trip
This survey asks what is the highlight of our trip?
As I alluded to earlier, the most thrilling part of our Valentine’s vacation wasn’t the zip lines but the ride to the zip lines!
We were dispatched in old worn out school buses that barely ran. No power! If you can imagine downshifting in a school bus on a 35% incline.
This bus had to make hairpin turns on narrow dirt roads at steep angles, both going in and coming out of the rainforest ( It didn’t rain) Every time we approached one of these turns I just knew the bus would just roll over down the mountain side into the jungle never to be heard from again.
But we didn’t. However I have no pictures to show you of the severity of this event (you see how I like a picture) so I will move on to memorable night number 2 (sort of).
The most memorable event recorded (thankfully)was our dinner over at Sandal’s Grande. We took the shuttle over early so we could explore. They had a private dining room on the end of a pier that was by reservation and currency only. Yes, in an all-inclusive, to eat in this private room at the end of the dock you needed some money!
We opted for the Bare feet Beach Restaurant where we could have a table right next to rolling surf.
This was nice! And only the beginning.
It was dusk. The gentle waves just feet from our table. My favorite date in front of me. And I could order anything on the menu at this 5 Star resort and not have to worry about getting a bill.
And so, like all
cheap frugal minds, I couldn’t make mine up. There were two entree’s that I really wanted to try. I couldn’t make up my mind. Analysis paralysis!
So, after a glass of wine an haggling with my server, he let me have BOTH entrees. Yes, I am a pig!
It was delicious, light, tropical, star lit night. And then our server said the dessert buffet was right upstairs!
Dessert Buffet? Do you know me? We are called the dessert couple by our neighbors. Buffet? Here?
So we marched up to the British Pub where they told us it could be found
No passports needed.
We found a table in the British Pub and then I spied it. A dessert Buffet!
Where are the plates!
You see, they were teeny-tiny desserts that didn’t really fill you up. You could take all you wanted. Oh, and if you got thirsty, we were sitting right across from the after-dinner drink buffet!
It was incredible. I ate the best stuff. I countered it with the best, soothing beverages. And it wa endless.
I AM such a pig!
After I moved the notch on my belt back as far as I dare we eventually found the shuttle back to our resort. If you have a culinary background, or just like tasting great things like I do, this was heaven on stick and worth the trip alone.
How could we ever top it off?
Yes, the swinging bed!
Any funny/embarrassing stories or disasters?
Not a good one but painfully embarrassing…
We had become good friends with the outgoing Activities Director at our resort. One day she asked if we would like to do a Dating Game type of game at the night’s activities, where they ask one person a questions and then pull their partner out and ask them the same question to see if they match.
Do you remember this game?
First we agreed we would NOT answer anything that puts the other person in an embarrassing light. We knew this part. Right?
We get there and right away we won a prize!
…for being the oldest couple on the stage!
She did her questions and then I did mine. The pressure was on! The last question, keep in mind this is a couple’s Dating Game, they asked me if my wife was a Doormat, a Chit Chat, or an Acrobat..in bed?
I told them well she’s none of these…I can’t tell this stuff.
They insisted on an answer. I insisted she was not any of these! They insisted harder and brought the crowd in to the picture.
I failed. Whatever answer I said, it was the worst one! It was going to be no matter what I said.
The game was over. She steamed off. I groveled with apologies, promises, I’m sorry’s and more.
She was mad for the next 36 hours…on our vacation in paradise. PAINfully embarrassing!
How was the weather (and when did you travel)?
The weather was great. We wondered what it would be like with a tropical rainforest on the island. But all we had was a few morning showers at daybreak and a few around 4:00pm, never lasting longer than 30 minutes and that was it.
It was the kind of light rain you might welcome at a ‘couples only’ resort on a tropical island.
Most useful word/phrase you learnt.
“What time is the shuttle”. our days were planned around this, whether planning meals at other resorts or catching a commercial travel activity like zip lining or volcano hunting.
And the other useful piece of information that we have tried to build into our trips to tiny islands, “Always stay on the western side of the island!
Our practice is to sit and watch the sun go down on every last day of a trip, wringing every lat drop of Travel and Escape out of our trip.
If I haven’t lost you yet, and want to see glimpses of this trip in action, click on the video and join us one more time. I think its worth it!
Sorry for the typos!
it is and continues to be a busy week!
I get back to them eventually
(sigh) it took over 3 days to get it together about 10 days ago. I didn’t mind as doing posts like this is a good way of reliving the trip and bring back forgotten memories. It was fun!
And here is another St Lucia… http://candidpresence.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/st-lucia-place-of-dreams/#comment-3635
Holy moly. I can’t believe this long post is what you can accomplish on a busy week. Lots of beautiful photos and fun stories. Sorry for the embarrassing episode. Guess you have to be careful or you will be sharing the doghouse. 😉
We did have a memorable time! It was fun doing this post and recreating the trip. Glad you had a chance to come along!
As for the dog, we tracked down his trainer. She calls him a fearful dog; is is afraid in general and insecure. So he did this out of fear. And that makes sense as he is really timid, even for a greyhound. We have to approach it like that. we have a muzzle for him if need be. He really is a sweet dog 99.9% of the time. You just can’t surprise him.
Thanks for dropping by WFFME and commenting!
STUNNING photos. That blue! That sunny sunny village! Hope you had a brilliant time 🙂
Re your greyhound, I really wonder why she would change like that. I’m so curious about the way dogs are. I’m a bit afraid of dogs precisely because they are unpredictable like that. I’m interested to know they why, eventually I guess.
It was really nice Pop Tart. We walked on that resort and it was more lush (foliage not alcohol…ok maybe both) than I had ever seen. I didn’t mention but their were banana plantations all over the island. And these were the best bananas I had ever tasted too. D-Lish. Andsomething else you may be interested in…we took this trip about 13 months after our first born was born. We missed her terribly but it was nice to get a break after that first year too. Tuck that idea away for you and Kiefer. Thanks for dropping by and saying Hello Thoughtsy!
This looks so beautiful!
Bring on the jokes. I can handle it.
Yeah it was gorgeous!! Really loved it. Would love to do a post on it once I dig up all the pictures. It’s hard doing post on my travels when its a few years ago!! hehehehe.. 🙂 I’m glad you still take time out to travel despite having children. It’s just so refreshing to see the world! I cannot live without travelling! 🙂
My favorite restaurant? Probably the Sandal’s Grande Beach Restaurant. That is an absolutely stunning view! The food could be terrible and I would *still* like that restaurant. 🙂 Hope your dog gets less scared soon. My mom has a cat who I’ve only seen a few times in 14 years because he’s such a scaredy cat… And no need for thanks! I love stopping by. You have a great week, too!
I am glad you enjoyed the post and pics Nacy. It was fun reliving it all. It was a great trip. I was leery of the ‘marketing’ promising ‘luxury included’ but in many ways they really exceeded expectations. Not at all what you expect from an all-inclusive. As always, thanks for dropping by! Have a great week…
If you click on either or both videos they would be good for a little sun and surf. Thanks for the well wishes. We tracked down his trainer and she says he is a ‘fearful’ puppy and insecure. That’s why he never raced. So we have to take that approach. He really is timid. Are you ready for some prostate jokes?
Love the pictures and the descriptions! I got a nice feel for the atomsphere. With the exception of a few bumps, sounds like you had a fabulous vacation.
That resort/vacation looks magical. I could use a little sun and surf right now.
Hope all goes well for you with your procedure AND with puppy and no-biting/no-attitude. Is there perhaps a chance puppy is in pain?
Sorry but I broke my camera recently, and I was finishing a photo project for my story 😦 there was no photos of me, just of some places around.
I even wrote a little on an old post about it:
…this morning I got sleepy, got up, remembered that someone ask me to borrow the camera, tried to connect it to charge, felt something weird, thought it was a bug, dropped the camera, completely wake up, it was a hairball, the lens was jammed, tried to fix it, broke the screen, remove the sd card and tossed it to the garbage.
most of my shorts go below the knee, those are comfort shorts 😛
Ill try to work something out one of these days.
Glad you like the photos and sorry it ran so long. It was supposed to be telling a story by photos and captions and it turned into a manuscript! We are figuring ol Chum out but it will take a little more work. As always, thanks for dropping by and commenting Fingerprinting! Have a great week…
With pictures? The shorts? 🙂 You can tell me more I won’t spoil the secret! Sorry and Good luck. Fixing things is never that easy for me….
I’m a “fearful and not confident” human around dogs! I have an intense fear of dogs. Sorry that he bit your nanny.
As always, your photos as delightful:)
Ahhhh! now Im the one with house problems!
I was covering some spaces of a roof outside my room door, I finished, got up, step on it and broke it. all that work for nothing.
Fixing it is easy, dealing with the emotions is nearly impossible.
I would tell you more details but Im gonna turn it into a story 😛
Exactly, open buffets means free food…my favorite kind of food! I get our money’s worth for the whole family! It was a bit of a beach breeze for that video but I was already served my limit anyways. I lost my vocabulary! I was shocked when I found out how long this was. I was trying to just make it a picture and the story behind it. Then I ran into some of the history of the attractions and I wanted to add that and it turns into a manuscript! ~ I spoke with the trainer of our dog. He is a ‘fearful and insecure’ dog she says. And that makes sense. He is very timid. So what he did he did out of fear. So we have to approach it like that and help him feel at ease. She said he wasn’t ‘handled’ very well on his farm as all litter mates are afraid of people too. He is such a sweetheart though. I hope it works out. Thanks for dropping by and chatting Ms. アウ アウ. I hope you are doing great in your part of the world.
Oh, now I am even more jealous of you now. Was it the resort with the walk in pools out the back door of your room? That was our first trip to a Sandal’s and enjoyed it thourougly! We are trying to make it to the Beaches in Turks & Caicos but that has been difficult so far. If you would ever want to do a Travel Post for my little blog I would love to share it with others, whether your honeymoon or any of the other great places you have been. ~We contacted the trainer for our dog. She says he is very afraid and insecure as part of his make up. He wasn’t handled well on the farm in which he was raised. So we have a different tract to approach this situation from. He reacts out of fear and insecurity than dominance. He is such a sweetheart. I hope it works out. Thanks for dropping by Susie and saying Hello!
Honeymoon in Sandal’s La Toc? Oh I am so jealous of you now. What a gorgous place! I am trying to create a mini travel blog here. Now with two little girls travelling is hard to manage. Would you like to do a travel post for me on your trip to Sandals (an dany pics you care to share) or any other of your fabulous places you have been? I found it was so muh fun putting this post together, hnting down pictures, as it allowed me to relive the whole trip. Thanks again for dropping by Ms. B! So glad to hear from you. 🙂
Yes I am subscribed to maybe 100 blogs so it was hard to keep up. I only saw them on teh Reader if they published a certain time of the day. It turns out the dog is a scardy cat. Thats what his trainer says. I had a long chat with is trainer. She says he is a ‘fearful and insecure’ dog; his whole litter mates were. So we have to approach it from that angle. He really is a sweet heart. ~Tuck St. Lucia in the back of your mind for some time with your best sweetheart sometime. I know you have traveled and seen many places but this seems to be a romantic spot. I’m so glad you came along with us and enjoyed the views. Which was your favorite restaurant? Thanks for dropping by and commenting Jess! Have a great week!
I am so glad you had a chance to come with us on our trip to St. Lucia! Great food. Great scenery. The grand Pitons and volcanos. Your orchid garden. Click on that link for some great pictures there. But I never saw that new suit of yours. 😦 How many times do you hear the highlight of a trip is the food? Sandals made it happen. ~Ah the big day is next Tuesday 9.17. How much of it do you want to hear about? That may be my next post.
What a fabulous trip! We stayed at Sandals in Jamaica for our honeymoon. I would go in a minute!
Loved your photos.
Sorry about your house and the dog. The house can be fixed. A dog that bites is pretty worrisome…
I’ve just come across your blog!! I went to St Lucia and stayed at Sandals La Toc for my honeymoon. It was nothing less than amazing… I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!!! 🙂 Looking forward to reading about your travels! xx
Aww, this post brings a few things to mind! First off, I’m sorry for the trouble with your email and insulation/AC etc. What a bummer! I haven’t noticed that happening to me exactly, but I’m subscribed to so many blogs (so many good ones! so many friends and hard to choose!) that it’s hard to keep up with them all, anyway!
As for your dog: Oh, no! I hope he settles down soon. I’m sure he’s a good dog just needs a little time. But, no. Biting is not acceptable.
And St. Lucia is stunning! Your images are amazing, and it’s nice to see the man and his lovely wife behind the blog! I’ve never been to St. Lucia but would definitely love to go. It looks amazing. 🙂
Oh well I am originally from the east (Montreal) but I’m currently in Calgary about 1700 miles NW of Toronto! 🙂
We also like Curacao. We’ve cruised there 3 times.
Sorry to hear about Mr Chum, he probably has bad memories and habits of his previous life, in his mind he must be still there, lets hope hes able to adapt in his new home.
Im like that as well, buffets means eating it all until you nearly explode, its free, so the obvious thing to do.
The beach dinner seems very fun, even if it was windy (seems in the video).
First the ring change and now this dating game…
I dont mind long posts, on the contrary, it was very nice, a chance for me to know the place with a good company, I even read the other post about the lousy movers, but you know how the blogging culture is.
Dont worry if you have to miss my posts any time, ll make a file with it all later. You know, you could do that too, like a family book, just not as creepy as mine 😛
I hadn’t planned on going to St. Lucia during my birthday month – but I’m glad I went!! Thanks for taking me there. I enjoyed the delicious food (I love escargot) and the swinging bed. 🙂
Re: wordpress – YES this happened to me and not only did I not get posts but mine did not show up either. I had to reblog my post and that worked. It’s happened a couple of times, it’s really a pain! I try to log off WP and log back in.
AY! You’ve had quite the week! Sorry about the utility bills and Chum! That must have been upsetting for all of you when he bit and growled. That certainly is unsettling. Hope it was just a fluke and that he settles down and in.
I was thinking about you and your procedure coming up. When I didn’t hear from you earlier I got a bit worried. What is the date btw? Lot’s going on! Keep listening to Jimmy and it will all be alright! 🙂
I was thinking that I probably need to do that, but I really resent the amount of time that will take. I bet you do too!
I forgot to put in, thee absolute best bananas I have ever eaten. I love bananas and these were fantastic. You saw banana plantations all over the island. Yet they only had a very short shelf life. If I peeled on off the bunch at breakfast it was uneatable by the next morning. The island of Curacao is my dream retirement island. But St. Lucia would due! Thanks for dropping by Nelson!
There is one blog I unfollowed and then followed later and I get that now. I hate to think of doing it with everyone. Let me know how it works out for you. Thanks for dropping by!
and YOU know Canadians are some of my favorite people; most from at or around Toronto.
oh Chum is a ‘rescue’.
OMG its over 2600 words! I had no idea! I thought it was mainly pictures. I wouldn’t read it either! It took 3 days to do this! Save the post and come back and see the videos; separately. Glad you stopped by and said Hello!
First off let me admit that I skimmed this post because…well because I have a hard time reading that many words! Sorry…forgive me.
From what I’ve read and your lovely photos however, it looks just beautiful and I’m glad you got to go!
Sorry about your dog biting the Nanny too and love that you met a Canadian couple from Toronto!
Good to hear from you again.
St. Lucia is a beautiful island. A good friend of mine’s family lives there. He now lives in Canada but still longs for St. Lucia. Great pictures.
Oh, and a heads up from some of the blog posts that I’ve read, etc., and something you’ve probably already thought about! If you’ve used the word adopted with Chumley, remember extra damage control in case you were to have to take him back so that girls don’t associate it with themselves. THIS is why I hate using the same word for children and for pets, as much as our cats are part of our family. If that makes sense.
I am so upset with WordPress over this issue. It happened to me about 3 weeks ago on all 3 of my blogs, and nothing has happened to fix the problem. I am writing a post about it and posting it tomorrow morning on Don’t We Look Alike and Writer Site. It’s seriously affecting my ability to keep up with people. However, I did get notification of this post!!! I randomly get a few . . . . I’m so sorry about what’s going on with Chumley. I hope the trainers can figure it out!