We arrived home from vacation late Tuesday night (very late, it was actually Wednesday). Vaca was great. It was so nice to get away (from work) and just relax and enjoy the scenery and beautiful weather.
We arrived in St Lucia on the 14th around 4pm but by the time we caught the shuttle and travelled to the hotel, it was around 6pm before we arrived. The island is fairly small - around 40 miles from airport to resort and they were on opposite sides of the island- but with the mountains and traffic, it can take 90+ minutes to get to the area we stayed. I think on the entire island, we saw maybe 4 stop signs and not a single speed limit sign. Traffic is insane and common rules of the road don't really prevail. The roads are very curvy and are primarily 2 lanes with no lines or passing area. Let's just say it really is an adventure being a passenger in St Lucia.
Our first night, after a long day we decided to take it easy and dine at the hotel. The days that followed were packed with walks through the village, nightly ice cream cones at Elena's Ice Cream, dining at various spots and taking in local cuisine. We planned a couple excursions from the hotel - a shopping trip (yay!!!!) and a land/water tour to the Southern West Coast of the island. We picked up a couple souvenirs, did some bartering, took some pics (as you can see by the slideshow) and overall, just enjoyed the time away.
Highlights of the trip were Pookie's delicious coconut battered shrimp dinner at Spinnakers Beach Bar on Reduit Beach. Being from the midwest, I will admit I have never been the biggest seafood fan and having tried shrimp a few times, it was just ok. OMG - these shrimp were soooooo good! Each shrimp must have had at least 4 or 5 bites. I have a pic in the slideshow. The shrimp tails alone are about 3 times the size of a quarter if that tells you how big the shrimp were. They were so sweet and juicy, it was like a flavor explosion!! I know, corny sounding, but so yummy!
Friday night we went to Gros Islet for Jump Up, a street fair they do every week. Plenty of people were getting their drink on and having a great time. There were street vendors with food and local crafts. We tried some local cuisine, roasted chicken, rice, breadfruit balls (ewwww), some sort of salad and so on. Since I am all with child and stuff, I wasn't up to staying out all night long and I was just getting jealous that everyone was able to drink rum punch or jungle juice as some locals call it.
Saturday we went on a boat trip leaving around noon. It took us along the west coast of St Lucia, past Marigot Bay and into Soufries. We were able to see the Pitons upon arriving in Soufries and we picked up a transport van to take us to some local areas of interest. We travelled to the Sulfur Springs then on to Fond Doux Estate for lunch and a lesson in cocoa growing and processing. I even bought some freshly made cocoa sticks to make hot chocolate. Onward to Diamond Botanical Gardens to see some lush exotic plants then a short walk up to Diamond Falls and a quick trip to their mineral baths. We headed back to the boat just in time to cruise back north and catch the sunset on the Caribbean. No legendary green flash though due to the clouds, but we still got some pretty nice shots.
You won't see any beach pics because I had a total wipeout. We headed back to Spinnakers for more shrimp then to Reduit Beach, which is a small, but nice beach. The sand is perfect, but the undercurrent was super strong. I picked up a little floaty raft and decided to just relax and stay well within the bouys and chill. Well, I got a little too close to the beach, the wave broke, I flipped and completely wiped out. I tried to get up and went under again. I can swim very well, but it just really surprised me and any mommy's out there know that you don't exactly have use of all your tummy muscles during this time. Pookie was very concerned and upset, I was exhausted and the sea claimed my super cool SmithOptics sunglasses, so I was pretty much done for a while. I am heading to REI to pick up another pair of sunglasses tomorrow. Oh - did I mention that yeah, there were red flags out warning not to go in the water.....allllllll the way up next to the resort entrance to the beach, like 200 ft away, behind palm trees and umbrellas and barely visible? We entered the beach at the public entrance and there were NO FLAGS anywhere!
We were kinda sad to go, after all, we would have to say goodbye to our friendly little bird that kept trying to get in our room. I know birds aren't born this stupid - what happened to this guy? We only recorded a minute or so but believe me, this went on non stop for like 3 days.