03 August 2013

St. Lucia Vacation Recap 2013

So most of you know by now, since I've only been talking about it for the past several months, that we went to St. Lucia to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. 

Yep. 10 years. Well, technically 9.5, but being married to a teacher means you can't take a week off in November since schools generally frown upon their educators jaunting off to other countries right before finals. 

I know, right? 

So during the hottest part of the summer, we leave one sweltering, humid mess for another sweltering, humid mess. St. Lucia is very similar to south Florida...the bugs, the heat, the palm trees, the crazy traffic. The big difference is that traffic drives on the left side of the road and life is just...slower. 

No pressure, no problems! That's the motto. 

I like it. 

So anyway, we stayed at Sandals Halcyon. It was gorgeous! So private and quiet, very different than the other Sandals resorts on the island that are bigger and geared more towards parties and nightlife. 

My nightlife revolves around pajamas and some HGTV at 9pm. I'm a party animal, people. 

We had a little walkout cottage that faced the water, and the one thing I loved about Halcyon was all of the gardens - you could hide behind all of the flowering trees and just drink your coffee and watch the sun come up. 

This was my favorite tree, and I'm determined to plant one in our backyard: 

There was a beach, but we didn't really spend much time on it. All of the beaches in St. Lucia are public, no matter what resort sits on it. So therefore, there are little beach hagglers - men that will come up to you and try to sell you their homemade souvenirs and give you island advice. They are incredibly hard to deter - we found that by telling them we had already bought something from the guy a couple steps down the beach they would then leave us alone. After being there for a week, they got to know our faces and stopped trying to sell us anything. Success!! 

I know they meant well. I know they probably have families to support. St. Lucia, for all it's beauty and all-inclusive resorts, is still a third-world country. Lots of poverty. No middle class - only the super-rich and the super-poor. Everyone is haggling for a handout. 

Next mission trip location? 

I know. I'm at a five-star resort, and all I can think about is going into the local villages to hand out medications and read bible stories to the kids. Sigh. Maybe someday. 

Ok. Sorry. Back to the vacation where we were supposed to be relaxing. It's hard, you know? Matt kept saying the hardest part was not having a watch or any way to know what time it was...we're so used to schedules and plans. The first several days we honestly had to force ourselves to take it easy and not schedule out the whole week. 

However, we did have several side trips planned. We went on a tour of the St. Lucia Distillery - rum aside, it was a fun, educational trip (I know, we're lame) that taught us the history of sugar cane trading in the West Indies. The island's sugarcane fields are now banana plantations, so they import molasses from Guyana to make the rum. Maybe it's because I love the behind-the-scenes shows on Food Network, but I really thought the entire process from molasses to barrel was pretty great. 

Banana plantations: 

We also got to tour Marigot Bay, where the original Dr. Doolittle was filmed. 

This is where part of Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed: 

Which immediately made us want to watch all the Pirates movies again. 

Side Trip #2 was my favorite - 4-wheeler rides through the rain forest and along the beach. 

I'm a midwestern girl...what's not to love about this? 

For a snack, our guides literally climbed the coconut trees to get us something to drink. That coconut water was seriously the most 100% paleo thing I had on vacation.

They also used their machetes to chop open some dried coconut to eat. I've never had it that fresh before, and it tasted so good. 

I don't know what Matt thought about the machetes, but I loved it. It reminded me of all of the people I met in Panama and Honduras...I'm so in love with other cultures!

Side Trip #3 scared the bejeezus out of me. 

We went snorkeling. 

Me: "I had two little panic attacks."
Matt: "No, you had one gigantic panic attack!"

You know how some people are scared of snakes and spiders? 

That's me with sea life. 

The long, scary fish will EAT MY LEGS OFF!!

I did get in the water, only out of complete love for my husband and his excitement to go snorkeling. 

Don't I look thrilled? 

While Matt was blissfully floating beside me, the only thoughts running through my head were "They'regonnagetme, they'regonnagetme, they'regonnagetme, gottagetoutofthewaterrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!"

It was terrifying. 

In the background are the famous Piton mountains. They were gorgeous!

I prefer to be on the water, not in the water. 

Or at a pool. 

The sunsets were amazing. 

And there were cats everywhere at the resort. I may or may not have shared my bacon with them.

Another  fun part was getting dressed up to go to dinner. There were four main restaurants on at Halcyon, and Mario's - Italian - was by far my favorite. We met another couple for dinner there after our day of snorkeling. 

Nothing calms your post-snorkel nerves like a nice glass of red wine and a bowl of pasta. 

I am my father's daughter. 

Kelly's Dockside is another fabulous place to eat that was literally on the water. 

Mario's Night #2: 

We had such a great, relaxing time, and completely got sucked into becoming Sandals Select Rewards members, which means Jamaica 2015 is planned and booked. 

Well played, Sandals. Well played. 

Today I love: Looking through vacation pictures and getting settled back into a routine. And American water pressure. 

No comments: