Archive for November 15th, 2007

The Captain Sets Sail for the Caribbean

So it’s the Monday after the wedding and Megan and I have just checked out of our room.  Our luggage is packed, the car is loaded and we are headed for the airport to leave for our Caribbean honeymoon.  We are having a discussion about how the entire wedding weekend went off without a hitch.  In the middle of this conversation it occurs to me that I didn’t pack our passports.  I quickly discovered that Megan didn’t pack them either.  This is a problem.  Our passports are a 7 hour drive away, and our flight leaves in 5 hours.  This is a major problem.

Our honeymoon didn’t start out well.  We had to drive back to Tallahassee to get the passports, rearrange our flight schedule, and leave for the airport at 3:30 in the morning on Tuesday.  After a 5 hour layover in San Juan, we arrived in St. Lucia 6 hours after our original scheduled arrival.  Despite the ominous beginning, the rest of the honeymoon was smooth sailing.  Our 6 days on a tropical island were everything I hoped and more.

St. Lucia is in the southern part of the Caribbean and is a typical tourism focused island.  I was fascinated by everything I saw, the immense beauty surrounded by immense poverty.  The only other time I had left the North American continent was to travel to Hawaii, which is still the U.S.  The closest experience I’d previously had was visiting border towns in Mexico, but I still knew I was only a few miles away from America.  For the first time in my life I could actually feel what it was like to be away from the comforts and safety of America and it was actually quite refreshing.

The first three nites and days were spent at the Sandals Regency , an all inclusive beachfront resort.  After the hustle and bustle of the wedding, we wanted a nice relaxing couple of days with minimal thought and effort on our part.  Sandals had this in abundance.  All the restaurants and bars are free inside the resort, and the wait staff is not allowed to accept tips.  This was both good and bad.  Free bars are pretty friggin’ sweet, especially when they’re in the middle of the pools like this

The down side was the food.  The quality was mediocre, the portions were small, and the service was wicked slow.  Eventually we learned that the nacho bar was a better bet than the fancy restaurants and life was good.  Besides eating and drinking, we spent most of our time lounging at the beaches and the pools.

The beaches were gorgeous

The views were scenic

The pools were gigantic

And the bars were nearby!

We enjoyed our time at Sandals, but by the third day we had grown a bit restless.  Megan and I generally gravitate toward less populated areas, and Sandals was packed with honeymooners.  Knowing our love for exploring ahead of time, Megan found a small resort on top of a mountain and booked us for two nites.  This was by far the highlight of the honeymoon.  It began with an adventurous trip between resorts.

As you might imagine, the roads on a mountainous island are rather curvy.  I was expecting some tight turns, but this far exceeded my expectations.  Corkscrew roads, villages full of shacks, driving on the left and million dollar views added up to a hypnotic journey.  We were quite turned around by the time we arrived at Ladera , our mountain resort.  This left us unprepared for the magnificent view.  A frozen drink later and we felt right at home

Ladera consists of 20 villas, a bar and a restaurant built into the side of a mountain.  The resort lays in-between two tall mountains and overlooks the ocean.  It’s the ideal place to kick back and read a book while enjoying the view.

While the restaurant and bar are quite picturesque, the real star of the resort was our villa.  All of the rooms at the resort only have three walls, with the fourth wall completely open and overlooking the mountains and ocean.  It made for a brilliant view everywhere in the villa.  Here’s the view from the shower.

Here’s a view of the bedroom.

The other key feature of the room was the private pool and waterfall.  The pool is situated in the downstairs living room and directly below the second story bedroom.  Without a doubt the best view I have ever seen.

It felt like having a private pool in the clouds.  Not to be too graphic, but swimming naked in a pool overlooking a mountain is living the dream for me.  We spent two full days at Ladera enjoying the scenery in the morning, lounging on the beach at the base of the mountain in the afternoon, and watching the sunset at dinner.

After two days, we were not ready to leave.  The only thing that motivated us to leave was our enormous room charge.  We reluctantly piled in a car and headed on another rollercoaster ride to the airport.  Our fabulous honeymoon put us in such a state of relaxation that even the horrendous trip home didn’t dampen our spirits.1

There is lots more that I am leaving out of this story, but that’s what make a honeymoon a honeymoon.  Sufice to say the our trip as newlyweds met my every expectation and then some.  The maiden voyage of our marriage was a resounding success.  And it’s nothing but smooth seas ahead.


The Captain

1 But it came pretty close.  Normally I try not to complain about air travel because it pretty much sucks for everyone.  However, I can’t help but complain when incompetence on the airline’s part forces me to abandon two bottles of St. Lucian rum at security so I can catch a flight.  We’re talking about sacrificing two bottles of booze man!

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