Greetings, everyone! I’m going to break this down into sections and separate blog posts, since I have so much to show and I don’t want to overwhelm all of you!
Our flight was five hours from JFK so it wasn’t too bad. We hired a driver to take us to down (it was much cheaper than leaving our car at the airport) and he was wonderful. Flight was fine and uneventful and we took a taxi to the hotel. The taxi driver called himself “Tony the Tiger” (which I found hilarious) and his accent was so strong he was hard to understand at times, but he was a lot of fun.
We stayed at The Beach View on the western side of the isle, which was FANTASTIC. I discovered them on Trip Advisor and I’m glad I did. The owner came out to greet us and he was so pleasant and had such an awesome accent (a blend of both Brit and Barbadian). I met his whole family, who apparently run the place, and they were all wonderful. The staff was really friendly and even the guests were great (we met so many people, mostly from the UK and Canada…there were hardly any other Americans!). Later in the week, he invited all of the guests over to his house for cocktails (yes, really), and his house was absolutely breathtaking. He had an infinity pool and beachfront property—it had to have cost millions of dollars. He was so humble and down to earth too, which made him so likeable. Hands down, I would stay there again without a doubt. I highly recommend them if any of you are thinking of making a trip there!
Here was our view from our hotel balcony:
We relaxed the first night since hubby was exhausted, as you can see here:
And we had a full week ahead of us!
We swam and snorkeled almost every day. Even though I ate like a pig, I’d actually lost weight from swimming so much! Since the island is safe enough to travel outside of the hotel, we had a round-the-island beach extravaganza and visited as many beaches as we could. And they were all so different! The weather was partly cloudy every day, which was fine with me, since I didn’t want to end up fried (and I didn’t, thank God). We had spurts of rain here and there (typical island weather), which helped cool things off when it got hot. The temperature was in the mid-eighties during the day and mid-seventies at night, so it was really comfortable for us (although we tend to like warm weather).
Here’s a beach near our hotel that was pretty isolated:
I don’t have any pictures of the beach right across the street from our hotel (I was too busy swimming in it, lol) but it was gorgeous and similar to the one above.
The water on the western and southern side of the island (the Caribbean side) was much calmer than the water on the north and eastern side (the Atlantic side). The “Caribbean” beaches were also all sandy while the Atlantic beaches were rocky. The difference was really remarkable! Here are a few shots of beaches on the Atlantic side:
And check out these permanently windblown trees!
Visitors are actually forbidden to swim in the Atlantic side since it’s so dangerous. And when we went to the Crane beach (one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world on the southeastern tip of the island), we were hardly able to swim there due to the rough water (hubby was quite disappointed). It was still AMAZING, though. You won’t be able to see it very well in the images, but the sand was light pink since it’s made up of finely crushed coral. I just kept holding it in my hands and staring at it!
The walkway to the Crane (that’s hubby):
Hubby and I considered staying on the resort on this beach, but I’m glad we didn’t. It was too…resort-y? Which isn’t our thing at all. I totally understand the appeal, but we prefer to be left alone rather than being constantly catered to.
My favorite beach of all was Miami Beach (ironically enough), which was at the southern end of the island. Perfect waves, perfect sand, perfect view—I loved it!
A stairwell down to the beach that was covered in crabs (you can hardly see it here since they blend in so well):
The carved out rock formations from the waves:
I thought it was gorgeous. All of them were!
Best beaches I’ve ever been to so far (although I haven’t been to all that many outside of New England and Miami/Florida Keys). Total relaxation!
Next up, THE ANIMALS! 😀