Monday, January 26, 2015

St. Lucia Part 4

The whole time we were in St. Lucia we got lucky and had phenomenal weather! Nearly ever day it was a high of 84, low of 75, and mostly sunny. And if it did rain, it was usually a sun shower and didn't last more than about 5 minutes. Just perfect!
The next morning I got what might have been my favorite thing of our whole time in St. Lucia... a massage out of our private mediation deck. This wonderful lady named Mora came around 8:30, set up her table, and gave me what might have been the best massage of my life. I don't know what she did, but she had some magic hands!
 After feeling completely blissed out, we packed up our beach bags and made our way for Anse Chastenet Beach. The beach is situated directly below Jade Mountain Resort and Anse Chastenet Resort, however the beach is completely public.
We were tipped off by our property manager to walk about 10 minutes further down the beach, veer around the corner, and then we greeted with what was practically our own private beach. Our own little piece of paradise for the day. Most of the locals and tourists do not came down to this beach because you have to take this awful road that is so bumpy and twisty and poorly maintained, or take a boat. However our drive was more then willing to take us down, however I don't know that on the 2 mile stretch of road we ever made it over 10 miles an hour.
We spent most of the day reading, me in the sun, Brian in the shade, napping, and just walking up and down the beach.
 We even watched a pirate ship (aka tour boat) go by.
 Having enough of laying around I attempted round 2 of snorkeling, however this time Brian stayed back on the beach. Cute, right?!
While snorkeling I at one point had so many fish around me that it actually freaked me out a little. Like if they wanted to they could of attacked me (because fish do that often) and I would have been out numbered about 3,000 to 1. So I swam back to the beach....And while I wish we could say that we got one of the amazing little cabana with chairs food service, we did not. Only resort guests did. Unless we wanted to pay about $60 of which we were not about to do.
 After soaking in maybe just a little too much sun, we headed back to the house to get ready for dinner which was a diner of a lifetime. However first, did you know you can have an open bottle in a car in St. Lucia?! Well I certainly took advantage of this.
 For the second time that day, we made our way back over to Anse Chastenet/Jade Mountain, this time not for the beach but for dinner at Jade Mountain. After stopping at the security hut, we were then shuttled up to the top of the property, and escorted to the rooftop lounge for cocktail hour where we got to witness yet another gorgeous sunset on the Pitons.
This might be my new favorite photo of Brian and I.
 And how crazy is Jade Mountain and all the walkways throughout the resort??!
 The resort only has 29 "sanctuaries" but each room has 3 walls, and on the fourth side has an infinity pool that looks over the Pitons. For example:
Certainly a jaw dropping hotel which Brian and I will likely never be able to afford.
Up on the roof we chatted with all the other couples, of which we were the only non hotel guests, and ordered the 'Whole Lot of Love.' We knew that the drink was big, but we didn't realize just how big it was! After about 30 minutes of drinking it we had hardly made a dent in it.
However somehow we persevered and finished it.
Don't worry mom, I promise we did not have too much to drink though the picture above may be misleading. I'll redeem myself with this one.
 Of all the meals we had, this was hands down both Brian and I's favorite. It was also the most we have ever spent on a dinner, but I guess you get what you pay for! We decided that this would be our Anniversary, Valentines day, and birthday dinners all rolled in 1.
 Every course of the food was amazing, and every server had just the right amount of professionalism, but still made us laugh and have a good time. Although at the end of the night, one server came over and told us that for celebrating 5 years of marriage, he would get us some champagne! How fun! Only then he told us that the 'Whole Lot of Love' probably did us in and we would need some sobering up, so instead of champagne, he told us he'd bring sparkling ginger ale, and also not to tell anyone he switched them out..... well okkkkkaaaaay. Once again, I promise we did not have too much to drink. We were not even borderline drunk. Although I don't think my stories are convincing anymore.
 After an almost 3 hour dinner, we left so full (can you tell it's a reoccurring theme??) and tried to walk ourselves out to the shuttle area. About 60 seconds after we walked out, a man came running out of the restaurant telling us to wait and he needed to escort us. Apparently walking by yourself isn't allowed. That or they thought their "drunk" dinner guests were going to cause a scene. After being walked to the shuttle area, we were told to stay put, so we did exactly as told, except not. We briefly walked around and took in the amazingness of the hotel one more time, and took just a handful more of pictures to remember that time we went to Jade Mountain.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

St. Lucia Part 3

I realized after I put up the last post, that I forgot about a 1/2 days worth of pictures so here are a few more to go along with the last post:

A lazy afternoon.
 Getting ready for the dinner prepared by the local cook.
 Wine-ing and puzzling.
 Every night Brian and I would take tons of pictures of the sunset because they were all that breathtaking, and now that we are home looking back on all of them, they all kind of look the same. ha! So enjoy 1 of the 30 that all look quite alike.
 One of our only dinners at our place! Every morning we would eat a huge breakfast prepared by the maid, usually snack for lunch, then go all out for dinner. This whole last week we ate like a king and queen! And speaking of royalty, the royal family was in St. Lucia the same time we were! Hello Prince William and Kate.
This would be the empty pumpkin soup bowl of a man who doesn't even like pumpkin soup. I don't know what the cook put in it, but it was seriously so good! If I could pick one thing that was my favorite, it might have been this.
 After eating a full 4 course meal we were stuffed! I felt like I had to hobble my way to the couch because my stomach might of burst. We could have easily fed about 3 more people with how much food she made.
Now onto a new day! After such a low key day, we decided to fill our schedule (schedule as in we actually didn't really have a schedule, or hardly ever know the time for that matter) a little more, and have a driver for the entire day. Never Weary picked us up a little before 10:00am and took us to the Soufriere Diamond Botanical Gardens. Check out the 'q-tip plant'
When we pulled up, the gardens were just opening, and we were the only 2 at the whole place. We got our own private 15 minute tour with a man named The Walking Internet, who told us more than we could possibly ever retain about the various local plants.
At the end of the tour was the Diamond Falls, which is described as one of St. Lucia's natural wonders. Our guide told us that the waterfall never looks the same two days in a row because of all the minerals deposits that constantly change the color of the rocks.
 Also according to our guide this picture would be a framer....his idea, his pose. Maybe instead of framing I'll just print him a copy and send it to him.
We also paid a few dollars to take an "old bath." The tub was filled with water from the minerals springs, and was said to take 10 years of aging off. Thankfully it didn't because I would prefer to not look like a teenager, but it did make our skin quite soft!
By the time that we got out of the old bath, the gardens were hopping! In a matter of an hour the place went from being just the two of us, to people every where. There were huge groups from cruise ships, and tons of local tour companies. The place was so crowded we could hardly walk around, so after about 15 minutes, we headed out and found our driver.
While planning our vacation we said that one thing we really wanted to do was some sort of boat tour to see St. Lucia by water, and it just so happened that the property managers god son was a boat tour guide, how perfect!
 So Captain Daniel picked us up from the beach at noon, and we took for the sea.
 The town we were staying in, Soufriere, is on the south part of the island, so we worked our way north. In the picture below you can see a brown resort built into the hillside, the one that looks like a car park... well that's Jade Mountain. Kind of funny because by sea it looks like nothing special, however the next day when we actually went to Jade Mountain we were in for a surprise, more pictures to come on that!
 Interesting that the life jackets are locked up.... thankfully we never needed them.
Nothing but blue water for miles.
After about an hour ride north, we stopped in Marigot Bay to see all the huge yachts and homes that lined the bay.
 We stopped at a little restaurant on the water for lunch, grabbed a couple beers, and started our return trip back.
 4  1/2 years ago on our honeymoon Brian and I went snorkeling, and for one reason or another Brian really struggled with the whole mask, tube, breathing thing. However we just thought it was a fluke. Turns out it wasn't. The captain dropped us off at one of the best places in the area for snorkeling, and off we swam towards the fish and coral....
 ... I was having a great time checking out all of the brightly colored fish, when I turn around to see Brian swimming under water, with his entire snorkel tube also about a foot under water. He came up sputtering water, and I just about died laughing. Brian kept telling me that water was going down his snorkel, and that he once again just couldn't get the hang of it. More then once I tried to teach and tell him that you only put your forehead and eyes in, but he just preferred to hold his breath and not use the tube. Every time I would look at him from under water I would end up laughing, causing the seal of my mask to break and end up with a face full of water. We were quite the site out there. It probably didn't help that we had a few beers and pina coladas right before we started snorkeling, so lesson learned: snorkel only when sober.
 After my belly aching from laughing so hard and swallowing so much salt water, we swam our way back to the boat, and continued back south to Soufriere where we came from.
 In the background the Petit Piton is on the left, and the Gros Piton on the right.
 Once again, Jade Mountain.
 The city of Soufriere.
 Our last final stop of our boat tour was the bat cave. Because St. Lucia has so much fruit, the island also has a ton of bats. We would see them occasionally at night swooping around, but thankfully they never got too close. That is until this point in the trip. The captain slowly idled his way towards the cave, and the closer we got, the louder the chirping grew. Thousands upon thousands of bats were all literally hanging out in this cave. Ick!
So ending on that high note, we finished our 4 hour boat tour, and headed back to the house to get ready for dinner. The rest of the night I unfortunately did not do well taking pictures... We went to this great local restaurant called Orlando's, where chef Orlando himself came out to greet his. This place was highly recommended to us and certainly did not disappoint. Of all the fancy restaurants we ate it, this certainly had the most local Caribbean flare, and just like every other night, we left so so so full. I have yet to weigh myself since coming home but I can say with about 99% certainly that I gained at least 5 pounds this trip. And I do not regret a single one of those pounds! That is what vacation is all about, right??!
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