Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Day four we decided to use our "stay at one, play at 3". On St. Lucia there are 3 different Sandals resorts. After our jaunt to visit the others, we picked the right one! We began our day by just missing the shuttle. And I mean just - like 5 minutes! So we waited around the hotel for 2 hours... it was so long! We had to stay near the entrance in fear that we wouldn't make it on the shuttle, that it be too full, or that we miss it again by 5 minutes because we didn't have a clock - we were on island time man!
This was the only day it rained. It only rained for about 10 minutes early in the morning just as we were waiting for the bus to leave! Then the sun came back out and beautified the day! The trip out to the Grande was amazing. We stopped in quickly at the Halcyon - very small, lots of old people got on the bus... decided to skip seeing it. The trip up was great because we got to see the island. We drove to our hotel in the dark so we didn't get to see much. The Grande is up north and you watch as the island gets dryer and dryer. It's strange. We got off the 1/2 hour bus ride and it's much hotter up there too. The entrance to the Grande is huge! Beautiful, but huge. We walked around the resort a little bit and decided that we were hungry. We visited the buffet lunch to find that it was local creole day! The best part of our day actually. The food was _amazing_! Got to try the national dish of green bananas and salted codfish, green fig salad, fried plantains... and the fruit. Oh god, the fruit!! There was so much fresh local fruit. Starfruit, melons, papayas, passion fruit... oh it was so LOVELY!
After lunch we looked a little bit more in depth around the resort. The beach there is very lush with brilliant white sand and the ocean? It's so calm there. We took off our shoes and strolled in the ocean, it was nice and warm... there were two docks at the Grande. One with a neat little Gazebo at the end, the other was were the butler-only restaurant: Gordon's was. But Gordon's is tomorrow's story. We meandered down to the end of the property wandering out of the Grande and into the provincial park. I saw a mound of sand and collected some in an empty bottle for my collection back home. Some sand from the north part of the island and the middle! As I was doing so some of the local taxi drivers were sitting near by just chillin'. One of them commented and talked to us a little bit - it was awesome. We learned that the Grande and the stuff near it was actually man made. The brilliant white sand was brought in from South America for the tourists. They had decided to join the old fort and the mainland and when they filled it all in they sold the land to developers.
We walked a little further in the park to the Atlantic side of the island. OH WOW. That was heaven. The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks was soothing. And loud! We had to have stood there for 20 minutes just enjoying the air. We went back to the public beach so that I could pick through the shells that had washed up on the shore. You see at Sandals they comb the beaches so that their fussy tourists don't tread on sea shells. For those of us that collect them it makes life very difficult. When I was in Jamaica we found that the best place for shells was on the public beach between my resort and theirs. I spend probably a 1/2 hour, 45 minutes just picking shells. It was WAY too much fun. When I was finally done we decided to go back to our resort and relax.
Not going to happen. We'd missed the shuttle by 5 minutes, AGAIN! Sadly the shuttle runs three buses every 2 hours. Not a bus every hour... *sigh* So again, we waited. I ran around the lobby taking Chu on a safari. It was fun, for about 15 minutes.
This day really felt like a whole day of waiting. It really felt like a crappy day. Looking back on it now, it was really great because it wasn't at home.
Dinner was kind of cool. I had mentioned in passing to Roger that I had stayed at Sandals last year. He set it up so that we could go to a special cocktail party and dinner for returning guests. We stood around talking with some pretty cool people from Edinburgh. At dinner we met a great newly wed couple from Kansas. After everyone at the dinner were awarded their special "I've stayed a ridiculous amount of times" game we got a free bottle of rum and a drawing from a local artisan. It was kinda cool.
Lots of photos after this! Keep going! All of Chu's jungle adventures and new friends. Plus the one thing that made our day really great!
After dinner we came back to our room to find a plate of chocolate (dark!) covered fruit with a special guardian making sure Chu didn't eat it all before we got back.