We have weathered three major snowstorms in the past month since our return from the sunny south. Thank the heavens I had this vacation to write about, for in doing so, I was transported back in time to our vacation south and for some brief moments I could relive the sun, sea and sand.
A holiday such as this is indeed a gift; not to be taken for granted. We turned off all electronic devices while traveling; the only exception was communication with family now and again so they knew all was well. It took a day or two to get into ‘vacation mode’ and with the help of the sunshine vitamin and salt air; it wasn’t long before we left the snow banks and frigid temperatures behind (mentally and figuratively). It is a return visit for us…to a ‘Sandals’ resort. Because of this we are treated to some special events. One such event is an evening social with all other ‘returning guests’ and a special menu prepared by Chef Rodney. A four piece band, positioned at the front of the dining room played tunes from all genres and accepted special requests. They were amazing.
A favorite song of my husband’s is “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. When asked by a member of the wait staff if he had a request, I smiled…I already knew what it would be. The band started to play and a lovely lady sang his favorite song beautifully. We couldn’t resist. There was a small cleared area in front of the band and we strolled over and used this area as a makeshift dance floor. We waltzed while the other guests ate. Before long the ‘dance floor’ was packed. The band was thrilled as was the resort staff. There is no greater compliment to a band than to see people dancing to their music I guess!
Just when we thought it ‘couldn’t get better than this’, we discovered a folded official looking invitation on our bed upon returning to our room one evening. It was from the Captain and Crew of the ‘Lady Sandals’ inviting us (as return guests) to join them for a four-hour cruise of St. Lucia waters with the other returning guests from our resort. ‘Lady Sandals’ is a 131 foot yacht which belongs to Sandals Resorts’ owner Gordon (Butch) Stewart. When he isn’t personally using it, the yacht is used for tours such as this. It just happened to be docked in St. Lucia while we were there! From our perspective, this was indeed an unexpected gift and pleasure. We are boaters, so it was a joy to set foot on a vessel of this size and pretend for four hours that it was ours. We beamed like two kids the entire time. Hotel staff came along on board to serve food and drinks and to take pictures. It was ‘wining and dining’ on a whole new level for us! St. Lucia from the water is even more beautiful and exquisite and the four hours at sea passed very quickly.
We had a day or two remaining of our vacation when Chef Rodney approached us one afternoon in the buffet restaurant. He insisted that he prepare a ‘special meal’ for us and all we had to do was pick the time and the venue. He had been introduced to us by the manager of the resort as being from another ‘Island’ and he was familiar with our Atlantic lobster. He wanted us to sample St. Lucia’s seafood prepared by him. So a table overlooking the ocean was reserved for us at Kelly’s dockside and we were presented with Surf (Caribbean lobster) and Turf (St. Lucia filet mignon) with red wine sauce prepared by Chef Rodney. It was divine. I always thought that nothing compared to our Atlantic lobster. I cannot say that anymore! So thank you Chef, for proving me wrong.
To say our vacation to St. Lucia was outstanding would be an understatement. It has ‘raised the bar’ substantially and all other vacations (past and future) will now stand in comparison. But vacations are what you make of them. We left our Island on this vacation with no expectations. We were pleasantly surprised. Till next time…