A quick five day getaway to the Virgin Islands, can’t hurt anyone, right? Even when you go with four kiddos, 10 and under, alone?!?!
We felt we needed to go and see for ourselves. Dad was hard at work, while we decided to play hard in the Caribbean; after spending a week exploring the East Coast. We made this impromptu trip without having a hotel booked. I am not completely careless, I had checked around and saw plenty of rooms available. I just wanted to ensure all five of us made the flight. Traveling on space available is not for the faint of heart. So, once we all had seats, I found a hotel and booked it as we were taxing out for takeoff. I wanted something fairly close to the ferry terminal, so that transportation would not be necessary the next day. It had a swimming pool in the courtyard. That served the purpose of getting the kids’ energy out, after being cooped up all day. They swam until we got kicked out of the pool by security. It was a good day!
We woke up bright and early, eager to catch the first ferry boat over to Tortola. If you think it is a piece of cake, to just hop on a ferry boat at a whim, let me be the first to tell you IT IS NOT EASY! The terminal agents, were not friendly at all. So, that certainly did not help my cause. Remember, it is going into another country, so there are all sorts of fees involved. Including documents and passport checks. Overall, my ferry experience was not a good one. The cost was exorbitant. However, after quite the experience, we were on our way! The ferry boat ride was a good 50 minutes. It was windy, but we all enjoyed the views of the neighboring islands along the way.
FINALLY! We got to Tortola. We arrived at the port of call, Road Town, to have a taxi waiting. Just in case you were wondering, taxi’s are expensive on the islands. The going rate is $10 per person per ride. I had five of us, so anywhere we wanted to go, was at least $50!!! They did not really negotiate pricing. We made 2 round trips to Road Town via taxi… yep! $200 bucks out the window. It made it hard to explore the island, so we opted to spend most of our time in Nanny Cay. After arriving in Nanny Cay, we checked into our hotel, which was lovely and quaint. I fell in love with this little corner of the world immediately upon arrival. It is pretty much self contained. There is everything you could possibly need right in this little pocket of paradise. As Annie Warbucks would have said, “I think i’m gonna like it here!” That would be a complete understatement.
We spent days swimming in the bay, swimming in the pool, joining in on community BBQ’s, and of course, plenty of time at the beach bar. Ahhhh…. the beach bar! It is by FAR one of my favorite place’s to hang. Well of course, the Painkillers help sway my decision, however, it is the sense of community. It is the way the kids run free without helicopter parenting. It is the carefree feeling you have when you are here! We even were included in on a first birthday party that was happening at the moment. It is that awesome! The more the merrier! It is an instant sense of belonging, so far from home. In some ways, I felt more connected and included there in that slice of heaven, then I do in my own hometown! Enjoy some of the pictures of our glory days just relaxing and having fun in the sun.
One day, we escaped to go on a catamaran daysail with Aristocat Charters! Wow, we had a spectacular day sailing to Salt, Cooper, and Peter Islands. We snorkeled, snacked, sunned, and sipped the day away! The captain, Scott, and his co-captain, Luuck, made our adventure something for the memory books! They even have a pretty awesome lunch spread at some point during the day. They are great with kids and pretty awesome at adulting too! Thanks guys for an AMAZING daysail! If you ever find yourself in Tortola, this daysail is a MUST!
Aside from all of the fun in the sun, I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, turned friend, Brittany Meyers from Windtraveler. I knew before meeting her that we had a lot in common. We both have a “boat load” of kiddos, (pun intended) we have the same parenting style, we both love the water, we love sailing, she lives in the BVI’s… I want to live in the BVI’s. You get the point! She is one of the reasons we made the trek to the island of Tortola. The pictures on her blog, had me so intrigued, I had to see for myself. I sure am glad I went all that way. We had such an amazing time getting to know each other and our kids got along swimmingly! (again, pun intended) They spent a majority of the time playing in the water!
It happened to be St. Patrick’s day while we were on the island, which couldn’t have been more appropriate considering we spotted a green lizard hanging on the dock that morning. I was told by a reliable source, that the last time they saw a green lizard on the dock was nearly five years prior. The day only got better, when Darcy of Sunkissed Soeters, another awesome mom from the island, whipped out green food coloring! We were not going to let this holiday sneak past without a few green beers for the win! Darcy, that really was a highlight of my trip! Thank you!
I did not want this adventure to be over, yet, everything must come to an end. We explored, played, swam, sipped and devoured every moment (and Painkiller) that we possibly could! I would have to say that everything about this quick getaway was perfect. My takeaway from this adventure? I. Will. Be. Returning. SOON! I am already conjuring my next trip here, and I have not even passed through customs. I didn’t even let the exorbitant taxi fees or the immigration /customs taxes that had to be paid to leave the island, get me down.
We headed back to the USVI’s where we paid a taxi driver $10 per person to take us less than 1 mile. Yes, you read that right, $50 for a mile long trek to our hotel. Be sure to catch any of the local jungle buses (open air trucks) that drive around the island all day long, whenever possible. Again, I didn’t even let that get me down, because we were in paradise. Our hotel was situated right next to the airport in a little cove that was like heaven. It was perfect. Emerald Beach Resort, although a bit pricey compared to other options, it was a perfect fit for our plans. We had drinks and dinner on the beach. We swam in the pool for hours. It was low key, nestled in a quaint cove with breathtaking views, and had an ocean breeze that was perfect. I highly recommend the beach bar. We traveled to Miami the next morning then on to San Diego. We finally arrived home, with a greater appreciation for the Caribbean. It has become a part of me. I feel a longing for it when I am not there. I vow to return for my 40th birthday, later in the year.
Editors note: I am missing all of my pictures from this trip… I managed to find a few here and there. I will be editing to include more pictures in the article when I find them. (I just hope they have not been lost forever)