Yes...right. I did go away - ok, ok. I can't be too catty here - I went with my husband and kids to Barbados for 2 weeks. Funny...it doesn't seem like it was only last month. And it doesn't seem like it was for 2 weeks. Why does that happen anyway - time flies by when you are doing something fun, and when you, say, are doing squats, 30 seconds feels like 1 year. (Awwww, squats...I knew I forgot to do something today.)
Of course, as all of you moms out there can relate to, my baby girl came down with a nasty chest cough 2 days before were to hop on the plane. So, I thought, I might as well take her to the doc and maybe he can do something to help her out. Liquid medicine, a puffer inhaler and 80$ later, I was armed with everything I needed to banish the phlegm. Naturally, the medicine was hard on my daughter's stomach, so she had serious "issues" for the first 5 days of our vacation. The airplane ride there was a freaking nightmare - my daughter was miserable, my son was antsy, and the dirty diapers kept coming. My poor husband was the lucky one who got to stand in line for the tiny airplane bathroom to try and wedge himself in - I can barely change a diaper in there - not sure how he managed! At one point, he made his way back to our seats after changing Isla, and by the time he got back, he had to go wait in line again. I think we were both questioning the whole vacation in general - really? More poo? More whining? Is this a good idea? Is this even going to be fun???
We finally arrived in Barbados, and the heavy, hot air hit us like a ton of bricks. All I could think about was getting my bathing suit on and hitting the pool. But, before we could even get our bags and grab a taxi, we had to wait in a 50 minute line to get through customs. That's 50 minutes - with 2 hot, tired kids. (And, I should mention that I am getting a little scared because my army-sized stash of diapers has dwindled down to basically nothing....)
But, we made it, finally to our rental apartment. And I am happy to say that it was exactly as advertised - NO SURPRISES! It worked out really well. We had a main floor patio, right on the pool deck, and we had a first floor balcony, overlooking the ocean. There is nothing like sitting out with your coffee, or, ahem, beverage, and watching the sea. We even saw some turtles off in the distance.
1. Fisherman's Pub in Speightstown - eat like a pig for about as cheap as it gets. Home made, delish, and totally lovely. Ice cold Banks. yes.
2. Oistin's fish fry - see #1. Plus music.
3. Crane Beach - can't afford Crane resort? That's ok - do like the rest of us and cross the patio-stone covered rocks to this wonderful beach. And jumping off the cliff is totally fun - maybe 25 feet up - so not too crazy! And stop by Cutters deli on the way to pick up a fabulous lunch for your day at the beach - and they have yummy rum punch. And I don't even like rum!
4. Miami Beach - very beautiful and calm - perfect for kids. The water is literally like bath water, and about as still. Mikhail and I ran after schools of flying fish (he kept saying he wanted to eat them - flying fish sandwiches are kind of a big deal over there, and very good.)
5. Wildlife Sanctuary- turtles and crocs and monkeys...oh my! Not to mention peacocks, iguanas, deer, jack rabbits, birds, a huge snake...and they're all running around. Well, not the crocs and the giant snake! But monkeys were walking by me, like 6 inches away from me, and massive turtles lumbered by, doing their own thing. Mikhail had a great time. I really liked how it didn't feel like a zoo - it felt like you were walking around the jungle, on these cute, little brick paths.
6. Macaroni pie.
7. Bajan Jerk sauce, and the spicy yellow mustard sauce that you could find at any food stand. Addictive!
8. Driving. On the "wrong" side of the road - and we didn't have any close calls!
9. St. Lawrence Gap - busy with people and nightlife, lots of restaurants. (I should admit...I think we were only up past 10pm ONE night - but in our defense, Isla was up at 5am every morning, and she reverted back to newborn-mode and screamed for a bottle every 2 hours.)
10. Angry Annies - a very quaint restaurant in Hole Town. It's on this little street, that you would miss if you weren't really watching for it. It felt more like a back lane, and it was packed with Zagat rated eateries. At Angry Annies, I ate the best fish of my life - not kidding - blackened mahi mahi with perfectly mashed garlic potatoes and seasonal veg. The owner seated us and took our order, and was really wonderful. Bright blue walls, and wall fans as air conditioning. Very cool.
11. sangria. home made. very enjoyable.
12. We got to spend a ton of time with Mikhail in the pool. He is getting so much more comfortable in the water! With his little life jacket on, he was swimming the whole length of the pool, jumping in, putting his face in the water...
Must find an authentic carribean/bajan cook book. Must replicate rum punch, fried flying fish, macaroni pie, jerk pork and others. (I've made these things, or something like them, before, but they're just not the same!)
Ahhhh.....just thinking about our trip makes me feel relaxed. So, the trip, the poop, the crying......was all worth it. And not only that, Mikhail had a ton of fun and we got to spend some precious time with our kids - who before we know it, will be driving, dating (gulp) and will be too busy....