Posts Tagged ‘drinks’

Antigua Honeymoon, Day Three – October 11, 2010

This morning was the prettiest morning we’ve had yet while we’ve been here. The sky was a perfect blue and there wasn’t a cloud in it.

View from the 5th floor…

Sister Island, off in the distance…

More views of the resort…

The elevator ride down…

The various sights on the way to breakfast…

The sign for the outdoor pizzeria…

An Antiguan snail…

This was above the swim-up bar by the pool…

Where many activities, including bracelet making, are held…

We went to Mario’s for breakfast this morning. It was largely the same buffet as they had at Bayside, although there were grilled tomatoes with mozzarella, eggs benedict, quiche, and pancakes available in addition to the rest.

I ended up getting four plates this morning, although in my defense, they weren’t all crammed full and I didn’t completely polish off ANY plate. And yes, I most definitely LOVE passion fruit! I’m not sure I entirely care for the pancake syrup they have here; there is some spice in it, perhaps nutmeg or allspice or something similar, that I’m just not that fond of. It was better on the french toast than the pancakes, so I’ll probably stick to french toast while I’m here.

The tables in Mario’s…

The ceiling in Mario’s…

More inside Mario’s…

And the food at Mario’s…

We have definitely decided we’re going to go to Bayside for breakfast from here on out, just because it’s basically the same food and we’d rather eat by the ocean than in a restaurant.

As part of being on a honeymoon, we also get a “breakfast in bed,” which I thinks amounts to room service. We stopped by this morning and signed up for it; it’s a continental breakfast, so we may end up going out for a hot breakfast that morning, too. We’re doing it on Wednesday.

Views from around the resort…

“Lee-zard!”

Flowers from around the resort…

The restaurant Barefoot by the Sea…

The pool, from a distance…

The back of the swim-up bar…

More pool pictures…

We went down to the beach this morning and tried one of the water bikes. It wasn’t nearly as scary as I expected it to be (and they actually had a life jacket that fit me – shocker!), but it was definitely a workout. My legs and lungs were burning by the time we were done. I was amazed at how difficult it was! That was definitely some cardio for the day. Best yet, we also found three sea shells! There were so many people out, I didn’t really expect to find any, but we did. Tina is planning some type of Christmas ornament with them.

More beach pictures…

After hosing off in the outdoor shower, we reapplied sunscreen (we should have brought more – we’ll definitely run out before we’re done here, and it’s crazy expensive in the resort shops) and hit the pool to cool off. We also killed time lounging in the water until the swim-up bar opened. Several people were doing the same thing. We were like vultures for alcohol. My drinking plans for today were to stay more hydrated with water (which I did) and limit myself to one drink at a time (which I also did). Tina got something called a Banana Sip Sop, which was pink and fruity, while I got another Chocolate Monkey. After that, I was done drinking until after lunch. No “I hate alcohol – I want to barf and why won’t my eyes focus!” sensations this time, so this is the way to go.

Then we relaxed in the shade on some lounge chairs for an hour or so and read our books. We’re about to go hit Bayside again for the Mexican Buffet they have on Mondays, and then we’ll swing by Bella Napoli, get some pizzas, head back to the room, and crash for the hottest part of the day before we head out for the evening! No concrete plans tonight; it’s nice not having to keep checking the time!

***

We made it to Bayside a few minutes before they opened for the buffet, so we stopped at the nearby bar and ordered some drinks. I got a Blue Lagoon and Tina got something called Gentle Kisses. Both were delicious, although with so much sun and not enough water, I did get a little wobbly headed.

While we were drinking, some dude on the beach was trying to get me to buy an excursion package from him. That’s my biggest complaint about this place; there are too many outside vendors on the beach to bug us. I had to tell him twice I wasn’t interested. I’m interested in excursions, but I’m only going to do them through Sandals. For all I know, he operates a White Slave Trading Ring, and Tina and I would find ourselves sold into captivity.

The buffet was quite nice, although I apparently do not know what Authentic Mexican is. I wasn’t expecting Taco Bell cuisine or even El Mazatlan food, but it definitely wasn’t what we got. Delicious and no complaints, but not what we were expecting.

First plate was a few different types of meat, along with a delicious fish fillet, and some mashed potatoes. There was also a pasta bar, where you pick your pasta and what you want in it and what sauce, and they whip it up right then. Very tasty. I got bow tie pasta, chicken, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, onions, and some type of tomato sauce, sprinkled with fresh parmesan. Delicioso!

Third plate was a panini, because they had a make-your-own panini bar! I had to do it, just for the spectacle of it alone. Fourth was shared dessert with Tina, and fifth was a bite of pound cake, marshmallows, and blueberries dipped in a white chocolate fountain. (Milk or dark would have been even better.)

Views from our table…

We ended up stuffed. No extra pizza today. We’re heading back to the room for a power nap in the hottest part of the day. We were both drenched with sweat by the time we got back. (Granted, I was drenched with sweat by the time we got to the lobby on the elevator ride down, but still…) It’s fricking hot today! I just cranked the AC down to 68, and we’re about to relax indoors for a bit. We still have tons of time left here, and we see no need to rush ourselves.

We also ended up playing a game of pool at Cricketer’s while we were waiting for our room to be cleaned. We both pretty well sucked, but technically, I won. Yay me!

***

At five o’clock, there was a manager’s cocktail hour. Not entirely sure what that was, but we decided to go down.

The Entertainment Board, which lists all Sandals activities, such as the cocktail hour…

Basically, several guests gathered, all of the managers were there to mingle, and we were served various cocktails and hors dorves. We spent the hour with a very nice woman named Anne, who was the Manager of Public Relations. She was a fascinating person; she was originally from Canada, although I believe she said her mother was originally from Antigua, and she just saw the advertisement for the manager’s position, applied, got the job, and moved. She’s only been here for four months. She was a lot of fun to spend time with and told us a great deal about life here in Antigua. (She also finally confirmed how to pronounce it – the locals call it Anti-Ga, with a hard G, rather than Anti-gwa, so we’re going with the local pronunciation.)

Near the end, they asked for all of the newlywed husbands to come up front. I assumed they were going to do some sort of newlywed game, and Tina insisted I go. What the hey, right? Why not? Well, they were doing a game, but it wasn’t an “answer questions about your spouse” game.

It was a dance contest.

Yikes. If you know me, you know I have NO rhythm.

But you know what, I decided, when my turn came, I am on vacation with people I will never see again, so I got out there and gave it my best. I’ll point out that my best was AWFUL, but it was fun, people cheered (although people did cheer for everyone), and it was fun. And not nearly as embarrassing as I would have guessed, because really – when will I ever see ANY of these people again?

The lady laughing is Esther, who helped us set up our excursions. Very nice lady. Every time she saw us on the resort, she cried out, “My favorite couple, the Longmans!” Granted, our last name is Logsdon, but it was still extremely nice. I know she isn’t laughing at me dancing in this picture…

…but she might be laughing at me out of sight in this picture… and for once, I am not sorry a picture turned out extremely dark… (see full if you want to get a faint glimpse of me making a fool of myself)

After the contest was over, we found out that the winner won a cabana rental for the day, which costs $99. I really wish I had tried harder when I found that out. The winner (and those who got the loudest applause) were those who were the most risque. Maybe if I had stripped off my shirt and slung it around my head I would have won? But that might have made me a whore, so perhaps it’s best that I didn’t do that. (Note to those who don’t know me: I would NEVER have done that. I’m almost too modest to even take my shirt off at the pool. Although I am doing that here, because I’ve seen guys who were crazy fit with eight-pack abs and guys with bigger guts than me and way paler.)

We also got a 10% off coupon for the resort shop, so we chose tonight to buy our souvenirs. I got a little frog for my office, a Christmas ornament for our tree, a cap and t-shirt for me, a shirt and bracelet for Tina, and a big metal lizard for the house. Every time we see a lizard here, one of us cries out, “Lee-zard!” It just seemed like it would be a good addition to our house.

Postcards were also bought for our parents, along with stamps. It costs thirty-five cents to mail a letter to America from here. How ridiculous is that? I have to pay forty-four cents at home to mail my water bill three miles down the road! We’re also sending ourselves a postcard, because we’re huge dorks like that.

We are, once again, doing two dinners. We went to Barefoot as they are seafood themed, and where could we get better seafood than on an island? Every single time we have gotten shrimp, it has been amazing! We got a grilled shrimp appetizer, and once again, it was amazing. They also served us bread with some type of herbed butter – also quite yummy.

The main course was, for Tina, a Seafood Sampler, which consisted of mussels, scallops, calamari, and shrimp, all grilled. I tried a bite of the calamari and mussels, and they were pretty good. I can only imagine the scallops and shrimp were equally amazing.

Alas, I wish I had gotten the spiny lobster. I ordered the Blue Marlin, because I’ve never had it. It was okay (and the rice bed it was served on was the best rice I have ever had). The tempura veggies that came with it were also quite good. The fish itself was a pretty healthy serving, but it was too fishy tasting, if that makes sense. Honestly, it was the fishiest fish I’ve ever fished. Er, eaten. Definitely gonna stick with shellfish from here on out, because I think I’m just more of a shellfish fan than fish fan.

There is a fire show at the Beachside BBQ at Bayside, and we are going to that at nine. And yes, we’re probably going to eat again. Don’t judge me!

***

Yeah, the fire show didn’t happen. We were there. We were there from 8:50 to 9:40, but there was no fire show. Not sure why, either. That kinda sucks, because we were really looking forward to it.

Buffet was good food, as always. I got jerk chicken, pork, some mac and cheese (that was crazy spicy), and half of a baked potato with some butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, and chives. Very good. I went small servings and didn’t clean off my plate, because we weren’t really that hungry. I definitely got dessert, too. There was a chocolate mousse, shaped like a pyramid with a cherry on top, that was delicious.

And a few more pictures taken at night on the way back to our room…

And lastly, a short video recorded on the way back to the room to preserve the very unusual nature sounds you’d hear as you walk about at night…

It’s funny how a long day of doing nothing can tire you out. We are retired for the night. Our wake up call is placed and the Do Not Disturb light is lit.

Great end to a great day.

Antigua Honeymoon, Day Two – October 10, 2010

Again note – This was written while in Antigua on my iPad, hence the reason for any weird verb tenses. I’ve decided not to really edit, because I want to capture what I wrote while I was there.

***

We got up nice and early at seven o’clock. Okay, that’s really not that early, but things don’t open here until about 7:30, and Tina and I don’t want to miss anything. We can sleep when we get home in Kentucky and aren’t paying so much for a room.

The fountain outside our room…

The little lizards that are EVERYWHERE!

We went to Bayside Restaurant for their breakfast buffet, and it was beautiful. We were given mimosas as soon as we walked in, and we were allowed to seat ourselves, as it was a buffet. There were only a handful of couples in the restaurant, and they were all seated in tables closest to the open wall facing the sea. We chose likewise. Slightly warm (but really, I sweat in the dead of winter, so of course I’m going to sweat in the tropics), but there was a nice breeze off of the ocean. It was so much fun just sitting by the beach, listening to the waves, while we were eating breakfast.

They had a huge fruit spread, a tray table of typical breakfast foods (i.e. – french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, etc.), and a table for cereal and oatmeal. The oatmeal was a make-it-yourself arrangement, and it was pretty interesting. One part that I found really neat was that the bar also had vases filled with guppies! There was also an omelet bar, but we were entirely too full by the time we were done to visit it.

Vases of guppies…

Lots of fruit…

Pastries!

My first trip was pretty standard breakfast food that I had to try because I had been craving them for weeks. First plate was scrambled eggs with mushrooms, hash brown, bacon, sausage links, french toast with the most amazing warmed syrup I believe I’ve ever had, and a fried plantain. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the plantain, but the rest was quite tasty.

My plate…

Tina’s plate…

For my second plate, I decided to do mostly fruits. I could tell I was already getting full, but I had to try some fresh fruit. Watermelon, kiwi (served, not in slices, but in halves!), sugar cane (I had never eaten raw, but quite interesting to bite and suck out the juice), pineapple, star fruit, and passion fruit. I had no idea what passion fruit looked like, and it was pretty ugly (looked quite nasty, actually) but it is now one of my favorite fruits! When I came to the table with it, I announced ugly fruit, which Tina interpreted as they actually had Ugli Fruit, which is one of our favorite fruits. Alas, they did not, but the passion fruit more than made up for it.

Me eating Passion Fruit…

Random pastries Tina got on her second trip…

Oh, and Tina made a new friend that she christened Boots. He just kind of roamed around the outdoor portion of the restaurant.

Funny lid on a box of sugar in the restaurant…

Random pictures from around the resort that morning…

We spent some time in the pool as well, slathering on sun screen repeatedly, even though we felt like we were already burning. The sun is bright here. It was nice just laying by the pool and reading, though.

We went to go sign up for an excursion, as we had gotten some money for the wedding with the directions “Enjoy on your honeymoon.” We signed up for one tour on Wednesday, later found out it was already full, but then changed that to a similar tour called Bird Island which sounds even better. We’re doing that on Thursday.

We had a spa appointment that we had later in the day, so we decided to track down the spa so we weren’t looking for it right before we were due. Near it, they had hot and cold plunge pools. Holy crap. One was hotter than a hot tub and the other was seriously probably fifty degrees or colder. Either way, it definitely made your skin tingle.

Following that, we decided to take another swim as the swim-up bar was open. Big mistake. I had gotten too much sun and apparently not drank enough water, because two drinks (which normally will not wipe me out) made me feel AWFUL. I don’t know how alcoholics do it, because when I get to feeling that weird, I just turn into a big ole baby. I seriously contemplated making myself throw up, but Tina suggested that eating lunch would help. (For the record, the two drinks were a Chocolate Monkey and a Mai Tai. We’ve done an all-inclusive before, and the drinks there were very watered down and were basically just smoothies. I’m okay with that. Here, they use lots of alcohol.)

We went back to Barefoot for lunch, this time with Tina getting the Jamaican Jerk Chicken and potato wedges, while I got a chicken baguette sandwich and fries. Both were delicious, and the bread definitely helped soak up the alcohol and made me feel tons better. For dessert, she got a Banana Coconut Pastry and I got roasted apple with vanilla ice cream. Both were good, but Tina once again picked the better dessert.

At 12:30, there was an activity called Bracelet Making, and I had the idea that making bracelets could be transformed into cool Christmas decorations later. Only a handful of people were at the activity, but it was still fun. My bracelet is pretty random and… well, odd, while Tina’s made hers have a nice pattern. Regardless, it was still fun.

The pavilion where we did bracelet making…

The bracelet I made for Tina…

The anklet Tina made for herself…

We got some pizzas to have in the room in case we get the munchies (one all cheese, the other Mexican), and we took a short power nap before we went to the spa for our Champagne Celebration.

*sigh* I SO miss their pizzas…

***

A picture of the outside of Red Lane Spa later, at evening…

The Champagne Celebration was pretty amazing. Tina and I were escorted to different changing rooms when we got there to put on robes and sandals, as well as fill out a little questionnaire on any problems we were experiencing we wanted addressed and how much pressure we wanted, ranging from light to deep tissue. I chose medium; I’ve heard deep tissue is pretty rough if you aren’t used to it. My robe was pretty tight – they did a decent job of estimating my size, but while it fit, it didn’t fit well enough that I would be comfortable parading around nude in it in a public-ish place. As a result, after I put my robe on, I also put my swim trunks BACK on.

Our masseuses were Kadie-Ann (for me) and Jeana (for Tina). They were warm, friendly, professional, and still joking, which was a good thing. The first thing I told Kadie-Ann was that I had never really had a massage. She promptly got a faux shocked look on her face and said, “You’re a spa virgin?” She assured me it would all be good, and I asked if I should keep my trunks on. I was informed that massages should always be trunk-less, if you want it to be a good massage.

We were given a moment to get under the sheet, and then they came in and gave us a full body massage. I wasn’t sure what type of a massage it was going to be, but they basically covered us head to toe, front to back. Very professional, and while I’m sure Kadie-Ann saw every square inch of what God gave me (poor girl), they also did a good job of keeping the sheet strategically-ish located so we didn’t feel completely exposed. Even the “turn over” portion of the massage was very well handled and not at all awkward, as I had feared it would be.

I should also mention the room; it was gorgeous, covered in candles and flowers. There was even flowers under the “face hole” in the table for me to look at, although to be honest, I was so blissed out during the massage, I kept my eyes shut.

Following our massage, they directed us to our bubble bath, filled with bath salts. They even escorted us into the tub while still “sort of” maintaining privacy with sheets. Again, I’m sure they saw everything, but I choose to, I can pretend the towel they held up provided privacy. And then we were given about twenty minutes to just relax in the hot tub and drink champagne and eat fresh fruit. They even provided grapes still on the stem, and it was a lot of fun to feed them to each other. Fruit tray also came with watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, mango, and blueberries.

After the bath, one came back in and helped us get out without flashing her. It actually worked pretty well, and we were then left alone to dry off and change back into our robes. We were also given a pretty low-pressure sales pitch on some of the oils they used today, and one smelled so good and is for the release of stress, aches, and pains, so we bought it. Twenty bucks, and it was a pretty big bottle, so I consider it money well spent.

We left feeling EXTREMELY relaxed and mellow. I’ll be honest; I was very skeptical about the massage, as I’m supremely ticklish, but except for when she was massaging my upper arms, chest, and armpit area, it was fine. She used firm enough pressure that no tickle sensation was created. It was definitely worth doing.

A rainbow before we went to the spa…

The sunset view from our room after the spa…

***

Couples photo before dinner…

A cool dragonfly we saw on the way to dinner…

After the experience at the spa, we went to Bayside for the Steak House Buffet Dinner.

Tina enjoying her glass of water…

The only part of the buffet was soup, salad, and dessert, but the salad bar was pretty amazing. It was by no means a standard salad bar; there was even some type of seafood salad that had some type of calamari in it. Very delicious. The main salad bar also didn’t have any dressings that I recognized, so I got something that was yellowish and quite good. Tina got the caesar dressing, which I did not because I really dislike caesar. However, this caesar dressing was amazing. I wish I had gotten it.

Our salads…

Me sweating at the table, even after the sun has set (and really ecstatically happy, for some reason)…

The one downside we’ve found to this place is that service is SLOW. Perhaps that is because tips aren’t allowed? At Aventura Spa Palace in Cancun, you were allowed to tip, which we did, and service was pretty speedy. Here, it’s often quite slow, and I’ve yet to be able to actually drink my fill of any beverage (except for at the swim-up bar, and I don’t see myself doing that again).

The food, though, is absolutely incredible! Tina ordered the rack of lamb, which came with couscous and steamed vegetables. Oh God. Delicious. I ordered the surf and turf, which was honestly one of the most amazing steaks I have ever had. It even beat the one from last night, which was also pretty freaking amazing. It was served with mashed potatoes and the same steamed vegetables that came with Tina’s. The serving, though, was pretty small, which actually works out quite well because we’re going to Eleanor’s at 9.

Tina’s dinner…

My dinner…

We also shared four different desserts – a creme brulee, chocolate cherry cake, some type of chocolate mousse, and a little pecan pie-type treat. So good! (Not sure why the pictures came out so blurry…)

Eleanor’s is one of the restaurants on the resort that requires reservations. You can’t always get reservations, so we decided to take the 9 o’clock slot in case there aren’t any later in the week. Frankly, we’re so active here, I’m finding myself starving all the time, and I promised myself from the beginning that I was going to eat what I wanted and just make up for it with exercise. (I did weigh myself at the spa. Weight is about the same, so maybe I’m doing something right. I definitely need to work on drinking more water, though. I’m sure I’m dehydrated here.)

Quick break from the evening to watch The Simpsons, decompress a little, and then we’re heading out to eat again.

***

When we came back to the room from dinner, we found that they had left some towel swans and flowers petals on our bed. Nice touch. (I also just realized that I forgot to take photos of it, apparently.)

Quick funny story that happened while we were watching The Simpsons. Tina has some OLD nail polish on her toes that is pretty cracked. She wasn’t able to get a pedicure the day of her wedding, so the nail polish was quite literally a few days old. She brought nail polish with her, but no nail polish remover. So what does my new wife do? She uses gin from the room’s concierge bar to take it off! And it actually worked really well. In her own words, she’s MacGuyverWife!

Eleanor’s was a very elegant dining experience. Unfortunately, I must disclaim one quick thing. I sweat. A lot. Even at night, when it isn’t really that hot, it’s just so humid, I find myself literally pouring with sweat. So all of my photos are probably of me with a nice sheen of sweat on me. I’m definitely “glowing” here. That’s one thing that I am definitely hoping changes with more weight loss.

We had to walk to the other side of the resort to get to the restaurant (not really that far, but it’s still a bit of a walk), and of course, my face was drenched by the time we got there. Oh well. Small price to pay for getting to live in paradise for a week.

Table decoration…

The ceiling…

Tina…

And me…

We shared a very small appetizer of coconut shrimp. It was literally three shrimp with a nice tropical fruit chutney. Unfortunately, we forgot to take a photo. Guess we were hungry. It was the best fried shrimp I have EVER had. I could have easily made an entire meal out of them.

Our second course was, for me, a Chilled Conch Salad. Fairly skimpy on the portion size (as I’m finding many things here are), but okay. It wasn’t something I would get again, but I’ve never had conch before (even though I dig the shells) and I wanted to try it.

Tina had coconut shrimp soup, served in a coconut halve and garnished with grilled shrimp. Hers was fantastic.

We each got grilled, Antiguan lobster for our main course. Apparently, these are caught locally, split, grilled, and served with butter, potatoes and peas, and some steamed veggies. I’ve only had lobster tail; this was a new experience, and it was excellent. I am definitely a fan of lobster, even if it is a bit tough to eat.

Our fourth course was dessert, which was bread pudding (just okay) and pineapple beignets served in a martini glass with vanilla ice cream (amazing!).

A lady singing in a band near the Caribbean bar…

A kitty friend that Tina made on our way back to the room…

Upon returning to the room, I made us a champagne-and-guava-pineapple-fruit drink. It may have a name; I don’t know, but we both liked it.

I think I’m finally full. We did lots of walking, some swimming, definitely some relaxing, and some sun. Neither of us burned, even though we got close. Tomorrow promises to be a great day of relaxing, lounging, reading, swimming, walking, and, of course, eating. I love Antigua!

Follow Me!
Subscribe
My Sponsors
Archives
Tag Cloud