Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Antigua Honeymoon, Day Six, October 15, 2010

Today was a hot, burny, sandy, salty day. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t a bad day, but we are both EXHAUSTED. I’m so glad we have tomorrow to rest and recover and enjoy this resort before we leave.

We went to breakfast at Mario’s. No pictures this time. Our stuff, including my camera, was packed for the trip to Bird’s Island later that morning. We both ate pretty light; I didn’t want to get sick to my stomach on the catamaran trip.

I’m going to tell all about the trip before I put up the pictures, because I took SO many.

At 9:15, we were at the Caribbean Bar with a group of others waiting for various excursions. We were all doing either the Circumnavigation or Bird’s Island. By the time we boarded our boat, there were only five couples total. We were pleased to be in such a small group.

It was a forty-five minute boat ride to Bird’s Island. Gorgeous views. We also passed Oprah Winfrey’s house at one point.

We stopped at a passage between two islands and we were given the option to snorkel out. I asked if we could swim with just the goggles, and we were allowed to. Believe it or not – big mistake. The ocean kept pushing us back, and without fins, we just couldn’t swim fast enough.

As in Cancun, the water was too salty, and it kept gagging me. I have to be honest – I’m just not an ocean swimmer. Period. It was cool looking at the grass underwater, and I did see a Dory fish at one point, but the effort and gaggy-salt water just isn’t worth it to me. I must keep this in mind next time I come to the tropics.

The others in our group had already made it, so the captain of our catamaran came back in an inflatable dingy with a motorboat on the back. It was a little tough getting in from the water, especially after we were both so fatigued from the ocean, but he was a great sport and helped us in. The captain was a tremendously nice man. Tina could have completely made it on her own without me slowing her down, but I am just not that good of a swimmer.

The best part of the trip was this little beach we were on at Bird’s Island. The water was this beautiful blueish-green, and the sand was sparking white. While we were waiting for our actual beach barbecue to start, we just lounged around in the water. For lunch, we had some type of chicken, slaw, macaroni and cheese, and garlic bread. There were also some drinks out; I got what I thought was just Hawaiian punch but it was actually rum punch. Yikes; crazy strong, but fortunately, it didn’t hit me too hard since it was after lunch.

We then went on a short but steep, rocky hike to the summit of Bird’s Island. That was awesomely cool, and it was a nice challenge. At no point did I feel like I couldn’t make it, but it was definitely some 45 degree rocky inclines we had to scale. Fortunately, the path was small and there were good footholds and trees on each side to help pull us up. Looking back, it wasn’t really that tough at all, but was just a fun part of the excursion.

The view from the top was amazing. I’m glad we went, even if the trip was a little pricey and I HATE swimming in the ocean, if just for that gorgeous view we were rewarded with at the top. There were also two blowholes, which as near as I can tell, are simply holes in the rock that are really deep.

Sadly, we didn’t really see many birds. Tina and I did see a pelican get a fish out of the ocean on our swim in, but no birds on Bird’s Island. Did see a few lizards, though.

After enjoying the view for a few minutes longer, we made our way back down the same path we had climbed. It was tougher going down. And I must point out – our tour guide was barefoot! This was not a smooth path; it was covered in jagged, sharp rocks. I’m impressed at how tough his feet must be.

Upon reaching the beach, there was a little treasure hunt for us to take part in. It was over quite quickly, but one of the couples found the bottle of rum they had hidden. I’m truly okay not having won; I’m not touching alcohol for a while after we get back. I know I’ve gained weight here, and I’m ready to get it off of me.

We were then told we had about forty-five minutes to do whatever we’d like. A few of the couples in our group went snorkeling; Tina and I just lounged about in the shallow water on the beach, and I’m sure we contributed to our sun burn.

We went on a dingy ride back to the catamaran, boarded up the staircase from the water, and then it was an hour and a half ride back to Antigua. A few people onboard were jumping back into the water from the boat before we left; I’m neither a good enough swimmer nor energetic enough, at that point, to join them.

I forgot to take dramamine for the ride back, so I was a little nauseated by the time we got back. Fortunately, close to the beach, we were given some raisin rum cake, and it was warm and very tasty, and believe it or not, that actually helped.

Then, we were back on the beach. While I enjoyed the day, Tina and I were both SO ready to get back to the room, take a shower, and then nap for a few hours.

We were also hungry, though, so we grabbed some pizza from the pizzeria on the way back. After a shower and some aloe gel slathered all over our pink skin, we collapsed into bed and didn’t wake up for about two hours.

I told Tina that some time, we are going to take a resort trip with tons of cash and just do the spa, every day. Swimming excursions are no longer on my list of things to do. I’ve tried it twice, here in Antigua and last year in Cancun, and I’m just not a good enough swimmer for it to be enjoyable for me.

Lots and lots of pictures…

Oprah’s House…

And back to more pics…

The Bird Island’s Sign

And still more pictures…

The Caribbean side of Bird Island…

The Atlantic side of Bird Island…

And now back to more pictures…

As you can see from some of the above photos, we had a few jumpers off the boat after we had returned from our excursion on the island. I have no idea who these people are, but the jumping looked like fun, so I filmed it. Here’s a short clip on YouTube.

***

Mario’s has had the best service we’ve ever gotten here. It is Italian themed. Our hostess was named Spice, and she spent several moments with us, discussing our trip, before seating us. I really liked the hospitality.

Bread and something yummy (an unfamiliar version of pesto, maybe?) to dip it in…

They had an antipasti buffet. I got a few different types of salad, along with some fried calamari and roasted vegetables. I got some rigatoni with italian sausage, spinach, and mushrooms, which was delicious. For our entrees, Tina ordered grilled pork, which was served with polenta and vegetables. I got the chicken parmesan. Both were quite good.

Dessert, though, was the best dessert we’ve gotten here yet. We got them to go; I ordered a passion fruit mousse, and Tina got the lava cake and ice cream. Both were yummy, but again, Tina’s was better.

We just got some hot chocolate from the lobby. We’re just exhausted, so we’ll definitely be going to bed early tonight. Tomorrow is our last full day. We plan to spend it enjoying the pool, relaxing, and just enjoying each other’s company.

I’ll admit – while this has been great, I’m still ready to get home, eating right, exercising regularly, and getting back to regular life.

Antigua Honeymoon, Day Five, October 13, 2010

Oh, we are getting so close to the end of the honeymoon! That is just entirely too sad. But we’re still having fun, and I’m going to enjoy the next three full days as much as I can.

We had our breakfast “in bed” this morning. Technically, we had ours on balcony, but it was still nice, getting to eat a very light (read: skimpy) continental breakfast as we looked at our ocean view. We’re still hungry, though, so we’re going out to Bayside to eat a bit more here very shortly.

Various views from our balcony, albeit some with a telephoto lens…

Today is going to be a big rest day. We’re saving the pool for later tonight, as Tina is pretty burnt, and we don’t want it to be worse before our excursion to Bird Island tomorrow.

***

A few pictures on our trek to our second breakfast…

Breakfast at Bayside was pretty standard for here. They did have some breakfast burritos, and Tina got some type of almond biscuit that she enjoyed.

The birds have been having a lot of fun with the toast that we left on the balcony after our breakfast. It’s no wonder that the birds here are so unafraid of humans. If I was a bird on Antigua, I’d probably hang out near Sandals, too.

The bird on our balcony…

And another bird at Bayside…

***

Tie dying shirts was so much fun! There were more couples doing it than I would have guessed, based on the low turnout at bracelet making. There were only two colors, green and a purplish-reddish-pink color. They gave us pretty minimal directions, with their philosophy being “Every mistake is a new work of art.”

Some of the shirt designs turned out pretty neat. Tina wasn’t that pleased with hers, but I thought it was awesome. The guys doing the dipping said they had never seen a shirt come out like hers, with one color on the front and one color on the back. I think that makes it uniquely cool.

I was hungry, Tina not so much, so we stopped at Bella Pizzeria to grab some pizzas. This time, we ordered a margherita (which here is basically a cheese pizza) and the Calabrese pizza with ground beef.

Waiting for pizza…

While we were waiting, I went to the bar and got us two Miami Vice. I also got a small bag of popcorn, in case the alcohol hit hard, as it often does here. I’m such a light weight.

And the pizza…

The light-headedness waited until I got back to the room, but yeah, it hit. I’m starting to not like alcohol. Why can’t they just serve frozen blended smoothies here? I’d sign up for that. But in between a few slices of pizza, I ate the popcorn, and a few minutes later, the iron-stomach-effect of the alcohol had worn off.

We’re going to rest for a bit before we head to Bayside for the Italian Buffet at lunch. We only had a few slices of pizza, but we’ll definitely eat it later. This will be my late night snack instead of Cricketer’s.

***

Pics from around the resort…

Time spent relaxing in a hammock…

Including a shot of Tina’s wedding rings…

And one of the many beach weddings taking place here…

And the bride’s flowers…

I don’t think the themed buffets at Bayside for lunch are executed exactly the way they are written. Today was supposed to be Italian, and while the food was quite good, I would not call it Italian in any way at all. There was the Panini station again, a salad bar, desserts, and some different meats, including a cajun beef stew that was really good and some type of chicken. Again, all good food, but not Italian.

While we were waiting for our room to be cleaned, we played a gigantic game of chess. Tina had never played before, so I taught her how. She ended up winning; I knocked my king over in a sign of defeat.

We’re heading to the pool in a few hours to watch the sunset, have a drink or two before the swim up bar closes, and swim ’til our 9:15 at Kimono’s.

***

Yeah, we only swam for about an hour, tops. Once the swim up bar closed down, the pool cleared out fast. We went down around 5:15 so we could get some pizza (we ended up eating our late night pizza after I recovered from a quick nap) and a few drinks. I drank a Chocolate Monkey and a Banana Sip Sop; Tina got a Chocolate Monkey, and she asked for something frozen and peachy. The bartender gave her something with blue curacao and lots of peachy frozen goodness in a martini glass. No pictures, because by the time we traversed across the pool to our chairs, it had already melted and was no longer as pretty.

We did enjoy swimming briefly in the pool after dark, which was still quite warm from the hot sun all day, and we also spent some time in the supremely hot whirlpool. We’re retiring to the room now to rest a bit before our reservation at Kimono’s.

***

Kimono’s was so much fun! It was teppanyaki style, and we were seated with four other couples, so in the interest of not being obnoxious with my camera (and the fact that the food presentation wasn’t as important as the show itself), there are basically no pictures.

Okay, a few, including one of beer, but no food…

We all ordered an appetizer. I got ahi tuna, which was crazy spicy, and Tina got tiger prawn shrimp cocktail, which was excellent! Shrimp everything here has been delicious. I must remember, from now on, if shrimp is an option, that’s what I’m getting. I also ordered a salad, which came with some type of fruit vinaigrette. The salad was just okay. Tina got miso soup, which she enjoyed (but I thought was too strong.)

The chef, who was a black Antiguan, told us he was Japanese and joked with us during the entire meal. It was a great evening. We were served salmon first, then shrimp, then steak, and then chicken. All were excellent, and each was a different sauce. My favorite? Can you guess? Shrimp.

Dessert for us was apple fritters, which were just okay.

One of the best parts of the evening was getting to sit with other couples and just talk. We met some very nice people (whose names we did not get) from Philadelphia and Boston. We were seriously there talking about just whatever until 11:30. It was a great night.

Bird’s Island tomorrow! I can’t wait!

Antigua Honeymoon, Day Four, October 12, 2010

We went to Bayside after a later sleep-in than usual of 7:30. We both woke up tired but agreed to go out and about and perhaps nap by the pool. Bayside is definitely our favorite of the two restaurants that serve breakfast; I’d much prefer to eat breakfast with the ocean beside me than in a building.

The beautiful morning we woke up to…

Sights on the way to Bayside…

And I love passion fruit; that is one thing I will definitely miss when we get back home. I’ll have to see if Whole Foods carries it.

I also got an omelet made at the omelet bar this morning. Very good. Probably one of the best omelets I’ve ever had.

Yummy, yummy food… and fish in a vase…

Me, sweaty at the table…

Boots came back to visit!

The view from our table…

A few sights after breakfast…

We spent the entire morning at the pool, both lounging in a mostly shaded area and occasionally venturing out into the pool to cool off. When the swim-up bar opened at 10:30, we each got a drink called a Miami Vice, which was a nice patriotic conconction consisting of frozen strawberry margarita, pinna colada, and topped off with vodka and blue curacao. Pretty yummy, although once again, it hit me hard, combined with not enough water and too much sun. Not painfully hard this time, but definitely a little wobbly.

Putting suntan lotion on my face, NOT doing a Macaulay Culkin impression…

A melting Miami Vice…

Tina enjoying said drink…

The swimmers are thirsty!

As soon as the pizzeria opened, we ordered a vegetarian pizza and a pepperoni pizza. It was really nice to eat pizza by the pool, even if I did drain my ice cold Diet Coke almost as soon as I opened it.

We have the sunset cruise this afternoon, so there will probably be a nap going on very shortly.

***

The sunset cruise was amazing. Tina called the tourism desk to ask how we should dress for it. We were told to wear something we could wade out into the water in. Once we got there, the catamaran (called Wadadli Cats) came right up to the beach and a staircase extended down from the deck. It was a little steep but not difficult to climb. (Getting off was a bit trickier because it was dark, but I made it okay.)

I realize I’m saying amazing a lot, but so many things here are amazing, and it would just feel like I was trying to use a GRE vocabulary if I just started busting out bigger words, because… well, everything is amazing!

The obligatory couple shot…

My beautiful bride…

There were about eight couples on the boat or so. The crew was a lot of fun and very friendly. I also learned a cool bit of history, too. Yesterday, Anne told me that the name of the island that we can see so easily from here is called Sister Island. While driving past it, there were some rocks nearby. I asked Karen, one of our tour guides, about them, and she said that the rocks used to be another island, and the two were called Sisters Islands. In the 1920s or so, an earthquake hit, one sank (the one that was just rocks), and now, the remaining island is called Sister Island.

The lone Sister Island…

We also drove past a gorgeous mansion on a cliff that is owned by Giorgio Armani. Karen said it was worth over 5 million US dollars. It was truly exquisite; I’d love to live there.

There were some rain clouds in front of the sun at points, but after sunset, they had just created some gorgeous pink, purple, and orange clouds. It would have been nice to have no clouds before sunset, but it was still such a wonderful, romantic, beautiful afternoon.

Various pictures from the Amazing Sunset Cruise…

And for those of you who would rather watch the video, you can see that below.

We have reservations at the OK Corral for 8:15; I am now starving! It’s a Tex Mex restaurant. Also, at 11:00, there is a Chocolate Buffet. I don’t even know what that is, exactly, but I can’t wait to find out!

***

OK Corral was a wonderful restaurant. It was located on the second floor above Bayside restaurant, next to the piano bar. We were given chips and guacamole, and we also ordered an appetizer each, popcorn prawn for Tina and chicken wings with ranch dressing for me. Both were absolutely amazing. Once again, I could have made an entire meal out of the chicken wings alone.

The piano bar…

My beautiful bride, while we are looking at our menus…

The front of the menu…

And the start of the food…

And our cool, cool water in sweaty blue goblets (because it is SO freaking hot!)…

Tina ordered BBQ ribs, and I got tequila citrus chicken. I’m not a huge fan of tequila, but I decided to try it. I’m glad I did; the chicken breast was cooked wonderfully. It was served with mashed potatoes, a roasted red pepper, some pineapple jalapeno salsa, and an ear of corn that was slathered in some type of herbed butter. I was trying to figure out what the herb was so I can replicate it at home, but I’m not entirely sure.

For dessert, I got tres leeches cake and Tina ordered chocolate mocha caramel cake. Both were good, but we each agreed that we liked our own better.

We also met the restaurant manager, a pleasant man named Garth. He also took a photo of us before our dinner arrived. He saw me playing with my camera and said, “Are you looking at her naked pictures? Because she’s right here with you!” I replied, “Yes, but she isn’t naked NOW.” The people here all have a great sense of humor.

A photo of us taken by Garth…

And some shots taken from the table…

A cool drinking glass display that I thought was fascinating…

The staircase leading out of the piano bar…

On our way back to the room, I stopped at a bar and ordered another Miami Vice. It has become my new favorite drink here.

Oh, and also, Tina liked this painting and thought about stealing it, but it was too firmly attached to the wall. Probably couldn’t have made it through customs, anyway.

***

The chocolate buffet was nice, but I’m not sure if it was worth staying up ’till 11:00 for. It was basics; small pastries, fruit skewered for a milk chocolate fountain, some rice krispie treats, but it was still nice. And very, very rich. We both wanted milk when we were done, even though there was none to be found that late.

Late Night Fountain Couples Shot…

I was still hungry, though, so we decided to take advantage of the fact that Cricketer’s Pub is open until 2 a.m. for late night snacks.

Yeah, Cricketer’s Pub is definitely our least favorite place here. Service has, both times, been ridiculously slow. Last night, Tina even had to track down a menu for us, because the waitress completely ignored us, even walking right past us at one point with a menu in her hand that she had just taken from another couple after their order. But we eventually ordered, and I got some nachos and a turkey club to take back to the room.

Forty minutes later, after several people who were even there AFTER us got their food, our order finally arrived. The food was quite tasty, but I just can’t understand why it would take longer for our food when the only thing they do to it is wrap it in saran wrap.

Oh well. Cricketer’s Pub is on our list of places to “not waste our time” here, and the next time someone from management asks about our experience, I may let them know. Food = good. Crappy service = bad.

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