Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's there to do in the islands?

Hi friends,
Thanks again for joining me today. I wanted to share with you what Steve and I did during our 4 days at Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands.

1. Explore the Island and Neighboring Islands
The Scrub Island Resort is the only thing on Scrub Island. There are the resort guest rooms, dining rooms, bar, a market place and cafe, pools, marina, gift shop, and beach. You can walk around the entire perimeter of the island in about 30 minutes- it's a great workout to hike to the tippy top of the island. There's another more remote beach about 10 minutes (by foot) from the main property (maybe a 3 minute van ride). This other beach is called North Beach and also has a small pool and bar plus beach chairs for lounging by the beach or pool. There is good snorkeling at North Beach. There are beautiful views of neighboring islands and blue waters in many shades of blue from turquoise to seafoam green to dark blue and in between that you see from every vantage point of the island.

We took out a sea kayak from our resort and explored the neighboring small island of Marina Cay. There is a very small, less resorty hotel there with restaurant, gift shop, and beach area for snorkeling.

We also took the sea kayak out on another day to a region in the ocean called Diamond Reef. We saw the most amazing fish there. It was a very strange experience for me and pretty scary in that we had to tie our kayak up to a mooring in the middle of the ocean (I was actually terrified that my knotting skills wouldn't hold the kayak to the mooring and that the kayak would float away leaving us to fend for ourselves in the ocean). Then after seeing awesome sea life we had to hoist ourselves up out of the deep waters and onto the kayak. I was afraid that I wouldn't be strong enough to do it and again would be left to fend for myself in the middle of the ocean. But alas, I am stronger than I think. Where there's a will, there's a way. I kept thinking, 'Sharks!' That motivated me to lift myself out of the water and into the boat!

One night we took the resort ferry over to Tortola and then the bartender from 'The Last Resort' restaurant picked us up in a dingy to take us to this teeny tiny island with just this one restaurant on it. The night we happened to be there, Tony, the owner who bought the place in 1969 and I believe is now 90 years old performed some of his orginial music (funny little ditties) on the guitar and piano for us (this was a special occasion):

One afternoon we hopped on the ferry to Tortola and had amazing fish sandwiches on too-die-for bread. Here is an island cat and chickens on the island of Tortola:

2. Snorkel
Since I wear glasses and had paid to have my snorkel mask made with my prescription so that I could see years ago when I went scuba diving, I was a happy camper to use my snorkel mask each and every day. We saw tons of colorful fish and lots of different types of coral. Steve saw a large sting ray but I just missed it. We both saw a baracuda. It really amazes me how much it feels like being in another world when you're snorkeling. It was a lot of fun!

3. Read
What a pure joy to consume a book or 2 or 3 in one week! That never happens at home! What a great way to take in a story and remember each part versus falling asleep every night after having read a page or two then forgeting what I had read the next night (which is my usual story!). Here are the three books that I devoured (all of which were very different and excellent- so happy with my choices). Now, what to read next?

4. Tropical drinks at the pools
My tropical drink was Pina Coladas. Steve's was Margritas. Delicious!!!!! At $14 a pop they better be and oh, they were!

5. Throughly and completely relax
It was really very interesting to me to notice in myself that during the first day my mind was racing over things (things to do at home, what I wanted to do while I was here on vacation, what needs to be done in May at home, June, July, etc.....). I literally had to tell myself to slow down and relax. To be honest, I had been going pretty nonstop before the trip (traveling for work, returning home and making sure everything was set to leave the kids alone with family before embarking on our island adventure). In the last three weeks I had packed for a week away on a business trip, packed the family for spring break at the beach, and had just packed for this trip. My head was still spinning with lists.

But, by day 2, I paused for a moment and realized that I wasn't having to quiet the chatter in my mind, I was actually getting into the grove of relaxation.

By day 4, I was completely able to sit on our gorgeous balcony and enjoy the 180 degree view and didn't think to myself about what I was going to do next or wonder how long I could sit there, I just sat and enjoyed each amazing minute of it, listening to the soft waves below, feeling the warm breeze on my skin, and watching the sailboats go by.

At dinner on our last night at our resort, it was Carribbean buffet night with steel drums:

Here I am before dinner one night wearing the consignment strapless red and white floral dress that I blogged about recently:

I am glad that we choose a relaxing vacation this time instead of touring Italy. It was just the kind of vacation that we both needed. I hope that you're able to take some time this year to rest, reflect, and get rejuvenated. What a blessing!

Happy decorating & living,


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  2. Thanks for sharing your special pics. So cool. Glad you had a great time spending time together! Loved your look nice!

    Haven't read any of those books. Will order all 3. Am reading Defending Jacob. Love, love it!!!

    Wedding in 2 hours. Family all together. Enjoying a relaxing time. Off to Richmond to take a step back in time. Used to live there. Kids born there. Want to go see old house, neighborhood, friends. Am going to try to find the Young House Love house.

    Have a wonderful weekend....staying home???


  3. So glad I found your blog. I was doing a search of Scrub Island and came across your posts. We leave for Scrub Island 4 weeks from today to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We are also using hotel points so keeping my fingers crossed we will be upgraded to a Suite like you were. Loved seeing your pictures and not just the website pics. It seems like it will be an amazing trip! What's even more hysterical is that I have the red & white dress you bought at consignment. I bought it at the Limited 10 years ago and wore it on our honeymoon to a Luau in Maui. A friend of mine borrowed it a few years ago and wore it on her honeymoon too. Maybe I should search for it and take it to Scrub Island with me. Please let me know if there are any must do activities/restaurants that we need to know about. So far we have nothing planned but relaxing!