Barbados 2016 Part 1 36


I’ve been struggling where to begin and how I wanted to format these Barbados posts but I’ve decided enough waffling about it and just do it. We’ve been home for a month tomorrow and I can hardly believe it.  Memories have been created to last a lifetime and if that’s not enough, they are memories to tide us over until we return again next time.  At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself so I don’t go into a deep depression.  *lol*

Barbados is a special place — it is the place I call my second home.  Something about being there, the people, the salt in the air, the food, the sun, the ocean and sand… it’s incredible.  It’s a small enough island you can traverse it north to south, east to west in one day alone, but of all the times I’ve travelled there, we always find places we’ve never been before and that are off the beaten path (read: not any places a tour bus will take you).

Barbados

You may enjoy reading about my travels to Barbados, or perhaps you may not.  Ultimately this is for me and for my memories and if you enjoy what I’m going to share with you, great, please stick around.  If this is not your cup of tea, please feel free to click X on the top right hand corner.  I won’t be offended.

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But first, let’s back up a bit …

Our friends Frank and Alex were staying with the dogs while we went away — they’re our ‘go to’ peeps for when we go away. We need not worry for a second because the boys love them and they love them. They move into our condo for the stay and life continues as though it were normal for them.

The night before our trip, we usually make things easier on the dogs and head over to my mom’s for the night so they aren’t stressed seeing suitcases being wheeled out at some ungodly hour of the morning.  Plus, it’s less disruptive for Alex and Frank if we just leave them to settle in and we’re not rushing around ….  And in these posts, I’ll share pictures hat Alex sent to me so you can see what I’m talking about when I say that the boys adore them.

Wednesday, July 6 – Day 1

I set my alarm to wake up at 4:10 am as the car that was coming to get us was scheduled to arrive at 5:30 but they always show up early, but ended up hitting snooze until 4:30 and then hopped out of bed to have a shower.  Showered, got dressed and made myself look somewhat civil and had a turbo quick coffee before our ride showed up (early, yes).

We always get to the airport with plenty of time for error and today was no exception.  We waited until it was boarding time…

IMG_8447 Pearson Airport

At the airport and ready to go!

Pearson Airport

Waiting in the cue to take off Waiting in the cue to take off

And since I’m such a nerd, I took a video of us taking off from Toronto.

Excited to start this trip Toronto

See the level of excitement? I can’t contain myself. lol And Toronto just after taking off.

Flying in the sky Flying in the sky Flying in the sky

We took off just after 9:45 am, full of smiles and eager to get on to our destination where fun and adventure awaits us.  We lucked out on this flight in that it wasn’t full and Jeff and I were able to split 3 seats between us, which was nice because we didn’t quite feel like sardines AND Jeff and I aren’t small people – he’s 6 foot and I’m 5’9.  I spent most of the flight reading and made a note that to watch ‘Eye in the Sky’ with Helen Mirren on the plane ride home.  I went through my iPhone and deleted a ton of pictures and Jeff watched Curb Your Enthusiasm and napped briefly.

It wasn’t long before this came into view:

Barbados Barbados Barbados from the air

Home.

We landed around 2:45 and we were out of the airport an hour later, bags in tow and ready to be on our merry way.  On this trip, we rented a car for the entire duration of our stay and to make things easy and more simple, we arranged to get a car from the airport so that we could easily drop it off when we were returning home.  Only thing was, my step-dad got a smaller car, which was fine for the four of us but when you factor in 4 large suitcases and carry-on luggage, yeah that wasn’t going to fit in one trip.  Luckily, the hotel where we stay is about a 10-20 minute drive down the road, depending on the time of day and traffic.  So I offered to stay back with most of the luggage while Jeff drove my mom, step-dad and some of the luggage to the hotel.  Thirty minutes later and I was in the car with Jeff, on our way to the place we would call home for the next fourteen days.

Barbados Airport

Just outside of the airport while waiting for Jeff to come back and retrieve me.

Barbados

The first picture (above) I took when I got to the hotel after saying hello to all of the hotel staff (they’re like family – when my family comes as often as they do, the staff is your family)

Barbados Barbados

Barbados

We unpacked quickly and then noted the time — it was happy hour and we absolutely could not miss our very first happy hour in Barbados, so off to the bar we went.  Afterwards, we went down to the grocery to get some provisions and then had a quiet dinner across the road from our hotel and we were in bed by 11.

Pina Colada

Thursday, July 7 – Day 2

I tossed and turned all night and finally decided to get my butt out of bed when I heard my mom knock on our door at 7.  We got dressed and went to the gym together for an hour and then came back, showered and had a light breakfast.  The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent walking the beach, snorkelling in the ocean, hanging out by the pool afternoon and having a late lunch.

Barbados

Day 2

It rained off and on all day, which is normal for Barbados.  They often have sun showers very briefly and not 10 minutes later, the sun is out shining.  This time of year, though, is Hurricane Season, which may sound a bit scary but it’s not.  It just means there’s a bit more rain AND there are much less tourists — makes for quiet times at the hotel, which is nice.  Barbados hasn’t been hit by a Hurricane in years so we weren’t worried about travelling down south in July.

Landscape photo of Barbados

Barbados Barbados Barbados Barbados Barbados Barbados Barbados

Barbados

Barbados Barbados

Later in the evening, we called our friend and Divemaster, David to ensure that everything was in place for our first day of diving the following day and it was.  We then went for a drive to make sure we knew where we were going, found the shop and then headed back to the hotel and got all of our dive gear together and packed for the morning.

Barbados Barbados Barbados Barbados

Barbados

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Meanwhile, Alex and Frank were keeping in touch with us on the regular to let us know that Charlie and Baxter were just fine.  You be the judge, what do you think?  Do you think they were comfortable, relaxed and feeling themselves?

Bichon Frise Bichon Frist

I do.

I don’t think they missed us for one second. lol

Friday, July 8 – Day 3

We woke up on Friday around 6:45 because we knew that we had a big day ahead of us and plus, we had to make it to the dive shop/beach by 9 am latest but we never like to push it and have to race to make it on time somewhere.  There’s nothing worse than a boat full of people waiting on your ass to get your ish together.

We also had this guy Welsh-Canadian tag along with us that we met at our hotel and ironically we had come in on the same flight but didn’t realise it until afterwards.  Well, what a mistake that was, but I’ll get into that a bit later on.

Barbados

Barbados Barbados

Seahorse Divers

On the boat

Barbados on the water Barbados on the water

We didn’t take too many pictures on our first dive, mostly just video on our GoPro, which I will be sharing once Jeff is done putting something together.

The dive we went out was just something easy and light, a reef called ‘Pieces of Eight’,  We only dove about 47 feet deep, with 41 minutes of bottom time (which means the minute you get in the water to descend and the time stops counting when you reach the surface).

Back to our tag-along scuba ‘pal’ and I use the term ‘pal’ lightly. LOL So on our dive this day, a chef from The Cliff was joining us, along with his newly certified 16 year-old daughter and there was a solo woman from the U.S. as well.  In scuba diving, it is a best practice to dive with a buddy.  Buddy diving is the use of the buddy system and is a set of safety procedures that are intended to improve divers’ chances of avoiding or surviving accidents in or under water by diving in a group of two or sometimes three divers. When using the buddy system, the group dives together and co-operate with each other, so that they can help or rescue each other in the event of an emergency.  The system is likely to be effective in mitigating out-of-air emergencies, as well as non-diving medical emergencies.

So, Jeff and I are, naturally, paired together.  The chef and his daughter were paired together and then the twit from our hotel was paired with the single woman diver.  Fairly straightforward, yes? Yes.  We immediately observed this guy trailing way ahead of the woman and not even so much as trying to stay with her or looking for her.  Mistake number uno.  Then this guy proceeds to try and grab onto a HUGE green sea turtle, which any reasonable and smart diver knows, you just don’t touch stuff in the water.  Leave it how you found it.  Nevermind, turtles will dive with you if you try and attach yourself to their shells and risk killing themselves to get you off of their backs.  They are not dumb, people are.  They will dive and try to make you run out of air!  Not to mention it stresses the crap out of them.

Green sea turtle

This is the turtle the man tried to grab a hold of – she was HUGE.  [crappy photo but you get the gist]

The woman behind her was the American diver and for size comparison, she was almost 6 feet tall so you can see that the female turtle was just MASSIVE.

It can be tempting to reach out and grab or touch what you see underwater, but just don’t.  LOOK with your eyes, take photos, but please do not touch.  This is prime reason why when I see any diver with gloves on, you just know that they’re going to be all over and touching every single bloody thing they see.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worn gloves before but that’s when I’ve been diving in COLD, lake water up here in Canada and I’m wearing them to conserve as much heat as possible.

Seeing what we saw in such a short time made us really weary of the man from our hotel and frankly, it turned us off of him.  He was also one of those types that likes to brag and showboat about everything he was talking about just to seem cool and we just weren’t jiving it.  Jeff and I both are laid back and low-key, no need to shout it from the rooftops that you saw this and that and it was SO COOL.  We get it, now chill out.

(Spoiler – Foreshadowing future dives: we were grateful that this twit only dove with us another day and we didn’t have to stress at all.)

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After we came back from our dive, it was early in the day so we decided to go for a walk down the road to the grocery store and boy was it a HOT one!  We spent the remainder of our afternoon snorkeling, at the pool and getting my sun burn on (like you didn’t know that wasn’t going to happen, me being the token ginger).

Barbados

Barbados DSCF8291

Barbados DSCF8292

That evening, we headed up to Oistens, the local fish market that happens to be poppin’ every Friday and Saturday night.  Might seem like a strange thing to go to but they have dancing, food, souvenirs.  It’s just an all around good time. 🙂

Stay tuned for more!  Xo!

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Next up in the Barbados 2016 series – A day at the horse track and Adventuring around the island – Day 4 & 5.

Days 6 to 10 will be covered in one giant scuba diving post, as we did ten of our eleven dives during the week of July 11th so I think that makes most sense.

 

 

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  • christycaplan

    Your vacation looks incredible. The pics of the ocean are majestic – I wish I was there right now. What a wonderful vacation you all had. Do you try and get there every year? Sign me UP. Four legged friends look like the were in the lap of luxury while you were gone -lol. 🙂 !!

  • What a fantastic time you had. I remember years ago a friend of mine had gone for her honeymoon and it was hurricane season ony they really got a hurricane. You are luckier. Also, it is nice that you go back to the same place every year and just enjoy yourselves iinstead of having to familiarize yourselves with new accomodations every time. Gorgeous pics!

  • Penny @ pennyspassion.blogspot

    Looks like a wonderful trip! Love the picture of the rainbow. Makes me want to head to the beach!

  • What an ahole your tag along was.

    So nice to have a place you go to so frequently that you know the staff/locals and are treated like family. The water is gorgeous there!

  • I’ve never been to an island before – aside from Hawaii and I mean, Australia and NZ – and really every continent could be considered an island, dammit – I am getting too technical, lol… But any who – your photos are stunning and really make me want to go to Barbados!

  • Jessica Bradshaw

    So beautiful! It sounds like you had an amazing trip. I can’t wait to read about the rest.

  • Barbados is beautiful! Look at that water! I want to go. 🙂

  • Oh wow, it’s so beautiful! The color of the water!! Just beautiful! Love all the pics and cannot wait to see more! Hugs xxx

  • Jessica Hughes

    Gorgeous! I have always wanted to go to Barbados, what a fun trip!

  • CrazyShenanigans

    It looks amazing!!! Maybe I missed it but what hotel did you stay at? Would you recommend it?

  • The ocean is literally 50,000 shades of blue, it’s just incredible. It was such a great trip and I’m kind of enjoying the recap because I feel like I’m right back there all over again. 🙂 We usually try to get to Barbados every year or two, two seems to be the average.
    The boys were seriously not suffering at all while we were away. Every picture we got brought out the “Awws” and we often said, “what a life they live…no worries at all.” 🙂
    Have a great week Christy!

  • Some places definitely get hit a lot harder than others but thankfully Barbados isn’t one of them, *knocks on wood*. That’s one reason why we love staying where we do – it’s familiar, it’s close to everything we need (and lets face it, an island that is 14 by 21 miles, you can get to any place you want to go very easily, the people, the views, the ocean… it’s everything. 🙂 Thanks Mary! xo

  • On the few days where it did rain, the rainbows were magical. It was beautiful. 🙂

  • The dude was unsafe and wreckless, not to mention a pain in my ass.
    I agree – that’s one reason why we go as often as we do and to the same hotel. The colors of blue in the water are just astounding. 🙂

    Happy Monday!

  • No?? Oh you have to someday! Cruises are good for island hopping – they give you a taste of what the islands have to offer so that’s a nice way to get your feet wet, so to speak. LOL you’re funny, girl, really!
    Thanks for all the lovely compliments girly! Stay tuned for more. 🙂

  • Thanks so much Jessica, it was such a great trip. Stay tuned for more. 🙂

  • Isn’t it just in-cred-ible? I seriously need to win the lottery. 🙂

  • It’s just breathtaking, it doesn’t feel real when you’re looking out at the ocean!! Stay tuned for more, love. Thanks for reading babe xoxo

  • It’s a beautiful island and I can’t say enough good things about the place – once you’ve been, you’ll never stop going back. 🙂

  • Actually, I didn’t post that. We stayed at Butteryfly Beach Hotel. A three star with full kitchen, ocean views. We’ve stayed in the massive penthouse suite before too but really, it’s a place to sleep and eat during the day, otherwise we’re out and about, at the beach, adventuring around… The people are like family at Butterfly, it’s a great place. 🙂

  • Looks like a nice trip. I’d love to go at some point! 🙂 I can’t believe that guy trying to grab the turtle and not staying with his partner. 🙁

  • It was such a fantastic trip. I recommend the island to anyone that loves the Caribbean and is looking for a relaxing time away from home.

    That guy was incredible… Incredibly stupid and he was one of those guys that brags about things to sound cool. Not to mention abandoning his dive buddy, it’s just unethically wrong. You don’t do that.

    Thanks for stopping by Hun. 🙂

  • What a beautiful island! I am from the Caribbean and miss my own island a lot. Have to visit soon.

  • Oh you must, you won’t regret it. 🙂 I see you’re from Puerto Rico.. I’m just heading home from work but promise to check out your blog tomorrow.
    Take care Ruth.

  • Gorgeous! You can’t beat that crystal clear water 🙂 A definition of paradise!

  • That water has such an amazing colour! I’d love to visit Barbados one day!

  • Sooo beautiful! I would love to call this our second home as well!

  • The blues of the ocean are intoxicating and hypnotizing. Paradise, indeed.
    Have a wonderful weekend Marcella, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • It’s just incredible. Even on overcast and rainy days, it is still beautiful. Definitely a must-see one day.

    Have a wonderful weekend hun and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • Someday, Isabel…. 🙂
    xo

  • I went to Barbados back when I was younger with my family, but I hardly remember it. It looks so beautiful in your photos though, pure paradise! I would love to go back one day and experience the island as an adult! I can’t believe the diver you were with was so careless and reckless. It makes me sad when people take advantage of amazing opportunities like diving among wild creatures! Anyway, thanks for sharing! Looks like an awesome trip! 😀

  • Oh you must visit as an adult. Once you’ve gone, you’ll probably find that you keep returning. Barbados is touristy but still a little gem of the Caribbean.
    It makes me angry and sad when I see people touching things in the ocean they shouldn’t, or even something as simple as pocketing a sea shell… Most everything is living in the ocean, so you’re taking away a piece of it and it doesn’t belong to you, you know what I mean? I see it all the time. It ruins it for others too. Not to mention, the turtles in Barbados are used to people and as a result, they come super close. It’s people like that man that drive them away and make them fear humans, although sometimes I don’t think that’s a bad idea if they’re afraid of us because man does some awful, cruel things.

    Loving this Wanderlust Wednesday theme; i think I’ll have my part two done to post for tomorrow’s link up. It’s taking me forever to write it up and go through all the pictures!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by Lauren, sorry I gabbed your ear off. 🙂

  • Those beaches look so peaceful ☀️

  • They were. It’s low season there from July I think to November, apart from their annual Cropover festival. It’s considered hurricane season but you hardly notice it. If it rains, it’s brief and 10 minutes later the sun is back out shining bright as ever. It’s a beautiful place to visit. 🙂

  • Sounds heavenly 🙂

  • Oh you have no idea! 🙂 it’s heaven!