Saturday
Nov122011

36 Hours in St Lucia from NY Times

Friday
Jan082010

One day down, it was a beauty

Well we arrived yesterday to Villa Mandoo. It's a long journey, don't let anyone tell you different. Whether coming from the states or Europe, it's a day of traveling, but when you get to villa Mandoo, it's all worth it. We flew into the big airport at the far end of the island, and had Owen Victor, our recommended taxi driver, pick us up. It's about an hour drive to the villa, and to pass time I queried Owen about what's new on the island. We had Owen stop at Glace Motors, a small market down the road to grab some basic provisions. I definitely recommend this. In addition we had called ahead to Marie Ann, the housekeeper, and she prepared, and left a basic meal we could heat up. It hit the spot after a long day of travel. We were in bed early last night, everyone was exhausted.

We were woken up early this morning by my little girls. They were ready to explore. Our first stop, the pool, for a morning dip. It felt great. We followed it up with some breakfast, then went exploring again, this time down the steps to the sea. We got our feet wet, the water was so warm.

Finally everone in the house started to stir. We lounged around a bit in the morning, getting settled and figuring out to spend the rest of our day. We decided that lunch and a hike on pigeon island followed by some further provisioning would fill our day.

Pigeon island has ruins of a British fort from the coloniel days. Having a little bit of elevation, you get a great view of northern St Lucia, and can see Martinique to the north. We had a great lunch at "Jambe de Bois" a layed back restaurant on Pigeon Island. I recommend the fish or curried vegtable roti, and a lime squash.

Half our crew made it to the top signal point, the highest point in Pigeon Island, to take in the faboulous view. I wore Tevas and my wife wore sneakers, you'll want a secure shoe to do this hike.

We stopped at JQ's supermarket on the way home to really stock up. It's in the Rodney BAy area and has most of what you need.

We made it home for our own happy hour and took in a beautiful sunset along with the infamous "green flash." We ate dinner on the patio and I'm off to bed. Tommorow, another day in paridise!

Wednesday
Dec302009

One week till we leave for Villa Mandoo

Hi, my name is Brett.  My father Bob owns Villa Mandoo.  Next Thursday my family and I are heading down to Villa Mandoo for the month of January.  I thought it'd be a good idea to blog about our stay, sharing all the fun things we do and travel tips with potential renters of Villa Mandoo.  

Being that it's a week before we leave it's time to think about packing.  I dug up my old checklist from the last time I visited Villa Mandoo, and I've shared it below with some comments.  

A little background on our group, 6 total, 4 adults, and 2 children (3 & 4 y/o).  I'll be working, telecommuting part of the time we are there, via the villa's broadband internet connection.  Some of my checklist items are work related, but could be helpful for anyone that wants to do the same.  I'll update with wife's list when she packs.

  • Passports, Tickets & Wallet - Obviously these are important.  I'll bring a travel wallet if I can find it.
  • Clothing - male
    • Shorts - casual and athletic
    • T-shirts, including long-sleeve - Long-sleeve to keep sun off you
    • Bathing suit - pool, ocean, you'll want one
    • Sun glasses - a must have
    • Polo shirts - Dinner, golfing
    • One pair of light weight pants - Not required anywhere I can think of, but I might wear to nice dinner.
    • Underwear & Socks - Socks for hiking or sport
    • Baseball hat or wide-brimmed hat - sun
    • Patagonia pants - very light travel pants
  • Footwear
    • Flip-flops - I live in them down there
    • Tevas - Some sort of sport sandal for hiking
    • Swim shoes - It's a rocky beach in front of the villa, with coral.  It's best to protect your feet.
    • Tennis sneakers - We play tennis at the Windjammer report next door.
  • Toiletries
    • Glasses - if you where them!
    • Contacts & solution
    • Toothbrush & toothpaste, dental floss
    • Deodorant
    • Sunscreen - a must have.
  • Sporting gear
    • Swim goggles - to swim laps in pool
    • Mask, snokel, fins - excellent snorkeling in front of the house
    • TRX Strap - cool strap I hang from a tree to get a little workout in, http://www.fitnessanywhere.com/
    • Tennis Racket
  • Electronics - keep a close eye on all electronics, they DO get stolen if left unattended.  Lock up when not in use.
    • 2-way radios - very helpful if you have a group.  I have fairly powerful ones that reach all the way to Windjammer resort next door.  Mostly used between pool and house.
    • Camera, charger
    • Video camera, charger
    • DVD Player - there is one at the house.  This is a portable one for the kids while traveling.
    • GSM cell phone - if you have an unlocked one you can get a sim card in town.
    • GPS - just something to play with.
    • Batteries - for your gadgets
  • Work related
    • Computer w/mouse & power adapter
    • SecureID - any security thing you need to connect to work.
    • Router - there one at the house, but I travel with a backup one.
    • Skype Phone - I connect to the router and make/receive calls like I'm in USA.
    • Power converter - There are some in the house, but I always travel down with one in case they've disappeared.
    • Power strip - Lot's of stuff to plugin.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Books, magazines, etc. - There are a lot of books at the house, I always like to bring some new ones and leave them there.
    • DVD's for the kids.
    • Games, puzzles rainy day activities - Lot's of games already at the house
    • Patagonia backpack - This is my daypack, very helpful to have.
    • Binoculars - Fun to check out the passing boats.
  • Kids
    • Car seats - a pain, but we bring them.  I think car rental places rent them.