Part 7: You Want Beach? You Got Beach. And Barbeque. But No Dinner.
Saturday morning, 6:13. Bing!
The epitome of First World problems? Waking up to realize there’s only TWO DAYS LEFT TO YOUR ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME VACATION. And you still have SO MUCH YET TO EXPLORE.
I savor my coffee with the hummingbirds and my flamboyant tree, wishing I could start every day this way.
But adventure calls my name. I strike out to explore a bit on my own, this time with shoes.
Down the beach I head. Mariners beckons like a setting out of a Nancy Drew book, so I poke around its abandoned villas for a few minutes. But soon the hairs on the back of neck start to prickle. Some Nancy Drew I’d make. Back to the “safety” of the beach for me.
On to the shipwreck. Not a whole lot happening there, but a lounge of lizards does give me the stink eye for interrupting their peace.
Then I follow the “road” that leads up the hill behind the beach, which takes me to the Backstreet area. The view of the bay is stunning. I’m kind of regretting I didn’t drag everyone else along with me.
Speaking of everyone else, the clock is ticking, and we need to get moving if we’re going to fit everything in today. My inner Julie McCoy kicks into gear, and I head back to get everyone up and moving.
The plan is to pick up pastries at Gerard’s to eat at Rendezvous. Easy enough, right?
Except we can’t find Gerard’s. Anywhere. According to the map, it should be right there, but our search takes us all over the map. Blowing Point, then the road leading east from there, then the road leading west.
This is becoming a theme, isn’t it?
We even stop to ask for directions, but no one seems to have any idea of what we’re talking about. Gerard’s? No idea.
Then, just as we abandon hope and turn back onto the road for a repeat visit to Sugar & Spice, there it is!
We find Rendezvous Bay much more easily.
If you’re going to have a second start to the day, a cafe au lait and a pear Danish on Rendezvous Bay is a fine way to do it.
This is a gorgeous beach, and would be a lovely place to spend the day. Especially when Garvey walks by pushing a wheelbarrow of supplies, greeting sunbathers with a cheerful “One love.”
But we have so much more to do. So after walking the entire length of it from end to end (me), and lying on its sands (Mark), or frolicking in its waters (our three kids), it’s time to move on.
And witness a salt snowstorm.
Next stop: a little exploring on the west end. Stunning rock features, but harrowing if you have teenagers who like to get a little too close to the edge.
Lunchtime, and you know what we are going to have today? BBQ. From B&D’s.
The air here smells so good I could eat it. But I opt for a combo platter instead. And two more for Mark and Aaron, and chicken platters for the girls. We grab drinks from the cooler and a seat under a tent, then work up a serious appetite while we wait.
What comes out is a MOUNTAIN of food. Chicken, ribs, French fries, coleslaw, pasta salad, and rice and peas. And, just to lighten things up a bit, a green salad on the side.
Who is going to help eat all this?
We need a comfortable place to rest our bellies after lunch, so we head to Smokey’s, rent chairs and an umbrella, then succumb to food comas.
We rouse again once the Musical Brothers take the stage. And decide we have room for a drink. Or two. And a game of cornhole, at which I skunk my husband.
We while away the rest of the afternoon here with possibly half the rest of the people on island, and even some visiting from St Maarten for the day. This is the most people we’ve seen on one beach all trip.
Finally, when the sun sinks to the far western end of the sky, we head back to figure out our dinner plans.
By the time we make it back to the villa, however, it’s pretty clear that dinner out tonight would be in no one’s best interest. So if you are looking for pictures of crayfish or lobster, or a description of a pan-seared snapper with a coconut beurre blanc, you are going to have to dream about them, just like I did that night.
Chalk it up to too many gin and tonics, BBCs, margaritas and Heinekens to count.
Good thing no one is counting.