St Lucia
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My husband and I visited St. Lucia for our Honeymoon and it was truly one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to.  We opted to do the all-inclusive adult resort (Sandals, Regency de La Toc) which did not disappoint.  Our room even came with a butler which added such a nice touch to our vacation.

We took a helicopter ride from the St. Lucian airport to a landing pad about 10 minutes from the hotel.  After all the research I had done, I was a little hesitant in booking ground transportation for accounts of it being a rougher ride and apparently taking forever!  SO... I ended up surprising my husband upon arrival at the St. Lucian airport and can't believe i managed to keep it a secret for soooo long.  Unfortunately, our camera and Go Pro got stolen off our American flight so we were a bit delayed having to report the items at the baggage desk.  Once we filled out the necessary forms we did vow that we wouldn't let the obvious downer kill our moods! Thankfully we still had our phones so could at least capture all the beauty that is St. Lucia.

The helicopter ride wasn't cheap but it was well worth the extra $$.  The views were unlike anything we had ever seen before.  I will say, there were a couple of times where I got a little nervous but once  focused on the beauty, my nerves went away.  When we touched ground we had a car waiting on us and it took us straight to Sandals.  One thing to note is that your bigger bags come about two hours later on the Sandals transportation.  You are only allowed to bring a carry on aboard the helicopter... so keep your valuables with you as you hand over your larger suitcases.  

Once we arrived on the property, our Butler, Garvey met us with champagne and beer, our favorites.  He let us settle in and then offered to give us a tour around the property.  He gave us a cell phone to which he told us we could call him at anytime.  
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My husband and I stayed in the Sunset Bluff Oceanview One Bedroom Butler Suite w/ Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub.  Once we checked out the room, we refilled our drinks and decided to test out the Butler cell phone and give Garvey a ring.  He was there within a matter of minutes to pick us up and give us a tour of the property.   We were staying at the highest point so while we were at distance away from the main pool it was less than a ​ten minute walk if you chose to trek it on your own.  The way down was a lot easier because the hill on the way back definitely made you work for it, a little.  We found a few short cuts by the end of the week which helped when we stayed out a little later.  So when Garvey took us down to the main entrance area he introduced us to the tours guide and spa staff.  
 We signed up for a much needed massage on the beach and secured our tours for the week.  We were honestly so busy the last couple of weeks before our wedding that we decided to wait and see how we felt when we got to St. Lucia.  I actually appreciated the knowledge from Garvey and the tour guide experts in helping us book the best tours to maximize our experiences.  We did the first two days on property, three days of tours and then the last 2 days on the property.  I loved putting our tours in the middle.  While we had such a blast  exploring it was nice to still have some time to kick back before we headed home.  













So after we figured out our week itinerary, Garvey made some suggestions on dining and when we agreed he went ahead and made the reservations for us.  He told us that we could always change things around but it was good to get things on the books earlier in the week.  After all our wedding planning, I ​sooooo appreciated handing the reigns over and letting Garvey make the reservations at each respective restaurant.  We also found that by having a butler we got some of the best tables in the restaurants.  Garvey and our other butler Elsa, who we were introduced to the next day, usually picked us up for dinner and then brought us to our table, decorated with flowers.  We had filled out our favorite drinks and special requests before we arrived ...so they always knew to serve us beer and champagne.  I mean you truly felt like a rockstar!  



Our first night we ate at SOY....the Sushi restaurant.  It has a connecting restaurant, Kimonos Oriental cuisine, which we would try later in the week.  We were wanting something a little more low-key and SOY offered a bar option that opened up to the ocean.  We were in heaven and hadn't even tried the food.  We ordered some rolls and the sushi chef (not unusual) made the rolls in front of us.   We orderd a little more Caribbean drink to embrace where we were and before you knew it all of our sushi was ready.  We were so impressed!  Sometimes you never know if food is going to ACTUALLY be good or not at an all inclusive and it was DELISH!  The staff even entertained us while we ate with their Adele like voices.  The manager and bartender had a voice off and it was truly hard to pick which one was better.  It was the perfect end to our first night!!
The next day we had an early start but it was well worth it....we had a date with the massage therapist on the beach, for side by side massages.  I had wanted to do this so bad and while I think Bill went a long for the ride, when we were done, he truly enjoyed it.  I still felt like I was in wedding planning mode so it was nice to do this early in the week to begin the process of relaxing.  For the first ten minutes I found my mind racing about all these things and so it was nice to let it all go and refocus my attention on the waves moving in and out.   Once we were done with our massages, they took us back to the Red Lane Spa.  They of course tried to upsell us on all these items.  I inquired about the price and was actually surprised that things weren't that expensive.  We opted to think about the items the Spa manager had presented but had we purchased it certainly wouldn't have broken the bank.  

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The rest of the day we stayed on property and got involved in some of the activities....they had a putt putt golf competition on the first hole of the golf course, so Bill and I naturally being golf lovers, headed over to check it out.  There were only 6 entrants but we had a blast...the only problem was that i came in dead last.... i didn't seem to know my own power and kept completely overshooting the holes.  Bill came in second and lost to a pretty cool guy who was actually famous on youtube for doing trick golf shots.  He was super nice and we ended up hanging out with he and his wife later, in the pool, among some other friends we met over the course of the week.









 



























The main pool was really nice and it had a swim up bar where you could try anything off their specialty menu or have the bartender shake up something just for you.  We spent a lot of time riding the waves and when I say ride, I truly mean it.  The water at La Toc is meant to be a little wilder than the other two locations but once you get passed the initial current coming in, it is very enjoyable.  We got wiped out a couple of times and watched plenty of people think they could master the wave, while holding their drink.  NOT SO!  My first time in, I actually lost my sunglasses and this young boy came out of nowhere and told me he could find them.  I thought no way and after about 5 minutes or so, of diving, he popped up with my glasses in hand.  I couldn't believe it!  He had good practice, of course, because we saw him repeat the same exercise, the most exciting for someone who lost a go pro.  He of course expected a tip but for me I thought it was well earned, even just for my little old sunglasses.  They had water sports but the red flag was up most of the time we were there so that prevented anyone from taking out the kayaks.  Of course the play at all three sandals is beneficial but we didn't want to lose our butler as they don't transfer to the other properties.  

That night we did dinner at the LA Toc which was by far my favorite restaurant...well, maybe next to the Sushi.  It was a French restaurant... a little more upscale.  I just couldn't get enough of their food!  I tried snails for the first time and they were actually pretty good!  We wined and dined for the next couple of hours before we headed out to see what was happening on the resort. 
Each night, the resort did have night entertainment....from karaoke, live bands, casino night, and true cultural entertainment.  It was fun to see some of the same people you saw at the pool and then see everyone get dolled up!   


Over the course of the next few days, we enjoyed the all day Sunset Cruise, trip to Martinique and Jeep tour.  We had a blast in different ways on all three.   If I had to rank in order it would be the Jeep tour, Martinique and the Sunset Cruise.  The Jeep tour just blew us away in all that we saw and experienced.  It picked us up in the morning and took us through a variety of smaller towns through St. Lucia.  WOW - you can do the resort all day long but until you exit the Sandals gates you really aren't seeing the true St. Lucia.  We drove in the back of this older, open top jeep and it was one heck of a ride!  
So the plan was for them to take us up through the rainforest to see the Pitons and take us through a volcano where we would experience a mud bath and then rinse off in a natural waterfall.  The roads are narrow, steep and filled with the craziest drivers I'd ever seen.  They would pass you with oncoming traffic in sight and barely have enough room to squeeze in.  As this seemed the norm we got used to it (well I did-the husband was a bit more nervous) after the first thirty minutes.  We got to see local farmers machete fruit, drive through a banana plantation, stop and see one of the oldest churches in St. Lucia, experience local Rum and do a little shopping.  This was all before we even got to the volcano.  We arrived and we had to dip into this darker water and once we got out your significant other could put mud all over you.  It was a pretty neat experience and unlike anything I'd ever done before.  Once it hardened you had to pass through without washing off the mud and then load back on to the jeep.  That's right, we took a ride in a jeep with mud all over me!  HA!  It was actually kind of fun!  


I'll tell you it was worth the wait.  They took us about five minutes down the road to the most beautiful natural waterfall where the locals knew we were coming.  They have all kinds of things that you can by and it truly blew me away how crafty the St. Lucian's are with their hands.  We cleaned off underneath the waterfall, which was absolutely incredible!  It was so peaceful there and such a relaxing experience.  

Once we dried off, our drivers took us to this very cute restaurant that was only opened up for us...how cool, right?  Our view was St. Lucia and it accompanied the freshest air you could possibly breathe.   The cusine was truly authentic and i'll go out on a limb and say that it might have been the best on our trip.  It was here we learned that St. Lucian's like country music and who would have thought....they even knew some of the Texas Country Scene!  The world of the internet has made the world a lot smaller I suppose.  











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Before heading back to the resort they made one last stop.  They told us that they had a little surprise in store for us.  Little did we know it was going to involve a SNAKE!  Well out of our entire jeep load, I was the only one to get a snake hug.  I'd done it before in California but the snake then was much more subdued .  This snake had some personality and wanted to get to know me.  YIKES!!  After a few minutes and a lack of interest from the rest of the gang I handed Harvey back to his owner who seemed most worried about what kind of tip he was getting.  Once we paid our fee we loaded back up and returned to the resort.  I will be forever grateful we had this incredible experience and ironically it just happened to be our last excursion.  
​​​​​My second favorite would have to be our day trip to Martinique.  It was especially cool because of course we had to have our passport stamped since Martinique is a different country.  This was our earliest departure at around 7:30 and they picked us up and took us to a ferry.  They took us to a duty free shop first and then on to Martinique where we were able to tool around for about 3 hours.  They gave us a tour for about an hour and then they gave us free time to ramble the streets ourselves.  We checked out the market, local foods and got to see the hustle and bustle that is Martinique.  The word on the street was that things were a lot cheaper in Martinique so the locals would ferry over to buy groceries and clothing.  We had a few local St. Lucians on our trip who appeared to take advantage of the weekly ferry from Sandals.  I will say i wish we had more time in Martinique.  It would have been cool to take a ride through the countryside and have done lunch somewhere outside of the port.  However with that said when we got back to the boat they once again shared this amazing carribean cusine that left you wanting more!  On our way back they stopped and allowed us to snorkel. We had actually snorkeled the day before on the sunset cruise and wherever the sunset cruise had taken us was a lot clearer and a heck of a lot more fish so while it was fun exploring underneath the water I enjoyed the Sunset snorkel more.  On our way home our captain told us to look to the side and check out the flying fish.  Flying fish?  That's right.....five or six of them would jump out of the water and then then literally glide through the air.  My husband and I still talk about it...months later.  The staff got everyone dancing on the boat which made for one heck of a boat ride home!  

The sunset Cruise (which was actually the first excursion we took) was truly up there with Martinique.  We went snorkeling, they showed us the Pitons (the famous landmark in St. Lucia) and then we watched the most beautiful Sunset I have ever seen.  Of course our phone died so, unfortunately, i wasn't able to capture it the way we wanted to but it was as if a painter was up in the sky creating a work of art.  As gorgeous as the picture is to the right...think 100 times prettier when we were on a boat.  I took this picture from the beach the next evening.  I  truly felt lost in the beauty and was so thankful to experience such magic.  I absolutely loved the vibe on this boat!  They got the party going at the right times and made it a lot of fun throughout.  

That night we ate at the Italian restaurant, Armando's.  It was a really pretty night and while the apps and dessert were the best, the main course was just alright.  It was probably the most disappointing out of all the restaurants...but with that said it was definitely edible!  Of course, Garvey had set up the table with flowers and had poured out our favorite drinks.  We finished dinner and then went down to watch the featured live entertainment.  They had already started so we didn't have a chance to join in but it was well worth watching. They had picked five sets of couples (mostly newlyweds) and had divided the ladies and the men.  So they excused the ladies first and then asked the men some questions while the ladies were outside the door writing down their answers on posterboard sized cards.  When the women returned to room the guys got to see if the had answered correctly.  The room was in hysterics because some of the answers guys got wrong their wife was so sure they had it right.  Bill and I were almost in tears!  After the couple showcase, the live band started up and we joined in on the live dancing.  It was a ton of fun and they even had some of the staff show off some of the local dancing.  It was simply but a barrel of laughs and the perfect way to spend our evening.  When we got home Elsa had decorated our bedroom and patio.  It was sooo sweet and really made you feel special.  They actually spent a great deal of time doing little sweet things for us...decorating our bed or room in some fashion.  We felt like we had the best butlers!  

We also tried the Kimono and Neptune restaurants on property.  Kimono's was a hibachi style restaurant with Asian influence and food that left us wanting more.  We also had the best chef and he really took our overall experience to the next level.  I swear I thought he was the St. Lucian Chris Tucker...his comedic timing was perfect and he had the whole table in stitches.  He also added in tons of tricks while he prepared the food... juggling cooking utensils, flipping a shrimp tail into his shirt pocket,  catching a shitake mushroom in his hat, and creating a train with fire.  It was phenomenal and he kept blowing us away with his impressive showmanship.  The Neptune's restaurant served fresh seafood and because of our incredible butler, Elsa, we landed a spot overlooking the ocean.  We liked the food but more importantly was the view, getting to watch the sunset and hearing the waves crash as you sipped on a glass of champagne and ate shrimp.  It was perfect!  

Our last night in St. Lucia we had a private dinner on the beach.  It started to rain a little bit before our butler came to get us but thankfully the rain held off and instead performed the most incredible lightning show I'd ever seen.  They put a canopy over our head initially and Bill and I both thought we had been put in a sauna with all of our clothes on.  Once they drug it back and pushed our table closer to the water it was a perfect evening.  We were told that the main chef only handled the private dinners so we were in for a real treat.  His four-course meal did not disappoint and it was the most magical way to end our last night in St. Lucia.  

As I finish my first travel entry for TTC this one will probably remain the most dear to my heart.  I got to marry my best friend and the next day whisk away to one of the most beautiful places in the world.  It was a week filled with adventure, romance, culture, relaxation, exemplary cuisine, perfect weather and of course time with my new husband.  I feel the luckiest to have experienced all we did and highly recommend coming here!  It's been six months since I heard the beach waves crash underneath the restaurant pier but going through all the pictures and writing this blog has taken me down memory lane as if it all happened yesterday!  I think this is one of the reasons I try to capture as many pictures as I can because the mind can only remember so much but your lens and albums can help you relive your story, time and time again.  

So if you choose to travel to St. Lucia at any point you certainly won't be disappointed!!  


Thank you for taking the time to read our adventure and reliving all the memories.  

Until next time, I hope you always make time to celebrate life! 

Lynnsey

XOXO
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