Yes, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted and that is because I’VE BEEN EVERYWHERE BUT HOME! Husband’s grandma died, so we were out of town for a funeral and then it was SPRING BREAK, so my mom and I left town for a little Caribbean get-away, and then Husband had an important presentation at a medical conference, so I showed up in Ohio to serve as his support team and now I’m finally home for a weekend and totally buried in both homework and a messy house.
It’s all been good, though, as a change in scenery is always helpful for the brain and my creativity has received a boost with the inclusion of new sights and sounds.
The Love Bungalow is definitely not a travel blog, but I do like to occasionally document some of my travels, as seen here and here, mostly for my benefit as a way to record my wonderful experiences, but also to share some highlights as a way to encourage others to try new places. My mom and I plan a trip together every couple of years, but this year was a random bonus because we earned a (mostly) free island vacation! How did we do this?? We joined the Aveda Pure Privilege program and bought a large amount of shampoo for four years and earned enough points for a 3-day stay at Sugar Ridge Resort in Antigua, West Indies, complete with breakfasts and massages! (Yes, we bought A LOT of shampoo and no, I’m not a spokesperson for Aveda, but I could be!) So, we added on a couple more days and took a break from the cold, gray nastiness of Indiana winter to enjoy a bright, sunny ocean experience.
I think I sometimes underestimate the power of an island vacation since I usually focus on seeing all the museums and “sights of the city,” but this trip reminded me of the importance of just getting away and relaxing. We went on boat rides and ate lots of seafood and laid out on the beach and visited the spa and really just soaked up wonderful experiences that my usual busy graduate school schedule does not allow time for. I actually read whole books! For fun! And slept in! And went to yoga! It was amazing. MAJOR self-care and reflection time. You should start buying shampoo so you can go too.
I liked so many things about my visit to Antigua, but here are my Top #5:
- Rich history. Most of Antigua’s history is pretty sad, but I found it very fascinating, especially learning how a small island has played a role in the government and power struggles of so many other different countries over hundreds of years. We took a whole tour of the island with a local guide and received a thorough education about how changes in time have impacted the island in such huge ways.
- Eating dinner with my feet in the sand. We ate fresh seafood catch-of-the-day with the sound of the ocean behind us and the feel of our feet in the sand. Does it get much better than this? No, it does not.
- Friendly people. Based on the small sample of islanders that we met, the people who live on this Caribbean island are SO friendly! We received amazing service, directions, and information from every.single.person we met. We asked one person for a recommendation for hot sauce and she offered to make some for us! And she did! And now it’s in my fridge!
- Gorgeous weather. We had perfect weather the entire time we were away. Blue skies, blue seas, and warm sand. We didn’t have problems with humidity, bugs, or storms. I was even a real adult and wore sunscreen! Be so proud of me!
- Total relaxation. How often do you get to decide between napping by the pool or drinking margaritas at the beach? Or between taking a boat ride or getting a massage? Or eating shrimp while overlooking the mountains or going to yoga during sunset? Our whole stay was full of the most wonderful kinds of decisions that people dream about having to make. I seriously had to almost pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t asleep because I felt we were in a living screensaver or Pinterest board of Caribbean wishes.
As always, I also enjoyed the wonderful time spent with my mom. I returned to Indianapolis full of sunshine and warmth and happiness and gratitude. I’m reflecting back on my trip this weekend while gearing up for a random 5-8 inches of snow in Indianapolis, but don’t worry, I’m taking the joy of the island with me and planning for CARIBBEAN EASTER next week! I’ll be sure to share all my recipe successes and fails with you.
That’s all for now. Anyone else been to Antigua? Anyone else making spring break plans?