Every year my mom and I get together for lunch on each other’s birthday. It’s a tradition that we started only three years ago, but I look forward to it so much each time. It’s a chance for just the two of us to sit and talk without any interruptions. Last year at my mom’s birthday lunch in May we started talking and dreaming about a mother/daughter getaway! We talked about going to Europe, but in the end with just 4 days to spend away, we decided that what we needed was a relaxing trip to the beach! Barbados was chosen as the destination and we couldn’t have been more excited! 6 months felt like forever, but it was so worth the wait! Finally, November arrived and we headed off to the airport anxious to start our vacation!
Grabbing a bite to eat in the airport sans kiddos! Whoo hoo!
We talked for the majority of the plane ride there. We had lots of catching up to do! We had a brief layover in Miami where we relaxed and snacked in the Captain’s club. Not long after we were taxiing into the Barbados airport! We arrived at night but had no troubles getting to our hotel and checking in.
When we left Dallas it was in the 30s and when we arrived in Barbados it was in the 80s. Needless to say it was interesting trying to dress appropriately for both locations!
The next morning we woke up to THIS!!!!! Ahhhh. What a view! The beach at the Hilton Barbados was amazing. I loved that they had the long line of rocks to break the waves. And, the extra swimming beach off to the right was perfect for a relaxing dip in the sea. The waves would crash up and over the big rocks creating little puddles in the sand that were just perfect for itty bitty kids to play in. Although I was soaking up every bit of kid-free time I had in Barbados I couldn’t help imagining the boys having a blast playing in those puddles on the beach there.
Our first day there we had a leisurely breakfast in the hotel dining room with a gorgeous view. After a full day of traveling the day before we decided that we wanted to relax on the beach and by the pool. We saved the rest of the trip for exploring the island.
We ventured away from the hotel for dinner that night. We weren’t headed far, but when you’re driving on the left side of the road things can get a little exciting! We accidentally turned down a one way street (there weren’t signs!!) and got honked at. I’m sure the locals were rolling their eyes in disgust at us crazy tourists. The place we chose ended up being more of a beach bar setting, but it was nice nonetheless and the food was quite good. After we ate we enjoyed a nice walk along the beach and watched the sunset.
View from our table at the beach restaurant
Day 2 we planned to explore the island! Once again, I think both of our nerves were a little on edge due to the unfamiliarity of driving on the “wrong” side of the road and not knowing where we were going. We worked together as a team, though, and managed to survive a full day of driving around the island. Never mind that part of our piece of junk rental car totally broke off and had to be duct taped back on because of how bumpy the roads were.
Our first stop was the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. We had heard good things about this place and were hoping to catch a glimpse of some green monkeys during feeding time.
We started out down a hiking path and wandered around for a bit. We were both a bit disappointed because there were no monkeys to be seen! There were lots and lots of cool snail shells though.
We hiked down the hills to the bottom and came back up again just in time. It was feeding time and the monkeys knew it! At first there were just a few, and then more and more began to gather around us.
This gentleman cut up lots and lots of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and bananas among other things for the monkeys to eat. They were not at all shy and would take the food right out of our hands.
They were so cute and the man was very informative about them. Apparently the green monkey can only be found on the island of Barbados. They are actually a nuisance at times to farmers because they will destroy the crops they have worked hard to grow. Also, they travel in family packs. One of my favorite things to watch while we were with the monkeys was this little baby monkey begging to nurse. He would try to make a move inside to get to his mama’s milk and she would swat him away. He tried and tried until finally she gave in. It reminded me of how things are with human children! I guess all species of children can be quite persistent at times when they have something on their minds when they are trying to get what they want!!
After spending quite a while with the monkeys we made our way over to the rest of the reserve where we were in for another treat. This place was so simple yet so cool! There were hundreds of tortoises milling around in the pathways as well as a few peacocks, giant rabbits, iguanas, and deer. There was also a small display of macaws and a few snakes. Once again, I couldn’t help thinking that the boys would have absolutely loved this place!
While we were there we saw a little group of school children on a field trip. They were so sweet and fun to talk to. They seemed to be having such a good time.
We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant on that side of the island. I tried Barbados’s Banks beer and it was actually quite good!
After lunch we headed up some more bumpy roads to check out what turned out to be a fantastic view! While we were there we met a friendly local, Leroy, and bought some souvenirs from him to take home with us.
After being out all day we decided to stay close to the hotel for dinner. Just two minutes down the road there was a Mediterranean shack, for lack of a better word. The food was delicious and we learned that the owner had moved to Barbados from Syria about 20 years prior.
Our entertainment for the evening consisted of playing cards while indulging in sweet treats with the balcony door open so that we could hear the sounds of the ocean waves in the background. Hooray for vacation!
Our last day in Barbados we started out early for a half-day snorkel excursion. The boat was small and we were joined only by a daughter and her parents from England. And, of course, Charlie, the captain! The people from England were super nice. It turned out that the daughter had three children of her own back at home and the two of us got along fabulously. Her parents were fun to talk to as well. Never mind that I made a complete fool of myself when I asked if they would be traveling back home to England in time for Thanksgiving. As the words were coming out of my mouth a realized my mistake, but what’s done is done! They looked a little perplexed but were nice enough about it. Silly Americans.
We stopped at several places to snorkel, but the highlight of the trip was most definitely getting to swim with the sea turtles. Charlie had bits of chicken that he used to entice them into coming closer. It was neat getting to see them so close. I was even able to reach out and touch one as he swam past me.
Captain Charlie served the five of us lunch out of this tiny kitchen! It tasted soooo good after a day of swimming. Oh, and of course the bar was open all day as well!
Back at the hotel we decided that we wanted log some more beach time before heading home early the next morning. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad that this was going to be the last time I would see the ocean for a long time. I was soaking it all in…the sand, the waves, the smell, the colors, the sounds, the sunset! We did a little beach combing and found some neat things to take back to the boys. We watched the sun set and that was it!
We managed to eat conservatively most of the time while we were in Barbados. But, our last night there we decided to go all out and eat at the fancy hotel restaurant. They even had menus that were back lit so that we could read them in the dark!
It was a wonderful trip. A much needed getaway. And, the best part is that I got to share it with my mom. I am so thankful for her. She is generous and wise and funny and an amazing person all around. I hope there will be many more mother-daughter getaways in our future!