Thursday, April 15, 2010

Girls Getaway to Grenada - Day 1

On my first day in Grenada, we took a whirlwind tour of the island. Our first stop was the Laura Spice and Herb Garden where we had a firsthand introduction as to why Grenada is known as the Isle of Spice. We learned about the cultivation of nutmeg, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, and other less familiar spices and herbs used by the locals for cooking and/or medicinal purposes. Some smelled wonderful; others (as Clint pointed out) do not.

Our second stop was the town of St. Georges, which serves at the nation’s capital and cruise ship port. We browsed through the Spice Market and saw more of the spices that make this island so unique. While in town, we could see some of the French influence that is found in both the well seasoned food (think New Orleans) and some French architecture that has survived. With the friendly locals, we found that island culture is heavily influenced by the African roots of most of the Grenadians.

Grand Etang National Park, which is located eight miles from St. Georges and 2,000 miles above sea level in the island’s lush rainforest, was our next stop. With its diverse vegetation, including cloud forests, montane thickets, palm brakes, elfin woodland and rainforest, this is a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers.

Our last stop of the tour was the Belmont Estate (www.BelmontEstate.net), a 300-year-old working cocoa plantation. Located in St Patrick, about an hour’s drive from St. Georges, Belmont Estate is a unique and authentic 17th century plantation that offers guests an opportunity to participate in and observe the workings of a fully functional historic plantation. With farm tours, a museum, restaurant and gift shop, Belmont is the perfect agri-tourist destination.

We returned to LaSource for a little R&R, and then it was time for the Manager’s Cocktail Party at the Terrace Lounge. Resort Manager Tony Suttile makes you feel right at home, and we had a great time with him (as well as Resort Owner Leon Taylor and Director of Sales and Marketing Kristen Appelman) as we moved the festivities to dinner at Garden Restaurant. Thank you for a lovely evening!

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