Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pitons, Volcano & Aunt Debbie's

As seen on ABC’s The Bachelor, St Lucia is a tropical island paradise and the perfect place for an amazing getaway. I was fortunate enough to spend Labor Day weekend at St Lucia’s Coconut Bay Resort & Spa ( for some R&R, as well as some adventurous outings.

We arrived at Coconut Bay, which is a convenient five minute drive from the Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort located on the south side of the island. We were greeted with champagne and cool towels to help us freshen up after our nearly three-hour flight from Miami. A great feature about the resort are the two separate areas: 1) Harmony - for adults, couples and 2) Splash - for kids and families. This makes the resort the perfect choice for large groups, such as weddings, so that guests can stay at whichever area they prefer.

After cocktails at Peter John’s Lounge, we dined at the resort’s Italian restaurant, Bellagio, which requires reservations and has a dress code. Coconut Bay is an all-inclusive resort, so guests can eat and drink as much as they want. With free cocktails waiting, we returned to Peter John’s Lounge for after-dinner drinks. Fortunately (or unfortunately the next morning), I don’t remember how many I had.

The next day, we were ready for our island tour and a glimpse of the island’s famous Pitons (St Lucia’s most notable landmarks) and volcano. Upon arriving at the world’s only “drive through” volcano, we all inhaled the rotten-egg smell the volcano emits and learned a lot about this incredible formation. We then made our way to the Diamond Botanical Gardens, Mineral Baths and Waterfall where we took photos and made comments about the names of some flowers (i.e Sexy Pink and Flamboyant Red). Our next stop was snorkel and sail boat ride to the base of the Pitons to see St. Lucia’s underwater world. As I swam through a school of fish, I saw (for the first time ever) a sea snake right in front of me. I decided to return to the boat at that point.

We arrived back at the resort in time to freshen up for dinner at local hot spot, Aunt Debbie’s Restaurant, which serves Creole-style with only the freshest local ingredients. If you decide to eat at Aunt Debbie’s, make sure you are VERY hungry as food is served family style and is more than enough to feed a small army. The side dishes are plentiful and feature something for everyone, including eggplant parmesan, sweet potato pie, fried plantain, roasted potatoes, creamed spinach, breadfruit balls and fried okra. Main entrees include steak, fish, lobster, shrimp and lambi.

Are you hungry yet?

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