Sunday, August 23, 2009

Three Tropical Islands I Want To Visit Before I Die...

I am a redhead. I burn almost the second I step out into the sun. And yet, I can think of nowhere on this earth I'd rather be than a tropical island, sitting under a palm tree, soaking up the sun's rays while gazing out at the turquoise blue water.

In fact, I'd like to be somewhere in the Caribbean (well, somewhere there's no hurricane brewing) right now. I can almost feel the hot, white sand squishing between my toes while the pina colada in my hand sends beads of cool, wet condensation onto my hands...

My experiences with the tropics have been limited, to say the least. With the exception of the lovely cruise my husband and I took last year, the most tropical island I have ever vacationed on is North Captiva Island, Florida.

Which as island vacations go, was pretty darn nice. No passports necessary, deserted beaches, palm trees waving in the wind...

But I have my heart set on more exotic locales. If ever I strike it rich, I'll make it a point to visit all the Caribbean islands. If not, there are at least three places I am determined to spend a week or two before I get too old to appreciate them:

Exuma, Bahamas

One of the out islands, it has everything I crave in a tropical vacation. Miles and miles of white sand beaches, turquoise water and swimming pigs. That's right, swimming pigs. Apparently, there's a, I don't know, herd? Whatever you call a group of pigs that live together. Anyway, they live on this small island, and when someone boats over, they swim out to claim their treats.

I want to feed those swimming pigs. When I do, I want to stay at one resort in particular—Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Lovely little seaside bungalows come with their own motor boats...bungalows with views like this one:


Negril, Jamaica

 Sure, this one's a little trite. Everyone wants to go to Jamaica, right? The waterfalls, the beautiful beaches, the yummy food...what's not to love? Well, except for the crime. And the poverty. Those things tend to be downers. But, I'm pretty good at shutting things out. I'm sure I could manage not to notice them (is lightning going to strike me down now? No? Good).

If I had my druthers, I'd stay at one resort in particular—the Rockhouse Hotel. It's built into a cliff, y'all. With villas perched right on top, gazing out over the ocean...

 
Heaven, am I right?
Roatan, Honduras
This might seem like an odd choice. Vacation in Honduras? What? But really, this island, about 30 miles off the coast, is just about the most ridiculously beautiful place I have ever been. The cruise we went on stopped there for a few hours, and I just about fell in love. It's still relatively undeveloped, so it's almost all jungle. And the beaches? Oh my lord, the beaches. There are no words, so here, look at some pics I took:


 
  
  
Someday, I will spend a more extended period of time there. The good news? It's still relatively cheap. Of course, by the time I get there, it probably won't be.There's the small matter of the 4-month-old upstairs I need to spend all my money on for the next 21 years or so...But hey, you never know. Maybe I'll win the lottery.

Or maybe I'll come up with a cookie recipe that wins me a million dollars.  That's how much the lady who won the Pillsbury Bake-Off won. Guess I'd better get baking, huh?

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