In an effort to "make time" for each other in this busy, work-filled, and travel-centric life we lead, Bryce and I decided that a quick getaway was the ideal way to connect a string of uninterrupted moments together.
When his season ended we made last minute plans to scoot down to the island of Antigua. My parents had gone there back in the late 80's, so what little we knew of this spot in the British West Indies was from their very fond memories.
Before I dive into the details, I want to highlight three of my top takeaways from the trip:
- Disconnecting means two things: the literal translation and the figurative. First, we did not have any TV or Phone access the entire trip and it was the best thing that could have happen. Second, it was the perfect opportunity to loosen up, laugh, drink, soak up the sun, and reconnect with each other. The days seemed longer and more fulfilling...
- Beauty in nature has a direct connection to the beauty inside all of us. When we are in a gorgeous place and happy in our surroundings it allows us to feel the same!
- Love is all around us. Whether it was watching couples interact lovingly, the Antiguan staff's smiles and helpful attitude, my morning scrambled eggs coming out in the shape of a heart, or guests leaving food out for all of the pharrell cats... people are kind and generous and have full, open hearts. It was refreshing and definitely something to emulate!
We stayed at a placed called COCOS HOTEL (here) which is a small, boutique style, 30-cottage resort that is for adults only (sorry kids!). Without further delay, here are the pics of our journey!
After a quick flight from Boston to Miami to Antigua, we navigated through customs, through the tiny island airport, and into our even tinier rental car. The roads in Antigua are really something special! The drainage system is totally exposed and therefore the sides of the road are just like little cliffs and not to mention the potholes. We are pretty sure that we returned the car with one less hubcap! :o) It was all worth it when we arrived at COCOS. This was our first view.
COCOS is built into a hill with a beach on either side. There is some walking involved to get to our cottage, but man was it worth it every time. This is the way to our private Sunset Cottage.... (every time we rounded this corner and went down the stairs I said, "It gets me every time" and it's true..it did. Does it get you too?
Our cottage was pretty special. It faced west so we saw a gorgeous sunset every night (more on that later). It was rustic island chic at its best. It consisted of a bathroom, outdoor double shower, a bedroom with mosquito netting surrounding the canopy bed and a large sun porch. Impeccable and effortless. Every night we slept with the french doors and windows open so we could hear the ocean waves crash and echo underneath our porch. I bottled that sound so right now (as I type) I am closing my eyes so I can hear it... ahhh...
We spent a lot of time in our cottage because COCOS stocks it with your choice of booze and of course we made a MONSTER music playlist and brought our Nixon Mini Blaster Blaster... instant party! Plus with this view, why not??
Life's bucket list will include an outdoor shower... especially after this experience. Anytime we get stressed, B and I know say, "Antigua Shower" because it brings us back to the zen moments we spent there looking out over the water, watching the sun set, and the breeze roll over us.
Oh and the towel animals were so fun...
And the food.... all locally sourced from farms close to Cocos - it was delish and varied (well not the Cornados or the frog but he was too cute not to include)! And the drinks - YUMM!
The trip was a nice blend of relaxation and touristy sightseeing. COCOS is located in Jolly Harbour which is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. We rented a car so we could go out and explore. Some of the spots we recommend are:
-Jolly Harbour (where we stayed) had some fun little spots and a little slice of local living. Our first night on the island we walked the beach and went into the little village with brightly colored houses. We had our first Dark and Stormies of the trip and we saw a dog chillaxin' on a roof.
- English Harbour where we learned all about how Antigua was discovered and when it became independent. We also visited Nelson's Dockyard and saw the most beautiful, big sailboats ever. The views! The colors! The Dark & Stormies!
- OJ's is another spot not to miss. Not only is the food totally worth it, but so is the scenery. Take a look at all of the shells they use to decorate and the color of the water!
- Boat Rental. We talked about renting a boat the whole time we were there and as the week was coming to a close we decided that we definitely wanted to do it. In true Island fashion the rental facility was super laid back and within walking distance to our resort. Bryce was so excited to captain a boat in International waters! It was quite an experience. We were a little nervous because the boat didn't have GPS and there are shoals and rocky points that only a trained captain would be able to navigate, so we took it slow and followed other boater's lead on a lot of things. We went to Cades Reef where we dropped anchor and despite the wind, enjoyed some beers and good music! Funny thing is as we were pulling out of Jolly Harbour the Billy Joel song, Downeaster Alexa fortuitously came on! It was meant to be. What an experience!
A view of our cottage from the boat... ours was the first one on the beach...
This is the entire resort...
What would my post be without some outfit pics? I packed a carry-on with:
- island-ready dresses!
-bikinis and UV shirts (of course)
-running gear (I ran every morning on the beach and then did yoga on the porch - amazing)
- oh and one pair of flip flops!
One thing I wish I could have brought home from Antigua is the beach-y and curly hair I had the whole time! It was amazing...
My favorite dress of all time (originally seen here on this blog) that I have in three colors deserves a little highlight! Here it is in navy.... with a pop of pink flower in my hair!
Music is a huge part of our lives, so the trip wouldn't have been complete without lots of good tunes - a mixture of upbeat, mellow, classics, and reggae. Our little Nixon Mini Blaster (buy here) is the easiest thing to pack and works off of bluetooth! So anyone can connect.
Whenever we hear the following we will think of our time in Antigua:
SHOW ME - Bruno Mars - reggae in a Bruno Mars-y way!
We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus - we just like it.
Ghostown - Madonna - new album, so good!
Shots - Imagine Dragons - mellow but uplifting
Anything by Asgeir or Vancouver Sleep Clinic!!
And books... I read three on the trip:
Do Your Om Thing - by Rebecca Pacheco (here) - this book is written by one of my favorite Boston yoga teachers. I take her class every Thursday evening and I love it. Her book is no different. It's not about the end goal, it's about the journey. Perfect.
It Was Me All Along - by Andie Mitchell (here) - a local Boston girl struggles with weight and tells her story. My favorite message in the book is that it's all about taking one moment and one day at a time. Breathe through it!
Yoga Girl - by Rachel Brathen (here) - I finished this in one day because it's so easy to fall in love with Rachel and her bohemian lifestyle. When I grow up, I want to be her! :o)
Last, but certainly not least - the sunsets. I don't need to say anymore.
A video of the sunset from our cottage on our last night in paradise! Until next time, Cocos!
When we were researching places to go, one of the reviews we read said that the average person returns to COCOS 15x's in their life. I remember us scoffing at that because we enjoy traveling to different places, but by the end, when our skin was sunkissed, our bodies relaxed, minds free, hearts full, and bags packed to go home, we looked at each other and said - "We get it. We will be back".
Love you B - thanks for the best trip ever! xoxo
Have a fun, fashionable day and book a trip to COCOS!