Farewell to Antigua

We left Verandah this morning and we will certainly miss this lovely resort. Were there things that could have gone better in terms of the service in the restaurants?  Yes, absolutely. But the staff are amazingly friendly and accommodating, the food decent, the resort is immaculate, the pools kept pristine, and the beaches are beautiful, so we definitely could overlook the few problems with the food service. 

I think our favorite place to eat was the Rasta Beach Grill for lunch and the pizzas at Papa Ricco’s were delicious even though waiting for a pizza took forever. I did enjoy the selections each morning at the Sea Breeze for breakfast and having a poached egg on top of corned beef hash was a treat. 

The tropical drinks were usually excellent, particularly the margaritas at the Rasta Grill and the pina coladas at the main pool bar. 

We enjoyed spending time at the Wavy Wicket each night for a pre-dinner cocktail and sometimes for a post-dinner nightcap. The Wavy Wicket is a little place tucked away not far from the Sea Breeze, that I don’t think many folks know about since it was always pretty quiet. 

Walking to breakfast we saw a guy who had shimmied up a coconut palm tree and was cutting the coconuts down. Interestingly, the palms don’t actually produce a nut, but a “drupe” and the palm trees themselves can grow up to 98 feet tall!I Lounging under these trees is lovely, but it’s not the best idea. The drupes can weight about 3 lbs, and if you happen to be sitting under one, you can really get injured. In fact, falling drupes do, on occasion, kill people in the tropics. It was good to see Verandah was taking down the drupes all over the resort.

The drupes are prized for their coconut water which is very healthy to drink. Apparently there is nothing better than to drill a hold in the drupe, stick a straw in, and enjoy the coconut water. The coconut cream is used for tropical drinks.

After breakfast we saw Marco and thanked him for the wine he sent to our table last night. We talked to him about the restaurant inconsistency, and also encouraged him, since we know he has his work cut out for him to make the resort five star. He hugged me and we did the “kiss both cheeks” thing again, and he shook Allan’s hand. 

When our cab came to take us to the airport, Marco was going by in his golf cart. He jumped out and once again, wished us a safe journey. We hugged again and we took a picture with him. I told him that friends of ours were coming in March and I will tell them, when they see him, to say “The Basil Tea lady told us to say hello”. 

I saw he had a hand of bananas in his cart and he gave each one of us one to eat. They were delicious!  

Getting through the airports wasn’t too bad, and we got home safe and sound. It was a wonderful vacay!  Looking forward to doing it again next year, perhaps visiting another beautiful island. 

Valentine’s Day

After breakfast we went to the quiet pool and chatted with a couple from Ontario.  They told us that Sandals in St Lucia, is a lovely resort. Allan and I had a wonderful time at Beaches (until we didn’t with Covid), so I’d be interested in investigating Sandals, which is the adult version of Beaches, for next year. 

We met Marco, the general manager, on our way to meet Sharon and Dick for lunch at Rasta beach grill, and we told him that we thought the restaurants needed a bit of revamping. He said he was totally aware and he was going to be implementing major changes. He has only been here for four months, and he is definitely trying his best. 

He asked if I wanted more basil but told him we were leaving tomorrow. He asked what our cottage number was and told us he was sending a bottle of wine to us for dinner tonight. Allan shook his hand and I leaned in to kiss his cheek and he made me kiss his other cheek as well saying “I’m Italian!!”  

We had a lovely lunch at Rasta Grill and said farewell to Theo, our favorite waiter. 

We lounged on the beach for a while and then went back to pack. 

We met Sharon and Dick for a pre-dinner cocktail and then made our way over to Sails and Tales. (Apparently, I’ve been spelling “Tales” wrong all these days…spelling it “Tails”…rather than what it actually is…”Tales”. But I think “Tails” works better…lobster tails, fish tails…but what do I know!)

We had our pictures taken before dinner and we were then seated. All of the staff seemed to keep checking on us all throughout dinner, mainly because Marco, true to his word, sent a bottle of wine to our table. I guess the waitstaff figured we knew Marco and so they did their best to make us feel special. 

It was a lovely Valentine’s Day and we are sad to know our vacay has come to an end. Tomorrow, we fly home. 

Our cottage

First cocktail of the day… piña colada

The wine Marco sent to our table.

Steak and shrimp

Another beautiful day

It was another beautiful day in the Caribbean. It rained this morning when we first awoke, but then the sun came out and there was a lovely breeze all day.  

After breakfast we went to the beach to stake out our chairs and went back to change into our suits. The water was lovely and Sharon, Dick, and I waded out to the rings and had a nice respite floating leisurely in the water. 

Allan and I had enough sun so we changed into shorts and went to Rasta beach for lunch. I had delicious mahi mahi and two margaritas and Allan had a burger and two gin and tonics. Our favorite waiter Theo was there and he always takes good care of us. 

We went to the beach and promptly fell asleep for about an hour in the shade and then went to play mini golf. Allan won. It was those margaritas that took me off my game. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

We went to the small secluded pool and read awhile before going back to get ready for dinner. 

For the first time, dinner at Portofino was a disaster. They ran out of two of the appetizers and then they said they didn’t have any more of the house Cabernet. What????  We also waited forever for our meal to come. They finally came up with wine, and the food was very good, but they really need more organization in the kitchen. 

The sun knocked Allan and me out so we didn’t go for a nightcap.  

Rain, rain go away

I realized I never posted my blog post from a few days ago…so here it is…

We’ve never been in the Caribbean in a rain storm, but there’s a first for everything. 

The rain started during the night. When it first began, it was a pleasant sound as it gently tapped on the roof, but as the night went on, the rain picked up force and the wind started blowing fiercely, and they both joined forces to pummel the metal roof.  

We were lucky that it ended a bit by breakfast so we were able to get to the buffet without getting very wet at all. We had brought our rain jackets so we were fine. 

However, the heavens opened again after breakfast and we stayed in our cottage and read, played five crowns, and I did some knitting. 

We met Dick and Sharon to walk over for lunch at Sails and Tails, but before hand, we went and made reservations for dinners for the upcoming days, as well as procuring a day pass to Verandah s neighbor, Pineapple Beach. We also made a dinner reservation at Pineapple’s grill for another evening. 

We started walking to lunch and it started to rain, and by the time we arrived at Sails and Tails, it was raining hard and the wind was blowing in earnest. 

We were seated, and the chairs behind us were blowing into our table and the rain was really coming down.  We asked to move further into the restaurant and were seated at another table. But by then, the wind was really ferocious and we were getting very wet, so we had to move our table again.  It’s an open air restaurant with a roof, so not much protection. Unfortunately, they must have lost our lunch order because we sat and waited for well over an hour and a half and still, no lunch.  Dick finally asked to move to the bar area where the wind wasn’t as bad, and they seated us there, even though they don’t usually allow eating at the bar. I was shivering at that point and finally, after they put our order in again, we were served. 

By then, it was pouring and when we finally walked back to our cottage, my pants were drenched.  We hung our wet clothes up and just climbed under the covers to warm up and take a nap. 

We had dinner reservations at 7 at Portofino restaurant, and so around 6:30 when there was a break in the rain, we hightailed it over to the restaurant and waited till they were ready to seat us. 

Dinner was very nice. I had bruschetta with chicken livers for an appetizer and had mahi mahi for the main course. Allan had an eggplant appetizer with the mahi mahi and he had peach Melba for dessert. 

After dinner we made our way to the Wavy Wicket for drinks and then walked back to our cottage. It was still raining, but the wind had died down so the walk wasn’t too bad. 

Hopefully as the song says, the sun will come out tomorrow!  

Basil tea

After breakfast, we were walking back to our cottage when we saw Marco coming by in his golf cart. Marco is the General Manager of Verandah and we had spoken to him before when he was out and about, calling him by name, which I think he was surprised that we knew. (We found out his name when talking to a couple who originally came from South Africa, who now live in Boston, who have been coming to this resort for seven years, and the gentleman plays tennis with Marco.)

This time, we flagged him down to say hello and we noticed he was carrying a bouquet of basil that he was taking to the kitchen. We told him we heard that they give garden tours on Thursdays, but since we were leaving on Thursday, was there a chance we could go before then. He said he’d see what he could do. 

We told him that at the pizza place, the margarita pizza didn’t have much basil on it. He said that shouldn’t be, especially since they grow an abundance of it in the garden. I said what he was holding smelled wonderful,  so he gave me some and told me to steep the leaves in hot water to make basil tea. 

We said goodbye…he going to rectify the lack of basil on the margarita pizza pies…and me to brew some basil tea. Which I did. Delicious!!!!!

So then Allan and I went for a walk and we passed the garden. There was a man there loading up a truck with some of the vegetables. I told him that Marco said I should try brewing basil leaves, and I asked the man if he had any to spare. He said to follow him and he took me to row after row of beautiful basil, where he cut me numerous stalks to make my tea. We thanked him and went on our way. 

Sharon, Dick, Allan, and I had lunch at Sails and Tails and we waited quite a while to be served, as we had a waitress who had just started today. The poor thing was truly overwhelmed, so we did our best to put her at ease. 

After lunch Allan and I sat by the pool and talked with a very nice couple for a while, who also were going over to the grill at Pineapple Beach tonight, just as we had arranged to do. 

We took the cart over to Pineapple and started dinner with a drink. The drinks were not great…my dirty martini was not dirty at all and Dick’s drink was terrible. The meal was very nice though and afterwards we went back to our resort, went to the pool bar and had a nightcap.  Leon made me a great Bentley and then it was off to bed. 

Rasta Beach

The garden at Verandah

My basil

Allan’s steak dinner and my pork dinner

Super Bowl LVIII

We had a nice breakfast and then Sharon, Dick, Allan, and I spent the morning at the beach. It’s been windy and a bit chilly, so we didn’t go into the water. It was lovely though to just lounge while drinking a pina colada and watch the sun dancing on the water. I did a little knitting, some reading, and then we walked over to the Rasta Beach grill for lunch.  

Theo, our favorite waiter, took good care of us and made sure that my burger was just how I like it. 

We took a cart back to our cottage and got ready for Asian night at the buffet. Before we left for the buffet I watched a beautiful sunset from our balcony.  

We had a drink at the bar before dinner, and after dinner, we brought drinks back to our cottage so that Dick, Allan, and I could watch the Super Bowl. (Sharon isn’t a fan of football so she just popped in briefly at halftime.)

Leon, one of our favorite bartenders, is sometimes at the Wavy Wicket when we are there, but tonight he was at the main bar. He knows I occasionally love a Bentley, a non-alcoholic drink, and he knows I like it with a tad more simple syrup. He made my drink, and then took a spoon and put a little on his wrist to taste it for me, to make sure it was how I like it. What a fabulous bartender!!  We will definitely give him a good tip when we leave!! 

The first three quarters of the game were a snooze-fest, but it picked up at the end and then was very exciting since it went into O.T.  

Sadly, the 49ers lost, even though they were leading at halftime 10-3. They collapsed in overtime, allowing the Chiefs to march down the field with Mahomes throwing to Hardman for the winning touchdown, ending the game at 25-22. 

The commercials, that always used to be the highlights of Super Bowl, were pretty lame, and I wasn’t impressed with the halftime show either, so I’m glad Super Bowl LVIII is over! 

Pineapple Beach and The Outhouse

Today we had a nice breakfast and then headed over to Pineapple Beach to have Bbq ribs and chicken for lunch. We took a golf cart over and then had a drink at the bar and then hiked up the hills to The Outhouse to enjoy lunch. 

The ribs and chicken were as good as we remembered from the last time we visited, and we really did them justice – washing it all down with beer. There were some delicious sides to eat as well…beets, corn on the cob, salads, and olives, to name a few. 

Pineapple Beach seems very crowded and there is a kind of frenetic vibe going on. We much prefer our resort. It’s more spread out and the beach is much nicer.  The pool is larger as well. We also have two other pools in secluded spots that are quite lovely as well. 

We took the cart back to our resort and spent the rest of the day at the pool. 

We went to Wavy Wicket for a quick drink and then had dinner at Portofino’s. I had the meatballs, but they were very spicy and not the Italian style that I was looking forward to, so I just ate the pasta and the sauce.  After dinner we went back to the Wavy Wicket for a nightcap. 

There was a live band playing poolside and we stayed and listened for a while, danced a bit, then it was to bed. 

Water, Water Everywhere, but Not a Drop to Drink!

After breakfast, Allan and I walked our mile plus and he went for a coffee and I decided to do water aerobics. I first basked in the sun for a bit and then tested the pool water with my toe.  OMG…freezing!  Probably since we had the tropical storm yesterday (yes…I’m calling it that), the pool water was filled with rain and since the pool is heated by the sun and the sun was AWOL yesterday, the water was freezing. 

I picked up the webbed hands gloves and figured, what the heck, and gingerly made my way down the steps into the ice bath. Finally I said, forget it, and just plunged myself in. 

Usually once in, you warm up quickly, but not so. It was cold!  

The instructor came and was surprised to see that there were quite a few of us who had braved the cold water. She wasn’t even in her bathing suit because I think she figured no one would show up. We all shamed her into changing into her suit, and she came back and finally got into the water herself. 

It was a good workout and afterwards we had a drink and then met Dick and Sharon for pizza. Most everything here definitely works on Island time as the pizza place, which should open at noon, didn’t even have the ovens turned on. We all had another drink and eventually our pizzas were ready. The pizzas were delicious, and realistically, where were we in a hurry to get to anyway?  

We went back to our rooms and dressed for our Catamaran Sunset Cruise, a cruise we took four years ago which was wonderful. Since we knew we’d be on the open water, Sharon and I had on capri pants.  I brought a light jacket as well. 

It took about 45 minutes in the tour bus for the driver to take 12 of us to the beach where we would board our catamaran. It was interesting seeing the houses and the sights along the way. 

When we arrived, they told us to take our socks and shoes off since it would be a wet boarding of the catamaran. Say what now???????  That was NOT how it happened the last time. We boarded the catamaran from a dock last time. 

So we made our way through the surf which was very choppy and we had to take a huge step to get on the first rung of the staircase, which was partially submerged in water. The waves were coming in fast and we all got soaked all the way to our thighs. Oof!!!!  There is nothing I hate more than sitting in a wet bathing suit…but sitting in totally wet pants definitely tops it!  

The drinks were plentiful and you could have as much as your wanted, which was evident an hour or so later as many of the guests were happily drunk. 

We were supposed to get finger food. But  that consisted of two tiny pieces of cheese and a grape on a toothpick, and a very small tuna “wrap” that was about an inch by two inches. They came around once with those meager offerings. Then they offered a small piece of what looked like Sara Lee cake. 

The crew was fun and we had a good time with them, and sunset was lovely. After sunset, the captain booked to get back to shore and he went so fast that the water was spraying all over us as it swelled up and over the deck. Now our shirts are pretty wet as well as our pants. 

In getting off the catamaran…the last step caused us all to get soaked once again since it was at least two feet into the surf until we would touch sand with our feet. This time, when’s wave came in, we got soaked all the way to past our crotches. We had to walk barefoot to find our bus and driver and finally found him, boarded our bus again for the 45 min drive back to the resort, our feet filled with sand and our pants sopping wet. 

The cost of the cruise was $170 a couple, plus another $20 per person for the bus driver. Not worth the money. I told Sharon and Dick we should have picked up a few nice bottles of wine and sat on the beach at the resort and watched the sunset there. It certainly would have been drier!!

We were very disappointed and plan to complain tomorrow that this definitely was not a good experience!  

We all took hot showers to warm up and get the salt off of our bodies, and then had a nice Caribbean dinner at the main restaurant. We went for drinks afterwards to reminisce about our adventure. Between the tropical storm getting us soaked and this cruise, I’ve had enough water experiences to last for the rest of the vacay. 😂

Sun and fun

Breakfast this morning had a lot of great choices. I had poached eggs over spinach and a kind of corned beef hash. Delicious. Yesterday at breakfast, i sampled the national dish of Antigua called fungee. It’s made from cornmeal and it had a nice subtle flavor.

Allan and I walked a mile through the resort and then I had water aerobics and Allan went to the gym to work out.

We ate lunch at Sails and Tails and our favorite bartender mixed Allan an extra dry vodka martini and I had a mojito. Lunch was unbelievably delicious. We started with spring rolls and Allan had a huge juicy burger with fries and I had three fish tacos with crunchy battered fish. A little kitten came to visit us while we were dining (the restaurant is open air with a roof above) and I fed it some of my fish and the little one gobbled the morsels down. I suspect the little one gets fed quite frequently by the patrons.

We spent a leisurely afternoon and then Sharon and Dick and Allan and I headed over to the Wavy Wicket for some drinks before dinner at Sails and Tails.

The dinner at Sails and Tails was excellent. I had bruschetta and Allan had Caesar salad with chicken for appetizers. He had steak with shrimp and I had tuna with veggies and coconut rice. Allan finished the meal with bread pudding. It was all very good. 😌

We walked to the main pool and sat for awhile and had an after dinner drink and then it was to bed at 11:45. Tomorrow will be a rain for most of the day so we’ll just hang out.


We’re having a wonderful time on this beautiful island, vacationing with our good friends Sharon and Dick. The four of us took a cab from the airport and were greeted at Verandah Resort with a rum punch and a nice cool towel to freshen up with. We checked in and were driven to our cottage that will be home for the next 10 days.

Our cottage is spacious and our view from our veranda is gorgeous. Our cottage is next door to Sharon and Dick’s. We have a huge walk-in shower, and a king sized bed that is very comfortable, and we are within walking distance to most of the amenities at the resort.

Since we were here before with our friends Sharon and Dick, we know the layout of the land. The resort has changed from a family resort to adult only, added new restaurants, spruced up the pools, and extended one of the beaches.

Sipping mojitos, sunning at the pool, enjoying pizza, and listening to Island music has been wonderful. The staff are very friendly and helpful, although they do work on island time so, there is no rush and sometimes you have to wait for service.

I’ve been to a pool aerobics class. Pool aerobics was a good workout and afterwards the instructor had us join hands and form a circle, and she asked every other person to float, while the rest pulled the floaters around in a circle. Then after a minute of reflection and calm for the floaters, we switched and the floaters took a turn pulling the others around the circle for another minute. Great relaxing way to start the day. (Except the guy next to me really wasn’t too great at floating and he kept gripping my wrist and pulling on it while I pulled him along. Not very relaxing for me… so I finally gently pulled his death grip off my wrist and said…” Maybe floating isn’t for you!” Mental note: Don’t stand next to this guy again during circle time!!)

Dinner last night was Italian at the main restaurant which is buffet style. It is also the same place we go to for breakfast each morning. The dinner was excellent, especially the meatballs. Our only complaint is that the food could be served a tad hotter. Breakfast in the morning is plentiful – cereals, waffles, pancakes, an omelet station, an assortment of breads, meats and cheeses, and coffee and juices. Of course you can also have a liquor drink as well.

Our waitress the other night told us that she works two jobs each day as the cost of living is high with a 17% sales tax on everything you purchase. Tipping at the resort is not expected and is actually included in the price of your stay, but the four of us tip the staff with cash periodically, and they truly appreciate it.

Tonight we all go to Sails and Tails restaurant at the resort for dinner. You have to make reservations a few days ahead for the specialty restaurants. There is no extra charge, except for Nicole’s, another specialty restaurant at the resort, that has a $40 up charge.

Being with our friends Sharon and Dick has been so much fun. Lots of laughing, story telling, and just wonderful being together.

We have dinner reservations made for the week, a sunset cruise scheduled, and today we will go to guest relations with our friends to schedule some more activities for the rest of our stay.

View from our veranda and the personal pizza we enjoyed for lunch.