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Trip Report Barbados family trip report - January, 2014

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This was our first trip to the Caribbean and we were not disappointed! My husband and I are in our early 60’s, our 3 adult children and son in law are 34, 32, 25 and 23 and our two grandchildren are 2 ½ and 6 months. We wisely chose a home through homeaway.com. This provided us a comfortable home base and allowed us to cook at home when we wanted. It had a pool and was within walking distance of the beach. It was nice staying in a residential area. Wild roosters and monkeys provided cheap entertainment. We stayed on the west coast (in Prospect) where the water is calmer. All of the beaches in Barbados are public. I like that openness. I had heard from friends that some of the other islands are divided between all inclusive resorts and then desperately poor neighborhoods. We preferred a more equitable situation.

The Bajans are very mellow and friendly! We were never harassed or pressured to buy anything, even from the occasional beach vendors. Maybe it’s partly due to the optimal weather conditions – the water, air, breezes and even rain were all body temperature! It wasn’t too humid, there were no annoying insects – hard to believe it was so perfect! Now I see why the Caribbean is so popular as a getaway, especially for folks from Colorado. The water was unbelievably beautiful.

We were somewhat surprised at the high costs but were probably just naïve. Being an island requires importing most things so that’s understandable, but still we had to adjust considerably. We chose not to rent a car and don’t regret that. Being Americans, driving on the “wrong” side of the narrow roads and managing roundabouts would have been daunting. We’d been told the buses would be sufficient, but with the 6 adults and two little ones we found it more comfortable to hire a taxi. The buses were always full of locals so the few times we did use them provided some local flavor. Our neighborhood taxi driver, William, was very knowledgeable and easy going. We enjoyed going to the eastern and southern coasts for beach walks for a change of scenery.

We enjoyed shopping at the Cheapside market on Saturday morning and loved the fresh fish cakes. The grocery (Jordan’s) at Prospect was dismal but the Super Centre in Holetown had everything we needed. Memorable meals were at El Tempio, an Italian seaside restaurant in Prospect, and at Bombas, a casual seaside restaurant in Speightstown. The Oistins fish fry was festive.

We felt safe and relaxed – definitely got our money’s worth – and returned with sweet memories of a week in paradise!

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