I am as relaxed as the Caribbean encourages me to be.
Mangoes and coconuts fall from trees and frogs and geckos lounge in the bedroom. Birds try to steal packets of sugar from the room, but are chased away by water guns. At the sight of the plastic gun, placed in every room on the resort, the birds flee. We dip into the plunge pool and get to know each other a little better. The rains are brief spells that unfold without warning. They back off as swiftly as they come. The skin releases its toxins in the steamy island air and shines lush and healthy.
I should mention. I should emphasize. I could write speeches about the view.
It is always the view.
The first morning I woke up right on point at sunrise, 5:45 am, and opened my eyes to this:
Normally the first thing I ever think of is coffee, and if he's lucky, the person next to me, but I was drinking in something new entirely.
At Ladera, we found ourselves with plenty of other young couples, lots of blondes and iPads. Nearly every couple was on their honeymoon, and a few had also shared our wedding date, June 12.
On our first day we were overwhelmed by the heat and took a quick tour of the resort before having some drinks at T'choitl Bar and then dinner at the adjoining restaurant, Dasheene. While the bar menu was heavy on rum and cream-based cocktails with more juice and syrupy drinks than we care for, Josh became a fan of Piton beer, brewed locally.
We were quite happy with our open 2-floor room.
The sun set early and we walked less than 50 feet to dinner.
Dasheene's menus gave us great variety in vegetarian dishes and with so many choices, we went for light, hydrating options like the ginger/carrot soup with grilled tofu (served cold) and a cinnamon sweet potato soup. I finished with the Carib Vegetable Cocktail and he tried the most decadent veggie item, which was a small fritter that would be considered health food in America. All portions were quite small, to our preference. We polished off a ton of water. It already felt like relaxation had permanently settled in.
The next morning, we set off for Jalousie Beach in the shuttle van with other honeymooning couples.
We headed back to our resort for lunch - so many fresh vegetables and curries - sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and root veggies in particular. It was inspiring to see veg that you normally associate with autumn and winter as a summer highlight here. Everything was quite impressive. Josh started drinking his Pitons so quickly before the bugs could fly into them.
Then we switched our bathing suits for some black gear that would not stain in Ladera's black mineral soaking tubs, which were extremely hot and made our skin soft and smooth. The baths claimed to have immunity-strengthening properties and all sorts of beauty benefits. I was hoping they would make me a better blogger.
I protected Josh's Piton during dinner at Hummingbird Restaurant. I ate pasta for once because that's what they had for us, but it had a cashew sauce and cooked pumpkin so I must admit, I enjoyed it.
Then our server insisted on taking our picture. The chef thought I didn't like my pasta because I only ate half of it and offered to make me something else. Do I look like I have ever finished pasta in my life?
While we probably wouldn't recommend Hummingbird, it was a swell evening and we were actually excited to get away from Ladera for a bit and see what else was out there.