Archives for February 2014

Cruzan OJ Dreamsicle

Are you ready for a taste of summertime? We are! We first tasted this yummy Cruzan concoction at the conclusion of our first tour of the Cruzan Rum Factory in St. Croix.

You see, at the end of the tour, you get to sample several rums or rum drinks and this is one of the ones we tried. Tasted JUST like the Creamsicle’s that we used to enjoy all summer long – with a bit of a kick!

So, if you’re ready for summertime – or at least a taste of it, grab your Cruzan Flavored Rums, put on your sunglasses and enjoy!

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Cruzan OJ Dreamsicle
From the Cruzan Rum Website
(makes one)

1 oz. Cruzan Orange Rum
1 oz. Cruzan Vanilla Rum
1 oz. Orange Liqueur
3 oz. half and half

Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into a rocks glass.

For more Cruzan Recipes, check out their website: Cruzan Rum Recipes

What to See and Do in Marigot, St. Martin

The capital of the French side of St. Martin is the beautiful little town of Marigot. Lying between Simpson Bay and Grand Case, Marigot offers a multitude of things to explore, to see and to do.

(see our St. Maarten/St. Martin Map to find Marigot)

Marigot fringes Baie de Marigot, a popular harbor offering a calm anchorage to the many boaters that stay here. We’ve visited Marigot a couple of times now; once by boat and once while staying on island. The following are a few of the things we enjoyed during our visits.

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Marigot Market
In a square in the middle of Marigot, local vendors set up in an open air shop every day except Sunday. The best mornings to visit are Wednesday’s and Saturday’s when you’ll find the widest variety of items and shops. Find local art, many infused rhums, spices, fresh fruits, vegetables and fish and souvenirs.

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Infused rhums

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Spices at Kalina

Go early if you need to find parking and to walk through the booths before busloads of cruise ship passengers arrive.

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Restaurants, Bakeries and Drinks
After working up a thirst or hunger shopping at the Market, be sure to stop by one of the lovely outdoor cafe’s or restaurants some fresh local fare and to people watch
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Just off of Boulevard de France, behind the market, we found two places that we must mention. The Coconut Juice House is a great place to get fresh juice in a coconut, pina coladas or daiquiris and to talk to the owner “Coconut Man”. There you can watch him open the coconut with a machete and squeeze the sugar cane used in the drinks he makes.

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We enjoyed a very cold pina colada which was so refreshing in the warm afternoon sun.

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Down the road from The Coconut House is a delectable French Bakery called Sarafina’s. If you like French pastries and cappuccino, you should plan to make a stop (or two) here. Read more about Sarafina’s in a previous post: Sarafina’s Bakery, Marigot, St. Martin

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Fort Louis
Once you’ve quenched your hunger and thirst, take a walk to Fort Louis, the largest historical monument in St. Martin. Fort Louis was built in 1767 to protect Marigot from invaders and now offers phenomenal views of Marigot and the surrounding areas as well as some very interesting local history.

Access a walking path in Marigot from Rue de la Republique (see map above) or drive to a parking lot just below the monument.

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A Few Other Things
The shopping is excellent in Marigot and you can find everything from souvenirs at the market to fine clothing, shoes and jewelry at the tony West Indies Mall. There are individual shops and art galleries scattered throughout the mid-town area as well.

A Ferry Terminal is located in Marigot with frequent departures to Anguilla and St. Barts. Parking is limited, so give yourself a little extra time if you need to leave your car in Marigot.

What are your favorite things to see and do in Marigot?

 

Find Marigot on our St. Maarten/St Martin Map

To see more posts on St. Maarten/St. Martin and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

VooDoo Juice

We’re headed to St. Thomas soon and planning a short stay at Bolongo Bay. One of the drinks listed on the menu at their beach bar, Iggie’s, is VooDoo Juice, which is described as lots of Cruzan rums, a little juice & a bucket to drink it in! Intrigued, we looked up some recipes for VooDoo Juice and found that this concoction truly is a LOT of rum and a little juice! The recipe below can be used for one tall (and VERY strong) drink or two shorter drinks.

We’ll give VooDoo Juice a try at Bolongo Bay too and let you know how they compare – bucket and all. Pretty sure it’ll taste even better just because we’ll be sitting on a beautiful beach in the warm Caribbean sunshine…

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Voodoo Juice
(makes one tall or two short)

1 oz. orange rum
1 oz. pineapple rum
1 oz. banana rum
1 oz. coconut rum
(we used Cruzan flavored rums)
1.5 oz. orange juice
1.5 oz. cranberry juice
1.5 oz. pineapple juice
.5 oz dark rum to float
Cherry or orange slice for garnish

Pour all ingredients in a tall glass over ice. Stir slightly. We added just a splash of cherry juice for color. Garnish with a cherry or orange slice. Float the .5 oz. dark rum on the top just before serving.


Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category

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Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda

We first set eyes on Leverick Bay in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda in 2006 when we moored there for a night during our first BVI sail. Enamored by the beautiful colors, water and amenities there, we’ve returned twice and hope to again this spring.

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Since 2006, Leverick Bay has done a major expansion to its marina and is now a favorite spot for boaters to stop and stay awhile. Or, if you wish to stay on island, Leverick Bay has its own accommodations and many of the rooms overlook the beautiful bay, North Sound and Mosquito Island.

Why do we like this area so much? Let us show you through some pictures we’ve taken during our visits.

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View of the restaurants from the marina. Fine dining is available on the upper floor and a pub-style eatery called The Cove is on the lower level.

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Looking at the marina from the beach. Guests can use the lounge chairs or rent water toys.

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A pool next to the restaurants. Other amenities include a couple of gift shops, a small supermarket/deli, spa services, tennis and boat rental.

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This pic was taken before the marina expansion but shows the gorgeous color of the water and marina buildings.

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The Telephone Booth Shower on a dock in the marina

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A map of the BVI on the side of the watersports building showing the location of Leverick Bay Resort and Marina.

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Nick’s Weather Forecast for the day! Nick is the general Manager of Leverick Bay Resort & Marina and is quite the funny and personable guy. We got the chance to briefly visit with him when we checked out a dinghy to explore North Sound and he was working the shop for one of his employees.

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Jumbies Beach Bar. We enjoyed some tasty beverages and chicken roti while lounging around Jumbies.

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The bar has several tiers of seating and a very comfortable hammock to lounge the day away in.

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You can meet some new friends from all over the world at Jumbies

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Enjoy a few more drinks by the waterside

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And, if you’re visiting during the high season – January through May, be sure to stop by Monday through Thursday from 5 – 7 p.m. at Happy Arrrr!

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To hear Michael Bean – the singing pirate!
(photo: Leverick Bay FB
)


Want to see more of the island from Leverick Bay? Take a taxi or rent a car to tour the island (see The Baths and Savannah Bay), rent a dinghy to zip around North Sound (check out Prickly Pear Island and The Sandbox) or take the water taxi from Leverick to Saba Rock.

Quiet, but not too quiet…Leverick Bay is a great place to hang out and relax on Virgin Gorda.


Ready to go?

Find out more on the Leverick Bay Website


Find Leverick Bay on our Virgin Gorda Map

To see more posts on Virgin Gorda and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

What to See and Do in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Ah, Charlotte Amalie. The capital and largest city of the US Virgin Islands receives millions of visitors every year, many from the cruise ships that dock in the deep water bay that Charlotte Amalie surrounds.

With all of those visitors, Charlotte Amalie was bound to grow and develop with services of interest to tourists. So, what are some of the fun things to see and do if you have time to explore this bustling island city?

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Aerial view of Charlotte Amalie

The following are a few of the things that we’ve experienced and enjoyed while visiting Charlotte Amalie. Feel free to add highlights from your visits in a comment at the end of the post.

Duty Free Shopping

Duty free shops line many of the streets in the Waterfront area of Charlotte Amalie as well as Yacht Haven Grande and Havensight (right next to the cruise ship dock). St. Thomas offers one of the largest duty free quotas to US citizens in the Caribbean, so if you’re in the market for great bargains on items such as china, perfume, watches, cameras, fine jewelry, liquors and other spirits, island goods, and arts and crafts, this may be the place to get them.

You can walk from Havensight to Yacht Haven Grande easily. There is also a pathway from Yacht Haven Grande all the way around to the Waterfront shops, but it is a pretty good walk. If it’s very hot or you are short on time, you might consider getting a taxi.

Havensight
Havensight is a large area just off of the cruise ship dock that consists of shops, bars and restaurants. Many of the shops here contain souvenir type items, although there are also some high-end jewelry shops.

Yacht Haven Grande
Yacht Haven Grande is an area just north of Havensight that houses some luxury shops such as Gucci and Louis Vitton. There are also a couple of nicer restaurants and yacht services. It’s areat place to grab a cold drink and check out the large yachts that dock here.

Charlotte Amalie Waterfront
North and west of Yacht Haven Grande is the Waterfront area of Charlotte Amalie. This area consists of several streets, Waterfront (Veterans), Front Street and Back Street and are all lined with a variety of shops, restaurants and bars. Check out the Vendor’s Plaza (west of  Ft. Christian) Monday – Saturday for a variety of souvenirs, hair braiding and local food.

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Food and Drink

You can find everything from fast food to fine dining and everything in-between in Charlotte Amalie. Although we have yet to sample some of the higher end restaurants, here are a few places we’ve stopped at and enjoyed. Be sure to check our interactive St. Thomas Map to find the locations of the places listed here.

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Big Kahuna Rum Shack on the Waterfront.
Great place to grab a sandwich, salad, wrap or flatbread and a cold drink and sit on the patio which overlooks the harbor.

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Bones Rum, also on the Waterfront.
Order one of their tasty offerings, such as a Bones on the Beach, Kiss of Passion or Twist of Luck and add as much – or as little Bones Rum as  you’d like! Be sure to purchase a bottle and bring it home. Right now the only place to purchase Bones Rum is at the shop in Charlotte Amalie.

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Fat Turtle in Yacht Haven Grande.
We enjoyed a tasty salad and beverages while sitting on the deck overlooking the yachts.

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da Lime in da Coconut
Great “smoothie” place in Yacht Haven Grande. Leave the rum out for the little ones, or add the rum for a really tasty frozen concoction. We ordered their signature smoothie da Lime in da Coconut, which consisted of pineapple and coconut with a hint of lime…and a shot of Cruzan rum. Very tasty and cold on a hot day.

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Mojo’s in Havensight
A fun little bar that manages to feel a bit tropical, despite the fact it’s in the parking lot at Havensight. Swings for chairs and some tasty Cruzan rum drinks. We enjoyed a Mojo Wacker.


Other Things To Do

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Hot and tired after a day of shopping in the Waterfront area? Magic Ice on the Waterfront will give you a temporary “body freeze” after entering an ice palace with sculptures, lighting, an ice slide for the little ones and an ice cold shot of Cruzan for the big kids.

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Paradise Point Skyride
Want to see a spectacular view of Charlotte Amalie while enjoying the best Bushwacker’s around? Head to Havensight to board the skyride to the top of Paradise Point. You’ll be treated to a spectacular view, some shopping and really great Bushwacker’s. Just be careful. They’re potent!

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The Closest Beaches

There aren’t any good sandy beaches in Charlotte Amalie but if you just have to get your toes in the sand and only have a short amount of time, there are several options. A 5 minute water ferry from Crown Bay (just north of Water Island) can get you over to Water Island where you can spend time on beautiful Honeymoon Beach.

Lindbergh Bay or Bolongo Bay on St. Thomas are two other options, but are farther away (see our interactive map). Both have beach bars and would be a nice place to hang out for several hours.

What else have you experienced and enjoyed in Charlotte Amalie?

 

Find these attractions on our St. Thomas Map

 

To see more posts on St. Thomas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

The Mysterious Bottle of Rum

We were recently contacted by Jim and Holly, a couple that we had the pleasure of spending a week with during our Island Windjammers Cruise a few years ago.  They’d been gifted an old bottle of rum that was perhaps pretty special and wondered if we could find out anything about it. We’re posting the story of this mysterious bottle of rum to see if any of you may know how to get background info on it!

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Here’s the story:

What started out as a simple gift from a brother-in-law has become my mystery.  He gave me the bottle over Thanksgiving.  One of his Californian neighbors is in the business of buying estates, usually after someone’s death.  As you can imagine it is sometimes difficult to determine whether items in an estate have any real value.  Not knowing much about rum, and knowing my brother-in-law drinks rum, the neighbor gave it to him.

We did some online research and have had some luck.  Here is what I have been able to learn.  The rum is named Bebida Real and was manufactured in Cuba by Nicolas Merino.  The bottle was imported through New York and tax stamped in California for retail sale.  California tax authorities confirmed that the tax stamp (16 cents) represents a tax rate that was in place between 1935 and 1955.

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They were not able to use the actual tax stamp number to narrow it down any further and obviously know nothing about the producer.  In about 1960 Castro took over the rum industry in Cuba and made it ‘state run.’  This happened to Bacardi as well.

I contacted a UK company that offered an evaluation and they offered two hundred pounds before any of my research so I have to believe its work twice that or more. They opined that the bottle label and type of seal were common to the 30’s and 40’s and that information is consistent with what I learned from the State of California.  Prohibition ended in 1933 so I knew it was imported sometime after 1933 even before I got the information from California.  Combining what the collector in the UK knew, and what the State of California told me, it appears the bottle was imported between 1935 and 1950.

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The bottle was imported by a company named McKesson Spirits which was part of the McKesson and Robbins Corporation.  The company was somewhat infamous in the late 30’s after a known criminal (Phillip Musica),using a couple of aliases,apparently took over the company.  He had been convicted twice for bootlegging during prohibition.  Musica and several brothers apparently created false sales and false value and profits.  Eventually, December of 1938, the SEC opened an investigation and Musica was arrested and eventually committed suicide before he could be rearrested before trial.This incident contributed to the creation of many new federal regulations about how companies are required to report their financial health.  The company survived and is now McKesson Corporation, a large global company.  During the mid 1900’s McKesson was the USA’s largest importer of alcoholic beverages among other things.

Although the bottle’s labels are generally in good shape there is no manufacturing date on the bottle.  I haven’t been able to find anything about the company that produced it and suspect it is no longer in business.  However, it is difficult to get historical information out of Cuba via the internet.  The stamp on the bottle, see pictures, is a 16 cent stamp which means that the tax on spirits in California at the time was 80 cents per gallon (which is how I was able to identify the 1935-1955 time frame by contacting California tax authorities).  I now own a mint version of the stamp (purchased from a stamp collector) but still don’t know the actual date of manufacture and import.

Anyone who has any thoughts or information that might help me close in on the age of the bottle, understand its history, and determine the value of the bottle please contact me [email protected].  I don’t know if I will sell the bottle but want to know its approximate value before I decide.  I also am not sure how best to sell it if I decide to.And if it turns out to be only worth a couple of hundred dollars I may just decide to have a Cuban rum party and enjoy it!


If you have any info on this bottle, please contact Jim and let him know. Is it worth anything? Or, should he just have a party (and invite us!)

Thanks!

The Last Resort, Bellamy Cay, BVI

The Last Resort, a great little restaurant and bar on Bellamy Cay, a small island in Trellis Bay, Beef Island, has been serving up great entertainment along with tasty drinks and food since the ’70’s.

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The Last Resort has quite an interesting past. Tony Snell was a British Flight Lieutenant who, in 1943 was shot down in his Spitfire and escaped a German firing squad. After the war, he worked as an actor, songwriter and musician. In 1969, Tony and his wife Jackie moved to the British Virgin Islands where they eventually opened the original “Last Resort” on Little Jost. After just one year, The Last Resort on Little Jost burned to the ground. Tony and Jackie decided to move The Last Resort to Bellamy Cay, which, in itself, had quite a history – of pirates! While living in a houseboat in Trellis Bay, they constructed a new restaurant on Bellamy Cay.

When The Last Resort opened, Tony was in his element providing all of the entertainment with piano, guitar, harmonica and original songs. Jackie, took the roll of main cook.  There are stories – some of which are a bit unbelievable, but good stories nonetheless, of the many animals the Snell family kept on the little island, including parrots, a singing dog and wine and rum drinking donkeys! After a number of years, Tony and Jackie passed the reins to their children, Jessica and Jeremy.

copyright Rum TherapyThe Last Resort in 2006 with a donkey named Chocolate

In past visits to The Last Resort we’ve had a blast.

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Recently we enjoyed a great dinner with friends on the deck and then partook in some raucous entertainment with Al Broderick, aka, the Singing Chef, who successfully plied the audience with free shots to encourage participation. It worked.

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Customers singing for shots at The Last Resort

We finished off the evening with a pretty intense Foosball competition.

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Thankful we once again had a designated dinghy driver, we made our way back to our boat moored in Trellis Bay still singing  and laughing after a great night of fun.

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Apparently, The Last Resort has recently changed hands to a young couple by the name of Emily & Dylan  Burill. They are hoping to make the resort a bit more family friendly and have changed the menu and decor a bit. We’ve not been there under the new ownership yet, but the recent Last Resort reviews seem to be positive!  Have you been to the Last Resort and met Emily and Dylan?


Get to The Last Resort by dinghy if staying on a boat in Trellis Bay, or call for the ferry from Trellis Bay Dock opposite D’ Best Cup Cafe. Find The Last Resort on our Tortola Map


To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

What to See and Do in Sandy Ground, Anguilla

Sandy Ground Village and Beach, located on bustling Road Bay on the beautiful island of Anguilla, offers visitors a myriad of opportunities to dine, drink, enjoy live music and enjoy the beautiful beach.

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Although Road Bay is Anguilla’s main port for ships, don’t let that scare you off. Sandy Ground Village and Beach, fringed by Road Bay, contains a long expanse of sugar soft sand and turquoise water and some of the best nightlife on the island.

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The last time we spent the day in Sandy Ground, we started at one end and walked to the other, enjoying many of the sights and sounds along the way. I’m sure there are a lot of other places to discover in this pretty area, but this should give you an idea of a few things you might want to explore.

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See our full Anguilla Map

We began our day at Elvis’ Beach Bar at the north end of Sandy Ground Beach.

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We’d sampled some of Elvis’ stellar rum punch in a previous visit and looked forward to ordering more, but unfortunately they were not open yet, so instead we took the opportunity to lounge on the chairs in front of the bar, checking out the boats and the incredibly blue water. Read more about our visit to Elvis’ here.

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From there, we wandered south down the beach and took a quick jog to the left, across the road to check out The Pumphouse. The Pumphouse gets pumping after dark and is a great place for live music, food  and fun nightlife. 

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We headed back to the beach and ended up at Johnno’s. Johnno’s is known for it’s great live jazz and in a previous visit, we spent a great afternoon with our toes in the sand, drinking rum and coke and listening to jazz. Perfect afternoon..

copyright Rum Therapy Moving on down the beach we pass the Visitor’s Pier. There are some large ships that anchor in the the deep water at the edge of the bay, boat visitors in and drop them off at the pier. This area hasn’t been all that busy when we were there, but I’m sure it can be.

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Shortly past the Visitors Pier sits the Sandbar. The Sandbar has a beautiful setting right on the beach and after 5:00p.m serves up excellent appetizers and drinks.

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Onward to Roy’s Bayside Grill. The last stop before the commercial pier, we decided to order a beverage and enjoy the sugar soft sand of the beautiful beach.

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We had gotten pretty warm walking in the beautiful sunshine and thought we’d order a Bushwacker.  It was delicious and we enjoyed it while sitting under a thatched umbrella on the beach in front of Roy’s.

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We fought the temptation to order another, knowing we had a lot more beach to explore and continued south from Roy’s. Now, it looks as if the beach ends at the commercial pier, but, at the time of this writing, we were able to go under the pier and continue on to a very quiet and beautiful stretch of beach past the pier.

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Just past the pier is a large boat that has been beached. The color contrast of the boat against the water was stunning…

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A little further and we came across some adorable Anguillan children playing in their “backyard”. Lucky kids…

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From there it was beach time.

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The end of the beach was marked by a large ship that found itself on the rocks during a hurricane in 1995.

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Thirsty, we headed back for a refreshing cocktail and some live music.

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Are you ready to spend a day in Sandy Ground, Anguilla?


For up to date information on all things Anguilla, be sure to check out our friend Nori’s website who lives on island. Can’t say we’re not just a little jealous….

 

To see more posts on Anguilla and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Snorkel Mask Camera

I was surfing the web yesterday looking for new toys for our upcoming tropical trip and ran across this ingenious product.

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Liquid Image 304 XSC Explorer Series 8.0 MP Underwater Video Camera – Yellow

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I am unfortunately not a diver, but I LOVE to snorkel and I LOVE to take pictures. I even love to take pictures AS I snorkel.We’ve had great luck with our  Olympus Waterproof Camera and are definitely enjoying, although have not yet mastered our new GoPro HERO3+: Black Edition (note to self, before attempting to video a feat such as zipping down Mystic Mountain in Jamaica, make sure the battery is charged….sigh.) But, the thought of taking pictures and video while snorkeling without having to hold on to a camera is, well, appealing!


Another option.

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GoPro Hero 3+ Compatible Scuba Mask (Black) – for Diving with GoPro® Hero3 Black, Silver, and White Accessory. Since we already have a GoPro, this option would make sense as well. My only concern would be if I would have to tilt my head slighlty to get the same camera view as what I’m seeing.

What do you think? Have you had any experience with either of these products? If so, what are the pros and cons?

Read more posts in Tropical Tips & More

Read more Island Posts in our Island Post Directory

Superbowl Rum Drinks

Who are you drinking for, er, routing for tomorrow? Here are a couple of rum drinks sure to let everyone know who “your team” is! The Bronco Orange Rum Crush and The Seahawk Rum Slammer! Cheers to what will hopefully be a great game!

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Bronco Orange Rum Crush
(makes one)

1 c. orange juice
1 oz. orange rum (we used Cruzan Orange, but you can also use Triple Sec or Cointreau)
1 oz. white rum
splash of lemon lime soda
crushed ice
orange slice for garnish

In a tall glass, add the orange juice and rums. Add crushed ice and top off with a splash of lemon lime soda. Garnish with an orange slice.


Seahawk Rum Slammer

(makes one)

1 c. lemon lime soda
1.5 oz. blue curacao
1 oz. white rum
squeeze of lime juice
crushed ice
lime slice for garnish

In a tall glass, add the lemon lime soda, the blue curacao, rum and a squeeze or two of lime to taste. Add the crushed ice and top of with a little more lemon lime soda if needed. Garnish with a lime slice.

 

For more recipes, visit our Rum Recipe Picture Directory
or Rum Recipes by Category

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC