Archives for March 2015

Next Stop: Exuma Cays

Consisting of over 360 islands, or cays – many uninhabited, The Exuma chain spreads out over 130 miles of sparkling azure water just south of Nassau.

Although we’ve flown over the Out Islands of The Bahamas before and marveled at the brilliant blue water and unbelievably white sand beaches, we’ve never had the chance to visit The Exumas before now. We’ll be spending a few days soon in the Exuma Cays  – the land of swimming pigs and beautiful shallow water dotted with cays and sandbars that go on for miles, a bar that Jimmy Buffet calls one of the 10 best bars in the Caribbean, sharks that let you pet them and endless picture taking opportunities.

So tell us. Have you vacationed in The Exumas? What were some of the highlights of your time there?

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To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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A Day Trip to Culebra

17 miles off the northeast coast of Puerto Rico sits Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands. This quiet little island is a mere 12 square miles in size. Regardless of its relatively small stature, Culebra boasts several gorgeous beaches, one of which, Flamenco Beach, is frequently listed as one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean.

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While spending some time in Puerto Rico, we wanted to experience a day trip to Culebra and arranged to take the ferry on a weekday morning to try and miss some of the local weekend traffic.

We arrived at the ferry terminal in Fajardo at 7:30 am. We’d heard that the ferry to Culebra can fill up quickly and that if we wanted to be sure to get on the early ferry, we needed to be there ahead of time – in fact our hotel recommended up to 2 hours early. So, we set the alarm, rushed out the door of our resort in Rio Grande, battled a bit of rush hour traffic and arrived at about 7:30 for the 9:00 ferry. Thankfully, we were the first ones in line for tickets.

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copyright Rum Therapy
For $4.50, we each purchased a round trip ticket on a large and comfortable vessel with plenty of seating. We plugged in our iPod’s, settled in and enjoyed the smooth hour long transfer to Culebra. On the trip over, we were able to reserve a golf cart for the day and upon arrival were whisked to Carlos Jeep Rental to finish the transaction.

So what did we do during our day on Culebra?

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We started out with a frozen mango – guava cone sold at a stand right off of the ferry dock.

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Headed to Flamenco Beach where we spent a good part of the day walking from one end to the other in the beautiful white sand,

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floating in the warm water enjoying the sunshine and scenery,

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then washing down some tasty Pinchos with a cold Medalla.
(Read and see more pics from our Flamenco Beach post here)

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Drove the golf cart to the other end of the island to see Zoni Beach, another spectacular stretch of sand on the islands east side.

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Strolled through town to check out the shops, restaurants and bars

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Then capped off the day sipping Bushwackers at the Dinghy Dock while watching huge groupers swim by the dock…

What did we miss? Quite a lot actually. We could have used at least one more full day to enjoy some of the islands best snorkeling at Melones Beach and Carlos Rosario Beach, some time to hike and enjoy the beautiful vistas and more time sipping a cold beverage while chatting with the locals and other visitors at the Dinghy Dock. Then, we would like yet another day to take a water taxi over to Culebrita, a little uninhabited cay off across from Zoni Beach to hike to the abandoned lighthouse, check out the beautiful, deserted beaches and to snorkel with the islands resident turtles.

Ok, if we had our way, we’d have to stay at least a week to totally take in the beauty and charm of this laid back island where you can really kinda feel yourself entering island from the moment you step ashore.

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 Have you been to Culebra? Tell us about it!

 Find Culebra on our Puerto Rico Map

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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

Sunday Serenity: Morning in Green Turtle Cay

Recently we spent a week sailing the out islands of The Abacos, Bahamas. Well, actually it was more motoring than sailing as during our visit, the Sea of Abaco happened to be unusually calm.

One of the cays we were able to explore was Green Turtle Cay. About mid-way down the chain of cays that fringe the larger island of Abaco, Green Turtle Cay measures about 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. Exploring Green Turtle Cay is done easily by golf cart or bike.

During our sail, we’d awake each morning and snap a quick picture of the scenery through our porthole. The morning we awoke on Green Turtle Cay, the morning “porthole pic” was well, amazing! The water was so still that it created a perfect reflection of the colorful morning sky.

We’ll be writing more soon about our explorations on Green Turtle, but for now we’ll leave you with the Green Turtle Cay Morning Porthole Pic…

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Have you explored Green Turtle Cay? Tell us about it!

Find Green Turtle Cay on our Bahamas Map

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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

Caribbean Mist

We recently ran across a picture of a beautiful blue rum drink called a Caribbean Mist on a website called Something Turquoise (picture of the drink). The hue of this drink was an amazing  color, similar to the color of the water in say, The Bahamas, or Turks and Caicos. We needed to try it.

The recipe is simple and we had the ingredients on hand, so we mixed up a batch. The color was greener than pictured, so we tried one more time.

Now we’re certainly not rocket scientists, but pineapple juice is yellow and Blue Curacao is blue and when you mix yellow and blue you get…green. So – this is how the drink looked when we made it the second time. The color was still not as blue as the beverage featured on the website, but it was pretty and had a wonderful light and fruity taste.

Pour it into a champagne glass and this beverage would work well for brunches or other nice occasions.

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Caribbean Mist
(makes 2)
recipe: Something Turquoise

3 oz Mango Rum (we used Cruzan Mango)
3 oz pineapple juice
3 oz (approximately) soda water
dash of Blue Curacao
sugar for glass rims

Lightly dip the rim of each glass in lemon or lime juice, then into the sugar (sanding sugar if available). Fill the glasses with crushed ice. Pour the rum, pineapple juice and the dash of Blue Curacao in a shaker with ice and shake. Pour the mixture in the glasses, then fill the rest of the glass with soda water.

 

Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category

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Caribbean Life – Living on an Island

We don’t really watch a lot of TV. A few shows here and there, but we can normally take it or leave it. With the exception of one show lately. One show that we either look forward to watching every week or record. And if it’s a repeat…well, let’s just say that can spoil the whole evening.

What show is it? Caribbean Life. New episodes air every Sunday evening and we are glued to each one. Face it – the thought of selling everything and moving to a Caribbean island can be quite alluring – especially when the weather outside your current residence is decidedly less than tropical.

A mansion on St. Croix, a house in the jungle in Belize, a condo on the beach in Grand Cayman; all featuring steel drum music, beautiful beach scenes and, of course, delicious tropical drinks. Each new episode gets us thinking about what it would truly be like to live in the paradise that we can’t wait to vacation in.

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But the reality of island life is not always pretty. Prices are high, power outages frequent and those darn tourists. I recently read an article entitled “You Might Be A Island Girl If…” on the blog Women Who Live On Rocks. It humorously outlines some of the realities of life in the tropics such as: 1. DEET is your new fragrance and 2. You’ve grown to rather enjoy a navy shower.

But still – could you take the island inconveniences to wake up every morning to warm weather, sunshine and beautiful water?  Or, would you rather live where you are and  look forward to escaping to paradise on vacation?

What do you think? Have you ever thought about relocating to paradise? What concerns would you have? Do you think you could adjust to life on an island? If you could – what island(s) do you dream of living on?

 

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory


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

Sunday Serenity: Why We’d Like to Re-Visit Cozumel

Although we’ve visited Cozumel a couple of times, we’ve not had the chance yet to stay on island…

Our last visit there was a fun adventure; four of us rented scooters and spent the afternoon touring the island. It was a great way to get around (insurance recommended!), see the beautiful beaches and attractions such as the Punta Moles Lighthouse and enjoy totally serene scenes such as this…

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Why would we like to go back? Although you can see a lot of Cozumel in a day, we’d like to really get a feel for this laid back island just off the coast of Playa del Carmen – snorkeling Chankanaab, drinking ice cold cervezas and spending a few afternoons relaxing in a hammock in the white sand just like the one above…

Have you spent time in Cozumel? Tell us what you enjoyed about it!

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory


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

A Day of Fun in the Sun with Bahama Boat Excursions

Imagine being picked up at the dock next to your hotel and whisked away over the crystal clear water of the Bahamas where you spend the day snorkeling over gorgeous reefs, zipping along on a tube in the warm water, walking in the sugar soft white sand on a deserted beach and being treated to some delicious fresh conch salad and rum punch.

Before leaving last month on our much anticipated trip to the Bahamas, we received an email from Team BBE that said “Will you be traveling to Nassau for the RumBahamas Festival? If so, would you be interested in meeting up for an afternoon of fun in the sun on an excursion to our private beach on Rose Island?” We quickly googled Bahama Boat Excursions and emailed back YES!

Little did we know we were in for one of our best days on the water – ever!

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Capt. Aztec King and Chris Vykouthlas, owners of Bahama Boat Excursions

Bahamas Boat Excursions is the brainchild of long time friends Chris Vykouthlas and Capt. Aztec King who are incredibly lucky to have turned what most people dream of experiencing on vacation into a way of life, and gives them the opportunity to share their love of their islands. They, along with Creative Director, Casey Wray, make up Team BBE.

The day of our excursion, we were picked up at the dock of our hotel by Chris and Capt. Aztec and were immediately struck by their friendliness and excellent customer service. They went out of their way to make sure we had an experience like no other.

Our day began with an exhilarating ride out to private Rose Island on Mary Jane, one of 3 (soon to be 4) boats in their fleet. What did our afternoon of fun in the sun with Bahama Boat Excursions include?

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Plenty of warm Bahamian sunshine while skimming over the incredibly clear blue water.

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Great snorkeling

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Stingray sightings

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Swimming with the turtles

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A thrilling ride on the tube!

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Time to ourselves on a beautiful, private, pristine beach

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Amazingly crystal clear water

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A quiet beach oasis with chairs and umbrellas for total relaxation…

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Rum punch and a delicious conch salad

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Plenty of time to walk the white sand beach

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And a stop on the way home at Sandy Cay to have our picture taken in front of the island used in the opening credits of Gilligan’s Island.

That, and more, made for a excellent day of fun in the sun. Water-logged and sun-kissed from our day of exploring the waters and beaches around Nassau, we headed back totally relaxed and full of new memories from our time with Team BBE. To say we had a blast is an understatement. It was truly one of the best days we’ve had on (and in!) the water.

If you are planning to travel to Nassau and would like more information on Bahama Boat Excursions, email Team BBE at [email protected], check out their website and follow them on Facebook. Voted a top activity in the Bahamas by travelers on Trip Advisor, they tend to book up quickly, so be sure to plan ahead!

Team BBE offers a variety of excursions ranging from an afternoon of relaxation on private Rose Island for up to 6 people, watersport excursions, fishing charters and an excursion to the Exuma Cays. They can also arrange to take larger groups of up to 120 passengers for 4, 6 or 8 hour private excursions over to Rose Island where they offer groups a live grilling station with a professional chef, full bar, music, water sports, kayaks, snorkeling, hammocks, volleyball… and more! Their services can be fully customized to fit the wants and wishes of their visitors from corporate groups, field trips, wedding parties, bachelor or bachelorette parties, family reunions, you name it – they look forward to exceeding your expectations!

 

Find Rose Island on our Bahamas Map


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


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

Grabbers, Great Guana Cay

We wandered down the road from Nippers to check out Grabbers. Where the heck were we, you say? Great Guana Cay, The Abacos – a long skinny cay just a bit east of Great Abaco.

Our stop at Great Guana Cay on our recent sail through the Abaco Islands was highly anticipated.  A gorgeous, small cay in the Bahamas with at least 2 well known beach bars. As I said in the Nippers Beach Bar & Grill post, that’s got Rum Therapy written all over it.

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We entered the manicured grounds of Grabbers late afternoon. Our plan was to enjoy dinner there (and sample their signature rum drink, a Gauna Grabber) before heading back to the boat. Little did we know, we’d be treated to an over-the-top gorgeous sunset.

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Grabbers, aka Grabbers Bed, Bar & Grill, also offers a variety of rooms to rent and would be a great place to stay to really unplug.

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We ordered a Guana Grabber and some conch fritters while waiting for our dinner (a delicious thin crust pizza), then played a little cornhole and walked the beach as the sun began to set.

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Maybe it was the Guana Grabber(s), or the fresh sea air, but the sunset at Grabbers struck us as one of the most colorful we’ve seen.

A beautiful sunset, delicious food and drink, very friendly service and a few friends to share it all with.
Ahhh…great night, great memories.

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Have you been to Grabbers? Tell us about it!

Want to find out more about Grabbers? Check out their website and Facebook page.

Find Grabbers on our The Bahamas Map


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


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

Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum

Last week we were sailing the beautiful Abacos Islands of the Bahamas with two rum experts on board. I know, it’s rough, but we struggled through it.

One of the rum experts, Carlton Grooms, is the Director of Operations of Papa’s Pilar Rum, distilled in Key West, Florida. While we had previously sampled and enjoyed both the Papa’s Pilar Blonde and Dark Rums, we were able to get a little first-hand knowledge of this rich spirit and the best way(s) to enjoy it.

One particularly delightful evening aboard our sailboat, while watching the sun set over the calm Sea of Abaco, we learned that an easy, albeit delicious way to enjoy a glass of Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum is simply to add an orange slice and some grated dark chocolate to a pour. Both the orange and the dark chocolate accentuate and open up the aromas and tastes found in the rum. Although we enjoy sipping Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum neat, I believe we’ve found our new favorite way of enjoying a glass.

Oh, and the view didn’t hurt either…

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Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category


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

Festival RumBahamas 2015

Festival RumBahamas took over the historic and beautiful Ft. Charlotte in Nassau, Bahamas this year for three fun-filled days from February 27 – March 1.

When we realized we’d be in the Bahamas at about the same time as the rum festival, we made plans to be in Nassau to experience this “rum”tastic event. Boy, were we glad we did!

The organizers of RumBahamas (Events by Alexandra) did a fantastic job of combining festival elements to appeal to the serious rum fanatic as well as to those that enjoy rum because of its ability to conjure up images of beautiful beaches and a tropical escape. RumBahamas 2015 was a feast of delicious rums made even more authentic with the sights, sounds and smells of the tropics.

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These were just few of the highlights of this years events for us:

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1. Rum tastings. Although we’re not rum experts, we certainly enjoy rum and it was a treat to sample rums that we’ve not experienced before.

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2. Having rum connoisseurs such as Dave Russell (far right) at the ready to chat with and answer questions about all aspects of rum.

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3. Experiencing and learning about beautiful Fort Charlotte and sipping great rum in a dungeon!

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4. The unique combination of a historical fort combined with brightly colored larger than life decorations.

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5. The festival atmosphere, replete with some very talented stiltwalkers, marching bands, live music, and delicious food.

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6. Booths and booths of beautiful locally crafted items.

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7. Dirty Mules. This tasty ginger and rum drink is new to us and we enjoyed one…or two. Even more appealing as the recipe for this delight is hush, hush.

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8. Rum cocktails galore. Want a Piña Colada, Daiquiri or a Bahamian favorite, the Goombay Smash? Not only could you find them there, you could try one with different brands of rums.

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9. Capt. Jack Sparrow. Who doesn’t like Capt. Jack? This guy really played the part well.

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10. A pirate atmosphere and lots of fun costumes.

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11. Rum bottles used as decorations. Ingenious.

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12. All of this in a magical setting in the beautiful Bahamas. Bravo.

Want to attend Festival RumBahamas next year? Check their website and follow their Facebook page for updates and as soon as we see the dates for 2016, we’ll post them as well.

 

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


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