Our First Day in Barbados
After a long day of travel, our flight got in late at night. Barbados at midnight was tropical and lovely, from the palm trees we could see waving in the warm breeze outside the airport to the rum punch we sipped on as we checked into our hotel, the Colony Club. We made our way along the paths that wound between low two-story buildings and lagoon-like pools to our room and collapsed into bed.
The Colony Club:
We ate breakfast the next morning in the old clubhouse, a graceful two-story limestone building open to the beach and cooled by huge old ceiling fans. We marveled at the white sand beach and turquoise ocean we could see from our table as we sampled the mix of English beans and tomatoes (Barbados was a British colony, and most of the other guests were British), American standbys, and traditional Bajan breakfast foods. Drinking French press coffee, we planned to hit the beach right after breakfast.
Going to the beach at Colony Club was a totally different experience than, say, spending the day at Virginia Beach. The hotel had already set up huge, comfy beach chairs and umbrellas for guests, and attendants circulated periodically with fresh towels, flavored water, or frozen fruit. The water was perfect for swimming, clear and warm, and we could swim out to floating platforms to sun and watch the boat traffic.
For our first day, I wore this cute black swimsuit with a white eyelet cover-up. This is my go-to basic black bikini—it fits perfectly because of the tie back and medium-rise bottoms. I got this new cover-up to protect my shoulders and arms, which tend to get the most sun.
For lunch, my dad convinced my mom and I to walk to Papa Earl’s, a food truck he had read about on a travel blog. We walked towards Holetown, past a school with kids out for recess playing soccer and vendors selling coconuts. Finally we realized that the “truck” was an unmarked van with Earl, a Rastafarian with crazy dreadlocks in a cap, serving vegetarian food in Styrofoam containers. We got a little of everything, plus bottles of juice from Earl’s assistant, and ate at a picnic table nearby. I was rewarded for stepping out of my comfort zone with delicious food: curried rice with vegetables, a yummy fritter, mango salad with lime, and baked yam. I walked back to the hotel feeling pleasantly full, although the sorrel juice was a little weird.
I kept my swimsuit on for the short walk to lunch, but swapped out the eyelet cover-up for a denim swing dress. It’s a button-up dress with no waist, so it’s easy to slip on and off. I also wore brown leather cross-strap sandals, which are simple and go with everything.
That afternoon we embarked on the first of many water sports adventures, tubing for me and Dad and a short boat ride for all of us. The conditions were perfect for tubing—since the ocean was so calm, the boat could go fast without the ride getting too rough. The tubes collided in the water a few times and I flipped mine once, but I soon learned to center myself on the tube and hang on tight. On the boat tour afterwards, our captain/tour guide showed us nearby mansions and luxury hotels.
The Fish Fry:
That night, we were eating dinner at the Barbados fish fry on the other side of the island. We called a taxi after we finished our happy hour drinks at the hotel and enjoyed the ride through Barbados’s beautiful hilly countryside and stunning coast. We arrived at the fish fry, a huge outdoor market that incorporates dozens of restaurants offering grilled and fried fish, and walked through Friday night crowd until we settled on a restaurant. My dad and I left the rest of the family waiting for dinner and explored the nearby fish market, the beach studded with fishing boats, and the pier, where a little boy threw bait from a bucket into the water to draw sea turtles for us to see. The fish fry continued to fill after our dinner arrived: we saw dozens of tourists and locals, including two different men with tiny monkeys perched on their shoulders! We left before nine, deciding that we weren’t ready for the karaoke and dancing that would start later.
For the fish fry, I wore a blue floral sundress with spaghetti straps and a smocked waist. This dress is cute enough for a casual dinner out and I was comfortable for the ride to the fish fry and al fresco dining experience.
Have you ever tried Bajan food? This was definitely the day of our trip where we tried the most local food and I loved it!