Playing catch up over here as I spent the past week exploring Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In the meantime, I'll give you a place from my archives, an island worth the wanderlust.
I give my parents a lot of credit. They got creative and more often than not, they took the road less traveled for a family vacation, introducing us to places that were somewhat off the traditional grid. No, we didn't go to the Bermuda Triangle. Further south, back in the '90's, we ventured to Vieques. What I got from that trip: a sun tan, a taste of island adventure, some of the best snorkeling and a Bioluminescent Bay t-shirt that I wore all too often. Spend a night kayaking in the Bio Bay and you'll be just as fixated on the light given off by these micro-organisms. With the illuminated star filled sky above you, dip your hand into the water, awaken the "dinoflagellates" and you'll look like you're covered in glitter. It's just nature doing some magic tricks. Part of the thrill of Vieques for me was that it was off the beaten path. Where are you going for Christmas? What? How do you get there? Just 8 miles east, you can take a tiny puddle jumper and a xanax, if needed, and you're at the less populated little sister of Puerto Rico.
with my sister heading to Vieques years later
Renting a jeep helps you navigate to some of the most secluded, untouched beaches. The reason for this seclusion: Vieques was a former artillery range for the US military. They occupied 2/3 of the island since WWII. The Navy withdrew from Vieques in 2003, after much local unrest, and the land was designated as a Nat'l Wildlife Refuge. And a refuge for single ladies. A few weeks back, the bachelorettes on NBC's The Bachelor visited the gorgeous island of Vieques, where a W recently opened.
photos courtesy of W
There are alternative options of places to stay - a little less luxe but still retain the charm of Vieques.
Hector's By The Sea, up on a cliff, run by gracious Hector, you'll really feel away from it all but somehow right at home. Isn't that part of getting away from the city?
Hix Island House, designed and run by an architect, this place has always been on my list. The open-air plan is a designer's dream, great for travel bugs just not mosquito bugs.
Stay bitten ;)