This past fall, I had the lovely opportunity to visit the Lazio province of Italy and be introduced to Emma and Scott, owners of Olive Hill Sabina. This special olive farm just outside of Rome makes for a great day trip or a weekend getaway to learn all about the process from planting to harvest.
Agri-tourism/Agriturismo is big business. More and more travelers want to have cultural and interactive experiences while they travel. Immersing yourself in nature through hiking or helping with the growing or harvesting a crop like olives or grapes (for wine) in Italy is BIG! Not only are friendships formed but in my opinion, you are now connected to others and the earth in a way that makes this kind of travel uniquely special. Popping up all over the tourism industry are opportunities to explore, learn, participate and connect.
Olive Hill Farm is a picturesque farm overlooking the Sabina hills of Italy. This farm is known for its exceptional organic-certified olive oil production. Olive Hill Sabina offers a variety of tours and tastings from Aperti-Tastings in the evening as well as morning tours on the weekends too. The tours and tastings are interactive and a lot of fun. Both, Emma and Scott are natural-born story tellers. Scott will regal you with the history and beginnings of their farm and Emma delights in sharing the agriculture, tree and olive varieties, cultivation and harvesting techniques.
During the tour, we explored the valley of olive trees just as the sun was setting, exquisite. Also, it was a perfect time to take a few pictures. Olive oil from this region is definitively different from other parts of Italy. The trees even look different from Northern Italy to Apulia which Jon and I visited on this trip as well. More to come soon on the boot heel of Italy visit.
After our tour of the grove, our tasting began. Over the past ten years, I have been to A LOT of olive oil tastings. Some in France, some in Slovenia, this one is definitely unique and unforgettable. I’m not going to give all the secrets away but it was fascinating and educational.
Set in their gazebo with the fading sun in the background, we enjoyed a buffet of Italian treats. From charcuterie to fava beans the endless treats are belly-filling fun.
There are several opportunities to join Emma and Scott on the farm and here are a few.
Meet the Maker – beginning in January 2024 you can meet the maker. Depending on the season, you can enjoy watching and participating in the pruning process or see the different stages of olives as they grow.
Harvest Day – is a hands-on experience in the Sabina countryside. Manual harvesting is done old school style with rakes. This process takes all day and by evening the olives are then taken to a local press, where you can see how this liquid gold is created.
Want to stay a bit longer and make it an Agri-Travel Tour? Well, you can. Beginning in the spring of 2024, an holiday apartment will be available at the farm! This self-contained suite has it’s own separate entrance and private entrance.
This charmingly furnished and comfortable bedroom with en-suite bathroom would be a little Italian getaway. Tranquil and picturesque like stepping into a watercolor, uniquely Italian.
There are packages available if you would like to combine a stay with a farm experience too. Packages begin at €100 per person with double occupancy.
From Rome to Sabina it is about an hour by train. On the border of Lazio and Umbria, it boasts the beauty of both states. If you visit, Emma and Scott will surely share the highlights of this untapped, untouched area of Italy.
We rented a car from Rome and it is a pretty straight shot from Rome. It would also make a very easy stop on your way up to Florence, Tuscany or Venice.
My travel friend Candy has been great to introduce me to what’s around Sabina when I visit her AND here are a few places I have fallen in love with. Sacre Bosca or the Garden of Monsters and also Tivoli Gardens. Both of these are perfect day trips around the Sabina Valley as well as from Rome.
Casperia is close by and is a 13th century town only accessible by foot. These all make for great day trips but why not visit a part of Italy that is not bombarded with tourists. Italy is predicted to be the top three destinations to visit in 2024, just behind France (Paris-Olympics) and Greece (still hot!.)
Farfa Abbey was another great visit for us and not too from from Sabina as well. We arrived during a festival and craft fair. It was some pretty Travel with Wendy luck. It was a beautiful day to walk around the Abbey and grounds. Tours are available as well.
If you are a hiker, you will be happy to know that part of Via di Francesco way (The walk of Saint Francis) is here as well. I am excited to return and complete portions of this trail, hopefully with Emma. From Florence to Rome this trail (similar to those who complete the Camino de Santiago) becomes a journey of self-discovery, faith and connection to earth and others.
This year I have visited Dublin, not once, not twice, but three times! That’s not all in total, I’ve visited Dublin half a dozen times. So today’s article “Foodie in Dublin” is dedicated to all the great finds I have discovered this year and over the years from fish and chips to great burgers and Guiness stew, here they are.
Fish & Chips
I have to include Fish & Chips of course, because it is an Irish staple and thanks to my friend Candy I have quite a few to share. She loves Fish & Chips and when we visited in September ’22 and again this spring we might have tried a few places out. This foodie in Dublin found it hard to just keep our search to a few favorites.
The location of Old Storehouse in the heart of Temple Bar might make it tough to even recognize there’s another pub there. However, you would be missing out if you skip this restaurant, pub and music venue. Get all your picture taking done and then stop in here for some fish and chips. On our first visit, Candy and I just Googled best fish and chips in the Temple Bar area, mostly because we arrived around lunch time and it was within walking distance of our stay.
Old Storehouse has live music too as well as beer and cider on tap. It was so good and memorable we returned with my daughter Katy this past May as well.
Darkey Kelly’s is located on the outskirts of the Temple Bar area, not too far from Dublin Castle and St. Patricks’ Cathedral. The legend of Darkey Kelly’s is actually quite creepy, but also empowering.
Dorcas Kelly was the brothel owner and falsely accused of witchcraft, but was executed for murdering five men. Here’s a bit more info. Today, this super lively pub has LIVE music nightly and we were thrilled to get a front row seat both times we visited.
TRAVEL TIP: Arrive early if you would like to have a seat. Reservations ARE NOT taken, it’s a first-come, first-serve basis.
Their menu is traditional Irish Pub food as well as beer and cider on tap. You can find bangers and mash here, fish and chips (of course) and beef and Guiness stew as well as Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake.
The pub is open until 12:30 a.m. however the kitchen did close around 9:00 p.m. on one of our visits so we missed out. But great food and music.
Leo Burdock Fish & Chips
Since 1913 Leo Burdock’s Fish & Chips has been a unique Dublin favorite. We had a blast being the first in line as soon as it opened to get hot, fresh food. We visited the Christchurch Street store and grabbed our to-go and had a seat on a park bench. Just know there are some flighty friends that will insist on just a bite.
You can easily share one piece and the chips are huge too. I could see why it is a favorite. It’s a great grab and go place and there are locations around the city.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK)
This somewhat gourmet/upscale burger joint was located on Anne St. close to St. Stephen’s Green. This cool little hip neighborhood is dotted with shops, pubs and restaurants. I imagine it gets quite busy as well.
Our little group enjoyed a really good burger AND they even have VEGAN and VEGETARIAN options. The decor is casual and hip, but the menu is surprising. From Halloumi bites to Chick Chick Boom Boom (a chili fried chicken sandwich with garlic mayo, blue cheese and jalapeño.
Our group really enjoyed a pop-in here after a week around the Irish countryside. Love me some Irish food, but it was great to get a burger and fries too.
TO SCHEDULE A TRAVEL CONSULTATION USE THE CALENDAR BELOW ⬇️
The Bank on College Green
The Bank on College Green was once part of the banking system of Dublin and the interior is just spectacular. Outside is Scottish Sandstone and inside, WOW! Stain glassed ceilings, mosaic tiled floors and pillars of marble that definitely make you feel like you have stepped back into the Victorian era.
We enjoyed a late lunch here and some drinks and had spectacular seats. We enjoyed some seafood chowder and Slow Braised Beef & Guinness Pie.
My throat was a bit scratchy so I tried an Irish Penicillin, made up of Irish Whisky, honey, ginger syrup and crystallized ginger. It hit the spot.
You can make reservations for dinner, which I would recommend. The food was great as well as our cocktails. It is quite a production for the bartender prepares craft drinks for customers. It is like a show, centered in the middle of the grand room.
The Whiskey Reserve
What kind of tour operator would I be if I took a group to Ireland and we didn’t try some Irish Whiskey? Well, thankfully I had willing participants. Just a few of them, HA! On our last day of the tour through Dublin, we stopped into The Whiskey Reserve. Brand new to the Temple Bar area, we were there on their third day of opening.
Tom and Rob the bartenders gave us a bit of a tasting while we were visiting. Be sure to check out the Vlog on this too. They have whiskey from all over the place not just Ireland but Scotland and Japan too. There are also several rare collection pieces as well.
You can also schedule a private tasting for more information be sure to check their website. Because we were just at the beginning of our tour, I only had an Irish Coffee. An Irish coffee has coffee, whiskey, brown sugar and topped with whipped cream. YUM!
Butler’s Chocolate this decadent sweet confectioners has been based in northern Dublin since 1932. Today, you can find their stores all over town, in the airport and actually Ireland. Considered luxury chocolates, you can also find them on Amazon too.
We visited the Liffey Street location and enjoyed a scrumptious hot chocolate. I also grabbed a few bags to take home to America too. There are 18 locations country wide and sixteen in Dublin. I would say “Butler’s” is a hometown favorite.
They are also a coffee shop with baristas, serve sandwiches and other baked goods. You will definitely be glad you stopped in here if you have a sweet tooth.
BOOK A CONSULTATION!
With someone who has over 35 years of education and experience in the travel industry
As you can see in just a few visits we were able to traverse the town to tantalize our tastebuds. HA! Dublin is not in short supply of great restaurants the challenge will be where will you try on your next visit.
Here’s a few more good eats on St. Croix, USVI. This past month, we couldn’t help ourselves from trying a some new spots in St. Croix and wanted to visit a few of my favorites too. The last time I was on the island, I made a vlog about Where to Eat on St. Croix AND got quite a bit of feedback, which is GREAT! I loved how many people knew the places I had mentioned and recommended a few for me to try. I listen to my community, so we just had to try them out.
In today’s blog, I also highlight a few that I wanted to check in on. Since COVID, many of my small Mom & Pop restaurants haven’t made it through and it has been a bit heartbreaking. My desire to make sure they were still going strong and were able to bounce back and hang in there took over, so here’s an update on those too. I’m also mentioning a restaurant that is coming to St. Croix that you’ll have to read to the end to find out!
Jon and I stayed in Frederiksted, this time while visiting at Sand Castle on the Beach if you missed my blog from last week here it is. We love staying with Chris & Ted here and relaxing on the best beach and sunsets on the island. Plus, it’s adults only. Major bonus. So I will begin with their place first.
Good Eats #1 – Beachside Cafe, Sand Castle on the Beach
Their al fresco restaurant and menu is light and airy and has an array of island favorites and options to choose from. The Brunch is very popular on the weekends and I definitely recommend making reservations if you plan to attend.
Their menu can be found online right HERE and you will LOVE the views. Open patio seating to an amazing beach. The staff is friendly and professional and will happily share the daily specials. The Bar has the talented Ms. KT who serves up a mean NEW ORLEANS-STYLE SPICY BLOODY MARY that comes with a bacon-side garnish, practically a meal. HA! Perfect for brunch and pair with your pancakes or breakfast bowl.
Maybe you will decide to join them for dinner, the menu has a bit of diversity there too with Creole Shrimp or Mahi or Crispy Thai Chili Chicken. We also loved the Parmesan dusted brussel sprouts too.
My big treat EVERY TIME I come is the Pineapple Glazed Rum Cake made locally and fresh it is the epitome of Island flavors that are truly gooey deliciousness.
Good Eats #2 – Savant
This restaurant caught my eye because it was recommended by a viewer from my YouTube Channel. I try to listen-up. Always learning… especially about where to EAT! This foodie will take all recommendations.
Savant is located in Christiansted and has made a bit of notoriety because of it’s unique and different setting as well as the scrumptious food. WOW! It did not disappoint. Locals told us that the President visited also during his time here in January. I was interested in the menu and the ambiance.
Parking is in the back, be sure not to drive past it, the entrance is just on the other side of the front door. However, if you park in back, you will want to enter in the back. Half jungley-feeling with a green cover foliage canopy and half castle ruins there is definitely a super cool feeling that is a WOW factor.
We made reservations really easy just by giving them a ring, their reservations number is on their website. They are only open for dinner, so if you are visiting the island and not for long, I would recommend making your reservation post-haste.
Savant is a truly a romantic special dining experience. We enjoyed our dinner in the courtyard. Even though it was a bit warmer in August, I could imagine it is quite lovely the rest of the year. Candlelit tables with an artistic flare it really brought in an elegant island feel to our evening.
The Menu at Savant
The menu is extraordinary. They have daily fish specials (and work with local fisherman and farmers) and we were recommended to try the local WAHOO if it was available, it was delicious. They offer a few curry’s, coconut rice, duck and lamb just to mention of few items. The service was impeccable and professional as well. Definitely a keeper and a must-visit.
More good eats on St. Croix, USVI include Ama at Cane Bay has an incredible location and setting as well. Having dinner here is such a special treat. Oceanfront seating that skirt along the cliffs as the waves come rushing in at sunset. This breathtaking view was all-island.
Ama is an environmentally responsible sustainable seafood restaurant. Their menu changes according to availability in the ocean and on land. Trusting the island to let them know what is best in season and fresh.
Ama is another restaurant where dinner reservations are required. You can make reservations through their website or OpenTableApp it was very easy to make. The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. and is closed Sundays and Mondays.
ALSO, if you would like front row seating to the crashing waves, be sure you request this in your reservation. Jon and I were thrilled to be on the upper level.
The wine list is extensive and I was thrilled to see so many different selections. Some came from Germany and New Zealand. I tried the Kim Crawford Rose from New Zealand and I am really starting to love the wines from New Zealand for summer, cool and crisp and dry. YUM! However, for my meal, I tried a California Martinelli Chardonnay which is so NOT me, but it went really well with my Crispy Pan Seared Salmon. EJ or server was correct! It balanced everything out.
Good Eats #4 CI BO NÉ
Ci Bo Né is located in Frederiksted and within walking distance of Sand Castle on the Beach. Ci Bo Ne was a great seafood restaurant that has indoor and outdoor seating. I didn’t get a great photo of their menu. It was a QR code menu, you can find that through their Facebook page too. It has a simple design and decor, with fresh lime trees in the courtyard.
The locals recommended this fresh restaurant new to the West End of St. Croix. The menu was simple but good and fresh. Also a farm-to-table concept, and we had the snapper, crab cakes and pan seared scallops. Everything was very tasty.
We weren’t able to make reservations, but we did call ahead. Greeted with a hello and smiles and the service was professional and courteous. For an authentic island feel specific to St. Croix, I recommend Ci Bo Né.
Good Eats #5 BrewSTX
Next, right on the harbor along the promenade in Christiansted is BrewSTX. It is a great place to people watch too. I missed this place on my last visit so I’m super glad someone said, “Stop, here!”
On our visit, we arrived right at opening for lunch and before the big boats started to dock.
There is bar seating and hightop table seating around the open bar and fun beach music playing too.
We ordered the coconut shrimp and fish tacos, frozen lemonade and an IPA. Since it was a brewhouse too, Jon had to just give one a try.
We stopped in here right before we went snorkeling over at Buck Island. Loved this excursion. Be on the lookout for that new content soon!
Jon and I really enjoyed our pop-in visit at Louie’s & Nachos Beach Bar in Frederiksted. Running in from the rain we caught ourselves at this fun bar just down the road again from Sand Castle on the Beach Resort.
This beach bar is exactly what you think of when you are heading to the beach! Fun drinks menu and simple menu of bar food. Tacos, burgers, chicken wings and even Vegan options. Tacos were about $6/7 each and honestly those were about the cheapest entree we had on the island. They were flavorful and fun.
I had a Creamsicle Crush and it was so yummy. I had to describe what a Creamsicle was to Jon as he was clueless. How can we be married this long and he doesn’t know what a Creamsicle is? I have failed. This delicious concoction tasted like an alcoholic Orange Julius. We each tried a few different tacos, a shrimp, chicken and beef. They were loaded with cheese, whose my friend, so I loved them. HA!
We hunkered down til the rain passed and then made our way home. We loved the upper deck or upstair’s bar. The bartender’s were fun and fun-loving. They totally knew their way around a blender too, I was waiting to see if Tom Cruise or Brian Brown would show up, but I waited in vain.
Louies & Nachos does close at 8:00 p.m. We thought this was a bit odd for a bar but just keep that in mind when visiting.
Good Eats #7 Return to Polly’s at the Pier
Polly’s at the Pier is an absolute St. Croix favorite for me. Fresh breakfast, cool drinks, feathery friends (I think Polly’s descendants) and a fun island setting in the heart of Frederiksted. Right off the pier, you can’t miss Polly’s. It has outdoor and indoor seating, although it’s open air seating.
The food is just great and the staff is fun too. There’s a ton of different hot sauces to choose from, which always accompany my eggs. They have breakfast sandwiches, scrambles, breakfast burritos and sparkly cocktails available first thing in the a.m.
Polly’s is one of the restaurants I wanted to make sure was still doing well after the pandemic.
I think with the cruise traffic starting again they must be doing real well. Thankfully. For those few reviewers who welp about the chickens I think they just might not be on island time. I’ve been three times now and it’s never been an issue for me. C’est la vie.
My visit to St. Croix would be incomplete if I didn’t make it to the LaReine Chicken Shack. Especially with Jon. Definitely in his top 5 must-have when we visit the island. One of the BEST things I love about LaReine’s is you can smell it before you arrive. The smoke filled barbecue wafts throughout the LaReine area of St. Croix.
On this visit, Jon and I were trying to be better and ordered the 1/2 chicken, with Johnny cakes and coleslaw. So, so good. Delicious as ever. Parking is available right there at the shack and the bar was open when we visited and was hopping.
Even if you are dining in, your meal will arrive in a to-go box. When you’re finished there’s a table by the bar, just set it there. Locals knew this, I just asked around.
Good Eats #9 Return to Tap Deck
With our stay in Frederiksted and needing a lunch spot, we visited Tap Deck. This bar and billiard top deck restaurant across from the pier is super fun and tasty. My friend Candy introduced me to Tap Deck in 2021. So of course, I had to introduce Jon to it on this trip.
We enjoyed some fun bar food, burger sliders and some wraps. This pool table, bar games restaurant is a great place to grab something that won’t weigh you down. Also a great place to people watch, our server Jeff said they’ve been quite busy too.
Good Eats #10 Dazzled
So to be fair we didn’t get a chance to eat at DazzledSTX but it smelled so good. DazzledSTX in Christiansted is a music/dance/restaurant venue that is new in town. My friend Wendy, from GotoStCroix.com recommended we visit for drinks and dancing, that team always has the BEST TIPS!
Jon and I made our way here for a few drinks and to listen to the LIVE BAND. Drinks were great and so was the atmosphere. Totally we revisit on our next visit for sure.
The dining room was filled and even the bar area people were enjoying appetizers and desserts. Dazzled also has dance classes, shows and parties. Such a great new addition to St. Croix!
I wanted to share a bit of good news I think for travelers, a new place, The Reef Cafe & Bar! It is a new restaurant/cafe that looks like its going into the St. Croix airport and it’s after security. Although I couldn’t find much about when or what will be offered, it looks like it’s in the works. Fingers crossed it will be a great place to grab a bit while we wait for the flight.
In the meantime, at the airport there’s a little kiosk that does offer snacks, drinks and local bites. There is plenty of seating for everyone in the waiting area and flights leave a bit staggered so it never felt too crowded.
TRAVEL TIP: Still arrive a few hours before your flight as getting through security still takes time. Especially if you have to return a rental car, most companies have a shuttle to the airport. Remember to tip a little to the driver before you leave.
One last thing, food on any island is going to be expensive, so don’t be sticker shocked. We try to budget eating out and food as one of our excursions when visiting the islands because it is an experience. If you build it in to your itinerary before you go, it won’t knock your socks off when you get there.
Some islands are more expensive than others because of transit. I compare the US Virgin Islands as the same price point for food as visiting Hawaii or other islands in the Caribbean.
As you can see this foodie was in paradise. We had an amazing time trying new places and checking in on a few of our favorites. Thanks for following for more travel tips and updates subscribe to my newsletter HERE!
This past month we returned to Sand Castle on the Beach in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. I went for some rest, relaxation, restoration and to check in on all my friends. Resort owners, Chris Richardson and Ted Bedwell of Sand Castle on the Beach. These two are exemplary hosts. If you haven’t seen my YouTube videos or heard my podcast from my visit in 2021, you are missing out!
This adults-only resort in St. Croix is unique and special to me. They have the best beach and sunsets on the island. Some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world is right around the corner. It also provides a peaceful rest for the most restless wandering of hearts.
New Villas & Renos
My friends have definitely been busy, busy since 2021. I wasn’t able to meet Ted on my last visit he was still flying the friendly skies. So this was a great opportunity to meet and greet! After a few hugs they gave me a grand tour of their newly renovated beachfront villas AND their brand NEW Dolphin villa.
The new Dolphin Villa is a two full bedroom, two bath unit that is impeccably decorated, has a full kitchen and screened in porch also within steps of the restaurant and beach. It’s a little oasis with a bunch of amenities close by.
The beachfront villas are practically the size of an apartment with a great living room area, full kitchen, and huge bathroom.
They also have this wonderful new secluded outdoor sitting area, with a hammock swing and very private outdoor shower. Another great place to grab some sleep or your book and just chill in solitude.
Jon and I were lucky enough to stay in a beachfront villa just ten steps away from the beach.
We met all of our neighbors too who were from Michigan, Kansas and the Northern Virginia area. They equally loved their spaces too and we all sat on the patio watching sunsets and chatting.
All of their rooms can be viewed on their website through a 360degree cam so you can see what you are getting. There are 26 rooms and 10 different room types, it truly is outfitted to each traveler style. Chris and Ted also partner with local artists and you will really enjoy their commissioned pieces from Barbara Gelardi.
The Beachside Cafe is a very special restaurant located right on the resort property and with really amazing views.
The al fresco menu is available for lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends, but better be sure to make reservations. The menu of course is available on line as well, so you can take a peek before you arrive.
Since we were staying at the resort, we just made reservations as soon as we thought about it for the day or next day. Weekends are busier of course and when the cruise ship is in Frederiksted port.
One of my favorite dishes is pineapple glazed rum cake, made locally and very delicious. Island Rum, for sure.The staff at the restaurant are as warm and welcoming as the summer breeze too. I met Ms. B who is a hostess and server with a big smile. I was able to snag her for a few minutes for the vlog too to so be sure to check that out soon.
So what is included at Sand Castle on the Beach? There are no completely all inclusive resorts on St. Croix, but Sand Castle on the Beach does include a great deal in your stay. Feel free to explore the island!
🚗 They have excellent parking just across the street from the resort (and you will want to rent a car when visiting the island)
🍽️ They offer a continental breakfast (a few local breads from businesses in Frederiksted, coffee, tea, fresh fruit, etc.) is available at the front desk
🤿 Snorkel gear and equipment as well as kayaks (for single or double) I was able to get a few shots of Jon and I taking one out too. Need to learn how to snorkel or scuba? Great news, Sand Castle partners with local instructors to offer Discovery Scuba lessons right on their beach.
Located in Frederiksted, the resort is open to non-guests or cruisers who are just visiting for the day. Sand Castle on the Beach has DAY PASSES!
We met a few fellow travelers during our visit this week from all over. A family on our Buck Island Snorkeling Tour and another couple while we were dining out. They both purchased day passes to Sand Castle to use the beach and pool. And if I didn’t know any better, they might have had a bit of “resort remorse.” So if you are staying on the island but not with them there is still an opportunity to enjoy the peace and tranquility.
However, my recommendation would be to leave the kiddos behind and get some rest and relaxation for yourself.
As a travel advisor, I get asked this question quite a bit when is the best time to visit the Caribbean? The answer is anytime, really. It is a year-round destination.
Yes, there are higher chances of storms at certain times of year, but it has been global warming lately. So truly, that could be anytime. We visited this year during storm season and it was absolutely lovely. Low crowds, availability for rental cars and reservations. While it was sweltering in Alabama we were loving it in the 80’s in St. Croix.
St. Croix is also a great because it is a U.S. Virgin Island. No passport required. Although having one makes traveling easier, it’s not required, just a license or legal US I.D.
St. Croix is also what I lovingly refer to as the livable island. It has so much to offer from great restaurants to some new nightlife options, bands and a super chill local vibe. I will share more about my new discoveries soon.
The advantage of visiting the island again and again is seeing it through different seasons. This year we were delighted to see all the vibrant FLAMBOYANT TREES across St. Croix.
I could totally imagine Barbara getting inspiration from the colors of the islands. Next to the sea blues and green palms, these bright orange magnificent trees pop at every turn. So to me August was one of the best times to visit to witness these.
Inclusive, incredible, Only ADULTS! AND the stop in St.Croix 🇻🇮
Getting to St. Croix
How to get to St. Croix? Well, you’ll be happy to know Delta now offers a weekly flight from Atlanta direct to St. Croix. Yes, I know it’s just once a week, however, you’ll want to stay at least a week. American Airlines flies daily and Spirit flies also from Ft. Lauderdale.
So whether you decide to stay a few days or a week or longer, there are definitely options. Need more help planning a getaway, schedule a private travel consultation today. I design personalized itineraries for Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska.
Whether you read the reviews on-line or visit Sand Castle on the Beach for yourself, you quickly find out why people choose this resort over and over again. It is truly the service and the staff. Locals and visitors alike will comment on how positive and helpful everyone is on property and eager to make your stay peaceful and restful.
Why people choose Sand Castle on the Beach?
By the end of the week we were walking around the property “heying” and “good mornin’” to everyone. I found out almost everyone’s name and yea, they knew mine too. I’m kinda not quiet that way.
From the front desk you are greeted by Michelle, Barbara and Liz. Then, on the beach it was Jordan, Aaron and Brad who generously grabbed our drinks from bar keep, Ms. KT. Yes, it is definitely a different experience at Sand Castle on the Beach. The staff gets to know you and vice versa. There is a culture of family and caring that separates this resort from the cookie cutter resorts on other islands in the Caribbean.
When you pair that with the excellence of design and decor, the natural beauty, beach and attention to detail it is the logical choice when choosing a relaxing beach getaway.
Check out the vlog
I was fortunate enough to have a few minutes to grab a quick interview with Chris & Ted and a few of the employees too. Be sure to watch the upcoming vlog on my YouTube channel soon and listen to the podcast for more on that.
Chris and Ted have big smiles as they share the new updates, renovations and services they now offer at the resort.
Ireland! Most Americans would like to visit at least once in our lives, right? This spring my small group Irish Adventure brought us from the busy streets of Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher to Northern Ireland. Many Americans have some Irish Heritage just like me. I long for a connection to my ancestry and this country. This tour was great way to be introduced to the Emerald Isle. If you are new to European travel, you might consider a CIE Tour.
IRISH ADVENTURE TOUR
CIE is a UK-based company that has been in business for over 90 years and specializes in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland and now offers tours in Italy too. I love partnering with companies that really know their stuff.
One of the reasons I chose this particular tour is that it hits the highlights of Ireland. Literally circling the island, we begin in Dublin and make our way in a circle around the island.
The Adventure tour was jam-packed full of sites to see and favorite places to visit, so just be ready. No dilly-dallying on this one. You will get a chance to have a great introduction to Ireland, the country. Your heart will beat especially hard for some of the locations and tease you to come back and stay a bit longer.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE Irish Adventure TOUR
We began our Irish Adventure tour in Dublin in the afternoon and got introduced to our tour guide/professional driver, Brian Hanrahan. Our group also took an intro bus tour around the city of Dublin and had a stop at the custom house to learn of its early history.
My little group explored around the Northwall district of Dublin where our hotel was located. I haven’t been this harbor part of town. Now my fifth time to the city, I still haven’t seen it all.
This was my first visit to Waterford and I absolutely loved this town. I am so glad we got to visit the East Coast of Ireland. Waterford is believed to be the oldest city of Ireland and settled by the Vikings around the early 900s. Now, I learned a lot on this tour about the history of Ireland and one of the lessons was how the Vikings didn’t really “settle” anywhere. They kind of plundered, destroyed and took over.
However, they also created what we know as townships, governing systems and communities. Although the fighting went back and forth between the Vikings for so long, the women actually stepped forward to save the next generation and remind the men on both sides, they were now killing their grandsons and hurting family.
The vital city of Waterford had a vigorous downtown. Known more than for the Waterford Crystal, this tour was included in our visit but I enjoyed walking the streets to capture a ton of photos of their street art.
I discovered a little company while we were there called Street Art Ink. Although we didn’t have enough time to take a guided tour (next trip) I got all their information. Check out this one during the day and again at night!
We also enjoyed some cider and Guinness at the local pub. This pub was just around the corner from our stay at the Henry Downes Pub.
We spent the night in Dooley’s Hotel which had a central location right in the harbor part of town and offered us a full Irish Breakfast.
After a full breakfast it was time to hop on the bus and make our way to Blarney Castle, Killarney & the Ring of Kerry. This was definitely a full day on the Irish Adventure Tour. I have been to Blarney before I can tell you to definitely hop off the bus and get in line. If this on your bucket list, hop to it.
Yes, the line to “Kiss the Blarney” is especially long on weekends. I truly appreciate the gardens when I visit they are just spectacular, the sun was a little shy on our day but they were equally as pretty.
From Blarney it was Killarney, still one of my favorite Irish cities. I’ve been here a few times and you’ll have some of the best fish and chips in Ireland here for sure. We decided to pop in to Murphy’s Pub and have a seat and a pint.