Typically, after a period of long hours, short turnarounds, tight connections, late nights and early mornings, with our family spread across the states, we make a point to come together – to hit reset! We savor every moment to rest and relax together, while we reconnect somewhere in the world that offers beautiful beaches, respite and an ocean breeze.
Typically, after a few days of beach life and vacation food, we yearn for our own home, change our flight and head stateside earlier than scheduled. Funnily enough, this has been another Shahidi tradition.
This summer, Caribbean Living and Peta Phipps the magical founder, Editor in Chief and all around vacation guru, urged us to do a different type of vacation. A vacation that would offer beautiful beaches, ocean views, unique activities and great seafood.
Peta carefully chose Barbados to be the location of our summer 2018 family getaway and suffice it to say, we did not want this vacation to end! While Barbados offers beautiful beaches and resorts up and down the coast; snorkeling in waters so clear you can see your toes, and every water activity you can imagine, the country had so much more to offer once we began to explore beyond the lush gardens of our wonderful and private resort, Cobbler’s Cove.
We spent our first two days unwinding in our spacious, cottage-style rooms that opened to a view of the ocean and gardens. Our first surprise was the wonderful menu offerings, that changed most afternoons and evenings. I have never seen my children look forward to vacation food, but this was anything but typical hotel fare! The menu was designed to inspire, with the fresh catch landing on the menu each day! By our third day, our wonderful hotel team began to anticipate our obsession with the shortbread cookies offered each night!
We began to venture out for meals and activities and could not have been more surprised and excited by the depth of history this small island holds.
Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover or just a curious human being, Barbados is a mystery book waiting to be read. The island’s rich and proud history, and its very direct and intriguing connections to U.S. history, will have you scheduling tours of The George Washington House where Washington cared for his sickly older half brother Laurence, and exploring Harrisons Cave, via tram and tour guide, that is over 100 feet below ground. Barbados definitely inspired us to leave our comfort zone!
We designed our days to begin with a light Cobbler’s Cove breakfast before we adventured out. Our first official tour was the Island Safari Tour on an open air mini bus. Buckle up, because we traversed the island, its beautiful hills and vistas, at a clipped pace that kept us all smiling, laughing and learning. We highly recommend starting your trip with this tour!
The geological wonders, born from volcanos, and ocean tides provided such beautiful views during our evening dinners at Cin Cin by the Sea and Hugos, which both offered delicious island and European style dishes, ocean breezes and wonderful conversations. Ask for a table with a view!
One of our last visits was to St. Nicholas Abbey, home to a famous rum distillery and a soap opera style story of ownership passed down through generations and families, and finally and proudly landing back in the hands of a Baijan family. Visit for the history of this home and if you are game, take a taste of a rum so special that is not offered stateside!
If we were asked about two of our trip highlights, we would have to say: Family jet skiing so raucous that one cell phone is happily recording from the bottom of the sea and the Animal Flower Cave. The cave, which is situated below a beautiful cliffside restaurant is filled with natural marvels, beautiful rocks and a tide pool to swim in! We could write forever about this special island, but instead we have scheduled our return for 2019!
Barbados, Caribbean Living and Peta