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Okay, so we made it safe and sound and with no bloodshed on the flight to St Lucia. What now?
Well, we had a long taxi ride to our resort. But, thanks to my husband arranging it, we had a spacious taxi (van) with a taxi car seat in it. C immediately fell asleep. The ride was about an hour and a half through the island of St Lucia.
PSA for anyone going to St Lucia - if you are prone to carsickness, tell your driver. He or she may not care, but you still probably want to tell them. We got lucky this time - our driver was cautious and slow. Our last trip to St Lucia (for our honeymoon), the driver was practicing for NASCAR, I think - and the streets there have lots of steep clips and hairpin turns. It was frightening. Or exhilarating, depending on your personality. (I’m a wuss)
We finally arrive at St James's Club Morgan Bay - our home away from home for the next few days. And guys, it was beautiful! A gorgeous private beach, several pools (including one just for the kiddos), a playground, tennis courts, and cats everywhere. I’m not sure who was more excited about that, me or C, but it was fun.
We found our friends and started our vacation. The right way. With cocktails by the pool. Did I mention this place was all inclusive? Including drinks? Yep. It was. (Don’t worry, we are all well behaved and never neglected any children in the making of this St. Lucia vacation)
Since we had never really vacationed with C before, except for one Disney cruise (a post of that one is coming), we weren’t exactly sure how he would react. But between the pools, the beaches, the cats, and our friends’ children (a 6 year old girl and a 2 year old boy), he was in toddler heaven. Which was great news for us because he wore himself out every day. Y’all he actually napped. That doesn’t always happen these days.
St James's Club Morgan Bay is set up to be one of the best destinations for a family on vacation. In fact, I’d pretty much tell couples who are looking for a quiet getaway to steer clear of this resort. It’s lovely, it’s just pretty kid-centered. There’s a shallow pool for the little ones, complete with small slides and a few steps they can play on. We bonded with the other parents there and everyone shared their pool toys each day. There’s also a restaurant and a bar right there, so the lovely staff would bring you food and drinks whenever you wanted. (See? Heaven.) For the older kids, there’s another big pool (in fact, it’s more at the center of the resort, near the beaches and larger restaurants), but it was always fairly full of people playing volleyball. So not great for our little guy who can’t officially swim yet.
There’s also a resort kids club there. Unfortunately, since C wasn’t quite two years old (and not potty trained) we had to stay with him. But it worked out fantastic on the one rainy day. We all hung out in the resort kids club and the kids got to play with new (to them) toys for a while. They offer art classes, games, and lunch for older kids – the 6 year old went to “camp” one entire day and loved it!
Random parent travel hack – So this was totally accidental (a happy accident, as it were) but we were staying at the resort at the same time as a young teenage girl who was there with her parents. Teenage girl + only child = Boredom. Boredom = SHE PLAYED WITH OUR KIDS ALL THE TIME. It was awesome. We could hang back a bit and talk to each other for once. Obviously, we weren’t letting her take them out in the ocean, but they would build sand castles with each other and we actually got to sit down. In chairs. For more than 2 minutes. #smallvictories Kind of a hard hack to replicate, but if you can make it happen, DO. (And then send her a thank you gift in the mail, like we did)
And the resort food, you ask? It was delicious. Like seriously amazing. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style, and then dinner was a feast. A sometimes kind of long feast, so bring toys/games/electronics for your kids (#nojudgement). But delicious. And the staff is great with kids. They give them a coloring mat and dry erase markers. And at times they take them for a walk around the restaurant so you can eat. All the praise hands. Side note – don’t dismiss the pizza place “because it’s just pizza”. It’s not. Eat there. Eat everywhere, in fact.
For nighttime entertainment…we can only speak of the one night we stayed out late. There. Were. Fire Dancers. And a special cameo performance (not involving fire) by our little guy. He’s not shy, that one. Solo dance routine in the middle of the dance floor. Y’all, he’s got moves. But the other nights (the ones where we very responsibly put our child to bed at a normal time), you could hear loud music coming from the main pool and bar area. Definitely a festive atmosphere. which if you’re not looking for, then definitely pay attention to where you book your room. Go further up the hillside if you are an early-to-bed type of person.
All in all, the trip was a major success. There were no major tantrums, we had lots of fun, and it was truly awesome seeing C run around holding hands with our godchildren. It definitely got the travel bug biting again.
And I know I teased our one mistake on the flight home. Ready? We woke him up while he was peacefully sleeping. I know, right?! What were we thinking?? Well, we were nervous about the descent and his ears not popping… Lesson learned. He was CRANKY when he woke. And then the people around us were fairly cranky. (Luckily, we brought enough goodie bags for the flight home too). So maybe think twice about waking a sleeping toddler on a plane. Or ever.
Hopefully our adventures gave you some encouragement to take your own vacation with a toddler! Tell me below, where do you want to go next?
PaperFinch Travel TIP: Going away to St. Lucia? Start by planning your home away from home here.