Go on Your Honeymoon

Go on Your Honeymoon

Caribbean islands are popular destinations for honeymooners. It can be a fantastic place to go! Here are my top two recommendations for that first trip as a married couple:

  1. Saint Lucia. It is gorgeous, lush, tropical, and yet remains one of the lesser known islands, so it is not as crowded as places like Jamaica can be. It has rainforests, verdant tropical peaks, and picture perfect beaches. This former French and British colony has a multitude of old forts to explore, colorful fishing villages full of charming locals, storybook forests teeming with vibrant wildlife, and some of the most photogenic beaches around. I highly recommend staying in Castries, the island’s capital, because the beaches are beautiful and you have plenty of resort options. However, one of my favorite properties is the AnseChastenet, located in the historic town of Soufriere. This gorgeous hotel rises up from a pristine beach straight into a luscious rainforest and offers such romantic treats as a private dinner on the beach and couples’ massages.
  2. The Bahamas. I love these islands because the temperatures are very consistent—fabulous any time of year! When you think of tropical islands, chances are you are visualizing somewhere in the Bahamas. The islands are dotted with brightly colored resorts, light sand beaches, and gorgeously blue water. There are the more showy places like Atlantis, but if you want a truly romantic getaway, I can’t say enough good things about Kamalame Cay. It is the only resort on a secluded island, so it is not built up or packed. The romantically cozy rooms in the main resort and fabulous island villas will make you feel like a celebrity on your own private island! Every year, I have clients who actually come back into my office to tell me how much they loved it there.

The best part about the Caribbean is that there are a tremendous amount of options as far as locations and accommodations to fit a variety of tastes and budgets. If you are considering the Caribbean, definitely visit a knowledgeable travel agent who can create the honeymoon of your dreams for you. Seriously, we live for this stuff!

I also have a little advice: think about the time of year you are getting married. The one drawback to the Caribbean is hurricane season, generally considered to be from June 1st through November 30th; more realistically think mid-August through mid-September, especially for Eastern Caribbean locations. But, two things to understand about hurricane season: the first is if you get married that time of year, a hurricane may affect your travel plans even if you aren’t going to an affected area. How many times have you been delayed at an airport because of weather somewhere else because that’s where your plane was coming from? The second thing is that hurricane season is basically what travel insurance was MADE for. It can be a serious stress reducer to purchase it, and it is actually a benefit on some of the credit cards you may already have. Something to think about.

Winter is Coming

It’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, I did say winter. It’s not actually too soon to think about as you will soon find out. As they say, it is coming. When you are in the throes of summer heat, and you are sitting on a Caribbean island sipping iced tea, winter is the farthest thing from your mind. As your toes curl in the sand, you can’t imagine snow, sleet, rain, or hail. That’s why you take these island vacations. So that in wintertime you have memories of better days under the sun and azure blue skies. You bring to mind the crystal clear waters speckled with white froth. You see in your mind’s eye the crashing waves, lapping gently at the shore. You are frolicking about in that new two-piece bathing suit you bought for the occasion. You love stocking up on gear for summer fun. But there is winter gear to stock up on, too, such as a wood stove for the basement as a backup heat source.

Yes, it is time to think of winter. You want to buy your wood stove off season to get the best price. I am thinking an absolute steel hybrid stove which is an affordable medium-sized unit with an about two and a half cubic feet firebox. It operates on a combustion system that produces ultra-low emissions, high efficiency, and unmatched fire viewing pleasure through a large, clean front window.

The fire viewing is completely different than an ordinary woodstove or fireplace, because the stove can burn both wood and exhaust gasses in the firebox at the same time. This produces flames at both the bottom and top of the firebox with exceptional intensity, color, and composition.  Beware… you will likely find watching the fire much more interesting than anything on TV. The inside of the absolute steel wood stove, most of the “plumbing” is in the back and the top, keeping the sides free for easy left or right loading.  The catalyst is easily accessible under the lift top, and can be removed without any tools!  The back has a built-in outside air adapter, and the damper control is axial to minimize air leakage around the adapter.  There are no air intakes that are not protected by the outside air adapter, so the woodstove can be isolated from negative house pressure.  Also noteworthy on this model is automatic catalyst air, so that the catalyst cannot become oxygen starved at high burn rates.

So I have the model picked out as described above. I looked into it carefully for functionality, reliability, and safety. A wood stove doesn’t have to be overly simple or excessively basic. I like the complexity of the hybrid and relish the thought of the heat come the colder months. Yes, it is a backup in case the power goes out; but it will be a nice addition to the basement recreational space on its own for sheer looks and heat production.