We were insanely lucky this past Christmas and New Years! I mean come on…we got to spend it in The British Virgin Islands with my Dad and family. 5 years ago he and his partner went to the BVI, rented a catamaran, and boated to many of the islands. They had the best time, made incredible memories and came back raving… The only problem was that the entire time, all my Dad could think about was doing it with all of us. He just knew how much we would all enjoy it. Isn’t that sweet? Fast forward a few years and his dream came true! I just know how proud he was to plan and take us on this trip of a lifetime!
As much as I love a good ol’ white cozy Christmas, we still got it…it was just white sand not snow, and it came with a side of turquoise water!!! AMAZING. Although I do have to admit, it was still a little hard on us all (brothers included) to be away from my Mom for Christmas, especially because it was Ada Lou’s first one. But we made sure to celebrate it before we left and it was still really, really special! It comes with the territory of having a split family. We promised next year we were staying put in Edmonton – sorry again Mom!
Our trip started right after our big family dinner with my Mom’s side that I mentioned in a previous post. My Dad had a limo pick us all up and take us to the airport. It was so fun and started the trip off with a bang! We are a pack of 10 – myself, Colin, Ada, my two brothers, my three step siblings, my Step-Mom and my Dad; 10 people, 10 days, 10 islands! WOW
It took us just over 17 hours to get to BVI. Edmonton to Toronto to Saint Martin to Tortola. Thank goodness for all the extra hands on the flight to pass Ada around! We rented our catamaran from The Moorings (Early Bird One). They were fantastic and incredibly helpful as they spent the entire morning of the first day with the boys, teaching them how to use the boat, read the charts, etc. There is the option to have your boat crewed – meaning a crew to navigate, drive the boat and have a personal chef. But we chose to take on the adventure and do it ourselves! Everyone had to kind of assume a job – my favorite title was the hooker 🙂 Ha! (you’ll have to look it up!) I was really proud of Colin. He and my Dad took on the captain role! He did such a good job getting us to and from our various destinations. He was so confident behind the wheel steering the boat. Can’t wait for him to captain more adventures!
This one one of the coolest trips we have ever taken. We truly did so much, yet it was still relaxing. And I also love hanging with my brothers. Brings me back to our childhood and how much fun we had together. We all get along really well and I just love how into Ada they are! They are such good Uncles.
Everyone was very thankful that Ada hadn’t picked up walking on, or before the trip. We would have been so nervous on the boat if she was! Even the crawling was a littler nerve-racking at times, but we all kept a watchful eye on her and made sure she was always in her life jacket if she was on deck!
Ada was in absolute heaven when we were in the water! She is a true water baby (like mother-like-daughter!) I think it also helped that that turquoise water was as warm as a bath. She also had fun in the sand, crawling around and trying to eat it whenever we looked away – little stinker!
Painkillers and Bushwakers were the official drinks of the trip. My brothers and I had one fun night at a floating boat bar called Willy T’s just off the real “Treasure Island” (Geronimo jumping off the top deck into the ocean – so fun!) We headed to Saba Rock and The Bitter End Yacht Club in The Virgin Gorda where we spent Christmas Eve and day! It was more resorty with nicer restaurants and facilities to use (such as a pool). A few of us went on a snorkelling expedition. It was beautiful and so fun! The fish we saw were incredible! I just love snorkelling. I always get a little nervous at first – but that lasts about 10 mins and then I just let go of my fears and swim. Makes me feel like a mermaid.
Christmas was so special! We opened little gifts on the boat that Santa brought and had some really nice meals together.
The Baths was another place we visited on our excursion! We all really LOVED the baths. Such a cool place and the walk through the boulders was out of this world. There was some amazing snorkelling through the boulders. Colin even spotted a lion fish (super invasive specie, but such a cool fish). Ada loved playing in the pools of water the tide makes!
We also stayed at Marina Cay. The Pusser’s Restaurant was another fav, and the beach there was incredible. Sunsets in the Caribbean are so breathtaking, but it felt like they were on steroids at Marina Cay! Stunning.
Our sail from Marina Cay to Jost Van Dyke was so cool! It almost felt like we were sailing on the West Coast of Canada through the islands – but with amazing heat! We ate really good meals in that little harbor – Sidney’s being one that really stands out!
And then we got to White Bay Beach on Jost Van Dyke! What a little piece of heaven. The sand was so amazing, the water so warm. I cannot say enough amazing things about that little place. The Soggy Dollar was a place my brothers frequented, but we stayed closer to the quiet side where Ivan’s is. We planted ourselves on that beach for two amazing days and spent countless hours in the water and walking in the sand. It was such an amazing way to wind down our whirlwind adventure.
New Year’s Eve was quiet for us all – we were traveling home the next day and it was our last night of the trip. We parked the boat back at The Moorings and had a nice dinner in the town of Tortola. We all went to bed early, even Ada. Well deserved!
Getting off that boat gave me (and I think all of us) sea legs for a few days…talk about wobbly!
Our travel home didn’t quite go as planned. Our flight from Saint Martin to Toronto was cancelled – apparently the crew didn’t show up (Happy New Year’s)! Ultimately it worked out, because we got to spend an extra night in Saint Martin at the Westin! The resort was lovely and it added an extra day to our already amazing trip.
It’s so fun to look back on the trip and reminisce on the amazing times and memories we all made as a family! BVI is insanely gorgeous and it will definitely be a trip to remember!
Also be sure to check out this wicked video my step-brother created of our trip! The last 2 minutes was shot with the drone and is by far my favorite part!! 🙂