The Island That Is…

In lieu of my regularly scheduled programming (The Week That Was), I’ll instead give you a 5 count rundown of Kristen and my honeymoon last week.

5. The Best Things About Peter Island

– The Location – In trying to describe the Island to people I’ve said the following “It is a deserted island in the British Virgin Islands with just a resort, a spa, some rooms and two restaurants on it.”  Yeah, that about sums it up.  I really felt like we were on our own island paradise with very few other people around and just a few staff people around to ensure that we were properly taken care of.  Check out Peter Island for an idea of what this place looks like…

– The People – There were not only incredible staff people at Peter Island who were friendly and helpful, but there were also some other great guests that we met.  Our favorites were the guest chef Jose Velez and his brother J.R., and the wonderful Casabo family, Abe, Anna, Nicholas and Sophia.  We met all of them on the ferry over to the island and we really enjoyed running into them each day and trading stories about what we all did each day.  They were all staying at the Falcon’s Nest Villa, which was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen.  More on that in a minute.

– The Beaches – There are 4 different beaches on the island upon which people can relax and enjoy doing nothing.  Or reading.  Or snorkeling.  Or sunbathing.  Or napping…well, you get the idea.  Each beach was properly outfitted with chairs and shelters to ensure your comfort and enjoyment and never once did I feel like there were a lot of people at any of them.  Each beach was so well spaced that even on the largest beach, Deadman’s Beach, you never felt like people could even hear your conversations.  Amazing really…

– The Spa – Kristen spent more time at the spa than I did, but I have to say that the massage and treatment that I received there was spectacular.  They’ve built two bohio’s (think small open air shack’s with privacy windows, hot tubs, massage tables, showers, and an incredible view of the beach…) on the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean that allow you to listen to the ocean and the wind as you get your massage.  I can think of nothing more incredible.

– The Food – As I mentioned, there are two incredible restaurants on Peter Island.  And I have to say, they are both wonderful.  We enjoyed many great meals alternating between each of them and even got to eat food from a cookout on the beach on the Fourth of July.  Seafood was the main course in most meals and I certainly ate my share.  Breakfasts were augmented with plenty of fresh fruit and almost all of the options that you could want.  Really, there is not that much more that could be said except…

4. My Favorite Meals on the Island

– Our sushi platter on arrival – So this is not really a meal, but the crab and shrimp and rolls on this plate that was waiting in our room on our arrival were so amazing and totally set the tone for the rest of the week…I’ll just let you look at it.  And yes, it was as delicious as it looks.

– My Salmon the first night – Keeping with the seafood theme, I ordered the 5 spiced Salmon at Deadman’s our first night and it was incredible.  It was perfectly spiced, perfectly cooked, perfectly served, and well, perfect.

– Chef Jose’s signature Seafood Salad – It was not until I looked at these pictures that I realized that this was supposed to look like a lobster, but I am guessing that I was so distracted by how delicious the asparagus, lobster, shrimp, and sauces were that I just missed it.  Either way, this salad was followed by a Veal Milanese that was so good too, but I just loved this salad.  It was the perfect seafood creation that really just tasted incredible.   HT to Abe @ http://peterisland.wordpress.com/ for the picture.

– Chef Jose’s Shrimp Kabob’s at the 4th of July Cookout – On the 4th there was a cookout competition between Chef Jose and J.R., who represented the USA, against Executive Chef Lisa and her staff, who were representing the Caribbean.  It was a hard fought battle of spices and sauces and I think that we as the guests were the real winners because of the food, but the Shrimp kabobs that Jose and J.R. made were incredible.  I think I might have eaten like 6 or 7 of them.  I really did stuff myself.  And, if you are sensing a theme about Chef Jose’s food being amazing, then you’d be right.  He was an incredible chef and an even nicer guy.  If you have the chance to dine at Rod’s Steakhouse in New Jersey, take it and thank your lucky stars for getting to sample Jose’s great food.  I’m thinking of making a trip up there just for it…but I digress from the amazing grilled shrimp.  They were seasoned just right and grilled to perfection and made for a stunning victory in the cook-off.  HT again to Abe for the picture…

3. Most Incredible Things About Falcon’s Nest Villa

Really, this list could be about 57 things long, so I’ll limit it to just 3.  We got to see Falcon’s Nest on Monday night when Jose and J.R. and Abe invited a couple of other honeymooners, some people celebrating anniversaries, and a few other people up for a cocktail party.  It was an incredible time with fun people and for more pictures from that night, check out Abe’s blog about it @ his blog.

– The View – I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves here, but when we got there the sun was just setting and Kristen got some great shots.  But really, put a 22,000 square foot villa on top of a mountain on a deserted island and it’s tough to go wrong.  Plus, the infinity pool and hot tub offered incredible places to sit and take in the view…

– Andres – The villa manager was a man named Andres who might just be the most incredible guy I’ve ever met.  He runs the main villa and provides for every whim of the guests.  Abe and J.R. were most taken by the fact that he never told them no for anything.  If they asked a question about something just seeking information, he was halfway to setting it up for them.  The best story from the week was when they mentioned that they’d seen some wild goats on the hillside.  They were then told that a trap would be set and that a goat would be caught so that the chef could cook it and they could enjoy it for lunch the next day.  Abe and J.R. quickly dissuaded Andres of that notion, but that is just the kind of guy that he is, willing to do anything for anyone to make their vacation that much more special.  Truly a great guy.

– The Decor – I’ve not seen a lot of Villa’s in my day, but this one actually was decorated and looked like someone could actually live there.  I did not feel like I was in a show house (though this thing easily could be featured in any magazine) because there were books on the shelves and stuff in the house that made it feel really homey.  I’m not sure how the decorators and Peter Island people got it to be so welcoming, but they definitely hit a home run with the place.  It was incredible and the evening we spent there will not soon be forgotten.

2. Best Uses of My Time While on the Island

– Snorkeling – I’d never really been snorkeling before but the water was so warm and clear that you could not really not go.  So we grabbed some gear and headed out.  While there were no National Geographic style reefs out there, it was really cool to see all the fish swimming around in the grasses and coral off the various beaches.  And we did get the chance to see two huge sea turtles one day, swimming all around us and eating some of the grass below us.  It was really cool to see them in their natural habitat.  And Kristen actually saw a gray shark, though a small one.  I swam over towards where she saw it to try and see it too (yes, I realized that I swam over TO the shark, but well, I don’t know…), but I was unable to.  But either way, snorkeling was great fun.

– Reading – Kristen and I read a lot.  She read 8 books (she is an unbelievably fast reader) and I read 2.  The first was called Warlord by Ilario Pantalliano and is a fascinating story by a Marine Officer that was accused of murder due to his actions in the Iraqi war.  A definite must-read if you’re interesting in knowing what the war is like from a soldier’s perspective and you like intrigue and mystery.  Seriously, it read like a Tom Clancy novel.  The other book was a graduation present from my Dad called The Secret Blend by Stan Toller.  It is a parable about friendship and while it was an easy read, it was no less inspiring.  Good reads all around.

1. My Favorite Part of the Whole Honeymoon

– Nothing – Yes, you read that right.  My favorite part was doing nothing, and doing it with my best friend and incredible wife.  We forgot what the dates and days were and generally just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.  It was perfect in every sense of the word and the only bad part about it was that it came to an end.

So there’s my honeymoon recap.  You can read Kristen’s much more succinct views over at her blog.

Thanks for reading and love and sweatpants.

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5 thoughts on “The Island That Is…

  1. Sophia Velez says:

    I’ll start with Congratulations! Much love and happiness to you and Kristin. Thank you for sharing all your incredibly beautiful pictures and information about Peter Island. Your description and photo’s have left me wanting to pack our bags and GO… I hope we will be able to go one day, maybe when the last of our 4 children graduates (he’s 9 months…plenty of time to plan I guess).
    So glad you were able to meet my brothers Jose and JR, they’re great and we miss them. Jose is an incredible Chef and everytime I look at the pictures of his creations I want to get on a plane and go back east to dine at Rod’s Steakhouse. Once again that you for sharing your Beautiful experience. Blessings.

  2. Sara Thompson says:

    Sorry about #3, Carmelo Velez Jr. I thought I could email this to JR and instead it posted a response. My thoughtful idea turned out not working very well. However, what a wonderful write up about Peter Island and the things you and your new wife were able to experience. I was fortunate enough to see some of the pictures that JR took. Many people only dream of a place like this! I can only imagine what it was like to stay there and and to be able to enjoy some of Chef’s magnificent creations. The presentation alone speaks for itself. Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us dreamers! Take care and congratualtions.

  3. J R says:

    Great blob is about right, nice work Sam.
    Looking back what made this trip so much fun—too many to mention! Without question all of the very cool people we met and got to hang, eat, drink, dance & party with such as yourself and your lovely bride helped compliment an amazing experience.
    When you do make it up to the NY/NJ area dining at “Rod’s Steak & Seafood Grill” is going to be a real treat. BUT! You may also want to consider dining at “Trattoria Toscania” you may run into a friend or two.
    Regards to Kristen, congratulations.

    J R
    “Trattoria Toscania”
    75 Main St. Little Falls,
    NJ 07424

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