Life on a Tropical Island…

Finding Grenada on the Map

This tropical adventure began just before Christmas when a friend posted a house-sit opportunity she wasn’t able to fill and asked if anyone was available. The job description was to care for two, eighteen-month old German Shepherd dogs named Mizzen and Jib (a sailing family) for four months – as well as look after the couple’s four apartments sitting waterside on the Caribbean Sea. Oh, and all of this was on the island of Grenada!

Top of our “house-sit” wish list has always been to find a spot in the Caribbean to stay – close to the water, a snorkeling area is a huge bonus, and a beach nearby even better. This sit even advertised a private beach area! We saw this as a great opportunity – flights were doable (we used airline points) and the dates fit, so we jumped for it! Now let’s see if we liked what the owners had to say and if they liked us. Several e-mails and a 2 hour Skype call later, we virtually met the pups and were given a tiny taste of what to expect when we arrived. Two days later, we got the email back. We were in!

Now it was time to find out more about the island of Grenada. Turns out, it isn’t just one island. The country of Grenada is made up of three islands – Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique. Called the Spice Islands, these treasures are located at the southernmost tip of the Windward Islands. Just 100 miles north of Venezuela and happily outside of the hurricane belt – the island we’d be calling home for four months has 45 gorgeous beaches, spectacular wreck diving, turtle watching, waterfalls, and a rain forest to explore. Our theme for this trip is “Beach Bars and Waterfalls” – I think we might be able to hit one of two of each!

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Grand Anse Beach

The Spice Islands have been called the Caribbean’s Prettiest Place by Huffington Post and Gran Anse Beach (just a 10 minute walk from our back door!) as the #2 Best Beach in the Caribbean by USA Today’s 10Best List for 2017. Grenada is the #2 world producer of nutmeg and fragrant cinnamon is also an important export. Throw in some of the best rum in the islands and their own chocolate plantation – Grenada has it all!

Cheryl arrived a week early to get instructions on pet and apartment care from the friendly ex-pat property owners. Even though it’s considered the slow season from June-September, there already were quite a few bookings we’d be responsible for during our stay. Typically, house-sitting just involves looking after the pets and owners house, but we went into this one knowing there would be “care taking” duties for four, two-bedroom apartments required as well – and LOTS of laundry!

We haven’t taken any house sits in over a year as our travels have been more focused on areas we want to write about like Venice for Carnival, Food Tours in Italy and Cheryl’s recent month-long walk on the Camino de Santiago. But we spoke to the Tourism Board for Grenada at the New York Times Travel Show and they seem eager to work with us – so we brought the drone along and are excited about partnering with Pure Grenada. This house sit will also give us time to spend developing our new children’s book series called Priscilla’s Adventures about a world-traveling purple octopus – all between the MANY loads of laundry! 😉

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Jib

Cheryl teased me all week long with gorgeous photos of spectacular sunsets and luscious beaches. So when I arrived last week and took my first deep breath of the balmy, fragrant air, I already felt like I was home. Getting to meet the pups was first on the list. Mizzen and Jib have such different personalities – Jib is handsome and aloof, while no one has told Mizzen she’s not a soft and fluffy, 4 pound lap dog!

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Mizzen

Their routine is pretty simple. They wake at 5;45am EVERY morning – meaning we wake up at 5:46 to a chorus of elaborate yawns and various vocalizations that make it seem as though there is an entire pack of wolves just outside our door. We each blearily grab a leash and walks to the beach ensue. Even before morning coffee, Cheryl and I have to stay alert because the lives of many hermit crabs and slow lizards depend on us. Once walks are complete, the dogs are put on leads to terrorize lonesome doves doing nothing more than wandering around the yard. The day has begun!

Now it’s time for our morning COFFEE! And time to enjoy the cool and quiet bliss of an early morning on a tropical island before the loads of laundry start…AHHHH. It’s hard to beat this view!

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Sunset View from the porch

Next up…Local Flavor – Rum Shacks, Taking the Bus and Learning Lime! 🙂

 

 

About the author

Lisa Chavis

Lisa is a traveler, photographer and pharmacist. She and her partner Cheryl MacDonald enjoy sharing inspiration and good health with fellow travelers!

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