The Daydream Series: Grenada – The Spice Island!

Grenada (1)

Daydreaming is easy, healthy, and free!
Here at AAV Travel, we would like to give your mind a break and the opportunity to enjoy and learn more about the world from the comfort of your home.

TASTE • LISTENEXPERIENCEREADHAPPY HOUR

The Caribbean island of Grenada supplies nearly forty percent of the world’s annual nutmeg crop. Its importance to the island is so great that it has an honored place on the flag. The variety of spices growing on the island is so big that it has earned the name of Spice Island. Grenada consists of the island itself plus six smaller islands located between the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea, North of Trinidad and Tobago. One of the islands, Petite Martinique, is independent and an outpost for the gray- and black market trade.  A modern-day pirate’s island. #tourismstrong



Jamaican Flavors

Unlike some other Caribbean islands, Grenada produces many organic fruits and vegetables. The year-round sunshine and fertile soil is fantastic to grow fresh produce, and there is easy access to fresh-caught fish and seafood.

You will find a fantastic selection of traditional recipes to try, ranging from wholesome,  savory dishes to sweet treats.

Explore the island’s culinary aspects with Savor the Spice’s Addie and the 2016 Carnival Queen, Samantha Francis!

Grenada’s most famous dish is Grenadian Oil Down, a melting pot of the island’s cultural history. The hearty stew is made of local veggies, salted meat, and aromatic spice. You might have to travel to Grenada to taste the “real deal,” but Chris from Caribbean Pot has some great tips on how to make it at home.

This is his list of ingredients:

  • 1 medium breadfruit
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 scallions
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saffron (tumeric)
  • black pepper
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 3 pimento peppers (seasoning peppers)
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 4 green cooking bananas
  • 2 lbs salted pig tail
  • 3 lbs chicken breast
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsely
  • 2 tablespoon chopped shado beni
  • 6 eddoes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon caribbean green seasoning for the chicken

 


Copy of taste!

Popular music of Grenada is calypso, soca and, to a lesser extent Reggae and Dancehall. Soca is fast-paced, Caribbean carnival dance music, which makes it extremely hard to sit still in a chair when listening to it. Grenada Soca has a distinct style taking on the name of ‘jab jab’ soca.

Check out some samples from our Grenada playlist!

GrenadaPlaylist

 


experience!

Island in the Sun, a movie released in 1957, was filmed in Grenada and Barbados. It’s the story of a wealthy landowner’s son fighting for political office against the black leader. The classic movie stars Harry Belafonte, a young Joan Collins, and many others. Have a look at the trailer here:

If you enjoy finding out more about an island before visiting or simply love history, and want to know more about Grenada, make sure to watch this clip. It’s full of interesting information!

This clip features two students sharing their experiences in Grenada and the many activities the island has to offer.



Read!

If you love reading and are ready to go deeper and learn more about the country as well as its history, culture, and behind the scenes, there are some excellent books for you!

Blood of Belvidere by Dunbar Campbell
Grenada is a marriage between stunning Caribbean beauty and historical conflict. Blood of Belvidere takes readers on an unforgettable journey deep into the tropical mystique that attracted international intrigue to her shores for hundreds of years. As a young boy growing up in Grenada, Scott McDonald’s growing pain becomes intertwined with the legacy behind the strange disappearance of a slave-rebellion leader two-hundred years earlier. Secrets and treachery inflict havoc down eight generations of McDonalds, believed to be descendants of the rebel’s archenemy. For more…

Pynter Bender by Jacob Ross
Pynter Bender is a child of the cane fields of Grenada, the second smallest independent state in the world. This extraordinary debut novel tells of a boy born blind but whose eyes are healed, allowing him to see great beauty. The story charts the painful awakening of a rural population, essentially organized around serfdom, into a raw and uncertain future that can only be achieved through fighting—a civil war that Pynter is drawn in to. For more…

Angel by Merle Collins
Chronicling the events that took place in Grenada from 1951—when workers revolted against the white owners of the sugar and cocoa estates—to the U.S. invasion in 1983, the book follows headstrong Angel and her mother Doodsie as they experience the deposition of the old, corrupted leadership with conflicted emotions.  For more…



HappyHour!

Of course, Grenada has its version of a rum punch, which includes a little bit of nutmeg.  I think the nutmeg makes all the difference, but when you ask for it on a different Caribbean island, they just look at you weirdly.

Since we’ve already looked at a Jamaican Rum Punch in the Jamaican Daydream post, we’ll go with Andre Victor’s Spice Seduction cocktail instead.

You will need the following ingredients:

• 2 oz. Dark Rum (preferably Clarke’s Court)
• 1/2 oz De La Grenade Liqueur*
• 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
• 3 oz. orange juice
• Splash of lime juice
• Splash of grenadine syrup
• Shake with ice cubes and serve in a martini glass

Click here for details on how to make it!


Please stay safe and healthy, wash your hands, and practice social distancing as long as it is necessary.

Being able to travel is an incredible gift. The experience can open our eyes to the unique cultures and spellbinding beauty of the natural world. But with this gift comes a responsibility – to protect the world as we know it. Please behave responsibly and show respect!

STEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is the owner of AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating customized travel itineraries. Originally from Switzerland, she started exploring the world at a young age and continues to expand her knowledge every year.

To plan a trip contact her at stefanie@aav-travel.com

Sandals La Source Grenada – the sizzling hot all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean

Grenada has been on top of my bucket list for a long time. I was hooked ever since I first tasted an authentic rum punch with a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg at a traditional Grenadian restaurant in Zurich Switzerland in 2002. My friend Yvonne who invited me there, had traveled to many Caribbean islands at the time. She insisted that Grenada was the fairest and friendliest of them all. Little did I know, it would take less than 15 minutes for me to fall in love with this beautiful island.

grenada, rum, aavtravelGrenada – also know as the Spice Island – is located South of the hurricane belt, making it an excellent option for summer wedding couples looking for a Caribbean honeymoon without the hurricane threat. GND – Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport – is slightly outdated but fairly large and very convenient. Much better than many of its Caribbean neighbor islands. The airport’s runway has water on both sides which provides a little extra thrill when landing.

grenada, airport, sandals, stefanie pichonnat, aavtravel As soon as you get out of the airport you will start noticing the green rolling hills, long swaying grass, flowers and palm and fruit trees. What a great way to be welcomed to this lush island! You also immediately notice the rock–dark and very distinctively volcanic. The drive from the airport to Sandals La Source Grenada is less than 10 minutes, which is an extra perk after a day of travel.

Arriving at Sandals La Source literally means driving down a hill into a village. The lobby is airy and very welcoming. Sandals La Source is made up of several villages. Unlike other Sandals properties these are very sleek, almost a bit Asian inspired. There is a nice mix of rondovals, two-story cottage looking buildings, as well as a few high rise buildings.

sandals, grenada, pink gin, aavtravelWith the exception of the “Pink Gin Village” (pictured above) all buildings at Sandals La Source were built from scratch. No expense was spared to create some of the most luxurious and at times, sexy accommodations. Everything there is for a romantic, but also fun-filled vacation. The new building blocks are off the beach. Some have views of the distant ocean, some overlook the rolling hills, some overlook the beautiful gardens and pools. A couple of romantic rondovals cluster in the middle of the property. Those offer the ultimate in privacy and romance and offer a charming focal point with their thatched roof tops.

sandals, grenada, rondoval, aavtrave;The Pink Gin Village is located closest to the beach. It consists of the the original “LaSource Resort” which Sandals bought in 2013. Each building has several floors and the rooms were beautifully redone. The balconies are fairly small but the sound of the ocean carries right into these rooms. Just imagine laying in bed and falling asleep to the gentle sound of the waves.

sandals, grenada, pink gin, beach, aavtravelAs with all Sandals resorts there are many inclusions; from gourmet restaurants, bars, land and water activities as well as entertainment. Sandals Grenada will keep you busy! Here are a few things that deserve to be highlighted in particular:

Workout
If you are a fitness buff you will love finding this brand new, state of the art fitness center. Numerous treadmills, elliptical and weight stations await, all overlooking the beautiful lush gardens of Sandals La Source. A wonderful, air-conditioned area to burn some extra calories.

sandals, grenada, fitness, workout, aavtravelSushi
You might think, did she really just say sushi? Absolutely.  True sushi lovers know that this particular delicacy can be a hit or miss at an all-inclusive resort. Not at Sandals’ La Source. Soys sushi chef, Berwin Barraca, makes some of the best sushi we’ve ever had. So if you are a true sushi lover, this might just be your all-inclusive resort.

Butch’s Steak House
The newest addition to the Sandals restaurant family. The first ever Steakhouse at a Sandals resort, serving some fantastic meat. Expectations were high, given that it carries the Sandals Chairman and Founder’s name. It simply had to be good and truly did not disappoint!

Bathrooms
Yes, bathrooms. Some of the most spectacular might I add. You might just end up spending a couple of hours!

sandals, la source, grenada, bathroom, aavtravelThe resort is wonderful no doubt, but what about the island?
Air lift to Grenada is still limited but both, the islands’ government as well as the Sandals & Beaches management are working on getting more airlines to service Grenada. Either way, you simply need to make it to this beautiful Caribbean paradise. If not convinced yet, allow Zach and Morgan, both students in Grenada, tell you more.

stefanie pichonnat aavtravel

 

Written by STEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is the Certified Sandals & Beaches Specialist at AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating and customizing personalized travel itineraries. You can contact her at stefanie@aav-travel.com

Three days – three Caribbean Islands – the Sandals and Beaches 2014 MegaFam

Wow! Talk about making things happen! Sandals has been an innovator in brand imaging and marketing for years–and not only that, they also have been improving their product ever since my first stay with them eight years ago. Today I am proud to say that I have personally visited all but one of their resorts. Many on several occasions. The commitment this company has shown to improving their resorts, bringing their properties up to speed, making older Caribbean style resorts look updated and chic as well as making sure travel consultants get to know their product, is amazing. But let me start with our 3 day – 3 island whirlwind tour through the Caribbean.

airline, flight route, grenada, providencialesThroughout 2014 Sandals & Beaches Resorts have been conducting 14 of the so called “MegaFams,” each departing from different US gateways. Every time they chartered a plane and hosted all agents for a minimal fee. The idea was to get them to experience three different islands, resorts, as well as update them on the latest and greatest going on in the company.

My MegaFam departed from Chicago and it was the first– and only one–to charter a #767 to take approximately 200 agents to the Caribbean. All agents were hand-picked and chosen because of their commitment and dedication to their clients, as well as understanding what Sandals and Beaches is all about. Our first stop was the island of Exuma in the Bahamas. Get this, we were the first ever #767 plane to land there. The airport is so small, we could hardly turn around on the runway! It was truly amazing. And not only that, in order for liability insurance coverage, the airport had to be upgraded before we could even land.

sandals, beaches, exumaWe started off by visiting Sandals Emerald Bay, a gorgeous and spacious resort with one of the most spectacular golf courses ever. As a former Four Seasons property, this resort is absolutely stunning. Beautifully landscaped, spacious suites, gorgeous oceanfront and one heck of a pool! This place is a heaven for beach lovers looking to just getaway or for any avid golfer. The spa is beautiful as well.

sandals emerald bay, exuma, bahamasOn we went that evening to Providenciales where we would spend the night at Beaches Turks & Caicos. This resort blows my mind, simply due to the fact that literally nothing grows on this island and everything you find at the resort has to be flown and shipped in. Ever wonder why Turks & Caicos is such an expensive destination? Well, this is the reason.

beaches, turks & caicos, providenciales, aavtravelThe next day we spent in a classroom learning about what is new with the company and what we can expect in the next couple of years. Did you know that they will be breaking ground to start building over-water bungalows within the next couple of weeks? Want to know where? Comment below and I will share the scoop.

The best part of the training was meeting Adam as well as Butch Stewart. They flew in just to speak to us and it was incredible to hear their vision. Butch is definitely “old school” whereas Adam is young, charismatic and with a very modern vision for the company. It is amazing to see how the two work together and are able to combine their vision for the future.

adam stewart, beaches, sandals, aavtravelThe next morning we departed very early for Grenada. Wow, wow, wow! This island is so gorgeous. Hands down one of the prettiest in the Caribbean. Not only that, the people are some of the friendliest ever. The drive from the airport to Emerald Bay takes about five minutes. The resort is truly stunning, the rooms are spectacular and currently some of the best out there. Expect to find sky pools, infinity pools, and see lush, green gardens nestled in the hilly seaside.

sandals, la source, grenada, aavtravelThe small volcanic beach has a beautiful color.  The light mocha sand is mixed with the black volcanic sand and creates different patterns. I felt the color was a bit like my favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream “Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz”. Grenada is a divers’ paradise and with Padi naming the Sandals diving operation one of the top five in the world, any diver is lucky to stay at this resort. So far, the main challenge for Grenada has been the airlift. However, Alexandra Otway, Grenada’s Tourism & Aviation Minister, welcomed us in person and assured us that the government is working on making the island more accessible.

sandals, grenada, beach, aavtravelThe non-stop flight back on our #767 from Grenada to Chicago took 5 hours and 30 minutes. The past 72 hours have been incredible. I am truly grateful to Sandals and Beaches for giving me this opportunity and can’t wait to share it with the world. But first, I had to sleep because only getting 15 hours of sleep out of 72 simply wasn’t enough. And, change my flip flops for more wintery gear.

sandals mega fam, flip flop, winter blues, aavtravelstefanie pichonnat aavtravel

Written by STEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is the Certified Sandals & Beaches Specialist at AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating and customizing personalized travel itineraries. You can contact her at stefanie@aav-travel.com