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Friday Faves

10 Dec

Winter has snuck up on the tri-state area like a stalker, waiting patiently for just the right moment to pounce.  When I got in my car this morning the thermometer read 18 degrees!  It’s hard to believe that just over a week ago we were all schvitzing (that Yiddish for sweating for all my non-Yiddish speaking friends 🙂 ) our ta-tas off.  It’s officially winter and I’m dreaming of warm sand beaches and umbrella drinks.  Which leads me to the introduction of the newest feature here on Darth Vestis- FRIDAY FAVES. 

This week’s Friday Faves- my favorite warm weather vacations:

1. Hawaii– I started going to Hawaii when I was only a year old.  It was an annual vacation for my family until I was about 10, and then we went back when I was 15.  I haven’t been back since, but I dream of making a triumphant return every day.  We always stayed in Oahu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu.  Most people prefer the other islands for their seclusion, but I think Honolulu offers the best of Hawaii- beautiful beaches like Hanauma Bay, great shopping at Ala Moana Mall, and great food.

2. St. Martin– And I’m talking about the French side.  The Dutch side is super touristy since this is where the cruise ships come in to port and all of middle-america takes over the duty-free shopping district.  No thank you!  The hotel we stayed at is called La Sammana.  It’s secluded location along the Caribbean Sea makes it an ideal beach vacation.  The pool and beach attendants frequently came around to offer cold fruit kebabs and Evian mist to keep you cool.  Who doesn’t love that!?!  This is also the place that introduced me to Molton Brown products, which I’m so very thankful for.  And the food at every restaurant was to die for.  My not-to-be-missed suggestions: Mario’s Bistro and Toucan Café.

3. Puerto Rico– This is another island my family and I frequented for many years.  Growing up, we stayed out in Dorado (30 min. from San Juan) at the Cerromar Beach Hotel which is now defunct.  Best river pool EVER!  Then we started going to The El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo on the east side of the island (1 hr. from San Juan).  This resort is gorgeous with a beautiful pool area and a private island, but a bit removed from everything else.  It’s now owned by the Waldorf Astoria group so I can’t image the standards have gone down one bit.  2 years ago Miss Liss and I stayed at the El San Juan for a long weekend, and last year I stayed next door at the Ritz Carlton.  Both hotels are located 10 minutes from the airport so they are ideal destinations for a quick trip to reboot the batteries.

4. Aruba– Aruba is quite a bit further south from the other Caribbean islands, but it’s well worth the trip.  The Lewis Black commercials don’t lie, the weather really is perfect every day and the people are even more beautiful.  Our flight down was on the now defunct Air Aruba.  To give you an idea of how great this trip was, it started with our pilot introducing himself…TOM CRUISE!  This was not a joke, and his name was even spelled the same way.  It’s an almost 6 hour flight to the island, but the in-flight crew made it fly by.  The head flight attendant apparently was the winner of some beauty pageant at the recent flight attendants convention, and since it was her last day the rest of the flight crew decided to throw a party for her.  I’m talking confetti, champs, and dancing in the aisles.  AMAZEBALLS!  We stayed at the Hyatt right on the beach.  Again, high marks all around.

5. Turks & Caicos– Please note that I have never been to T&C, however this is next on my list of island vacations.  I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about the island, and it’s usually a hot spot for celebrity sightings.  My roommate’s coworker stayed at Parrot Cay, and she came back with stories about body surfing with Michael J. Fox’s family and lunching with Mick Jagger.  HELLO!  Has anyone every been?  I’d love to hear your reviews.