Staying Healthy on Bonaire – Mosquitoes

January 31, 2016

I had a repeater guest recently ask me about the Zika Virus on Bonaire.  This is a very serious health matter impacting the Caribbean and the Americas. Fortunately, Bonaire is not on the CDC’s list of islands with cases of the Zika Virus.  With that said, I always speak to how to stay healthy when it concerns the matter of mosquitoes.  Having lived on two Caribbean islands,  I  have noticed mosquito activity is at it’s highest,  before dawn and after dusk.  Also, after a rainy spell, mosquito activity is higher.  With that said, always apply bug repellant. I particularly recommend you apply before going out at night for dinner.  As far as a product, I won’t make recommendations as you may have your own preference but if your able to, use a product with DEET. Check with your doctor for recommendations.

For more information on the Zikas Virus click on the CDC’s website http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/zika-virus-caribbean

To book your next vacation to Bonaire, contact me at ann@bonairecaribbean.com

Mangazina Di Rei- Culture in Bonaire

January 31, 2016

I had the pleasure of visiting the restored Mangazina Di Rei recently for the Cultural Market. The event featured local music, local food and a craft market. Also on hand was a produce and plant market. The center was abuzz with locals and tourists sampling amazing culinary delights made by the local people of Rincon. I sampled some delicious pancakes made on an traditional hot cooking plate. Later, I shopped for plants and produce. Price are astounding, really. I secured some great deals on local handicrafts. Don’t miss home baked bread, hot out of the stone oven. The smell of  fresh baked yeasty crusty bread is divine.

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The Mangazina di Rei (1824) was originally used by the dutch government to store provisions for the slaves.The second oldest stone building on Bonaire now forms part of the center. Multi generations of Bonaireans are striving to maintain their local culture. An educator shared stories with me about the local ways. I appreciated his knowledge and commitment to preserving Bonaire’s culture.

The market is held the last Saturday of each month from 8 AM- 1 PM. Get there by 11 for the best food.

For more information check out

http://www.mangazinadirei.org/

To learn more about activities on Bonaire click on

http://www.bonairecaribbean.com/todo_bonaire.html

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10 Must Do Dining Delights in Bonaire

January 20, 2016

IMG_4781I am a self-professed foodie. I pour over food blogs and websites daily. I am an Elite Member of Yelp and I met my boyfriend of two years on Foursquare over a dining review. When traveling, I seek to immerse myself in the site and sounds of the country and love to savour the cuisines. Since traveling and living on Bonaire, I have discovered some sublime culinary treasures. Today, I will reveal my top 10 dining favorites. I assure you, they represent the best tastes on island. Let me know if you approve.

1. Pasta 007 at Capriccios- homemade pasta, light tomato sauce and delicate pieces of fresh local fish, tasty shrimp and fresh spices. Each forkful tantalizes your taste buds. I also want to add one more dish, the Carbonara. My daughter’s chef boyfriend professes it is delicious. This restaurant has the best wine list on island. Ask Lola to make a recommendation. Oh, Pasta 007 is not on the menu, you have to ask.

2. Tarte Tatin  at Bistro de Paris – light pastry and fresh apples with whipped cream, ahhh. This dessert brings much delight to my palate. Scoop up the sugary sauce and drizzle over the lovely apple treat.  The marina view location is perfect.

3. Tres Leche at Mi Banana- oh so decadent and oh so lucious. Sweet, milky cake with cream and sugary bliss. This dessert is house made so don’t miss it. Mi Banana features Columbian fare in a friendly, laid back atmosphere.

4. French Fries and BBQ at Bobbejan’s- What’s so special here? Crispy, salty fries and  the fragrance of BBQ sauce that wafts through Kralendijk. Weekends only, this spots packs ’em in due it’s reputation for the best BBQ on island. My daughter loves the ribs!

5. Bami and Sate at Mati’s – this Surinamese hole -in- the wall next to Flamingo TV, serves up the best Bami, a flavourful noodle dish with  grilled  chicken sate with peanut sauce. Lunch only! Try the Roti, a Surinamese version of a burrito.

6. Fresh Salads seaside at Hang Out Bar – It’s hard work, sunning at Jibe City. When I crave some food, I leave my ocean view beach chair, cross the sand in my itty bitty bikini and plop myself in one of the seaside tables and enjoy a colorful, delicious fresh salad. My favorite is the Greek, chock full of tangy Feta.  The sangria is the best on island

7. Pizza at Blue Garden Brazilian Grille and Pizza Gourmet- made in an iron pan, served hot, the blend of unusual flavours thanks to unique spices makes this pie awesome. While waiting, enjoy a house made Caipirinha. Divine!

8. Ceviche at Rum Runners- ask for the Lover’s Table and dive into their light and fresh seafood ceviche loaded with lime, Scotch Bonnet Peppers and cilantro. Oh so good. They have really good pizza as well and always, fresh local fish.

9. Fish Tacos at Wil’s Restaurant- Fresh fish is the order of the day, prepared with love. Enjoy the serene garden setting and be prepared for  a memorable dining experience. Chef Wil samples cuisines from around the world and brings an exciting menu to his tables. Enjoy!

10. Tuna Two Ways at At Sea- Chef Rick is one of the island’s most creative chefs, no doubt. I love the Tuna Tartar and the  Tuna Tandoori. The flavours are incredible. Grab a high top by the bar for an intimate dining experience. The Chef’s 4 course menu with a wine pairing is memorable.

11. I know, I already shared 10 but I simply had to add the fresh sashimi at Kite City Food Truck. First off, the guys are super sweet and super handsome, second, you eat smack dab in the sand, seaside and three, the fish is fresh and wonderful. Located at Te Amo Beach across from the airport, go here! When you are done, hop in the sea for a nice snorkel sesh.

When booking your vacation I offer free individualized Concierge Service, so call today.  I love sharing my passion for the island and welcome the opportunity to plan your escape.

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Namaste Relaxation Studio – Bonaire

January 18, 2016

Nancy Hart has created an oasis at Namaste Relaxation Studio in Bonaire. I have been visiting Nancy for my spa services going on five years. The spa is a nurturing restful escape offering comfortable surroundings including a zen garden and outdoor treatment center. Inside the cool low lit treatment room is a haven and sanctuary. Nancy’s specialities include her Pedi Spa, the ultimate spa pedicure. The pedicure is like no other. Nancy offers a headset with meditation music to relax while she tends to your feet. She is gentle, nurturing and thorough. The setting is immaculate with state of the art equipment.

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Recently, I enjoyed a lovely Ultrasonic Deep Cleansing Facial. This was the most amazing 90 minute facial experience. After many steps including the deep cleansing, my skin is rosy pink and glowing.

Namaste Relaxation Studio is located at Kaya Perla # 4 also known as Kaya Turquoise in Republiek, Bonaire. (After passing the “seru largu” sign head straight up to the 3 water tanks of Republiek. When you reach a dirt road, keep going and follow the turn to the right passing the water tanks. Namaste is Located on the left, at the back of the Yellow building with 2 roofs by the hill side).

Contact Nancy Schoop-Hart:
(599) 795-2010
(599) 701-2010

Namaste

March Mindfulness on Bonaire

January 12, 2016

Welcome to a weekend of mindful meditation on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire.  Our March dates are the 19th and 20th, from 2-6 PM.  This course will focus on offering a safe and nurturing setting to commence or expand on your meditation practice. The weekend experience will foster a stronger connection between body, mind and spirit through non-judgmental and patient practice.

Day 1 is suited for beginners or those who have taken time from their practice and would welcome a gentle and non-striving  return to meditation and mindfulness. This afternoon is teacher led with instruction and discussion as well as guided meditation, both seated and walking meditation.

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Day 2 is a continuation of day 1 for Saturday participants and those who wish to join and deepen their already ongoing practice. The afternoon will feature silent meditation.

The March Retreat offers an opportunity to explore your practice surrounded by the sea and nature. We will meditate at the sea and in the country or Mondi as called in Bonaire.  We will connect our mind body experience with nature, the perfect balance.

Prices are 35.00 per person per session or 60.00 for both days*. For registration and details email ann@bonairecaribbean.com

 

*If payment is a challenge please contact me at ann@bonairecaribbean.com.

 

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ABK Boardsports Spring Clinic May 30 Bonaire

January 7, 2016

Andy Brandy, the genius behind the ABK Boardsports Windsurf Camps has announced a one time spring clinic on windy Bonaire. The dates are May 30 week. I have had the privilege of working with Andy for over 15 years. I am offering huge discounts off full packages including gear, clinic and accommodations. You may choose from budget accommodations for 85.00 USD a night and up 4 miles down the road. I will work with your budget. Email ann@bonairewindsurfing.com today.

Brendan’s First Year as Instructor

Blue Garden Brazilian Grille and Pizza Gourmet- Food Nirvana

January 4, 2016

 

Dining options on little Bonaire are diverse and plentiful. Just when I thought I had my favorites, I find a new spot. Such as the case this weekend when my family and I discovered Blue Garden.  Recommended by a fellow foodie, we made a res this past weekend. I know the manager, Paolo so knew we were in good hands.

 

We arrived to a full house. The vibe was lively and welcoming. Service was earnest and considerate despite the crowd. We were given water and pizza bread sticks with a lovely tomato salsa, within minutes of being seated. Drinks came later. Food came slowly as the night passed.  I was mindful of the holiday peak time and settled into the slow flow.

 

The drink feature are the house made Caipirinhas. Our table sampled a traditional blend, Passion Fruit and Spicy Tangerine. The drinks were sublime.  I am a fan of Cachacha Rum and can say, the bartender at Blue Garden concocted a fantastic rendition.

We were famished so placed an order for Brazilian Cheese Bread. Baked with Yucca flour, we loved the flavours. I do recommend an order.

A bit overwhelmed by the amazing menu, we asked Manager Paolo for recs. The three meat eaters ordered a specialty pizza with sausage and cheeses. I opted for an Anchovy pizza.  We also ordered a Hearts of Palm Pizza. The pies are medium size and three was ample for 4 adults. I’d even say, two would suffice along with a salad.

I must digress and say, the aromas wafting in the restaurant are tantalizing. The source was the Brazilian Picanha, a grilled meat. If you are a meat eater, give it a go.

Prices are a bit high for pizza but if you consider all of the imported Brazilian products and the complexity of the menu. it’s well worth the cost.

Blue Garden was easily the highlight of our holiday dining. As always, clients of Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations are offered free Concierge Services. Do allow me the opportunity to plan your dining experience soon.

 

Contact me at ann@bonairecaribbean.com

 

 

Unveiling a Fresh New Website

December 18, 2015

Welcome to the new improved Caribbean Wind & Sun Website. Thanks to my amazing web designer, Susan Davis, I am unveiling my new site.

Caribbean Wind & Sun has gone through so many changes since the carnation of my travel business in 1987. Originally called Antigua Small Properties, I rented out small villas and cottages on Antigua and Barbuda. Later, I took on over 25 villas and hotels on Montserrat and changed the name to Endless Vacations. A dormant volcano came to life on Montserrat shifting the focus of my business.

In 2001, I visited Bonaire and my life forever changed. The island became my family’s home and we built a little cottage to live our new life. I shifted my focus solely on Bonaire, creating Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations. My focus was a speciality niche windsurf agency. Along the way, I had a nice following of divers and snorkelers and eco tourists whom I welcomed greatly.

Today, my specialty is Bonaire Intimate Properties, a collection of the best and brightest properties for my discerning clientele. I still offer dive vacations working with two great companies, VIP Diving and Dive Friends.  It is a true labor of love planning vacations for those who love being under the sea. Windsurfing remains my largest client group.

Thanks to my loyal repeater clients. I welcome and appreciate my new clientele as well. I will strive to continue to provide an individual approach in travel planning.
Welcome back soon

http://www.bonairecaribbean.com/

 

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Photo by Markus Seidel of Caesar Finies

At Sea- in dining heaven

December 16, 2015

My family and I have dined with Chef Rick and his wife, Kim, for many years. They started off in an unassuming location with only a handful of tables. Service was intimate and the setting was magical. The noticeable aspect of dining was Chef Rick’s creative plating and flawless presentation. Over time, Chef Rick and Kim wanted to grow so purchased a magnificent ocean view spot on the outskirts of sleepy Kralendijk. I have had the privilege of many dinners but recently, was blown away by a 5 course surprise tasting menu.

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Photo Courtesy of At Sea

Chef Rick invited my boyfriend and I to sample his new menu paired with some amazing wines. The 5 courses were truly sublime. Chef Rick was keenly aware of my dietary preferences (non meat eater) and a lighter fare.

We were seated in a corner high top near the bar. The place is bustling but the focus is on food. The waitstaff are supportive and efficient and seem to always know what you need and when. I was never searching around for the next course or water.

The food came at a slow but steady pace. Each course was presented in an artful way.  Flavors were undeniably some of the best I have experienced in 15 years living and dining on Bonaire. Each course tantalized our taste buds.

Wine flowed with each course. I loved the Saint Clemente Chardonnay. Seth loved his Malbec. Each course was paired perfectly with a wine well suited to compliment the food flavors.

Jay Frans is the man behind the bar. His skill and finesse is apparent and his charm enhances the bar experience. We enjoyed watching him craft some creative cocktails. For those enjoying a bar experience, At Sea has a cozy spot for you!

If you seek an amazing dining experience for a special evening, look no further. At Sea is your spot. I offer free Concierge Services for all of my Caribbean Wind & Sun Clients so email me at ann@bonairecaribbean.com or call At Sea at 011 599 701 0134.  Their holiday menu looks sublime. Groups are encouraged to book for the intimate Dec. 24 3 -course dining menu.

 

Bon Appetite

 

 

 

Pelican Reef and Villa Ganshi on Sale

November 30, 2015

Pelican Reef is on sale for the dates 12-19 Dec. and Villa Ganshi is on sale, 5-19 Dec. Due to a cancellation I can offer a 20% discount on these superb beachfront bungalows. You may book both or each separately.

Pelican Reef is a real beach house, ideally located on the fringes of Playa Lechi on the water’s edge The center of Kralendijk, Bonaire’s main village, is a short15 minute walk away, as are most of the activities as well as the main restaurants.

The house itself, lovingly tucked away in lush tropical greenery, would be best described as casual and intimate. The interior is comfortable and simple: island style with colonial accents and an occasional splash of Caribbean color.

Being a private residence, the house is equipped with all amenities and comfort you could wish for during your stay:

There are two bedrooms, both have twin beds. The bedrooms are equipped with A/C and ceiling fans. White 100% cotton bed linen, cozy throws, and cushions. The rooms have screens, but additional mosquito nets are also available should they be needed.

The comfortable bathroom has a large step-in shower. In the cupboard you will find plenty of white towels for indoor use and colorful beach towels for outdoors. There is also an outdoor shower.

The kitchen is fully equipped with cooking stove, microwave, large fridge and freezer, coffee-maker, blender, toaster, and all necessary glassware, dishes, cutlery, cooking and frying pans. Picnic equipment and coolers are also available.

Outside you will find our barbeque, feel free to use it! Furthermore there are quite some lanterns to turn our beach area into a real fairy-tale decor.

Pelican Reef is all about easy outdoor living: a constant airy breeze provides the perfect temperature. The spacious porch offers plenty of shade, there is a nice sundeck with loungers, deck chairs, and a hammock. Our swim dock allows you to slip straight into the turquoise Caribbean Sea!

But the main feature is without any doubt the peace and quiet this house has to offer… with your own private beach to enjoy fantastic sunsets and starry moonlit skies.

And for those guests who have difficulty detaching from the “real” world, there is TV and DVD, stereo, a cell phone at your disposal (calls to be paid), wireless Internet access, a growing library with books, magazines, DVD and board games.

 

Ganshi is Pelican’s upscale sister, equally appointed but with a bit more room and little extras.

Kindly email ann@bonairecaribbean.com for details.


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