The sky seemed to appreciate our admiration for the sunset the night before.
Like a true performer, he took a bow and the clouds parted to reveal a perfect rainbow. You see, we were in St Lucia for a slightly special occasion. Ben and I were not only celebrating a friends wedding, but also our own anniversary.
We had breakfast tucked into the corner of the buffet veranda and as soon as we were done, we raced each other down to the beach to wile away the morning in the sunshine.
If the food at La Toc isn’t much to travel for, the beach is truly the opposite.
A lovely sandy bay that takes a good walk from one end to the other looks out onto nothing but the wild ocean.
We dumped our things in the shade of a cabana and each ordered a cocktail before stripping off and heading down to the left of the beach. I’m always happiest when I’m clutching the camera and his hand, and the scenery made it that bit more special.
At this end of the beach, the waves crash onto the sand, before the sand makes way for trees and cliffs.
Ben took his pew on a nearby tree.
While I did my best Little Mermaid impression perching on a smooth rock.
We imagined we were the only people on the beach and planned our survival on coconuts and fresh mango. Until Ben got a touch of vertigo and needed help from me coaxing him back down the tree…
We walked down to the other end of the beach…
making a friend called Shadow on the way.
Then continued on past the pounding base of the music from the main pool and beyond the watersports center.
Until we reached a rocky outcrop that caught the water as it broke over each rock, creating little havens of life for small sea fish, mollusks and crabs.
An egret didn’t seem too happy that we’d interrupted his morning ponder and took off before we could apologise.
I wanted to find out what was at Bagshaw’s.
I tiptoed carefully along the wooden planks, wary of getting splinters in my toes or standing on rusty nails. I made it halfway before changing my mind (just in case there was an angry property owner up there ready to chase me away with a broom) and heading back to the safety of our cabana.
When we’d dozed for a while and paddled in the cool water we made the short distance to the The Pitons restaurant.
He had the Jerk chicken and I had the catch of the day. We both couldn’t resist a fresh mango daiquiri.
With the end of our stay at La Toc, our sandals adventure wasn’t yet over. There was a short ride in the car to our next stop – Sandals Grande.
As soon as we arrived at Sandals Grande, we felt at home. It was welcoming and open and there was no throb from the base ringing in our ears.
It was also a lot breezier, which was a welcome relief from the intense heat of the midday sun.
Our personal butler (yes, another one!) welcomed us, took our luggage and lead us towards our accommodation for the evening. Instead of heading towards the main complex, we took a right, parallel to the beach and walked down a beautiful pontoon with wooden villas either side.
We entered our own water bungalow with all the coolness of a three year old child on the promise of ice cream. I definitely squealed a little too loudly, but the breeze carried it far across the ocean and I hoped no one would notice.
Sandals had got wind of our 1 year anniversary and very kindly pulled out all of the stops to make it as unbelievable as possible. Including letting us have one of the incredible bungalows for the night.
Double doors opened right out onto our own deck with loungers, a hammock, an outdoor shower and bath tub leading down onto another private pontoon for easy access to the cooling waters below.
In our room, a glass floor acted as a television, framing the aquatic life beneath us and we swung our legs onto the bed, heads peering over the edge to watch for a good 10 minutes.
Our butler took our drinks orders (mango daiquiri, of course) and put welcome food in our little private kitchen.
She informed us that we would be served our dinner at 7pm and we ticked off our meal choices.
The water hammock was the perfect place for an afternoon sipping bubbles.
It was bliss.
We moved from one spot on our decking…
Then it was time to get ready for our special anniversary dinner. He went all white, and I slipped into a Jacques Vert sparkly number.
As we stood taking snaps outside the little white wedding chapel (complete with glass floor inside I’m told) a couple asked if we had just got married. Like giggling teenagers, we asked them to take a photo of us, before they disappeared back down the path.
Perched on a bench outside the chapel we watched the sun set and once it had, our butler once again fetched us for our meal.
Our lowlight, nighttime shooting abilities failed us, so the camera was put to one side for the evening to enjoy each others company.
The food was deliciously filling and luckily, it wasn’t far to our pyjamas which we pulled on and grabbed the bottle of champagne to finish in the hammock.
The sea breeze on our skin and waves beneath, rocked us to the most sumptuous, contented sleep.