Carefree patrons at the Soggy Dollar Bar

The Calm Before Changes
I’m due for a vacation. Where can I go that is far away from Texas in order to unwind, recharge and prepare myself for my upcoming marriage and career change? And, oh yeah, I have a big birthday coming up — the big 4-0. I need a fabulous trip.

I leave Dallas/Fort Worth on a direct flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico; grab a short American Eagle flight to Tortola and a quick ferry ride to the Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina in the British Virgin Islands. It wasn’t hard to convince a girlfriend to tag along as my travel companion.

We approach Scrub Island and are as giddy as little girls getting their first Barbie dollhouse. As the ferry nears the Scrub Island Resort, the only words coming out of our mouths are “beautiful” and “amazing.” The resort is nestled into a lush green island that’s hugged by beaches and beautiful rock formations. The ferry arrives, and a charming hotel staffer with a lovely accent greets us. She escorts us into the hotel lobby, where we are introduced briefly to Binny, the friendly resort manager.

The lobby is busy. Two staffers tend to guests, answer phone calls and try to coordinate duties among other staffers. We take a seat at the lobby desk as a staffer tries to get us checked in. It is 10:30 a.m., and we learn our room may not be ready for four hours. We ask if there is a temporary room where we can change into our swimsuits so we can enjoy the pools and beaches.

My friend and I
feel like we
are sitting in a
Corona commercial.


We are told to go upstairs and enjoy breakfast at Caravela restaurant while a room is found. My friend and I make our way up to the picturesque restaurant, which is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A large oval bar area is elegantly decorated with spectacular views of the water and surrounding islands. It is breathtaking.

We stand at the door waiting to be seated but are ignored. Customers sit at three tables, but the rest of the restaurant is empty. After some time, we seat ourselves, but a waitress tells us breakfast is over and it is an hour until lunch. She relents, however, and says we can stay and have what is left of the breakfast buffet.

Not the best start to my much-needed vacation.

We sit at a table next to a couple on their honeymoon. They compliment the hotel and say they’ve had a good stay. They ­describe a huge party for the wife of the British Virgin Islands premier held the previous night, and that dignitaries, politicians and the BVI elite had attended it.

The honeymooners say it went into the early-morning hours and the staff is exhausted.­ We decide we can cut the staff some slack.

As we make our way to our hotel suite, we take in the natural beauty of our surroundings. The views from our balcony are something out of a postcard. Beautiful blue waters, distant verdant islands and sparkling sandy beaches are all within our view.

We grab a quick ride to North Beach, which overlooks the Caribbean. It has a bar, a pool and private areas where we can set up chairs to relax in peace and quiet. My friend and I feel like we are sitting in a ­Corona commercial. From there, we spend our first evening at the Scrub Island Resort enjoying one of its infinity pools and marveling at the sunset.