Ginger Lemon and Mint Tea

I know that the summer weather has finally showed up in the states and I can assure you that the heat is turning up down here as well. While washing the dishes today, I had sweat dripping down my nose and I could feel it trickling down my back. Yuck! At times like this, I need a cold drink and to sit down and do absolutely nothing which is the best thing ever to do in the Caribbean. That’s why making this cooling mint tea was a perfect solution for today. 

So here’s how I do it: I boil 4 cups of water, add my fresh ingredients, and turn off the stove. I steep the tea for 8-10 minutes, drop in a tablespoon of local Antiguan honey, and then place the drink into the fridge to chill. 


Just chill out ✌🏻

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Coconut Grove

As I’m sure you all know, Jesse and I enjoy trying new restaurants and I wanted to highlight one of the places that we have visited so far.

Coconut Grove is located directly on the beach and right next to Antigua Grande Sandals. It treats restaurant goers to a panoramic view of the ocean while enjoying surf & turf and drinking a pina colada.

Below, you can see Jesse trying my dish which was a mixture of clams, shrimp, lobster, and pasta in a creamy sauce. This was the first time in a while that I had eaten pasta, and it was a glorious experience.

Jesse had the garlic shrimp with rice and plantainos and it was equally mouthwatering.

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We finished up our meal with chocolate cake and took a walk on the beach with friends.

Helpful Tips

So for those who are coming down for medical school or considering traveling here,  I have list of tips for you. Just things that I’ve learned while I’ve been living here:

  • What you should bring if you are going to live in student housing -pillows, blanket, bed sheets, water, toilet paper, shower curtain, cleaning supplies(the place needed a good scrubbing when we got here), kitchen supplies (they do provide utensils and pots), and a frying pan. 
  • If you are wondering which taxi driver you should call to come pick you up, I would recommend Linden or Leron. They charge decent prices (10EC/4USD) and they are friendly and reliable. 
  • You can rent or buy vehicles here for reasonable prices. There is a lot of advertisements at AUA where you can find a car. Most everything around here you find out by word of mouth.
  • As far as groceries are concerned, you have the options of shopping at Epicurean or 1st Choice. There are some other grocery stores that the locals use, but I have yet to explore them. Will keep you updated. Epi has everything to can think of – lots of international food with more organic options, but is expensive compared to 1st choice which carries more local produce. When I do go grocery shopping, I like to visit both of them on the same day, so I can find the best deals. And of course, I’ve talked about the meat market and farmer’s market. The best time to go is 6AM on Saturdays. Jesse does bring home good food from the food vendors that sell at AUA. There are yummy smoothies, coffee, Indian food, and Subway is even an option. Other American food chains that are available down here are KFC and Burger King.
  • If you order delivery, sometimes you can order by directly contacting the resturaunt or you will have to contact a delivery service. You can do this through WhatsApp, which is one of the main modes of communication on the island. So after you download the app called FoodBooking which lists delivery places and their menus, you can place your order and then contact QuikServe. Make sure that you let them know what you ordered so that they can get your order right and don’t forget anything. We have never had any trouble with our orders. The only aggravation is that the drivers sometimes take 1 to 2 hours to deliver, so make sure you plan and order ahead if you want to eat  lunch or dinner at a reasonable hour. 
  • Pandora Music Station does not work on the Island, and Spotify will only last for 1 week abroad. I found that Jengo Radio Station works as well as Sirius XM. 
  • Hulu does not work down here, and there are some shows on AmazonPrime that will not play, however, great news! Netflix does work!!! πŸ™ŒπŸ»  If living in school housing, it costs 30USD a month for 100 channels which is not bad.
  • Be prepared to not be able to access certain internet pages that you would be able to back home. I often get an error sign if I try to load my local newspaper website.   
  • When you live in school housing, please know that you will only be able to use 3 devices on the internet ACT. Due to the weather, the internet is not always 100% reliable, so you will lose it at times. Be aware that the power will go out and the water will sometimes shut off.  Like I’ve said before, island life is unpredictable. 
  • Always have extra EC cash on you in case of emergencies and when you need laundry coins. To wash and dry 1 load costs 10USD.
  • Trust me when I say this, but if you are taking medications, make sure you bring 5 months worth of the prescription before you leave home. It will not be easy transferring a prescription down here. There is a long process and you will have to get it approved through the school.

I hope this info is helpful and please leave any questions in the comments. I will be more than happy to answer or add onto this list! 

-Sarah

25

My birthday started off with these lovely pancakes πŸ₯ž and a side of bacon πŸ– 


And ended with this beautiful dish that Jesse made for dinner ❀️

In honor of turning 25, I will list 25 random/odd facts about myself. So here it goes:

🎬 I love black and white movies and my favorite actresses are Vivian Leigh, Olivia DeHaviland, Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood, and Elizabeth Taylor.

🌈 And despite not being born in the 80’s I also like watching films from back then such as Pretty in Pink, 16 Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Say Aything, etc. But hey, I married an 80’s baby….Jesse ❀️

πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ I’m a horrible klutz and cannot be trusted to play any sport, unless you would like your team to lose due to my lack of coordination. 

πŸ‘©πŸΌβ€πŸ³ I love to cook, but always send up burning or cutting myself everytime, it never fails! 

πŸ‹ I have to drink lemon or lime with my water.

πŸ›When I finally get out of a hot shower, I immediately sit on the floor in my towel and enjoy the steam floating around the room. 

🍡 I love to try new foods! Recently, we’ve been eating a lot of Indian food. 

πŸ₯™ Some restaraunts that I’ve been craving back home are Pho Dalat, Reginella’s, Five Guys, Jason’s Deli, Mongolian BBQ, Sweet Frog and Starbucks just to name a few…oh and empanadas!

β˜•οΈ I drink tea almost everyday. Especially green tea. 

🌊 I’m obsessed with any shade of blue.

πŸ’‡πŸΌ I used to hate my curly hair, but now I wouldn’t change it for anything. I get the best of both worlds πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

πŸ‘  I don’t really wear high heels except for special occasions, and lately I’ve been only wearing Sanuk sandals which are amazingly comfortable. 

🌺 I will forever take tons pictures of flowers/nature anywhere I go. 

πŸ™…πŸΌ I can be indecisive, so whenever I buy beauty products, I can stand for hours in the aisles just comparing ingredients. 

πŸ”ΉThe toothpaste must be squeezed from the bottom up. 

⬇️ I’m afraid of heights, but I love to go zip lining. 

🎡 I’ve played the piano since I was 6. 

πŸŽ‚This is my second birthday away from home and outside the US. The first time was on my 21st birthday while traveling abroad in Israel/Palestine. 

✨ I get lost in thought a lot, and sometimes zone out thanks to my ADHD.

πŸ’­ My best ideas come right before I go to sleep at night, and then I can never remember them in the morning. 

😧 I can be a bit spastic when speaking so my words come out fast, and when I ask questions, people don’t have a clue.

πŸš™ I enjoy jumping in the car with Jesse and taking long car rides, or just driving through our old stomping grounds back when we were dating. 

🌲 I grew up in the country, and made forts in the woods and made an obstacle course out of hay bales for fun. 

πŸŒ‡ Charleston, SC is my favorite city. A lot of my family is from there. 

🌝What’s the funniest/silliest argument that Jesse and I have had?! Oddly enough, dinosaurs. 
Bonus question: What’s on my mind? Why chocolate cake, of course 🌞

Β Black Pineapple

So, we finally tried the elusive Black Pineapple, the official fruit of Antigua and claimed to be the world’s sweetest pineapple. After months of searching in the grocery stores, we got lucky and found an over abundance at the local farmer’s market on Friday. We picked our pineapple priced at $11USD (prices vary on the size). Our taxi driver explained to us that the Black Pineapple is scarcely grown on the island. While that was puzzling, we were excited to try it. After cooking up two thick sizzling steaks for dinner that night (which we only paid 8USD at the meat market, also in St. John’s), we cut open the pineapple. And, I will have to confirm that this pineapple is the sweetest pineapple that I have ever tasted. It was not bitter or tart, due to its low acidity. I almost felt it was too sweet to keep eating. I should have taken a picture, but I did not get a chance (ahem, Jesse!). But, the color inside is more of a softer color yellow, not as bright as the one back in the states. None the less, you will want to try this mouthwatering treat when you come to the island, & dont leave until you do. You don’t want to miss this!

🍍Sarah 

WaterΒ 

I would highly recommend having your water delivered on the island. We recently started using Premier Beverages Limited and it has been such a life saver. We went from spending $$ each week at the grocery stores to paying $40 a month for renting a cooler with 4 five gallon water jugs included. They do have different packages available. But, any time we need more water, we just call and they deliver within a few days. We actually just ordered 3 more jugs because we have been running/working out a lot more this month. Each jug is worth 15EC so it equals $5.76 a jug.  It’s so convenient and we have two taps for hot or cold water. This is definitely the way to go βœ”οΈβœ”οΈβœ”οΈβœ”οΈβœ”οΈβœ”οΈβœ”οΈ