Dining at Lone Star & Cricket Tickets in 12 Easy Steps

Dining at Lone Star & Cricket Tickets in 12 Easy Steps

lonestarBarbados: Dining Out Chichi

I was so relieved that I wore my expensive designer sunglasses to lunch at The Lone Star yesterday because clearly the clientele there are the type who notice.  I’ve been hanging on the south coast too much where nobody notices or gives a hoot, so I forget sometimes that there are places where it matters whether you have on Jimmy Choos (I did not) or designer sunglasses (phew on that one).

My girlfriend Sharon took me there and we had a great girl-bonding gabfest of a lunch with fab food (a very Rosemary’s Baby beef carpaccio salad for me and cajun chicken mango salad for her – yum on both counts) and friendly, efficient service.  Creative food beautifully prepared and a chic-open-air-beachy-new-age-music-playing ambiance just feet from the gentle waves of the Caribbean Sea.  What, I ask you, could be better?

babyseaturtleA sea turtle, that’s what!

After lunch, Sharon and I walked the beach outside The Lone Star and I witnessed my first baby sea turtle. I was aware that this little beach is an egg-laying ground for turtles, but never expected to see what we saw.

The new little guy, hardly longer than 1.5 inches, was making a beeline for the sea and not making hay about it … he knew his destiny lay in the (relatively) safe and nurturing sea.  His four little flipper-feet flapped as he scuttled along like a plastic wind-up toy.

Did he care that two middle-aged women were clapping and jumping for joy at the very sight of him?  Naaaaa.  He had places to go and turtles to meet.

To imagine that this tiny new life would grow to become one of our 1,000-pound-plus magnificent giant sea turtles made my heart swell.

More Living Chic: Car Repair Shop to Mariah Carey’s Stomping Grounds

My how times have changed!  The Lone Star property in St James, Barbados, used to be a car repair garage built in the 1940s that fell to ruin, then a small cafe in the early 80s.  Now it’s an elegant, understated property with beautiful restaurant and four boutique hotel rooms on the beach.  (These run from $400US to $900US nightly.) The garage motif is playfully noted in the star logo (see top of blog) and in the rooms, which carry the names of old cars like the Studebaker.

Owning a handful of beautifully appointed condos to offer as holiday rentals is my own dream; to see it realized so exquisitely at The Lone Star Hotel inspired me.  I came home and checked for change beneath the sofa cushions to see if I might be able to come up with enough money to buy a second rental property.  Owning one rental property at St Lawrence Beach Condominiums makes me happy … but, like having children, one is a joy but imagine the fun of having two

Speaking of which …

Barbados’ Condo Rental Market Remains Strong

The venerable Barbados Hilton has never run under 75% occupancy; these days occupancy is reportedly running at 40%.  Island restaurants, too, are far quieter than they usually are during the winter.

I called a my colleague/competitor/friend Lauren at Rex Realty a couple of days ago to ask how the worldwide economic downturn is affecting her business.  Like me, Lauren handles the rentals of south coast condominiums.

I imagine that Lauren’s figures probably tell a more accurate story than mine since she represents many, many condo holiday rentals to my handful at St Lawrence Beach Condominiums.

Unlike so many hotels on the island, Lauren reports no reduction at all in her condo bookings from previous years. I’m new at the holiday rental game – less than a year – but my dance card is pleasingly full as well.

St Lawrence Beach CondosMaybe come summer the condo rental market will feel the crunch, but something tells me we’ll weather it well. Why? Just guesses, but here are my conjectures:

Perhaps visitors who usually holiday on the west coast are giving the less-expensive south coast a try. Or perhaps visitors see the cost-value of renting a large place with a full kitchen.

Or maybe the cost savings of two couples sharing a spacious condo is making sense to visitors; after all, when shared, the price for each couple is really reasonable.

If you have some insight into or thoughts about this, would you please enlighten me?

A Test of One’s Patience, Redux:  Cricket Tickets

Maya Angelou said you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

Add to the list, buying cricket tickets.

crickettix2My husband Greg’s faithful and diligent employee Hendy hasn’t met a job he won’t see through to the bitter end. And thank goodness; a lesser man might have given up the fight to secure cricket tix.

I promised guests coming from England and staying here at St Lawrence Beach Condos that I would secure tickets to matches on Mar 27 & 29.  Hendy was the man to get the job done.

Step 1.  Go to the bank for cash, as the tournament web site does not make it clear to whom to write checks for the tickets.

Step 2.  Go to Kensington Oval ticket office.  Oops!  Tickets are not being sold at the Kensington Oval ticket office.  They are being sold from a portable building on the outskirts of Kensington Oval, across from DaCosta Manning.

Step 3.  Go to portable ticket office building.  There’s a tent outside the building. This shades the long lines of folks wanting to purchase tickets.  Why would there be long lines?  See Step 4.

Step 4.  Discover the ticket sellers are at lunch.  Other purchasers patiently wait in long queues beneath the tent.  Hendy needs to get other work done; he leaves and returns two hours later.

Step 5. Return at 2:30.  Oops, the ticket office is closed for the day.

Eeeerrrrrrrttttttt, sound the buzzer!  Start over!

Step 6. Get a good night’s sleep.

Step 7. Gird self with strong coffee.

Step 8. Return to the portable ticket office at 11 a.m. – after the place opens and before lunch.

Step 9. Ahh, line is far lighter. Stand in short line in the shade. Pleasant.

Step 10. Hey, it’s your turn!!  Hand over $600Bds. (Remember to smile!)

Step 11. Get tickets.

Step 12. Leave, triumphant.  High-five the security guard on the way out the door.

Gall bladder surgery involves fewer steps.

Okay, it doesn’t. I’m just saying that tasks so often take a circuitous path to their completion here in Bim.

I’m grateful to Hendy; I would have jumped off a tall building around Step 4.  Mostly, I’m mucho delighted to present our guests the cricket tickets they so covet. Here’s to some great cricket for all!



7 Responses to “Dining at Lone Star & Cricket Tickets in 12 Easy Steps”

  1. Stephen says:

    It was great seeing the turtle, but if it matters how you dress/what you wear to eat anywhere, then eat elsewhere. That’s why the south coast is better!

  2. planetbarbados says:

    Hi, Stephen. I come from the land of “Which-is-better-LA-or-San-Fran?” … and am not going to get into a which-coast-is-better-in-Barbados dialogue, no way!

    I really don’t know the west coast of Barbados and have really liked everything I’ve encountered there so far.

    Having lived in San Francisco, I’m plenty used to the ‘bling’ game. It really doesn’t offend me at all. I’m as much a slave to pretty shoes as anyone.

    Having said all that, though, I, like you, just love the south coast of Barbados.

  3. […] Life’s a Beach in Barbados, Except Sometimes by planetbarbados on … […]

  4. Hammer says:

    Love the sea turtle! I have seen a number of them making their way in to the water on the beautiful beach at Glitter Bay.

    It’s terrific and a big shout out to the dedicated staff at the Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University located on the West coast.

    Keep the up good work and maybe we’ll see many more turtles heading to the spectacular waters of Barbados platinum coast

  5. planetbarbados says:

    Wow, thanks, Hammer. I had never heard of
    Bellairs Research Institute until now. Very impressive …

    In Barbados for over 50 years, Bellairs is Canada’s only teaching and research facility in the tropics. Students and scientists from around the world come to study marine and land animals and environments in the areas of geology, geography, archaeology, climatology, biology, as well as complex issues around sustainable development, water resource management, and globalization.

    I plan on taking a visit there, now that I know of it. Thank you, Hammer, for introducing me to Bellairs.

  6. Diane says:

    And this lucky holiday maker will be eternally grateful to Hendy for the trouble he took to get our tickets.
    BTW Jane, the condo was fabulous and Barbados is beautiful We will be returning for another holiday. Thanx for your kind hospitality -x-

  7. I’m so, so glad you had a great time, Diane! It was a true pleasure meeting you – and your hubby is a doll. I’m especially glad that you were comfortable in my holiday rental at St Lawrence Beach Condominiums. Thank you for your kind words.

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