A Day in Barbados Washed Down With a Rum Punch

A Day in Barbados Washed Down With a Rum Punch

Greg's grandsons loved the interactive exhibits at Arlington House. Yes, they got up to a bit of mischief, too :)

History (and a bit of mischief): Tristan & Ethan having fun at Arlington House.

Greg and I took a double dose of vitamins on Wednesday morning so we could keep up with his grandsons Ethan and Tristan for the day while we explored a bit of our island home of Barbados.

We picked the boys up, swapped lots of hugs, caught up, laughed tons, and played word games on the drive to our …

First stop: Arlington House on Barbados’ west coast brings early Barbados history alive with fabulous interactive exhibits on three floors.  In the 1700s, the single-gabled home belonged to a merchant family that used the first floor for the marine shipping supplies it sold.

The museum is definitely worth a stop.  Meet the talking pirate on the floor set up as a working wharf and learn how much you’d be worth if you were a bag of Barbadian sugar.  (Greg’s weight in sugar translated to 93 cents; guess I won’t be selling him until the price goes up.)

Arlington House is located in Speightstown, which was a major port city from around 1640; in those days, the town was dubbed “Little Bristol” for the close trading relationship it had with that English port.

Our patient, well-informed, and enthusiastic tour guide Michelle.

Our patient, well-informed, and enthusiastic tour guide Michelle.

Brief history lesson:  Did you know that in the 17th century, Barbados had a central role in “triangular trade” among Europe, Africa, and the Americas? From Europe to Africa, ships carried manufactured goods. From Africa to the West Indies, ships carried slaves and commodities. And from the West Indies to Europe, ships took sugar, tobacco, rum, rice, and cotton.

In the 18th century and into the 20th, the term “triangular trade” referred to the transport of goods from its colonies in British North America and the Caribbean.  From the former, Britain got fur, fish, and lumber and from the latter, sugar, molasses, and rum.  End of history lesson – now wasn’t that painless? And you don’t need to have kids in tow to have an excuse to go and play in the exhibits.

Arlington House Museum is on Queen Street in Speightstown in St Peter. It’s open 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday and 10am – 3pm on Saturday.  246-442-4064

As we left Arlington House, Greg mumbled something about really looking forward to a rum punch. That brings me to our

Second stop: Royal Westmoreland for lunch.

Lunch at Royal Westmoreland. The camera on my iPhone really doesn't do the beautiful setting justice.

Lunch at Royal Westmoreland. The camera on my iPhone really doesn't do the beautiful setting justice.

This is a favorite place to golf (members and members’ guests only) and eat (come one, come all!).  The open-air setting is stunning, the tables large and chairs comfortable, the service friendly & impeccable, and the food delish.

In a case of once-a-mom-always-a-mom, I feel a little bad for having corrected the table manners of Tristan and Ethan as much as I did.  Example:

Me:  Tristan, honey, please take your napkin off the table and place it on your lap.

Tristan (quite sensibly):  But I’m using it!

In demonstration, he wiped from his face some wayward ketchup oozing from his generous hamburger.  Ah, yes, I thought to myself, such an efficient boy … why bother with that extra four inches down to his lap?  I stopped nagging.

And Greg got his rum punch.

Clubhouse menu & hours at Royal Westmoreland … and here’s a way better photo of the grounds than the one I took above.

Final stop: Carlisle Bay (also called Browne’s Beach) for a beach walk and swim.  We camped out at the Barbados Yacht Club, but anywhere along the beach offers a great place to set up temporary camp.  Ethan hunted white cockroaches along one of the embankment walls, collected them in a plastic cup, and, with the addition of each new one, darted over to to show us.  Tristan made like a fish.  Greg played with them; much mutual teasing and adorableness.  I sat on a beach towel admiring the trio’s enjoyment of one another.

Greg says he needs to play with Ethan and Tristan as much as possible right now because it won’t be long before they come to think that Papa-Greg is maybe not all that much fun.

I’ve been pretty down since my precious sister’s passing.  But on Wednesday I very simply loved my island home.  And I watched these three handsome Hoyos boys with wonder, thankful to be experiencing the sheer joy of living life.

In Barbados.

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