A week of rum and beach bar research in the Virgin Islands takes a lot of planning, preparation and the right crew of traveling buddies. Meet mine.
When planning my recent research trip to the islands, I developed a list of priorities – things that I wanted to do and see to make the most of my time in the little latitudes. I don’t usually experience a particular destination by navigating the local shopping scene, gambling in faceless casinos or dining at Señor Frog’s. Instead, I set out to discover what makes that place unique and unlike any other on the planet. It’s probably not a surprise that bars and beaches play a big role in this type of discovery. I find that the best way to learn about a place and its people is by getting to know their drinking culture.
Not everyone would agree, so when plotting this trip I had to choose a team of traveling buddies that had the same priorities. I looked far and wide, took applications, did interviews and checked references. In the end, I was pleased to find three very worthy traveling companions with the same goals as my own. Priorities for week one – get to know the sites, sounds and people of the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands through a week long pub crawl……by boat.
Here’s the crew:
Bahama Bob – legendary Key West mixologist, barstool philosopher and rum drinker. Bob is a former NASCAR engineer that packed up his tools when he felt the islands calling. He also has a marine Master Captains license and agreed to be our designated sober boat captain for our week of rum and beach bar research. What a guy!
Carl Grooms – owner of Conch Republic Bikini Co., Caribbean lifestyle blogger and Rum XP. Carl knows the islands like the back of his hand and walking into a beach bar with him is like walking into Cheers with Norm. Everybody knows his name. He also knows a bunch of fancy nautical knots from his days in the Merchant Marines which takes the focus off my lack of real boating skills.
Marta Leonard – a California native and former race car driver turned Florida restaurant manager and boat bum. Marta is known to be friendly, organized and very silly, especially after a few rum drinks. She would also bail me out of jail if need be. (hopefully need won’t be)
Stay tuned for a recap of all the action from the Virgin Islands pub crawl. Aarrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!