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Margie Jordan
Why I Fell In Love With Nevis

I was filled with curiosity as we boarded the ferry in St. Kitts for the first time. It was windy, and the water was a bit choppy, but that certainly didn't stop my curiosity. After a short 10-minute ferry ride, I could see it off in the distance. We were quickly approaching the island of Nevis. I finished up my Ting and couldn't wait to explore as we disembarked.

The ferry arrived at Oualie Beach, home to Oualie Beach Resort. Its gingerbread cottages give you the feeling of the Caribbean from days gone by. Oualie Beach is tranquil, and if you're lucky, a few of the guests staying there might wave to welcome you to the island.

Nevis is unspoiled. Within its lush 36 square miles, you won't find a casino, an all-inclusive or a cruise ship. There are some street signs, a movie theater, and there are no traffic lights. The biggest traffic jam you'll find here are the donkeys and wild goats crossing the road. The island mantra is "rush slowly." I quickly settled into island life, and once I did, it did something magical to my soul.

One of the things I love most about Nevis is how beautiful the island is. Lush foliage, blooming plants, swaying palms, all woo you further into the magic. The central road circles the island and, in the center, is Nevis Peak, the highest point on the island. If you're looking for some active adventure, hike to the top. You'll need to be physically fit and go with a guide. Be prepared for some challenging spots that aren't for the faint of heart. As much as I want to climb the peak, the whole "faint of heart" thing, well maybe one day.

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My stay was at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club. I'm a Florida girl, so I was no stranger to being on the beach. The charm of this resort is where I began to understand the idea of rush slowly. I stayed in the Oceanview Premier Suite. The pale lemon-hued cottages are topped with traditional Nevisian white pyramid roofs with vaulted ceilings, sumptuous bedding, granite and porcelain accents, terraces, and island art. Each building is surrounded by a quarter acre of land, which lends itself to ensure your privacy and a bit of romance.

The landscaped grounds at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club features the Avenue of the Palms, a lush green landscaped lawn lined with palm trees leading to the golden sand beach. I felt like royalty walking through those swaying palms. When you arrive at the beach, you're met with golden soft sand and ocean breezes. The Sea Breeze Bar is located right on the beach, serving up island cocktails. You might catch a local band playing there as well. Comfortable beach sofas, lounge chairs, hammocks, and a freshwater pool make this beach, the spot to be. You won't have to worry about finding the perfect place. One afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had the entire beach all to myself. The staff from the servers to the bartenders made sure my experience was fantastic.

One evening while there, I watched a vow renewal ceremony along the Avenue of the Palms. The surroundings lent themselves perfectly for the service. Expertly planned to start at sunset, I watched the sky change color as the bride said I do. After a little time on the beach, as I walked back to my suite, I looked up. The stars had made the most magnificent grand appearance. I savored every moment. I went to bed that evening feeling more relaxed than I had in months.

After a few days, I said goodbye to Nisbet Plantation Beach Club and headed to Montpelier Plantation and Beach. Montpelier is surrounded by 60 acres of lushly landscaped grounds built around one of the island's original 18th-century sugar plantations.

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Montpelier exhales romance. If you're a hopeless romantic like I am, you won't only see butterflies, you'll feel them around every turn on this property.

Here, I disconnected completely. I stayed in a Premier Room with a private terrace. The lush foliage around the patio brought hummingbirds within inches, all coming to sip the nectar from the blooms. Talk about rejuvenating your soul! One morning, a rain shower moved through. I kid you not when I say I ran outside like it was something I'd never seen before.

Montpelier is where my love affair with Cosmo began. He immediately stole my heart. Cosmo is the property owner's Labrador Retriever. Seeing Cosmo each trip is like meeting up with an old friend. No matter where I stay on the island, I stop in Montpelier to spend some time with Cosmo. By the way, he loves bacon, and returning guests bring him dog toys!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Kaddy one of my favorite bartenders. He kept this girl smiling while mixing up some of the best cocktails and sharing stories about his life on the island.

Dining at Montpelier is a bit of a luxury. In the evening, the entry is adorned with candles and torches. Guests gather in the Great Room for cocktails or a glass of wine before dinner. You'll also be presented with the menu for the evening. The cuisine features fresh local ingredients, expertly prepared, and delicious. It's been said that if you're looking for something that's not on the menu, it doesn't hurt to ask. The Chef may surprise you with your favorite dish one night. You won't be dining solely with guests staying at the property. Island locals or guests from other resorts do come for dinner.

The last night at Montpelier, I wanted to watch the sunset from a hammock in the back of the property. It was only a short walk from my room, and thankfully, that evening, no one else had the same idea. As I swung gently from side to side, a butterfly or two flying over me and the sounds of donkeys' in the distance, the sky began to change colors. I had to walk up a bit higher on the hill to catch the sunset's last few moments. Off to my right, I noticed a gentleman on one knee proposing to his girlfriend!

I think I was as surprised as she was! Of course, she said yes. I snapped a photo, trying not to intrude upon their moment and then quietly walked away, leaving them with the moment. Feeling warm and fuzzy, I was ready for a cocktail to celebrate the experience. To my surprise, the newly engaged couple had already made their way back to the bar. I congratulated them and shared the only photo taken that captured their engagement. We were strangers celebrating a moment over a glass of wine.

The island of Nevis is magical. I've enjoyed Killer Bee cocktails at Sunshine's Beach Bar & Grill and strolled through the Nevis Botanical Gardens. I've visited Alexander Hamilton's home, and if you've seen the Broadway play, this is a must-see. I've dipped my toes in the Nevis Hot Springs and strolled through the streets of downtown learning more of the island's history. I've sailed around the island on a catamaran to Paradise Beach and watched my cares roll out to sea. The locals have become family, and every visit feels like coming home. Numerous visitors to the island find themselves extending their stay. Nevis is intoxicating in the best possible way.

It's the reason Nevis has become my happy place. My place to escape and reconnect with the simplicity of life and become an islander.

It is unlike any other island in the Caribbean. The island hugs you and doesn't let go. I could go on and on about one experience after another. Instead, go to Nevis. Come back, and let's share our stories.

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