Friday, December 09, 2011

BVI Vacation

(This from the balcony of our house - no joke)

My husband had surprised me for our 2nd Anniversary with a trip that he had fully planned & booked to the British Virgin Islands - specifically Tortola - with our good friends for the Thanksgiving week.

I mean, clearly he's the best (and I really hate the planning & logistics/flights part of it). I was shocked and suuuuuuper excited.

Anyway - it was amazing, obviously... the weather was incredible, it was soooo relaxing, and it was a really beautiful island.... but I wanted to talk a little about eating gluten free in the Caribbean. Let me just say, it wasn't that easy.

We were staying in a house - which was great, so we did quite a few meals there. I went down there with a loaf of Udi's, a bag of Tinkyada pasta, a handful of Luna Protein bars and LaraBars, and I brought a bag of Better Batter flour just in case.

Good thing too! Tortola doesn't exactly have a huge selection of groceries. We were shopping first in Road Town, and the pickin's were slim. Although, when we were in Soper's Hole Marina, we found a grocery store there that actually had a few GF items - but if you're going, it's really best to just bring a few staples.

I tried to stick to simple easy items - grilled fish, salads with no dressing. But somehow - I got sick a few times. I ordered fish with rice one time, and I'm pretty sure most places use a packaged rice mix that contains gluten - so I stayed away from that. We were on a full-day sail, and we docked near this permanently anchored boat/restaurant called Willy T's for lunch - I had a great piece of tuna, and it came with rice, my husband figured he'd go ask the chef if he knew if it was GF or not, sure enough - he came back fuming, he got in a fight with the dude because the chef said "what's with this trendy shit"... nice. Whatever though - I was on vacation, on a boat eating lunch and wasn't really phased. I told my husband to calm down. it was fine, I didn't eat the rice.

We did one other 'fancy' night out at this really cool restaurant called The Sugar Mill, actually, we did Thanksgiving there. I didn't opt for the turkey - it came with stuffing & gravy - who wants turkey in 85 degree heat anyway -- but went for a grilled fish option and salad. For some reason, I was really sick after eating. ANNOYING. After that I vowed not to eat out anymore.

It was semi-pathetic, but I was fine, when we were out to lunch one day I ordered a plain salad, and had a pb & j udi's sandwich in my purse that I ate under the table! Ha! I really didn't care, I was so happy to be in the sun and not at work! Ahhh, gluten free travel.

I mean, look at our sunset:

And my husband in the water:

Yeah. Who cares about food really? And rum punch by the way - is gluten free ;)

We had to head back to St. Thomas for a night because of flights - and we stayed at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef - and I had an easier time eating here, although, it was only 2 meals, but the place we went for dinner - Havana Blue, knew what gluten free was and they were on top of it.

**UPDATE: Kate commented below and let me know there is a store in Road Town called Nature's Way that offers many gluten free products, open every day except Saturday.


Jen said...

I want to punch that chef....

Way to go Matt!!! What a guy!! That is so awesome and Happy Anniversary!

Gluten Dude said...

PB&J under the table...nice! Sad, but nice.

Lizzy said...

This is soooooo gorgeous! "What's with this trendy shit?!" People are so annoying! I would have punched him!

Kate said...

Hi Allie, great to read about your time here in the BVI - it is a wonderful spot!
Just and FYI for the next time you come back (because I hope you do, despite the idiot chef at the Willy T!), we have a great health food store in Road Town that carries a good range of gluten-free pastas, bread/muffin/brownie/baking mixes, cereals and cookies. It is called Nature's Way. It is open Sun-Mon closed on Saturdays but open Sundays.
I hope you come back and have a better eating experience next time.

Allie said...

Hey Kate -- thanks for the comment! I will amend the post to add in a note about Nature's Way!

despite the food troubles it was still one of the best vacations ever!

BVI Boat said...

Did you try Bobby's Market in Wickham's Cay? They're supposed to have everything there, but I've never looked for gluten-free products.


Hey Kate,
I'm so glad you liked the BVI. If you ever find yourselves here again and are looking for gluten free staples feel free to check us out:


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