Tortola_2010_1224The unplanned or unexpected things often end up being the most memorable parts of a family vacation. 

For us, it was a chair.

“The Chair” was the first place we ended up after a 5 m. taxi ride, two long plane rides, and a double-barf ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola. (Seasickness is a big problem in our family).

So when we arrived at our cottage in Tortola’s Frenchmans Hotel and Resort, we needed to plop down and lay somewhere. The Chair was the place.


This huge, round, pillow-covered chair was on the patio, next to a beautiful view of the sea. It had a sun cover that we could pull up to provide shade, and a foot rest. All four of us got in it and laid motionless like sardines until the sun set and suddenly we were staring up at moon and stars.

This family gathering in The Chair became a nightly ritual. “I’ll meet you up in The Chair,” became a familiar phrase during the week.

In The Chair, we read books, spaced out at the beautiful scenery, made funny videos of ourselves, watched movies on the laptop, and breathed in the warm Caribbean air. Being Chicagoans, and it being March, this is a joy I can’t even describe.

When I shared our love of The Chair with the Frenchmans resort managers, they said we were not alone. People actually come here and request the Lime cottage (where we stayed) specifically for The Chair. It’s a pricey but long-lasting Dutch-made furniture brand called Dedon.

There are many wonderful things about a family vacation in Tortola, and in particular, Frenchmans Hotel and Resort. I’ll share those with you in a later post.

But if you’re like us, and believe quality family time can be found in a chair, be sure to ask for the “Lime” cottage.