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Water Sports

13 Sep

Thanks to my child actor – turned – beach activities coordinator  housemate Joe, last weekend my fellow dwellers and I partook in all of Bolongo Bay’s beach-y frivolities.  It started out as a group snorkeling excursion, but the murky post-Katia waters left us out to dry.  Instead we turned toward the beach hut…while some of us turned to Bushwackers on ice.  Feeling adventurous, and just too damned hot, I skipped the rum and opted for the paddle boards, kayaks, and blue floating loungers (ok not so adventurous).   Despite unsuccessful snorkeling, it was a great day filled with sun and friends, and aren’t those the best days?

(Can you tell I’m not in the mood to write much? But here are some pictures.)

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Driver’s Dread

2 Sep

If you have ever ridden the Coney Island Cyclone, or any other ancient, rattling wooden roller coaster, then you have driven in St. Thomas.  Every time I get in the car, I feel I should secure the lap bar and make sure my arms and legs are safely inside.  My Montero Sport/looming metal beast even makes the unmistakable tick tick tick of a coaster car heading for the apex on every hill it climbs.

What’s worse is that the condition of the roads:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Met with the condition of my car:

good tire

bad tire

…make for an interesting, and possibly life-threatening, adventure every time I start the engine.

 

 

 

 

 

And so the adventure doesn’t get too boring, things like

this:                                                                …and this:

No railing, No problem

you see what that sign says, right?

are thrown into the daily mix.  Regardless, there are still laws here that all drivers must follow.  Stay in the left lane, buckle up, don’t text/talk and drive, and always ask your bartender for a to-go cup.

Themeless

24 Aug

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The storm has been weathered, and it’s left both the island and my ability to focus in disarray.  The past few days have been a blur of wind and rain, thunder and lightning, and a sun that just won’t shine.  With that said, the island’s beauty and splendor still abound through the flooding and power outages.  Friends still gather, puppies still play, phone calls are made over Google voice, and life goes on until the sun comes out tomorrow.

Threat Level: Midnight

21 Aug

Come on, Irene.  Is this all you’ve got?  Well, I shouldn’t speak so soon.  After finally making it up the slippery concrete hill with balding front tires, I battened down the hatches.   Literally.  I dragged in the patio furniture, guided the potted plants to safety, and latched up all of the storm window cover things.

The worst is supposed to hit by tomorrow, so now all we can do is wait.  And hope the power doesn’t completely fail before I finish Knocked Up on E!.

 

Supermarket Sweep

20 Aug

Today, graciously escorted by my neighbors Mike and Karen, I made my first grocery shopping trip.  The mission was clear – go to as many stores as possible to get the absolute best deal, even if it’s only by a few cents.  Today we conquered 3 stores; Kmart (yes, Kmart. and there are TWO on the island), Plaza Extra, and Cost U Less.

I discovered that PX has better produce, Cost U Less is basically Costco, Kmart should be used as a last resort, and all places sell handles of rum for $9.99 (i’m sensing a theme…).

Other lessons learned:

  • don’t buy St. Thomas Dairies milk (reconstituted, ew)
  • Orange juice is ridiculously expensive (Florida is far away?)
  • people LOVE to double and triple bag, even for one item (just like Harlem!)
  • you must make small talk with employees if addressed. Or prepare to be ostracized and hated.
  • DO NOT throw away your receipt before exiting, unless you want forever roam the aisles of Kmart (or PX, or C.U.L…)

I promise not to bullet in every post

My first battle ended victoriously; I saved 20 cents by buying baby carrots at Plaza Extra, and even though I spent more on EVOO (I will not write out what this stands for) at Cost U Less, I saved because I bought in bulk.
Shoot, I forgot the toilet paper…

Because I can’t justify a post with only one picture, here’s a snapshot of a tiny pineapple from my yard, proving that good things in small packages do grow on trees.

*water bottle used to illustrate size

The Plunge

20 Aug

After an adventure-packed New Jersey/Long Island/NYC weekend, I finally took off from JFK on Monday morning (the 15th) arriving in St. Thomas around 2pm.  It was difficult to leave, but I was pleasantly greeted with not only 85 degree weather and ocean breezes, but also a welcome shot of rum.  Gotta love that island obsession with all things rum hospitality.

In the past few days, I have:

  • gone to the beach several times
  • gotten stuck in the pouring rain – climbed up a mountain in the pouring rain
  • driven on the left side of the road (and only got a little lost…)
  • gawked at $16 bottles of pomegranate juice
  • forced my dogs to swim in the ocean
  • dined with an iguana
  • drank at least 4 different flavors of rum (guava, black cherry, mango, banana, coconut…ok at least 5)
  • basked in the sun at the beach, if i didn’t already mention that

After that, I really only have a few more things to check off my list, like go snorkeling, buy a kayak, swim with sea turtles, and try a 6th and 7th flavor of rum.  I’ll let you know how it all goes.

Puppies at the beach

Muller Bay

me at Muller bay... I couldn't resist

restaurant at Bolongo Bay, near my house

iguana

Farewell, New York

19 Aug

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Yes, I’m already in St. Thomas, and have been for almost a week.   But as I write from my deck overlooking the sea, it’s only fair that my first post acknowledges the great city, and it’s greater inhabitants, that I left behind.

I want to thank everyone who made my last weeks in New York so incredibly special and memorable.  I’m so lucky to have such amazing, true friends (and sisters, and cousins…).  You helped me pack, you took me out on the town, and you took me in when I had no other options.  It pained me to say goodbye, but I know we’ll be together again (especially because I’ll make you visit).  I love you all, and I love New York.

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