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I am back on the mainland and blogging from Seattle with South Austin in the rearview mirror. Don't worry Virgin Island fans, I will most certainly be back in the Caribbean for visits if not full-time. And I'm sure St. Thomas will creep it's way into many future posts. For now, it's all about living in the Pacific Northwest!

April 24, 2012

Palm Trees and Panic Buttons

I always get VI fever about the time the Rolex Regatta comes around. This year, the Rolex Site added live cams and daily highlight videos which fueled the fever.  Though the BVI Spring Regatta Site isn't quite as savvy as the Rolex, I still got daily updates and photos from Facebook.  The fever intensified. It seemed years since I'd been on island (it was exactly a year ago).  I sent a note to friends and mentioned that I was thinking of visiting and I got a quick response that if I could get there by the following weekend, there was a boating trip planned. Oh yes, I could make it!  A quick phone call to Joanie and I had rented the Seaglass Studio at Stonehouse above Secret Harbor.

I arrived on Saturday was greeted by a friend, a bottle of champagne and a nice spring shower.  The champagne took my mind off the fact that my efforts at straightening my hair earlier in the day were lost as soon as I stepped off the plane. Though we took the route through town, down Donkey Hill, and past Bovoni (all on the South-side) from Cyril E. King airport to Stonehouse. I noticed that the winds were up. A Cuban friend of mine calls them the Lenten Winds since they are typical for this time of year. 

More friends joined me at my holiday studio, and we sat staring at the ocean, cocktails in hand, and tongues wagging. My only thought about the wind at that time was how good it felt coming through the windows, until we received a text from our boat Captain saying that he was canceling the trip. Boo. The following day, I received another text with a picture of the seas on the other side of the island. Though still disappointed, I had two simultaneous thoughts: I understand and forgive Captain Eric & I'm so glad I'm not working on a boat today! 

So a new plan had to be formed and Sunday Fun Day was on. Over breakfast at Molly's, a plan was made for Skinny Beach. In all my years on the island, I'd never been to Skinny Beach. All VI beaches are public beaches as long as you can get to them from the water side. However, access to this beach from the land can only be had by entering a very private, gated neighborhood. I'll not say how we gained access to this neighborhood.  But the beach is now a favorite. Unfortunately, Sunday was not the day for Skinny Beach as it was very exposed to the onslaught of those Lenten winds. It looked like the protection of Secret Harbor was needed. A few texts later and the word was out, the crew was on the way. The next several days passed much the same way. Beach, ocean (saw lots of turtles), food, cocktails, repeat. 

Highlights were a backyard "fresh catch" dinner with Cactus & Ducker (thanks Double Header for the tuna).  I spent a whole day in St. John which included an incredible ceviche and Tuna Down Now from the Beach Bar. This should be everyone's first stop after getting off the ferry in Cruz Bay. If you can't make it there, just check in with the webcam from time to time. We stopped for a cocktail at Mongoose Junction and after sharing with the bartender my disappointment that my drink did not come with blue cheese stuffed olives, he brought me a bowl of olives and a bowl of blue cheese and told me that if I did the work, I could reap the rewards. 
The rest of that day was spent walking the familiar paths between bars and of course some birthday toasts at Woody's (also has a webcam)! 

My last morning was spent back at the beach and with the ocean, the fish, and turtles. I silently said goodbye to all that surrounded me and set an intention to keep some of that feeling with me on my trip home. As I write this, I can still feel it. 

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