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Welcome! Tally ho!

Our B.V.I. Adventure is designed to give our family, friends and any other interested followers a look into the life of two expatriates making their way on the island of Tortola. Tortola is the largest island in the British Virgin Islands.

So, why did we move 2,000 miles away from our home in Knoxville, Tennessee? Michael accepted a position as the director of retail and international sales for a Caribbean clothing brand.

Cheers!

Adventurers

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Old Blog. New Blog.

For those of you who've been wondering where we are or where we went, the answer isn't necessarily a short one.  Let me work backwards...

We're still on Tortola!  All four of us:  the original three, Michael, Amelia (me) and Milly (the schnauzer) plus Anna Drake of course!  She's a toddler now. 



But, we did get off the rock for a few months in the late summer/early fall.  We actually left just a few days after going to Necker Island...one of my latest posts!  So, my apologies for leaving you hanging for all of this time!  At least last year when we disappeared from the blogging universe, it was for good reason - having a baby!

Anna Drake is still an only child, but we did have an adventure state-side...in the Big Apple!

For friends and family on Facebook, I kept them updated through a new blog that I started while we were in Manhattan.  (Check it out!)

Michael and I have always had the desire to live in NYC.  It was (and still is) one of my favorite life experiences.  It was challenging in many of the same ways that moving to Tortola was back in 2009.

We were in New York for a full three months, and got back to Tortola by the end of October.

Since getting back, I've continued to blog on Island Hopping, if for no other reason that it's a prettier blog on Wordpress (as opposed to this one that's on Blogger) and I like that platform better.

What I'd love to do is merge the two, but it might require a bit more time and technical know-how than I possess at this juncture.

So, until then!  Follow along our Island Hopping adventure!  We are having fun, continuing to explore this little island in paradise.  And as always, if you're down this way...get in touch! 
 
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Exploring Tortola with Leslie & Shae

One of our favorite things to do is play host to our friends who come to Tortola to visit.  Even though Leslie and Shae were staying on Great Camanoe with her parents and not officially "our" guests, we pretended they were there to see us last Saturday...  :)

We picked them up from Trellis Bay and off we went on a 8-stop tour of Tortola.  Here was our itinerary:

10:00 a.m. Good Moon Farm  - We visited Aragorn's organic farm situated on Tortola's north side near Trunk Bay.  Aragorn is the sculptor behind the massive iron fire balls that light up each full moon at Trellis Bay.  One of the farmhands was kind enough to give us a tour of the expansive property.  We also picked up a beautiful basket of produce from Aragorn himself...  Pineapple, mangoes, arugula, bok choy, thyme, etc... 


Check out this cool mango tree house.  We were told this platform makes a great resting spot for a tent! 
This was the last open Saturday for season.  The farm will be back open to the public this fall, so if you find yourself on Tortola on a Saturday morning, check it out!  You can even order online.  Our basket was $40, but you can select a $60 or $80 basket depending on how large your family is.

11:30 a.m. Trunk Bay - Since we were so close, we headed down the unpaved road east of Aragorn's farm to the gorgeous beach that is Trunk Bay.  It was very windy, so we found that lounging on the beach was not an option.  Instead, we opted for the refreshing waters and soft sand of this bay.  Anna Drake loved being in the water with us.  She is getting to be such a good swimmer!
Can you believe this pitiful beach set-up???  Look what the wind did to our poor umbrella!

12:30 p.m. Rudy's - After the beach we headed up Ridge Road to grab a drink at Rudy's.  Leslie and Shae tried some of the white rum from the local Calwood Distillery.  Gulp!  We also took in the views from the top of Ridge Road.  Rudy's is a great spot for a photo op.


1:00 p.m. Crandall's - We worked up quite an appetite and a quick take-out lunch was exactly what we needed.  I stayed with Anna Drake in the car while she napped, and the others grabbed a few of the meat pouches in Crandall's.  This was Leslie and Shae's first time trying the yummy treats and they agreed with us, they hit the spot!  With Crandall's in hand, off we went to Tortola's west end.

1:30 p.m. Long Bay Beach - We traveled along Drake's Highway which offers a great view of Norman Island and St. John across the channel.  Our next stop was Long Bay Beach.   The resort by the same name must not be at full capacity because there weren't many others at the beach on this bright beautiful day.  It's such a massive beach anyway, it wouldn't matter!  We loved floating in the water...here are the boys!

3:45 p.m. Nutty Banana - Before we could return Leslie and Shae to Trellis Bay, we had to get an ice cream cone, so we stopped in Nanny Cay Village where the Nutty Banana is located.  Yum!

4:30 p.m. HIHO Store - Once back at Trellis Bay, we did a little shopping at the HIHO store, then it was time for Ginger to join us for a drink!

4:45 p.m. D' Best Cup - The Shands swear by the rum punches at D' Best Cup.  Unlike most rum punches on the island these are made with more lime juice than pineapple.  They are refreshingly tart!  Here is a sweet photo of Ginger with Anna Drake.

It was such a fun day and one that I would recommend to anyone looking for a day full of adventure on Tortola!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sinking Ship

One of the ferries that runs from St. Thomas to Tortola and back each day ended up at the bottom of the ocean today... Here is a photo that the BVI Beacon shared on its Facebook page.  The boat was pulled up onto a floating dry dock and from the reports I've read that there weren't any passengers on board, thank goodness!


This just happens to be the same boat that our friends Liz & Jeff took to Tortola last month!  YIKES!  I guess those life vests on the twin girls weren't so silly after all!
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

HIHO, HIHO, it's off to Necker we go!

We were invited to Necker Island on Monday to watch the first day of the Highland Spring HIHO - which is an annual windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding race.  Michael competed in the HIHO last year (and placed 3rd in the SUP one design class I might add!)  

The HIHO is a week long event, during which the participants stay aboard captained yachts.  The days are spent racing from island to island, and the nights are spent...well, pretty much partying!

The first stop for the race this year?  Necker Island!  This is Sir Richard Branson's private island in the BVI.  (You may have heard about the fire on this island on the news nearly a ago.)  We have only been to Necker one other time, back when Michael's band, Da Tree Men played for Sir Richard's Christmas party.

To get there, we first had to catch the North Sound Express from Trellis Bay by the airport.  We met up with our friend (and Michael's co-worker) Sarah and her two precious children, Archie and Charlie.  Here are the three children together on the ferry:
The ferry took us to the Bitter End Yacht Club, where we met up with the participants of the HIHO.  We enjoyed a continental breakfast, complete with fresh wedges of mango that Anna Drake thoroughly enjoyed!  She might be on her way to cutting two more teeth...we shall see!
 We then jumped on one of the large catarmarans participating in the HIHO and headed for the shores of Necker Island.  At one point while Captain Chris was tending to the anchor, Anna Drake took over at the helm.
 Here's what the beach looked like from our boat.
The windsurfers and stand-up paddle boarders weren't far behind.  One by one they arrived on the beach.  Here is one making his way to Necker.


Once on the island, we took in the beauty of this place.  One thing Sir Richard is known for is his infatuation with animals, especially exotic ones.  While Michael was walking from the beach to the pool, he ran into this guy just loafing his way down the sandy path...

Fortunately this next "animal" was a wooden one because Michael and Anna Drake got on its back!

To cool off, we got in the pool.  It is one of most beautiful pools...it goes on forever it seems.


Lunch was catered by the wonderful people who own CocoMaya and Baraka Point.  They served up sushi, grilled chicken, a yummy salad and a sweet lemon pound cake.  It was all really delicious!   When it was time to go back to the Bitter End to catch our ferry, we didn't to leave.  We almost missed the ferry in fact!  It was pulling away as we pulled up; fortunately they saw us frantically waiving our arms in the air and turned around.

Kinda wish they hadn't...I guess we would have had to go back to Necker for the night...ha!   
Monday, July 2, 2012

Michael's Tropelganger

We knew the day would come!  When we would finally see Michael's tropelganger - his "tropical doppelganger."  (Remember when we saw Courtney's?)

We were up in the North Sound at the Bitter End Yacht Club.  And from our table where we were having breakfast, I spotted him.  There were three others at the table, including Michael, who all craned their necks to see the guy driving a boat directly in front of us...  They all agreed, this was most definitely Michael's tropelganger.

What do you think?  Michael has been wearing a scruffy look lately which makes them resemble one another even more.  Here's a photo of Michael...



Saturday, June 30, 2012

Night on Virgin Gorda

On our recommendation, the Shands wanted to try the new restaurant on Virgin Gorda, CocoMaya.  And they were kind enough to invite us to tag along!  They picked us up from Trellis Bay and off we went!  No offense to the BVI ferry companies, but taking the Shands' boat, Camanoe Cadillac, is much more comfortable - just look at Michael!  He looks relaxed, doesn't he?

We docked in Spanish Town.  Here's Shae assisting Captain Rodney.

 The light was so pretty as we pulled into the marina.  Here's a great shot of Leslie and Shae.
We arrived at CocoMaya before our 7pm reservation and took in the stunning sunset on the beach.  I love the color palette in this photo below...
The restaurant looked beautiful in the daylight, and don't those beach lounges look comfy?
Dinner was delicious!  Just like we did when we went with Liz & Jeff, we ordered a variety of tapas and shared some sushi.  And for dessert?  We had a delicious white and dark chocolate mousse.  Decadent!
 After dinner, we took some photos on the beach.  Here are the Shands and the Orrells!

For a restaurant that hasn't even been open a full month, CocoMaya is doing great.  The food and service live up to the cool atmosphere which is saying a lot.  I guess that's why we've been three times in three weeks!  Ha!
Friday, June 29, 2012

Birthday Surprise

Since my birthday fell on a Monday this year, I wasn't expecting much of a celebration - at least not one that happened on the actual day.  But Michael had other ideas...

He got together with some of my friends and planned a little surprise party, which came off without a hitch despite a few near spoilers.  They completely fooled me into thinking we were running an errand for a friend late in the day.  The prevarication?  We had to pick up a stand-up paddle board for our friend Andy.  When we got to Paloma and Scott's house to get the alleged SUP board, my friends (and their babies) were all gathered at the pool, sipping champagne.

At first, when we arrived and saw my friend Lisa in the driveway I thought she was leaving.  My rationale: Lisa is Scott's sister so it made sense to me that she would be at the house in the middle of the day.  I said goodbye to her and figured she would just get in her car and drive off.  She went with it and hopped in the car.  Ha!

Then on our walk down to the house, I passed Paloma's mom and my friend Vanessa.  The two looked as if they were in the middle of something, so I just waived - again not realizing Vanessa was there to attend my surprise party.  My rationale: Vanessa grew up on Tortola and her family and Paloma's family are long-time friends.  I figured she had some business with Paloma's mom and didn't have time to chat.

It wasn't until I was walking to the pool and I saw two more of my friends that Scott finally shouted "Happy Birthday Amelia!"  It was then, and only then, I realized this was all for me!  They totally got me!  And we had the most fabulous time!  It's hard to tell who's who, but from left that's Lisa and her baby Maisy, then Alice and her baby, Flora.  Paloma and Jude are in the middle, followed by me and Anna Drake, and then Vanessa and her boy Eli are on the end.

I highly recommend a Monday afternoon swim with a glass of bubbly!  Never will I complain of a Monday birthday again!