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.



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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Signage Sunday

This week's Signage Sunday is the result of a photo our friend KK took on Friday night.  We were in the car, destination The Dove, then the pub.  It was raining and as we passed through the roundabout Kevin snapped this photo of the "Give Way" sign. 

I love how nothing else showed up in the photo.  I also like the rain drops.  Not sure what created the letter "C" hiding in the left corner, but I think it's pretty cool, don't you?
Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 176: A BVI First

On Saturday, we headed out on the boat.  It wasn't a perfect weather day, but we still had a great time, from snorkeling the Indians to eating lunch at Pirate's Bight.  By 2:00 p.m. we were ready for Willie T's.

Here's what Willy T's looks like in Pirate's Bight, just off of Norman Island... 

Here's what our group looks like posing on the top floor of Willie T's.  Notice the sign: "No Jumping nor Diving."

Clearly, we cannot follow directions...McRee jumped first.

Then KK, Lauren, Michael and I decided to jump together...kind of like the quadruple jump we caught on camera last week!  While Michael and I have been here many times we've never had the nerve to jump.

We have a feeling McRee might have a better view of our jump.  He will be sharing his photos with Our BVI Adventure soon.

Here's our splash!
JMac was the finale!  "Wow-wow-eeeeee!"

Jumping was a lot of fun, that's if you remembered not to breathe in through your nose when you hit the water!  There were definitely some shenanigans happening below us on the first floor - the likes of which are not suitable for this blog.  If you're not sure what I'm referring to, maybe this rhyme will explain...

There's a boat in the Bight,
where it's crazy at night,
It's the infamous bar, Willy T

Watch out for your daughter
She'll jump in the water
Without a stitch on! you'll see!
Friday, May 28, 2010

Crabby Day at Smugs

With all four guests in town, it was time to hit Smuggler's Cove!  The sun kept playing hide and seek with us, which was probably a good thing so no one would get sunburned on the first day of their vacation!
This little guy kept coming around our beach chairs...I think he's a land crab.
An afternoon storm rolled in and we escaped the rain at the nearby Bomba Shack.  We were a day late for the Full Moon Party.

Check out this photo from the slippery ride home! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 174: The Other Three

Lauren wins for best facial expression upon clearing customs at the airport and being reunited with friends! 

That's her husband KK {aka Michael's "twin"} in the orange hat - peeking out from behind the sliding doors.  It was so good to see them!!!  A few hours later, our fourth and final Memorial Day Weekend warrior...McRee!!!

Now that the crew is all here - the BVI better watch out!

UPDATED Day 174: A Caribbean Perspective on Knoxville

I am guest blogging over at Knoxify today - Knoxify is a news and opinion blog coined as "an insider's uncencorsed, unscripted take on what makes Knoxville great." 

Thanks to Casey Peters for the opportunity!

A few hours after "Caribbean Perspective" appeared on Knoxify, a link also appeared on CNN's homepage.  Check out the bottom right, underneath the weather!

Very cool!!!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Quick Change

Within 12 hours of dropping my parents off at the airport, we were back on Beef Island...this time, to pick up our friend, Jason or JMac as we call him.  Wow-wow-weeeee!  {If you know JMac, you can hear him now can't you?}

Despite some rain, we headed to Road Town for dinner.
JMac was just the first of our Memorial Day Weekend warriors, KK, Lauren, and McRee were not far behind...

Exit Survey: My mom and dad (John and Kay)

Of the five Pusser's locations, which ones did you visit on your trip?
Answer: We visited Pusser’s East, Road Town Pub and Soper’s Hole

This is us outside Pusser's Roadtown Pub on Friday night...

How many cruise ships did you see pass by Gecko Manor?
Answer: We saw ZERO! The cruise ship season is over for Tortola…

Can you name all of the islands you visited during this trip? Which one was your favorite?
Answers(s): Puerto Rico, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Norman, St. John

This photo is of a small island off of Jost...

Answer continued: My favorite is Tortola…I loved going to Smuggler’s Cove and Nanny Cay. Smuggler’s Cove for the native feel of being on a secluded island and the view across to Jost Van Dyke.  Nanny Cay for the developed amenities: pool, bar, restaurants, bar, marina, bar, ice cream parlor, lounge-chairs, bar, umbrellas, bar...

Here is the ice cream menu at the Nutty Banana at Nanny Cay...

What's the most bizarre thing you saw or experienced on the island?
Answer: The huge iguana on the roof of the restaurant in St. John while eating lunch certainly got my attention!

Another bizarre thing that we saw was the dog at The Last Resort.  He was inside the restaurant while we were eating and then jumped onto the bow of our ferry boat on our return from The Last Resort. He was so confident, content and unafraid to be lying there in the dark of night as the boat raced across the water. Some Dog!

How would you best describe Michael's boating skills?
A) Expert
B) Good
C) Safe
D) Novice
E) Michael? You mean, Captain Drinky Pants???
Answer: c. He is a very safe driver and not so much Captain Drinky Pants this trip! Thank you Captain Mike!

What was your favorite dining experience?
Answer: This trip, my favorite dining experience was BRANDYWINE BAY RESTAURANT although the cuisine served at Gecko Manor is unequaled. The delicious waffles for breakfast were a treat! Thank you Amelia!

What was your favorite drink?
Answer: The lemon pina colada at Pusser's in Road Town!  It tasted like drinking a lemon cheese cake! Yummy!

Day 171: St. John

It was no Soccer Taco, but on Day 171, we headed over to St. John and had lunch at Margarita Phil's.  It was completely worth the ferry ride!  Just look at that margarita!!! 

Monday was a holiday here in the BVI - Whit Monday actually.  What better reason to get off island and "back to the states," well not technically, but at least to a US territory??  Ha!  The shopping is really great on St. John as we discovered a few weeks ago

We found a local brewery there, appropriately named St. John Brewers.   Michael and I tried the tropical mango pale ale...it was delicious! 

The company's microbrewery, the Virgin Islands Tap Room, is in Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay, if you're going to be in the area soon. Apparently distribution is spreading through out the United States - none in Tennessee yet, just Florida, New Jersey, and a few others...

With my parents in town, it was the perfect day trip after a few days on the boat.  It wasn't necessarily any less wet though...

As we prepared to head back to the ferry, the skies opened up and there was a torrential rain!  In almost six months, this is the first time I've been caught in the rain like this.  My dad and Michael made it to the dock just before the worst of it; my mom and I were not so lucky... 

Getting soaked was completely worth it though - found a great dress at Nell!  :)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010


We're enhancing the blog to make it easier for our adventurers to follow us on our journey...

You'll notice on the left side the ability to share the blog on Twitter or on your Facebook page.  This is a great way for our guests to share photos from their trip with their online communities. 

I've also received some requests from friends to have new blog posts sent to their email in-boxes...well, the wait is over!  You can subscribe by entering your email address in the box on the left side, below the welcome message. 

Lastly, I need to take a moment to thank our wonderful readers! I've been receiving a lot of messages on Facebook and email from people who are reading the blog - thank you all so much!  Your words of encouragement are much appreciated!

I love this process of documenting our adventure through photos and sharing it with you this way.  Feel free to comment!  Let me know what you think! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 170: Snorkeling the Indians and So Much More!

Our favorite snorkeling spot in the BVI, the Indians did not disappoint on Day 170.

Thanks to a water-proof case for my camera that my dad gave me, we were able to take some underwater photos.

It was a beautiful day, above water and below...

I was so proud of my mother, who was a bit wary of snorkeling here or anywhere for that matter.  A few deep and calming breaths and she was on her way.   

You can see from this photo {below} where the boat was moored and how far we had to swim to reach the reef.  We snorkeled around the entire group of rocks and saw a wide variety of fish and coral.  There were a few tense moments...from ill-fitting masks that had to be refitted in the water to a jellyfish that stared down Michael.  But overall it was a wonderful experience. 

We were all so proud of my mom for overcoming her fears!  We were all smiles after completing the loop.

We headed over to Pirate's Bight on nearby Norman Island for lunch.

We stopped off at Willy T's too.  Check out this quadruple jump from the top of the boat!

Wait a minute, I think it's quintuplets!  There's a 5th jumper on the back left corner of the boat!  Did you see him the first time?  I didn't!

We also went to Peter Island, and then across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to get a look at our house from the water.   {That's it on the left!}

What a day!

Signage Sunday???

I'm Ron Burgundy??? 

That's all I can think of when I see this sign, courtesy of Jost Van Dyke, where we spent most of our Saturday.  Check it out:

This is a classic! 

First, we have the inapprorpiate use of the hyphen.  "Do-not" shy away from the hyphen!  Apparently, "u-can" hyphenate any two words that you want!

Secondly, there's the needless capitalization of every word. 

And it leaves me wondering...what will you be charged, if in fact, you pick a coconut?  Are we talking misdemeanors here?  Will you be charged a dollar?  Or should I say "charge" a dollar?
Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 168: Friday Nights at the Pub

Friday night at the pub was extra special.  We were able to introduce my parents to Charles and vice versa!   Since Christmas fell on a Friday this past year, there was no "Friday night at the pub" which meant they didn't get a chance to meet during their last visit.

We had a great time...Andre was behind the bar as usual, mixing up some delicious drinks, including this lemon-colada, which tasted like a lemon cheesecake!

While my mom and I enjoyed our cocktails...

...the boys charted our course for Saturday and Sunday on the boat.  Okay, so maybe they enjoyed their cocktails while looking at the maps.  ;)

So many of Charles and Joanna's friends stopped by the pub!  It was a great time!   
Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 167: Our 4th Wedding Anniversary

They have a saying down here..."Time flies when you're having rum!"  Maybe that explains how our 4th wedding anniversary is upon us already!  To help us celebrate, my parents served us a nice aperitif before heading to Brandywine Bay for dinner. 

It was a wonderful night reminiscing about our wedding with the MOB {Mother of the Bride!}

And the FOB {Father of the Bride!}

Day 167: The Coral Tree

Way down on the west end of Smuggler's Cove, there is a tree.  A coral tree.   My mom discovered it on Day 167, as she was taking a walk. Check it out:

Here's a close-up:

Isn't it beautiful - in a strange sort of way?  I wonder who started the coral tree, and how long people have been adding these treasures from the sea to it.  Maybe Miss Mermaid will know.  I'll have to ask her. 

This tree has caused us to take note of other beautiful trees here in the British Virgin Islands.  Here are some of our favorites:

Wouldn't the canopy of this tree be a beautiful place for a wedding?  You could do a wedding in the round.  This poinciana tree is at Long Bay Beach Resort.  They're also known as flamboyants because of the flaming red blossoms.  Here in the BVI, they bloom from May through September.  I just love them!!!

Another favorite of mine is the seagrape tree - they're all over the place in the BVI, especially on the beaches.  They give great shade.  Here is a look inside one, with all of its fruit!

"Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest."
And the boy did. And the tree was happy.
-Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 166: Sir Richard Branson and My Parents

What do they have in common?  Well, they all landed at the Beef Island Airport today...within minutes of each other actually!  Here's our neighbor, Sir Branson!  {wink! wink!}

Apologies for the angle...an attempt at being discrete.  Everyone in the airport played it so cool - that is, except for me. I just couldn't justify taking a papparazi-like photo...

This one is much cuter, isn't it?

Only my mother would wear 4 inch red patent leather peep toe wedges through three airports!  :)  The apple does not fall far from the tree, does it???

It is so good to see my parents - it's been almost 5 months!  If you've been following our adventure since the beginning you may remember that they were here at Christmas.  We had only lived here for seven days!  We know so much more about the island now and our goal for their visit will be to avoid any repeats!  Except of course Smuggler's Cove
Sunday, May 16, 2010

Signage Sunday: Get REAL estate

As they say in real estate, there are three things to consider:  location, location, location.  Well, the same should be said for real estate signs.  Where you put them is an important part of marketing the property.

Take for instance this "for rent" sign; it's located on an abandoned building - a building that was once used as a toll booth.  (It sits at the bridge that connects Tortola and Beef Island where the airport is.)

Looks awfully small for a two-bedroom!  I wonder what the description would be - maybe something like:
  • cozy waterfront property
  • bungalow feel
  • easy access to main road
  • close proximity to the airport
  • could be used as revenue source, if renter chooses to collect tolls from unsuspecting tourists just arriving to the territory
Thanks to our friend Gerry for capturing the photo and emailing it to us!  We agree - it's hilarious! 
Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 161: A Reason to Smile

Michael and I took Milly for an evening drive on Ridge Road.  This bench, with its perfectly chipped yellow paint, makes for a nice place to stop for a photo, doesn't it?  {Unfortunately, all I had on me was the iphone so it's not the sharpest photograph, but it'll do!} 

That's Guana Island off in the distance...Michael is facing Northeast.

Isn't Milly just the sweetest thing???