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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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 209: Brian's Departure

We had a really great visit with Brian - sad to see him go!  This is us at Charlies at The Moorings for lunch on his last day.

Brian and his wife Beth had been on charter with her family the previous week and he was fortunate enough to be able to extend his trip a few days.  I took him to the usual spots - Smuggler's Cove and Nanny Cay.  Their captain made sure they saw everything else: Soggy Dollar Bar, Willie T's, Peter Island etc...

We did however, get to introduce Brian to "The Great Dog."  I guess you could say Brian is a hot dog connoisseur.  Just look at his skills with a ketchup bottle.

While he enjoyed the fried masterpiece very much, I think his loyalty is still to the one and only Lucky Dog in New Orleans.

Safe travels!  Come again soon!!!
Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 206: Da Tree Men

Michael's band played the weekly gig at The Elm in Cane Garden Bay on Sunday night.  Our friends Brian and Beth - who had been on charter all week - were staying with us for a few days, so they were able to see and hear the band in person!

We also played a game of coaster flip.  (If you know another name for this game, let me know!)  While Brian was quite good - Beth ended up winning with 10 coasters!

It was so great to have company while watching the band play...I'm usually the lone "groupie."  Ha!


Signage Sunday: Message from Taxi 28

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 205: Joss Stone Does the BVI

The BVI Go Green Festival was held over the weekend on Tortola.  They had exhibit booths set up in the Noel Lloyd Park, along with a variety of musical acts lined up to perform at night.  On Saturday, Joss Stone was the headliner.  Michael and I are both big fans of her music and she did not disappoint!  Here's a quick video of her performance:

We were right there at the front of the stage.  Here are some photos from the concert...

Michael was so excited because during the last song she came over and touched his hand as she crooned "Right to be Wrong."

Joss had such a sweet demeanor about her...hard to believe that big powerful voice can come from this fresh-faced 23-year-old.  While she played a few of her new songs, she also performed "Super Duper" and "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do."

We heard Joss was staying over on Necker Island.  We had an eye out for her host Sir Richard Branson, but didn't see him in the crowd...
Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 204: Who Doesn't Love a Mullet?

Unofficially, it's been rugby week in the BVI, and as readers of OurBVIAdventure know, I'm a big fan of the game, as of Tuesday that is.  

One of Ireland's most famous rugby players was in town for the festivities.  He has an unmistakeable hair style:  the mullet. 

We were so excited to meet Shane Byrne, or "Mullet" as he is nicknamed.  Members of the BVI Rugby team brought him to Pusser's on Friday night and he is just the nicest guy, and funny too!

He was kind enough to pose for a few photos with his new fans...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 201: Our First Rugby Match

On Tuesday night, the BVI Rugby team played a special match against the servicemen aboard the HMS Manchester.  The HMS Manchester is a Type 42 Batch 3 Destroyer, one of the oldest ships in the British Royal Navy's fleet.

In the weeks leading up to the match, Michael and I had been coached about the rules of the game by the captain of the BVI Rugby team.  He's a fixture of Friday nights at the pub.

The match was as physical as we expected.  Two men were taken away on stretchers, put in ambulances bound for the hospital.  Here's a quick video - it also includes the final score if you're wondering who won the match...oh, and the BVI team is in green and white.

These two teams have a long history. They started playing years ago, when Royal Navy engineers came to the BVI to aid in the building of the original airport.

Charles has been here for all of the matches over the years, on the sidelines with video camera in hand.

After the match, Charles replays the match at Pusser's Pub in Road Town. It was wall-to-wall Rugby players and other servicemen and women on Tuesday night.  You just have to see this video, as the teams were recognized for their effort in the traditional way.

Charles introduced us to the CO of the ship, Rex Cox, seen here with Charles...

We had an absolute blast!  We stayed out way too late, but even as an observer, it was truly an enjoyable night.  Here are a few other photos from the match...

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Day 201: Did You Know?

The BVI is home to the smallest lizard in the world.  It's name is the Sphaerodactylus parthenopion - or the "Virgin Gorda Least Gecko" or less formally, just a "dwarf gecko." 

I'm not sure if this little guy is in fact a Spaerodactylus parthenopion, but he is tiny!!!

He's perched on a two-by-four here, so his body can't be much longer than an inch!
Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 200: Brian, Beth and the Flanagan Clan Arrives!

Our friends Brian and Beth arrived in the BVI on Day 200!  There won't be any airport arrival photos because they flew into St. Thomas, and caught a ferry.  They are chartering with Beth's family on a beautiful blue catamaran. 

Their captain took them to Myett's in Cane Garden Bay at 6:00 and Brian sent us a message on Facebook, asking us to join them.  After Michael got off of work, we headed over the mountain and surprised them!  It's just about a 20 minute drive.

It was great to see them and enjoy happy hour at Myett's.  We have a lot to celebrate!  Brian just graduated from LSU and is now - officially - an orthodontist! 
They're going to have a great week in the BVI and we plan to meet up with them at other stops on their journey!  Oh, and Beth is a loyal follower of Our BVI Adventure and was excited to finally be apart of a post!  Cheers!

Birthday Funny

My best friend Courtney sent me the most hilarious birthday card - I must share it here, as there is a Caribbean flare to it! 

(For those of you who don't know Courtney...her husband was involved in a tragic car accident back in April, just a few days before she was supposed to travel here to the BVI for a visit.  Brian is at home recovering now, surrounded by family and friends.  Feel free to visit his CaringBridge website for more information.  Prayers are much appreciated!!!)

In spite of everything Courtney has been through these last few months, her sense of humor is still very much in tact, which is just one of the many things I love about her. 

So, back to the funny birthday card!  We all know that the Caribbean is known for its rum and rum cakes.  {Pusser's Rum Cake is especially delicious if you have yet to try it!}  That was the inspiration for this birthday card...

On the inside of the card, the "Crappy Crafter" even gives the recipe for making your own rum cake.

Step 1:   Buy cake.
Step 2:   Insert rum bottle.
Step 3:   Add shot glasses for special touch.
Step 4:   Omit Step 1 for an even easier birthday celebration!

Thanks Courtney!  Love you!!!
Sunday, June 20, 2010

Signage Sunday: REALLY?

DISCLAIMER: This post contains humor that your inner adolescent would find amusing.  If you are an adolescent, my apologies to your parents for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  OR if for some reason you are unable to tap into the adolescent inside you, I'm even sorrier because this is funny.  Sophomoric, juvenile, and immature are applicable as well, but above all, it's funny.

A major source of humor here in the BVI is found in the mundane...like grocery shopping, for example.  I'm sure your favorite grocery store, whether it be Fresh Market, Food City, or Publix has special sales, right?  Usually that means, a few strategically placed signs announcing the deals of the day or whatever it may be.

{image courtesy of the East Village Idiot}

Well, those lovely signs floating above the pies just wouldn't do here in the Caribbean!  Check out what a sale at the grocery store looks like and more importantly sounds like in the British Virgin Islands!

Fun, right?  It put us in a good mood, despite the second day of rain we've had in a row. 

Okay, back to Signage Sunday...have you tapped your inner adolescent yet?  You better hurry because here it is!  Straight from the soup aisle!

In my best Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers way...

"Really Grace Foods."
"Come on, could you not use the word 'chicken' instead?  Really!" 

According to its website, Grace Foods is the leading Caribbean food manufacturer and distributor.  Well, in my opinion they're doing more than that. On this Signage Sunday, they're manufacturing and distributing a few good laughs!  Really!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Don't Stop the Carnival

Since we moved to the BVI in December, so many people have recommended this book to us...have you heard of it?

Set in the 1950's, Don't Stop the Carnival is the tale of a Broadway publicist who buys a hotel on the fictitious isle of "Amerigo" in the not-so-fictitious West Indies, where we now live. 

The way in which the author, Herman Wouk, describes Norman Paperman's journey to the Caribbean and his first impressions of the culture, the land, the sea - well, let me put it this way: They might as well be our own words!  

Within the first two pages, Wouk describes the West Indian people and their affinity for change (or lack thereof) like this:  "...under all the parade of human effort and noise, today is like yesterday, and tomorrow will be like today...the idea is to take things easy and enjoy the passing time under the sun."  SO TRUE! 

There are 382 more pages, full of observations.  Wouk describes our thoughts about this place, as if he's a mindreader!

One of my favorite descriptions from the book is of Pitt Bay, but it might as well be Smuggler's Cove, as far as I'm concerned.  Let's see if you agree...

"The beach was a deserted wide sweep of snowy sand.  Palm trees line it all the way to its end, about half a mile away, in high rock. At the near end it trailed off in thickets of cactus.  There were no waves in Pitt Bay. Clear water sloshed up and back on the sand, not breaking.  Coral reefs made jagged patterns in the green shallows; farther out, the bay was blue."

If you're a Parrothead, maybe the title of the book sounds familiar.  Jimmy Buffett's album with the same name "Don't Stop the Carnival" was released in 1998.  It is a collection of 20 songs, with titles taken directly from the book.  I was afraid to download it before finishing the book, for fear the ending would be spoiled.

These songs can't necessarily be classified as "classic Buffett" because they were written for a "Don't Stop the Carnival" musical, so there is a bit of a narrative through out it, along with solos from characters from the book.

I started the book last Friday, on my birthday.  I just could not put it down, nor could I resist reciting passages it to Michael, just amazed by all of the similarities.  But with all the birthday festivities, I had no choice but to put it down.  I finally finished it first thing this morning and have been listening to the album while I work today.

If you're looking for some light summer reading, I highly recommend it, especially if you've visited us or spent time in the West Indies.

Now, I must turn the book over the Michael...it's his turn!
Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 192: The Band

The band, formerly known as Let's Be Friends {now called Da Tree Men} played The Elm in Cane Garden Bay on Sunday night.  The crowd was fabulous and included an insanely good harmonica player.  That's Captain Bob going to work.  He was amazing!  

A saxophonist also joined in the fun - he usually plays with the Elmtones, the house band that's on hiatus right now because of an injury the lead singer sustained while surfing. 

There was a lot of dancing, especially to the country tunes.  The crowd stayed seated for this next song, in part because they were asked to participate.  So much fun!!!

Here's my favorite band member:

One sad little note: the tip jar that was filled to the top went missing after the show - no joke!  Whoever took it must have needed the money more than the guys - honestly, they were just happy the crowd enjoyed their music enough to tip in the first place!

Here are some other shots from the night:

{A view from the beach}

{Mr. Adam Dell on lead guitar/vocals and Mr. Pier Parkins on bass/vocals}

{This dog joined the party near the end of the night!}

Signage Sunday: The REAL Captain Drinky Pants

This week's "sign" comes in the form of a t-shirt.  Apologies for the poor resolution - this was taken from my iphone, into the light and through a window. 

The t-shirt reads: DRINKING STAFF DAY MANDATORY. So comforting for the 50+ passengers on the ferry that he is captaining across the Sir Francis Drake Channel!  Ha!  Fortunately his boating skills were as good as his sense of humor and we arrived safely at port.

Cheers...I think.
Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 191: Best.Birthday.Present.Ever.

The alarm went off just seven hours after we got home from Friday night's birthday celebration, but the early call time was completely worth it.  This is us on the 8:30 a.m. ferry ride to Peter Island.  Can't you tell we just woke up???

We have been to Peter Island many times before; the ferry ride is only 20 minutes or so.  We usually go to Deadman's Beach and have lunch or dinner at the bar & grille there. 

Our destination on Day 191 was the SPA for a massage!  It was amazing - 10,000 square feet of air-conditioned luxury!  Here are a few photos from our day...starting with the pool.
From the same spot, I turned towards the beach to snap this picture.  That's a warm, but not too warm, jacuzzi. 
We had lunch on the veranda...

And here we are in the pool, where we spent much of the afternoon.

Can you believe we took this photo ourselves???  That's what a time-delay setting and a gorillapod will get you!  It was such a fabulous day and a wonderful way to extend the birthday celebration.  Thank you Michael!  I love you!!! 

And to Peter Island Spa, here's to hoping we meet again soon!  Cheers!
Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 190: Birthday in the BVI

My birthday got off to a wonderful start, Skyping with my parents and opening gifts that they had so sneakily left behind on their last visit.  {Thank you so much!!!}

Then it was off to the Dove, one of my favorite restaurants on the island, for dinner.  Look at my dapper date!  He pulled out the bowtie for occasion. 
While we ordered the lobster and manchego wontons for our appetizer, the chef sent out these mini pulled pork sliders first.  These dime-sized delights, topped with tangy slaw and sauteed red onion, were the perfect start to an incredible meal.
The lobster wontons were yummy, as were our entrees.  Michael had the prawns served in a vanilla bean butter, accompanied by a sesame risotto.

Here's me, the birthday girl!

After a sinful birthday dessert, we headed to the pub, where Charles and Joanna had a bottle of champagne on ice just waiting to be popped.  It was so special! Charles made sure that each and every person in the bar knew that it was not only my birthday, but my 31st birthday.  Ha!

The chef appeared with a chocolate cake later in the evening and everyone sang "Happy Birthday!"  I was understandably a bit embarrassed by the whole thing, but extremely appreciative.  This type of embarrassment is the best kind! 

We had such a wonderful night!  Thanks to Michael for orchestrating it all, the wonderful staff at the Dove, Charles & Joanna, and everyone at Pusser's Road Town! 

Being 2,000+ miles away from home isn't easy on days like this, but thanks to technology and Facebook, I felt the love from friends and family "back in the states."

And just when you think the party's over, Michael is taking me to Peter Island tomorrow for a day at the spa!  Cannot wait! 
Sunday, June 6, 2010

Andrew's Work

Our friend Andrew, also referred to by his last name, McRee is quite the talented photographer.  He brought his camera to the BVI over Memorial Day Weekend, and I wanted to share some of my favorite photos of his from the trip...

 {The Bomba King}


{Better Together}

{On Island Time}

{Pondering Twins}

{Even Better Together}

{B Double-E Double-R U-N}

{Black Dylan}

And lastly, here's one of the photographer himself.  Michael took this photo at dinner one night.