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, September 29, 2010

More Than All Rite

The new Rite Way grocery store opened the day we left for our week and a half in Knoxville.  I even tried to go that morning, before our 1 o'clock flight, but was turned away because their official ribbon cutting wasn't until 2 o'clock.  Go figure.
I have to say it was well worth the wait!  But before you see the beauty that is the inside of this new grocery store, a quick reminder of the old one, which is just next door.  That's it with the green and yellow awning.   (Remember when they had a sale at this same grocery store?)
Another shot of the old store, this one of the interior:
And the new!
Get a closer look of that produce!
It truly was a pleasurable shopping experience!  Don't worry Publix, you're still my number one.  And Fresh Market, they've got nothing on you; however, for BVI standards, this is most definitely the "best on the island" as they say.  

The aisles were nice and wide - two shopping carts (or trolleys for our British and Irish readers) could pass each other with ease.  The staff looked great in their new uniforms and they seemed more helpful.  Although, I didn't see my favorite stock boy...he usually sings Iyaz's "Solo" or "Replay" to me while I shop.  I'll have to go back soon and make sure he made it to the new store!

Up until now, grocery shopping has been something I've dreaded here in the BVI.  Not anymore! 
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Michael's 30th Birthday

For Michael's 30th Birthday, which was on September 21st, we headed back to the states, to Knoxville specifically.  I planned a birthday bash inspired by Michael's favorite things.  Here's the back of the invitation:

 And the front:

We had an absolute blast and we thank all of our family members that helped us pull it off.  (Sharon, Dennis, Matt, Megan, John, Kay, and Whitney that means you!)  Party planning is something I absolutely love but I must admit, it's a challenge putting things together some 3,000 miles away from our home in the BVI!

We also appreciate all of our friends who joined us for the party.  It was great catching up with everyone as we sipped on Pusser's Painkillers and listened to the sounds of Eric Johnson, a Knoxville native.  Michael's father, Dennis did an amazing job on the shrimp boil.  And that's my mother in the photo to the right of the shrimp spinning our friend Casey around blindfolded, as he was about to "pin the bowtie on the frat guy."  Email me if you need to know where to get your own life-size cut out of Michael.  ;) 

If the birthday celebration wasn't enough of a throw down, our friends Allison and Reid hosted an amazing tailgate on G10 the next day and John and Lindsay shared their field passes with us so we could see the game in Neyland Stadium up close and personal!!!

This was just the first weekend of our visit back to the states!!!    We also witnessed the dedication of our niece Gracen and the wedding of Michael's cousin, Megan.  It was great to spend time with family and friends, as well as with my coworkers - felt great to be back in the office!  WHEW!  As I remember ALL of the events of the past week and a half, I am overwhelmed.  We are truly blessed!!!

Oh, and one of the best parts of the entire trip!  (Talk about burying the lead!?!)  Milly came with us!

She is just too cute for words!  

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 284: Sea You Later

Remember this sailboat from Scrub Island?  The one Hurricane Earl claimed a few weeks ago?

Well, we went back to Scrub today and here's how we found it:
The owner of the boat spent most of the day patching the hull.  You can see the port side of the boat took the brunt of the damage.  He said the plan is to sail to Puerto Rico where it will be professionally repaired. 

Oh, and the boat's name?  Sea You Later.  Unfortunately, the sea saw it sooner than later...
Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 278: Never Good...

It's never a good thing when you see this truck in your driveway...

This truck (and three workers) came to fill up our cistern on Day 278.   This is the first time this has ever happened.  A water shortage with no end in sight!

Our water set-up is a bit complicated...

We have both town water and cistern water.  We primarily use town water, but if there is a disruption in service we switch over to the cistern that holds thousands and thousands of gallons of rain water.  We have no idea when the switch occurs, it just does.

Apparently we had been on the cistern for a week or so before Hurricane Earl reached us.  And Hurricane Earl was more of a wind event, with winds blowing as many as 115 miles per hour!  Not necessarily prime conditions for collecting water.

And the adventure continues...
Sunday, September 5, 2010

Signage Sunday: A Casualty

So Signage Sunday has had its first casualty...Do you recognize this???
{photo courtesy of bvimusic.com}
This dates back to one of the first Signage Sundays ever!  April 18?  The one brought to you by the BVI Nurse's Association.
The A, B, C's of avoiding HIV/AIDS took a beating in Hurricane Earl.  We'll let you know when it is replaced.  Stay tuned...
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday at Scrub

After a long week dealing with Hurricane Earl and his aftermath, we were anxious to get off island, at least off of our island.  Our cable was still out, so football watching at home wasn't an option.  {And it sure was brutal knowing that all of our friends in Gainesville and at home in Knoxville were tailgating their hearts out!}

In search of ESPN, Adam, Michael and I headed to Scrub Island which is a private island just east of Tortola.  It's been open for about the same amount of time that we've lived here...so it too is relatively new.  :)
Gorgeous right?  The marina there is impressive too.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Earl claimed this sailboat:
We spent the entire day at the pool - they actually have two pools.  The second one is up above the stone wall on the left side of the photo.  Oh, and there's a hot tub up there too! 
We had lunch at the swim-up bar and enjoyed the day immensely.  And don't kid yourself, we each took a turn down the slide.  It was nice to get away to a new place.  Former managers of Marina Cay, Joe and Karen work at the resort and we were happy to run into them that afternoon.  They took us on a tour of the island.  {Thanks y'all - it was amazing!}
We also made some new friends.  Joe and Karen invited the new managers at Marina Cay over for a drink.  Their names are Craig and Vanessa.  They're from the UK and just delightful.  Michael has spent some time with them in a work setting but this was my first time meeting them.  We were having so much fun together we decided to stay for dinner!  It was delicious!

Scrub will definitely make the list for our next visitor...are you reading this Courtney?!?  Get excited!
Oh, and about ESPN...they had taken down their flat screens at Scrub in preparation for Hurricane Earl but hadn't put them back up yet.  So no Gator football for me.  No football for any of us.  It was still a great day.
Friday, September 3, 2010

Earl, Marina Cay and a Coconut Break

Michael spent a few days on Marina Cay this week, securing the Pusser's store there.  Hurricane Earl did a number on the little island.  The high winds blew the door to the red box off of its hinges.  It ended up in the water. 

The island manager, Craig found it and Michael helped him bring it up.   As you can see from the photo below, it sustained some serious damage...

After a long, hot day securing the merchandise in the Pusser's Company Store, the island gardener, James offered to get Michael a coconut.  James was especially eager when he found out that Michael had never had one fetched for him like this...

James tied a rope together to form a circle on the ground.  Standing inside the circle, he slid the rope up to his ankles.  Keeping the rop taut, James climbed a 30 foot palm tree in a matter of seconds, all the while yielding a machete in his right hand.  A few whacks later and the coconut was loose.

 Back on the ground, James swiftly shaved off layer after layer then presented it to Michael to drink.   

Michael said it was delicious.  Have you had milk from a coconut like this?   I think it beats the Coke machine at most offices, don't you?  James is his own Coconut machine!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Damaged Goods

This post may be a few days late...my apologies.  Internet and other resources (power and water) have been sparse this week.
Here are some of my photos of the damage caused by Hurricane Earl:
Thank goodness this tree caught the awning from the nearby sports complex.  Scary to think what damage it would have caused to homes in the area.
Oh, and the letters that spell Pusser's on the warehouse came down...we found a few of them.
For more photos of the damage - including some from Anegada, the island hit hardest by Hurricane Earl - go to www.bvimusic.com.