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, November 30, 2010

And Mr. Movember 2010 is...

Mr. William Callewaert!  All of the contestants who've been growing their mustaches all month competed for the top prize for Mr. Movember on Tuesday night .  The stache bash was held at Nanny Cay.

There were a variety of categories:  Best Handlebar, Best Celebrity Lookalike, Classiest, Sexiest, etc... 

                                                                 {photo credit:  BVI Beacon}

We had such fun watching all of the mo bros compete for prizes and ultimately raise money to promote awareness of prostate cancer and the need for men to be screened.  All of the money raised during Movember will be donated to the BVI Chapter of the Red Cross. 

{photo credit: BVI Beacon}

What a fun event!  If Michael were able to sport facial hair at work, he would've made a great mo bro! 
Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 346: A Farewell

Michael and I are experiencing something right now that is unfortunately quite common in the expat community...  We are bidding farewell to other expat friends who are returning to their home country. 

It is with much saddness that we say good-bye to Gerry and Felicity.  Gerry and Felicity were the first friends we made on Tortola, outside of the Pusser's family of course.  So for our farewell dinner, we went back to the place where we all first met - Pusser's East.

When I think back on that night, I just have to laugh.  This was in our first 50 days on the island and all four of us were sitting at the bar.  Michael and I felt like single guys getting ready to approach the only ladies in the place.  {Sorry Gerry, but you have to be a girl in this scenario!}  We even had a quick pep talk before going over to them and may have even discussed using a pick-up line.  Whatever we ended up saying to them - it worked!  Because we all became fast friends!

Here's a great shot of the boys enjoying their Irish coffees at the end of a delicious dinner.

For the girls, we had our own little get together on Friday.  A champagne lunch?  Don't mind if we do!

In this friendship, we've shared some bits and pieces our respective cultures...  

From us to them:
- a positive example of the Greek system of fraternities and sororities
- the difference between the NFL and college football
- the word Y'ALL (Felicity more than Gerry will likely find herself using the word back home!)

What they've shared with us:
- the phrase "to have a sneaky one" which means to have a last drink of the night
- the song, Fairytale in New York
- how to make soldiers, soft-boiled eggs and toast
- the after dinner drink, Baby Guinness which is a shot of Kahlua with Bailey's on top.  There's zero Guinness in the drink, but it looks like a miniature glass of the dark beer.

But most of all, we've shared a lot of laughs as we navigated this little island together.  While we will miss Gerry and Felicity terribly, we are happy for them to be reunited with their friends and families in Ireland.  They've lived abroad for two years now, as Gerry worked for Digicel in Anguilla, St. Lucia and lastly Tortola. 

After a whirlwind trip through South America (a belated honeymoon) and a stop in the Big Apple, the pair will return home, just in time for Christmas. 

To Gerry and Felicity, we wish you the very best!  Michael and I loved getting to know you both and we'll surely miss you around here, especially on those nights when we turn a "sneaky one" into a "sneaky three."  Safe travels!  Hope to see you soon - on your turf next!
Friday, November 26, 2010

Full of Gratitude...



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!


What's wrong with that above sentence?  Well, nothing if you are in the United States of America today, which sadly, we are not.  I'm not going to let my latitude stop me!  In fact, I've used this salutation several times already.  We had a pre-Thanksgiving Feast last night with some of our American friends and I made a point to say it to everyone there.  (Huge thanks to Larry, Gabby and Tony for sharing your culinary skills with us!)

This will be our fourth American holiday celebration in the BVI and if the "celebrations" for the last three are any indication, today won't resemble anything like a traditional Thanksgiving.

Let's see...where were we on Memorial Day?  That's right - Michael worked and I took our visitors, KK, Lauren and JMac swimming with the dolphins then over to Marina Cay for an afternoon at the beach.  Not bad actually.

Fourth of July?  Oh, I remember!  Michael's band had a gig at The Elm.  That's the night Da Tree Men played the song, Jost van Dyke for the first time!  Not necessarily patriotic...but it was fun!

And the only thing I remember about Labor Day was the water shortage we faced at the time.

As I type this, Michael is already at work...no sleeping in, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, lounging around or watching football for him.  I will find away to keep one tradition alive and that's making my signature Thanksgiving dish:  dressing.  We've accepted the kind invitation of another group of friends and I get to bring the dressing tonight.

So, Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!  Even though we are away from our families today {which I have to admit is a lot harder than I thought it would be!}, we have so many reasons to give thanks today. 

I think Freeman Roger's list is a pretty good place to start...
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Headlines

As I was reading the various BVI online publications this morning, I ran across a funny headline...

"Armed men caught attempting to rob RT police station"

The story doesn't offer up much more detail than that.  Three men broke into the police station in the early morning hours and were apprehended by a police officer - you guessed it - who was working there at the time. 

Over on BVI Platinum the headline of the story refers to the robbery as a "police station invasion!"

Come on guys!  Please don't make me submit this to Dumb Criminals.
Monday, November 22, 2010

Exit Survey: Travis

Of the five Pusser's locations, which ones did you visit on your trip? (Road Town Pub, Pusser's East, Marina Cay, Soper's Hole, or Leverick Bay)

Answer(s): We only ate at Pusser's East but we did drive by the Road Town Pub 734 times. Okay, okay. It only felt like 734 times. It was probably closer to 16 or 20.

What restaurant has the sturdiest chairs?
A) Nanny Cay
B) Jolly Roger
C) Pusser's East
D) The Elm
E) None of the above
Answer(s): While the chairs at all these establishments are outstanding, the Jolly Roger is the best place to visit if you like chairs that look sturdy but are actually cracked. The cracked chair leg makes for a fun, although somewhat painful, slow motion ride to the floor. Let the good times roll. Literally.(He is so perfectly describing my slow and painful fall, not his own.  I hit my head on the specials board which then fell over and pinned Travis in his upright chair!  What a mess!)
What was your favorite wake-up call?
A) The roosters
B) The sun
C) Milly politely barking at my bedside, her way of asking for assistance in getting on the bed
D) The smell of bacon
E) None of the above (I'm not a morning person.)
Answer(s):
F) All of the above. It wouldn't be a Tortola morning without hearing the 1,931 voices of the Crowing Rooster Choir sweetly announcing the arrival of the morning sun. After hearing of the torrential rains of the "rainy season" I was thrilled to wake up to blue skies and sunshine every day of my visit. Ms. Milly is a rock star and the bacon, grits, waffles, and OJ at the Daniels Café are outstanding! All in all, the mornings were pleasant even though I'm not a morning person at all.
True or False:
The slide and overall pool experience at Scrub Island puts Dollywood Splash Country to shame.
Answer:
True. I did enjoy the slide, infinity pool, hot tub, company, and the serene setting overlooking the ocean at Scrub Island. However, there is something to be said for thousands of overweight, tattooed, bikini and jort clad rednecks prancing and dancing around in a waterpark induced high that tugs at my heart and brings a tear to my eye. It truly is a tough call on this one.
Finish the following sentence:
The thing that had changed the most since my last visit was...
Answer(s):
1) The accommodations at Chateau Daniels are much more refined and comfortable. They were good before but now they're outstanding!
2) The roads. Just when I thought the roads couldn't get any worse, torrential rains set in. Potholes galore. Enough said.
It was great having you here Travis!  You are such the comic relief in any situation...even when I'm the one falling out of my chair! 
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Part 2: Wakeboarding!

In the afternoon we accepted the kind invitation from our new friends, Louise and Richard to join them for an afternoon of wakeboarding!  Michael loves this sport and until now, he hasn't had the opportunity in the BVI.  Louise and Richard, both from England, have lived in the BVI going on three years now, but just recently started wakeboarding.  You wouldn't know it though - just watch them go!  First up?  Louise!

Michael picked it back up as if no time had passed from his days on Lake Holiday...
This next shot is the only one I caught of any of the wakeboarders in mid-air!  This was actually the last run of the day - Richard finished strong!
Oh, and you might  be wondering - where are the photos of yours truly weaving in and out of the waves?  Unfortunately there are none.  There are several embarrasing videos of me attempting to wakeboard.  I did manage to get up two of the seven attempts, but it was short-lived.  Maybe next time? 

Here's one last shot...love the sun in this one.  That's Michael on the board.

Sunday Part 1: SUP

After seeing Travis off, we went for a SUP on Sunday.  It was the first trip for our new underwater camera.  Check out the starfish we saw just off of Beef Island...
We also stopped off at a beach that's technically on Tortola, although it's only about 40 feet wide.  We haven't come up with a name for this beach just yet, but we're working on it...
This beach has a clear view of the airport and we timed it just right!  Travis's plane was scheduled to leave at noon and sure enough we were able to watch his take-off! 
We also paid a visit to the conch mound again and I found a really pretty shell.  I expect it will soon take residence on our bookshelf in the living room.  I first need to get rid of the smell!  (Blah!)  A little bit of bleach and water should do the trick...
Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Menu at Pusser's East

Pusser's East recently unveiled a new menu and I just had to take Travis back there, considering it was one of his favorite restaurant experiences the last time he was in the BVI...

We started off with some cocktails: the Naked Lorna and the classic Bushwhacker.  Andre was tending bar so these were extra delicious!

For dinner we both had the fish tacos, made with fresh, grilled mahi, cabbage, tomatoes, housemade pickles and new spicy aoli that was most definitely spicy!  Yum!

Afterwards we headed to Nanny Cay where Da Tree Men were playing for the Carib 1500 - the largest and longest sailing race.  The boats set sail on November 7th from Hampton, Virginia and arrived in the BVI on November 18th!  Long trip!

This was Travis's first time hearing the band - I think he enjoyed it!
Oh, and the band became "Da Tree Men and a Lady" when a crew member of the boat Smidge got up and sang House of the Rising Sun.  She killed it! 
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 336: Travis Arrives!

Our friend Travis arrived in the BVI on Day 336!  Whoo hoo!  It was great to see him again.  {Faithful readers may remember that Travis paid us a visit back in February.}

Other than family, Travis is our first repeat customer!  Like so many of our friends who come to visit, he packed more than swim trunks and flip flops in those suitcases...

He brought us some of our favorites from the grocery store, like grits and the makings for jambalaya and gumbo.  Can't forget the Keurig K-cups either!  A few more of our bath towels.  The most important import was the new underwater Olympus Stylus Tough camera!  I was able to order it online at BestBuy.com and select "in-store pick-up by friend."  How cool is that?!?

Underwater pics to come!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Governor's Blog

Who knew the Governor of the BVI had a blog?  I didn't until today.  Boyd McCleary became governor of the territory in August and through a few thoughtful posts he's keeping us up-to-date on his activities.

Just recently he visited Cane Garden Bay for a closer look at a glass recycling program there. 
I recently had the pleasure of sitting next to his wife, Jenny at a luncheon for the Tortola Ladies Club. 
Friday, November 12, 2010

Nautical Makeover

So, not only have I been busy furnishing our new house (we're almost to the recap, I promise!) I've also been working on a blog redesign for Our BVI Adventure.  Here's a little preview of some of the graphic art I created...

This stems from an art project that I did for the new guest bedroom.  The vision in my head was a twist on the traditional nautical flag to accent the crisp white headboard.  Instead of using red, I went with pink and in lieu of yellow, I chose orange. 

My canvas?  A white duck cloth, cut in 8'' squares.  My medium? Craft paint.  Not acrylic or oil. Craft paint.  That's all I could find on the island!  Oh, I also used masking tape to help keep my lines straight.


Here's how the art project turned out on the wall:
(Sorry for the grainy image; I took this shot with my iPhone.)

And if you're not up your nautical flags, each one represents a letter and this collage spells DREAM.

Once you see the new blog design, you may think I've gone "overboard"!  {Pun intended!}  That's coming soon...
Thursday, November 11, 2010

November Rain

I'm coming up for air to write this blogpost, as once again the BVI is experiencing heavy, heavy rains. 

Just when you think you've seen the last of it, another cloud moves in.  The BVI is under a flash flood warning until noon today; schools are closed; there's talk of mudslides... 

Here's a photo Adam snapped in Road Town a few days ago.

Until the sun shines again, I've got this song stuck on my replay in my head.  Go back to 1992 with me, won't you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Exit Survey: Courtney

Our time with Courtney went by way too fast!  I think she would agree.  We sure did pack a lot into her five days in the Caribbean.  Let me count...she went to six different islands, well, seven if you include Beef Island where the airport is!  Ha!  There's Tortola, Scrub Island, Sandy Cay, Jost van Dyke, Norman Island and Marina Cay...  Whew! No wonder we're exhausted! 

So, here's the survey!

Of the five Pusser's locations, which ones did you make it to on your visit? (Road Town Pub, Pusser's East, Pusser's at Soper's Hole, Marina Cay and Leverick Bay)
Answer(s):
What is Pusser's? :)
Road Town Pub - loved meeting Charles and having my first Painkiller there and Marina Cay - gorgeous!
Favorite dining experience on the island?
Answer:
The buffet from the Nanny Cay boat show, served out of Styrofoam...yum yum! No really, Pusser's Marina Cay. 

And here are the Marina Cay champagnes we had before feasting on lobster!  Cheers!

What's the most bizarre thing you saw on the trip?
Answer(s):
As a "country girl" I didn't think the farm animals roaming the island were all that bizarre. So, I will go with a tie...
Marc whipping his shirt off at the Dove to show us his tattoos (captured this one on my camera!) and perhaps Michael dancing to "Son of a Preacher Man" on the catamaran.

Good thing there is photographic evidence of BOTH of these bizarre occurrences, so these won't be left up to the imaginations of Our BVI Adventure readers.  



Of the following, which best describes your feelings toward kayaking?
A) Take it!
B) Leave it!
C) Kayaking? Never tried it. (Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)
Answer:
C, C, 1000 times C

What was the yummiest cocktail you tried in the BVI?
Answer:
"She wants a bushwhacker, bushwhacker, bushwhacker..."

What was the funniest quote of the trip?
Answer:
Compliments of sweet Sebastian, spoken in a lovely British accent as we were posing for a group photo (see below), he said to the guy standing in our shot: "Excuse me sir, but can you please f off?"

It worked!  The guy moved and we got our group shot!

How would you best describe Michael's boating skills?
A) Expert, especially with his sense of direction!
B) Good
C) Safe
D) Novice
E) Michael? You mean, Captain Drinky Pants???
Answer(s):
Trip to Jost van Dyke? A.
Trip back to Tortola?  Definitely E!
Love you MDD!

When are you coming back to visit us again?
Answer:
So, seems there are some good flights on Monday? Too soon?


In conclusion: What a trip!! Visiting your best friend, her husband that is also beyond adored (and can't forget my sweet girl Milly!) when you miss them like crazy would always be a blast...just doesn't hurt that those people, for me, live in paradise. I am ready to plan my next trip to see them and the other friends I made on the island. Longer than five days next time! Rest up my friends! Love y'all!

We love you too Courtney!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Scrub-a-dub-dub!

One of the places Courtney really wanted to go on her trip was Scrub Island.  She had read about our escapades there on the blog.

So, on Friday afternoon we headed for Trellis Bay to catch the ferry.
We arrived just in time for lunch.  We also wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous pools and have a swim.  (Okay, maybe a few trips down the slide too!)

 And there she goes!  Wheeeeeeeeeee!

 Love this photo...truly captures the day!
Couldn't think of a better way to spend a Friday afternoon!
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 323: Pink Bikini on Smuggler's Cove

I bet you thought you were actually going to see a pink bikini, right?  Well, that's it there on the left!  Courtney enjoyed one of Stephen's delicious concoctions at Smuggler's Cove on Thursday afternoon. 

We watched him make it and the "pink bikini" contains:
Two parts rum
One part orange juice
One part pineapple juice
Splash of Coco Lopez
Splash of Rose's Grenadine
Served on the rocks with an orange slice

It was gooooooooooooood!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 322: Courtney Arrives!

On Wednesday, Day 336 of our adventure, our dear friend Courtney arrived in the BVI!  This trip has been a long time coming and when she finally appeared through the sliding doors at the airport, we were so excited!  Fortunately she had no flight delays and everyone at Immigration and Customs was so welcoming to her!   

After a quick change back at the new house (a recap IS coming soon - promise!), we headed to West End for the opening night of lobster season.  Michael reserved us a 4 lbs lobster!  We couldn't do it alone, so Adam joined us.  And it was delicious!!!  The tradewinds kept us cool as we sat at the water's edge and savored every last bite. 

Editor's note:  Courtney's arrival photo is unfortunately stuck on the memory card of my camera.  A little too much moisture so it's not working properly at the moment. Please forgive this omission!

Just to hold you over, here's one of my favorite photos of the two of us from her trip:

We're in front of the Caves on Norman Island...more to come about this excursion!  Stay tuned...
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gro It. Sho It. Mo It.

That's the tagline of  - what has to be - one of the funniest events here in the British Virgin Islands.  It's called Movember {pronounced Moe-vember.}  Participants will attempt to grow a mustache - the creepier the better, I hear - and raise money for charity at the same time.  It is a competition of course and the reigning Mr. Movemember wrote this funny piece about the event in the BVI Beacon.

On Sunday at the Tamarind Club, guys could pre-register and get a nice clean shave poolside.  They want to make sure everyone starts on a level playing field.  {Insert stache joke here.}
Michael's band, Da Tree Men played and entertained the crowd.  My friend Joanna took this photo of Michael and Adam, two of "da tree" band members.  She has a really awesome camera (a Canon I believe) and she's quite talented behind the lense!
It was the perfect end to the Halloween weekend.  Swimming in the pool, listening to great live music (I'm not biased, am I?) and hanging out with friends make the perfect Sunday Funday.
Monday, November 1, 2010

Best Beach Bar Photo Contest

Rum Shop Ryan - a Caribbean enthusiast who blogs about all things island related - is looking for the best beach bar photo, and three of the five finalists are photos of bars in the BVI!  Two of them are from bars on Jost van Dyke!  {I've got to get myself back there again!} 

The first one is of Seddy's One Love Bar. 
And the other one is a photo of Ivan's Stress Free Bar.
While he's not a finalist, my father submitted this photo that he snapped while five people did the ultimate bar hop off of Willy T's.