Monday, February 15, 2016

Agricultural Fair, Jump Up and taking it easy in the VI

It's 5 am and I'm up, and I think there are some pretty annoying roosters up with me as well. I've been talking to my family back in Chicago and it's snowing and cold and I remember this time last year, complete with boots and semi-wet and cold socks, along with gloves and my Columbia jacket and layers and layers of clothing that had to be removed before I could get really comfortable after coming home from work. I'm laying on the couch right now and all of my windows are open and there's a nice cool breeze coming in and it's perfect. I went to the beach yesterday and the water was really warm, and I realized that I really do live in paradise. There's still a lot of Chicago left in me, there are still days that I try to instill the big city mentality into many of the things that I do here, but sometimes I come home and I just relax and it's such a nice change. Things that need to be done here can wait because sometimes it's okay to experience life a little bit in the midst of trying to constantly accomplish some goal that we have set for ourselves. My biggest challenge here is to learn to enjoy what's around me rather than strive for what I want to have in my life. Somehow, by doing that, slowly I've been able to have what I really want. "Slowly" is the key word here because I'm not used to or comfortable with slow anything but island life is all about "slow" and it's kind of growing on me.

Contrary to my new adornment of the "slow" lifestyle, this weekend has been anything but slow. Friday started up with Shabbat services at Jump Up which is our local quarterly island festival. I love that Shabbat services can happen anywhere here and that type of flexibility is really unique to a congregation that is able to survive on a small island. I've been to Jump Up three times now and I realize that it's mostly the same vendors and the same performers every time but people still go because it's nice to see people that you know out and about on a Friday night in beautiful weather and enjoying life. I think St. Croix takes every opportunity it can get to have any type of gathering because as small as it is, people love being with other people here. It's hard not to run into many people you know in such a small place and it always puts a smile on your face when you do.

Jump Up was followed by the Agricultural Fair which is an annual county fair here, complete with animals, food and vendors. And unlike it's stateside counterpart, the fair here was pretty relaxed and the weather was perfect for being outside for a prolonged period of time. It's also the perfect place to get things you can't buy anywhere else like Carambola preserves and key lime fruit plants. I also went to a musical on Saturday, my first theater experience here, and it was great! Once again, I saw a bunch of people I knew and it was really nice to realize that I've been able to make the connections that I have after the 8 months that I've been here. The musical was performed really well and I can't wait to go back for the next one.

Sunday, of course, was Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day here, like most other holidays, was very quiet and relaxed. The weather was perfect and my boyfriend and I had brunch at the same place where we had our first date. It created a perfect flow to everything else that I've experienced here since I arrived and made me smile knowing that the stress that I had this time last year just doesn't exist here. It's a pretty perfect place and perfect time for me right now...

Activity Review:

Caribbean Community Theatre

I lived next to this place for 7 months and I never went, and then I moved and went here for the first time for a live musical, 9 to 5, a few days ago. I've seen many productions in Chicago and in New York and this on par with many of the local productions that I have seen. I think if some of the performers were to live in a bigger city, they would probably be successful in bigger productions as well. I love musicals more than plays and they have one at least each season, along with comedies and other events that take place at the theatre. The actual location is next to Business World behind Pueblo East and it's a good size theater with an inside courtyard that I really want to rent out for my next party.

Tickets were $25 and can be purchased online ( I think this is the perfect activity for locals that love theater or want something different to do on the island, or for tourists who are here for a prolonged period of time. This island really does have everything, you just have to be here long enough to find it!