Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from St. Croix! Yes, we still have chocolate bunnies and peeps and egg hunting contests, but we don't have any commercials for any of these things! Actually, St. Croix has very few advertisements on the whole island, even for things that tourists would probably like to do. And this is one of the reasons that everyone who lives here loves this island versus maybe some other islands that are very commercial. I remember being in the Bahamas one summer and there was a man going up and down the beach advertising his "booze cruise" and there were women walking up and down the beach selling trinkets. There are few people on the beaches in St. Croix much less anyone walking up and down advertising anything.

There are cruises here and trinket stores as well but they get advertised online or by word of mouth. Even television commercials don't advertise local events and the things that are advertised are not available here. It almost feels like the way life used to be 30 years ago. When we go to the store here, we buy things based on what we need and not what we saw on television 30 minutes earlier. It's refreshing to be less commercial here and maybe that's why we don't buy a lot of stuff here period. Young kids here spend their Friday and Saturday nights outside on the beach rather than in front of a television or a computer and they spend their days outside with animals and with other kids their age. This type of life isn't for everyone but I liked the way things were 30 years and I like the way things are here now.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Back on schedule and living in the moment...

I spent my whole life planning for the future but being here has allowed me to live in the moment and enjoy the now rather than always thinking about how I can enjoy what's to come. I think everyone needs to plan to a certain point or you never really get to achieve what you set out to do but you also have to learn how to enjoy what you have planned. There is a fountain outside my window and I can hear the water streaming and I can hear crickets, but otherwise it is silent and that sound is magical. It's dusk right now and I am just able to sit here and write and not think about anything else that has been done or that I still need to do. I get to be here now and I have spent years trying to figure out how to do this.

I'm not sure what it is about this island that gives me the opportunity to live in the present but the absolute beauty and perfection of the nature around here definitely helps. We have stores and movie theaters (just one) and all those places and things that we become so accustomed to but here all those places are superseded by the natural surroundings of the beautiful sea water and the hills and "what is" and not what will be in the future.

I was playing miniature golf today and at first it started out just like any other activity that you would do on a Sunday afternoon, but then I looked out and I saw the background of where I was and I couldn't believe how lucky I was to just be there. I began to think about all the people who come to visit and never leave or those who have been visiting for years and I was wondering what makes them stay. This isn't the most glamorous island with the most activities and it may not even be the prettiest (although there are some very beautiful parts that are probably prettier than most other places), but I think it has a combination of all those things that people have a very hard time finding anywhere else. Somehow everything comes together here and makes it the perfect island to just be on in the present.

Activity Review:

Divi Carina Bay Resort Miniature Golf

I don't have any great pics for this activity but it is the only miniature golf on the island and it's very easy to find. It's located across from Divi Carina Bay Resort right across from East End Pizza. They are open seven days a week from 2 pm to 9 pm and cost is only $8 for adults. The course is a bit challenging if you are a beginner with some elevated greens at some of the holes but overall, it's fun and you get a great view of the Caribbean Sea if you go during daytime hours.

There is also a driving range here and air hockey tables and party rooms for those who want a little more to do than just miniature golf. This activity is fun for the whole family or for those who just want to get away from their families or surroundings for a few hours!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

On island time!

Yes, I'm late, about two days late, even though I have tried unsuccessfully to make this a three-week blog (thanks to all of your emails and it's been great to get them!!!). There is also a puppy adorably burrowing herself into my keyboard and trying to do everything possible to keep me from typing anything every time I try.  Sometimes being here feels like being anywhere else, just with perfect weather. Some days I go to work and I go to the store and do the everyday stuff I used to do before I moved here and I forget where I am.

But then I go inside the grocery store and I can't find half the stuff I wanted to get and I remember that I'm in St. Croix. And then I go outside and my car is literally 50 shades of Dirty and I remember exactly where I am. Ironically, my car is also 50 shades of grey because it happens to be a grey colored car and extremely dirty right now. And then when I can't just go to a drive-thru car wash, I remember that I live on this amazing island where things are far from perfect but where I can't imagine not being because unlike some people, I do have a choice and I choose to be here.

Life has gotten busier on the island. Apparently I love to work. I started out taking it easy with no job and bumming it on weekdays on the beach, and then working about 10-20 hours a week, and now I come in early and I leave late and put in actual stateside timed work weeks. I don't really mind that much though because my job allows me to stay here and I love it here. I also found that I love to clean. I have lived in many different apartments in my life and I have never loved cleaning any of them. I did, however, love having other people clean my apartments for me. In the past, I have also always lived alone and in a way, wherever I lived never really felt like home but it does now,  and I love keeping our home clean.

Our floors are stone tiled and I really like having clean floors. Back in Chicago, I would never dream of not having carpet because it was really cold but here carpet is not a good idea with lots of bug-like creatures trying to cohabitate with you and a puppy who hasn't yet learned to wipe her paws before entering. I never understood why my mom never wanted to have anyone clean our house but now I kind of get it. We'll see how long it lasts though because the more time I spend cleaning, the less blog posts so I'm guessing my newfound enthusiasm for floor mopping may wear off.

The last few months, the weather has also changed a lot here. I used to spend everyday in the summertime and in the fall here being drenched in sweat and I haven't sweated outside in months!!! It's an amazing feeling once you know the difference and here, everyone knows the difference! It's still beautiful, I'm still having a great time and it's starting to feel more and more like home every single day.

Restaurant Review:


Toast is one of my new favorite breakfast and lunch places. It's very quaint and cute inside, and we spent the morning eating and playing tourist after coming here. The food choices, while not many, are different than many other breakfast places on St. Croix. With choices of grits and arepas, you get a different breakfast experience than just eggs and bacon (and I love both!). The waffle fry nachos are also amazing and the whole meal is topped off with iced coffee which makes for a perfect morning in St. Croix any day.

Toast is located behind Purple Papaya among all the tourist shops. So, after lunch, it's always fun to explore even if you've lived here for a long while or if you're just visiting for the very first time. This place is also a stone's throw away from the boardwalk so it's convenient regardless of where you start off.