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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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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 49: Cruizin' on a Sunday Afternoon

We felt so guilty as we read the posts on Facebook about all the snow in East Tennessee!  There we were, sitting on a beach towel at Smuggler's Cove.  Pretty, isn't it?  {Adam, that question is for you!}

We enjoyed the day immensely.  Not a cloud in the sky!  The water was so clear.  Just before sunset we set out to find a local dive to grab a late lunch/early dinner.  We found this little hideaway, called Cruizin' Bar & Grill.
This was the view from the beachside restaurant!
We found a little hammock/swing...I realize we're backlit in this photo, but I like it anyway.
Here's a close-up.
Wish you were here!
Friday, January 29, 2010

Vacation Time!!!


I am beyond excited that some of my best friends have booked their flights to the BVI and will be coming to visit over the next few months!  Pi Girls?  You better watch out!  The Tennessee contingency is showing you up!!!

If you click on the Google Calendar to the left, specifically on the icon that reads "Google Calendar" - it should open up and you can see all of the various bookings! 

Here's a quick glance at the reservations calendar:

Catharyn & Matt - February 11th - 16th  (Caty stays until the 18th)
Travis - February 27th - March 6th
Whitney - March 12th - March 18th
Sharon, Dennis, Memaw and Pepaw - April 2nd - April 10th (Exact dates TBD)
Courtney - April 22nd - April 28th
Beth & Brian - June 25th - June 30th (Exact dates TBD)

We are so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends!  We've missed everyone so much these last 40+ days and look forward to having a little bit of home here in the islands.

Our guests don't know it yet - but I'm going to have some of them join Our BVI Adventure while they're here and do some "guest blogging!" 

If you're thinking about headed to the BVI, check out Vayama.com.  They have some great deals!

Day 47: Fridays at the Pub

We had another Friday night to remember at Pusser's Road Town Pub.  Milly was sad she couldn't come with...look at that face!!!
We stopped at Capriccio's for dinner.  They are known for their yummy Italian fare.  (Incredibly, reasonably priced too!)  Petso crostini, two bowls of pasta, a bottle of Prosecco and we were ready to take on the pub!  Cheers!
Our new friends from Ireland, Gerry and his fiancee, Felicity joined us.  We had met them the previous Thursday at Pusser's East.  A few cocktails consumed and "war stories" about moving to Tortola shared and we were fast friends!  That's Gerry on the left.  Charles gets an absolute kick out of him!!!

And Dad, Gerry couldn't believe that you were a fan of Smithwick's and that you could find it in the states!

We had a great time together!  Next time I will be sure to get a photo of Felicity.  We are going to grab a coffee one morning next week.  Fun fun!

Oh, and what could only be compared to a late night visit to Waffle House or midnight delivery from Domino's - we hit up the Chicken Truck on our way home.   

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 40: The Dove

One of the best expat bars is The Dove, in Road Town.  Known for its wine selection and French/Asian cuisine, it's located on the second floor of an old building on Main Street...has a very tree house feel, doesn't it? 



Michael and I went early and enjoyed a delicious dinner.  He had sushi and I had the monkfish. 



Mine was amazing!!!  That's a lobster cream sauce on the left of the plate there, and perfectly fried plantains in the center.  The highlight of the dish was the single oversized ravoli stuffed with ginger braised beef.  To.Die.For.





We still made it to the pub on Friday night, where Charlie T was serving up his sand bucket!  {Sorry for the drunk goggle setting...}



We had a great time hanging out with Lorna (of the Naked Lorna drink) - she is essentially the Michelle Obama of the island.  Her husband was the longtime prime minister here, which made her first lady.  His party lost the last election so he is the leader of the opposition. 



She is so beautiful!  Can you believe she's also a grandmother?  Anyway, Lorna invited us to a fundraiser for Haiti on Virgin Gorda for the following night.  Michael gave me the nod, we accepted her offer, and then it happened...we exchanged phone numbers!

I'm so star-struck by this woman!   
Thursday, January 21, 2010

Finally! THE GRAND TOUR!

So many of you have asked for a tour of the house, so here we go!  This is the entrance to our little abode.  {The Christmas lights were still up when this photo was taken.}



When you walk in the front door, this is what you see:



The galley kitchen is off to the left, along with the guest bathroom.  I've tucked my office into the corner of the dining room, overlooking the living room.  If I'm ever stressed I just read my "Keep Calm and Carry On" print.  It's a reproduction of a piece of WWII propaganda from 1939, when England was on the verge of war with Germany.

 

Here's a view of the sunken living room...



My favorite "room" if you can call it that is the outdoor dining area.





There's so much outdoor living space.  Milly loves it!  And speak of the devil, there she is...this is the master bedroom.  Notice the curtain on the far right; the breezes can be quite strong.  Most of the time, they are really refreshing.  They make living without air conditioning more than bearable. 



We were so fortunate to find a hillside villa with a view in such a short amout of time.  Technically, Pusser's found it for us, but from what we understand, places like these are hard to come by...

That's the Sir Francis Drake Channel.



While most of the furniture was in the house, we have tried to furnish it with our own accents and make it our home for the time being.  We'd love to show it to you in person - so make your reservations! 
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 37: Traffic Jam

We experienced a traffic jam for the first time on Tuesday.  We live just a few short miles from Road Town and the Pusser's warehouse.  On a normal morning it takes less than 10 minutes to get from one place to another.



It took us 45 minutes to get from point A to point B!  But don't feel sorry for us - there was such a relaxed attitude about it.  The meeting that Michael had that morning was pushed back to accomodate the delay, so we pulled into Deli France and got a croissant! 
Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 35: It's Complicated

Our rainy Saturday, was followed by an equally dreary Sunday.  And that meant one thing: movie night!  Yes, Tortola has a movie theatre.  It was eight years in the making and just opened a few months ago.  I think it even has 6 or 7 screens!


There's a debate over the name of the theatre...as you can see in the blue writing below, the sign reads U.P's. What I want to know is, where is the other period?  And why do the locals call it "ups" as in the opposite of downs?  Hooked on phonics worked for us, so we're going with "you-peas."



Regardless of what the name of the theatre is, it has new releases like "It's Complicated" with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin.  Check out the VIP seating!  Air-conditioning, velvet recliners, waiters to bring you popcorn...you can't beat it.



We felt as if were back in the states, even if it was only for 2 hours.  Oh, and the movie was great!  If you haven't seen it yet, you should!  John Krazinski, from The Office, is hilarious in it!
Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 34: The Bat Cave

There's this legendary bar here called The Bat Cave.  It sits above an Italian restaurant overlooking Village Cay Marina.  Sir Richard Branson is known to frequent this little hole in the wall. 



While we didn't see the English entrepreneur on this particular Saturday night, Michael did make friends with the DJ.  The two were running around the bar entertaining everyone.  I caught this action shot: 


Stripper pole + Sebagos.  'Nuff said.

Day 34: Shopping Island-Style

Disclaimer:  What you are about to see may cause your eyes to bleed or your side to split from laughter.

It was a rainy Saturday, which meant our usual trip to Nanny Cay was out.  So, Michael and I ventured to the Island Department Store.  We had driven by this large building many times, but weren't sure what was inside.




The tupperware aisle looked promising!  We were impressed with the variety of styles and colors. 



They had a piece of plastic for every occasion...including those times when a friend is feeling ill and you want them to feel better.  I mean, what would cheer you up more than receiving a dedicated "Get Well Soon" 32 ounce cup? 



That's right - the cup has the words "Get Well Soon" all over it.  Nice.  And for only $3.99!  It got us thinking...about a lot of things.  Here are some of our questions.  Who manufactures this stuff?  And who is responsible for selling it to innocent retailers like the Island Department Store? 

Take for instance this figurine, which by the way stands atleast 16 inches high.  Really?  Really.  What is going on here?  Is this angel watching over the baby?  Is she the baby's mother?  Is she praying? 



What about this vase with the kissing swans?  It could double as Rainbow Brite's pimp cup. 


Michael's favorite home good came in the way of a fruit adorned clock.  What kitchen would be complete without one?


Now, we can't be too harsh.  The Island Department Store did have some miniature schnauzer stuffed animals.  Looks like Milly and her friend Georgia {Stephanie and Scott's dog}. 


So, what did we buy?  I can assure you, none of the above items made it into our basket.  We picked up some dominos and a shower caddy.  Random, I know, but we needed both.  

Now, I know why the store doesn't have any windows on the bottom two floors...
Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 33: Charlie T's Sand Bucket

I'll get to the sand bucket momentarily, but I must tell you about the wonderful dinner party we attended on Friday night.  At the top of our hill live the most lovely couple, Peter and Denise.  Last Friday they invited us to their house for dinner.  We weren't sure who else was going to be there, but we were very excited to see them again and possibly make some new friends!

Their house is just gorgeous.  Here is a commercial photo of their terrace, taken for the BVI Property Guide.  A feature article about the craftsman, Mike Master, who buit the metal railing is in this month's issue.  It's amazing to me that we have the same view as Peter and Denise, albeit their's is much more stunning because they're near the top of the hill. 


We had a wonderful time!  There were three other couples, so 12 in all when you count Peter and Denise's mothers who are visiting from Europe. 

As for dinner, it was divine.  We had a wonderful salad with endives, asparagus, mushrooms, and sugar snap peas topped with a creamy balsamic vinagrette.  Denise prepared Chilean Sea Bass for the main course, with a rich white cream sauce.  It was to die for!  She served white and brown rice along with spinach. Oh, and for dessert!  AJ, one of Denise's friends had made the most beautiful chocolate torte covered in raspberries and caramel.  Countless bottles of champagne and wine were consumed.  It was a lovely evening!

Afterwards, we headed to the pub - Pusser's Road Town.  We've been on the island for three of these legendary Friday nights now and couldn't miss it!  This is where the sand bucket comes in...


This is a new drink that Charles {aka Charlie T} is working on and as you can see, it's served in a 22 ounce sand bucket, complete with plastic shovel. 

That's Pier on the right - he is a consultant for Pusser's. He's also in a band called The Edge. Pier and Adam are going to form another musical act, and if we can find Michael a drum set it may just be a trio. The drink was so large, we could hardly finish it!  I'm not sure when these will be available for sale, so let's just say Charlie T's Sand Bucket is coming soon!

Hard to believe we went from drinking Veuve Clicquot to this all in the same night!  But that's what makes this place so fantastic.  Cheers!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 31: Taking it in Stride

This phrase very well could become our motto for life in the islands.  On our way to Soper's Hole on the west end of the island, our beater - yes, the one involved in the accident a few weeks ago - decided that it doesn't like speed bumps. And every time it went over one of them, the car would stop running.  Lovely!

So, here we are on the side of the road with no such thing as AAA to assist.  We are at the mercy of strangers.  Fortunately, their kindness was on display on this Wednesday night.  Several people stopped and offered to help.  Unfortunately no one had jumper cables {aka jump leads} so we walked to the nearest market.  Not my idea of a good time, but we went with it, I mean, we took it in stride. 


A local in possession of jumper leads so kindly gave us a ride back to our car and bettter yet - gave us a jump.  At this point, we decided to abort our mission.  We turned around and headed for home.

We came upon a stop in traffic about 3 miles down the road and the car decided to stop again.  It just so happened we were just outside of Nanny Cay.  There is a sports bar there called Mulligan's.



Mulligan's is an outdoor bar with a big projector screen that plays ESPN around the clock. Pretty cool, huh?{Must remember this place when football season rolls around again!} 

                              
We had a few Carib's and got some dinner. Thankfully, our friend Adam joined us and gave us a ride home.  Oh, and you have to take a look at the rental car the repair shop gave Michael!  It's hilarious!

                                
Sorry the photo is a little blury - I took all of these with my iphone. 

So easy a 4 year old can do it!

For the last month, we've been able to see our family and close friends thanks to the internet, a few webcams and Skype.  Hard to believe we've been here one month, BTW!  These two are by far our favorite Skypers...Avery, 4 years old and Gracen, just 3 months old!  Our nieces are beautiful, aren't they?  And Avery is hilarious!  She loves being on camera.  Hmmm...maybe she's taking after her YaYa.  {That's me!} 


On this particular day, she was dressed up as Snow White.  Any Skype conversation with Avery is not complete without the following:
  • Singing all verses of Taylor Swift's "You Belong to Me"
  • Asking "What is Milly doing?"
  • Telling variations of The Night Before Christmas stories.  These stories actually started at Thanksgiving when Avery asked me to tell her a "scary" story.  So, on the fly - who could say no to her? - I made up a story called The Night Before Thanksgiving.  It went something like this:
It was the night before Thanksgiving and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse... (Here's where we deviate from the popular Christmas tale.)

All of the food had been prepared and put away for the next day.  Memaw had made her pies; YaYa had made her stuffing.

Everyone was tucked in their beds when they heard a loud CRASH!  They jumped out of bed and ran to kitchen.  They couldn't believe what they were seeing... 

The pots and pans were on the floor!  All of the food was gone!  And then they found...a single feather! 

They knew a turkey had been there and gobbled up their Thanksgiving meal!  But how did the turkey get away?  He jumped on Pawpaw's motorcylce and zoomed away! 

I'm not exactly sure why Avery found this story so fascinating, but it has been told and retold countless times.  Follow-up versions have included The Night Before Avery's Birthday and The Night Before Milly's Birthday.   

If you're not on Skype, you should definitely get an account.  It's free and all you need is a webcam!  Our Skype user names are ameliaedaniels and michael.d.daniels!  Happy Skyping!
Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 27: Saturday at Nanny Cay

I've talked about Nanny Cay before...it's a small community just west of Road Town.  There's a large marina there, along with a hotel, some restaurants, shops and a beautiful saltwater pool. 


Those who are docked at Nanny Cay or staying in the hotel have complimentary access to the pool and beach.  Guests for the day, like us, pay only $5 for a chair and umbrella.  Not a bad deal, huh?  We spent most of the day here, lounging around the pool.  That's my book in the bottom right corner of the picture.  I'm reading Just Jackie, Her Private Years by Edward Klein. 

This will have to make the itinerary of any guests who come to visit us.  The snorkeling is amazing at Nanny Cay.  While we didn't partake on this particular Saturday, we have done it before and the reef is beautiful.  It is very close to shore. 

Oh, and check out this photo of my new Rainbows. 



 
Michael gave them to me for Christmas. So far, we've be able to keep them away from Milly. {She loves to chew leather, especially the leather of a flip flop.} I'm going to try to take another photo a year from now, after they've been worn in. We'll see how they hold up being worn nearly every day.
Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 26: Fridays at the Pub

We had another great Friday night at Pusser's Road Town Pub. 



We met some wonderful people including our neighbors who live at the top of the hill.  Denise and Peter, of Swiss descent, have lived here on Tortola for 10 years.  He is a banker here and she is a consultant for a Swiss fashion house and travels frequently to Paris and New York.  {Fun, right?}  They invited us up for dinner on Friday, so we won't be hitting the pub next week, at least not until much later.

One new feature of this Friday night?  Complimentary plantain chips!  Matt, the director of food and beverage for Pusser's made them himself.  They were sooooo good! 

                                          

On tap for the weekend?  A day at the pool at Nanny Cay and possibly a visit to Smuggler's Cove.