Saturday, May 15, 2010

St. Croix, USVI - Wedding Day - April 24, 2010

I know I'm very late posting the rest of our trip images and stories... seems that many things have intervened since our return home on the 28th.

The day of my nephew's wedding dawned cloudy and there were several periods of rain showers throughout the day. But the weather cleared shortly before the ceremony was to start and the rest of the late afternoon and evening was marvelously clear and quite nice.

We arrived, as instructed by my nephew, 45 minutes before the ceremony was to start to find the catering crew completing the setup of tables and the bar and wandered around exploring the lovely grounds of the estate. As guests started to arrive, we saw family members we hadn't seen since the last wedding (Jason's younger brother Michael married Dawn in August of 2008).

Once all the guests arrived and were seated, following a short and joyous ceremony, Jason and Keely enjoyed celebrating their union with all of those in attendance. Partying LATE into the evening followed the ceremony and I have far too many images of their wedding to share in this space. I've uploaded a few here which may be viewed as a slide show if you want to see all eleven images (takes about 30 seconds depending on your connection speed).

I've included a few family images below ... and a couple of scenic shots from the grounds of the lovely Cane Garden Estate, St. Croix, USVI where the wedding was held. Enjoy!
Cane Garden Estate
Cane Garden Estate, main house. Jason and Keely had their wedding ceremony on the steps; we weren't allowed inside but peeking through the windows showed a gorgeously restored interior of this historic residence.
bride Keely and groom Jason
The lovely bride and handsome groom after the vows and just before marching down the aisle to "Another one bites the dust..."
Grooms uncles L-R back row: Tom, Lukas, Larry, Mike; front row: Duane, Larry III, Robin.
Pat and Robin kissing
The kiss... Pat and Robin on a bench with the clear water and gorgeous countryside behind them.
Dress was island casual... we all took advantage of that! Family members L-R include Valerie (mother of the groom), Larry III, Larry, Tom, Chris, Lukas, Michael, Dawn and Pat.
Evan, Dawn and ShaneMichael and Dawn
Groom's family in the left photo L-R: cousin Evan, sister-in-law Dawn and brother Shane; brother Michael and his wife Dawn on the right.

Friday, May 7, 2010

St. Croix, USVI - April 23, 2010

Still trying to catch up on posts... our villa in St. Croix was marvelous... if you are ever inclined to go there... look up Amonoka Villa and see if it's available... 3 bedrooms on the main level (a fourth sleeping area in the downstairs apartment), 4-1/2 baths on the main level, huge common area that doubles as a dining room and sitting area indoors, pool with large deck and more dining area space as well as LOTS of lounging furniture to aid in loafing the day away if you aren't inclined to explore the island. There is also a large kitchen, wireless internet, generator (in case of power outages)... all in a gated community high up on the hillside on the north side of the island. The master bedroom suite has two bathrooms!

Anyone interested in tropical plants, birds, lizards (geckos) and/or insects will find plenty to enjoy in the grounds surrounding the villa... the gardens have fruit trees, many flowering plants and bushes and all manner of visitors if one sits quietly and waits. You might enjoy viewing a short slide show of the grounds and spacious rooms.

One day late in the week, we came back to the villa to discover a power outage had disabled the keypad (electricity required) that we used to enter the combination to access our private driveway. Once we realized that there was no power, a quick phone call to the emergency number led us to the caretaker who talked us through getting in the gate. Once inside, and still with no power, another phone call to the caretaker had him on site within 15 minutes to fire up the generator. We were VERY impressed to find out that the generator would give us full power at the villa until the next morning IF the power didn't come back on... but the power was restored within an hour or so which meant we didn't have to rely any longer on the generator.

Our evening adventure was a mixed failure/success... our dinner at The Waves was not so great (seriously overcooked red snapper which required cutting with a knife) and slow service (island time)... but the Mocko Jumbie show afterwards at Carombola Resort was quite entertaining! (Family and friends might like to view the slide show of pictures taken during dinner at The Waves.) We hurried to RumRunners after the Mocko Jumbie show only to find that the rehearsal dinner party crowd had mostly dispersed which meant we didn't get to party that evening with my nephew and his fiancee.

I'll leave you with another island sunset image (taken from The Waves Restaurant) and a photo and a bit of information (a teaser) about the Mocko Jumbies.


3 mocko jumbie dancers
Mocko Jumbies (sometimes spelled Moko) have been in the Virgin Island cultural heritage for over 200 years and trace their history back to Africa as far back as the 13th and 14th centuries. More information is available elsewhere about their history and cultural significance. Mocko Jumbies are popular for their performances at many festivals as well as in shows for the tourists and locals who appreciate seeing these colorful dancers high up on stilts doing steps that some of us cannot even do with both feet firmly on the ground!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

St. Croix, USVI - April 22, 2010

We've been home for a week and I've been playing catch-up everywhere... so today I've vowed I WILL post at least one more report from our week in St. Croix. After a lazy morning, we went into town for lunch at RumRunners (great spiced shrimp and good salads) and learned a bit about our excellent waitress who lives year-round on a 56 foot sailboat... traveling with her partner where the wind takes them and lighting here and there to wait tables whenever the spirit moves her! Since I'm not overly fond of heat and humidity (which St. Croix has), I'm not terribly envious of this life style.

I already posted a few images from yesterday in the previous post. We wandered around town and shopped a bit for snorkel gear (flippers for me, mask repair parts for Mike) and the best find... a hat for me to wear to the wedding! After lunch, we tried (and failed) to find the recommended supermarket and wound up shopping at Pueblo instead. Groceries are QUITE expensive in St. Croix since almost everything (except rum made locally) has to be shipped to the island. Dashing home afterward, we communicated with the rest of our immediate family members who were staying at a nearby villa that we would host dinner to save them having to go out after traveling most of the day!

For some reason, I don't seem to have family photos from our gathering but will include a few other images below...

building on grounds of Fort Christiansvaern
View of yellow building with green doors (same building that appears in close-up of stairs and doors in the previous post).
restoration work at Fort Christiansvaern
Working on restoration at Fort Christiansvaern, the best restored of the many Danish built forts in the US Virgin Islands and now a historic site.
shore bird
A shore bird on the rocks in front of RumRunners.