I keep reminding myself that it’s ok not to have every little thing on the daily to-do list checked off. Things will still be waiting tomorrow. Guess the former teacher habits are ingrained and return time and time again.
I also have to remember that everyone needs to recharge the batteries, so that canvas will get painted even if it doesn’t happen when expected. The Muses, those crazy girls, get a big kick out of stirring up anxiety from unpredictability.
Of course, even trips to coastal areas for rest and relaxation offer sources of creative inspiration so I am always doing a balancing act between work and play when out of the studio.
This year there have been additional opportunities for visits to Key West and the BVI, in May, and again in November and December. One change that I noticed was the absence of the roosters and baby chicks at places like Blue Heaven. Where were they? I was told by our server that they were on hiatus, that they had temporarily moved to another part of the island, but would return.
So like my feathered friends, I will also, and the timing will be just fine when I do.
Hey! If you have a chance to recharge your batteries, where would be the first place you would go? Why is it your absolute favorite happy place? Add your comments below. Would love to hear about it.
An overview of what I have worked on this year:
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Ah… today was going to be exciting. We had lined up our sail and snorkeling with One Love Charters beginning with the pick up in Cane Garden Bay at 10 a.m. Joe and
Amanda were our guides for the day, and we sailed off to Fallen Jerusalem as a suggestion from Joe for the first destination for snorkeling, followed with lunch at the
Cooper Island Beach Club, and a visit for snorkeling to the Indians, which consist of several large rocks with underwater grottoes. The final anticipated stop was a return
visit to the Norman Islands and the Willie T with a brief stopover at Peter Island. By the time we arrived, we had only an hour or so until our departure, since we needed to
get back to our island home for the last evening in Cane Garden Bay. For two of us, it was agreed that we had located our one particular harbor.
Photos above: shot ski at Willie T, Willie T, and lower left: Lighthouse Villas in Cane Garden Bay
Reluctantly, we said our goodbyes to our hosts, who now were new friends, and returned in time for happy hour again at Quito’s outside bar. Conch fritters
and grilled mahi skewers were served with a delectable coconut lime sauce along with a surprisingly tasty goat soup. After several hours there, we wandered back to our place for
packing for the return flight home tomorrow, goodbyes to Gee Gee and Ms. Bean, and one final night in paradise with visions of returning soon appearing in island slumber.
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there, any discomfort is quickly forgotten as one gazes upon one of the most serene and breathtaking beaches within the Caribbean. A leisurely day was on the group agenda on Wednesday
following lunch ( a really large juicy cheeseburger in paradise) at the restaurant and a brief tour of the grounds. One of the highlights on the beachfront was pelican watching. The acumen
and accuracy was astounding as you watched these birds target their prey below within the crystalline waters. Another was the discovery behind a large monolith farther down the beach of
the Nature Boy Beach Bar, a delightful makeshift island style bar made of natural sand and rock formations and canopies of spray painted multi-colored palm fronds. Underneath a small
tent was the island bartender with coolers of iced cans of beer, and another filled with some type of local rum punch. Music from a connected iPhone was played if you purchased a drink;
if not, it was turned off. Even the sign was innovative, made from a kayak holding a flag from the British Virgin Islands with handwritten advertising. Only in the islands! You could never
have a young entrepreneur like that at home with all of the rules and health regulations.
Of course, a visit to Tortola isn’t complete without a taxi ride to Bomba Shack, where there are no rules. We were too late for the infamous Full Moon Party, so we had happy hour
instead. The interior is literally made up of colorful planks of wood which form a makeshift series of spaces with assorted graffiti added on surfboards and censorable montages of former
visitors throughout. If the walls could talk, you wouldn’t want to hear those stories.
Naps and showers prefaced our ” formal” evening out for dinner at Bananakeet, which had been recommended in Cane Garden Bay. The quiet dining crowd, low-key music,
and dinner of lamb, mixed veggies, potatoes, shared wine, and dessert were a nice contrast to the previous hours. The location and view from the mountaintop was both serene and sublime.
We ended the evening there talking to a couple celebrating their first few days of wedded bliss with a local islander on the dance floor. Sandman, our singing taxi driver who shared our love of
the music of Keb Mo’, returned us to Myett’s for a nightcap before the trek to our rooms.
Thursday was again laid-back with sun-stroked hours spent on the beach at Cane Garden Bay in front of Tony’s and back to Myett’s for happy hour and Island Special:
mouth watering lobster dinner prior to ending the evening briefly at Quito’s bar for a final nightcap. Plans were discussed for the next day (and our last) snorkel and sail excursion to the
Norman Islands and the Indians.
Final day. Coconut Spiked Rum French Toast. What a way to say goodbye to Tortola! The Cane Garden Bay exploration continued with a return visit to Greenvi Studio where we watched a glass blowing session in light rain. A local market offered the usual tourist wares, and as the showers subsided, the beachfront and Dust, a local young man selling rum-filled coconut shells, grabbed our undivided attention. Happy hour appetizers were coconut shrimp skewers and conversation with Lorita and Simone, our friendly servers at Sailor’s Rest, and Mrs. Bean, the owner. Later, the evening ended once again with the sounds of island music along the beachfront and goodbyes to new found friends.
Trip epilogue: Have you ever experienced a serendipitous moment? On the trip, I found out that the captain and his girlfriend were unknown collectors of one of my paintings. They had purchased it during an auction for the local chapter of the ASPCA, and I was invited to their home after our return to see it. During the past month, I have completed the first of the B.V.I. series, ‘Cane Garden Bay’ while listening to island music by Kenny Chesney and The Zac Brown Band. One of the things I love most about the life I live now is the freedom to spend hours of painting subjects that during the weekdays in the studio bring back the memories of good times with good friends.
Eggs, pancakes, bacon, and assorted fruit was the menu onboard the cat prior to heading out to Cane Garden Bay. Sails went up by 11:00, only there wasn’t enough wind for the entire trip. A stop along the way was made at the West End of Tortola at Soper’s Hole for supplies around 1:40, and we arrived at CGB around 3:30 p.m. Appropriately, lunch was cheeseburgers while listening to a background of Jimmy Buffett music.
A return visit was at Myett’s, where around the bar the crew had happy hour painkillers and attempted to watch the final round of the golf tournament on the TV. The bartender was disagreeable, and ignored our request for a change of channels, so we left to find another venue where we could watch the rest of the game. At The Big Banana, we were totally entertained with our bartender there who from time to time would stop what she was doing and in seeing our excitement, would remark, “Bubba out, Bubba back in” during the player’s advance to the eighteenth hole. The crew ended Happy Hour ecstatic when the underdog was finally declared the winner.
Before ending the evening, the decision was made to visit the beachside Elm Beach Bar, where there was a featured musician who allowed several guests to join him in the evening entertainment. One of our crew joined the band and received a round of applause from the guests who were either dancing or eating the local prepared barbecue. Plans were made for all to meet the next morning again at Sailor’s Rest, then sail on to Jost Van Dyke, which could barely be seen in the distance from the dinghy dock. Two of us would leave the rest and return to our Tortola home base where flushing the toilet did not require a pumping ritual, and the shower and bed was larger than a coffin.
6:45 was the wake-up time onboard for Good Friday. A delicious bagel breakfast with tea or coffee prefaced the anchorage practice among the crew on the way to Trellis Bay, our next destination. Although it might not appeal to all, I was pleasantly surprised to find an artists’ colony, Aragorn Art Studios, with resident potters and unique wares sharing space with smaller gift and coffee shops, and marketplace. We replenished our staples, and it was there that we found out that the sale of alcohol on Good Friday was prohibited on the island until after 6 p.m. Continue reading