Good Morning! Yesterday I shared some upcoming closures and some not so great news in regards to COVID-19 updates from the Government House.
But, there are some beautiful and positive things happening on island. So, I wanted to share a little bit of that with you today. No rainbows without the rain, right?
This is truly one of my absolute favorite times of year on St. John. It’s not crazy busy but there are a fair amount of visitors bustling about at shops, restaurants and beaches. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas generally provides a bit of a lull in between the holiday traffic, giving locals a brief relief before the holiday rush. And you can almost feel a surge of novelty at the beginning of each new season here. New businesses open or about to open. New people arriving on island for the season….
And the weather is ABSOLUTELY perfect. Light rains, beautiful sunsets and temperatures around 77-80 degrees provide a perfect environment to enjoy this last little lull before the busiest time of year begins for several months (here’s hoping!). The island is SO green and the canopy covering the roadways and beaches is teeming with life (and shade!).
This weekend, I spent some time on the road, and on the water, to catch up on some new things and take in some views.
First, the skies have been insanely beautiful. Numerous times, over the past week or so, I have caught the glimmer of a rainbow in the clouds.
Due to regular scattered showers and low hanging clouds, the golden hour hues and the sunsets have been like magic.
One really amazing thing that I have noticed since I got back last month is the plethora of local food spots that have been popping up. I know this summer, it was tough to find local cuisine and I was thrilled upon my return to find one of my favorite island born chefs had started making her amazing food out of the kitchen at Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis. Over the past year, I ordered my pates from her via Facebook messenger and arrange for a pick up in town. Pates are an island cuisine similar to an empanada and stuffed with warmly seasoned meats, veggies or seafood…They are my absolute favorite island snack.
Claudia expressed to me at one time the desire to have a kitchen to work in so she might regularly cook her pates and delicious home cooked food for her island friends, family and visitors. Well, now you can grab a hearty lunch cooked with love at Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, located on the waterfront in Coral Bay just past Aqua Bistro. The menu changes daily and Claudia can’t work every day, so make sure to check their Facebook page for a menu update before you go.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this little gem had popped up over the past few months as well. Located at the entrance to the Susannaberg Ruins just past Paradise Lumber, Island Breeze offers local food and drinks with a great little vibe.
Smitty was busy at the grill when I stopped by last month. On the weekends, he masterfully cooks up whole fish, chicken, goat and other local delicacies. They regularly offer seafood callalo, pates, johnny cakes and fried chicken.
They also have a rotating selection of cool and refreshing juices made with local fruits. If you are headed across the island and are desirous of some local cuisine, this is a must stop.
While I was traveling, I heard tell that the Department of Public Works had legitimately PAVED a portion of Centerline Road. I have been up as far as the clinic several times in the past month (still lots of bumps in the road there) but hadn’t driven as far as Catherineberg. The straight stretch of road in front of the new gas station and market is BEAUTIFULLY smooth and paved. It’s the little things, right? I want to extend a huge thanks to DPW and look forward to seeing other stretches of our island “highways” receiving similar updates. My little Ford Escape thanks you very much as well 🙂
My next stop was the newly opening “Love City Fresh” farm and picnic area. Located just up the hill from Colombo’s Smoothies, this beautiful property will soon offer 360 degree views, locally grown produce, unique food options from a super cool VW truck and a brand new space to enjoy the sunsets.
The property hosts a 40 foot shipping container with a self-contained hydroponic growing operation that produces hundreds of plants every few weeks. They currently have a wide variety of lettuces, radishes, herbs, carrots and much more being cranked out at a fast pace! Additionally, citrus and native fruit trees line the property. There is a hen house and an enclosed garden space that will later be used for transplanting tomatoes and carrots from the container as well.
They don’t yet have an opening date, but I’m hoping to be updating you with more info in regards to this unique new St. John experience very soon!
Speaking of Colombo’s Smoothies, it has also received a fresh paint job and there is a lot of work being done there as well.
Next, I headed down to North Shore Road to cruise past Maho on my way through. The beach was busy, but I noticed the parking lot wasn’t overflowing. Which is great! There were A TON of beautiful boats in the bay though. There is a lot of speculation right now in the boating community as to the mooring ball and anchorage situation this season. With the BVI closed for the foreseeable future, all of the term charters and day trips will be sticking to the USVI waters for the next little bit. The BVI did not open their seaports as scheduled on December 8th and have pushed back until AT LEAST January 21st while they fine tune their re-opening with the Beef Island airport being the only current point of entry for visitors.
I also noticed what I think is a great (in a practical way) addition to Maho. Speed bumps!
This high traffic straightaway was typically a bit faster paced than its curvy counterparts on the rest of this iconic shoreline. This,combined with a high level of pedestrian traffic, has been a conversation locally for a long time. So, it’s great to see the addition of a peppering of speed bumps along this stretch of road.