|View from our balcony at Secret Harbour|
We arrived in St. Thomas at 2:15 p.m. We got our rental car and headed straight to Food Center to buy provisions. Marty met us in the parking lot and then we headed to Secret Harbour. Though we had reserved a 2-bedroom suite, they didn't have one available and instead gave us two 1-bedroom suites right next door to one another. This worked out ok as Mom now had her own suite, and ours became the party suite. By 4:30, we were sitting out on our patio preparing to watch the sunset.
|Marty and Mom enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at Molly Malone's|
Marty's motorcycle club president Biker John had generously invited us to his house for Thanksgiving dinner, but the timing was such that they ate before we arrived. So instead we decided to make a reservation at Molly Malone's in Red Hook. We had eaten there last year and it had been a great deal - all you can eat and drink for $25.
We had salad, turkey vegetable soup, turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing, peas, and cranberry sauce. Plus wine. For dessert we had slices of pumpkin pie. It was all delicious. Then we went back to the hotel and watched the Patriots proceed to trounce the Jets on the late game. What a Thanksgiving!
The next day was Cap'n Marty's Island Hop, our Black Friday tradition. We always rent a boat and cruise around the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. We got up early. Marty went back to his house to pick up a couple of things and we met him at the American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook. Steve, Craig, and Mom bought provisions for the day at Marina Market while I helped Marty to fill out the paperwork for the boat rental.
|Cap'n Marty's Island Hop|
It was so relaxing. This is what we daydream about at home during cold weather, or particularly stressful times at work. We anchored in Peter Bay off St. John and did some swimming. The water was beautiful. As usual, we marveled at the gorgeous villas on the shore. One belonged to Mick Jagger. Another was featured on The Real Housewives of somewhere. Even Marty swam here, though he usually thinks that November is winter and too cold to swim.
|Anchored in Peter Bay|
|Marty at Sandy Caye|
After that we headed to Foxy's Tamarind Bar on Jost Van Dyke. We got a round of bushwhackers and ordered some lunch. Craig and I each had the chicken curry roti, a local dish which was absolutely fabulous. Craig had gotten it last year as well, and had been looking forward to it ever since. We also sampled the popcorn conch and conch fritters that the others had ordered. We got a second round of bushwhackers. They had a sign advertising Foxy's Black Friday sale at the gift shop - too funny!
Then we went a few bays over to the Soggy Dollar Bar. We moored the boat. Mom didn't feel like swimming so she stayed on the boat to take a nap on the rocking boat in the late afternoon sunlight. We swam to shore and got a round of their signature drink, the painkiller. The round came in plastic Soggy Dollar cups. We have a collection of these at home from previous years, and we would add these to them. We watched a local rasta with dreads down to the ground coaching a young tourist girl about how to get a ringer on a nail with a swinging ring game.
We swam back to the boat, and it was time to start heading back to St. Thomas. Marty has been coaching Steve (aka First Mate Milky) to drive the boat. Steve drove most of the way back to St. Thomas. Marty said next year it should be Cap'n Milky's Island Hop. When we arrived back at American Yacht Harbor, there were lots of locals waiting for the ferry with their Black Friday goods from K-Mart and Home Depot: huge flat screen TV's, stoves, etc.
|Cap'n Marty, Craig, Steph, Mom, Anna, Steve, Christie, and Marni at Foxy's|
|Cap'n Marty and Craig drinking painkillers at Soggy Dollar|
was a watermelon mint shooter served in a miso spoon. It was delicious. We all tried nutwhackers (bushwhackers made with chocolate and peanut butter - plus you gotta love the name) and we loved them. For an appetizer we got beef tenderloin tataki on wanton chips, with mango salsa and wasabi cream. We also got plantain and conch fritters which had a great texture and were very yummy. I got the peppercorn and coriander encrusted tuna with white bean ragout and sweet and sour eggplant caponata. There were two huge hunks of tuna. I gave one to Craig, and he shared his lump crab and potato encrusted mahi mahi with sauteed broccolini and pineapple pear jam with me. It was all absolutely delicious.We got another round of nutwhackers and for dessert a decadent chocolate lava cake served with vanilla ice cream. It was a pricey meal but was a true fine dining experience. And to get back home, we just had to walk down the beach. You can't beat that.
|Sunset from Secret Harbour|
|Steve, Marty, Craig, Mom, and Steph at the Sunset Grille|
As soon as we got out of the water, Dawn was right there to take our order .She talked us into a round of OGD (Oh God Damn!) which is a lemonade slush and Bacardi rum drink. We ordered plates of jerk chicken. It started to rain a bit and Dawn invited us inside the snack shack. We were mostly covered by a tree and the rain was moving through so quickly that we just toughed it out. Dawn then arrived with a towering stack of styrofoam food containers. Inside each we had jerk chicken legs, fried onions, fried plantains, and a salad. Deliciously spicy! We ordered another round of OGD's to wash it down.
After enjoying our lunch, Craig, Steve, and I went back into the water. As we were drying off and preparing to leave, Dawn came to say goodbye and we got a picture with her. She is quite a character!
We came back to the hotel and watched sunset from the balcony. Nobody felt like getting dressed to go out to eat. So we went inside and ordered a large meat lovers and a large pepperoni, green pepper, and mushroom pizza from Señor Pizza in Red Hook. It came in 35 minutes. We watched football and enjoyed our pizza. Then we played our favorite game, Pass the Pigs. It is a dice-type game which uses little rubber pigs as the dice. You get points depending on how they fall. Craig kept getting epic fails (when the two pigs touch one another it is "a very undignified position for pigs" so you lose all your points) and lost all of his 99 points, but he made an incredible comeback in one of the rounds. We had a lot of laughs.
|Coki Point Beach|
|Steve, Craig, and Mom at Coki Point Beach|
|Mom, Steph, Dawn, Craig, and Steve at Coki Point Beach|
|Sunset from Secret Harbour|
On Monday we had another Secret Harbour beach day, We were in the water from 11:45 - 4:00 with no break. We went to the newly re-opened Latitude 18 for dinner. They had been closed last year so Mom had never been there. We got a table right on the water. It's nice to dine with the breeze in your hair and watching boats bob on the dock. We ordered painkillers. For an appetizer, we got escargot in blue cheese on garlic toast. It was amazingly delicious. For our main course, we
each ordered the special - a NY strip steak with peppercorn Jack Daniels sauce, chive mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies. The Barefoot Davis Band (with guitar, electric guitar, bass, keys, and fiddle) played some good songs, including Dylan's You Ain't Goin' Nowhere and Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. After their first set a high school kid named Zane did stand-up. He's legally blind (with cane and service dog) and mined it for material. He really had a lot of guts to get up there and some of his jokes were really funny.
|Steph and Marty|
|Mom, Steve, Marty, and Craig at Latitude 18|
|Craig, Mom, Marty, and Steve at the Delly Deck|
|Secret Harbour palm trees|