Over the past week I have started blog posts about:
How we had conch five ways (Conch Fritters, Buttered Conch, Conch Creole, Curried Conch, and Callalou Soup with conch) for our Christmas Eve meal at my favorite Caribbean restaurant called Cuzzin’s, in the beautiful old section of downtown Charlotte-Amalie;
The Rising Stars, an absolutely amazing Steel orchestra (steel pan drums) that we saw playing in Post Office Square on Christmas Eve day. It turns out not only are they just awesome – everyone watching was smiling and dancing – but I found out later that the award-winning group was started 30 years ago as a crime prevention program for at-risk youth and is composed entirely of 10-18 year olds who have to adhere to a strict code. They have travelled the world and played for Presidents, and we happened upon them completely by accident, totally rocking out with ‘Winter Wonderland.’ What an absolutely mind-blowing gift…;
Favorite things we gave and received for Christmas – all local and totally cool: printed canvas bags from Isola Bella; a Danish West Indies 5 cent pendant from 1859 and jewelry made from molds of local shells by R&I Patton Goldsmithing on St. John; jams, spices, and liqueurs in tropical flavors – guava, passionfruit, hibiscus, and cactus, from Lucia Henley’s roadside stand.
I even jotted down (on an envelope while waiting at the post office – I’ll probably find it sometime next year) one about how slightly relaxed ‘island time’ ceased to exist for me over the holidays as we tried to do everything we could with visiting family – both normal holiday things along with special island treats, added to life with two small children. The result? No sleep and no spare time.
BUT, this blog post is really going to be about my annoying white tiled floors. They look nice when they are all clean – spare and evocative of tropical holidays. Except, in our abode, they are hardly ever clean. They are covered in Cheerios, cat hair, dripped juice from sippy cups, crayon scribble, dust, sand, sand, and more sand, and Lord knows what else. With the extra traffic of visiting friends and family, and the open windows and doors to catch the Christmas winds, my floors have become my Waterloo. I swear I have spent more time vacuuming, sweeping, wiping, Swiffering, and even scraping my ridiculous white textured tiled floors in the past week than I have spent sleeping. So despite my best intentions to regale you with post after post last week about our first stunning holidays in St. Thomas paradise, I have instead been on my hands and knees trying to clean my floors – blame the floors…