In the six months since we moved here:
We have had ONE hurricane (so low-grade that some people scoffed at it, but as it turned from a tropical storm into Hurricane Irene directly over us, it counts).
Husband has had ONE low-grade case of Dengue fever. He also stepped in ONE fire ant nest last month (at the Tot Lot – shocker). The children, thankfully, have hardly been sick at all – hurrah for Vitamin D!
We have found ONE place that delivers food to us (pizza – twenty dollars, one size, cash only).
I have put on TWO long sleeved tops: one shirt and one sweater (I am sure those acclimated or from here have put on many more, but I enjoy the slight ‘chill’).
TWO people collaborated to write instructions to get me to the distant Tot Lot (toddler-friendly playground) for the first time. The instructions were TWO pages long and I got there on the first try (after many slightly wrong turns).
It took TWO weeks to get my car serviced (that is evidently quite quick, and involved getting parts sent from off-island).
Husband has bought TWO ‘island cars’ – ‘island cars’ being ones that are so beaten up that more dings or cracks or duct tape won’t show. The one missing the speedometer needle with the big windshield crack actually works, while the one held together with duct tape stopped working the week after he bought it (even after getting it ‘fixed’).
Husband has been in TWO car accidents within 24 hours of each other (minor things, no one hurt) – both while riding on Safari Taxis when his “island cars” were being fixed. These were his first TWO taxi rides.
The Orkin ‘Professional Killers’ exterminators have visited us THREE times.
I have had FOUR flat tires (two on my car, two on a rental car).
We have eaten at Cuzzin’s FOUR times (looking for reasons to go more often).
I have paid over FIVE dollars for a tiny jar of Nutella.
I have had to buy SIX new tires for my car.
We have been to SIX birthday parties on the beach (one of which was BBs).
There was a SEVEN-week waiting list for highlights at my salon before New Year’s.
We have seen SEVEN cockroaches: three alive, four dead. To be fair, the last four we saw after one jumped out of the box from Oriental Trading Company. I am currently awaiting a call from the manager.
There are SEVEN screens at the Caribbean Cinemas – the only movie theater on island. We have yet to go.
The daily temperature is more often than not in the EIGHTies. And by more often than not, I mean almost every single day.
I have run into people EIGHT or NINE times around town right when I was thinking I needed to get in touch with them. (‘Hmm, I should order cupcakes from VI Desserts for BBs birthday.’ We pull into the Tot Lot and I see the VI Desserts van. Bingo – ordered them at the picnic bench right there. Same with a chartered sailboat trip – ran into Rumbaba’s co-owner at Island Latte’s coffee shop an hour after I sent her a text message.)
A bottle of rum (decent stuff, too) costs NINE dollars. So can a carton of organic milk.
We have been out on TEN boat rides (one sailboat, five motorboats, and four round-trip ferries).
We have had ELEVEN guests (some repeat, some staying with us, most staying right next to us). People tell us this won’t happen again after the first year, so we are enjoying it while we can.
We have been to TWELVE beaches in the USVI and the BVI.
For THIRTEEN dollars, a friend can get me 80 diapers (Pampers or Huggies they are not, but they do the trick).
It took THIRTY tries to make a phone call one afternoon because the reception was so bad (we don’t have a landline and evidently ATT lost a couple of towers during Irene). I finally got through perched on some rocks at the edge of the beach by our house.
Our electric bills have totaled over FOUR THOUSAND dollars thus far (they are getting better, but still…).
And to be filed under the MANY to COUNTLESS section:
New friends we have all made. There is something about island living that makes just about everyone super friendly.
Times we have really missed our family, friends, and neighborhood back home. Luckily, many have come or are coming to visit and we will be back to see them soon!
Times I am blown away by the view as I round a corner in my car or, well, almost anywhere on this island.
Mornings, afternoons, or evenings spent at one beach or another.
Times I think wistfully of all the cute winter clothing I bought the Babies during the sales last year, before we knew we were moving. (And times I have thought of my winter clothing, for that matter.)
Evenings I have spent standing on our balcony looking at the view, feeling the breeze (when there is one), and thinking how lucky we are.
Hues of blue and green you can find in the Caribbean Sea (and Atlantic to the north).
Mornings I have woken up and thought, ‘wow, what an absolutely spectacular day!’ (Ok, so perhaps not countless, but well into the 100’s).
Number of potholes I have driven through by accident because they weren’t there the day before (or I just became inured to them).
Times I have exchanged ‘Good Morning,’ ‘Good Afternoon,’ or ‘Good Evening’ pleasantries with people here and everyone means it.
Funny post! I loved it!
I love your blog! We have almost lived in the caribbean for 6 mths too! We moved to St Croix first and then to St Thomas 2 weeks ago. I also have baby boy that is 18 months so I can relate to your stories. I am curious about this Tot Lot, where is it?
Thank you Gina! It is so difficult to find things for 18 month olds (how old BB was when we moved here), so the Tot Lot is key! It took me ages to find someone able to give me directions because everyone only seemed to be able to do it by landmark (none of which I knew). But, I had a road map with numbers on it (again, many locals bizarrely don’t use or seem to know the numbers – to be fair, they ARE confusing) but I’ll give it a shot. If you can get hold of a map – or look on-line, I can help. The Tot Lot is on the North Side, on Route 33, the northernmost section of road directly above Lindbergh Bay (there are a bunch of 33s – I am giving you a southern landmark because there really isn’t any northern one). If you are coming from the West, it will be immediately after Bryan’s Plants and Garden Supply on the left-hand side of the road (and by immediate, I mean about 150 feet or so). If you are coming from the East, it is after Four Corners (which is a big intersection with a sign for Mountain Top on one side, and often stands with people selling things). Then it (obviously) will be on your right hand side. Look out for a chain link fence with parking inside. You might drive by it once or twice as it really doesn’t stick out. All the moms go Wednesday morning (from 9ish to 11/12ish). Also, there is a Movers and Shakers class on Tuesday mornings at the MCM Center (the gym) at Antilles School. Just show up (it is 10 dollars, but you don’t have to call in advance or anything). That is a MUST for that age group (the only thing like it here) and Melanie runs it. Perhaps we’ll see you there!
Oops! Forgot to mention time of Movers and Shakers on Tuesday. It is from 9:15 to 10:15ish (but it is an open gym thing with songs at the end, so don’t worry about being late or anything like that.
Wow Leah walked right into one of those ant’s nests at Tot lot too last week. I ended up getting bit as well. I’ve beeing considering taking her down to veteran’s park instead.
Hey nice Blogging! We hope to move to the Northside soon. What is the restaurant that delivers pizza?
Thanks Larry! And it’s called Senor Pizza (340) 775-3030, but it’s in Red Hook and I doubt they deliver out to you. But, there is a fantastic place to get take-away pizzas on the Northside called ’13’ (340) 774-6800. They have other stuff as well (it’s all amazing, though a bit $$) but the pizzas are especially great and not priced badly (compared to here, not the mainland :).