St Thomas is so much more than a cruise ship stop  and shopping destination.

Although , I had a several invitations for Thanksgiving this year,  the  warm weather  and the opportunity to see some close friends in St Thomas won out at the last minute..The  salt water and a little  sun beckoned too.

A few days away with my good friends Sherrie and Paul Davis who are the proprietors of  the Natural Foods Grocery and Deli  and  was just what I needed. Their store is a 5 minute walk from the cruise ship dock near Yacht Haven in Mandela Circle . The deli  make the best wraps and salads!

For Thanksgiving this year – I was truly thankful for all of my wonderful friends who supported me this year during my  job transition to become self employed and do what I do best . Teach, Preach , Heal  & Sell while traveling . The wonderful companies who have given me their leap of faith this year : Greens+ , American Biotech Labs; Silver , Immunocorp;Krill , Yogourmet and Dr Venessa’s for International Sales. I am also truly blessed to have  friends who live in some really fabulous places.

We were double booked for 2 meals….one on the beach and one at a musician’s house.Magen’s Bay was our first stop with many of the families from the Montessori school and  DJ named Robert Luke, Caribbean Country 93.5 FM  who came over from St Croix.Warm but cloudy and not too hot , the calm bay proved to be a haven for the pelicans and brown boobies who were taking advantage of the masses of small fish .Quite entertaining ……felt so good to swim. We also had some resident sting rays underfoot but the water was so clear you had some warning ….

Lunch : The food was amazing for a pot luck. The grilled , yes marinated grilled turkey , butterflied on the grill for 2 1/2 hours by chef Robert was one of the best I have ever eaten . Then the lobster tails and roast beef by Chef Gavin combined with the usual favorites: asparagus,grilled Brussels sprouts, stuffing several ways, stuffed mushrooms, leafy greens salad with artichokes, butternut squash and onion tart , sweet potatoes with pies and watermelon  for dessert . Yummy! Thank God we were swimming to burn the calories before we our next engagement .

Dinner:  Fred and Polly will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next year and for 39 of those years have opened up their wonderful home to anyone in need of a ready-made family or a wandering minstrel  who likes impromptu  jamming  sessions. Again , more food than we could eat and the potluck dishes provided something for everyone. We ate turkey 3 ways here: roasted, smoked and fried. Roasted was my favorite w/sweet potatoes and a mozzarella ,basil and cherry tomato salad by our neighbor , Kat who has her own soup business….The Wandering Soup Kitchen . Alana Davis, a young talented violinist and daughter of Sherri and Paul plays with Fred & Polly who specialize in folk music along with about 8 other talented folks .  I did cheat and ate some corn pudding ( not on my blood type plan) and had to retreat to a quiet corner of the porch in case I fell asleep during the jam session!

Diving with the St Thomas Diving Club based out of Bolongpo Bay and Iggies restaurant was a treat . I  didn’t even have to  touch my gear once I brought it to the boat and they let me store for several days of diving . The water was 82 degrees so that is perfect for my 3 m wetsuit with a skin underneath . Many of men , tourist of course as their blood hadn’t thinned out yet …..dove without any skin but I like the protection and the warmth .Visibility was good about 60-80 feet because we still had a little rain each day to stir up the bottom.  Turtles, barracuda ,eels , rays,large crabs and lobster populated the reefs. They are starting to come back after a few years of no major hurricanes and that was encouraging to see .And we had a motley crew of divers too!

 

There is  always something going on ….the local farmers markets provided fresh herbs,free range chicken eggs and organic produce that rivaled what I buy at home. I was excited to see all the ingredients of the local bush tea ( lemon grass, basil, thyme , bay leaves ) and the beautiful pumpkins , and sorrel just in time for the holidays. The market on main street is open on Saturday mornings and yacht haven has on on Sundays.

When downtown , visit my favorite store (  besides  natural foods grocery & deli )   Fish Face , owned by Kristin Wall -a local underwater photographer and diver whom I met on Thanksgiving . She has some fantastic underwater photography pieces and unique clothing .  If you need a mental break from the cold , check out her photos and take your spirit away underwater to the islands.  They will transport you to the warm Caribbean waters: www.undertheseaphotos.com Her shop is located in the Palm Palace , right off of main street with other select specialty stores and a beautiful art gallery and unique jewelery store.

The local arts and crafts festival also provided more music from Fred & Polly , Alana and the rest of the talented gang. On Saturday , we tried sailing ( Paul races boats every spring with his magnificent 7 crew ) but due to an unforeseen snag , we were motoring  for a day instead and then the battery died when we tried to leave St John .  Darkness falling fast with increased rain  pelting down our backs , no car with only a phone flashlight ? We swam to shore , eventually got to the ferry and made it home safe and sound and managed to get back the next day with a new battery We even had the pleasure of meeting Mrs Gibney , whom the beach in St John is named after. It is rumored that Albert Einstein was a frequent visitor here ! And no wonder,  the beaches are beautiful . The aqua blue color on sunny days just takes your breath away .Diving , working , swimming and adventures over in St John and St Thomas proved to be an exciting week. I felt like an undercover agent ! Our group of 4 soaked and sandy, barefoot or fins  after the boat incident proved to build  character , promote team building and the locals commented that we looked like the x-files!  Now I need a vacation !

Thanks Sherrie & Paul !

In continued health ,

Sally Byrd

 

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