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  1. This morning my niece and I continued the breakfast tour of Cruz Bay. We only have the roti truck left to sample. Our final stop was Sun Dog Cafe. It's in the open courtyard of the town's "mall," a collection of shops that sell art, jewelry, and beach gear, plus a couple of restaurants. Here's the menu for breakfast I had planned to order the guacamole flatbread, but the oven was broken. Oh well, plan B! I got the huevos rancheros. They were really good. I brought half home for my brother in law. My niece got an order of the stuffed french toast. I got an order of this to go for my husband too. My brother ate all of the potatoes from both orders for his breakfast. He lives on potatoes, meat, and bread. Here is the beach we ended up at yesterday. Trunk Bay. Not too shabby. It gets very crowded during the day, but if you go early in the morning or later in the afternoon (once happy hour starts in town, haha), you get it mostly to yourself. Yesterday the US Virgin Islands moved on to the CDC's level four rating: highest concern for Covid transmission potential. There was a vaccine clinic down the street from our rental house yesterday, and the line was quite long. I am glad people are finally getting vaccinated (there is a LOT of vaccine hesitancy in the West Indian population here), but of course people getting vaccinated now are not going to be protected for a while. We are just altering our patterns of movement to not be around when most others are about. As you can see from yesterday's beach photo, that is still possible to do. It sounds like the island might be shutting back down to tourism starting next month. That's the height of hurricane season and my friends who live here are telling me everyone really needs a break, so that might not be a bad thing. We will see.
  2. Good morning. We spent yesterday at one of my favorite beaches, Francis. The island is a lot more crowded than I am used to, mostly because it is one of the few places that is accepting tourists right now. Most of the other islands are closed. We were able to find a quiet spot on Francis though. We had a visitor on the front steps when we got back from the beach Last night was our "fancy" dinner out. Morgan's Mango. The restaurant has a roof, but is otherwise open air. Cocktails. My brother and husband both ordered a margarita. That's the one in the big goblet. It's not on their online menu so I am not sure exactly what they used in it. The next drink was my sister's. It is an aperol spritzer. And the last is my brother in law's. He got a Phoenix. The description is "Bulleit bourbon, lemon, ginger syrup and peat mist." That would have sounded unappealing to me even when I was drinking, but he really liked it. I got a cajun shrimp appetizer. I gave one to my husband and to my brother in law because I am a nice person 😉 My niece got the tostones ramos with blackened tuna and sesame orange vinaigrette. She shared this with my sister My husband ordered the tuna tartare with yucca chips And an order of the calamari for the table We all got seafood for entrees except for my niece. She went with ginger and sugarcane rubbed pork tenderloin with coconut curry sauce and mashed yucca I had mahi mahi with mango rum sauce. Most of the fish dishes come with rice, beans, and corn. My brother in law got the coconut crusted grouper. Not the greatest presentation. Tuesdays are grilled Caribbean lobster night at Morgan's Mango so my husband got that. My sister had a blackened corvina with mango salsa My brother also had corvina, but with a chimichurri sauce. Everyone was too full for dessert, but we did bring piece of their famous key lime pie back to the villa to share a couple of hours later. It was very creamy but not limey enough for me. Today is supposed to be our "sleeping in and relaxing with books at the villa day." As you can see by the time stamp, I already failed at the sleeping in part. 🤣 I am cooking at the house tonight to give our stomachs a break from restaurant food.
  3. Good morning. We are waiting out some passing heavy showers so I thought I would update this post. First: Internet is restored. The poor owner had to bring in a tech and update the entire system with new equipment while we were at the beach yesterday. I will try and get a picture with the tail later. They were out in force this morning but I did not have my camera with me because of the rain. I went grocery shopping yesterday and snapped a couple of pictures of stuff with price tags on it to show the difference between here and at home. If we wanted almonds for this visit, we are not getting them now! You can only use certain kinds of sunscreen here to protect the coral reefs (what is left of them after the hurricanes in 2019). And that sunscreen comes with a price. Since there are six of us and we are here for two weeks, I brought a lot with us in our checked bags (carry on only does NOT happen with this group--specifically with my husband.). We will probably run out of what I brought and have to buy some eventually. In the mood for some nuts? How about some turkey jerky? That is a very small bag by the way. A lot of tourists bring all their snacks with them to save money. We bring a cooler with stuff in it that we cannot get here, like grass fed beef for the guys, organic chicken, certain cheeses, and premium bacon. We pay island prices for the the snacks or go without. Here is a better use of your money. My niece and I stopped at a fruit stand in town this morning and spent $15 to get this local fruit: The green things are genips. You pop them in your mouth and roll them around, sucking out the juices. Most of the inside is a pit. They are one of my favorites. Here is the beach we went to yesterday I lost the dinner battle last night to the guys who wanted to go to the Beach Bar. I win most battles in general so did not complain too much. It was fried food galore. Tuna wrapped in nori and fried Fried mahi mahi with bagged fries My niece was not impressed and settled for chicken fingers. Mahi tacos (the fish is under all the slaw, I swear) The main reason to go to the Beach Bar, in my opinion, is for the sunset view. It was kind of obscured last night, but still pretty. This morning my niece and I got up early and went to town for breakfast (and to get that fruit). She had pancakes that she pronounced "OK." I ordered an egg sandwich with turkey, spinach, avocado and tomato on an asiago bagel. It was huge and I brought half back for my husband. Here is the road back to our rental house for the week. Very steep! It was also slippery from the rain. I had to take my shoes off and walk down barefoot because I was sliding down the hill in my Tevas. You can see we got rained on 🙂
  4. It was crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. Not all beer is as expensive as that six pack was. It is definitely more money than at home overall though. I am going grocery shopping later and will try and get some pictures of other prices. Wine is also more expensive than home. Spirits, especially rum, are cheaper than home. Of course nobody in my group drinks rum haha. There is a brewery on island and they have crowlers on tap to go, plus food, so I am sure we will be stopping in soon.
  5. Dinner tonight was at a newer restaurant called Shaibu’s Garden Oasis. It is open air. Typical for the Caribbean, we got rained on right after we sat down. It’s OK, it is warm and the rain felt good, plus it was brief. Here is the restaurant at the end of our dinner (pitch black at 7:15pm). Four people got hibiscus and sorrel margaritas. The restaurant has two menus: one regular and one sushi. We ordered off both. My husband and I ordered two appetizers to share: a trio of crab cakes And prosciutto wrapped shrimp with a cassava cake. We ended up sharing both of these appetizers with my brother and my husband’s brother. My sister and niece got sushi. Local tuna tartare A roll with local tuna and a kimchi sauce And a tempura roll with (not local haha) salmon The other four of us all got the same entree: blackened mahi mahi with mango salsa, tostones and a salad made from local cucumbers and tomatoes My brother in law ordered a second cocktail, some kind of mule Niece wanted dessert, so we ordered two to share. Bread pudding with creamer anglaise and berries and grand mariner creme brûlée. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be able to show some pictures from my real camera.
  6. Nope, those are the year round prices. Everything has to be shipped in so food is at a premium. There is a limited vegetable farm on island (mostly salad greens and leafy dark greens) but no dairy or meat production. You can get local fruit though. There were 12 peacocks on the beach today. I got photos, but with my real camera so those will have to wait until internet is restored. The property manger is coming in the morning to look at the issue. Of course morning here likely means 5am! A lot of people that live here get up before sunrise and go to bed shortly after sunset. I have no idea what the F means! There are no taxes at any of the stores. I will try and find out for you. My niece and I got up early and walked into town for breakfast. First stop, a roti truck I heard about. I love roti and heard this place has really good ones. My niece is excited because they have johnnycakes. It was closed because it is Sunday (lots of stuff is closed on Sundays here). We will be back. Next stop, High Tide on the town beach. Here is the view. Those ferries are how you get to St. John. You ferry over from St. Thomas. No airport on St. John. Nice had French toast and bacon. She cleaned her plate and pronounced it very tasty. I got eggs Benedict Florentine. I don’t really like those seasoned potato wedges so left them behind. The eggs were good. Dinner in a separate post.
  7. A small update as we have arrived. We have no internet at the present time, but I am sure this will be remedied eventually. Here are a few pictures from my phone. This week we are at the house that is on the water and close to town. Here is the inside of the fridge! I had the house provisioned before our arrival to avoid having to go to the grocery today. We will get there soon. The sparkling water is mine. All the fun stuff is for the others. Here is one of the many receipts left behind by the provisioning service, to give you an idea of market costs. That beer charge is for a six pack, by the way. And yeah, that is indeed the price of one loaf of bread. I did not order the cheddar potato chips. They must have been a swap for something I asked for that was out of stock. Here is the view at the front of the house. I went for a dip earlier and it was nice. You do need to wear water shoes because of the rocks. There are peacocks on the beach here. I will get a picture once the internet is back and I can use my real camera.
  8. Bump! We are headed back to St. John tomorrow. This trip is rescheduled from last year. Frankly I would reschedule again to 2022 if I could, but the villa owners were kind enough to let us push our paid reservations from last year, and are not willing to do it again this year. Since everything is already completely paid for, including the houses, rental Jeeps and six plane tickets, and we are vaccinated and all passed PCR tests, we are masking up and going. We will be cooking at the houses a lot this trip, and I thought I would show some of the markets and farms I go to for supplies if anyone is interested. We are staying at two houses. One is a very nice house that we have rented before, on a rocky beach within walking distance to the restaurants in town, which seemed like a great idea pre-Covid. Not so much now. I don't think we will be in town more than a couple of times to get supplies, and for two dinners I reserved at open air restaurants. Oh well, at least we know it is comfortable and I know the snorkeling is decent in front of the house. The house for the second week is a huge ocean view affair that my husband won a week at during a charity auction. Normally staying there would be out of our vacation budget. It has a big outdoor kitchen and lots of amenities, so I will probably be cooking dinner there most nights. I'll include some underwater pictures too, if I see anything interesting.
  9. liamsaunt

    Dinner 2021

    Grilled chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, a salad, some flatbread and the first of the local corn.
  10. liamsaunt

    Dinner 2021

    Seared salmon with gochugaru sauce, crispy rice some mushrooms, and sautéed zucchini with soy and cilantro.
  11. liamsaunt

    Dinner 2021

    Fish and chips.
  12. liamsaunt

    Dinner 2021

    Tacos filled with scrambled eggs, roasted peppers and onions, montery jack cheese, cilantro and salsa.
  13. liamsaunt

    Dinner 2021

    lobster roll for some Scallop roll for me
  14. I was until I switched purses. It was in the same purse that Liam's forgotten epipen was in. Lesson learned: only bring one purse on vacation.
  15. I am not sure what this means, but if it means my family is weird, eccentric, or opinionated about food, then all of that is true. It will get even weirder next vacation, when my brother joins us. He eats no vegetables other than onions, garlic, and carrots, and one piece of lettuce on his bun if he eats a hamburger. I have no idea how he is still alive. We are back home now, so here's the last post for this visit. We decided to drive into Chatham because we wanted to see the "Whales in the Park" display. It used to be "Sharks in the Park" but they changed it to whales after someone was killed by a shark at one of the Wellfleet beaches a few years ago. Local artists paint whale forms and they get auctioned off for charity. The display was too crowded, so we ended up not going. It was early enough that people had not really started going to dinner yet, so we sat outside on the patio at Bistro on Main. Scallop seveche. I was not a huge fan of this. It needed more seasoning. My brother in law ate it without complaint. Fritto di misto. This was cod, scallops, and calamari. My nephew could not eat it because of his allergy, and my niece hates cod and calamari so my husband, brother in law and I shared it. There were only two scallops. My husband and I ate them without sharing as revenge for my brother in law eating all of the appetizer the prior evening. Haha! My niece and nephew shared a prosciutto plate and a burrata salad For entrees, my brother in law got seared scallops with a risotto cake, lobster sauce, and asparagus I had tuna with an unfortunately bland jicama and cabbage slaw. The tuna was good. My niece had a steak with mashed potatoes and asparagus. It was supposed to have a mushroom-veal demiglace but she asked them to leave it off as she hates mushrooms. It looked meh to me but she said the steak was perfectly cooked medium rare and very tasty. My husband tried a piece and agreed. Nephew had a wedge salad My husband just wanted some steamed clams Niece had a chocolate mousse for dessert Nephew had key lime pie Chatham light And a shot of the final sunset of our trip. It was kind of crowded so we hung back behind all the people. We'll be back in Provincetown for Labor Day, assuming they get the Covid spike under control. Until then, see you on the dinner thread.
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