Meet Bella Spice

September 18th, 2014

St. John Spice has a new mascot (and owners Ruth and Ron have a new best friend.)

Say hello to Bella Spice, a shelter dog adopted by Ruth and Ron a few weeks ago.

Bella actually came from the Humane Society on St. Thomas, where they went to look for a pet at the recommendation of Ryan and the St. John Animal Care Center. Ruth and Ron were looking for a smaller dog, and the ACC didn’t have any.

Bella is lucky. Despite the beautiful facility and plenty of loving caregivers, the STT Humane Society ultimately puts dogs down who don’t find a home.

“We were extremely impressed by the St. Thomas Human Society, but they are overrun with animals who need homes,” Ruth says.

“They have a ‘Pets with Wings’ program to send pets to the states, and I’d love to see them get some attention from the folks who also support our St. John Animal Care Center.”

Read more about the Humane Society of St. Thomas here.







Where’s that? Wednesday

September 17th, 2014

The waters off this off the beaten path beach are grassy, calm and known for good snorkeling.

You also have to hoof it here.

Know where this Virgin Islands National Park treasure is?







There’s an old brown chair…

September 16th, 2014

Sittin’ by the trash. It you take it home, it’ll surely give you a rash…

In defense of the chair’s previous owner, the new sign asking you not to continue dumping bulk items by the dumpster is overgrown.







Jeep Cam: To Point Rendezvous

September 15th, 2014

If you’re staying at one of the fine villas in Point Rendezvous, this will be your drive.

Paved roads all the way, and about five minutes from the Westin. Jeep Cam to Point Rendezvous, below…







Sunday brunch in Cruz Bay

September 12th, 2014

Cruz Bay Landing is an excellent default for a reasonably priced, sit down breakfast, especially on a lazy Sunday.

The Classic: Two eggs how you like them, spicy potatoes, ham, bacon or sausage and toast, $10.

And the House Bennie (with a side of bacon, do not judge me) for $12. (Not counting the bacon.)







The last pay phones?

September 11th, 2014

If you’re nostalgic for what a pay phone looked and felt like (big, shiny, short tether and something they called a dial tone), stop by Tree Lizard’s Restaurant at Cinnamon Bay.

They don’t work, but they’re fun to look at.

What was left of the last Cruz Bay pay phone was pulled out last year. Do you know of any other pay phones left on St. John?

Funny how soon you forget.

 







Where’s that? Wednesday

September 10th, 2014

At what pristine beach might you frequently see this brown seawater backwash feeding its own thriving, streaming ecosystem in the woods?







Defcon 5 for Trunk Bay birds

September 9th, 2014

A few years ago, Trunk Bay installed a sort of defense shield above the concession stand’s picnic tables – a web of fish line – to keep the gulls and other aggressively french fry-hungry birds at bay.

The birds just turned their attention directly to the service counter and kitchen itself.

Shields now at 100 percent. The concession building itself is a fortress of screen.

Beware when exiting. The gulls now sit, ready to strike your fries, right above the screened exit.

The water is soooo warm at Trunk Bay right now.







What’s your property tax rate?

September 8th, 2014

The 2013 Virgin Islands property tax bills are arriving, using a new formula.

The new rate isĀ  0.003770 of assessed value. That’s one-third of one percent. The average US county property tax rate is 1.4%, according to Zillow. The problem for many STJ homeowners may be the valuation.

There’s a 5 percent discount for paying VI property tax bills by October 6.

The VIrgin Islands Daily News says the USVI expects to collect $50 million from the 2013 property taxes, but only about $17 million by the end of the current fiscal year.

How does that rate compare to your stateside property tax rate?







Bongo Bongo roast beef (sandwich)

September 6th, 2014

Starfish Market often has small top round roasts and they’re reasonably priced.

Not exactly what you’d buy on vacation and not exactly a grill thing, but we’ve got the time and maybe you’ll try this at home. Just call it Bongo beef when you serve it.

Olive oil, salt and a lot of pepper.

Quick sear on top and bottom on the hot side.

Top round doesn’t need really low or really slow, Just sort of low and slow. Smoked on the cool side under the lid for one hour.

That’ll go on a toasted Kaiser roll with lettuce, lots of red onion and horseradish.







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