Chefs, Fish, Furniture and More

Last week was pretty “normal,” if you can say living on a tropical island is normal 🙂

On Friday we got to jump into what I later found out was a bit of a St. Thomas social circle event, a culinary event called Ultimate Flavors of the Island.  The event was held at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and is a fundraiser for culinary programs at local schools. We got there early to have a glass of wine on their terrace before stuffing our faces.

View of Hassel Island, Water Island and the Caribbean Sea on the south side of St. Thomas. Taken from the Marriott Frenchman's Reef bar terrace.

View of Hassel Island, Water Island and the Caribbean Sea on the south side of St. Thomas. Taken from the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef bar terrace.

Dan got to see an acquaintance of his who was exhibiting at the event, and his paella was delicious. We’re excited to try his restaurant in Charlotte Amalie soon.

I got a little starstruck around Chef Elizabeth Falkner, who competed on Food Network’s Next Iron Chef competition. Dan and I were really rooting for her to win, and when I found out she would be at this event, I got schoolgirl-giggly excited. With a little tough-love prompting from Dan, I walked over, introduced us, and got to take a picture with her. She was so lovely and kind, and I’m sure I sounded like an idiot (just ask my friend CK what I said when I got to meet my idol Jillian Michaels.)

Me with Elizabeth Falkner

Me with Elizabeth Falkner

Saturday began with our first kayak experience. We bought a glass-bottomed kayak from someone on craigslist and Dan spent a lot of time fine-tuning the thing to make it perfect for our spot on Hull Bay.

The kayak.

The kayak.

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More Kayak

Rhonda hauling the kayak down the hill to the beach.

Rhonda hauling the kayak down the hill to the beach.

Oh, I should mention that the Jeep has been named Ron, da Burgundy Jeep, affectionately called Rhonda for short. More about her adventures later.

The water was crystal clear and lovely, and the kayak was really fun to take out into the bay. We didn’t go far, because there were more adventures planned for the day, but I think we’ll take it out around the Inner and Outer Brass islands which are straight out from Hull Bay soon.

After our kayak in the morning, Dan also got to go fishing with the guys from the group we went to St. John with last weekend. They chartered a boat out of Red Hook and went fishing south of St. John. It was a fun and successful trip! Dan caught lots of Blackfin Tuna, and even had a shark on the line, but it was too strong to bring into the boat.

Dan and a Blackfin Tuna he caught.

Dan and a Blackfin Tuna he caught.

More Blackfin tuna and a barracuda

More Blackfin tuna and a barracuda

And I did this while they were fishing:

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Dan brought home lots of tuna, and we had fun trying new recipes this week. Our favorite was marinating it in soy sauce and sesame oil with some garlic and salt and grilling it, but we also tried Asian tuna burgers and tuna casserole in the crockpot!

Dan spent Sunday scouring the island for furniture, and we now have a couch and two dressers. Our bed is delivered next week so we can deflate the air mattress. We have visitors set for August and September and we’re excited to show our friends and family our new island home!

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