Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mango Melee 2011

Mango Melee is always a big, big event and last year we just missed out on it, as we moved to St. Croix a couple of weeks after...yes - its almost been a year since we've moved to St. Croix!

The annual celebration of the Caribbean's iconic fruit, Mango Melee was held today at the St. George Botanical Garden. The event included cooking competitions, plant identification contests, the ever-popular mango eating contest, and the Mega Mini Mango Contest. (People can bring their biggest or their smallest full, mature mango to enter the contest)

Geoff and I volunteered at the St. Croix Animal Welfare stand for an hour, they had brought a dog along from the shelter and were trying to adopt her out. I handed out flyers and talked to people about the Pets from Paradise program, where people visiting the States (or returning to the States) can escort an animal to an airport in the States, where it is then picked up and taken to a 'no-kill' shelter. (This is a fantastic program and I strongly recommend it to anyone travelling.. there is nothing involved other than sending the shelter your flight itinerary - they set up the entire thing and you dont even have to handle the animal! Check out: )

We then wandered the grounds, it was our first time to the Botanical Gardens so we had lots to see! We stopped for 'pinchos' (chicken/beef/shrimp kebabs with veggies) grilled with a mango chutney, mango wine, fresh sugar cane, mango salmon cakes and johnny cakes and of course - mango icecream!

The competitions were happening right, left and center but we steered clear of them and checked out the gardens instead - it was beautiful! Lots of different herbs, flowers and a whole area on medicinal plants - it would be great to go back when its a little quieter and really take the time to learn more about all the different, exotic plants and flowers.

Also - another exciting thing - i met the other australian that lives on island here today! We met on Facebook through one of my spa clients and never had the opportunity to meet up - well he spotted Geoff with his "Quantas" t-shirt on today and approached us!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Home Office :-)

We picked up this desk at Officemax last week for just $56!! I can finally get organised and really begin working on my own business now!

Garden Splendors..

Alpie :-)
Watermelon - our first one!(Also our first) bananas!!

Bell peppers

Todays harvest... the tomatoes need some more sun though
Bok choy
Getting our next lot ready for planting
Corn on the cob...mmm..
I've found a way to make the pics work (for now!) Its longer and complicated, but we get there in the end.. enjoy viewing our latest crop!

Problems Uploading

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I'm having trouble with the Blogger problem uploading photos. Have some great garden pics which I'd love to post, but they'll have to wait until the photo upload tool is working again.
Just thought I'd mention our first watermelon is growing though!!!!!!!!! Very excited to see how this will turn out!

Hope all is well!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Home grown and healthy!

We picked up some freshly baked roti bread on the way home last night and realised we didnt have any toppings once we got home..
Thank goodness for our little veggie garden! I picked some eggplant, basil and tomato and found some mozzarella in the fridge...voila! One of the yummiest pizzas I've ever had....

Monday, June 13, 2011

A very beachy weekend...

What to do with a 3-day long weekend in St. Croix? :-)
Hit the beach up!!!

On Sunday I had a long-time-coming girls day out at Hibiscus, a brand new bar/restaurant on a beautiful beach on the north shore. Cant remember the last time I had a 2-hour-long lunch with cocktails and my girlfriends!

Today Geoff, Alpie and I loaded up the truck with the kayak and explored someplace new - Sand/Shell Island (depending on who you ask)! This little island is located off the south shore of St. Croix, and since its right by the refinery, isnt such a popular spot. However, we were in for a suprise when we got there - it was beautiful! Unspoilt by people, this little island was brimming with all sorts of wildlife - exotic fish, colorful birds and conch galore! After exploring for about 2 hours, Geoff decided that we must just try to cook up some conch ourselves.. so we grabbed a couple, put them in our cooler we had brought with us and are just in the process of cutting it up now! (Well Geoff is, I wont touch the slimy things).
We plan on going back here soon and camping the night!

(The first couple are from Sunday, with my friend Dana and the others are of Shell/Sand Island.. note the pic of the conch shell in the water.. you can see his eye peering out at us!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And to finish...

A few final photos of some memories of our time in Monheim with Omi and Mum...

Marvellous Munich (Muenchen)!

As we pulled into Munich, it was already getting late and since it has been raining most of the day, it was grey and really just that sort of weather that you want to snuggle up with a blanket and drink hot chocolate. On top of the weather, we spent about an hour trying to find our hotel that we had booked as the Google directions were wrong, and there was a blocked road due to a building being on fire.
We pulled up to all the policemen there and found someone who was very helpful to give us directions - viola! We pulled up to the 'newly renovated Marriott' - as it claimed online...WOW - this hotel was incredible... pretzels and apples at check in, selection of about 8 different newspapers (including New York Times!) and we were lucky enough to get a room on the 14th floor, which gave us great views. To our suprise our mini bar was FULLY stocked, and was all complimentary... so given the weather, we made ourselves a comfortable night in and snacked on the fresh cheese and baguettes we had bought earlier on in the day with the bottle of red that was in the fridge for us!
Once again, for just 5E/person more, we got a full buffet breakfast the next morning (We always stuffed our pockets with some boiled eggs and pretzels so our lunch was covered too :-) sshhh..

We hoped to wake up the next morning with better weather, but no such luck (maybe it was the payback for taking food with us from the buffet :-)
Still, we were here and we were going to make the most of it.. we went for a walk through the English Gardens, which was a beautiful piece of greenery in the midst of the city, followed by a wander through the Altstadt (yes, every city in Germany has an old city in case you havent realised!), stroll over the farmers market, where we picked up some cheese (suprise suprise), and some gingerbread.
Off to the famous Hofbrauhaus - the state court brewery of Munich. The reason why its so well known is because in earlier days, the brewery used to belong and produce beer to the Kingdom of Bavaria, later it was used as Hitler's meeting spot with the National Socialists.

Today, it is a popular tourist attraction where the most famous beer in the world comes from! They own the main tent at the Octoberfest, as well as a couple of other Hofbrauhaus's around the world. Geoff had the obligatory bret'n (pretzel) and stein of beer - I had myself some homemade Spargelcremesuppe (Cream of Asparagus soup) since I was so cold from the rain!

Barcelona Pt. 4

This series of photos sums up our last day in Barcelona well... sightseeing the beautiful gothic Sagrada de Familia... followed by the most delicious paella!