Climbing Up, Growing up and Dressing Up

It was only a matter of time before the guys had to tell Tina where the ladders we to get into Plum and Lime. They finally let us in! They have made great progress despite the delay with the windows.


Speaking of windows… they are finally here!

Tina and Michelle had to be called up to the construction sites to determine where the decks should go. Of course, while they were there they added a few special touches… back decks! The guest bedrooms at both houses will each have a private deck. Perfect for escaping the afternoon sun, or having a little quiet time.

The windows and kitchen for Tina’s house have also arrived. The crew on her house are plodding along. The inside walls are plastered and they are nearly finished plastering the outside too. Shingles are going on, tiles are on site. Bathroom vanities are the latest task. Trying to match tiles, doors and vanities when nothing is stored in the same spot isn’t easy… but we are up for the challenge.

While we were out measuring for said vanities, Tina decided to peak at her roof. The Forman told Tina that she should just go right up onto the scaffolding for a better view… but I don’t think he actually thought she would! He obviously didn’t know he was talking to!


From up ladders and scaffolding, we also took some time out to dress up. Tina was invited to the grand opening of Little Dix Bay… and Michelle was the lucky one to go as her guest. There was a lovely turnout for the evening. They had opening speeches and ribbon cutting before welcoming everyone to explore the property. The gardens are amazing ! Thankfully the iconic banyan tree at the entrance is still there too. Hors deurves were plentiful, champagne was flowing… though Tina and Michelle opted for juice , and the desserts were lovely. They even ran into Lydia, who worked at Guavaberry for 12 years in the housekeeping department. It was so nice to see her again!

January is also a special birthday month. Connor turned 2 and Lennon Turned 1! No idea where the time has gone. Connor is now going to nursery full days, and is patiently waiting for Lennon to start walking so he can join him. Perhaps Lennon knows the deal and is just pretending not to know how to walk yet…. because he sure can work those two feet to get some goldfish.


Connors birthday party was held at the beach and Lennon’s was supposed to be too, but we had a massive ground sea that day so plans got washed out. Didn’t think it was a wise idea to have toddlers on the beach when the waves were coming past the trees! It was quite the show to watch though.

Within the next few weeks we are hoping to finish up Gardenia. Haven’t been in that one for a while despite there being stairs. What fun are stairs anyway?! We are ladders pros now. from what we hear all that is really left to on that one is pop the windows in, so stay tuned for a grand reveal!

Merry Christmas!

‘Twas the day before Christmas, when all through Spring Bay
Tourists were waking to the sounds of a new day
The coolers were packed in the Jimny with ease
Waiting to enjoy the tropical sun and breeze

The contractors were nestled around the bar with a beer,
They finally have a break before installing windows next year;
With Tina in her floral dress and the housekeepers in their skirts,
They joyously settle into the season’s works.
When out on the beach there arose such a sight,
We sprang from our desks to see all the guests merry and bright.

Back at our desks thing are going to plan,
Yet Tina still has to wait til 5 o’clock for her Diet Coke and Cruzan.
Valerie is keeping everything neat,
While Michelle watches for guests to meet and greet.

Over at the window we see a ginger flash,
Ian and his magic plunger are headed up the hill in a dash.
The sun on his face turns him beet red,
But it gives him a lustre to complement the hair on his head.

Ricky’s truck is packed full of fresh linen bags,
Like Santa’s sleigh nicely packed by our lovely ladies wielding their magic rags.
But there is no time to dilly dally, there is still work to be done.
Tina runs a tight ship, amongst all the fun.

Now Beulah! Now Agnes! Now Junie and Netta!
On Tricia! On Sonia! On Emily and Brenda!
Sweep off the porches and place fresh flowers!
Getting these houses ready will take all their magical powers!

Pearl and Roxy are making their daily rounds,
With all the guest back, treats off the barbecue abound!

This year we are thankful the hurricanes passed us by,
And a busy season ahead is a welcome surprise!
We will greet everyone with a smile and a hug,
Thank you to all who gave us your love.
It’s now time to get back to work behind the scene,
Merry Christmas to all, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

christmas card

Happy Thanksgiving !

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. We are so thankful for all of your continued support.

We are busy little bees down here. Our first taste of tourist season is in full gear now with lots of families in house. Some are even in their fourth generation visiting Guavaberry. It’s so fun to see the little kiddos playing just like Christine and Michelle used to play when they were small. Connor and Lennon are really getting the hang of it.

While everyone is at the beach, elsewhere construction is still in full swing. We are trying to get as much done as we can without windows. Shingles are going on, gutters are being hung, and I believe tiles are even being prepared to lay. Hard to really know what’s going on on the inside… ladders are not in this year’s job description for the office ladies… thank goodness! Once they have stairs going up to Plum and Lime we will give you a full update.


This coming winter you will see a few new faces in the housekeeping department. We had two ladies resign for personal reasons, so we have had to do some quick hiring. We will miss Lydia and Elsa Maria, but we wish them all the best in their next endeavors. We have already welcomed Ithea to our Guavaberry family. She comes with a wealth of experience, having worked at Valley Trunk for 30 years! We will be welcoming two more as soon as their work permits are approved. They are both from Santo Domingo so hopefully Connor and Lennon can pick up some Spanish when they start “helping out” around the property when they are a little older.

This past weekend we got to enjoy the BVI Food Fete’s “Taste of Virgin Gorda”. This is an annual event held every November. If you haven’t come down for it, you must! Amazing food, great music, a great mix of people from near and far. They had 16 chefs from the BVI, Puerto Rico and the USA. Each chef prepared a tasting plate and you got to try them ALL! Now, we all have pretty hefty appetites but even we had to tap out after about 12. Sooo muuuuch foooood! Ok, so maybe we made a couple of extra stops at the Little Dix Bay Pastry table, but she did have three selections of tarts to choose from. We are extra excited now for Little Dix Bay to open just so we can have more of those tarts!

(Photo credit BVI Food Fete)

As our luck would have it, this pastry chef’s husband is a hairstylist, and he is now working at ‘Ello Hair Studio… which just happens to be David’s (Lennon’s dad) salon. So, perhaps we might be invited to a potluck or something at Christine and David’s house. They bring the pastry chef, we’ll bring forks… sounds like a good deal to me!

Raise the roof(s)!

Those nasty “h” things have steered clear of Virgin Gorda this month thank goodness! The clear weather has allowed us to make great progress on Plum and Lime. BOTH houses are up! Princess Quarters’ guys are working at super speeds. Kind of like our little construction super heroes. Think they would wear capes for Halloween? It’s pretty spectacular to see what a difference a month makes.

Windows are still scheduled to ship in December so we are doing as much as possible now to be ready for their arrival. Obviously we can’t just tarp up the gaping holes and just complete everything so we literally just pop in the windows and hand over keys to our guests, but it would be pretty cool if we could!

Tina’s house has a roof on, and water shield. I’m sure the crew working there is happy to finally have some shade. It has been blisteringly hot over the last few months, and we are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of the “Christmas winds” to cool things down a bit.

Tina and Michelle are taking a quick run to Puerto Rico to try and find some tiles for the bathrooms at Tina’s house. Well, that’s the excuse they used anyway. Really… they are going to indulge in some delicious Puerto Rican food (mofongo, yum!) and frozen cocktails by the hotel pool.

The past few weeks we had the pleasure of Lennon’s company at the office a couple of times per week. He loves to visit with granny and auntie… mainly because he gets to eat banana. The one food his mommy doesn’t allow in the house. Christine can’t stand them! But never fear… Granny and Auntie are here!! He is also a big fan of Connor’s play pen. So many new and exciting things in there!

Connor has been doing amazingly at school. He is starting to speak a bit now, and his favorite word this month is “tractor”. Luckily for him there is still a lot of heavy equipment running around properly so he gets to go and see those… and he thinks every yellow machine is a tractor! I really hope his next word isn’t something like antelope…. where are we going to find one of those?

Duck Duck Goose

The Atlantic hurricane season really started to pick up this month. Dorian popped up in August and gave us the wake up call, so we at least were prepared this time around. Prepared for what? We don’t actually know. It’s like a game of dodge ball this season with these storms. The weather men can’t seem to figure it out either.


After Dorian, Jerry was headed our way. We did everything to prepare. Warned the guests about what they could expect, moved the patio furnishings inside of all the houses, and shipped Tina off to Florida for her birthday! Then all we had to do was sit and wait. Duck… duck…. duck? Hello? Jerry? Where’d you go? A few puffs of breeze and that was really all. Hmm… okay. We’ll take it.

Fast forward a few days… the weather men have us all a little on edge when they keep telling us about weather “blobs” that haven’t even come off Africa yet. But hold on… what’s THAT all the way south by Trinidad? A Tropical Depression? So far south? Okay… interesting. It will just cut west like all storms to… WRONG! It’s headed North?! Whoa, didn’t see that coming. And just like that, out of the blue, Tropical Storm Karen is born, and packing a lot of rain. She just can’t decide really where she’s going, when she’ll be coming, and what she wants be when she “grows up”. Duck… Duck… Duck… GOOSE! Here we go again.


Luckily after our dry run with Jerry last week there wasn’t too much prep to do. This time the weather people got to do all the work. Update after update we waited, and waited. She shifted a little to the west, back a bit to the east, down to a tropical depression, back up to a tropical storm, slowed down, slowed down some more. The staff went home early in anticipation of the weather arriving around 2:00 pm on Tuesday. But like a typical woman she made everyone wait a little longer still. Finally around 8:00 the rain started, and it got a little blustery. Not sure what winds we actually got, but thankfully it wasn’t much.  Part of a tree branch down on the guinip tree at the beach and that’s all the damage we’ve seen.

The weather has delayed the unpacking of the Deltec trailers that arrived last week. Like a kid on Christmas morning we are anxiously waiting. Inside the four trailers are Plum Tree and Lime Tree houses. Despite the fact that they are here on time, they will not be ready for Christmas as we might have hoped for. There was an unforeseen delay in Hawaii with our Breezeway windows order and those won’t be arriving until MAYBE mid December. No windows means we can’t finish the interiors. Princess Quarters will get the Deltecs as far as they can, and then wait. Talk about an anticlimactic end to our rebuild saga.


We did have some other excitement on property last week. Tina’s house was ready for its concrete pour! Her contractor, Sam, had come up the week prior and asked us to take a walk down to the house. Walk? In this heat? If you insist. We stop part of the way down to the beach, right there just before the dip in the road. Instantly we know what he’s about to ask… and before he can even get the words out… No, Sam … you can NOT move that rock to get the concrete pump truck down this road.  Not that we were trying to be difficult … but that rock on the right side of the road just before the dip is not a surface rock, hence why the road has all the funny curves in it as it is.

Okay, so can’t move the rock. Plan B… can he cut the trees? If you must… BUT there is a natural gut that flows through right by the dip so anything you cut must be promptly removed so it doesn’t stop the flow of any water in heavy rainfall (fast forward to TS Karen a week later!).  The truck needs a 7 ft wide clearance… the road is 8 ft wide. Perfect! We think it will actually fit, but lets get the driver to take a walk and make sure. 30 minutes later, the driver confirms… the truck will fit! We’ve never seen Sam so happy in all the years he’s been working on our projects. He actually helped built Tina’s original house in 1989. His face was beaming and he was grinning ear to ear. He thought he would have to have his guys pour her house by hand which would have taken days.

The following week, the scene was set. The pump truck was scheduled to come at 8:30… but of course in true Virgin Gorda fashion it was more like 9:30. Lo and behold… they made it down! And only took out part of a cactus on their way. Very impressive. Tina wasn’t here to witness it, but she was enjoying some time away finally. Connor made sure to keep a close eye on the maneuvers… from safely across the fence. Three point turning a concrete truck can’t be easy!

Hopefully now that everyone got not one, but TWO storm “rest” days… work will keep on cranking out as we gear up for season just around the corner.

Keeping On Our Toes

By now you all know how much we love and appreciate a sick sense of humor, and how we ourselves pride ourselves on our own. However, we do not appreciate when Mother Nature decides to try out her newest stand up act.

Tuesday was just another normal day. Sun shining, blue skies, and a little blob of clouds crossing the lesser Antilles south of us as a slightly disorganized tropical storm called Dorian. We were watching it and all forecast tracks were sending him around 100 miles to our south west.

Fast forward to Tuesday evening, and okay he’s grown a bit, but no storm advisories for the BVI. Our neighbors in the USVI and Puerto Rico were issued tropical storm warnings so we figured we would just get some nice rain and a bit of a reprieve from the scorching heat we have been having. All fine and good.

As we tucked in for the night on Tuesday the BVI Department of Disaster Management our out a notice to check the 11 pm tropical update as there just might be a watch issued last minute for the BVI.

11:15 pm: no update…. phew. Sleep here we come!

3:00 am Wednesday morning: wooooosh! Here’s the rain! Quickly jump out of bed and check the windows are all closed. Glance at the phone… well crap… there’s that advisory from the BVI DDM. BVI is now under a Tropical Storm Warning, and we can expect to feel the effects within the next 24 hours. Not much we can do at 3:00 am, so back to sleep.

6:45 am: Woooosh! There’s more rain! Okay getting a little blustery out there now. Quickly check the 5:00 am update and still looks much the same as the 11:00 pm update from last night, though looking outside tells a different story. BVI DDM alert: Flash Flood Warning issued for the territory…. well, we have all been saying we need some rain but Mother Nature took our rain dances a little too much to heart.

8:00 am: all scheduled staff clock in and get straight to work securing all of the patio furniture at the cottages and villas. Again we are so grateful for an extraordinary staff who always go above and beyond! They got everything put inside and headed home to hunker down (As you East Coaster’s say).

11:00 am: here comes the “breeze” … just a bit more than we anticipated! The governor has issued a curfew from 2:00 pm Wednesday to 6:00 am Thursday…. so that means it’s going to be worse than it is now… okay. Fill the sink and buckets and wait for the power to go off.

2:00 pm: update now says we are under Hurricane warning. **^%#*!

2:03 pm… electricity goes off. We were lucky enough to have power up until then anyway as it had been off in the north sound from 10:00 am.

2:15 pm… Tina calls Michelle …. “the power is out and I’m not turning on the generator until this evening, but now all the computers, server, and satellite equipment are beeping at me! What do I do?!” ….” it’s past curfew Mom, sorry…. not coming out 🙂 power off the battery backups and the beeping will stop. “ Now, not many of you know this… but Tina is not so electrically inclined. Surprising we know, since she can do just about anything! Michelle can usually figure this stuff out…. when she’s looking at it, but it was the blind leading the blind. Tina: “which button on which thing do I press?” Michelle: “the one that’s beeping at you?” Okay, all comedy aside, Tina did press the right button in the end… well, we think so… tomorrow we will know for sure!

4:00 pm: the winds and rain start to subside a bit. Power is still out so just have to wait it out.

6:00 pm: Tina reports in that all is well at Guavaberry! Yay! No trees down, the beach tree stood strong, and the Deltecs took Dorian like a spa day!

8:56 pm… electricity is back!! Thank you oh so much for the hard working crew of the BVI Electricity Corporation!

Now we can rest well and enjoy the weather as we were EXPECTING to before… a cool breeze and soothing rain. Thanks Mother Nature, you sure do keep us on our toes!

(Jackson propping up one tree casualty)

(Ixora standing strong… missing foliage is thanks to a pesky bunch of goats)

(Hibiscus as good as can be)

(The tamarind tree still flourishing… the guinep tree had a bit of a mishap a few weeks ago)

(Water as calm as can be the day after Dorian. The waves were more rough than swells so the sand is barely disturbed!)

Hello August!

Does anyone else feel like time is flying? We have NO idea where July went. We have been steadily busy so that has helped the time pass so quickly. This week we got to enjoy a visit from our Puerto Rican neighbors. They have an annual event called Christmas in July where they host a massive beach party at Pond Bay. While we didn’t personally attend, we had many guests who came in for the event. It sounds like it was a great success. We enjoyed having an almost full house for that weekend, and who doesn’t like a good party?


Now that the party is over we are winding down for the slow slow season. We are excited though to welcome back Mac and Denise. They were two of the four guests who rode out Irma with us and were a major help in the initial clean up. They haven’t visited since they were evacuated a few days after the storm so it is amazing to see them again.

On the construction side of things, the foundation for Plum has been poured. It’s an amazing sight to see the concrete pump truck in action. It’s like a real life over sized video game. Now that it is set and the forms are off, it gets to cure for eight weeks.


The foundation for Lime tree is being formed by Princess Quarters while they await the shingles and siding for Gardenia. Once Lime is formed and poured the Deltecs will hopefully be here. Princess Quarters will be putting those up too.

Tina’s house is taking great shape. The center post is up to mark the center of the roof line. The beams for the rafters were delivered this week, and arrangements have been made for the logistics of getting concrete to the site. For those of you who don’t know where Tina’s house is, it’s en route to the beach. The road up is narrow, curvy, and has rocks on each turn. Needless to say neither a concrete truck nor a pump truck can make it up there. So, it’s going to have to be a well orchestrated ballet from a concrete truck, to a backhoe, to buckets poured by hand. I think for all the guys working on the house it is turning into a true labor of love. They are all very attentive and making sure everything is done to Tina’s standard… and you all know how high THAT is!

Tina and Ian are off on the first shopping trip to get the tiles, kitchen, bathrooms etc. Usually Michelle would get to take that trip, but alas Connor isn’t a great shopping partner. So, Ian is in charge to make sure Tina steps a little outside her normal comfort zone. After 28 years of her original 1989 Formica kitchen and the ORIGINAL fridge, and two years at the tiny office kitchen, it is time to get something shiny and new and maybe a little fancy. One thing we know for sure, no matter how persuasive Ian is, Tina will not come home with an 80″ TV!

On the baby side of the news, Lennon came for another day with granny this month. He’s getting to be such a big boy already… a whopping 17 lbs already! Connor is a mere 24 lbs and a full year older, so he’d better look out! They did have a lovely day together and shared Granny very well. Roxy enjoyed babysitting too it seems. Lennon is teething, so to save her fingers being used as chew toys, Michelle came up with a pretty genius set up so she could get some work done.  You have to get pretty creative in our office! We promise it didn’t go back on the commissary shelf.

We hope you all have a great weekend. We are headed into the longest long weekend of the year – the Emancipation Festival! We will tell you all about it in a few weeks!