Full Speed Ahead!

Belated happy Territory Day, Canada Day, and Fourth of July! What a difference a month makes! Things are well underway on phase 2 now.

Gardenia is UP! Not up and running, but walls and roof are on. It was like watching a good ol’ fashioned barn raising when they brought the walls over. Princess Quarters built them in their workshop and trucked them to Guavaberry. Guess they learned a few tricks after putting up the Deltecs last year. The deck is most impressive too. For those of you who stayed in Gardenia before, you’ll recall the deck had a walkway over to the boulder. Now, the deck goes all the way to the boulder, so it’s basically doubled in size! This could be our new favorite deck out of all the houses when it’s completed.

The foundation is being formed at Plum Tree. Mermaid Pools is on that job site. Next door to Plum will be Lime Tree and Princess Quarters will be jumping over there when they get a little further along on Gardenia. The exterior wall material and shingles for Gardenia have yet to arrive, so while they wait for those they will get started at Lime.

Tina’s house is taking shape quickly too. Walls are coming up, columns are formed, plumbing is being run as is the electrical conduit. The back stairs have been poured in concrete so no more ladder needed to get in either. Roxy was the brave one to test out the stairs, Pearl still isn’t sure about the idea of going in so she stood guard outside during the tour.

 

Lennon got to spend the entire day at Guavaberry a couple of weeks ago. His mommy took a couple days to go shopping so daddy was in charge. For those who don’t know Lennon’s dad is a hair stylist and occasionally gets some VIP out calls. Just so happened that he got a call out when Christine was away so it was a mayday call to Granny and Auntie Valerie. What was supposed to be a couple of hours turned into a full day thanks to boat schedules. You’d think after having Connor in the office all year they’d be old pros at this baby thing…. different baby… different ball game. Lennon much prefers to be watching everything from the comfort of someone’s arms rather than having ANY naps. Sleep is for sissies, right?

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Connor is starting half day school/daycare in September. Time to get him familiarized with other children we figure. He will be going to Ciboney Center for Excellence. They have an Amazon wish list if anyone would like to send them a donation. This is the same school that has taken scrap wood and make cute little signs to put up over the island. They even made one for David, Lennon’s daddy, for his hair salon.

We have been working feverishly on getting new villa pictures done. We finally launched our new website last month (check it out!) so now we will turn our attention to the villa pages. Here are a few that have been done already (Beach House, Beso del Sol, Holly House, Casa Luna, Mondelo, La Cachette)…. just for a little taste of what’s to come. Now we will sign off until next month. Hope you are still enjoying the blog!

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Gearing Up

Phase 2 is in the works! Plans are being drawn up for the Lime and Plum rebuilds and the contract for Gardenia is due to start any day now! Time for Ian to trade in his plunger for a hard hat again.

Gardenia is going to be rebuilt as it was before. A Deltec wouldn’t fit on the slab that is currently there so it is going to be wood again. Lime and Plum however are being Deltec’d! They are going to be triple pods as they were before, just a little different. No more walking through the bathrooms to get into the bedrooms. We are also going to “move” Lime over as far as we can to get some space and privacy between the two houses. They were notoriously close before. Guess there’s a silver lining after all!

Tina’s house has begun too. Rebar is being placed to form the exterior walls. She still has to decide what kind of windows to put in, but she has already researched hurricane shutters to go over whatever she picks. Priorities you know!

Ian’s workshop is getting some TLC too. Can’t have him feeling left out. He’s adding a loft inside to get some more storage space. He finally cleared out the stack of old mattresses and fridges, but Tina is shopping again soon so the open concept of his workshop will be short lived. (Shhh… don’t tell him!)

Remember those benches we said we had for the beach? They too were stashed at the workshop so they finally got put together and moved into their rightful positions.

Sugarcane restaurant has reopened, now called Nail Bay Sports club. They have completely redone the restaurant  and menu. It is a beautiful setting looking out onto the water. They are working on their menu but selections include lobster fritters, roasted beet sandwich, burger, panini and chocolate chip cookies with ice cream for dessert. They also do Sunday brunch. We spent a lovely afternoon there for Mother’s Day! Ian also tells us they have a great beer selection.

The Leverick Bay Poker Run was last weekend. We are told that it was a great success. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of it this year due to nap schedules, but it was still fun to see all of the boats zipping down the channel. We instead opted for a dip at the beach in the afternoon. The water is warming up, which Lennon is thankful for. He enjoyed his sea soak without a single whimper.

Connor has finally learned that sand isn’t half bad. Until recently he wouldn’t put his feet down to touch it. His mom isn’t that big a fan of sand herself though, so maybe it’s a family trait. Ludwig used to wear his flip flops down to the water to avoid sand in his toes! As much as sand might bother some of us, it still beats the snow any day!

Speaking of snow, winter will be here before you know it! Have you gotten you winter holidays booked yet?? We still have space at Christmas and a few gaps in February too! Those are the two most sought after times so if you want in, now’s your chance!

Welcome to May!

Well April whipped by just as fast as the Easter bunny!

The first half of the month was a quiet two weeks, but our regular April guests have returned! Most of them dodged the Easter weekend though. Easter festival is over for another year. It was rather loud this year, but we just have to tell ourselves “it’s only a couple of days”. The general feedback on the island is that it was a great show and one heck of a party. We went and took the kids to their first parade. Not too sure what Connor enjoyed more… the big trucks or the dancing ladies! Lennon enjoyed the fact that he got to be strapped onto mommy. That’s his happy place for sure. The parade was short and sweet but a good first post Irma parade.

Valerie, Ian and Tina all enjoyed their time off the rock… and yes Valerie even brought back a whole box of French pastries for us! OMG were they tasty! The entire box only lasted two days. What can we say… all of us have a sweet tooth.

Island time has had its “soft” opening! They welcomed their first guests last week. I would show you pictures, but you guessed it… right down to the wire again! The master bedroom still has work to complete so the house will be closed again until June. We promise to get some pictures next month.

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The final villa to come back on rental will be Virgin Oriental. They are still doing major renovations. We are hoping it will be ready for the winter season though.

The rebuild of Plum Tree, one of our two bedroom houses, is now in the planning stage. It will be the same “triple pod” concept as before. Deltec is at the drawing board now getting the plans ready. While they work on that, Ian is on site here making sure it will actually fit. How you ask? Very creatively with some scrap wood and left over festival flags! We have to make sure the roof height will not obstruct the views from the houses behind it. Fingers crossed but it looks like we are in the clear.

Work has begun to water proof Tina’s basement apartment at her house, and a contractor has been selected for the rebuild of the upstairs. Ironically, the selected contractor worked on the original house! He was determined to do the rebuild since the original house was one of his all time favorite builds. Not sure the timeline for construction, but maybe we can convince him that a nice Christmas bow would be a lovely touch!

Up at Oil Nut Bay they have opened their new restaurant, Nova. Christine and David checked it out for us at the grand opening. (Lennon got to hang out with Auntie Michelle, and they both did great!) They will be serving lunch and bar snacks Saturday – Wednesday, as well as a Sunday Brunch Menu… obviously on Sundays! There is a pool that you can enjoy, as well as over the water hammocks. They still have their beach club and restaurant, but be forewarned they are charging a day pass fee ($125 p/p) for access to that side now.

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Photo credit: http://www.bvitraveller.com

Sugar Cane restaurant is also preparing to reopen. They are diligently perfecting their menu and service staff. We are excited to try it out when they officially open. Of course, if they want guinea pigs prior to opening… we are totally game for that too!

At the end of this month (May 26) the annual Poker Run is being held at Leverick Bay. This is an amazing event to watch or partake in. We prefer to park up at Hog Heaven and watch all the boats take off and then head down to Leverick to check out the boats and the afterparty at the end of the day. If you’re interested in coming in for the event we do still have space for that weekend. Hope to see you here!

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Time to Catch Our Breath

The 2019 season has come to a close. We have a few weeks of quiet time now before the spring rush begins. Winter sure went by quickly!

The new Deltec houses have been solidly booked this winter, and we have had a bit of feed back for thing that need to be done this summer. Luckily it’s nothing harder than a bathroom hook here and there and a little touch of paint. Everyone loved them!

Tina, Ian and Valerie are taking this quiet time as an opportunity or a quick getaway. Ian tried to take a relaxing trip to Cooper Island the other day, but came home with a boo boo! Luckily Christine and Michelle were in the office the next day to perform splinter extraction surgery. We think Ian might have wanted a little anesthesia though. How can a grown man, who has numerous tattoos, wince so much over a splinter?!

Tina is heading to the “mainland” to start scouting out materials for her house. Work in her downstairs apartment is under contract and beginning any day. Upstairs is still getting final details worked out bust “soon come” as they say around here.

Valerie will head out when Tina returns and recharge her batteries in St. Martin. We are already jealous of the fresh baked goods and French Cuisine she will be enjoying. (Pssst…. Valerie… Chocolate Croissant travel really well! Hint hint!)

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Christine has been coming over with Lennon more frequently now that he doesn’t have her hostage on the couch so much. Connor has enjoyed the visits too. He’s learning how to play soccer (sorry, football …if you ask Lennon) from his auntie, and showing Lennon how to look super cute in his sit me up chair. Lennon is enjoying the new perspective.

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Connor this last week has also found a new perspective… walking! He’s still a little timid, but we’re cool with that. He’s fast enough on all fours. Once he gets more comfortable on his feet though Kingsley better look out. Connor LOVES to pull Kingsley’s hair, and for a new months he’s been able to stand up and run away… but that is soon going to end. Kingsley did get his first hair cut in anticipation for this upcoming came of extreme tag.

Coming up on Virgin Gorda is our annual Easter Festival. They are still running a scaled down schedule this year, but are going to be having a parade they say. That is our favorite part of it anyway. Connor loves watching cars, so he will enjoy being able to sit and watch the parade too. When we get a full schedule of events we will post it over on Facebook so keep and eye out for that.

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Have You Missed Us?!

We promised we would touch base with everyone (at least) once per month and we are writers of our word!

Not quite sure where February went. It was a whirlwind of returning guests, new guests, visitors, and final touches on Holly and Beso del Sol.

Holly House welcomed its first post Irma guests a couple of weeks ago. They are regular guests to the house and they were thrilled that it is just as they remember it, with some nice new upgrades. New kitchen WITH a dishwasher, new couches in the living room, new mattresses and bedroom furniture, all while retaining the house’s signature eclectic charm. The pool is sparkling and the shade trees are coming back too.

Beso del sol reopened this week. Final touches on the furniture, a fresh coat of paint and a good deep cleaning and it finished in true Guavaberry fashion… just in the nick of time.

We are working ferociously on getting pictures taken of all of the houses as we prepare to launch a new website. We are ever so grateful to have talented photographers stay with us who are willing to keep their skills sharp while on holiday. The best part is we are getting a collaboration of different perspectives, as every photographer is unique. The photos we have seen so far are fantastic! Here is a taste of one of them:

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That’s the inside of Flamboyant. It just might be our new favorite house! (Just don’t tell the others!) Nice and spacious, great for families, couples, parties, or whatever you can think of. The back deck has a sunken patio which we can already envision being the ideal location for a sing-along. We have even tested it out. It just so happens that our February crowd does an annual sing-along night and they did it this year at Flamboyant! Our schedules didn’t allow us to attend this year, but babies should be old enough next year to join in the fun.

Around the grounds Verdan is planting away like a mad woman. A good mad woman though! She is planting out all kind of unique flowering bushes and shrubs. Most she starts from cuttings which collects from mature plants. She tends to them in the nursery, which is in front of Jasmine. Once they are big enough she lays out the pots, and then Tina gives the final okay on their location. We can’t wait for all of the new foliage to take shape. It is going to be stunning.

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Back in the office Connor has claimed his spot. He and Kingsley have outgrown the playpen, so they have gotten an upgrade. Some call it a zoo cage, but we like to refer to it as the granny pen. She fits quite well in it, don’t ya think?! When Connor isn’t in there with her he is usually supervising granny at her desk. He has a keen fascination for her computer mouse, so maybe we have a future IT manager for Guavaberry? He also enjoys going to the laundry and playing in the empty laundry baskets. That must be a genetic inheritance as Beulah and the girls can attest to his mother and auntie doing the same thing years ago (obviously in different baskets).

Lennon comes by the office about once a week for snuggles with Granny, Auntie Michelle and Auntie Valerie. Connor is still adjusting to having to share his granny but he is getting used to the idea. In the rare occasion that Lennon dozes off, Christine takes a much needed “baby free” trip to the store. Lennon also had his first swim last weekend. It was a quick dip since it was cold. He was not impressed with the temperature, but neither was his mother…. winter water – brrr! He really is a Caribbean boy inside, despite his “British bloke” look on the outside.

The Time Has Come

This week marks the first week of “business as usual” here at Guavaberry. Now that phase one is done we had a full week of making dinner reservations, booking boat trips, check ins and check outs. It has been lovely! Pearl and Roxy are especially thrilled to have a full house. They have so many options for cocktail hour! No more Irma diet for them.

Behind the scenes here we are still working on the final touches at Holly House and Beso del Sol. Those will be the next two villas to reopen at the end of the month (Holly) and the beginning of March (Beso del Sol). After that it is just Island Time and Virgin Oriental left. Island Time has to completely rebuild the master suite, at least structurally. We aren’t quite sure if they are taking down the entire building or going to redo the supports underneath. Hopefully at least four of the bedrooms and the main living spaces will be ready by April, if not before. Virgin Oriental has a roof now, so it is coming along nicely. Once doors go on then the inside details can commence.

Also being worked on, our website! We thought building houses was hard…. but trying to bring our website up to snuff is a challenge if its own. Thankfully we have had many skilled photographers pass through who are helping us out with some spectacular shots. Is there something you would like to see on our site? Drop us an email and let us know!

Sadly though, the time has come to change our blog schedule. Now that all the exciting construction is completed we are going to be cutting back. Don’t panic though! We promise to publish once a month, and if something special is going on we will give you a bonus blog! When phase 2 commences we will crank it back up though. It has been lovely reading everyone’s comments every week. And, if you miss us on a Friday afternoon, you can always read a past post or say hi on Facebook.

The Crowning Glory

Well, we did it!! We have completed phase 1! We are overjoyed to welcome guests to Flamboyant today. The last house to be completed this round, and what a beauty she is.

The original Flamboyant was built in the 1970s by John and Jane Queern. They enjoyed it as a vacation home before moving to Virgin Gorda permanently in the early 80’s. They were both dentists and treated many residents on the island. In fact, they were the ones to pull Michelle’s front tooth which had a nice shiny cavity :). They were also Michelle’s Godparents and took both girls to St Mary’s church on Sundays. After church they all returned to Flamboyant to play games (bingo was a favourite) or sometimes make fresh mango sorbet from mangos picked off of the huge mango tree out front. We can still taste it to this day.

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After John and Jane passed on, Guavaberry bought Flamboyant back from the Queen family. It was remodeled and, in true Guavaberry fashion, it was down to the wire even back then! Weeks before the scheduled reopen date we found out that the custom kitchen was not going to arrive in time! After many sleepless nights Tina and Ludwig managed to find a carpenter on the island who ensured them he could build an entire kitchen by their deadline. The house welcomed it’s first guests in December of 2006. The kitchen turned out beautifully and lasted until that dreaded day in September 2017.

The original house was only a two bedroom, but John and Jane added a third bedroom later on. With its peculiar shape an exact rebuild proved problematic. Thankfully the land itself could hold a 1500 square food Deltec! So, down came the entire remaining structure and foundation. Now risen from the rubble is the crowning glory of Guavaberry. Standing tall, and very solid, she’s like a pillar of our new beginning.

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Inside you will find a large open concept living, kitchen and dining area with French doors leading onto the front patio. This house not only boasts three bedrooms, but also THREE PATIOS! Out back there is a grilling area and chaise lounges, and above you have your sunset deck perched atop a boulder.

The master bedroom is off to one side, while the other two bedrooms are down a small hallway on the other. This will make the perfect set up for families that travel with grandparents. The kitchen is so large that we can’t even fill all of the cupboards. Tina and the housekeepers set all the drawers up, and then Michelle went and changed them around. Tina doesn’t know that though… until right now đŸ™‚

Verdan has started the planting around the house and has created different levels around the small boulders off to the side. We can’t wait for it all to grow in. It’s going to be stunning.

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So, for any of you reading this down at the beach come on up and get a quick peek in the house before the guests check in! If anyone sees Ian napping in his truck, leave him be. It is well deserved by now.