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 🙂

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.

Where Did January Go!

We hope all of you up north are staying warm. We hear you have had some miserable weather! The weather hear is nice and toasty, though a bit nippy when it drops down to 75 in the evenings. Brrr!

Thanks to your snow storm we have a ground sea running down here. Lovely to watch, but not for the faint of heart to swim in. It should only last a couple of days we are told. Then the water will be good for snorkeling again… that is unless Mother Nature blasts the USA with more of her winter fury.

We are beginning to welcome our February regulars back again. Where did January go?! And with February upon us that means one thing… Super Bowl! There are always some great watch parties on Virgin Gorda. The top ones being at Bath & Turtle, Coco Maya and Leverick Bay. We don’t know diddly squat about sports, but we do love to see the anticipation on everyone’s faces. For those who do not win, a pina colada or three will numb the pain away.

Baby Lennon came to visit the office on Thursday. He would have come sooner, but he was on quarantine while Valerie recovers from a cold and Michelle and Connor from the stomach flu. Once Granny lifted the quarantine he was over in a flash. Connor woke up from his nap just in time to meet his newest cousin. He was quite excited and squealing with glee. Granny literally had her hands full.

The push is on this week as we get everything in order to start loading up Flamboyant for its grand opening on February first. The ladies were out scrubbing patio furniture … after the guys remembered where they had it all stored. The crews are still furiously painting, trimming bushes, hanging doors and laying tiles (yes, those counter top tiles arrived on Wednesday!). The end is in sight, and you guessed it… it’s going to come right down to the wire! Hey, at least we are predictable! So, stay tuned next week and maybe… just maybe… we will get some finished pictures!

The newest edition!

Reading the title you might be wondering “what are they building now?!”. But no, we aren’t expanding the property. We did however expand the family this week! We are overjoyed to welcome to the world Mr. Lennon David Hawkins. Proud parents, Christine and David welcomed little Lennon on Tuesday at 8:45 am. Tina and Michelle got to take the morning off to welcome the little man. He really does look like a little English gentleman already… or a proper little bloke that has his own spot at the local pub. We can’t wait for them to come home so we can get some proper snuggle time with him.

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Until then, work cranks on. As per usual… it’s down to the wire yet again. The owner of Holly house is arriving in a few days and the housekeepers are chomping at the bit to get in to cleanup after the construction. The furniture is awaiting collection at the ports, but there it shall wait until the house is clean enough to get it in. The pool is sparkling clean at least!

Flamboyant is coming along nicely, just not as fast as we wish it could. Just when we are ready to tile the counter top in the kitchen we find out that the tiles we have left are mostly chipped! NOT what you want to hear on a Wednesday morning at 11 am. Why specifically you ask? Well, we can’t just run down to the local Home Depot and get our tiles and the cut off day for the trailer from Florida is mid day on Wednesdays! These were purchased in Florida back in June. After quite a while in hold to with the store in Fort Lauderdale, Tina decided it was time to beg.

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The store the tiles were purchased in is just down the road from the shipping company, and we can see online that the tiles are in stock, and available for pick up if ordered prior to 2 pm. We must say, Tina either has a really good grovel or she’s a good client… because the boss of the shipping company said “send me the details and I’ll see what we can do”. Sure enough… he found someone (or he went himself) to go to the store in person and pick up our order AND got back in time to toss them in the trailer arriving next week! Talk about a close one! We are forever grateful to Ralph and his team at Tamarind Consolidated. This isn’t he first time they have gotten us out of a jam, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

We also received some help and advise this week regarding the beloved and now famous tamarind tree at the beach. It just so happened that we had an arborist staying with his family, who happen to be the owners of Casa Rocalta. He took a closer look at the tree and concluded that we need to keep the supports on her for a while longer. She might look good on the outside, but deeper down she still has some damage to her main roots. He also suggested that instead of so many supports, we should just use a few stronger ones instead. Is this guy an arborist or a therapist? I guess trees are a bit like people. We might look good to the unsuspecting eye, but dig in a bit and there’s a whole lot more going on beneath the surface. And, in the end all you really need are a few good supports around you.

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