Right now, I am on St. John, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands and last night and this morning these words from the John Denver song, Falling Leaves, has been playing in my head:
My heart so full of love for you/Sing praise for all I see.
I am very happy! I took a gentle yoga and art class last week, where I did some art and intention around the fact that I felt that I needed to go away into a "sanctuary" and so I am very glad that I have this chance to go away on a vacation that is more peaceful and remote than the usual.
(The art I completed at the workshop - "I Am The One Who Rides The Storm")
First Thing You Do After Departing From The Ferry Onto St. John - Buy A Smoothie!
There are smoothie places everywhere, but this place was so colorful that I could not resist! I ordered a coconut, banana, pineapple smoothie and it was delicious-not as sweet as the ones from Planet Smoothie, but still better.
After the smoothie, we checked into our perfect little cottage. Here's the view:
First Thing You Do After You Check In-Take A NAP!!!
My mom and I were exhausted after getting up early, riding a taxi, a ferry, waiting for our hostess, going to the grocery store, driving down winding mountain roads, and we needed a nap. My dad was gung-ho to go exploring, so he left to find a beach, but I took a two-hour nap and I am so glad I did-when one has physical and mental illness, one has to pay attention to their body's tiredness cues, even if one just arrived at an island paradise. Otherwise, I would have been too miserable to fully enjoy myself and isn't that what vacation is all about?
First Thing You Must Eat - Mangoes and Papayas!
Since I was well rested, I made dinner that night-a yummy chicken pasta salad. The recipe originally called for shrimp and for lemon juice and some other ingredients, but when you're on the island you've got to go with the flow... It was still good though, nice and light for a hot summer's day. Who knew that pineapple juice and thyme would pair so well together or that we would have picked out the best fruit on the island? Seriously, nothing beats the heat like fresh, juicy fruit!
Some Things You Should Know About The Virgin Island's Food: Astounding, it is hard to find lemons, so recipes may need to be tweaked! Also, fish are very expensive, because of over-fishing and because of a copper mine that made a lot of the edible fish sick! Even here in paradise, there are sad reminders of how humans are destroying Eden. You will have to boil water from the tap to make sure you do not get sick! Definitely do eat lots of fresh mangoes and papayas! Here in Georgia, mangoes are more well known-papayas taste sort of like watermelon, but with the texture of a cantelope. Only eat the pink part.
Caribbean Pasta Salad
6 oz Uncooked Bowtie Pasta
1 T Ground Allspice
1 T Pineapple Juice
1-1/2 T Vegetable Oil, divided
1 t Ground Dried Thyme
1 Large Chicken Breast, Cut Into Bite-Sized Pieces
1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth
1 T Sesame Oil
1 t Dijon Mustard
1/4 t Salt
1 Whole Papaya, Diced
1 Whole Mango, Diced
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, omitting salt. Drain and set aside.
2. Combine allspice, pineapple juice, 1 t oil, thyme and pepper in a small bowl. Add chicken and coat. Cook over medium heat until done.
3. Combine chicken broth, sesame oil, mustard, salt and remaining oil in a large bowl. Add chicken, pasta and fruit. Toss and serve.
First Thing To Do After Dinner: Go On A Beach Walk!
Of course, I could not let the first day of vacation go by without having ventured on the beach, so I convinced my parents to take us out on a night stroll on one. The roads are not marked well, so we got lost a few times, but we eventually found Maho Bay. Even though it was dark, I still managed to take some beautiful pictures: