Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gramps Morgan Groupie

So what did we do with our long weekend? First up we went to see if there was any junk we needed at a flea market that's been popping up catty-cornered from the ECCB bank. Funny how these things look pretty much the same worldwide. We bought 3 books. That's it.

Then it was pool time. We were pretty sure we were still allowed to use it, despite a never-ending email all the tenants received from the property manager: No pets. No bottles. No parties. No guests. No parking. No floaties. No music. No dirty people. No BBQs. No trash. No running. No diving. No unlocked doors. No rough play. No kidding.

They forgot one - No kids. There was a "no excessive noise" billet, but parents haven't put two and two together. Kids + pools = screaming. Some of us consider that excessive noise. Oy. How about we get a day or 1/2 day of adults-only on the weekend? Luckily the screamers left by 1 and we enjoyed the pool with a bunch of quieter individuals. There - that was Saturday.

Sunday, was the usual. Beach time. A big thanks to Pat for fixing a bathing suit I bought online that had two ridiculous seams up top that made me look like I could shoot bullets from my boobs. This was more tasteful. There - that was Sunday.

Monday, Whit Monday for us, was a morning Michael dedicated to making potato salad (he had an urge) and then heading to the beach while it chilled. At the last minute, we managed to talk a few people into going to see roots reggae singer Gramps Morgan (from Morgan Heritage) perform at the Coconut Grove in Nevis. The most important person to convince was Mr. X, as he had the boat to take us there, but that wasn't too difficult, he's a reggae fan too. We raced back home to shower, change, skip dinner, and get to the dock, and then waited...We forgot who we were dealing with. Speaking of kids and screaming...I'd never seen so many people in the water here in Frigate. Loud...mostly young people leaping off the dock, the boat, calling Michael "whitey." I thought he was looking pretty tan myself.

We were quite happy to pull away from the dock - this would be Esther and Richard. 

You'll note that every time I take a picture of Mr. X, I have to adjust the exposure so you can see what the man looks like (it doesn't matter where the sun is). Before....After...

We puttered along the shore...

Getting close and closer - he sees the cliff there right?


Fishermen, sailors....Wave!

As soon as Mr. X got close to the cut, he gunned it. We held on for dear life and were quite happy to reach the dock at Oualie Beach. My hair never recovered.

It was about 6pm and the poster said to get there at 6:30, so we grabbed a taxi and headed over. To wait outside.

What?! We were starving. This is a restaurant. We thought we'd be able to eat dinner, take some pictures of the sun setting, hang out by the pool (we had been here once before with my Mom and had been looking forward to returning).  But noooo. So we waited. Finally, about 6:45, they let us in. We hadn't been wanded for a while, so were making all kinds of comments about the TSA, wondering if the frisking was enjoyable for each other, why didn't they tell us not to pack heat for this event, etc. etc., and when I got up there the guy jokingly asked me if I had anything to declare. Just that I'd like some food.

When we paid ($40EC/$15US) and got inside, we were offered 2 tickets each: 1 for wine/punch; and 1 for a cupcake. Four of us headed for the wine, Esther bee-lined for the cupcakes. She then used her 2nd ticket for another cupcake. When she went back a 3rd time (sans ticket), the cupcake guardians just handed her one seeing the desperation in her eyes. I don't think that was her last one either.

You can see that the inside was gutted for the concert, so there would be no food, other than this tent set up outside selling BBQ'd chicken. No thanks.


The wine was good (yes, I had to expose another photo).

What was left of the sunset was pretty too.

And then we waited as they DJ'd and had contests for various prizes. By 8/8:30, Esther and Richard couldn't take it anymore and took a cab back to Oualie to get some food. X went for the chicken, and Michael & I dreamed of potato salad and grilled mushroom sandwiches. We were all starting to get rather crabby when around 9, we finally saw Gramps. Yay! How exciting. Seriously, if you've never heard of him, he and his brothers (and father) are right up there with Bob Marley (and if you haven't heard of him, I can't help you). The fact that he (or anyone of his stature) came to little ol' Nevis for a major album launching was a big deal.

We were really surprised at how crowded it had gotten. Let the show begin!

When Gramps said he was only supposed to sing 2 songs (and with a track instead of a band, no less), we got all crabby again. We came all the way from St. Kitts and waited 3 hours for two songs? But once he started, all the negativity was erased and there was no turning back.

The venue was so intimate that he could be one-on-one with us. He's Jamaican but was born in Brooklyn, raised in Springfield, Massachusetts and has 29 siblings. 29 siblings! All of them educated and cared for. Gramps (he looks like his grandfather) is so genuine, uplifting, and funny. He sang a couple of songs from his new CD (I liked one but was lukewarm on the second), but he also kept going with some of his older stuff. When he sang For One Night, everyone sang along and it was like holding hands with everyone in the place.

He didn't want to stop (and we didn't want him to), so he even sang several songs a cappela because he hadn't brought the tracks for them, not expecting to sing them. He's so good, it just gave you goosebumps. It was well worth it, despite the early hiccups.

X bought a CD for the Shack, but gave it to me for signature so I could meet Mr. Morgan. Once I got up there, I was trying to tell him we'd see him at the St. Kitts Music Festival next month and couldn't think of "music festival" so stuttered for way too long before pointing toward St. Kitts and saying "see you there." What an idiot.  But look at that smile!

Of course, then we had to get back. Let's just say we were all (there were tag-alongs this time) very glad to get across the channel and tucked behind the island. We also appreciated the bright moon. That's all I'm sayin'. Once home, around midnight, we headed straight for the fridge.  P-o-t-a-t-o  s-a-l-a-d. I'm a little bloated today...Whew there - that was Monday.

The music promoter, Magic, talked us all into going out again tonight (tickets only $10EC/$4US). This time, we'll be listening to music on the Freewinds cruise ship (and maybe my hair won't be sticking up). The ship's been coming here for over 20 years and I've never heard of it. After looking at its environmental history, I'll be sure I don't fall into the waters nearby.  Oddly, it's owned by the Church of Scientology (putting those charitable donations and tax deductions to good use - and it's their fifth ship). Among other things, the ship is used for recreation and they have all kinds of music shows onboard (usually for charity). They come to St. Kitts (among other places) and stay for weeks. I don't know how the heck I've never heard of this thing. Anyway, more tomorrow. I'll keep an eye out for Tom Cruise, John Travolta, or Will Smith. If you don't hear from me by the end of the week, send out the search team.

As for Memorial Day: The best way to honor war veterans: Stop needlessly creating new ones.
@radleybalko via web