Sunday, August 26, 2012

Winding Down

As a follow-up to the last post, The Strip beach has come back nicely from all that pounding. When we returned the following day, the cliff was gone and it was looking pretty good. The sea was still worked up, but that just gave surfers an extra day of fun. The tide is still high, so it's hard to tell whether the bars gained or lost any beach.

We have most certainly been on our good-bye tour. We finally made it to Serendipity for a night out with our Puerto Rican pal Jose. We'd heard a lot of good things about the restaurant, but had never made it there because it's a bit pricy (although the food and service was worth it). They have a lot of vegetarian fare, including many appetizers like fried brie, spring rolls, and several soups, so if you want to go and not spend a lot you can just stick with those. I don't know why I didn't take a photo of that outing. Jose is the one who organizes the annual Latin Fests, among other things, and this one is going to go for 3 days!! It starts on October 18th and then the big day is the 21st (Here's the event's Facebook page). If you're here, don't miss it. Jose puts a lot of work into it and truly wants to share his culture. It's always a lot of fun - just do a search on the blog for our attendance at prior ones.

Next up was dinner at David & Lani's place where we  enjoyed some decadent cheese bread, some great veggie fare, and a drinkable liquor dessert. Yummy!

Of course, it was then time to work off some of this food & drink and hash. Now, I was supposed to help Popcorn set the thing, and you know we went out a couple of weeks ago to at least scout the area. This past Friday we were supposed to go and mark it together, but I was tied up with other things and couldn't make it. Popcorn set it by himself but thought he had some more to do, so asked me to come up early Saturday with him and see what was what. Sure. So he picked me up in his new, used SUV, an SUV that was belching a huge, smelly cloud behind it. With me hiding my face, we went back to his house to get his other car, suffocating anything engulfed in the toxic plume, and barely making it up his steep hill. It seems that the person who pumped his gas (you can't pump your own here) just may have put diesel in instead of gas. Oops! The other car took us all the way up the steep road to Bayfords when he hit bottom hard and was stuck. Uh oh. We got out to look and the road had given way, one tire was just spinning in thin air, and we were stuck in this hole. No problem - fellow hashers unite!

The bumper which had hit bottom hard - a few times - was now sitting on the wheel and had to be pried out so we could get to the top.  Just short of the parking area, steam started coming out of the radiator. A true island car.

When Mr. X got there, his radiator was steaming, something popped really loud, and he discovered a nice crack in the radiator plastic. I hate it when that happens.

Maybe the car was protesting the fact that its owner insisted on looking like this.

Enough with the cars. Time to walk. Popcorn & I start walking and he discovered he was very confused. He couldnt figure out exactly what he'd done and figured we'd just wing it. Hmmm.  When we got called up to explain the trails, I didn't feel that I should be counted as a hare because I didn't want to be blamed later for what might shape to up to be a rather shi**y hash so tried to stay off to the side. I am not responsible! I was hoping there wouldn't be too many people there (many students were off island for break) but there was a surprisingly large group.

The walkers portion immediately turned into a cluster when 2 trails were marked (1 inexplicably) and instead of sticking with us, some decided we were wrong (despite the fact that we, or he, set it) and went their own way, taking a bunch of non-suspecting hashers with them.

The 2 divergent groups met up about half-way and I'm not sure what the heck happened after that. We were done in about 1/2 hour - which is waaaay short.  While we were out there, we had nice views, despite the eternal haze.  We're going to miss all these hills/mountains. Sigh.

The runners had an issue when one of their hares didn't show at all and Pat had to figure out what her partner had done during their day marking things. Supposedly the group only got lost once.

They found a water pump to get refreshing mountain water at least.

Once everyone was back, those of us who remained despite an attack of bees that lasted at least a half hour started the usual insanity, and I tried to get out of doing a down-down for setting the hash since I hadn't set the darn thing. I was not responsible! But it didn't work. You can see them yelling for me. Drink up!

The beer was so cold I got an ice-cream headache and poured the rest over Popcorn's head. Now this guy was very proud of our Kittitian Olympian sprinter so wore a poster of the athlete on his shirt. He got in trouble for touting a runner and then walking the hash.

He and I high-fived over the fact that we were both wearing hash shirts from Grenada. Mine was from their 600th hash and his was from their 750th!  Next up was a disgusting punishment for showing up late for the last 3 hashes, skipping the exercise, and just eating the food and drinking the beer.

A second one for me and one for Michael as they bid us farewell. Whaaaaa.

Popcorn getting his 250th hash t-shirt. Think about it - we hash every 3 weeks. He's hashed on St. Kitts 250 times. They're actually about 2 years away from celebrating their 20-year anniversary, so we're hoping to be settled enough by then to come back and participate in the festivities.

Ok, time to head back while there's still light out to make sure everyone makes it back. We followed Popcorn. Except that as soon as we got to the town at the bottom of the hill people were pointing at the front of our borrowed truck. We pulled over only to discover one of the headlight frames had fallen out and was dangling like a dislodged eyeball.

Michael beat the crap out of it and off we went again. Not long after, we passed this guy on a unicycle (ahead of the 2-wheeler). Weird.

As we were driving down the bypass (highway) someone yelled "Michael" and we could see 2 vehicles on the side of the road. Thinking someone needed help, we pulled over to the side and joined them. Nope, they didn't need help it was just Michael's former foreman wanting to say hi. He had seen his brother and they had stopped to chat and now were were on the side of the road chatting with them. It was so island I had to take their picture.

We got to Popcorn's to make sure he survived only to find out our headlight had become dislodged again. Where's duct tape when you need it? Popcorn ever so helpful laughing at Michael.

We made it back to the house without anything else breaking down, got the beer out of our hair, and then headed to the Marriott's Pizza Shack for some thin-crust pizza. Mr. X was still getting his freak on.  Don't overthink it - there's no reason.

You'll note it was a little warm out.  Then we were off to the Shiggidy Shack for some brownies and ice cream. No that's not normally on the menu, but Michael & I had some packets of Ghirardelli brownie mix and nothing to make them in (we sold everything), so Pat made them and Mr. X provided the ice cream (and a really good frozen margarita). No one stayed out late. One, we were all tired for various reasons; and two, it was karaoke night. I had never been there on Saturdays and forgot. Oy.

I've heard there are some good singers on-island, but apparently they weren't singing last night. So we're winding down. There's been lots of cleaning, lots of packing, and not a lot of thought about what we know is happening in the Keys right now. We're hoping the flight to Miami will at least be running. We can use the time to find a car, maybe get some cell phones. Then we can drive down to what's left of our final destination.

Some of you are wondering what will become of Island Babble. Well, you know that Liz Pereira has taken over most, if not all the tools (all the stuff on the tabs and the Facebook page), but the posts were going to end when I stopped talking (or typing). But, as luck would have it, a fan has touched base and has accepted my offer for him to take over the blog. His name is Ben and he and his wife just moved to the island last week. He's a writer too, and lucky for you, was initiated yesterday as a St. Kitts hasher so you'll continue to get updates about future hashes. He & I will be posting together for a bit as I wean you off of me and then it'll be all his. Many of you have interests on the island, whether it be property or loved ones, so I'm happy that you'll still be able to get recent information about the goings-on here and can bond with someone who's here with a different perspective than mine. He'll post an introduction to himself in the next few days and we'll go from there. Those of you who have been emailing me at the Island Babble email or commenting on the blog and want to continue to chat with me, personally, will have to change over to our personal email (which I'll email you) as Ben will be the recipient of the Babble feedback. I promise if I start another blog, you all will be the first to know. Welcome to the island Ben!