Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Palletteers at Reminisce Restaurant

Thunderstorms were predicted for Friday and we'd had periodic heavy rains all week, so we were thrilled that the weather was clear with a gentle breeze on Friday morning. Reminisce is a new restaurant conveniently located in Queen's Quarter, amidst the Queen's Quarter Villas. Pre-Hugo, this site had been a popular place to meet for lunch, dinner, and meetings, so many of us "old timers" were thrilled to hear that it was a restaurant once again! We weren't disappointed in its restoration! The grounds are gorgeous and and it took some time to decide what to paint; we scattered all about to do our morning's plein airs. The restaurant staff had our lunches ready for us before noon so we had to postpone our Show and Tell until afterwards. Since some of our group couldn't stay, we're missing photos of their efforts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

TS Irene Bombards St. Croix

At our house, we kinda half-prepared for TS Irene. After all, it was ONLY a tropical storm and was supposed to pass us off the south shore of St. Croix. We live on the north side of the island, so I didn't double check flash lights, put the patio furniture inside the house, or secure our south-facing shutters. In fact, my daughter and her husband were visiting and had invited one of her friends to come over with her kids to take a swim in our pool. Around 1:30, the winds picked up. Within 15 minutes, they REALLY began blowing and the line of the horizon began to blend into the sea! It turned out that Irene had her own thoughts about her visit to St. Croix. She decided to pass right over us, going from the south shore to the north shore. WAPA, of course, went out while it was still daylight so we faced the storm without electricity! What really surprised us was that our cell phones had no service either! (I read afterwards that out of 11ATT towers, 10 were damaged by the storm!) The eye of the storm was huge! After the eye passed, the winds and rains came from.. you guessed it.. the South! It poured until about 3AM... We awoke to lots of leaves and small branches littering our patio and driveway. There was, of course, water on the floor in our rooms facing south (woulda, coulda, shoulda!). We, along with most of the island, still had no power! Our land line phone had stayed working through the storm so I was able to call WAPA and let them know of our situation. We were not alone: almost all the feeders on the island were without power! We were among the lucky ones whose power was restored by that evening. However there are some residents out West who are still without power. Cell phone service, the same. Some of us got it back the day after the storm, others are still without. TS Irene became Category I Hurricane Irene during the wee hours of the morning, before it reached Puerto Rico.
We were lucky this wasn't yet a hurricane when it clobbered us. It did serve as a good warning so we'll be better prepared if a next one decides to visit us. Hope WAPA and ATT got the message, too!

Friday, August 19, 2011

West End Country Club

This morning, as guests of member Bettye Skeoch, we enjoyed painting at the West End Country Club located at the northern end of Frederiksted. It was the first time many of us had painted there and the morning really was a treat for the senses. Everything captivated our imaginations: the gorgeous sea vista out to the horizon and beyond, the cute little palm-frond covered "tiki" huts scattered on the beach, the expanse of the empty pier, the rocks meeting the gentle surf on the beach, the clubhouse itself... there was much to choose from to paint but only a few hours to do it in. Areas of shade were pretty abundant, though some of us still ended up chasing it during the morning's paint out. The sun shone brightly and the sea breezes helped keep us cool. What a good time we all had! After "our show and tell" we went next door to Coconuts for lunch and camaraderie.