This weekend, my parents came in (yay!) and I get to play tour guide. They arrived Friday night, got settled, and then I took them out. The first stop was happy hour at Cloud 9, which was a little weak as half the club was closed as they expected everybody to be at Music Fest instead of going clubbing. Next, we went to the top of Timothy Hill to see the view.
For dinner, we went to Spice Mill at the end of the peninsula because I remembered having good pizza there and eating on the beach. However, apparently Spice Mill is fancier than that on Friday nights. The waitress looked mortified that I asked about sitting on the beach and eating pizza. We sat “inside,” which just means that there was a roof over our head- the walls are open. We ordered regular food off of the menu. Of course, in true Kittitian style, they didn't have what I ordered. They brought me some fish instead and when I said that I know I didn't order fish, they got all apologetic as somebody else had replaced the missing meal with fish. They offered me a free drink as I waited for my replacement and apologized over and over. Really, I'm used to it, so it was no big deal. I had already had the bread they bring out (good) and split a Ceasar salad (a little bland). Plus the meal they brought me sounded better than the meal I originally ordered and probably tasted better to. (I ended up with a squash risotto that was very creamy and delicious.) We weren't in a rush to get anywhere. We were just enjoying the calmness of the ocean breeze. The only thing we weren't enjoying was getting bitten by mosquitos. I hadn't had a new bite in quite some time and figured that mossie season was over. Nope. I had several new bites after dinner.
Saturday morning, while my dad slept in, my mom and I went to the Saturday market. I was able to show her a soursop, breadfruit, wax apples, cinnamon in the raw (full bark pieces, not like what you get in a little bottle in the states), dasheen (aka taro), carambola (aka star fruit, 5 finger), passionfruit, and a bunch of other exotic edibles that the various vendors were selling. We picked up several of them and headed back. On the way back, we stopped at Palm Court Gardens, some gardens near my house. Palm Court has some very pretty plants, a restaurant, a pool that overlooks right into the ocean, and an artists' workshop area. Apparently, you can rent any part of it out, get a day pass to the pool, or buy the artists' work at the souvenir shop. The proceeds from any of the activities go to local charities and provide benefits to the community. I thought that was pretty cool. I also really liked the art in the gift shop. I have some weddings coming up and there's a good chance some people are going to get unique, hand-made items from Palm Court as presents. Once my dad got up, we stopped in town to grab a quick snack from Rituals and then headed out. We did a drive around the island, first stopping at Caribelle Batik/Romney manor (previously reviewed here) and the nearby Wingfield Estate. Wingfield is a 17th century sugar mill that is in ruins now and undergoing archaeological discovery. It was neat to see the big bowls that the workers used to boil the cane juice down to sugar. It took less than 15 minutes to walk around, but it was fun. Next up was Brimstone Hill Fortress. There were more people there this time than the last time I was there, but it was still pretty empty. As I had already seen the main fortress and museum area, I probably should have gone hiking to one of the more remote parts of the fort while my parents saw the main part, but I was enjoying my time with them and was totally fine with seeing the view again.
The next part was an adventure. We went looking for Black Rocks. I had been there, but not while I was driving. I went down some tiny side road that I thought took us to Black Rocks, but it turned from pavement into dirt and my parents decided that this couldn't be it since this is a tourist spot. We turned the car around and kept going. We went down the road and finally asked somebody for directions. We got “go back to the last town and you'll see a sign.” We went back and didn't see a sign. We asked again. Finally, we saw the “sign.” It is a small hand-written board that is blocked on one side by the telephone pole that it is hung on. The other side is visible, but you have to know what you're looking for. We went down the dirt road to Black Rocks only to realize that the original paved road we were on that turned to dirt would also have gotten us there. We enjoyed the view for a while, and then kept moving.
For dinner, we went to Ballahoo on the circus because I heard from somebody who previously lived down here that it was one of his favorite places and I hadn't been there yet. We got a table right up on the railing, which meant that we overlooked the circus directly and had a good view of the town. As I'm typing this, I'm beginning to realize that most of what the island has to offer my parents consists of nice views. Nice views of the sea, nice views of the mountains, nice views of the town, just a lot of nice views. Of course, they come with a sea breeze, nice temperatures, and a relaxing vibe.
We had a chill dinner, and although the food was good, I didn't feel that it was so outstanding as to be a favorite. The dessert was good too, and thankfully the waiter didn't put a candle in the cake like my mom wanted him to for my birthday. He did, however, offer us shots to celebrate.
After dinner, we walked right up the street to Warner Park, the cricket stadium. Warner Park was hosting Music Fest 2012- the sweet 16 year of the festival. Saturday night is “lovers' night” and so they had a nice lineup of calmer acts. (Thursday was mostly local bands for “walkup night” and Friday was reggae night featuring one of the Marley kids.) When we arrived, there was a Caribbean jazz band playing all sorts of smooth jazz songs with standard instruments and steel pan drums. The music was good. For me though, it's the type of music I put on the fall asleep, so I wasn't exactly the liveliest fan. Next, they had about 20 minutes of commercials as they changed over for the lady we were there to see... Roberta Flack! We were really excited for her, but she was not that great. It's a concert, so people were singing along, and she shushed the crowd, saying “it's my turn now.” Later, she asked the crowd to sing something that they really weren't into and was berating them (and not in a joking way) to try to get us to sing. Also, her voice has really declined to the point where she really shouldn't be doing concerts, or at least needs to be very selective about what she tries to sing during them. She's a little old to be moving around the stage, so she wasn't that much. All in all, it was kind of bad. Of course, she was followed by another 20 minutes of the same commercials as before. I fell asleep at the concert. I awoke from my doze to Toni Braxton, though. She was really good. She was into her music, got the crown all riled up, and was very obviously having a great time. So, my parents decided we should go down from the covered stadium seating and walk around the grassy festival grounds closer to the stage. As soon as we got out of the seating area and down to the grass, I noticed that it felt like there were rain drops. By the time I looked at the sky, the torrent had begun. I threw up my umbrella and most of the crowd ran for the cover of the vendor tents. We hung out there in the pouring rain, still enjoying the music for a while, until the power started blipping. One second, you could hear Toni, the next, just the instruments as they would carry without speakers. Then, you could hear again. Welcome to St. Kitts and sudden storms. Eventually, the rain subsided and we decided to take our soaked selves back to the car. Even though Omarion was up next, it was after midnight, which is late for my parents and I think they'd had enough.