Favorite BVI Cocktail, Pusser’s Painkiller

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Our favorite cocktail while in the BVI is a Painkiller. (photo by JP)

Pusser’s Painkiller is our favorite cocktail when we are in the BVI. 

The previous link includes the recipe and the story about how Pusser’s owner had enjoyed the drink at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke. Determined to discover the secret recipe, he took a Painkiller back to his boat and then to his home on Tortola where he analyzed the contents.

Ingredients

2 oz – 4 0z Pusser’s Rum
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz cream of coconut
Fresh grated nutmeg

Directions

Add liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a big glass or goblet filled with ice. Grate fresh nutmeg on top and enjoy!

Though  this is Pusser’s recipe and some bars and restaurants premix the drink, we prefer that it is made from scratch and the rum poured on top.

Why We Like Virgin Gorda

Our top 16 reasons we visit Virgin Gorda, BVI.

1) Customs and immigration usually take less than ten minutes.

2) Crowds are limited:

Cruise ships must anchor and shuttle passengers on tenders.

Only small planes and helicopters can land on the airport runway.

3) Take off, landing, and flying in a small plane is an adventure, and occasionally you can copilot.

4) Locals greet travelers with a smile and seem to appreciate tourism.

5) The island is not commercialized: Colorful homes and businesses dot the island, and there are no chain hotels or obtuse structures.

6) White sand beaches usually have a scattering of people unless a cruise ship is anchored, or tourists are visiting from other islands.

7) Coral reefs provide great snorkeling.

8) The crime rate is low.

9) While driving, you don’t see many cars, therefore tailgating is rare.

10) There are no red lights and few stop signs.

11) Restaurants feature everything from fresh grilled lobster, sushi, barbecue, grilled steaks, pizza and more.

12) Casual attire is acceptable almost everywhere.

13) Many visit Virgin Gorda specifically to explore the beauty of The Baths where overlapping boulders bulge out of the land and water, providing a granite maze where tourists trek through caves and pools of this natural wonder.

14) Mountain roads offer a challenging workout with views of shimmering royal blue water and boulder-studded mountains.

15) Hiking to the highest part of the island, Gorda Peak, takes about 35 minutes. At the top, climbers ascend a double-tiered ladder to a platform with a magnificent vista of the BVI.

16) Visiting other British or US Virgin Islands by ferry, boat, or plane is easy, and a must do.

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Cow Wreck Beach Bar & Grill, Anegada, British Virgin Islands

The famous Cow Wreck Beach Bar is on Anegada, British Virgin Islands

Ships full of cow bones wrecked, bones and skulls washed ashore on Anegada, British Virgin Islands hence Cow Wreck Beach. The Cow Killer rum drink is one of their specialties.

Goat Shot on Virgin Gorda

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Shots fired from the dirt road on Virgin Gorda. (Photo by dorothyadele)

Goats bleating and roosters crowing, some clueless about dawn’s arrival, awakened us each morning in Virgin Gorda. Skittering anoles, singing frogs and dancing butterflies made us feel like we were in a sanctuary safe for all. Unfortunately, that changed today.

I was sitting on the porch sipping coffee when I spotted a pickup truck driving down the dirt trail adjacent to our rental. It stopped. Someone perched a rifle, or similar firearm, out the passenger’s window. Lights flashed as four shots blasted from the gun muzzle through the thick brush, just yards from our residence. Goats bleated, and one screamed louder than the rest for longer than I wanted to hear.

As the whimpering subsided, the truck creeped haltingly down the mountain, made a full stop, then proceeded to the bottom of the hill and turned around. As it ascended, I saw what I believed was a goat carcass in the back of the truck.

Though the slaughter disturbed me, someone was making their living on Virgin Gorda.

There was no internet on our first flight

An Unbelievable Coincidence

We heard that a snow storm was slamming the North, when we arrived at the San Juan airport at 1 p.m. We checked the arrival and departure screen and saw a list of canceled flights, but our 6 p.m. flight heading north was only delayed. We were returning from a family Christmas vacation, and my son, Bob, had waited to complete an assignment that was due the next day.

I was concerned because he was a high school senior, and a poor grade could affect his college acceptances. Bob said that he had it under control and assured me that he would finish his report when he had internet on the plane, since there was none on the first flight.  Little did he know that his procrastination would lead to an unbelievable coincidence.

We watched passengers pace with phones pressed to their ears because flight cancellations caused plans to change. Many grabbed their luggage and left. By 5:00 p.m., our departure-time status was blank, and we suspected that our flight would be cancelled. To fill time, we went to an airport restaurant for dinner. When we returned, we didn’t see any airline employees behind the desk at our gate or even at any nearby gates. The airport had emptied, and my hopes for leaving that night deflated like a boat sail. The abandoned terminal felt eerie as we watched kiosks close, and restaurant lights darken. Though the restaurants were closed, fried onion odors lingered — like us. The only people left at our airport wing were passengers on our flight, and some had moved to sit at nearby gates.

We sat on our padded seats, that seemed to harden like cement, and watched a high school swim team play catch football at the gate across the aisle. Woodward High School was printed on the boy’s shirts, and we recognized the school because Bob’s school, Craxton, competes against them in sports. When Bob saw them, he walked over and shook hands with the team’s coaches. I thought that he knew one of them, but I was wrong. I believe that the following dialogue resembles their conversation.

“Hi, I’m Bob Smith, and I go to Craxton High School.”
“Ohhh, you do? Do you know Father Corbin ? He taught for 19 years at Woodward and transferred to Craxton about 3 years ago.”
” Yes, I’m in his Science class. He’s a great guy. Actually, I have a lab report due for him tomorrow, and I’m worried about finishing it because of the flight delay.”
“Father Corbin is a good friend, and I am going to text him that you are stranded.”

The coach texted Father Corbin and told him that he was delayed in San Juan, and he was with one of his students, Bob Smith. He added that Bob was worried about completing his assignment.

Father Corbin texted back to tell Bob to stop worrying, and they would talk in class.

Bob talked sports with the coaches and team and returned to his seat flashing a wide smile.

He said, “You’re not going to believe who the coach is friends with.”

We boarded the flight around 11 p.m. and landed about 3 a.m. Without much sleep, Bob went to school and spoke to his teacher. They worked out a plan.

Bob had everything under control all right.

*This is a true story, but I changed the names.

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230 Fifth in Manhattan — A Must Visit

We step up to the largest rooftop bar in Manhattan, 230 Fifth on 27th and 5th Avenue. The Empire State Building towers past palm trees and pink and white flowers that spill from containers.

The Manhattan skyline offers a spectacular view as we sip a cocktail and escape from mad-motion Manhattan. Even though the weather is drizzly and cool, the patio is partly heated and customers don soft red robes provided by the staff. Large umbrellas hover over tables for added protection.

During harsh weather or if a nightclub atmosphere is preferred, customers can enjoy the view from the fully enclosed lounge a floor below.

230 Fifth is open everyday from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. and serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $29 for adults and $15 for children.

They offer an appetizer through dessert menu and  bottle service. With bottle service, a customer can buy a bottle of alcohol for several times the retail price like a Grey Goose Magnum for $575.

The food and drinks are also pricey. The cost for a Chicken Caesar Salad  is $16 and a Strawberry Mimosa is $15.

Though expensive, the spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline makes the price palatable. Anyway, where else can you wear a robe in a bar?

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Chocolate Labrador Retriever

My Dog Saves Our Daughter

My blond-haired, blue-eyed, four-year-old daughter, J, climbed on the white plastic swing seat out back of our home. I pushed her while she clutched the metal chain loops and repeated  “again.”

It was about 6 p.m., and time to prepare dinner. The swing set was below my kitchen window, and I left planning to watch J from inside.  If she needed me, I could run to her quickly, but I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be quick enough.

For reasons unknown, I guided my chocolate Labrador retriever, Boh, by his chain collar to the swings telling him to sit and stay knowing that he wouldn’t leave.

I prepared dinner, and as I spoke to J, I watched a cream, pointed-eared chow, that I didn’t recognize trot towards her. I had seen a chow growl at J during dog training class and I also watched one attack another dog.

I flew out the great room’s white French doors, onto the wooden fortress-like deck, and scrambled down the sturdy steps jumping from the second to last one.  I turned the corner as the chow bared his white, upper and lower teeth and lunged for J’s face.

Boh charged the chow and blocked J, who jumped off the swing and leapt into my arms. We screamed while both dogs stood on hind legs, fangs to fangs and ripped jaws, heads and throats while dog screeches and loud, guttural growls pierced the neighborhood.

I put J down on the ground and grabbed sticks and rocks and hurled them at the chow hoping to end the fight. The chow finally backed off but stayed in my yard.

Hearing screams, the chow’s owner sprinted to my yard holding a leash. When I explained what happened, she apologized repeatedly and said that she recently adopted the dog from the pound and knew nothing about its history.

Then she fastened the leash to the chow’s collar and left. I  learned later that she returned the dog.

To this day, I question why I left Boh with J, because I had never done it before. It makes me wonder if someone was watching over her.

Resorter Magazine "Revisited"

My Magazine Photo From 1977 Republished

I shimmied and squeezed into the green, yellow-trimmed-one-piece cocktail waitress costume. The outfit’s scoop neck, and the V that formed in the front and back from the high-cut legs were like arrows that pointed to everything  private.

The stockings  underneath helped, but when I grabbed the bottom between my index fingers and thumbs to pull it down, it slid back up.

On my only night waitressing in the smoke-filled discotheque, I hoisted a brown plastic tray over my head topped with Tangeray and tonics, strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas and more. I slid through crowds of polyester attired men who flaunted gold watches and chains, and Farah Fawcett-haired women adorned in jewelry, push up bras, halter dresses, jumpsuits and platform sandals.

The Admirals  sang  the latest dance songs and pounded the electric piano, guitars and drums, and  blared  horns.  The songs reverberated, and the dance floor filled.

Dancers bumped hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder and hip to shoulder. They stepped high, shuffled, slid,  dipped, twisted and twirled combining the jitterbug, samba and waltz.

While the customers partied, I worked.  I leaned over to place drinks on a  low table and the bottom of my outfit slid higher and my top slipped lower.  I made my decision.

After work, I approached the owner and told him that I was uncomfortable wearing the costume. He  understood and asked me if I would wear a tennis dress and serve drinks and lunch around the pool.  I agreed.

While I worked poolside, a photographer from the local “Resorter” magazine approached and asked if he could photograph me for the cover. I consented, and he returned and shot several photos for the July 1977 magazine. I believe that this was more about advertising the club than me.

I recognize the irony that I refused to wear a risqué cocktail outfit but I agreed to pose in a bikini.  I felt cheap in the cocktail outfit, but wearing a bikini in a beach resort seemed normal.

Last week, unbeknownst to me, a local paper “revisited” the July 1977 Resorter issue and displayed my old photo in their paper.  I was surprised that I was ever that young.

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The Intruder

I awoke around 2 a.m., and I lay in my double bed in our rented spartan apartment and watched a light flickering in the hall outside our bedroom.

I studied the light and goose bumps crawled up my back when I determined that the source was not from headlights but from our balcony. I suspected that someone had climbed on our deck and was shining a light in our apartment.

I was wrong, he was inside.

I quietly whispered to my roommate in the next bed.

“Core, Core, wakeup.”

She rolled over and whispered, “What’s wrong?”

I said, “Look at that light in our hallway, I think that someone is on our balcony. Did we lock the door?”

We usually left the sliding glass door open and locked the screen because we felt safe on the second floor.

“No, I locked the screen,” said Core.

We quietly slipped out of our beds, and I stepped into the hall with Core behind me. My heart throbbed and  I sucked in my breath muting a scream when a bright light suddenly stabbed my eyes,  and I saw a large figure holding a flashlight. I reeled and we raced to the bedroom and slammed the door.

Suppose the intruder was the rapist who lurked in the canal’s tall grasses and attacked those two girls ? Suppose he had a gun or knife?

Our phone was in the living room and cell phones were nonexistent. Our small-sliding-glass-bedroom window prevented escape, and our nearest neighbors had left town.

Our hands, arms and voices shook and we chattered nervously while we quickly dragged a large, brown dresser in front of our door. Then we flung open our closet and bureau drawers and frantically fumbled through shirts, shorts, sundresses and shoes searching for a weapon.

We finally spotted a tan and red wooden tennis racket leaning against the wall,  and we found a thin brass table lamp and a spray deodorant can on the tall dresser. We planned to hammer him with the lamp and tennis racket and shoot  deodorant in his eyes. It was a bad plan, but it was the best that we could concoct.

After about an hour, we slowly slid the dresser aside and cringed when we opened the brown paneled door, and it creaked. We waited, then Core ducked her head around the door frame and slinked into the hall.

She clutched the tennis racket in her right hand and cocked it over her head.  I inched behind with my right index finger on the deodorant trigger,  and I gripped the lamp in my left hand. Core flicked on the light.

Our hearts thudded, and sweat seeped like we had sprinted up a steep slope. Coffin-like silence surrounded us.

Next, we approached the bathroom. Core flicked on the light and we stared at the flowered shower curtain that covered  the bath. We slowly entered and wrenched the curtain open and heard a metal screech, but we discovered an empty tub.

We approached the kitchen which opened to the living room. Core flicked on the light and we scurried to a drawer and grabbed long jagged-edged knives.

We looked towards the balcony, and the razor slashed screen and balcony door stood wide open. Where was he?

J and her pet rat

The Unwanted Rat Became a Good Pet

When my husband, my daughter, J, and I stepped in our front door after soccer practice, my neighbor Susie followed  holding bags and a cage in her arms.

She said, “I bought J a rat for her  birthday.”

I said, “Funny.”

She said, “I asked J what she wanted for her birthday, and she told me that she wanted a rat because they make great pets.”

Susie pointed to a cage that contained a gray and white baby rat with a snake-like tail and an anteater nose.  The rat disgusted me.

I told Susie that I thought that she should have asked me first. However, though I was angry, I wouldn’t jeopardize our friendship over a stupid mistake.

The rat stayed and J was ecstatic.  She named her new pet Oreo.

J kept Oreo in an aquarium in her room.  His tail and four yellow jagged front teeth repulsed me and I worried that if he escaped, I might have to capture him.

Daily, I entered my daughter’s room, and I forced myself to touch Oreo’s back with my index finger. Within two weeks I held him, though he still revolted me.

My daughter quickly bonded with Oreo and walked him on a leash ensuring that anyone who saw her questioned her parents’ sanity.  She also dressed him in a  silky-short-sleeved-pink top and mesh-tutu-doll outfit and transformed  him into a transvestite ballerina.

One day, Oreo struggled to breathe and seemed in pain, and we took him to a vet. While we were in the waiting room, a woman approached my daughter and asked if she had a kitten in the bag.

My daughter said, “No, it’s a rat!”

The woman’s eyes widened and she loudly sucked in her breath.  Then she pivoted and hurried to the opposite side of the room.

We saw the vet and he sent us home with antibiotics and soap because Oreo was also losing his hair. Can you imagine the neighborhood gossip if we allowed J to walk a bald rat?

J  treated Oreo by sliding an eyedropper filled with antibiotics into the corner of  his mouth, and he accepted  it.  Though it nauseated me, Oreo also allowed  J to bathe him, and his health improved.

One day, as we cleaned Oreo’s cage, he escaped. I called his name, and he ran from under a cabinet and allowed J to pick him up. He was smarter than I thought and became a good pet.

The day he went to the big cheese, J and I cried while my husband gleefully ran to get the shovel. Though I bonded with the rat, the experience confirmed that a live animal or rodent should never be an  impulse gift.

When, Susie’s daughter’s birthday arrived, I called Susie and said that I had her daughter’s gift. I told her it was an anaconda with a  year’s supply of food.

I put a lot of thought into this, and I never said that a reptile  wasn’t a great gift.

Kingfisher

Deep Sea Fishing on the Kingfisher

The alarmed clanged at 4:30 a.m. and jolted me from a deep peaceful sleep. I pried my eyes open to darkness and questioned why I would want to repeat this trip especially when the weather report called for rain.

I jumped out of bed, threw on a bathing suit, shorts and a t-shirt. My husband and I filled the cooler with beer, water, sodas, subs and fried chicken, and we loaded the car.

We  headed for the Ocean City, Md docks to meet the guys at the sportfishing boat the Kingfisher.  By 5:30,  we loaded our coolers and boarded the boat.

The engines roared and diesel fumes permeated the salt air and we motored out of the Ocean City harbor.  As we left the inlet and picked up speed the engines thundered, our hearts raced while white waves churned and frothed in a V formation in our wake. I looked back and  watched the Ocean City ferris wheel fade from sight.

We advanced into the sunrise and wind whipped my hair and salt stuck to my damp skin. Fishing lines dragged in the water, and the mate dumped a stream of red chum or bait chunks behind the boat to attract fish.

The water changed from pea green to ink blue as the water deepened to about 100 feet.  The wind blew and the boat bounced like a toy ship in a jacuzzi bathtub with the  jets on full force. Worried thoughts about boat emergencies flooded my mind.

Unlike our previous voyage when we watched a huge flat sunfish drift in the shimmering sea and the dorsal fin of a thresher shark slide by,  this day we white knuckled any vertical surface as the boat slammed into swells and the sky faded into clouds.  Some of my friends turned greenish-white, and one retched over the side.

Suddenly a fishing  line  zeeeiiinnnngggged as a fish took the bait and swam for its life.  Adrenaline pumped and queasiness was forgotten.

My friend Frank jumped in the fishing chair and the mate harnessed him in so that he wouldn’t get pulled overboard during the fight. After about 20 minutes, the fish seemed to tire, and Frank began to reel  it in.  As we watched him fight the fish, a wave suddenly surged over the back of the boat.

The swell  soaked us and gushed into the cockpit. We grabbed buckets and quickly scooped the water out.  The  rapid rush of water startled us, but it did not dampen our exhilaration over hooking the fish.

Within 45 minutes, Frank brought a tuna up to the side of the boat. The mate reached over the rail and slammed a large hook or gaff  under the backbone of the fish and pulled it onboard. Dinner had arrived and it was time to head home.

Last week Kingfisher CaptainTommy Jones, our captain’s son,  won the world-renowned White Marlin Open billfish tournament. He caught an 83 pound white marlin and won about $1 million. The day that we fished, I never imagined that the Kingfisher would become famous.