Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Culebra Mardi Gras

We might not have had floats throwing beads and candy, but we had something Culebra better, Abbie and her students handing out beads, beads chosen to match your outfit!

Earlier in the day I went by Diane's awesome display of orchids, bamboo, roses, hibiscus and much more that was available for Valentine's Day giving. Personally, I find a live plant a much better gift than flowers that wilt and are gone too soon. Diane said this was a preview of what is available at the nursery...and if you've been over there lately you can tell there will much, much more available before too long.

But back to Mardi Gras, which comes before Valentine's Day, since I probably won't mention much more about Valentine's Day!

The fund raising dinner was a huge success if you count turn-out and happy talk and bounteous amounts of excellent food on the partakers side (and I'm pretty sure a nice amount brought in on the school's side). I think the line kept on for a couple of hours, but maybe I lost track of time. I only know that the last person I talked to who got served, as I was ready to go home, was groaning under a huge amount of food in his to-go box. And this was a young man, not an oldster.

We even had our own Bourbon Street banner/altered reality going on. It looks pretty good with Raffy's in the background. The line was starting already, a half an hour early.
There was chicken and pork and fish. There was rice and shrimp and salads and potatoes and more. My favorite server made sure I got some of what he dubbed Adam's Ribs, which was a pleasure, frankly, especially served by a really handsome, smiling man who is a great cook. I felt like women's equality was solved, then and there; not bad for a fund-raising dinner for a small island school.

Monika and Zach hosted the dinner at Zaco's Taco's, which proved to be a really perfect spot. With the street closed off and tables set up along the way, as well as seating inside and out back, with a lot of fresh, cool air and a perfect clear sky overhead, there were no complaints.

I'm not sure why Claire is in almost every photo I took but the girl gets around!

Everyone, from teachers to kids, parents and volunteers worked incredibly hard on this, cooking, decorating, serving, cleaning up as the dinner went along. The kids went around serving desserts as well. Jamie's Monkey Bars were a hit at our table, along with the flan. I had a bite of cake that was pretty scrumptious too, saying a lot since cake is not on my high list of desserts.

Steve's Shrimp Etouffee was a delicious taste of New Orleans Culebra style

Hats and beads were available. Claire was NOT wearing those two hats as a top.

Every time I see Helena at one of these events, I realize how long I've lived here. Beauty!

Judy was there with Zeena (if I spelled that wrong, sorry!), Jamie (maker of the Monkey Bars) and their son Fisher, who is attending Abbie's school while they are here. Thanks for sharing them with us for awhile, Block Island!

Teresa and Claire. I missed getting a shot of Teresa with her mask, serving for what seemed like hours behind the table. Hope you ate something yourself, chica!

There she is again, the most beautiful banker in the world!

It wasn't easy to get an actual feel for the crowd up and down the street, so Tenner took the camera and being a foot taller than me, got a better one!
Culebra kids - they are so beautiful!

Francie got tired of her wig and Walt looked pretty good in it. Well, by that time of the night he did. Of course 'by that time of night' was about 8:00, but we started early.
A good time! Thank you, Abbie, students, and parents, for a fun night.

This morning has followed a series of glorious winter mornings here, cool and gorgeous.

Warm cat fur to naked back
Under the covers
Next best thing to being there.

Have a what wonderfullness will we wake to Wednesday. Do something wildly.


  1. Love Love Love. So many things we miss by living here and working for da man!

    1. Yes, but so much you get there as well. And one day, you can kiss the man good bye and be here as much as you like (you know you'd go crazy here all of the time, look at us!)

  2. It's pretty cool to see how this has evolved. In the late 1990s, when Johnny G, Orlando and I (along with a couple others, including Valentine-birthday boy, Scuba) came for Gras - shipping a box of beads ahead of us - we only ran into one person with an awareness that it was Mardi Gras. When we tossed beads to the kids leaving school, some parents came back to investigate. Once we included them in the swag, the scowls changed to smiles, happily. For four or five years, I was addressed by Culebrenses as Bead Man. Religious holidays are so inspirational!

    1. That's a great story, Doug! Yeah, a lot of things have changed, just since I've been here, that way...I think I like the old way better but that's just me.

  3. i have never been to culebra but every time i flew from st thomas to san juan and back, i peered down on culebra........ your blog is very enjoyable and your sense community there reminds me of what st john used to be...........thankyou.......p.s. love the close up picture of the bougainvilla blossum with the drip of water on takes me back to pruning my family's bougainvilla's as part of my "yard work" duties growing up on a hill side overlooking pillsbury sound, st thomas and st croix 35 miles to the south...............

  4. Thanks for your story, John! In moving here from St. Croix, I was looking for that sense of community that seemed to be getting lost. I think all of us who live on small islands want that and miss it when gets to be too much of everything...

    How lucky for you to grow up on St. John!