Thursday, December 30, 2010
"Scott - this is what Michelle uses to eliminate any sand fleas in our bedding. We sprinkle some on top of the bottom sheet every other day. We also sweep the tent everyday to limit the amount of sand in the tent"
Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
By Inclement Seamore
'Twas the night before Christmas on land and on sea
Not a creature was stirring, not even the donkey.
The stockings were hung on the palm trees with care
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
With visions of coconuts dancing in their heads.
And Mama in her bandanna and I in my straw hat
Were sitting there wondering where Santa was at!
When down on the beach there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the sun deck I flew in a flash
Stepped on a hermit crab and came down in a crash!
The moon on the water it did glow
And gave the luster of midday to objects below.
And what to my wondering eyes I saw on a noose
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny mongoose!
With a little old driver so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick!
More rapid than pelicans, his mongoose they came
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
Now Rasta, no Pasta, now Pepper and Chili
On Plantain, on Guava, on Calabash and Willie.
To the top of the deck, to the top of the wall
Dow dash away, dash away, dash away all.
So up to the house top the mongoose they flew
With a sleigh full of toys and Saint Nicholas too.
He was dressed in a swim suit and Maui Jim glasses
And had a sunburn from his head to his.....rear end!
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings and turned with a jerk.
And laying his hand on top of his head
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a yell
And away they all flew like a bat out of .......a cave!
But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight
Happy Christmas to Maho and to all a Good Night!
I find that no matter where you are, people always wonder what its like to be where someone else is. We obviously get that a lot living here on St. John, and usually for positive reasons. But often times we also wonder about what it would be like to be in a place that is extremely different, but maybe not in a paradisaical kind of way. I was checking up on the weather and came across a now very popular article in the Times about Syracuse, NY and the insane amount of snow they have gotten already. We can become used to anything as humans given enough conditioning. Residents on St. John can be seen in long sleeves when it drops below 74, and glassblowers can take something off the grill with their bare hand and not even think twice about it. Who needs tongs when you handle molten glass from 2 feet away all day long? At some point we just accept what is around us as "it is" or "we just do". The residents of Syracuse have obviously learned to cope with 6 ft mounds of snow everywhere (I don't even think they consider it coping, just going about life).
Lets take it a step further though and look at the phenomena of accepting as is from a green aspect. How many of us have been recycling for our entire lives? Many communities and even countries are way ahead of the curve (based on the US curve) when it comes to this, but many are on that upper slope. As someone in my late twenties, I honestly didn't start until I moved here. It wasn't something that was deemed overly important in my community in TN. Sure, we had people come talk and parents volunteer in elementary school to show us how, but it never got to the point where "we just do". The same is actually true for St. John up until recently (last two years) when St. John Recycling Committee started putting out recycling bins all over the island. There was a time when they were new and cool and we were excited. Now they are just there and we just put cans in them, as we should.
As conservation, recycling, and "greenness" become more and more prevalent in every day life and conversation, we will see a shift in our society and communities where these practices aren't special. Composting in Cambridge, Mass, for example, will never get a front page headline since everyone gets free composting bins and you can get fined for having too much waste. However, one building making that pledge in a community somewhere else may receive a lot of attention and be lead innovators. It will be nice one day when the Green/Environmental section of the newspaper becomes pretty much ignored because it is no longer unique or special. Who wants to read about normal things we all do? It would be like a section devoted to people drinking water and breathing in air. One day clean energy and recycling/conservation will be nothing out of the ordinary in our every day life, but looking forward to that day we know that it will in fact be special when we have reached a critical mass.
I miss a good white Christmas. If anyone from Syracuse is reading this, I will trade a jar of sand for a jar of snow.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Is it snowing where you are? We’ve heard the weather gets cold this time of year, though our beach-filled weekends make it easy to forget sometimes. In the States, if I remember correctly, the air is crisp and cold. You can even see your breath floating away slowly as you scrape ice from your windshield. You get into your warmed-up cars and turn on the radio, which is either playing holiday music or urging you to take advantage of a million last minute sales. You drink things like hot apple cider or gingerbread lattes
and they warm up your hands. Everywhere you turn, there are red bows and green garland and twinkling, snow-covered lights. December is not very subtle in the States, is it?
Things are a little bit different around here. One day, we are comparing tan lines on a sunny beach and the next day…well, the next day, it’s Christmas. It sort of sneaks up on us. Don’t get me wrong, we try. We let Bing Crosby sing to us about White Christmas dreams, but he is usually interrupted by Bob Marley and his Three Little Birds. We rock around our mini-trees and make hot chocolate on our Coleman stoves. Our screened windows are lined with multi-colored lights, and many of us have found a place in our little tents to hang stockings. We dress up our tank tops with Santa hats and take a staff picture for the Maho newsletter. And on December 25th, the 60 members of the Maho staff sit down to Christmas dinner with 300 other people.
It might be a little less than traditional, but we are lucky enough to have a makeshift family of our own and persistent enough to inject as much holiday spirit into our coconut flavored lives as we can.
There are things that we miss, obviously. Personally, I am jealous of those gingerbread lattes. Also, snowball fights and red mittens. We miss our families and we think we miss snow days, though we probably wouldn’t feel that way were we to actually encounter one. But we have traded pine trees for palm trees and hot apple cider for cool Caribbean showers, and all in all, St. John gives us a pretty good December.
It may not quite feel like the holidays at home, but then the holidays at home don’t quite feel like Maho.
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Monday, December 20, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
You never know what you'll run into at happy hour in the dinning pavilion! Occasionally one or two of our staff members like to get creative and put a smile on your face while you're hanging around the bar area & register........this latest creation is of course a glassblower, complete with the red-hot bubble at the end.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
As a visiting artist Sam will help to develop new product designs and teach our full-time resident glass workers how to make them. It always helps to have new perspectives and ideas flowing as we try to create art which will be both entertaining to watch and of course purchase. It also helps to have that extra hand this time of year, breaking down those empty Corona bottles you've enjoyed and placed in our recycling containers. Sam has told us he finds inspiration for his most recent glass pieces while snorkeling with his family around Little & Big Maho Beach; which is certainly evident in those incredible octopuses he's been making. Come watch him and see for yourself as he re-creates his favorite sea-life and underwater scenes in our evening glass blowing demonstrations.
Some background on Sam: Sam owns and operates his own glass studio in Ashville, North Carolina where he lives with his wife Oksana and son Max. Sam has been educated by and worked for some of the greatest glass artists in the U.S and abroad such as Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapeietra, and Lordano Rosin, to name a few. While Sam's body of work range from simple functional pieces to large scale, abstract, installations, all of his glass art reveal his special interest in the harmonization of layered colors and the way they transmit light. More info at Stark Art Glass
Sam particularly enjoys interacting with and educating our guests at demonstrations so don't miss out on the opportunity meet this accomplished artist and watch him transform yesterday's beer bottles into timeless pieces of art.
Free public Glass blowing demonstrations Tuesday- Saturday 6:30-9:30pm
Coming soon... our guest artist for the month of January: Brent Craig (aka: Beagles)
Pictured is one mean looking octopus, quickly becoming a staff & guest favorite, as well as a new jellyfish paperweight.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
We thought we'd give you an overview of who you'll see when you arrive for breakfast or dinner with us this season:
Starting his 3rd season with us would be Jeff, who you'll see through the kitchen window wearing tie-die shirts (made here!) at breakfast........he makes incredible granola.
Mike Jones is in his 3rd season as well. He is our "Prime Rib Night" King, and also works at the Beach Cafe.
Jeremy, starting his second season is the Zen Master of the sandwiches you'll be grabbing before a day of snorkeling or hiking. He's found mainly at our Beach Cafe during the day, serving up those smoothies and adult beverages.
Rounding out the "old timers" are Chris and Stephen, both in their 2nd seasons. Look for Chris's breads and muffins and his loaded scrambles at breakfast, and you'll see him at our "South of the Border" night as well. Stephen, one of the 3 brothers at Maho is our pizza and stromboli king on "Italian Night."
Completing our kitchen crew is a whole crop of "newbies" in their 1st season at Maho. Leigh is in charge of the morning fruit & dinner salad bar. Frank is the rising star of the Italian Night. Chris is especially great at Naan bread on Asian & Caribbean Nights. Chris is also our Speed King, whatever he does he does fast. Finally we have Ben from North Carolina and that southern charm. Leigh calls him "huggy bear" because he's so friendly.
Erik & Liam are the backbone of the kitchen. Without them we wouldn't have clean dishes, glassware or pots & pans.
Out front you'll be greeted by two charming ladies at the register, Shawna & Danielle. Shawna is in her 2nd season and Danielle just started this season. Also out front at our bar will be Sarah and Tony, both in their 2nd season. No doubt you'll be asking one of them for a cold beer to go with your popcorn at our Happy Hour or a glass of wine with dinner.
Leading this incredible team would be Mark our Restaurant Manager and Crispin our Assistant Manager. The whole team looks forward to seeing you at the Pavilion Restaurant for breakfast and dinner this season!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Pictured above is a Harmony deck that has been pressure washed (on the right) and a deck before being pressure washed (on the left).
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Maho Bay Clay Works is making some replicas of ancient Taino ceramic artifacts for display and education in an exhibit at the archaeology lab at Cinnamon Bay. Most of the artifacts were unearthed in the dig adjacent to the old stone warehouse on the beach at Cinnamon.
The project is being funded by Friends VINP and directed by Park Archaeologist Dr. Ken Wild, this is a wonderful opportunity for Maho Bay potters Gail and Stephanie (Stephanie pictured).
Saturday, December 4, 2010
In the meantime, there has been quite a bit of activity right outside of our Textiles department. Apparently we have some newlyweds expecting shortly and they've been busy building the nest - mostly out of string and fabric stolen from out textiles tent! These bananaquits don't have the same discriminating taste in water views as our store friends, instead they'll have a great view of all our guests moving about the main boardwalk.
With the picture on the left you can see a piece of string hanging out of the beak, gathered (or stolen!) not more than 5 feet away from the tent in the background & our creative textiles staff.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Pictured Below: you can just barely see a little yellow beak popping out of the nest, trying to enjoy the ocean view.