Showing posts from October, 2010

Red Snapper Redo

I love red snapper. There's no other fish that inspires the joy and anticipation that this mild, flavorful aquatic dish provides for me. I can not resist ordering  fresh red snapper whenever I'm in the Caribbean or Latin America. Served with rice and peas, plantains or yucca, red snapper is the equivalent of  a comforting embrace, spiked with bursts of laughter.  I have a difficult time ignoring it whenever I see it on any menu so I was faced with a bizarre dilemma in St. Kitts. Every single restaurant I visited for dinner, featured a tempting version of red snapper.  So when I sunk my toes into the sands at Mr. X's Shiggedy Shack beach lounge, I just had to order the red snapper grilled with lemon and thyme, above. When I dipped into the gorgeous, sun-dappled Spice Mill restaurant, I just couldn't ignore the spice-rubbed red snapper, topped with pineapple salsa, above. When I joined with the gang  for dinner at the swanky Blu seafood restaurant at the St. Kitts

The Cool Ruler Ends His Reign

It doesn't get any better than listening to Gregory Isaacs' smooth vocals on a balmy Jamaican night. His voice glided over lyrics, caressing them gently, like a Caribbean breeze.  I first heard him live at a concert in Mandeville, Jamaica and I've been a fan ever since. Decked out in custom-made suits with a fedora tipped rakishly to the side, he earned the name of the Cool Ruler, King of Lover's Rock, which combines the melodies of roots reggae with dancehall riddims.  Producing 500 albums over his 40-year career, he won a loyal following not just because of his singing skills but because of the vulnerability he displayed. He battled drug addiction for most of his life, entering rehab, losing teeth, and facing arrest constantly but he always managed to come back, his voice still lovely. Gregory died at 59 yesterday, from lung cancer, refusing any operations. His presence will forever be missed but his music lives on. The video below is of one of my favorite songs, &quo

Biking in Basseterre

I'm a punk. I admit it. I love a good travel adventure but  in the end, St. Kitts managed to kick my butt. I'm a big biking fan, as my weekly rides on my tricked out, pink Raleigh attests. But I just wasn't prepared for biking in St. Kitts.  I trotted out for an early morning ride with my press comrades and quickly crumbled. What could be so tough about biking through a tiny and lovely little island you ask? Well, for starters, we have the heat.  You'll never hear me complain about the sunshine and I adore hot, tropical weather. It's just that, a  95 degree temperature is not all that ideal for bike riding. See the wilted look on my face in the photo above? Notice the sweat glistening on my arms? That was was just the first 3 minutes. Then we have the gorgeous Basseterre landscape. I was surrounded by verdant green vegetation everywhere I looked. The Caribbean Sea beckoned  over the hills. Hills. I somehow had forgotten how hilly St. Kitts is. You can't go

Sailing St. Kitts Sky Safari

Zip lines may look like the latest travel torture trend but it appears a lot scarier than it is. Imagine flying above the trees, sharing views with birds and monkeys.  You get so captured by the sights that you forget that you're thousands of feet in the air. I've zipped through plenty of rain forests and tree tops but St. Kitts Sky Safari was a slightly different experience. That's Kelly in the photo above. He helped my group cover our bodies in the pounds of required equipment. Unlike other zip lines, Sky Safari uses a carriage that you actually sit on, making it more comfortable and secure. The first contraption was a bodysuit/harness that would do any super hero proud. This was topped by a helmet and trolley carriage that we toted on our shoulders. Here, Jody models the sexiness of the entire getup. With Mt. Liamuiga looming ahead of us, we flew through the rain forest at 1,350 feet. The first zip line is dubbed The Boss and it towers 250 feet above the rain for

Hiking The Himalayas With A Suitable Boy

I've been away for awhile, immersed in the vivid details of India. The Indian Himalayan mountain ranges are the loftiest in the world and though I've never witnessed them in person, I feel like I have an idea of what it might be like to scale them.  At 1474 pages, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, is one of the longest novels of the last century and the longest one -volume offering in the English language. It tops War and Peace and Ulysses in length and in the intimidating heft of the tome, which is saying a lot.  A Suitable Boy   is exhaustive in its scope of 50s era Indian life, examining everything from politics and castes, to religion and food.  I feel like I've spent weeks in India, observing ceremonies, talking with families and learning it's complex history and I'm both enlightened and tired from the experience. Set in the early 1950s, shortly after the Partition of India and Pakistan and during the first elections after independence, the novel offers insig