Saturday, September 17, 2005

Woke up to the sounds of large machinery and digging this a.m. Since this island is mostly rock, digging is more like pounding, and very loud! One of the houses below us, right on the water, is being remodeled into two apartments and they always start work on it early. Due to the heat many islanders get up at dawn and do their yard type work early. I picked up Steve from the airport last night and we stopped to have a late dinner at Tickles, which is in Crown Bay marina. There was only a handful of people in the place and it wasn't quite 10 p.m. yet. If it had been Friday night in Houston we would have been on a waiting list to get in. The town was dead when we drove through. For all the talk of this being a party island, Charlotte Amalie closes up pretty early at night.

Read about one of the pirates who sailed the waters of the Caribbean. Matter of fact Sir Frances Drake died of dysentery somewhere in the West Indies. Nothing like the Queen of England knighting a pirate who raided Spanish ships to build up her coffers. Laurie Lawlor's Dead Reckoning is about Drake's three year voyage to plunder Spanish ships. It is told from the point of view of his nephew, renamed Emmet for this fictional retelling of the adventure. Lawlor didn't have as many historical documents to work from as some authors as many of these were destroyed due to the nature of Drake's "business". He never was accepted into high society as he was a very crude man. Very well written novel that leaves little to the imagination as to how cruel and difficult a pirate's life was.

How about a Christmas version of the three bears in which the visitor is Santa instead of Goldilocks. That is just what happens in The Three Bears' Christmas by Kathy Duval. The story is quite cute, with Santa nibbling on their gingerbread cookies instead of porridge. He leaves behind a mitten, his hat, boots and jacket. The last page shows Santa flying away in his sleigh, minus those items. It's going to be a cold flight back to the North Pole for this Santa. :-) Little ones will love comparing it with the "real" tale of the Three Bears.

All for now. Just glad the Internet is back up. The stormy weather has had it down quite a bit the last few days.