Want to know what to do in the Caribbean in 2019?
Jamaica Art Festival; Belize local produce

The CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organization) has put together a wonderful interactive calendar giving you highlights from every destination in the Caribbean to wet your appetite throughout 2019.

From Bob Marley celebrations in Jamaica to sailing regattas in St Maarten; from golfing in Puerto Rico to hiking in the Nature Island Dominica; fishing tournaments in the Turks and Caicos to an international Kite Fesitival in Antigua, you will find endless sun, sand and local cuisine! (And did you know that there is a chocolate festival in Belize where they grow renound cacao beans?)

The Caribbean has recovered from the devistating hurricanes a couple of years ago and ready to welcome you all back. 

To check out this entire calendar click on the image below for the link:

Caribbean Calendar
Will you be welcoming 2019 with a Junkanoo?


Legend has it that you haven't needed an excuse to party in The Bahamas for well over 500 years.

But ask folks here at the top of the Caribbean how The Bahamas Junkanoo tradition got started and they'll all tell you a different story—with many believing it was established by John Canoe, a legendary West African Prince, who outwitted the English and became a local hero; and others suspecting it comes from the French ‘gens inconnus,’ which translates as 'unknown' or 'masked people'.

The most popular belief, however, is that it evovled from the days of slavery. Loyalists who migrated to The Bahamas in the late 18th Century brought their African slaves with them. The slaves were given three days off during the Christmas season, which they used to celebrate by singing and dancing in colorful masks, traveling from house to house, often on stilts. Junkanoo nearly vanished after slavery was abolished but the revival of the festival in The Bahamas now provides entertainment for many thousands

Photo Patrick Hanna


As the Junkanoo parade moves through the streets of downtown Nassau in the early hours of the morning (generally from 2am to 10am), the energy of the dancers and the beat of the music motivates the vast crowds of supporters and spectators to start moving in their seats, or on their feet, or in the trees, or on balconies—wherever they have found a spot from which to watch this soul-stirring festival!

At the end of the famous Junkanoo procession, judges award cash prizes for the best music, best costume, and best overall group presentation.


Junior Junkanoo is a school program that involves all the private and public schools throughout the Islands Of The Bahamas. 

The Junior Junkanoo program is very important because it is the life blood for the survival of future Junkanoo. It impacts the students in a way that adds to the school spirit, enhances self pride, builds self esteem, and contributes to the overall patriotism of the students. In addition, it provides opportunities for them to learn through their involvement. It assists students in research, planning, organizing, critical thinking, problem solving and role playing activities, and stimulates creative development.

Many children who have participated in the Junior Junkanoo program continued their involvement by joining groups in the senior parade. As a result of the Junior Junkanoo program, children have recognized their talents in music and dance, and have become great musicians or professional dancers.

Information about Junkanoo in the Bahamas courtest of Bahamas.com

Now how about owning an Island?!

So we’ve talked about living on an island, how about owning one – off the coast of Cape Cod! Sipson Island is for sale for the right buyer (family compound?)

      Just 90 miles from Boston, or a short drive from Hyannis or Chatham airports, this beautiful beach lined island of 25 acres is located in the middle of Pleasant Bay right off of Orleans Mass.  Oh, and you also get a private dock with parking on the main land!

The property has a seven-bedroom, 4-bath year round main house, several other year-round and seasonal houses, two boathouses and three docks that allow for deep water boat access to the Atlantic.

Oh, and you also get a private dock with parking on the main land!

Price you ask? Listing for under 8 million dollars!!

Sipson Island boat dock
Living on an Island
Caribbean house
St Martin

For all of you who spend holidays visiting islands some among you may dream what it would be like to live on an island year-round. Growing up on Long Island (NY) I never considered that living on an island! No, I wanted the Peter Pan island with tropical forests, mountain roads and cascading waterfalls. I eventually got my first taste of that reality when I flew into the island of Dominica one early afternoon. You see, this island is so mountainous that they still to this day don’t have an airport to land commercial jet planes so most transport is by the smaller prop planes. That in its self provides an awe inspiring decent into an island. Eventually I did move to St Maarten, Netherland Antilles and spent 4 years “living on the rock”. Of course I had to work a full time job and survive the high cost of living island life (and the distance from my family which was the eventual reason for my return.)

I recently came across a delightful site with stories by woman living on islands, some from birth and some as expats. These stories range from the delightful day-to-day episodes to the heart breaking accounts of living through hurricanes and the aftermath. Check it out at  Women who live on rocks.

Dreaming of Nantucket? This is a great summer read for you!
"The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate. 

For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave."(Amazon.com)

With all good historical fiction, Michelle Gable blends fiction with reality. In this story the Cliff House along with its owners is totally fictional but the 'real life' Sconset Bluff  where it's located exists and has been truly eroding since the 1970's. You will find reminiscent references to both island locations and island life as you immerse yourself in the personal memoires of the current day owners and vicariously live decades of life on Baxter Road.

photo by George Riethof
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The Simple Bus Life - Living on St Thomas USVI
Amanda and Joe are "tiny living" in their Vallhala in the tropics!

Tiny houses are usually built on trailer platforms. Typically, they are between a hundred and a hundred and thirty square feet, roughly the size of a covered wagon! Kent Griswold, who eleven years ago began Tiny House Blog, said that initially he “really had to scrounge to find material.” Now he can’t keep up. People send me stuff constantly. It’s all across the country.” Well, we discovered a tiny house built into an old school bus and "parked" on the Caribbean island St Thomas USVI!!


Amanda and Joe Trattner are regular folk from Connecticut and Chicago. Amanda had the opportunity to visit an uncle in St Thomas during summer breaks and she was taken with the simple natural aspects of the way that people lived in the islands and believed you don't actually need a whole lot to be happy After college the island life kept calling so Amanda moved to St Thomas, met and fell in love with Joe, they found a 1968 Crown Super Coach bus on ebay in Illinois, purchased a half acre of St Thomas overlooking Meagans Bay and embarked on “tiny house” living!


Check out their delightful blog: The Simple Bus Life .