The final loss of life hasn't been determined... as of the last time I talked to Elvis, he, and his grandparents, had survived the storm, though they were left with just the clothes they were wearing when the storm hit and several family members were "lost" ...though I am unclear as to whether that just means they have not been located.
But while Elvis is alive and OK, just a few scratches, the island is not. There has been a complete loss of communication to most of the island, there is no food or water, and public and government buildings have been damaged as badly as private homes, so there is literally no place for many to shelter at all.
Dominca is considered a paradise for ecotourists... the pristine waterfalls, rain forests, diving and hiking opportunities are matched only by the diverse flora and fauna... which has been Elvis's life. With a background in biology and botany, Elvis is a naturalist who has guided university students and scientists, as well as just regular folk, like you and I, around his island home.
But that is over for now. A CNN crew who flew over Dominica reported: “Nearly every tree was touched – thousands snapped and strewn across the landscape – and the island was stripped of vegetation. The rainforests appear to have vanished."
“The breadth of the destruction is staggering – intact or untouched homes are hard to find amid the chaos.”
Besides a lack of food and water, food crops have been destroyed, food animals have died and been swept away and some communities, having only generators or car batteries as a source of power, are completely cut off. Because roads are impassable, relief teams have been dropping personnel, with satellite phones, into the most remote areas to coordinate supply drops.
Fortunately, nature is resilient, she will heal herself, and offer up her bounty again more quickly than man can rebuild his abodes. In the meantime, though, Elvis, his family and neighbors are desperate for the basics.
How can you help?
There are several ways you can donate.... this is one of the best, most direct, relief efforts for Dominica... www.darda.org/hurricane-maria-relief.html
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is the home of a historic lighthouse built in 1825 and the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. The park is popular for sunbathing, swimming and picnicing and there is more than a mile of sandy Atlantic beachfront to enjoy, Ranked of of the "Top 10 Beaches in America" by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka 'Dr. Beach.' Biking and kayaking are also popular activities. Fisherman can throw in their lines from the seawall for some of the best shoreline fishing in the region. Bicycles, beach chairs, and umbrellas can be rented.
Want a guided tour of the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper's cottage? They are given twice daily, Thursdays through Mondays. If you aren't prepared to bring your own picnic, you can also enjoy two restaurants, Lighthouse Café and Boater's Grill, which offers authentic Cuban cuisine.
See the amazing video DRONE footage below of the Ritz and of Bill Baggs State Park, shot by Sky High Aerial Productions. You'll feel like you're there, and you're flying...
2. Uncover the Stairways
Seattle is hilly, and many buildings have lovely stairways. If you enjoy obscure adventures, what's better than setting out in search of steps? The quest will take you to all types of buildings and neighborhoods. Here's a MAP to get you started! Speaking of neighborhoods…
5. Go Swimming
Seattle offers many swimming options, including the fun Lake Washington, Puget Sound and indoor and outdoor pools. Be sure to check out Colman Pool, which could quite possibly be the top pool in the U.S. It's even saltwater.
6. Take Advantage of Nature
From whale watching to hiking to visits to the San Juan Islands, the Seattle area has plenty of opportunities for you to get in tune with nature; take advantage of them, especially the beaches! Once you dive into daily life, it's harder to carve out these times.
Other iconic spots include Dick's Drive-In and the Space Needle. No explanation needed for the Space Needle; it's what represents Seattle on TV. Dick's is an iconic Seattle eatery that was founded in 1954 and that has since spread to multiple locations. Best burgers around! Pike Place Market is like a farmer's market, and you can find the freshest seafood and produce there, while the Elliott Bay Waterfront offers gorgeous views of the bay and is easily accessible in downtown Seattle.
10. Meet People!
People are one of the best things about Seattle. Activities abound, including volunteer efforts, workshops, book readings, yoga classes and fitness camps, so you can find at least one thing that interests you.
Also... check out the business organizations; there are many professional groups, such as the American Marketing Association - Puget Sound Chapter, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and the National Property Management Association (NPMA) - Northwest Chapter.
There's a city out there waiting for you to explore it. Time to get started!
by Joe Mack
Approximately 50 miles north of New York City, there is a locale called the Hudson Valley. Some of us are lucky enough to live here. Others come for a visit. A day trip, a weekend, some stay for a week. There is long list of things to do and see up here.
who worked for him in the warehouses on the island. What were stored here were arms and munitions. This too has gardens around it. These buildings are NOT what you usually see in the Hudson Valley. Kinds of reminds me of being on the Rhine or Danube.
... by Linda Y. Walters
When it comes to having a great time, Key West, a city founded back in 1822, is an incredible mixture of excitement, sea faring exploration and most of all, one's own imagination. There's no shortage of local bars and legendary haunts to "drop in on" on any given day. Just don't try to do them all at once!
Duval Street, a hub of activity, has long been the center of Key West night life. You might want to visit The Bull, Sloppy Joe's Bar, or The Whistle Bar which has a clothing optional mantra. Captain Tony's (known for its bar stools which hang upside down from the ceiling) was also reportedly the favorite afternoon haunt of the Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning author, Ernest Hemingway. Many world reknowned persons including Tennessee Williams, former President Harry Truman and the legendary ocean treasure hunter, Mel Fisher, have contributed to the undeniable lure and history of this tiny island just 90 miles off the coast of Cuba.
Prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis, ferries and trade between Key West and Havana were a common daily occurrence. Visit Zachary Taylor Fort for an exciting look at Key West's historical past.
With local haunts like Blue Heaven, Smokin Tuna, and a liquor store named "The Lost Weekend," Key West's significant cultural allure remains in place. Even John F Kennedy is said to have visited Captain Tony's, still known for the distinction of offering its visitors the opportunity to flip coins into the mouths of groupers. Recently renovated, this undeniable landmark reopened in early November of 2016.
Mallory Square, located just a short walk off Duval Street, offers a popular stretch of beach which comes alive daily with a celebration of entertaining street performers and crafts vendors. There's also the undeniable allure of the amazing daily sunset. Thousands gather nightly to witness the splendor of watching as the sun seems to meld with the vastness of the ocean. Cameras poised, its a nightly celebration aptly named "the Sunset Walk".
"Hyatt Centric", which is a branded subdivision of Hyatt Hotels, focuses on and utilizes the specifics of its locatIon and all its inherent components," stated Braedan Quigley, Hyatt Sales & Marketing Director at Hyatts of the Caribbean.
He continued, "In Key West, for example, we focused on Cuban coffee, Ernest Hemingway's influences, and Tenessee Williams' drink specialties, in giving this location its higher demand and visibility".
The Hyatt Centric Key West offers extremely spacious bedrooms, each with a water view from your own private balcony. A sumptuous bathroom, with a generous sized shower, and the added luxury of your choice of operation including rain shower or hand held, in many ways is mindful of a spa experience minus the massage. Add the fragrant lotions and scents, and, of course, the relaxing effects of simply letting your thoughts slow down, and firmly reconnect with your inner calm.
Couples massages, called "duets", are available as well and can include full body signature massage, hot oil scalp massage , or the extremely rejuvenating footscrub.
Jala, which means "water" in Sanskrit, is really all about getting you in touch with your essential life. Explore the delightful experience of relaxation. You owe it to yourself to slow down even if it's only for one hour.
There's no shortage of imagination or deliciousness on the menu. Frozen drinks are also available and you can order from the Mojiti poolside menu which includes a great selection of salads and finger foods.
For breakfast, lunch or dinner, Shor American Seafood Grill is on property and does an amazing job of delivering five star cuisine.
The eclectic menu offers a wide array of internationally represented flavors with several choices of fresh catch, local favorites and delicately prepared side dishes you won't soon forget.
Breakfast offerings include delicious smoked salmon served on pumpernickel break with egg white, cream cheese and capers which took the dish to another level in its delivery of flavor. The Cajun Omelet was amazing and included Andouille sausage, bacon, peppers, Monterey Jack Cheese as well as several requisite Cajun spices. The menu also included the ever popular Fried Chicken and Waffles, an Island Breakfast Ceviche, Eggs Benedict and even a healthy Warm Tropical Fruit Quinoa. Freshly squeezed orange juice, good, strong Cuban coffee and an assortment of teas are also available. Lunch is available as well and includes great soups, salads sandwiches with a local flare and seafood choices as well.
The dinner menu at SHOR is nothing short of spectacular. Appetizers include everything from Charred Baby Octopus, Key West Seafood Hot Pot, Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly and/or Calamari Fries. Or choose from the Angus Prime Steak, Orange Mojo Gulf Stream Mahi Mahi, Key West Ale Braised Short Ribs, or Pan Seared Local Catch of the Day. Much of the seafood served at this distinctive dining establishment has been caught locally and is done so on a daily basis. The freshness is evident.
With an idyllic location in Old Town Key West, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa offers access to prime sites for relaxation and rejuvenation. Get out on the water, lounge on the beach, or meander through the streets of Old Town as you marvel at the historical architecture. Whether your passion is golf, snorkeling, or spa treatments, you’ll find that you can experience it all from our Key West resort, leaving you refreshed when the time comes to journey home.
#KeyWest #Hyatt #LindaWalters
by Joe Mack
Thinking about the Caribbean Island of St Martin, for me, there is only one side, the French Side. I had heard about St Martin. I knew half of the island was French. I like all things French. I go regularly to Quebec City, Canada, and I have toured the South of France. Nice, St Tropez, Cannes. But that’s another story. HERE I deal with the Caribbean.
I did research before coming to the island. My wife Jaci and I are “foodies" and I discovered the town of Grand Case is considered the “Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean.” There is a good reason why. Main Street in Grand Case is called Grand Case Blvd. Here you will find some hotels and B&B’s lining the beach side of the street but, the first thing you will notice, are the number of restaurants. They adorn both sides of the street. On the ocean side, you will get the extra benefit of an ocean view while you dine. Anything in Grand Case that is along the beach is RIGHT ON THE BEACH. It is not a walk to the beach, you are right on the beach. In St Martin, as in most Caribbean islands, no beach is private, they belong to everyone.
It didn’t take long for me to stop dwelling on these buildings. And they are not the norm. As of this date, places like this are few and far between. Renovations are booming. And now, at least on the ocean side, it’s hard to find a vacant building. The rest of the town is wonderful. And the people really are friendly as the name implies, The Friendly Island.
Grand Case Blvd is narrow. Cars park on both sides. Lucky for you, on most of Grand Case Blvd there is only one way traffic, including the main part. You learn to weave in and out of parked cars as you maneuver down the street. You see people walking, in cars and in their houses. You wave, they wave. You learn the rhythm of the island very fast.
The beach is a small one. The water is shallow, warm as you might expect. There is a sandy bottom. Not really much of a surf. If you want surf, got to Orient Beach.
Oh, this was about food wasn’t it? You have your choice. French, Sea Food, Thai, Italian, Creole, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, Tapas and, of course, Caribbean. There is an Island Barbeque type place with traditional island food called “a Lolo”. There is one in Grand Case.
At the end of your stay. Before you pack your bags and head for the airport, you have go to “Tijon Perfumeries & Boutique”. Here you will get a lesson in making perfume. The owner is very knowledgeable about scents, and guides you thru the process of making YOUR own personal scent. You take one of these scents, one of those, one of the other. He mixes it for you. Catalogs it in his data base. YOU give it a name and the formula is saved. If and when you come back, you can have more made, the same fragrance. Or you can contact him thru a web site and re order your own special scent that NO ONE else in the world has but YOU.
This video is by Cedric Gourret, from Guadeloupe, France of his visit and tour of Dominica with Elvis. Enjoy, and click the Vimeo link to see more videos from Cedric as well.
Dominica: Place your mouse over the photo below to begin the slideshow