Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands

When the cruise ship docked at Saint Thomas, we were ready to see the island with the shore excursion tour we purchased. Little did we know it would be such a ride! We boarded an open bus (picture a giant golf cart) and sped up the steep mountains. On the other side of the road. I was holding on tight to prevent being flung from the bus!
A look at Charlotte Amalie from above. Lots of cruise ships park here, so the town is full of tourists.
This is a view of Magens Bay, apparently National Geographic and Condé Nast Traveler have both rated it as one of the top ten beaches in the world. I wished the tour stopped down there instead.
I liked how the palm leaves were framing this.
The other Virgin Islands in view.
The tour took us to a gigantic souvenir shop that also claimed to have invented the first banana daiquiri.
We had to try it, of course! Banana, rum, and ice blended until smooth. Another dash of rum on top and garnished with a lemon wedge and cherry. It is so strong!!
When the tour ended, we went to search for a place to have lunch. There are lots of mini malls off the main street of the town, but we managed to find the right alley.
For lunch at Glady's Cafe was high recommended in a travel guide we looked at before the trip.
They're famous for their hot sauce.
Howard bought home three for his parents.
Each table and the bar were stocked with the hot sauce. Howard tried it and warned me not to attempt it. It was way beyond my spicy-handling level.
Jerk chicken. I ate all of the plantains on the side, which is why there's an empty space on the plate (bottom right). I was so hungry and they were so good, almost forgot about the camera!
Curry chicken roti with salad.
Service was friendly and brisk.
Look up and you'll see the mountains. Look the other way in the same street and you'll see the beach. What a happy medium!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Philipsburg, Sint Maarten

Philipsburg is the capital of Sint Maarten. You've probably noticed by now that the French and Dutch side have their own way of spelling out the name of their island. I think this makes for a very long country name, especially when some people write it as Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten!
But never mind that. Look at how blue the water is!
On the main shopping strip, Front Street, we see some piranhas.
We make a stop at their famous Emporium. While Howard picks up a souvenir bottle, I look around outside.
The pretty border decor on the outside of the shop.
Across the street, the most enticing alley I have ever seen. It is just beckoning me to come closer. I think I can live on the second floor balcony forever.
We didn't want to go back to the cruise ship for lunch, so we went looking for a few restaurants that a certain guidebook recommended. We had no idea where it was (we should have brought a map) and just as we were going to pick any place to eat, we found it!
It was way past lunch time by then or maybe it was a quiet Tuesday. Or maybe it was the service? They weren't the friendliest people we met.
Antoine Restaurant has a great view of the boardwalk and beach. You can even eat "outside" beside the boardwalk.
Wanting something simple, I had originally ordered the Linguine Napolitana, consisting of tomato sauce, basil, olive oil, and garlic. I even pointed to it on the menu and I'm pretty sure the server repeated our orders back. But somehow I ended up with the Seafood Linguine - seafood, olive oil, garlic, parsley. Not wanting the food to go to waste, I kept it.
Howard got what he ordered, Spaghetti Pescatore - anchovies, basil, garlic, and olive oil. At first, I thought his dish was mine since I knew that mine wouldn't have any kind of fish or seafood.
We explored the charms of Old Street before heading back to the ship.
No filters or photoshop. Just the coolest evening I've ever seen while our boat sailed away.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Marigot, Saint-Martin

Marigot is the capital on the French side of Saint Martin. Upon arriving at Philipburg, we left our cruise ship and took a boat to visit Marigot. Our tour guide/DJ/singer on the boat was Shine. He had a song for every occasion. According to the other passengers, his singing sounded better after a few of the complimentary rum.
Here are some of the sights we saw in the hour stay on the French side of the island:
The tour boat was docked at the Marina Royale. There are so many beautiful patio restaurants here. Some  smelled really good, but most were not open yet since it was still early.
Yes, French is the primary language on this half of the island, although, most people speak English.
As if the buildings weren't colourful enough, there was a whirl of colours in the flea market.
Hmm, didn't notice any vehicles carrying food when we were there.
One stall had over two dozen bags of spices.
Another vendor had homemade rhum.
We couldn't leave without picking up two chocolate croissants!
We'll miss you lil Paris!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Spice Necklace


I was thinking about how to start this blog post when I remembered something my manager told us. One of her author-illustrators always starts his e-mail with "Ahoy!" It seems very fitting for today. Howard and I are currently waiting at the airport. And in a couple of hours, we will be embarking on our first cruise together! An Epic cruise. (No, we're not sponsored by any cruise companies.) Howard and I are looking forward to visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau in the Bahamas.

Just so you know, this is a scheduled post because we didn't want to leave the blog empty. But be rest assured that we will share our adventures when we return. =)

I thought this would be a good time to share this book with you (I'm embarrassed to say that I finished reading it in April 2011). What took me so long to write about it? I don't know, but it's a great food and travel read!

The Spice Necklace: A Food-Lover's Caribbean Adventure
Written by Ann Vanderhoof

ISBN-13: 9780385663366
ISBN-10: 0385663366
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Hardcover: 480 Pages

Ann Vanderhoof and her husband Steve quit their jobs, rented out their house, and moved onto their sailboat, Receta (the Spanish word for "recipe"), to sail the Caribbean. At first, what do we think? Gutsy. Brave. Risky. A little bit crazy. Then we think... how wonderful! How romantic! The warm weather! The beautiful scenery! The food!

There aren't many of us who can do it or would do it. Gosh, I don't think we could. But Ann and Steve managed to do it twice - The Spice Necklace picks up from her first book, An Embarrassment of Mangoes. I haven't read the first one, but felt comfortable reading about their second journey.

Ann and Steve visit old friends and meet new ones on their second trip to the Caribbeans. They're blessed with fantastic opportunities to watch, learn, and take part in island traditions. My favourite reads were about their discovery of new foods or cooking methods because they would go back to their tiny boat kitchen to re-make it. Best of all, Ann shares the tricks and secrets. There's quite a collection of recipes throughout the chapters - from snacks to drinks, mains and sides, desserts and extra spices.

If you're like me, you'll dream of visiting Grenada after reading this culinary voyage! There should be cruises for food-lovers!