A Day Off
An Adventure in St. Thomas, During Which I Meet Mikey

The Texas Chili Society of the Virgin Islands ...

…where you don’t have to be Texan to belong to the Society.

On Sunday, EW and I actually had a day off together and used it to do something fun! First, we had to wait out hours of heavy rain, then we did laundry and got water, and then we hopped on a safari bus and headed to Brewer’s Beach to join Keith and Jaime at the VI Texas Chili Society Cook-Off.

This annual fundraiser is held rain or shine, and I commend the chefs for getting their chili made and their tents decorated during the same downpour that kept us aboard La Luna for most of the morning. This event is a fundraiser with proceeds going to a number of local charities. Those vying for chili honors pay to participate and all who make meat chili are gifted with ten pounds of beef.

It’s held at a local beach, easily accessible by dinghy, sail or powerboat, automobile, and the safari bus. There is no fee to attend, folks can enjoy the beach, listen to live music, and ignore the event, or they can choose to participate fully in the Chili-Off. We opted for participation, buying red tickets for chili and blue ones for drinks. We meandered from booth to booth sampling chili with ground beef and beans, meatless chili, chili with beef chunks and no beans, and all combinations. In addition to live music, there was a tug of war contest.

Like many events we’ve attended in the VI, you have to be ‘in the know” to fully appreciate the event. We weren’t. The announcement of the winners is a case in point, none were listed by the booth sponsor, so if you don’t know the name of the chef, you don’t know if your favorite chili won. This island is like that.

But our lack of knowledge just meant that we simply observed, ate, drank and enjoyed. It was a fun day.


Here is Jaime at the booth we knew of as “Wolf’s”, with Wolf. This was her second stop there. We four liked his chili best. Nice decorations, too. 

EW and I purchased water at our first stop at the drink booth. Jaime and Keith vetoed that and sent us right back for a bucket of rum punch. Oh darn.








 Rum punch is tasty, cooling to the palate, and easily “handled” for those eating chili.


In fact, this is much easier than juggling appetizers  and a wine glass at various networking functions. I think Chambers of Commerce should offer drink buckets with handles.


Yeah .. probably not.









One group worked on an elaborate sand castle.



Completed, it appeared to have a number of “in” jokes or comments.



We totally understood the MoJo booth. This popular island bar is currently surrounded by construction. Their radio ads encourage folks to brave the moat and join them.



The sign says: “Havensight Construction  I <heart> WAPA.

WAPA is the power authority here. No one loves them.

This lady purchased sunglasses just for the event. Do they wear these in Texas? Really?
















Dr. Livingstone’s booth offered Greek yogurt as a topping – served in a medically correct way. Great chili, too.

The nurses also offered shots – from IV bags filled with rum or tequila. Most people opted to receive their meds in a shot glass. This gentleman went straight to the source.

















This booth won 2nd in the themed category for booths with 10 people or more. I didn’t see the rest of them, but this guy gets the prize for wearing full biker chaps, black jeans, and black boots all day at a hot beach.





















EW and I dressed for the weather.
























It was one of those hot, overcast days. Both couples brought umbrellas, but Jaime didn’t take her sunglasses. EW offered his. Look were she clipped them.















Cowboy hats and Texan T-Shirts abounded at the beach.
























As did many body parts and ornate tats. Lots of tats on lots of body parts.






































Bless their hearts.

Once we’d eaten our fill, EW wandered off to listen to the music while Keith, Jaime, and I watched the tug of war.



















Here’s Keith with the Pro Solar Team. They made a valiant effort, but were beaten by the  --no kidding – “Sit on my Face Book” team.

Now that’s embarrassing.

So’s this --- un-named anchor on a team I’ll call “Anonymous”.


Not only did I not resist taking that photo – I actually took many of them as the shorts wert lower and lower.

Yes, I can be like that.

Back near the stage, this couple was actually able to dance in the soft sand. I was impressed.


The last performance was by the Becca Darling Band. Becca has been perfecting her stage presence and singing during the past few years in St. Thomas. This was her last appearance as a local performer as she is moving back to The States to pursue her career. She and the band were outstanding at the Chili- Off.


































EW and I enjoyed the day. Here he is, groovin’ to the Becca Darling Band. Love the umbrella. He’s so cool he can carry it off.


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