Wedding Reception - Passed Apps & Assisted Buffet -
Kismet Villa - 10/17/08 - 50 Guests
This is probably the most stressed out I’ve been in a long time. Not for the usual reasons, either. The bride and groom were both totally chill, we were very familiar with the kitchen and house, the staff was all lined up, we weren’t missing any food items, and we had all our ducks in a row. Then out of nowhere there was Omar. Hurricane Omar. Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Great. (Note the sarcasm here).
OK, so now, on top of the other two events we had going on that day, we had to deal with possible power outages (i.e. food spoilage), date changes, relatives’ cancelled flights, alternate rain plans to move the guests inside, an understandably stressed out couple and coordinator, and oh yeah, I’ve got to board up MY house, too!
Having been here since September 14, 1995 and experienced several storms (including one named Marilyn on September 15, 1995), I have been through the motions and so proceeded to hunker down with my family and a bottle of rum and obsessively watch the NOAA updates (why only every three hours??!!) as well as all satellite images I could get my hands on until the inevitable WAPA shutdown took away our connections.
But it didn’t come. All that praying and swearing and blemish-producing stress must have paid off because we only lost power for two hours, maybe. To give you an idea of how close Omar came to hitting us, look at a map of the Virgin Islands. St. Croix, only 40 miles to the south, got some damage. Puerto Rico, 80 miles to the east got whacked in some areas. But St. Thomas and St. John went virtually unscathed minus some excessive water-related incidents.
My most excellent chef Tim, who helped us batten down the hatches, says he wishes we got hit just a little. Sometimes he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, because let me tell you, it is NOT FUN being in the middle of 100+ mph winds. Silly rabbit.
So after all that, the weather cleared up and it ended up being one of the best events we’ve done. I don’t know if we were on our A-game that day or that the stars were aligned or merely the fact that the imminent crisis brought those families closer together so they were just thrilled to have any sort of party at all, but this was one of the most memorable receptions in my humble career.
They even hired us to do a Beach BBQ for the next day.