Visual surprise

Photographed in early March 2010, sunny Grenada was a sight for sore eyes!

Photographed in early March 2010, sunny Grenada was a sight for sore eyes!

“Visual surprise is natural in the Caribbean; it comes with the landscape, and faced with its beauty, the sigh of History dissolves.”Derek Walcott

There’s nothing like a good dose of the Caribbean to warm and brighten the dullest March.  There are places more elegant, more prestigious, more affluent or trendy, but I’ve never been anywhere that was quite as good at making me feel welcome, relaxed and carefree.

Part of the vibe comes from the colors, which are everywhere.  The tropical flowers and birds would be enough, but islanders add splashes of vibrant hue in their buildings and even their roofs.  And then, of course, there’s that incomparable Caribbean blue; warm saltwater of a color palette not quite duplicated anywhere else, even in Hawaii.

I don’t know about you, but for me, this is the time of year when I could use a little visual surprise here and there.  I did a quick Google search using the term “Colors of the Caribbean” and then clicked on “images.” I came up with this collection of island brights. Scroll through them quickly and let me know if you can hear Calypso music playing in your head!

One year ago today:

Try adding some bright


  1. Ann

    Scrolling through the colors of the Caribbean left me with a smile and an inner glow. We’ve been there many times and never tire of looking at, or being in, the beautiful waters!

    Thanks for another beautiful start to the day.


    • Ann, you’re welcome! Isn’t it wonderful how many different kinds of beauty there are in this world? I’m so happy you enjoyed the post.

  2. Eleni Brewster

    Beautiful and fit colors, indeed! Nothing looks gaudy, no matter what hues of colors are mixed and matched.

    • Yes, it’s all in perfect harmony with the lovely surroundings. It must be something about island living that creates a special kind of aesthetic awareness, because Mykonos is also beautifully colorful, in a different but equally appealing way, as the post from last year shows. Hope you are doing well and having a nice weekend!

  3. Well now, I guess there’s a wee bit of calypso in these Ukrainian bones. I really gravitate to seaside and beach home palette. Have you ever bought a magazine called Cottage Style? or Coastal Living? Their layouts are filled with similar beach inspired colours and decor and I love it. There’s virtually not a colour that doesn’t go with Aqua.

    You had a beautiful vantage point to capture Grenada. We’ve never been but my brothers just returned from a diving excursion there and loved it. He’s single and travels light, he just decides one day and goes the next, HA. It takes me 2 days just to decide what shoes to pack. 😀

    • Yes, I’ve seen those magazines in waiting rooms (where I spend a good bit of time 🙂 ) and they are refreshing to the eye. I believe that shot of Grenada was taken from Ft. George, although I’d have to go back and check the photo sequence to be sure. I have never mastered the art of traveling light, but perhaps one day I will. I am to anxious about getting someplace and wishing I had brought something I didn’t bring – which has happened to me a lot. SHOES are a very important consideration when one walks as much as I do on vacations! Or so I tell myself.

  4. raynard

    Julia, while my wife keeps saying “the C” word= cruise, I dont really know where I want go. The joke was when I got to Iraq, “I cant swim, dont own a boat and that’s too much water for me to drink.( I always thought Life Magazine and National Geographic had the best photography).BTW, When I was attending H.S in NY, I had fellow students from most Caribbean Islands and have you ever heard of the Annual West Indian Parade in Brooklyn NY? The Parade route was 2 blocks away from my house growing up.( Don’t ask me about the Annual Mummer’s Parade in Philadelphia on New Year’s day lol) be blessed , Oh just came back from Shady Maple and “I feel fattered” lol

    • Raynard, I’m going to have to help your wife convince you that cruising is the way to go! It’s really the most cost effective way to see a lot of different places and as a bonus the traveling is done while you sleep. They have New England cruises that leave from NYC and sail along the coast, and don’t get very far from shore most of the time, so that might be good for anybody who doesn’t like the idea of being too far out on the ocean. When we sailed from NYC on our New England cruise we sailed right under the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge and it was so fun. I actually prefer inside cabins because they are quiet, private and restful – and they are so inexpensive! We like not having to pack and unpack except one time, and of course don’t get me started about the eating…

      I don’t think I had heard of the West Indian Parade but I’ll bet it was great. I have heard of the Mummer’s Parade and would like to see it sometime but I’m not sure I’d want to be out in the cold that long on January 1. I watched some YouTube videos of it, though, and it looks like a lot of the people wandered off the set for the Land of Oz or something. Hard to imagine grown people going to that much effort on all those elaborate costumes, sets, etc. It would certainly be a sight to see in real life, I’m sure. Glad you had a nice Anniversary dinner!! Congratulations!!

  5. Sheila

    Julia, several years ago I really enjoyed reading, “A Trip To The Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean” by Melinda and Robert Blanchard. It was a fascinating true story about a husband and wife, who sell their successful Vermont business, and move to Anguilla to open a restaurant. These beautiful images make me want to read it again! Hope you’re having a good weekend. 🙂

    • Sheila, that sounds like a fun book. We have had a nice weekend, enjoying 70 degree weather today — but aren’t crazy about the weather forecast for tomorrow (calling for MORE sleet and snow)! Hope you won’t get hit with it again. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted.

  6. Beth

    Julia, the first island I visited was Jamaica in 1973. Montego Bay. Beautiful tropical paradise and all distances were one-quarter mile! I need to find the few pictures I have 🙂

    • Beth, I have a lot of those photos, though they were originally slides that didn’t digitize as well as I hoped they would. Still, they bring back lots of memories…do you remember the hilarious remark you made when those singers kept doing encores of “Yellow Bird” beneath the balcony of the room you and I had, next door to Mom and Dad’s? That’s one of my favorite memories!

  7. Jenelle

    I’m a bit behind, but I need some color right now and I appreciate the link of Caribbean colors! I often google image tropical beaches 🙂

    • I need to do a google image search of tropical beaches too. I’ve gotten kind of hooked on those image searches lately. It’s a great way to get an instant visual mosaic of lovely sights!

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