Update on pool soon come. Pool is finished – pavers / wall are still being worked on.
July 29: We had a relatively painless travel day – usually we drive to Atlanta and stay overnight at a hotel that allows parking for flights. This time we were flying out of Birmingham which is a much shorter drive for us. We were up at 3 in the morning to catch a 6am American Airlines flight. We had a 20 minute delay in Miami but the pilot made up the time in flight to St. Thomas.
We usually rent a car in St. Thomas but this time we rented on St. John. The cab over to Red Hook is always fun; you can always tell the Virgin Island n00bs because they are always freaking at the twisty roads with the 30+ degree inclines. We made the 2pm ferry and the Courtesy Car fellow was waiting for us. We hit a teensy snag here – Jon’s driver’s license was about to expire therefore for the first time in 6 trips I had to drive. Piece of cake. I made the drive to Lavender Hill apartments without incident and only a slight increase in blood pressure.
This was our first time staying in Cruz Bay. We had apartment 5W and I spent a lot of downtime on the balcony watching the ferrys and charter boats coming and going. 4pm was always a traffic jam in / out of the harbor. Anyway that day I was feeling brave enough to make a Starfish grocery run by myself. While I went shopping Jon took Brenden to the pool and heard a rumor of turtles in Maho Bay. We walked into town and ate at the Banana Deck. I love their food but the grammar nazi in me really cringes at all the extraeneous apostrophes in their menu.
July 30: We got to Maho by 8am. I love going to the beach early because no one else seems to. We usually have the place to ourself for an hour or so and we don’t have to sweat a parking space. We found the turtles, too. And sting rays and the other usual suspects including parrot fish, squids, and blue tang. It rained during the afternoon but we walked into town and went shopping. I bought some things in St. John spice (Cruz Bay grill rub and Jon’s favorite, Valley Doll 151 hot sauce). We ate in that night.
July 31. A tropical wave meant plenty of rain that morning. Jon was complaining about a painful big toe (gout) so went the the Myra Keating clinic. He was happy with the service he got there which amazes me. He never compliments any healthcare service he receives. Once he got back and the weather slacked we walked into town. We decided on the Beach Bar so our son could play in the sand – he doesn’t take too well to being cooped up on a rainy day.
August 1: While Jon went scuba diving with Low Key Watersports I took Brenden to Cinnamon Bay, my favorite beach. There are some intimidating switchbacks between Trunk and Cinnamon and I’m proud to say I got up them without incident. We got there at 8 and left around 11:30. The place was deserted when we got there but very crowded by St. John standards when we left. I guess it’s true; there is no such thing as low season any more.
August 2: We went back to Cinnamon Bay and Jon took Brenden kayaking. I’m totally blanking on the rest of the day. I’m sure food and beer were involved somehow.
August 3: Jon went scuba diving again so Brenden and I had a do-nothing day. We did swim in the pool and go walking around Cruz Bay some. St. John spice sells some sour watermelon candy that he fell in love with and it was his daily ritual to go buy some.
August 4: Back to Cinnamon Bay and all 3 of us went kayaking. Ernesto had passed well to the south but we were worried about the swells. The north shore beaches were fine. We would kayak to a beach, do some snorkeling, then paddle some more. Beyond the usual we saw a foot long barracuda. While we were watching it darted away and we saw it chase off some sort of shark, probably a reef shark. That thing was a good 3 feet long. That’s my joke when people ask me if I worry about sharks when I snorkel – I always say no, because the barracuda run them off. I never thought I’d see it though. In all honesty I’m more worried about jelly fish, sea urchins and fire coral than sharks and barracuda. Most beasties in the sea seem to steer clear of the one-horned buttfishes they encounter.
Here is a photo of a couple of one-horned buttfish: scary, no?
August 5: Our last full day. Jon didn’t want to do anything so I did something I’ve always wanted to do – hike the Lind Point trail. I took the low route to Salomon Beach then the high route back. Easy peasy and I’m sorry I didn’t brink my swimwear because Salomon was pretty. I met many lizards and hermit crabs along the way. I want to do more hiking when we come back.
When I returned Jon suggested driving to Coral Bay to Skinny Legs. That worked for me. The burgers are good and the rum punches are deadly – Jon had a few and was too hammered to drive home so I drove back. I enjoy driving in St. John now – just keep left and don’t let the inclines intimidate you. I only had to gesture at one fool who was driving on the right (sheesh! n00bs!). Anyway, back at Skinny Legs, Brenden
saw one of the waitresses flinging an ice cube at a stray chicken – the waitress exlained the chickens liked pecking at feet so she was chasing them off. My son BEGGED to help her so she gave him a squirt gun and he fended off wild chickens at Skinny Legs for the afternoon. I’m sure if you asked him he would tell you that was his favorite part of the trip.
August 6: We went home. Bleh.
Overall Jon agreed with me – staying in Cruz Bay is a great idea. We really loved walking into town and not having to worry about parking. Lavender Hill is a relatively inexpensive option and has everything we wanted in a place to stay. We probably won’t be able to go back next year, but in 2014 I turn 50 and I want a full two weeks in St. John.