Caribbean Getaway: Part I

So, it’s been awhile, but I was on vacation, and I planned to post while on vacation, and I took my laptop and everything, but when I got down there, I didn’t feel like it, and so I didn’t blog, and I refused to feel guilty about it because I was on vacation, and all I wanted to do was sit and read and play in the ocean and eat and drink rum, and so I did.  The end.

BUT…now I am back, and so I shall tell you all (or mostly) about my vacation, and by the time I finish that, hopefully our lives will be back into our usual routine, and my children will be less-whiny and more sleep-prone, and I will stop regretting ever going on vacation.  (Sooooo sleeeeepy right now you gu…zzzzzz.  See?  So much so that I have resorted to making hacky jokes like that.)

Anyway, VACATION!  So, last Sunday, July 13th, Jon and I got up veeeery early* and drove up to KCI to catch our 7 a.m. flight to Charlotte, NC where we would board another flight to St. Thomas, USVI and our Caribbean getaway.**  This all went as planned (even flying US Airways, I’m as shocked as you are), and we arrive in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas at about 3 p.m.  Luggage was collected, taxis were taken, staff was gently cajoled into giving us a room with a better view, and by about 4:30, we were sitting by the pool enjoying complimentary rum punch and trying to acclimate to the 86 degree, 100% humidity air.  (It wasn’t that bad, what with the wind off the water and the proximity of the pool, it just took some getting used to).  We changed for dinner (nothing fancy, just not a bikini), and wandered over to the neighboring resort for some al fresco dining beside the sea before walking back along the beach to our condo and calling it a night.

The view from our room.  The room they originally tried to give them basically had a view of the parking lot, but we flashed Jon's dad's "Platinum" status at them, and they at least gave us a bit of ocean to at which to gaze.

The view from our room. The room they originally tried to give us basically had a view of the parking lot, but we flashed Jon’s dad’s “Platinum” status at them, and they at least gave us a bit of ocean to at which to gaze.

Monday morning, we grabbed a taxi to one of the local supermarkets and spent about half an hour trying to find things we thought we could actually make a meal with that weren’t the crazy-high island prices.  (When you have to import basically everything, you tend to have to pay for it.)  We left with sandwich fixings, chips, shrimp, pork chops, beer (Presidente, which is basically the local equivalent of Bud Light, but infinitely cheaper and perfect for beach drinking), rum, white wine, and the most random assortment of produce I think I’ve ever purchased:  carrots, an onion, bananas, and two beets.  Like I said, the pricing is…tricky.  However, we had packed salt, pepper, olive oil, vegetable oil, pasta, coffee, taco seasoning, bagels, lemons, limes, and cayenne in our luggage, so we figured we could at least stumble our way through a couple meals in the room and definitely make sandwiches to take to the beach most days.  (And for the most part, we did, so kudos us.)

It's a pretty can, though, even if it does taste like nothing.

It’s a pretty can, though, even if it does taste like nothing.

Pantry stocked, we made some of the aforementioned sandwiches, packed up some beer, coke (the drinking kinds, crazies), and rum and headed over to Morning Star beach, which was just at the Marriott resort next door.  (We were staying in the condos at Marriott Frenchmen’s Cove, so the “Reef”, their sister hotel on the island was within walking distance, or you could take the free shuttle.)  There we lounged under umbrellas, got in the water to cool off occasionally, and generally proceeded to be as lazy as humanly possible.

These guys are all over the island, but they’re especially prevalent on the stairs that go between the two properties. It’s like a scaly little welcoming committee! One that will bite your everloving hand off if you try to touch it. (We did not because we’re not dumb.) (Photo by Jon.)

Not my feet...obviously.  (Photo by Jon.)

Not my feet…obviously. (Photo by Jon.)

This lovely women had nothing to do with us, but doesn't she just look stunning?!  Between her and the cruise ship, it was like a freaking postcard, wandering by my beach chair.  (Photo by Jon.)

This lovely women had nothing to do with us, but doesn’t she just look stunning?! Between her and the cruise ship, it was like a freaking postcard, wandering by my beach chair. (Photo by Jon.)

Beach time was followed by pool time back at our own resort, and this was followed by a trip to the Dog House Pub, where I may or may not have eaten chili cheese tots with my fingers.  (In my defense, they were really freaking good, I was really freaking hungry, and…I had no one for whom I had to set a good example.  Sure, let’s go with that.  Not I’m a huge glutton.)

Tuesday, we took the ferry from Red Hook, St. Thomas to Cruz Bay, St. John.  We then decided to hike the 1 mile to Honeymooner’s Beach…in our flip flops.  Just so you know, by the end of the hike there and back, two brand-new pairs of flip flops had to be purchased.  Ahem.  Lesson learned, and all that.  Once we got there, the beach was nice enough, but there were a lot of cruise ships in that day, and several of the excursions kept dropping boat loads of people just off shore, to snorkel in the bay, so…  Not a terrible beach, and we did see some interesting fish and a ray while snorkeling, but crowded.  We’re not big on sharing, clearly.  We stopped by the Ocean Grill for snacks and cocktails, took the ferry back to St. Thomas, got ourselves back to our rooms, and Jon cooked dinner while I sipped wine and read some of either my second or third book of the trip.  Sigh…so much lovely reading time.  Bliss.

So, his broke on the way up, and I rushed back to the visitors' center to purchase the largest flip-flops they had (still a size too small, but he made do).  Mine broke on the way down.  Blergh.  Clearly, we do not endorse hiking in flip-flops.  (Nor did we before this venture, we were just lazy and didn't want to pack more than one pair of shoes.) (Photo by Jon.)

So, his broke on the way up, and I rushed back to the visitors’ center to purchase the largest flip-flops they had (still a size too small, but he made do). Mine broke on the way down. Blergh. Clearly, we do not endorse hiking in flip-flops. (Nor did we before this venture, we were just lazy and didn’t want to pack more than one pair of shoes.) (Photo by Jon.)

One of the many hermit crabs we saw on the trail.  It makes a better picture than the large piles of donkey poo, although we lots of them, too.

One of the many hermit crabs we saw on the trail. It makes a better picture than the large piles of donkey poo, although we lots of them, too. (Photo by Jon.)

Honeymooner's beach

Honeymooner’s beach

This was my view of my ten-years husband for large portions of the afternoon.  Yes, of course he brought his own hammock. Duh.

This was my view of my ten-years husband for large portions of the afternoon. Yes, of course he brought his own hammock. Duh.

Jon chose to sample local beers at Ocean Grill. I...

Jon chose to sample local beers at Ocean Grill. I…

went straight for the rum.  Also, duh.

went straight for the rum. Also, duh.

All right, dears, I’m going to slap some pictures into this bad boy and call it a night.  (Well, that or I’m going to once again go comfort Miss Cranky-pants, who is still refusing to go to freaking sleep without putting up a fight [she’s also gone back to waking up two to three times a night, so wheeeee!].)  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the final days of the trip up on the next few days, and we can stop pretending I right some sort of damn travel blog and return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Cheers!  ~A

 

* Note that before I go on vacation, I am a freaking five-year-old and cannot sleep, so you can safely assume that no matter how early I have to get up, I’ve only gotten roughly 3.5 hours of sleep.  This was true this time, too.

** You’re right.  We are not normally “beach” people.  As you all know, I have a well-documented (mostly by myself) aversion to “heat.”  However, after ten years of marriage and almost six years of kids, we wanted a vacation where we could literally sit in do nothing (or in my case, read ALL the books), so some island time in the Caribbean seemed perfect.