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Bluwater's Final Installment - Trip Report

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Bluwater
(@bluwater)
Island Expert

Days passed lazily and easily on Magens Bay this week. We ate at some of our favorite places - including Burrito Bay in Red Hook where they make the best jerk chicken burritos served with "seasoned rice" (Spanish), white rice or a side salad (and probably other things I don't recall seeing on the menu) - very tasty and reasonably priced.

Around midweek, the boys started to talk about wanting to get to Virgin Gorda for a day at the Baths. We all got excited (imagine that - we were actually going to expend a little energy to DO something - ha ha). But, the night before we were to leave, the boys said they didn't feel like it…and, frankly, nobody else seemed to care either. Not that the Baths aren't a sight to behold and experience, but - we have already visited more than once - and the thought of the trip seemed like more hassle than we felt like handling. I had become accustomed to "shuffling" around all day. If I had to keep time for a boat to VG, it might strain my brain, so we all just shrugged at the boys' announcement…..and went back to shuffling.

Feeling awfully lazy and a little guilty about it, we decided to get to St John on the day we had originally planned to get to VG. St John seemed like a more easily achievable goal.

I think we missed a couple of ferries (shuffling and all), so we didn't depart for STJ 'til after lunch (at Burrito Bay). The day was a little overcast, which was alright since I was hoping to really get some time in the water without burning to a crisp. I knew we would also find plenty of shade, which is what I enjoy about most STJ beaches and Magens - there's always shade to be had under palms or a seagrape. Speaking of seagrapes, the grapes were multicolored this time of year…or are they always and I've never noticed. I enjoyed looking at the jewel-toned seagrapes hanging in HUGE bunches.

The ferry ride was pleasant, but we did jump a couple of large swells, which brought a cheer from the crowd on the upper deck. "Whoooooo" everyone suddenly yelled as we came down from that lift. It was a little "roller coaster" feeling. But, that was the only crazy hill…the rest were a little rocky, but manageable. I wonder if Ernesto had something to do with the sea being rough. (it wasn't rough at Trunk Bay).

We exited the ferry (THERE WERE NO SHIPS IN ON THIS DAY) and I went to say hello to Ruth at St John Spice while mom and dad went jewelry shopping. Ruth and her family were in the store (her hubby was doing some construction work on the new location of their children's store - exit the ferry and see the first set of stores on the right side of the dock - second floor). Ruth was was kind enough to offer to shoot a photo of my daughter and I on her new webcam (Google St John Spice for their site and you'll see live pics of STJ's ferry dock). After picking up a few goodies from Ruth's s store (she carries more than just the yummiest spices and rubs for grilling at your villa or bringing back with you).

Then we all loaded into the taxi and headed to Trunk Bay. On a day in the low-low season, when no ships are in town - THIS is the beach!! We happily paid our admission fee and immediately found a good spot with a canopied tree for lots of shade for sleeping (we were EXHAUSTED from the trip over, ya know? Phew!!! ; ) We then settled in for the afternoon - a little exploring down to the poisonous Manchineel tree at the far left end of the beach (it started to drizzle a little as we reached it, so we made sure not to stand under it per the instructions on the little warning/danger sign about it) - lots of floating around in the bay….and then back to the sand for reading…..back out for floating…etc….a little routine that is common with shufflers.

My daughter had spotted some GENIPS on the path to the beach, so she and I went back there to check out the supply. Many were on the ground (newly fallen and still fresh), but those in the trees were too high. We were also interested in the large, yellow/greenish fruits that were hanging from some of the trees and on the ground…we picked up one huge one and asked the lady who was working at the Natnl Park kiosk about it. She was kind enough to explain what it was - I don't recall the formal name, but "starvation fruit" is the common term. She said you would only eat it if you were starving - it is pretty yucky tasting. But, she said that the leaves from its tree are known for being a healing agent….just blanche them in water and make a pack with them - will cure aches and pains in joints and muscles. She had a personal story about what the leaves had done for her ailments. Bush medicine - another talent of the wonderful NPS!

We noticed lots of Europeans on Trunk Bay (Holiday for them) - plenty of French…and they did have their suits on, but they sure were skimpy and left little to the imagination.
Many of the people arrived at the beach later in the day - maybe 4pm or so. It seemed to be a gathering spot as groups of visitors arranged chairs in circles to chat, sip and snack. Cocktails on Trunk Bay before dinner at your villa? Sounds good, right?

The sun began to lower and we got hungry - so we packed up our little camp and went to shower off before heading to dinner in Cruz Bay. The showers had already been shut off, so I guess this was around 5pm. Oh well. We cared little.

Shuffling to the taxi took a good while. We stopped and ate genips along the way (makes it sound like a long journey, doesn't it?). We were going so slowly that our taxi driver (whom we had already linked up with on the beach) just continued his discussion at the taxi stand. He was obviously not new to our shuffling and knew that people like us wouldn't be ready to go for a little while. At the taxi, we dusted off with towels and shimmied into shorts and shirts, etc. Off we went, to Cruz Bay….savoring the views and cooling breezes of the taxi's speed along the way.

We knew where we wanted to dine in Cruz Bay, so the taxi driver dropped us off at the corner to Rhumblines - a Pac Rim fusion spot located in a tropical courtyard. My daughter loves the rope swings the serve as seats at the bar. When she and I go alone, we have our entire meal served in those swings…but, we opted for a table this time and selected one in the center tented area with a ceiling fan atop it. Tiki torches burned and palms set the mood for the meal. Everyone ordered something different and now I've waited too long to recall what we all had - but I know we raved about the Thai soup (Kaffir Lime and Coconut milk)….sooooo delish! Then I ordered from the PuPu platter, as usual (small, sample portions - just order a bunch and make a meal on them, they are that good - if you were in a Spanish restaurant, these would be called tapas).

After another wonderful meal at Rhumblines, we shuffled directly to the ferry and made it back to STT just as the sun was setting. By the time we reached the car, (which ws parked at the high school) it was dark.

We went back to our villa and fell out - Phew!! Can you imagine what might have happened if we had attempted a grand adventure such as Virgin Gorda?

I cannot recall what we did on Friday, but that was probably the day we went shopping in Charlotte Amalie and had lunch at Glady's Café. I had been wanting to buy the Carib bracelet (petroglyph - the symbol used by Caneel Bay)…and I found one in Cardow Jewelers on Main Street. My daughter picked up some new earrings. I also found the "Night of the Silent Drums" book about the slave revolt on St John - I've read a little, but found myself more consumed on the beach with Devil Wears Prada (lazy brain). After picking up this and that for friends back home, we all met for lunch at Gladys' Café and enjoyed a really fantastic lunch - salads and roti. We then strolled through the art galleries and salivated over the pieces. Nobody bought anything - but we had a close call in the Jonna White gallery.

Another one of my favorite little Beaches on STT - Platform:

Back at Fairwinds Villa, I think this may have been the night we made Mediterranean Pizza and Greek salad. We had brought the Boboli pizza crust down in the two suitcases of dry goods that we carried with us. It wasn't about the cost of food in the VI, it was about having a menu plan that required certain things that I didn't want to have to run around for - I was on vacation, not a grocery shopping spree. Pinot and Cab with the pizza - white for mom, red for me. Evening swimming commenced and everyone was really feeling the "lime".

Another deep sleep was interrupted only by the occasional strong "whoosh" outside (wind through trees).

Saturday morning turned out to be a little drizzly and overcast. It really intensified our relaxed state. It was Saturday and we, too, felt the island take a deep breath as locals settled into weekend activities and island time slowed down even farther - impossible? - not really.

We piddled around Fairwinds in the morning and then I finally realized that I had previously spoken with RonUSVI, who had said he would be at home at the Crystal Palace on Saturday morning. I called, he answered, and told me to come on over.
Ronnie and I had a nice visit, and he caught me up with the latest VINOW and Relo forum discussions, since I hadn't brought my laptop with me and had no access to the world beyond my own shuffling feet and my own foggy brain. I hadn't even been watching the news or any other TV. I had sequestered myself from the world, alas.

Ronnie shared the news of the tourist mugging on STJ as though I must have known about it. I hadn't heard. It then struck me that in the week I had been there, all of my fears and worries about safety had disappeared. I had felt completely safe. Ronnie's news was startling, but didn't strike any new fears in me.

After leaving Ronnie, my daughter and I took a leisurely ride around the west side of the island before meeting my parents at Indigo for lunch (again!). The restaurant was relatively crowded for this time of year, and many of the families there seemed to be locals or regular visitors who had come to relax for the afternoon, eat, drink and swim. As usual, I ordered the Black and Blue, and enjoyed it more and more each time.

I then went downtown to Charlotte Amalie to pick up the boys and got stopped by the police (I guess he was the Police). I was driving down Main Street but did not have my seatbelt on. I had been good about wearing it, but had forgotten at this time. As I was turning a corner, I saw a guy coming down the sidewalk from the street I was turning off of, and he was yelling at me. I strained to hear him out of my window. He came over and said "didn't you hear him telling you to put your seatbelt on" and he motioned to a police officer (in a uniform) on the street, who had already gone on to have a conversation with someone else. I just said "no, I didn't hear him say anything". That obviously made him really mad ( I didn't see a badge on this guy, but he did have on blue shorts and a blue shirt). He looked around like he was mad and then said "if I give you a ticket for not having a seatbelt on, can YOU afford to pay it". I pondered this question for a moment. After all, I have no idea how much these tickets are, so how would I know if I can pay it? And I thought that asking me if I could afford the ticket was an interesting approach - if I can't afford it, do I not get one? I decided not to ask him how much it might be….and I could see that he was really mad at me for whatever…so I just looked at him, waiting for my ticket, or to be dismissed.

That made him madder, so he then looked left and right again and bobbed his head a few times like he was too mad to talk…(mind you, I am now halfway turned onto this street, but not all the way, so I am blocking traffic on two streets). Then he said "Okay, give me your license and registration!!!". I calmly asked him if he wanted me to pull over (there was a parking space right in front of me, which he was sort of standing in - so I could have just turned my wheel and glided right in). That made him mad…"no! If they don't like it, too bad!" Now I was thinking "Ok, this is some of that VI Police stuff I have read about and this guy might just haul off and sock me…or lock me up for whatever he thinks he might want to say I did"…since it all seemed pretty ridiculous over a seat belt when they have murders and rapes going unsolved everyday….but my lack of seatbelt was sure making him mad. So I handed him my license, which he seemed surprised to see.

Then his mood changed. "You're on vacation?" I just nodded solemnly - honestly feeling like this is a pretty sad scene. Then he looked at my license like he was looking for something on it and then he said "You don't look like your picture" - kind of like he was now joking with me. I just said "its me"…but I was thinking "yeah, see, in THAT picture, I am smiling - and pretty happy…but NOW I am NOT - so maybe that is why it doesn't look like me!"….then he handed it back to me and reverted to his grumpiness - "you are in the Virgin Islands - the UNITED STATES Virgin Islands" (with lots of head bobbing and neck weaving) and he made this big emphasis on UNITED STATES, like I didn't know where the heck I was all this time. Gee, how did I get here? I thought I was in France on the Riviera! My travel agent will be fired as soon as I return! Then he went on about obeying the laws, etc. It was probably the most UN-United States feeling event of the entire trip and the only time I felt threatened because it was so ridiculous that I really wasn't sure what to expect next- how ironic is that? I guess if you cannot solve the real crimes, you just get your power and sense of accomplishment for the easy stuff like seatbelt laws and such. It just seemed like a bit much and the obvious emotional input was unnecessary and, imo, unprofessional - give a ticket, or not…and let that be it.

The boys then decided to head to St John for the late afternoon and evening. I dropped them at the ferry and spent the rest of the afternoon doing whatever - I cannot recall.

Sunday was Jon's day to depart. We all got up early and went to Magens Bay. We ordered breakfast to eat out at the picnic benches in the sand(Omlets, French toast, coffee, OJ). The weather was just perfect and the sky was clear and blue. Since it was Sunday, we saw lots of locals coming to the beach for a morning jog or a swim. People seemed to enjoy power-walking in the water above their waists and we saw quite a few locals doing this. I really think I saw Ali Maduro who runs the website www.vipolitics.com He's too handsome to be missed. I would have liked to have had a discussion with him - and it would have had absolutely nothing to do with his good looks …nope, nothing at all….it would have been just because of his website (you all believe me, right?)

We hung out on Magens until just before it was time to get Jon to the airport. Once we dropped Jon off, we headed back to Fairwinds for some pool time.

I cannot remember the little details of the next week. My son left on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I got up early to meet up with Sherri from McLaughlin Anderson and to go with her on a tour of the villas that were not currently occupied. I had decided to stick with touring villas on the Northside since we were trying to squeeze in quite a few and we also needed to spend part of the time with a larger tour group of booking agents.

I could immediately tell that Sherri and I would hit it off. She was really easy-going, but really into the villas and seemed to know so much about each one. We visited and I have photos of Gisela, Jamie, Sunset, Banana, Indochine, Miramar, Infinity and Sherri's properties - Rockworks and Stone Cottage. Believe it or not, these visits took up the entire morning and early afternoon. Sherri and I had a great time together and I appreciate the time she took in showing me around these lovely homes.

After the tours, Sherri and I went to have lunch - GUESS WHERE? Indigo! Again, more awesome food - another Black and Blue for me and Mojitos for us both. We hung out and talked for a while and then I headed back to Fairwinds, where I floated in the pool until my parents returned from Secret Harbour with my daughter, where they had spent the day together while I toured. They had eaten their lunch at Blue Moon Café on the beach at Secret Harbour, and said they had really enjoyed that.

I also had the pleasure of meeting the poster "A. Davis" from this forum. What a nice lady!! We met by chance and, at first, didn't realize that we were both posters on VINOW…but I mentioned VINOW and she told me what her screen name was and I told her mine….talk about serendipity!

On Friday I went to Indigo for lunch again and had their special - a SERIOUSLY TO DIE FOR Jalapeno crabcake sandwich and a side salad ---- OOOOH if you ever see this on the specials list, ORDER IT! I wish they would add it to the regular menu…then again, if they do, I will have to choose between it and my beloved Black and Blue, which would be too hard, so never mind!

On Friday night (I think), I went to Toad and Tart English Pub to meet up with STT Resident from this forum. She is the owner of that restaurant and I was really glad to see her again. She is really a unique lady with an island relocation success story that is very interesting. Unlike so many people who "jump in" and then later learn about the VI life and decide it isn't for them, she jumped in and eventually made a life for herself on the island, opened a successful restaurant and really connected as a local. Plus, she serves the best clam chowder I have ever tasted and her drinks are really reasonable, unlike most other restaurants.

After a few drinks and my big bowl of clam chowder, I got my bill and felt like such a cheapo for not spending more (under $20). But, how much can one lady eat and drink? Luckily, a local friend of mine called on my cell phone and he also knows STT Resident, so he came by and we then had more drinks. It was on this night that I sat at the bar and poured out my tale of woe about my daughter really wanting genips (most people sit at the bar discussing divorce, financial issues, etc…I sat there sipping my cocktail at the bar and saying "every time I see them on a tree, they're too high…I just don't know what to do…I try and try" ha ha ) It was then that STT Resident went out into the night and picked genips from a tree on her property, tired them in a bouquet and handed them for me to give to my daughter. Saved!!! Thanks again STT Resident.


On Saturday we went to Indigo for lunch again I can hear you all saying "Oh my! How many times did she go there???!!! Does she OWN that place or what?") No, I don't even know who owns it - and I don't have any personal interest in it - don't personally know anyone who works there and don't even know the name of ONE person there -but I love it!

Ok, so on this day I was going for my LAST Black and Blue of this trip and this was a very important appointment (but I told myself I would order the special if they had that crabcake again, which they did not)….but, guess what? I looked at the menu…NO BLACK AND BLUE (panic!) I then flipped the menu over - no black and blue on that side either….so I flipped it back and read again…slowly…..nothing….and I just said "uh oh!" Everyone at our table stoped talking and looked at me - "what's wrong??"…..I was still flipping the menu back and forth…and I began to stutter "no black and…and….black and blue…it's gone!" The the waitress came over and I told her that there was a problem….where's the black and blue? Oh, she said, we changed the menu today for the September season…so we took off some things that we know are really painful for people to see go. She had this serious look of sympathy and concern, like she had already been through this with other poor souls like me. Everyone else happily ordered their meals, while I just tried to wrap my mind around this. Then, when it was my turn to order, I had to ask for a moment to regroup….and I later ordered the seared tuna sandwich - but it wasn't B&B. MAJOR BUMMER! First, Meson Amalia was closed for the ENTIRE duration of my trip - and now this. My two favorite spots (sniff).

I think we just hung out for the rest of our visit and on our final day, Sunday, we got up and went to Mass at Our Lady Perpetual Help church on Mafolie. I really enjoyed this Mass and love the quaint size of this beautiful little church. The Priest, Reverend Troy deChabert Schuster, is from St Croix and he really seems to have big expectations of his congregations and his church. Word from our local friends who attend there is that not everyone appreciates all of the changes and the fussing he does…..but at least he is advocating advancement and is running a tight ship over there.

This was my church when I was a little girl, and I can recall being in it just after I made my first communion and being really nervous about going up. Also, if I recall, this was at the time that people started taking communion in their hands, not directly to mouth…and I learned to do that in this church. So, it is a place with lots of memories for me. My dad also helped to build the Parish Hall along with other parishioners who pitched in.

Mom and Dad had gone to Mass on the Sundays prior, without me (shamefully I write)….and they said that on those visits, the Rev. Schuster had been chastising some of his congregation for practicing Santeria in his cemetery. "Stay OUT of my cemetery" they recalled him emotionally pleading.

Santeria is a religion that originated in Africa - specifically with Yoruba people, who are in Nigeria. Santeria has millions of followers spread across the United States, the Caribbean, Central, and South America. It is called Voodoo in Haiti, Macumba in Brazil and Candomble in the Northern coasts of South America - and Santeria in the VI and in the US. It involves animal sacrifice, rites of initiation, physical possession (having your body possessed by a spirit), drums and dance, etc. In days when Africans were slaves, they were not allowed to practice their own religion, so they "hid" their Yoruba religion behind Catholicism and worship of Catholic Saints…and the two religions became meshed - as "Santeria" means "Worship of the Saints". Several years back, I spent some time studying Santeria. Personal opinions aside, I have a respect for the power of Yoruba and strongly urge any curious readers to stay away from the island cemeteries at night. My parents had once been curious and had gone looking for a ceremony in Brazil, which didn't make the Priestess too happy once they were discovered watching from the bush…and my mom had a powder blown in her face from the hands of the woman who discovered them. They then left, without knowing what the powder was or did…and may never know.

After Mass, we all drove by my parents' friend's home to say farewell, and then to Magens Bay for one last breakfast on the beach. We were all so sorry to be sitting there in our clothing from Mass, rather than in swimsuits for the day…and we were even more sorry to be leaving.

Back at Fairwinds, we started to load up the cars and bid farewell to our home for the past 2 weeks. It was very hard to leave this place. But, it is good to know that we'll be back (REALLY soon!) and we would love to stay at this villa again.

The flight home was uneventful and we are still raving about our visit - now a week after returning.

THE END!

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Topic starter Posted : September 13, 2006 10:24 pm
VI Lover
(@vi-lover)
Honorable Member

Bluwater,

I am so impressed by you! Your report not only gives us great insights into the islands and what you saw, but as importantly "who" you are! Congratulations! You have become a person many of us wish to be. I've really enjoyed your reports and thank you not only for this example of your generosity, but for all that you do for all of us visiting this VI discussion board.

My respects,

VI Lover

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Posted : September 13, 2006 10:46 pm
promoguy
(@promoguy)
Honorable Member

I agree, one of the best of the best reports

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Posted : September 13, 2006 11:12 pm
Bluwater
(@bluwater)
Island Expert

Awwww - thanks to you both! It was fun to write and remember.

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Topic starter Posted : September 13, 2006 11:15 pm
Coden
(@coden)
Estimable Member

Well, I was going to say that my fav pic was of you on the beach with your coffee and cell phone...because that Will be me with a coffee and my cell phone talking to my sisters! LOL But, I think my fav pic is your last one, of your daughter...she is saying, "Ahhhh, this is the life, come on down" 🙂

Loved your report as usual, I am of course late for getting ready for work now because I just couldn't let it go until the end of the day!! Your time spent sounds so relaxing, I love those shuffling days of doing nothing!! Thank you so much for sharing your time with us, I for one enjoyed it immensely.

Take care!!

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Posted : September 14, 2006 7:05 am
sherri
(@sherri)
Noble Member

Blu,
I too have loved reading your reports (and am also late for work)! I feel fortunate to have met you and know that I have a new found friend! To think I thought you were an agent and scared you might not like my involvement on the forum! The police officer obviously thought you were "from here", glad you didn't get a ticket! I read this part of your story to Jeff! I can oh so relate! I think we have all discovered that you are a special person and lucky to have you on the forum. I am lookin' forward to your next trip and hope to spend some more time with you! 🙂

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Posted : September 14, 2006 8:13 am
Bluwater
(@bluwater)
Island Expert

Coden,

The coffee in the VI is better 😉 and you can have them put a little slpash of Cruzan Rum Creme and one of Kahlua for a morning treat....or Bailey's Irish.

Glad you enjoyed. I am looking forward to reading other reports now - so hurry up and go already! 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2006 8:14 am
Bluwater
(@bluwater)
Island Expert

Sherri-

Thanks!

"The police officer obviously thought you were "from here"

Does that mean that I've visited often enough to have finally taken on a local appearance? 🙂 Nah, I think I need to get back more often now to make sure.

I don't know if that was a common thing, but I sadly suspect it might be....and it sounds like you are confirming that.

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Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2006 8:37 am
CariBert
 CariBert
(@CariBert)
Guest

Ahhh, Blu, you are my favorite author now. In fact, I'll just let you write my next trip report. Now, would you actually have to be there with us, or can I just tell you about it and then let your magic fingers spin the tale?

All seriousness aside, I really enjoyed visiting St. Thomas through your eys and ears and I sure am glad to note that there is at least one other person who enjoys life on the Island as much as I do!! Your pictures are great, and your family is indeed very special! Thanks again for taking the time to include all of us in your recent visit to Da Islands!!

-Bert

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Posted : September 14, 2006 8:44 am
Lora
 Lora
(@Lora)
Guest

Blu-
I have really enjoyed your reports and your pics. You are so lucky to be able to visit so often, and I also love the fact that you love st thomas and aren't all about st john like so many posters. Now I have to add Indigo as a place I'd like to eat when we go, but I'll only have 7 days. hmmm... so many restaurants, so few days....

I bought some Cruzan rum creme the other day (my sis's suggestion) but haven't tried it yet - I'm doing weight watchers!

You never said how you eventually got away from the "police officer," did he just finally say "OK go on" or what? I've been pulled over many times for speeding, but never had an officer get mad. I think I'd have pooped my pants.

You mentioned once that you sometimes take the ferry when going to yost and other places. I haven't decided whether to do that, or sign up for a day sail. I just want to see the famous Ivan's, Soggy dollar, foxy's etc and experience their famous drinks. I don't really care about a "snorkeling tour", I just want to hit the bars heehee! I'll be content with snorkeling at SH, and maybe over on st john, but that's about it. so...should we take the ferry and save some $$ or do a sail? One of us got REALLY seasick on a cruise, but I don't know that he would on a small boat.

Thanks again for sharing your trip with us, and also for all the great advice/input you give us on this forum!

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Posted : September 14, 2006 8:56 am
sitter
(@sitter)
Estimable Member

Me too! I LOVE your trip reports! AND pictures!

Two dumb questions.....what is a Black and Blue....(I'm sure you said it somewhere...)........................and
What do you do for a living? You need to be a writer or a travel agent!

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Posted : September 14, 2006 8:58 am
Gari Ann in TX
(@gari-ann-in-tx)
Reputable Member

I love your pool pics...so cute!!

Very interesting trip report...I am stumped as to why that officer(?) acted like that. Very strange for sure.

Great report! Love all the detail. I hope you have a journal and copy this over. This would be great for the kids to have to pass down! I think they'd feel like they were there with you!

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Posted : September 14, 2006 1:38 pm
On Island Time
(@on-island-time)
Reputable Member

Blu,

Thanks for the great trip report, St. Thomas doesn't alway get a good rap, we always hear about the crime, traffic, people, over crowding but, for those of us that visit every year, know better. Your reports brought out the "Best" of STT.

42 days and a wake up 🙂

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Posted : September 14, 2006 2:03 pm
KathleenB
 KathleenB
(@KathleenB)
Guest

Great end to your reports Blu, I hate to see them come to an end! I can't wait to go back with my daughter's (20 and 23) some day and show them all the reasons I love the USVI... who knows when that will be!

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Posted : September 14, 2006 2:53 pm
KK
 KK
(@kk)
Estimable Member

Bluwater,
I can see I won't be the only disappointed person. I so enjoyed your stories. That cop thing was a little weird. Everyone we saw and talked to in St. Thomas stressed the importance of wearing your seat belt. All the things that are happening in the world and good, honest, hard working people are the ones who get in trouble.
Are you going to post all of your photos you took of the other villas? I would love to see them. I think I should have been a travel agent. I love researching places we are going to visit. I hate that feeling of I have no clue! I am the one who studies the maps and reads every book about the place before we go. This website provides people with far more information than any book I have found.
Thanks again for share so much about your trip. KK

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Posted : September 14, 2006 9:35 pm
Bluwater
(@bluwater)
Island Expert

Thank you all soooo much for your kind words. I am very grateful for your feedback and to know that it was enjoyed and helpful.

CariBert - I think you may have just given me a new career idea. A "vacation shadow"! You take me along on your vacation and let me just go along with you doing whatever you do. At the end, I'll write up a report and you can publish it under your name! Nobody will ever know I was there! I am available to start work immediately! LOL

Lora, yeah, Rum Creme is very rich and I am sure it is full of calories (as I sip some now!! - no kidding). After the police officer made the big deal about it being the UNITED STATES Virgin Islands, he let me go. He said something nice at the end - like "have a nice vacation and be safe" or something similar. It was weird. I just nodded and thanked him. I didn't mind being stopped for the seat belt. I should have had it on and I am glad they are enforcing it. I just didn't like all the drama. Around here, officers either ticket you without any discussion, or they don't and they are normally pretty nice if they don't...but make sure you understand what you did and that they are warning you - that's it...none of that ego tripping.

Lora, your ? about daysails, ferries and all is a very common question and one that many people spend lots of time researching. Here is my opinion and what I have learned - for places in the BVIs, SAILBOATS will likely want to overnight, not daysail. DAYSAILs are more for USVI islands. Powerboat charters (Stormy Petrel, Pirate's Penny, and the others whose names escape me now) will get you to the BVIs, but you'll be paying for the open bars, food, snorkeling, etc. You'll also be going with a group and have to keep to their pace and agenda. I have done a private power charter with Nauti Nymph - hired one of their Captains for the day to take my family to Virgin Gorda and Jost. This was an excellent way to see the islands since we went wherever we wanted, when we wanted. But, it is most expensive - I think we paid almost $600 for the day and that was back in 2000 when fuel prices were much lower (you pay for fuel). The public ferries are a great way to go if you do not have many in your group - like if you just have 2 - 4 people and you do not care about snorkeling. If, like you said, you just want to sit on White Bay and sip drinks from Soggy Dollar or Ivans, I would do the public ferry......head to your spot on the beach...and then back to the ferry at around 3 when it goes back. If you have a larger group, you may consider the private power charter (Nauti Nymph) since it will become more cost effective to share the expense amongst your group. If you are going to Jost, you can get the less powerful Nauti Nymph, which is less expensive that the one with more power (twin outboards?). When we went to Virgin Gorda, we got the most powerful boat so that we could get there faster and have more time on VG and on Jost. More powerful also means more fuel, so consider all of the pieces that are in play. By far, the private power charter is the way I would want to go...and the public ferry would be second.

Sitter, you missed that part!?! A Black and Blue is Indigo's steak sandwich - but not like a Philly steak with our shaven steak - it is a real steak that is slicked into thick pieces (just a couple of large pieces) and placed on a really tasty baguette with blue cheese and I think lettuce. Is there tomato? Now I cannot recall the little details of it. It sounds simple, but it is really yummy! Their steak is really good....seared on the outside - and I order mine "medium", so it is reddish pink on the inside - and very juicy. It isn't "light", so prepare to be full through dinner.... Maybe we can get the chef from Indigo to come here and explain it!! 🙂 I just know it is DE-LISH!

I am not a writer, nor a travel agent. I only wish I could earn enough money at either one to make that move. I am a salesperson who handles a couple of really large accounts (about $60M/yr) for a Fortune 100 firm. Basically, I run around making sure the execs there are totally happy with life - if the sun doesn't shine one day, I get a phone call asking why I am slacking off. I really love it and I love my clients - they really are great people, corporate mania aside. The field is IT. Some people would recognize the term "NAM" (National Account Manager) )- I am kind of like one of those on a larger scale - a NAM on steroids 😉

On the side and as a hobby, I travel and started the villa resource www.villavantage.com last fall. I think I will scale the website back and only focus on Caribbean villas and travel. Right now, it is for villas across the world. Who has time? I also love to write and would love to write travel articles for magazines. I have some books about doing it, but I haven't ever tried to get anything published.

KK, yes, I will post all of the phots I took. I will write a separate report on those!! Ahhh...more words! LOL

Thanks Gari-Ann! Passing down the trip reports is a great idea. I hadn't thought of that and will definitely print these out (or on disc) and keep them someplace safe - thanks!

KathleenB, Oh, I hope you and your daughters will go soon! Do it now if you can - don't wait.

OnIslandTime, I know it! I always like to compare the more common STT perception to the NY perception. If you go to upstate NY (where we go to pick apples and visit the farms in the fall), you will find a beautiful rural setting....cows, pastures, barns, mountains, lakes, trees, etc...and forget about having cell service! But, when you say NY to an outsider, they think Manhattan! That is what I think of when I read what lots of people write about STT. They've been to "Manhattan" (Charlotte Amalie) and that is ALL of STT to them. They have no idea. I am not complaining, though. I was listening to my Diana Krall CD today and I heard the song "Just the Way You Are" (was it originally Billy Joel?) , which made me think of my beloved STT....but can apply to any of the VIs who are loved by the visitors on this forum.........

Don't go changing, try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore

I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

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Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2006 9:57 pm
sherri
(@sherri)
Noble Member

Don't want to start a big topic about the police officers........Most are pretty ok, tho I do find power play is pretty big. Tho his behavior was strange, I am glad he treated you a little better once he discovered you were not from here. I had a bad experience once when a taxi cut a corner and hit me. The lady officer said " If I lay down in the middle of the road, does that give you the right to hit me"? I was shocked as her co-officer went out of his way to explain to the taxi driver why HE was at fault! Regardless, I was wrote up to be at fault tho got no ticket. My ins. co. had to pay for HIS damages! I wanted to fight it, but there were "issues" involved, one of them being that he was a taxi driver. My ins. co. would not fight it. I wrote a letter to the editor and vented! I learned one valuable lesson! Carry my camera with me AT ALL TIMES! Pictures say it all in a case like that!!!!!! On the other hand, I find that most police officers are pretty lax. I pulled out of the paid parking lot making a illegal turn! Wanted to take a right and then take a left to-head up the hill (entrance on main st). A police officer stopped to let me take that illegal turn!!! Cool! In 23 yrs, the above situation was the only BAD experience and that was enough! I find the woman police officers to use the "power play" role than others! It is also all in who you know here, I am sorry to say. Yes, I am sorry to say that is somewhat "common", but more for those that are from here!
To all, wear your seat belts and ALSO NO CELL PHONES TO THE EAR! Carry your head phones with you!
Blu, you belong here! You would make a great local!
Key.....Always great those that you see! I nod or wave to even those I pass....anyone I have eye contact with! Good Mornin', Good Aftanoon, Good Night are extremely important and I love doing this! 🙂 Blu, this advice is not to you, but to those who don't know!!!!!!
Blu, was nice learning a little more about you and what you do! My coffee in the morning ALWAYS has a touch of Irish Creme, yes calories, but if you watch your p's and q's everywhere else, you can have that little taste in your coffee!

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Posted : September 15, 2006 7:07 am
kimberlysea
 kimberlysea
(@kimberlysea)
Guest

Great report....your so blessed to have such a beautiful family ! Thanks for sharing

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Posted : September 15, 2006 8:24 am
Rhea
 Rhea
(@Rhea)
Guest

Blu
Thank you for showing that St Thomas is much more than Main Street and shopping.
I truly enjoyed your trip report.

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Posted : September 15, 2006 8:56 am
Island Paul
(@island-paul)
Estimable Member

Blu thanks for taking the time and sending the words, and better still for the wonderful photos. How nice to actually SEE the smiling face of someone that posts on this board. Well done. Well done.

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Posted : September 15, 2006 12:25 pm
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