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Tips for St. John travelers... just back July 12-18

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Tips for St. John travelers... just back July 12-18

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(@Kathleen)
Posts: 1
 

Read my trip report for all the details of my WONDERFUL trip to St. John but i wanted to pass along a few things that might be helpful... or not, haha, you decide!

PACKING:
I took two sleeveless tank type tops and wore them over and over. Anything with sleeves was too warm this time of year (mid July). Cropped pants were fine at night because they actually helped with the bugs (more on that later) but, my friend was in shorts and with bug spray was fine also. Think cool and think bare arms. I will never complain about the humidity in the South again because now I have been to the REAL South, hahaha.

THE WEATHER:
Don't worry about the weather unless there is a big hurricane forming near Africa and headed our way... there are sudden very brief rainfalls occassionally on some days and one day we actually had a heavy downpour that lasted maybe 20-30 minutes. We were at Trunk Bay when it poured on us and we stayed warmly in the water and just laughed at how hard it was raining and that we hadn't "played" in the rain since childhood. There is blue sky and warm sunshine immediately following either kind of rain and honestly, if it had rained the whole time, I would haved loved it anyway!

THE FERRY:
To take the CA or the Red Hook ferry... that is the question. Well, to quote a Texas expression... "It's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other"! That just means that it doesn't matter, you'll get there either way and I'd decided based on when you when your flight arrives and you can get your hands on your luggage. We went by way of Red Hook and came back by way of CA and I guess if you made me choose, I'd say I liked the long ferry better than the long taxi ride but it isn't a big deal either way and won't affect your island vibe one way or the other....

THE FOOD:
We loved:
Morgan's Mango... try the blackened snapper with salsa... it was my favorite meal of the week
Panni Beach... the veal scallopine (it was a special) and the goat cheese salad
The Fish Trap... everyone was happy with everything they got that night...
The Lime Inn... all you can eat shrimp on Wednesdays for 19.95... spicy and very good, though small shrimp
also, had a wonderful mango colada... I had two or three... yum.
Woody's for their hamburgers... greasy bar food so be warned, but hey, it's a local favorite so ya gotta go.. LOUD.
Chilly Billy's is a must for breakfast. You MUST order the potatoes... You must.

We joked that we'd love to open a restaurant at home that had plastic furniture, no walls, reeeally slow service, mosquitos and 100 a couple and see how long it lasted!!! The truth is that you are not at home (thank goodness) and you have to take it as an advantage that you are lucky enough to be eating outside in the warm, humid tropical air of the virgin islands and that no one is in a hurry, including you, and that bug spray in the travel size that fits in your husbands shorts pocket is a good thing. You will come to love the things that would drive you crazy in a restaurant at home. I loved how the waitress doesn't bother you all the time. I loved hearing the birds or the water while I ate. I loved the candlelight. Okay, I didn't love the bugs, but they were managable. See next entry.

THE BUGS:
Take a large bottle of bug spray... something strong like deep woods off. Sure it has DEET, but you aren't going to drink it or wear it every day for the rest of your life, just a few evenings in St. John so you'll be fine. I also bought a little travel size for my husband's pocket and we used it several times while eating. There are bugs but they are not much of a problem if you spray before dark and carry back up. This is the tropics... everything is green and lush and wonderful and the bugs love it to.

THE PEOPLE:
Lovely, gracious, tolerant, well mannered. Address them with Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening and an occassional How are you? and their smile will melt you like butter. They view a request.... like, Where is Chilly Billy's?, as abrupt without the afore mentioned greeting. It shows respect for their way of life and their customs to address them with these terms and afterall... it's their home... play by their rules and you'll experience some of the local people. I tried to speak to everyone on every level that worked at the Gallows and upon arriving at the airport in St. Thomas I find out that I have left not only my cell phone but a new expensive Laramar necklace that I purchased for a keepsake of my trip. Believe it or not, the Gallows said that the housekeeper had already put my phone and necklace in a bag for me and they were mailing it back to me! You know that I would have never seen that necklace again at most places in the states!!!

A DAYSAIL:
Wellllllll, it's hard to say. If you are staying on St. John the daysail will most likely take you to a place ON ST. JOHN because they are the most beautiful and have great snorkeling... We took the ferry to red hook and paid 125 each to sail back to Caneel Bay to snorkel!!! Honestly, unless being out on the water is the part you are wanting, I'd skip the daysail unless it was a sunset cruise or dinner cruise and you are wanting the ambience of that. For snorkeling, if you are staying on St. John, it's a waste of money unless you choose carefully and use one of the captains like the Wayward Sailor who teaches you alot and snorkels with you as a guide.

RETURN TRIP:
In a New York minute... and I'm from TEXAS!

 
Posted : July 21, 2006 8:47 pm
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
 

Excellent tips. I had to laugh that your sailing trip took you back to St John!! 🙂 Not all of them do that. Some will take you to other islands - smaller, uninhabited island coves around STT and STJ. I like your idea of taking a few sleeveless shirts and giving them encores - I have done this (wash and hang at night) and it works well. I like the Tencel fabric - feel like cotton, but doesn't wrinkle and dries faster than cotton. It is a fabric that is advertised for travel wear. Glad you got your necklace and cell phn back. You must have felt sick for the time you didn't know if you would.

 
Posted : July 21, 2006 11:32 pm
(@Bexter)
Posts: 1
 

Great trip tips! We were there July 2 through 14th. Thanks for taking the time to post!!

 
Posted : July 22, 2006 12:48 am

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