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Trip report (7/13-7/23) Day five: Not Just Another Manic Monday

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Trip report (7/13-7/23) Day five: Not Just Another Manic Monday

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(@ccasebolt)
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Okay, this morning coffee on the deck thing is becoming a habit, but not one I'm in any hurry to break. I just LOVE this!

After hubby got up, we decided to do the hike to Salomon this morning. We had decided that on this trip we would spend some time visiting new places, and Salomon is one of the beaches we hadn't been to before. So it was decided. We had a quick breakfast, grabbed our gear, and headed to the VI National Park Visitors Center. For those who aren't aware, the trail head for the Lind Point trail is located behind the Visitors Center building. We parked on the street a short walk from the center, and went inside to browse for a few minutes before starting the hike.

If you haven't been to the Visitors Center, take a few minutes next time to check it out. There is a large display map of St. John as well displays describing St. John's history. ecosystems, etc. The center's gift shop carries a great selection of books about the local area (including Feet, Finns & 4WD); local cuisine (cook books), maps, posters, and kids' books - definitely a good rainy/sunburn day destination. I bought a book on fish of the Caribbean, so I would be able to ID fish while snorkeling. We made a note to return later in the week to pick up gifts for the kids.

The trail well maintained and an easy hike to Salomon. It took us less than 30 minutes to get there - the kids (3 & 5) would have no trouble with this hike. From the trail, the noise from construction across Cruz bay (not Sirenusa) is very apparent - a bit of a distraction from the peaceful beauty, but much less noticeable as the trail turned to the north. I took pictures along the way (and no, I was not wearing my "I am a tourist" shorts!).

We took a left at the fork in the trail (right continues to Honeymoon) down the hill to Salomon. What an absolutely gorgeous beach! We set up underneath a canopy of trees, and I continued the photo shoot. We shared the beach with about 4 or 5 others, most of whom had arrived by dinghy. We sat for awhile taking it all in. Did I mention how beautiful this place is??? I perused my fish book to learn a bit more about some of the fish I have seen over the years. Then my cell rang - must be Rod calling to let us know they were on their way, I thought. No, not Rod; my in-laws (who were home with our kids) calling with television problems (this is standard fare when they stay at our house). Hubby talked them through it while I sat and soaked in the picture-perfect view, which I think I could have done forever. So FYI, Salomon is a breathtaking beach with good cell coverage (Sprint is my provider).

After hubby straightened his parents out out TV-wise, we decided to snorkel. Entry to the water was sandy with rocky areas on both sides. We started on the right (Honeymoon) side - awesome! The water here was quite clear, and the reef was active. We stayed in for almost an hour experiencing what was the best snorkeling so far this trip. Rod and Amy showed up while we were out and were awestruck by this beach. It really is that beautiful.

Unfortunately we couldn't stay all day as we had a 1:00 appointment for the timeshare spiel at the Westin (the "catch" for the discounted rate got on the villa). I really didn't mind as I always keep one eye on the real estate market wherever I go. We actually did come close to purchasing a week, but this just wasn't the right year - maybe someday though. We are still mulling over the possibility of doing the package deal again (which would require another spiel). I need a guarantee that we'll be returning in the near future!

After the spiel, we went to Simple Feast and split a turkey and pepper jack sandwich as a late lunch. Hubby called Rod to ask if they wanted to hit Lameshur Bay and then have dinner at Miss Lucy's. They were game, so we headed to Cruz Views to drop off the poor car in favor of Rod's Jeep Wrangler.

As we headed to Lameshur, I gave Rod the heads-up about the dirt road he would have to navigate - not for the faint-of-heart, etc, etc. After successfully painting an ominous picture in his head, wouldn't you know all the steep parts are now paved - how wimpy is that! He laughed at me, and let out a few fake screams - but honestly, the last time we drove out there the roads were absolutely treacherous! There went my credibility as an adventurer.

We arrived at Little Lameshur at about 5:00 and immediately went for a snorkel. We snorkeled the left side along the rocks out to the hidden beach and back. The water was calm; visibility was better than Salt Pond Bay, but not quite as good as Salomon. The reef was quite busy; we saw many Squirrel Fish, Blue Tangs, Parrot Fish, Flounder, Angels, Sea Cucumbers, etc. I even found a nice snorkel on the bottom of the sandy area near the beach - how does one loose a snorkel? Seems to me you would notice that.

As we were snorkeling back toward the beach, hubby tapped my shoulder and pointed to the shore. There on the beach was a large doe staring back at us. I had read about deer on St. John, but had never seen one there until then. She was very pretty and healthy looking; obviously well fed. We watched her watch us for a minute or so, and then she disappeared into the brush. When we came ashore, it turns out Amy had also seen the doe, took some pictures, and discovered that she likes potato chips. I think I know why she appeared to be so well-fed.

As dusk drew near, the no-see-ums emerged. This was our cue to move along. We set out toward Miss Lucy's, and after a few more fake screams - okay, see if I ever try to help you out again - we arrived to find that Miss Lucy's is closed on Monday. Right, it's Monday; pretty easy to forget while on vacation. Oh well, Shipwreck Landing was open but packed (most likely because many other places were closed), so we moved along only to find that Island Blues is also closed on Monday. So Skinny's it was again - we were all so hungry, we really didn't care at that point. As we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed the shell of a burned out SUV. It was badly damaged; upholstery gone, tires melted. None of us remembered seeing it two days before, so we assumed it must have happened sometime in between (we later learned that it had been an act of arson earlier the same day). Skinny's was busy tonight - they were showing a movie (something with Bruce Willis) and there were a lot of people gathered in the bar area to watch. The Mahi sandwiches, burgers, and beers were good as always. After dinner we relaxed and discussed our day before heading back to Cruz Bay. We turned in early after another busy but fulfilling day in paradise.

 
Posted : August 15, 2006 4:59 pm
 Lora
(@Lora)
Posts: 1
 

Enjoying your reports. I can't hardly stand to sit thru those high-pressured sales pitches for 2 hours, but for a deal on st john I may consider it!

 
Posted : August 15, 2006 9:35 pm
 zkid
(@zkid)
Posts: 1
 

Don't bother going back to Miss Lucy's it is closed for the next few months. My daughter the one with the red hair is the day manager there

 
Posted : August 15, 2006 9:42 pm
 Lex
(@Lex)
Posts: 1
 

Enjoying your reports. What a treat it would be to see deer on STJ. We always hope to see some turtles. A deer is more than i could hope for.

 
Posted : August 15, 2006 9:59 pm
(@sharon)
Posts: 74
Trusted Member
 

Wow! You got to see a deer! We were wanting so bad to see one! Thanks for the report on those beaches. Hopefully next time we go we will check them out. Great report!

Sharon

 
Posted : August 16, 2006 12:10 am
(@ccasebolt)
Posts: 323
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Topic starter
 

I was really surprised about the deer - this was our 5th trip to STJ, and we had never seen one before. I see them all the time here at home, but it was a real treat to see one there.

 
Posted : August 16, 2006 5:12 am
(@Kathleen B)
Posts: 1
 

I LOVE reading your reports... it's just like I'm there again! I haven't been to Soloman or Lameshur so it was wonderful to hear about them. The group I was with wasn't into hiking or renting a car so we did the taxi shuttle thing to all the usual north shore beaches and while wonderfully perfect, I can't wait to go back to explore the rest of the island! We did make it to Shipwreck Landing to have lunch with a chicken walking around but we never did make it to Miss Lucy's... Is it worth driving all the way over there for???

 
Posted : August 16, 2006 10:52 am
 Amy
(@Amy)
Posts: 1
 

Hello---do you know how long Miss Lucy's will be closed for? We are going to St. John Thanksgiving week for my brother's wedding, so I'm just researching things to do & good places to eat, drink & be MERRY!!!!
Any info/advice is appreciated!
Amy Dail

 
Posted : August 16, 2006 11:53 am
(@teresarae)
Posts: 89
Trusted Member
 

Ironically, my husband lost a snorkel at Little Lameshur!! But I think it was on July 25th, so it couldn't have been his that you found. We were snorkeling along the right/west side of Little Lameshur...and a shark prevented us from finding the snorkel! The plastic piece that attaches the snorkel to the mask broke. and my husband managed to drop his snorkel. We were there with two friends, and all of a sudden one of them was like "let's go back"...we were kind of surprised that he wanted to leave, but we were tired from snorkeling so we headed back. When we got back to the beach he told us that there was a shark right by us, and that was the reason he wanted to get out of there.

 
Posted : August 16, 2006 1:42 pm
(@ccasebolt)
Posts: 323
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Topic starter
 

Yikes!!! I guess that answers my question - I now know how one can loose a snorkel 🙂

 
Posted : August 16, 2006 3:30 pm
(@ccasebolt)
Posts: 323
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Topic starter
 

Kathleen - yes definitely rent a car next time! You will see SO much more of the island.

As far as Miss Lucy's is concerned, after 5 trips to STJ we STILL haven't made it there!!! You see, Lucy's usually closes for a few weeks in the summer; that was the case for each of our previous trips. So I was psyched when I saw Lucy's open our first night while driving to Concordia - I thought "finally!". Well, the luggage situtation messed up the first night we planned to go, then the Monday night closure messed up the second time we tried. We set aside a night later in the week (Friday I think it was) to try again, but when the time came, the guys vetoed the plan because they were tired. So again I came away without having the pleasure - now I have a reason to go back though 🙂

So is it worth it? Well, I can't comment first-hand, but I have read good things about Miss Lucy's. I'll let you know next visit 🙂

 
Posted : August 16, 2006 3:46 pm
(@Kathleen B)
Posts: 1
 

I really can't wait to go back now and rent a car! Luckily, we did get so see a good bit by making the mistake of letting our taxi driver LEAVE US at the Anaberg sugar plantation ruins without knowing how we were going to get back so we had to bum our way in, after several unsuccessful tries, to a tour group on one of the bigger taxis. We were totally at their mercy so we just had to tag along (knowing EVENTUALLY we'd get back to Cruz Bay, haha). We took the road from Anaberg to Coral Bay and after driving down to where Skinny Legs is and getting to see the Morovian Church, a heard of goats and the school, they drove around to eat at Shipwreck Landing where we dined with the most beautiful chicken walking around. Black, rust, white, seriously a beautiful rooster! Then we took Centerline Rd back to Cruz Bay so I got the tour of the middle of the island. I decided I wouldn't really want to come back to Cruz Bay that way late at night with all those turns, etc so we didn't head back over to that side of the island again, which we would have had to do by taxi anyway! I haven't seen any of that area over by the Westin at all. I wasn't sure the "man made" beach of the Westin would have made me as happy as the natural snorkle reef that was in front of The Gallow's where we stayed.... my, my, my I'm rambling... I could talk about STJ to anyone all day long!!! Anyway, I've enjoyed your reports...

 
Posted : August 16, 2006 3:58 pm
 Pia
(@pia)
Posts: 1036
Noble Member
 

Miss Lucy's will reopen on November 5th for Sunday brunch and full moon party 🙂

 
Posted : August 17, 2006 5:12 pm
 Amy
(@Amy)
Posts: 1
 

Thanks for the info--appreciate it!

 
Posted : August 23, 2006 9:32 am

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