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Trip report (7/13-7/23) Day seven: Everyone needs a Down Day Once in a While

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Trip report (7/13-7/23) Day seven: Everyone needs a Down Day Once in a While

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Woke up this morning with a sunburned back - ouch! I had used 50 SPF the day before, but missed a couple of spots, so they were pretty sore. All the snorkeling around looking for the lost retainer clip contributed I'm sure. Today would be a non-beach day.

After my usual coffee on the deck, we relaxed in the villa for awhile - something we hadn't yet done since we arrived. At about 10:30, we walked to Cruz Bay Watersports (located on the Westin property) to see if they carry Amico masks on the off chance that they might have the replacement part we need. Although they didn't carry our brand, Carrie at CBWS was very helpful. She called Lo-Key in town and another shop on St. Thomas, only to find that neither carry Amico products. Looks like we would have to rent another mask for the remainder of our trip. Oh well.

We walked around the grounds of the Westin for a bit, checking things out and thinking about how much the kids would love to be here. They had been with us two years ago, but they were much younger then and not able to do as much as they can now. Yes, we missed them, but we we knew they were doing fine without us, so we tried not to dwell on it too much. Sniff!

After a bit of wandering, we decided to go into town for some shopping/browsing/lounging. First stop - Book & Bean in the Marketplace. Book & Bean is a small, but very nice little book shop complete with a small cafe. I ordered a cappuccino (couldn't resist - the smell was fabulous!) and browsed through the selection. Although obviously more limited than Barnes & Noble, they offered a decent variety of books about the local area, culture, and cuisine, as well a many recent bestsellers. We purchased a Caribbean cookbook and a novel for hubby. We sat at the tables outside looking for a recipe for tonight's dinner - they all sounded SO good! We decided on a ginger jerked chicken entree and a garlic butter shrimp appetizer. In order to do the chicken, we would need a jerk rub - what better place for that than St. John Spice? We were off!

We parked at Courtesy (had great luck with their lot - will definitely rent from them again!) and walked to St. John Spice (recently relocated upstairs at Wharfside). I LOVE this shop! It always smells SO good! As always, they had a variety of different rubs and seasonings - decisions, decisions... We ended up with their jerk rub as well as a variety pack of several different seasonings, one of which was a garlic blend we would use for the shrimp. We also bought a locally made (Carolina, STJ) pottery vase for hubby's parents who were staying at our house with the kids. Rather than risk carrying the vase home with us and then having them fly back to their house with it, we had it shipped directly to their address - a very handy service. During the transaction, we got chatting with the man who runs the store - another former New Englander. So far this trip we've noticed many former New Englanders who now live on St. John - wonder if it could have anything to do with our winters? Naaaah! 😉

We poked around a few more shops before deciding to have lunch at Woody's. We started with fried scallops and seafood fritters. Both were very good. The scallops were lightly beaded; crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside. The seafood fritters were excellent! They use the same batter as the conch fritters, except that in addition to conch, they also add shrimp and scallops into them(!) They were pretty much loaded with seafood - I had found a new favorite fritter.
They were showing the Red Sox/KC game, so we just HAD to stay and watch the Sox win (1-0). Yup, today was shaping up to be a very relaxing down day.

After the game, we headed back to Starfish for chicken breast, shrimp, wine, and the rest of the ingredients called for by our new recipes, and then back to the villa to prepare the sauces.

At about 6:30 Rod and Amy arrived for dinner. They had spent their day driving around the island. Apparently they got lost (or at least what passes for being "lost" on St. John) and ended up driving waaay up Gift Hill. After that adventure, they spent the rest of the afternoon at Maho - I SO enjoy listening to newbies tell their stories as they fall in love with this place! I knew way back when that this was going to be Rod's kind of place - I am so glad they both love it as much as we do.

Dinner was served at about 7:00 - the garlic shrimp disappeared quickly (helped along nicely by a good Shiraz) and and the jerked chicken was fantastic! We'll definitely be making this recipe again - soon. Yummy!

Rod and Amy stayed until about 9:00. After they left, we weren't quite ready to turn in, so we went back into town for a nightcap at Woody's (where else? yes, it had become our hangout again this trip). There we met a pair of first-timers celebrating their Masters in Nursing from Boston College (more fellow New Englanders - congratulations!). What a fantastic idea! Now all I need is something big to celebrate 🙂 As we chatted with the nurses, a commotion erupted next to us - two drunk women were arguing with another patron and it was getting a bit ugly, verbally anyway. We all moved outside to get away from the drama. While sitting outside, we noticed the police cruisers passing fairly regularly with their lights flashing - was there something happening somewhere? No, apparently that's standard operating procedure. Part of the procedure must also be having a pretty civilian girl in the passenger seat while cruising around, at least from our observations. Things that make ya go hmmm???

We returned to the villa around midnight or so - our latest night so far - after a down day in paradise.

Posted : August 28, 2006 5:05 pm
Posts: 112
Estimable Member

Another great report! So sorry to hear about your sunburn and it makes me make a written note to be extra careful in December when we go. Your dinner sounded delish too!

Posted : August 28, 2006 7:21 pm
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

Making me hungry!! Gotta love the down days too.

Posted : August 29, 2006 12:00 pm
(@Kathleen B)
Posts: 1

Well, you've proved what I thought all along... if you want to keep STJ/Cruz Bay feeling like paradise, it's best to get home before it gets too late and the drunks start making trouble in town, haha. Other than that, I sure liked reading about your day in Cruz Bay and I could actually picture you walking around St. John Spice and smelling all the rubs while you were trying to choose... I WANNA GO BAAAAAACK! (Okay, slow deep breaths... I'm going to be fine...)

Posted : August 29, 2006 5:45 pm
Posts: 323
Reputable Member
Topic starter

You imagined just right - I think it took at least 45 minutes of olfactory delight before I could make a decision about the spices, and even then I ended up with a variety pack 🙂

As far as Cruz bay after dark goes, the above experience wasn't so bad; actually fairly comical. Later on (day 11) the experience was quite a bit more disturbing. Something has got to change or Cruz bay will suffer the consequences - I would hate to see that happen.

Posted : August 29, 2006 6:22 pm

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