Where are the Virgin Islands you ask? Once you travel to the southern tip of Florida head southeast past the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and finally you've reached the British and US Virgin Islands!! It is about a 2 hour flight from Miami to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
We arrived around 8pm and were immediately served a shot of the the Cruzan Rum!! Which they make in the neighboring island of St. Croix. Hailed a taxi and headed to our first hotel called The Galleon. This cute hillside place overlooking the ocean is a hidden gem! The price was right, a bit older and the linens were worn but clean, the staff was excellent and the included breakfast was yummy! The following day they even let us store our luggage nearly all day after checkout while we explored, shopped and drank while waiting for another couple to fly in and meet us.
Once we "cheers"ed with Rum Punches when our friends arrived, we hit another taxi, pocketbook drain for sure, and arrived at the Red Hook Ferry. Naturally we all ordered Frozen Bushwacker drinks at the ferry bar. Have I mentioned this is a vacation in a tropical location, hence the drink in hand at all times:) The ferry took us to Cruz Bay, St. John, a perfect 20 minutes away. We arrived at our destination, a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom hotel/condo at the Westin! Oh did I mention they greeted us with Rum Punch?!
Here are a few of our adventures that week:
Trunk Bay, we had to stop for this picture because...well.... just look at this place!
Cinnamon Bay, where we were pelted with sand and wind and got rejected by the Wind Surfing Rental Nazi Guy. He told us we would scare away the customers due to our inexperience....our thought was we ARE the customers and the only ones in line. Oh well the beach was still beautiful and the snorkeling was fun.
Deep Sea fishing on the Mixed Bag II, we have used this sea vessel before and had great luck catching huge Tuna for dinner. This time not so much due to high winds and having to fish near the island for risk of our lives. But it was still an adventure! This a picture of a previous more successful adventure.
Sugar Mill tour and hike was so worth the money. It included the taxi ride up the hill and commentary from a park ranger. We hiked about 3-4 miles down to the ruins and petroglyphs!! Ate our packed lunch and then we got to swim out to the two deck boat that took us around the island and home, this was also included!
Chartered Catamaran to the British Jost Van Dyke Island. We chose the smallest chartered catamaran, a 27 ft, 6 person with 2 crew. They naturally served us drinks and snacks, we snorkeled in a beautiful bay and even saw a shark!!! Okay well it was only a nurse shark but I was still a bit cautious and our tour guide kept us all safe. Amazing fish and coral, so very worth it.
From there we made the 45 minute sail to Jost Van Dyke and to the famous bars Foxys and the Soggy Dollar. We spent a good few hours on the beach and or in the bar drinking Pain Killers and eating but most of all people watching!! People watching is my favorite.
A few places we frequented in the tiny relaxing downtown Cruz Bay, St. John:
The Tap Room Brewery with great mexican pizza and Ginger Root Beer, like Root Beer but better
Margarita Phil's with 20 oz frozen margaritas and nachos
Banana Deck with their Lime and de Coconut frozen drinks and famous banana splits
Woody's bar and grill with fried calamari and delicious burgers, a kind of hole in the wall dive but you just can't pass it up!
High Tide, by far my favorite, because of the sunset view right on the water, the staff, amazing salads and of course the yummy Bushwacker drinks!
Needless to say we hemorrhaged money, drank too much and gained weight from all the yummy food. But we made amazing memories and had way too much fun!
Thanks for reading-Vikki
Rum Punch Recipe:
Splash of lemon juice
2 Cups Cruzan light rum
2 liters ginger ale 1 qt. fruit punch 1 qt. orange juice or pineapple juice
Pain Killer Recipe:
- 2 ounces Pusser's® dark rum (or any brand)
- 1 ounce cream of coconut
- 4 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 ounces orange juice
4 oz cream of coconut
2 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur
1 oz Bacardi® black rum
1 oz dark creme de cacao
4 oz milk