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Archive for February 22nd, 2016

It’s a Tropical Paradise….once you get there

Sunday, February 21, We’re Going On An Adventure! (Day 1)

We have these awesome friends. And being awesome, they invited us to pay them a visit down in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Three (or was it four?) years later we finally got our act together and booked our flight! We left Morgantown every so early. If your “hurry up you have a flight to catch” alarm doesn’t go off at 2:50 am, you aren’t doing vacation right! Also, if you don’t start somewhere chilly & end somewhere awesomely warm, you aren’t doing it right, either! At least in February. When you live in WV. (That’s enough qualifiers, you get the drift.)

After an uneventful day of flying from Pittsburgh to Charlotte, NC and then more southward, we found ourselves in San Juan with about an hour until our puddle jump to St. Thomas. With a travel via plane tradition to uphold, we popped in for a nice refreshing beverage.

And then, we sat at the gate. And sat. Other flights went out, but not ours. Ours was not going anywhere. Finally our plane was out there on the tarmac ready to accept us as passengers. Thank goodness! I was already tired of reading. And I was hitting the “I just want to be done traveling” portion of the trip which is never fun for Chad.  And 25 minutes later, St. Thomas came into view and all that travel-related angst, seeped out.

Finally, several hours later than originally intended, we were in St. Thomas. But our luggage was not! Now usually I’m super good at making sure that each of us have one extra outfit in our carry on bags and blah, blah, blah. All that stuff good, seasoned travelers do. Uh-huh. Except that it’s February and I hit the “I hate Winter and February is the armpit of the year” phase on Monday of last week. Which is to say, this was the first time in years and years that I did not pack at least one outfit for each of us in our carry on bags. February, I’m blaming you.

At any rate, we were in a tropical paradise, so who cares! Russ & Anne met us at the airport and off we went for dinner to a great locals beach bar at Hull Bay. The burgers were amazing.

Also, we were eating outside. In February. In the warm evening air, with waves crashing not so far away and a nearly full moon peeking through the palm trees. It was incredible. And just like that, the doldrums of February fell away.

And we fell asleep to the crash of waves. Because THIS is how you vacation!


Monday, February 22, Is This Even Real? (Day 2)

We awoke to the crash of the waves, the cackling of the conures and the sun rising over the water. (Cackling conures sound an awful lot like screaming unhappy ferrets, which is to say I was really confused when I woke up.) Do you know what time the sun rises in St. Thomas in February? Early, that’s when! Like 6:15 am early. But that’s cool because who wants to waste daylight somewhere as lovely as this?

We headed out with Russ & Anne to partake of their traditional early morning walk and swim at Magen’s Beach. But first, a stop at Drake’s Seat because of the spectacular view (and also a geocache).  Plus, the crack of dawn is about the only time to stop, take in the view, and grab the cache without throngs and throngs of people, and at least one burro in a hat and sunglasses, jockeying for space.

More proof that Chad and I were on vacation together. And also that even on vacation in tropical paradise I need caffeine to get moving in the morning.

Magen’s Beach was amazing. And Spectacular. And lovely. Most importantly, WARM. Ah. It was also very empty except for the local folks who know to show up early before the cruise ship crowds descend like locusts.

There’s nothing quite like being warm and happy on a beach in February.

While we were at Magen’s, we got word that our luggage had arrived, so we made an afternoon of it by caching and grocery shopping our way to the airport. Now, at home I despise the grocery store. But I do so love checking out the grocery when we are on vacation (caveat: on vacation not in the continental US). It is always a treat in new places! I’m fascinated by what grocery stores in other places carry. And I was not disappointed in St. Thomas! (No, we didn’t buy any.)

From there, we made a brief stop near where the cruise ships dock so we could pick up some lovely geocaches. And take a super touristy photo of Chad.

Also, we did the obligatory sweat to death, because by then the sun was high in the sky and there wasn’t a lot of shade to be had in the shopping area by the docks. This is me, looking happy because I’m warm, but confused because I’m pretty sure my skin is going to catch on fire at any moment.

Lattitude 18 is really, rather hot! Also, they have roving bands of chickens, which did not freak me out as much as I had anticipated they would when I encountered one up close and personal while retrieving a cache.

Finally after all that extra adventuring, we arrived at the airport to claim our luggage. Hooray! Clean clothes! And maybe a little nap, after all, we’d had a pretty full day already. And by then it was time for cocktail hour looking out over the ocean.

We had a fabulous dinner at a place called Mafolie that had A) scrumptious food and B) a heavenly view. We were there early enough to see the sun dip low…

And the hillside come alive with lights.

Ah yes. Vacation in a tropical paradise is very much all it is cracked up to be, my friends.

clickity-click on the tiny versions to see all our photos in full size versions (because I didn’t pop them all in the post and come on, you KNOW you want to live vicariously through us, right? ) complete with descriptions. Because otherwise, you’re just probably going to be confused.

chris on February 22nd 2016 in Geocaching, Travel