Cruz Bay

 

I am sitting on my porch overlooking the ocean with my hair naturally drying in the salty breeze thinking of her.  It is almost a week since we did this trip with my mom.  My mom is such a special person for me, and St. John is a very special place that we knew instantly when she booked her trip, that we would take her over there.

 

Welcome to St. John

 

St. John is located just a few miles away from St. Thomas making it a fifteen to twenty minute boat ride from Red Hook in St. Thomas to Cruz Bay in St. John.  The ferry leaves on the hour every hour until eleven o’clock at night or so.  We have been here five weeks and hadn’t made the trek yet, but now that Nana was here, it was time.

 

 

The Ferry Ride

 

So, we loaded the crew up in the car, nicknamed “Squeaky” for obvious reasons, and grabbed some Mc’Donalds and drove to Red Hook.  The kids really wanted to sit on the top part of the ferry, which is the best seat in the house except if it rains!!

 

From this side

 

But we were lucky, it didn’t rain at all.  We all were able to watch the other boats speed by and watch St. Thomas growing smaller in the background.

 

Bye St. Thomas

 

In the distance, Red Hook, one of the hopping spots for St. Thomas, grew smaller and smaller.  You would think, “What’s the big deal?  It’s just another island, right?”  No.  St. John is the most unspoiled place I have been.  It is 2/3 National Park donated by Mr. Rockefeller in the 1950′s to the government to preserve the island for all to enjoy.  Cruz Bay has several shops and restaurants, but once you leave there, you enter the jungle with pristine beaches all around you.  Like St. Thomas, there are quite a few beaches to pick from while you are there.

 

The overlook to Trunk Bay

 

Trunk Bay is one of the most photographed beaches in the world.  It actually was one of Jonathan’s automatic screensavers on his cell phone when we bought it.

 

My painting I did for Michelle Robertson's birthday last year.

 

And I suspect, one of the most painted beaches in the world!

 

Awww...Trunk Bay

 

We selected Trunk Bay.  The sand is soft and the water so clear that you can just watch the fish swim by as you wade into the water.  This is designated as a National Park, so, there is a small entrance fee, but it is worth it.  They have fabulous facilities and …..what can I say about the view?  I got to display my new floppy beach hat, a must in the sunny islands of the Caribbean.

 

Awww...Jonathan

 

We heard a local saying that he just loves Trunk Bay.  He said, “If by some freak chance, I see a small rock, I want to tell the Lifeguard, Hey there is a rock there and that shouldn’t be!”  We all chuckled, but we knew what he meant.

 

Look at how clear the water is!

 

We decided to buy some snorkel equipment to get the kids used to it because they should learn that hobby, right?  We had tried two years ago in a cold swimming pool in Taos, NM.  Needless to say, it didn’t go well, but now they were two years older, we were in warm water, and their swimming ability has grown exponentially.

 

That's the lifeguard on a paddle board.

 

The lifeguards are there to watch the safety of the swimmers and the safety of the coral reef that surrounds that huge rock out there.  That is where the snorkel path is with signs of what you are seeing.  That was neat.  We have seen squid, lots of fish, and coral out there.  One particular fish is called the Parrot Fish.  It is brightly colored in parrot-like colors, and you can hear it in the water as it scrapes the coral for food!

 

 

The kids learning to snorkel.

 

I have to say that the kids did pick up snorkeling.  And like everything, it was hard to get them to even break for lunch.

 

HHHMMM?

 

 

What is that? A Shark? No, it is a one horn butt fish!!!  That is a common theme on T’shirts, shorts, and hats on St. John, since it is so well known for snorkeling.

 

 

Oh, no, it was really Nana snorkeling out there!

 

I was so proud of my mom.  She just took to snorkeling like a fish to water!  She has always been a swimmer, so, I didn’t think she would have trouble!

 

This is fun!

 

We stayed at Trunk for over four hours.  Then it was off to the showers.  We had brought a change of clothes, so, we could eat at one of the delicious restaurants in St. John before boarding the ferry back to St. Thomas.

 

 

 

Great job Nana and Isabella and Joaquin!

 

As we packed up our things, we realized that we had gotten quite a bit of sun!  Jonathan, my mom, and I were a little toasty!  The kids were better because I think you are more cautious with their young skin.

 

 

Hey, there little guy!

 

As we were leaving after our fresh shower, which is so invigorating, we spotted some local life crawling across the walkway.   To silence Joaquin’s multiple requests to take a picture of the hermit crab for my blog, I snapped one quickly, then I noticed tons more crawling in the brush.

 

 

Shopping in St. John

 

We headed back to town to have a relaxed dinner, but discovered they didn’t start seating until 5:30PM.  I’m starting to see a trend with the local restaurants with 5:30 as apposed to 5:00 as the first seating time.  Interesting?  So, what do you do in St. John while waiting on your reservation?  SHOPPING and get a drink or two at the bar!

 

 

Raspberry smoothie

 

The kids and my mom ordered raspberry smoothies, which were absolutely satisfying.  I know because I had to have a sip for quality control.

 

 

YOU TOO?

 

Jonathan and I had an adults drinks!

 

 

Yummy!

 

Jonathan said as we were throwing our beach stuff on the floor by the bar (very classy), “Should we be at the bar with the kids?”  Oh, honey!  No one even cares as it seems to be fewer rules down here.

 

 

The view from the bar

 

We noticed the harsh work environment for the bartender.

 

Our Table for Dinner

 

Then it was time to be seated.  We ate at Bistro on the Water Front.  It is upscale with wonderful food and excellent service.  I always get the Caribbean lobster, which is like a regular lobster except it doesn’t have the large claws.  I have to say that it is the best lobster I have ever had.

 

 

Hello There

 

View from table

 

We ate and drank and visited while watching the sunset over St. Thomas in the background.  Then we gathered up all of our “stuff”, which seemed to have multiplied somehow, and headed over to the ferry for our ride home.

 

Just another wonderful dinner

 

 

 

 

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