St. Thomas

St. Thomas St. John San Juan

 

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St. Thomas is a great vacation spot.  

The Renaissance Hotel on Water Bay

Great resort with a terrific beach and plenty of water sports available.  Nice accommodations.

The Bay Winds Restaurant at the Renaissance was aptly named for the warm breezes and beautiful views of Water Bay.  We ate at the resort on our fist evening and Denni decided that for her first meal, she would jump right into sampling Caribbean style food.  She had swordfish and shrimp skewers in a tamarind sauce—this was a step for her since she likes shellfish, but not “regular” fish.  She thought it was very good and might eat swordfish again now!

 

Fungi's Bar & Restaurant

The beach bar just next to the Renaissance resort.  At Funji’s (pronounced Foongee’s), it wasn’t so much the food (we just had burgers and such), as the bar that was fun.  Jim ordered something called “Roots”, a shot of 191 proof local rum!  It was nasty!  Denni drank some melon-rum drinks that just really sneak up on you.  They were playing a lot of great classic rock music, which we enjoyed, but they advertise Reggae all the time.  Not that night!  It was a good thing we didn’t have to drive that night.

 

Local Taxi Cabs

These are the local taxi cabs in St. Thomas.  Since most tourists go to the same tourist spots, a driver gathers together a group and then takes them to a destination.  The local residents also jump aboard these taxis to commute between home and work.  While the passengers sit in the open-air vehicles, the driver rides in the air conditioned cab.

 

Flamboyant Tree

These pretty red trees are everywhere on the islands.

That's Homer, the Night Snorkeling guy.  For something different, we went on a night snorkel trip  and discovered what goes on under the sea when the sun goes down. 

Denni holding a sea cucumber

 

Jim holding something else

Stingray

We saw stingrays in several different places, but this is one from the night snorkel.  Homer recognizes it because it is missing most of its tail.

Iguanas

There were iguanas all over the island.  Most of them seemed to come out at lunch near the restaurants looking for handouts.  Interesting that the local guides warn women that red toenails can confuse the iguanas into thinking a meal of berries is nearby.  One in particular had his eyes set on Denni's toes and wouldn't leave her alone.

 

The Pointe in Charlotte Amalie

The day after our anniversary (we were night snorkeling on the actual day), we went to a restaurant in Frenchtown called The Pointe.  Located at the point of a peninsula right near the fishing harbor, this historic building had a colorful past.  It has been a bread and breakfast, a public house, a private residence and various restaurants.  Now it is a Steak and Seafood restaurant known for its food and extensive salad bar.  While it wasn’t the best food we ate while in the islands, the ambience was very nice.

 

Latitude 18°

One evening, on the recommendation of the concierge, we made our way to the other side of bay from Redhook, down a very narrow road to Alex’s at Latitude 18°.  It was something right out a Jimmy Buffet song, open air, small bar right at the water’s edge with just a couple of locals playing scrabble at a table.  We were the only diners, but were nicely welcomed.  We wanted something light and casual and decided to go with some appetizers and a salad.  Jim ordered a double order of the skewered beef.  I ordered hummus (made fresh by Alex) with fresh pita and sautéed garlic shrimp.  Denni tasted the balsamic vinaigrette (also homemade by Alex) on the salad and was in heaven.  Alex came over and apologized that he may have put too much pepper in the shrimp, but it was great!  Denni told Alex he needed to bottle the dressing and always make the shrimp with extra pepper.  In all, it was a great little meal.

 

Magen's Bay 

Magen's Bay is located on the north coast of St. Thomas and is considered one of the top 10 beaches in the world.  It's good for swimming and gawking, not for snorkeling.  All of the beaches on St. Thomas are considered public beaches and all of them are white sand beaches.

 

Coki Point

Coki Point is considered one of the best snorkeling spots in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Of toward the point you see in the distance, we swam into a school of of what must have been a million small blue fish, similar to the Neon fish you see in home aquariums.  They were so dense, you couldn't see anything else around you.  It was fascinating to just float there among them as the school seemed to ebb and flow around you.  It was also interesting to see larger fish dart into the school to feed.

 

Charlotte Amalie

Charlotte Amalie is a popular port of call for the Caribbean cruise boats.  About 4-6 boats dock each week and spill the tourists and their money into the streets of Charlotte Amalie.  Consequently, Charlotte Amalie takes on the air of being a cross between a carnival midway and flea market.  There is an amazing number of jewelry stores and high-end boutiques.

Driving in the Virgin Islands

You drive on the the left in the U.S. Virgin Islands in cars with the traditional driver on the left side cars made in the U.S.  It's kind of a mirror image of how post office employees drive here in the States.  Making left-hand turns is pretty easy, but it takes a lot of concentration to remember to stay to the left when making right-hand turns. These people love their Chevy trucks & SUVs.

 

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