St. Thomas is a great
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.
had swordfish and shrimp skewers in a tamarind sauce—this was a
step for her since she likes shellfish, but not “regular” fish.
thought it was very good and might eat swordfish again now!
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
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.
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
Denni holding a sea cucumber
Jim holding something else
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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 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 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