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02 April 2013 @ 08:38 pm
St. John  
Walking home from dinner last night, I thought I'd revive the old livejournal for this trip, but then I thought better of it because, really, how much can there be to say about spending a quiet week in a beautiful place? ...Monday it was beautiful and we went to the beach, Tuesday it was beautiful and we went to the beach, and so on...But then I thought better of it again, since today was so spectacular, and here we are!

Monday was a terribly long travel day, with 2 flights (an extra trip or two through security at the Ft. Lauderdale airport), a bus ride, a ferry trip, and a taxi ride that eventually landed us in the beautiful Gallows Point Resort at Cruz Bay on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We settled in to our efficiency/apartment and walked along the beach under a vibrant sunset into the town where we found a delicious fish dinner at sort of a dive/hole-in-the-wall looking place. We found out today though, from a local guy on a truck taxi to the beach, that it's a well-liked happy hour spot frequented by Kenny Chesney when he's on the island. It was a great meal, blackened fish, with great rock and roll music playing from the bar across the street.

I was in bed by 8:30.

And what a view we woke up to this morning! I got up early and explored the resort a little, found some fantastic views of both the bay and the ocean, and bypassed a hammock in favor of a lounge chair on the little beach for a bit of reading before Mom and Kate were ready to get up. As the day brightened, so did the water. It's stunning and turquoise and blue and there are mountainous islands all around, and as the clouds pass the sun the light does wonderful things to the views of the land and sea.

After breakfast we took a taxi (safari taxis, I think they're called, these trucks with seating instead of a bed in the back) from the ferry dock up the windy mountain roads and back down again to Cinnamon Bay. It was perfect. We set ourselves up just at the edge of the beach where the soft white sand met an area of shady trees and stayed all day. I went for a long swim right away from one end of the bay to the other and back, and it was really something to be right out the middle of such stunning beauty. We rested and sunned ourselves, read and walked, took a break to have a fish sandwich for lunch, and then Kate and I went for another long swim. The main beach area ended where the sand stopped and turned into an unwalkably rocky and shrub-filled stretch of coastline, but there was another beach, small, empty, and beautiful, on the other side. Kate and I made that our next swimming destination. Green mountains, white beaches, and a turquoise sea. There can be nothing else like it.

We had another slightly harrowing truck ride back to Cruz Bay. Kate and I were thinking that this place is a funny combination of that third-world-fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mentality (is that inappropriate to say?) and first-world prices. We learned from some other passengers about the campground at the beach. We were in a U.S. national park, and the campsites have what look to be about a 10X10 canvas tent with cots, and everything from a cooler to a camp stove and linens to dishes are provided by the campground. $85 a night, they said - definitely something to keep in mind!

We walked up to a little supermarket to buy some groceries for the rest of the week, and stopped to pick up a pizza on the way home. Kate made us pina coladas with the hotel's complimentary bottle of coconut rum, and we've enjoyed pizza and drinks in our breezy living room with the waves crashing on the rocks outside.