Tuesday – Laura and Steve Take “The Walk of Woe”

July 31st, 2009

Today is Laura and Steve’s travel back home day.  After a friendly visit with Anna and 20 month old Addison we had breakfast at JJ’s Texas Coast and picked up some last gifts. 

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Laura and Steve had their walk of woe pictures taken by Ruth at St John Spice to be posted on the Virgin Islands forum. Back at the villa, we packed up the jeep  and solemnly lowered our “Kicking and Screaming Tour” banner.

We caught the noon ferry to St Thomas and made a quick stop at Duffy’s Love Shack. We had time to stop and check out Charlie and Terry’s second week’s accomodation’s at the Hotel  Mafolie.  What views!

Laura and Steve made it to the airport by 2:30 and the tour ended. What a week!  What friends!

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Monday Night – Cruz Bay Sunset and Dinner at The Banana Deck

July 30th, 2009

We grabbed drinks at The Beach Bar and watched the sun set over St. Thomas from the beach there.  What a sight.  Next, dinner at The Banana Deck where Laura declares the “best BBCs on the Earth!”.  We finished about 8 and Charlie and Terry hurried home to see the finale of “The Bachelorette” while Steve and Laura did some shopping for gifts.  We wrapped up the evening with games of Scat and LRC and called it a night.

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Monday – Last Day – Cinnamon Bay

July 30th, 2009

Yet another glorious morning in Cruz Bay.  Our goal was to get out by 10 and we made it.  A quick stop at the Deli grotto and we were on our way to Cinnamon Bay.  Cinnamon was Laura’s and Steve’s first St. John beach back in ’01 and the same for Terry and Charlie in ’05.  We arrived to find very few  folks on the wide white sand.  We found a little “grotto” in the seagrapes and trees to set up “camp”.  The north shore was a little breezy today but the waves were minimal resulting in a manageable small chop in the water.  A long hour and a half snorkel on the Maho end took us past some interesting geological and coral formations with lots of fish and sea life. We stayed until 3 soaking up the sun, sand and turquoise water  Back to the pool for mangos to seal the day.

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Sunday Night – La Tapa

July 29th, 2009

Sunday Night – La Tapa

La Tapa is one of our favorites on St. John.  Gabriel was our  waiter and the food was excellent.  Mahi-Mahi for Terry, ribeye for Laura, and a paella for 2 shared by Charlie and Steve. Returning to Slimman’s parking for our car, the drum player from High Tide was there chatting with the lot owners.  He jumped up and shook Charlie’s hand saying “I remember you!” Back at the villa we managed to get in one game of scat on the porch overlooking a warm sea beneath a starry sky.

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Sunday – Francis Bay

July 29th, 2009

After a rousing island mass at Mt. Carmel, we packed up and headed to Francis Bay.  Francis was hot!  First a short snorkel over to Little Maho where we saw a wet iguana on the rocks.  A light lunch of cheese and crackers and a little beach time, then off to the right side to look for turtles.  We found at least a half dozen!  Right in the middle of our swim, we looked up at the mountains to see sheets of rain coming in.  What a sensation snorkeling in a downpour!   After the rainstorm, everything calmed down.  We found some hermit crabs on the way back and some tiny crabs close to shore.  Some more beach time on a calm bay.  What a day!

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Saturday Night – Are You Sure This is Saturday?

July 27th, 2009

After some mango banana coladas around the pool, we decided to walk downtown for a light bite to eat.  Our first choice, Banana Deck, was closed.  We thought we’d check The Balcony – closed for private party.  Next, Lime Inn – closed. You know, sometimes on vacation you have to stop and remember what day it is… but is this really Saturday night? We found Crazy Crackers was open so we went in for some iceberg wedges (most excellent by the way).  But it was “dinner and a movie night”- a great deal at $30 per couple.  Our light bite turned into a delicious major stuffing.  On our bloated walk home we noticed that the skies were much clearer and the stars were bright.  Perhaps the dust dust storms have passed.


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Saturday – Honeymoon Bay

July 27th, 2009

Saturday morning, the skies were sunny so we decided to go to Laura’s favorite beach – Honeymoon.  After a stop at Deli Grotto for sandwiches and Big Planet for some new flip-flops for Charlie we headed over to Caneel Bay past the new welcome gate and onto the beautiful flowered grounds.  Did I mention that the flowers are different from when  we usually come in late winter/early spring? – the “Flamboyant Trees” are an amazing color!  Since the hike to Honeymoon is pretty short and flat, we carried chairs, coolers… the whole beach thing.  Honeymoon Beach is quite beautiful; a long stretch of white beach looking out on blue water.  There were a couple of small day-sailing groups from St. Thomas, but the beach was not crowded at all.  The snorkeling was excellent with lots of fish and coral.  We saw many parrot fish, angelfish, and quite a few rock hinds which are not often seen.  I also came upon a whole school of squirrel fish which are normally shy, but scooted pretty close with their big eyes. We saw at least 50 species on the two swims we took.  Lots of time was spent reading in the surf and sand or just taking in the sights.  A great day!

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Friday Night – High Tide Dinner and Tunes

July 27th, 2009

Friday Night – High Tide Dinner and Tunes

After some pool time complete with signature mango coladas by Charlie we headed down to town looking for a light dinner. T-Bird (a woman) was playing at High Tide (next to the dock) accompanied by a conga drummer.  She was a very good performer and we enjoyed the music.  The food was very good also, but…. it seems John the waiter saw business wind down around seven and had sent most of the staff home.  Thinking the evening was done he even “joined the festivities” himself (read had a drink or two) when bam! six groups show up at 8 o’clock.  The service was almost comical- missed items and such.  When all was said and done we all got fed while listening to good music and at the end of the evening John brought over a round of “sweet kamikaze” rum shots and apologized for the disarray.  Ah, off season on St. John.

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Friday – Maho, no Cinnamon, no Jumbie!

July 27th, 2009

Our plan was to head back and stop at Maho for a short swim.  Maho was very busy so on to Cinnamon. Cinnamon lot was full, so over hairpin hill to find parking spot #4.5 open at Jumbie.  The water was a little choppy, but we swam and soaked up the sun and sights for an hour and a half.

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Friday – The Tourist Trap (No, really, it’s a place.)

July 27th, 2009

After the “hike from Hades” up the hill from Salt Pond, he hopped in the car for a short drive to The Tourist Trap – a shed on a trailer on the side of the road with some very nice views.  We had a round of “Drink Right and Keep Lefts” and some sandwiches and headed back to Cruz Bay.

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Friday – Drunk Bay and Salt Pond Bay

July 27th, 2009

Another drive to the opposite end of the island; this time Salt Pond.  After the short hike downhill, we left our things at the far end of the beach and hiked the short trail to Drunk Bay.  Drunk Bay is unique to the other bays we see on St. John.  The crashing waves on the rocks remind you more of the New England coastline than the caribbean. Home of the little “Jumbie People”, I (Steve) found the one I made in 2008 and Charlie made his own  contribution – a fine rock and coral lass.

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Back to the beach and into the water… we saw a ray, then a good sized turtle.  Next we headed out along the left side and around the point. A most amazing sight, there were so many fish and such variety that it was like “swimming in a fish tank”.

Triggerfish, hogfish, squid, angelfish, a peacock flounder… the list goes on and on.  We were even passed by a good sized barracuda moving in the other direction. This was truly an amazing swim.

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Thursday – “Linner” at Skinny Legs

July 26th, 2009

Thursday – “Linner” at Skinny Legs

We stopped at Skinny Legs for some delicious burgers and cold drinks.  Laura bought a Skinny Legs cap and we picked up a couple of island music CDs for the road.

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Thursday – Vies Beach

July 26th, 2009

After a snack of conch fritters and a coconut tart from Vie’s Snack Shack, we hit the nearly empty beach – we just about had it to ourselves.  After some snorkeling near the rocks on the left side we ventured out farther in the middle and found two turtles. Heading out past the pelican rocks on the right, we went deeper to some off shore coral formations and found a sleeping 4-6 foot nurse shark! Wow!  We spent another hour or two lounging on the beach and cooling off in the water.  An idyllic day on an idyllic beach.

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Wednesday Night – Rhumblines; Happy Birthday Charlie!

July 25th, 2009

We went to Rhumlines for dinner and were not disappointed as always.  Peanut butter pie with a candle – “happy birthday to you!”


Wednesday – Hawksnest

July 25th, 2009

Deli Grotto for some delicious sandwiches and a Jumbie bar –  we took the tour to Hawksnest Bay beach. What a great sunny day!  There is a thick haze right now because of Sahara dust storms, but the sun is still much hotter than we normally experience up north.  Great beaching at hawksnest including snorkeling the beautiful coral reef and a swim over to Gibney.  We attempted a re-creation of the logo and a nice couple on their honeymoon was kind enough to take some pictures.


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Tuesday Night – We Made It!

July 24th, 2009

After a quick ride on the General and negotiating the back hills of Cruz Bay, we made it to Anna’s… what a welcome sight! About 6:30 we walked down to town for dinner. 2 for 1 drinks and apps at Crazy Crackers! Just what the doctor ordered after this long travel day.

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What a Flight! – by Laura (Tuesday in the air)

July 21st, 2009

OMG! An hour and a half out of Charlotte the Captain comes on the intercom to hawk MasterCards. As soon as he finished, as if on cue, we hit the worst turbulence ev-er! 20 minutes of white knuckles and tears later, we smoothed out only to hear the MasterCard spiel repeated followed by USAirways duty free bazaar in the sky… I CAN’T WAIT TO LAND!

Why We Love the Albany Airport Tuesday Mornings at 7:15

July 21st, 2009

No linesCheap parkingA Starbucks We’re on our way, yay!

July 6th. We Have a Logo!

July 21st, 2009

After months of throwing ideas back and forth, we have our finalized logo.  I (Steve) provided the seed and structure while Charlie handled the final art.


With the Caribbean in the background and wildlife abounding, we’re waiving our 50 and 30 banners.  50 for Laura’s birthday and 30 for Charlie and Terry’s anniversary this year.  Who-hoo!

Here We Are!

July 20th, 2009

Hopefully you’re one of our friends and family checking up with us and how we are doing.  Thanks for stopping by.  Charlie and Terry Hoffman and Laura and Steve Schriber are very good friends who have traveled together to the St. John in the past.  This year, Laura was the last to turn 50 and to mark this occasion we have planned another trip to St. John  and the Virgin Islands.  Here are some shots from the last trip.

Terry and Charlie   Steve and Laura  Mango Colada Time

We hope to keep up with this blog throughout the next week.  We’ll see how it goes…

“If I’m going to be fifty, they’ll have to drag me there kicking and screaming!