Tuesday, July 17, 2012

family vacation

As promised, today I am sharing about our {more than likely last} family vacation with just the five of us before Josh starting college next year and Jessica getting married and myself being out on my own. I had a blast! I've never been a beach lover {I know, crazy, but I got burnt out on the beach because that's where we always went. Every. Single. Year. It just got old.} But St. Thomas changed my mind. It was absolutely gorgeous. Seriously, these pictures have no filter, it really is this picture perfect and postcard-like in reality.

Just a little info on St. Thomas. I had never been to the Caribbean before so I didn't know what to expect. We had a great tour guide Annie who helped out on where to go, what to do and that kind of thing, but she filled us in on the culture of St. Thomas and a little of its history. St. Thomas really is a melting pot of all sorts of people and cultures. Annie said that it would be rare if we met a person that originated in St. Thomas. People from all over the world, mostly Arabs, surrounding islanders, and Americans make up the island. Most of the food is imported which is why it is 40% to 50% more than what you pay here in the States. For example, it was $22.99/lb for chicken. Talk about becoming a vegetarian! Rum is super cheap, especially Cruzan because it's made in the Virgin Islands. They drive on the left side of the road, and they don't stop at stop signs. The people in general are nice, but you have to remember to use your manners. They have all religions as well.  Find more information here if you'd like to know more.

Day One: Sunday
We took a little over 3 hour flight from Atlanta to St. Thomas. Got settled in and went grocery shopping at K-Mart {which is one of 3 grocery stores they had on our side of the island} and my favorite place Gourmet Gallery {which I would compare as a super small replica of Whole Foods, but not as nice}.
view from the room
our condo for the week
Day Two/Three: Monday/Tuesday
Went sight seeing around our condo and soaked in the sun on the Caribbean beach.

iguana's everywhere.
 Day Four: Wednesday
Took a 20 minute ferry ride over to St. John's which was equally beautiful! We drove around the island and looked at ancient ruins, took a short cut through a half paved/half rock drive along the cliffs and almost ran off the road several times. Seriously, thank the heavens for a four wheel drive. Then we settled at Hawksnest Bay.
squinty eyes = not cute

dinner back in St. Thomas on the bay
Day Five: Thursday
This was my favorite part of the trip hands down. We went on The Cat and sailed to Buck Island and went snorkeling with sea turtles, coral, and schools of pretty fish! Sea turtles are becoming extinct so it's such an incredible view. We saw about 6 turtles from ages 2-19. Our guides told us that we shouldn't get within 5 feet of them because then they leave. But at one point of our swimming around a tiny turtle swam up in between my sister and I, literally 2 feet away from each of us to get air. It was so cool! 

spot the sea turtle!
This was our awesome crew: Joe, Jordan, and Matt. They were so fun, personable,  and all so friendly! It was cool that they were all from the U.S. as well! Joe from New Jersey, Jordan from Oklahoma, and Matt from Texas!
Please excuse my grossness from swimming all day and curly hair. Air dried hair is not a cute look for me either.
beautiful sunset
Day Six: Friday
Started the day off by going on a morning walk by the sea. I could get used to that, especially with this view . . .
We took a ride over to town to do a bit of shopping in the outdoor market. I didn't take any pictures, sadly, but just picture a smaller Chinatown. Nothing fancy just t-shirts, and cheap knockoffs. We also drove over to the north side of the island which hosts the Atlantic ocean. After that we spent the remainder of the day at the beach, soaking in the last bit of sunshine we got before leaving Sunday morning.

Needless to say, St. Thomas was memorable, stunning, and I think I left a little of my heart there. I can't wait to go back!

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