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St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Travel discussion for St. John

Moderator: The Mgmt.

Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby Agent99 » Mon May 28, 2018 11:25 am

May 28

Just noodled around yesterday- drove out to Reef Bay- that view is so dramatic. That part of the island is very appealing to me- then again every inch of the island is very appealing to me. I even love the little cemetery near Gallows. Pete attended a touching ceremony there this morning for Memorial Day.

We had lunch at Greengos and happy to say it was full. Food was fine and margs were great but the music was beyond bad. We actually thought they were messing with us- like the bartenders had a bet as to the time of the first complaint. It was a reel of the worst of 80's and 90's karaoke schlock blasting so loud that you had to practically shout to have a conversation. Think The Final Countdown. I love me some Cure or Ramones but none of that. We survived. They had on the Sox/Braves game and had the misfortune to witness the horrific injury the poor Braves kid suffered. Can't unsee that. Hope it does not end his career.

The rest of the day we hung out at the pool, snorkeled a little and visited with a few nice people. Plenty of leftovers for dinner. Nice, chill day. This am Pete picked up a couple of the salmon/ caper/ cream cheese bagels from Sam & Jacks for breakfast. Really hit the spot with a Bloody Mary.

Sorry to hear about second poor donkey to get hit. I'm actually surprised it does not happen more often. One driving tip we always adhere to is this; when a local, whether it be a jeep, pickup, giant water or construction truck rides up on us like a bat out of hell we always pull over as soon as safely possible and let them pass. Much safer than trying to increase our own speed on challenging roads.

Today off to Honeymoon on the $5 pp each way dingy. Beach chairs are not allowed on the dingy but coolers are. We'll just rent chairs and forget the cooler since they have the concession there. I might even try a paddle board for the first time. Please God don't let anyone be filming that.
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby GraysonDave » Tue May 29, 2018 11:03 am

Love the real time trip report!

Just back from Grand Cayman and now I can't wait to visit St. John again. Pretty positive that a bruised and battered St. John will blow Grand Cayman away.
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby Agent99 » Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 pm

Theresa-Rae, thanks so much for the heads up on the ACC! We were able to get in touch with Ryan and are escorting 6 kitties back to Boston on Friday. Maybe that will help take the sting out of leaving!

PS- I never received a pm from you unless I am looking in the wrong place?

And thanks folks for the nice comments. A little bit more to come before we have to do the walk of woe. :(
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby Agent99 » Wed May 30, 2018 9:10 am

We never did get to Honeymoon Monday because we got a late start and decided to wait. It was Gibney instead and we met a nice group from (North) Dakota?- it was her 3rd trip here since the storms and she said the progress, as we've have heard, has been astonishing and if it had not been for all of the private help it could not have happened so efficiently. I don't think the BVI's have been as fortunate although I know Kenny and some private groups are doing their best for them as well.

I foolishly did not check schedules as I know some places still have abbreviated hours. When we got to Miss Lucy's it was closed on Mondays. Plus it was a holiday. We would have taken the opportunity to try Wok on the Beach having heard so many good things but unfortunately the sargassum was all pooled in front and the odor was very noticeable of sulfur. On to Skinny Legs which is cash only and packed. Every table full. So good to see. Skinny's had never been our go to place but it was breezy, the staff very nice and the burgers tasted great- we were all hungry. The gift shop there has some nice little finds as well.

Later we bumped into our new Dakota friends at the pop up party in front of the Beach Bar. I did not introduce myself to Sweaty Blue Shirt Guy but I am pretty sure I saw him there. Quinn also bumped into a kid who he'd met at a annual pig roast in New Hampshire. Small world. We'd read that the beach party was wrapping up at sunset so we walked over to Cruz Bay Landing for a small bite- no one was super hungry after those burgers. Pete had met a man at the Memorial Day service, Haile Israel, who said he was playing at CBL that evening. Really nice voice and gentle reggae sound. Glad we went. We were all pretty beat so headed home around 8 and the pop up party was still going strong. Nice to see a crowd in that sweet spot. The giant narley grape tree survived as you can tell from the BB Web cam.

Tuesday, more of the same- we sort of get into a routine. Hawksnest was beautiful as usual. There were occasional dark clouds coming over from behind changing the wind direction so the Neso tent was not super cooperative. Still worth it to bring because it has worked for us 75-80% of the time. There is still some shade at Hawksnest - just not as much as before. North Shore Deli to pick up a late lunch and back to the resort to chill for the rest of the day. Animal Kingdom Season premiere at 9. Probably should have watched something a bit lighter? But what a show.

Quinn's birthday today and our trip is winding down. It goes so fast! Our plan is to finally try the new Honeymoon set up since we are all up early and ready to go.
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby Agent99 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:31 am

Oh, the Walk of Woe and re-entry. Can't complain though. We had enough time this time to decompress, really spend some quality time with the boys and support our happy place.

Quick synopsis of final 2 days:

We did take the Eco-tours dinghy to Honeymoon on Wednesday. They pick you up in front of High Tide. Call the Visitors Center for the number- I lost it. Tell them the time you want to go and they will accommodate as close as possible. $5 pp each way. Tommy, our boat operator had a great personality, attitude and smile. He told us that a few particular parakeets indigenous to STT had blown over in the storms and have started a colony on St. John. Honeymoon still looks beautiful and like the others appears a bit bigger in my mind with the loss of some vegetation. There is some shade off the beach but you can rent an umbrella which they will set up for $20 for the day. Lounge chairs are $15. You are not permitted to bring your own beach chairs unless you carry them in by hiking the trail down. You can bring a cooler on the dinghy.

On our way out Tommy took the dinghy past the Caneel beach for a close up look. Wow. Seeing the devastation up close drives home how far the rest of the island has come. At least they have cut the grass. Never did kayak or paddle board. Maybe next year.

The boys wanted Cafe Roma before we left (another sentimental favorite) so that was Quinn's birthday pick. We were the first there but by the time we left they were a little over half full. The server was great and the chef came out to see how we liked everything. Everyone was very happy with their dishes.

Last day tradition Maho after breakfast at CBL. Easy new parking and very little shade so NESO saved the day again. Turtles galore- more than I've ever seen there from juveniles to some of the largest I've ever seen. Lots of coral rubble as well but much sea life and beautiful fish on the right side out to the point. We stayed as long as we could then sadly called it a day. We had enough food to finish in the fridge so decided to relax and take a final quiet dip in the pool while the still somewhat full moon rose and then My Cousin Vinny. We are still so exciting.

Friday June 1:

Up early to pack and return the jeep to Bougainvilla. They are great and we rent with them whenever we can.

Said our final goodbyes to our friends at Gallows. They are so warm to us and make us feel so welcome it really feels like home. The new pool is spectacular and the resort looks great. Some work is still ongoing on some units and the landscapers were busy laying sod in front but we never once were inconvenienced by the work. The shop will be open within the month Paula said.

We met Ryan from ACC at the ferry dock and he handed off 6 kittens that we were escorting back to Boston. Dawn from the Boston shelter met us at the airport. So glad we could help out a little.

Final thoughts. We could not love the island more. I feel blessed that we have been able to spend our family vacations here over the past 18 years and hope that we can continue for many years to come- hopefully with grandkids in tow someday!
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby sherban » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:10 am

Thanks for making the effort to share this great trip report!
Cheers
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby Agent99 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:37 am

My pleasure Sherban! I do it for selfish reasons too. I read them through the long winters and remember the details. It helps!
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby sherban » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:31 pm

Enjoy Cape Ann, I lived in Gloucester near the Sargeant House (Middle St) for 7 years from 1973-1980. I graduated from GHS in '80!
Lots of late 70's memories from there! 8)
Cheers
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby Suziekue » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:18 pm

Thank you Agent99! Reading your report is blissful for me, I could close my eyes for a minute and imagine myself there. I keep telling myself soon come but March doesn’t seem soon enough. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip with your family.
Soarin' with the eagles all week long, and this is all that we've learned about living - VACATION!

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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby Agent99 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:40 am

Thanks Suzi! I live vicariously through people's trip reports all year long too.

Sherban, I recall you told me a few years ago that you lived here. It's still beautiful and they built a big swanky hotel on the Fort. It's been a big success.
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby mahojim » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:17 pm

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences with us.
I'm so eager to get back, hopefully next April.
Your words and emotional journey are simply fantastic and encouraging.
Hope to meet up with you at some point!
Smiles-
MJ
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby islandjo2010 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:07 pm

Thanks for the fantastic trip report. I'm excited to finally start making plans for our next trip! 8)
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby jmq » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:49 am

Great stuff. Thanks for making the time and effort to report
When we come to place where the sea and the sky collide
Throw me over the edge and let my spirit glide
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby mbw1024 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:27 am

Ok, I haven’t been around here in a long while but I can’t get past “we ran out of gas”. I am dying here!!

Wasn’t there a problem with a guitar last time?

[emoji23][emoji23][emoji23]
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Re: St. John 2018 Still So Good!

Postby Agent99 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:06 am

Hey MB! Umm yes, we did leave luggage in the hallway and only discovered it upon arrival at the airport- too late to do anything about it. And then Quinn left his guitar on the plane in PR and our camera bag also slipped out of a beach bag and was left on the plane in PR. That was a stressful beginning. I think that was the 2009 trip - the link to the TR in my signature.

There always seems to be something!
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