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Part 2 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Travel discussion for St. John

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Part 2 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Postby ArkieLovesSTJ » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:06 pm

Here is the second part of the trip report. My wife completed this some time ago, but I am just now posting it.

Again, this is very long and if you don’t like long reports you might want to skip this. We didn’t have quite as exciting snorkeling to report as in the first part, so I spend more time talking about where we ate and what we ate and who we visited with.

Sunday- When we got up we shared a muffin we got from Starfish because we knew we would be having brunch at Sun Dog Café in a little while. We love the brunch there, we just usually get it around 11:00 for our lunch. We shared a Breakfast Burrito with an extra order of potatoes. I just love their potatoes they cook for brunch. Got a piece of Pumpkin Cake from North Shore. I think I got this either three or four times during our trip. We went to check out Waterlemon but we could tell from the parking lot it was rough so we went to South Haulover because that is usually smooth. We snorkeled the left side over to Lime Tree Cove (I think that is what I saw it called recently). We really didn’t see a lot on this snorkel compared to our previous days snorkel. When we left here we stopped at Princess Bay. Two times in the past we have seen around 35 starfish here. We used to also snorkel the mangroves here, but today I was just searching for starfish, which I didn’t find any. We came back to the villa and got ready and went to dinner. We started off at Longboards having their trio dip. I really like their chips and dip. While we were eating we saw the villa owner, James, come out of Dog House Pub so we yelled at him and he and his friend came over and visited for awhile. We told him happy belated birthday and he said we are having a surprise party for my wife (their birthdays are like two days apart or something like that) I would love for you guys to come. I think my husband mentioned in previous post but James use to live in one of the three units and we got to know him pretty well. We said we would. On our April trip he had taken us to the see his new villa he bought so we knew where to go. After Longboards, we went to Cruz Bay Landing for what we thought was happy hour, but their happy hour ends at 5:00 so we were late for this. That was fine, we went ahead and ordered some apps. We ran by the villa to pick up the gifts I had brought for James and Kelly and his son. This is something we had started on our first visit. We had brought his son a gift. After that we always bring James one when we are here for his birthday. Once we arrived, we visited with James and Kelly and listened to the band. DJ, the owner of North Shore Deli, had just sat in with the band and was singing and he was doing a great job. We had meet him several years ago because he is friends with the James. We always visit with him when we are in the deli or if we see him out like at the Tap Room. He introduced us to his brother, Jeff, who had just moved to St John in the past week. We spent the rest of our time their visiting with him, talking about snorkeling. We left early since Monday was our last full day and we wanted to get an early start.

Monday- We decided to go to North Shore Deli for breakfast since we were out of breakfast food. I had the French toast and my husband got a breakfast sandwich, both were really good. While we were there we gave Jeff a list of the snorkeling equipment we use, since we were talking about at the party the previous night. We bought a few snacks to take to the beach with us. As we were putting the snacks in the cooler we realized we forgot to drop the trash off so we kind of had to backtrack on the way to the beach since we knew where the dumpsters were that way. On our way to the beach we noticed the bartender from Aqua Bistro was walking and stopped and gave her a ride, or at least to Colombo’s. Enjoyed our visit with her. We tried Waterlemon and it again was pretty rough so back to South Haulover it was. This time we snorkeled the right side over to Elk Bay and we snorkeled both sides of Elk Bay. Since this was going to be a long snorkel (2 hours) I put some water in my backpack/fanny pack and swam with that so we could drink it when we rested on Elk Bay. When we got back there was a group of around 10 people on the beach in addition to another couple. This is by far the most people we have ever seen at South Haulover. We then realized there was a safari bus there so I guess that is how they all got there. They weren’t there too long after we got back. We sat on the beach and ate our snacks from North Shore Deli. We then snorkeled the left side. As we were packing up and about to leave the beach Lisa and her friends (who we meet earlier in the week) were just getting to the beach. We visited with Lisa for a little bit and found out her friends would be on the same flight as we were the next day. I honestly can’t remember what we saw here (this is why I need to write the trip reports on island). We stopped at Skinny’s to have lunch. When we left here we went to Maho and snorkeled the right side all the way over to Francis and back. We went to the villa and got ready for dinner. On our way to Greengos in the rain, there was a guy walking by the Westin so we stopped and gave him a ride to the ferry. He told us that he lived on the island until he was about 10 then moved to the states. He had been back around 7 months helping family repair their house. He had just moved to St Thomas and he said it turned his 8 hour work days into 10 hour days depending on when he caught the ferry. I had never thought about that until he said something. He was very nice and we enjoyed the visit with him. After our dinner at Greengos it was back to the villa to pack everything but swimsuits.

Tuesday- travel day. We got up early and were at Cruz Bay Landing when they opened for breakfast. We shared a big breakfast, with chocolate chip pancakes, extra potatoes and toast. Food was really good as usual. Went back to the villa and laid out in the pool for a couple of hours, then went to Sun Dog Café for a late brunch. We shared the Stuffed French Toast as we weren’t real hungry but knew we needed to eat since it was going to be a long day. Stopped at North Shore Deli to get a sandwich to take to the airport. Went to the villa and packed up the rest of the stuff then headed to the ferry were James met us to give him the car back. While waiting for the ferry I struck up a conversation with the lady sitting across from me as my husband had ran to into Beach Bum to get a shirt for our son. We love this place and enjoy visiting with the owners. It turned out her and the man with her were going to be our pilots for our American flight to Charlotte from STT. On the ferry ride over my husband noticed the guy in front of us had a lion fish shirt on. He asked him if did the lion fish catching and he said he did. We talked about finding one at Great Lameshur and he said that wasn’t the area he was over, but he had heard they had found it. It was interesting talking to him and he thanked us for reporting it and we thanked him for taking time to go hunt them down. Rachel had texted us earlier asking if it would be okay if someone else drove us as she had a large group coming in and needed her larger van. We said we are totally fine with that. We texted her when we got our bags and she meet us and introduced us to her friend who drove us to the airport. We had a nice visit with her. On our drive to the airport my husband got a notification that our flight was going to be delayed. We went ahead and checked in as we had no car and all of our luggage. We got thru customs and security in under 10 minutes. We then find out the flight kept getting delayed and we ended up spending 5 hours in the STT airport. Let me tell you that is a long 5 hours with no restaurant or even a shop to look through. We ate our sandwich we got from earlier in the day. We saw Lisa’s friends and said hello to them. About 20 minutes before the plane for our flight got there someone walked up and tugged on the back of my husband’s hat. He turned around and it was the male pilot we had meet earlier while waiting for the ferry. I said it looks like we are a little late and he said yeah, really sorry about that. Our original layover was 2 hours but because of the delays we would only have around 30 minutes in Charlotte. The pilots did a great job of making up some of the time because we ended up having around an hour layover in Charlotte. By the time we got to Little Rock, got our bags and got home we had been awake 22 hours. We were absolutely worn out.

Final Thoughts- This was our second time back since the recent hurricanes. We could tell so much improvement since our April visit, especially in Coral Bay. All of the people in the restaurants and shops were so kind and thanked us for visiting. My husband typically wears some type of Arkansas Razorback top or hat when visiting (even though he had to sport some Red Sox gear due to the World Series). This is not only because he loves our team (even though they have had some rough years here recently) but because it is a conversation starter. Many times people will say “Oh I have some friends who live in Arkansas or hey we play you guys next week” This trip was no different. Just a couple of instances where when we were getting out of the jeep to eat one day a truck pulled up and honked at us. My husband went over and the guy said Hey, I’m from Bauxite (Arkansas), he was there helping rebuild the school. My husband visited with him for a little bit. Then when we were packing up at Maho and the people loading up next to us said we used to live in Arkansas, but live in Missouri now. They lived only about an hour from where my husband grew up. We were also eating at Skinnys and the couple next to us were from Georgia. This was their first trip. They were supposed to come a year earlier and didn’t because of the hurricanes. They had not received their money back, but were able to reschedule at a later date. We visited with them all through our lunch. And when we were at the Birthday party and DJ was introducing us to his brother he said meet Arkansas, I have no clue what their real names are, as I have just always called them Arkansas. So if you are on Island in either April/May or October/November and you see a bald guy with an Arkansas Razorback shirt, hat or carrying a Razorback cooler it is probably my husband. Please come say hi to us, we would love to visit with you.
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Re: Part 2 - Trip Report October 27 - Nov 6

Postby hoosierdaddy » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:13 am

Thanks for the detailed trip report. My mouth is watering just thinking about our favorite St. John restaurants. It is always good to hear how the island is rebounding from the storms. It feels that by the time we arrive in February we may not notice to much difference from our last trip in March 2017. The biggest difference for us will be that our favorite restaurant (Shipwreck Landings) wont be there. It is the only restaurant we had visited each trip to St. John.
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