The most important thing is to find a sweet place to stay. Jay and I tend to gravitate towards cool B&B/ specialty lodging places rather than big resorts because we don't have a huge budget and we like to feel like our hotel is a cool secret that the resort people will never know about. We also like to think we get a better feel for what its like to actually live the places we visit. We stayed at Villa Marbella Suites in Frenchman's Bay, St Thomas. The picture above is from their pool. Yeah. And we had the whole place to ourselves.
What to eat:
Our first order of business was food. We ate tons of delicious seafood while we were there and everywhere seems to be situated right on the water. Yummy food and good views? Yes please.
We went extra fancy one night and had dinner at Havana Blue at the Marriott and the guava ceviche with plantain chips was one of the best decisions of the trip.
Don't worry, there's great casual/ cheapish food on the island too. My love of pizza took us to two places (sorry Jay) but by far the best was the meatball pie I got from Island Time Pub. It was pouring rain the evening we went there so no pretty pictures, but it's right on the marina and we enjoyed looking at the fancy boats.
And if you want to get super casual, just flop down in a beach chair at Coki Beach and ask all the people who bother you for Web. He will eventually stop smoking a joint and come bring you fruity drinks and jerk chicken on the beach.
Where to shop:
We bravely attempted to shop in the chaotic Charlotte Amalie (pronounced Charlotte A-molly for those like Jay who struggle with such things) but the whole place had pretty much shut down when we were there at 3:30pm. There's a cute little historic hike you can do that takes you up to Black Beard's castle and I think you can usually go in but we were too late to do so? We got yelled at for going through the open gate so we moseyed off. Essentially the town revolves around the huge cruise ships that come in for a day and once they are loading up and about to leave everything closes.
The main shopping we did involved parking our car backwards on this guy and riding over to St John.
We popped into Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay, St John to grab some lunch before heading out on our snorkel/hiking adventure. This cute spot was right next to where we were sitting and had eclectic home and clothing items.
Where to adventure:
You guys know we didn't go to the Virgin Islands to shop, we went for the great outdoors! The beaches of course are fabulous, and part of me envies the people who can lay in the sun all day and just do nothing, but I would be lobster colored and bored out of my mind if all I did was sit on a beach. Luckily Jay shares both of these qualities with me, so even on our beach days we did a fair bit of snorkeling. St John is famous for its world class snorkeling, but unfortunately for us a big swell was coming in the day we went over there. That resulted in choppy waves and about 5 ft visibility. Not ideal. We abandoned our planned snorkel day for hiking on St John instead and did the Salt Bay and Ramshead trails.
Back on St Thomas we went diving with Coki Dive Center, the same outfit that certified Jay 14 years ago! Our dive master Derrick took some sweet pics of the two dives.