|Trunk Bay, St. John USVI|
|Orchids at Turtle Bay Estate House|
We stayed at Caneel Bay Resort, a place that is true heaven. The humid air was a balmy 82 degrees and the trade winds lightly played with my hair. My bare feet enjoyed the soft white sands of the beaches - seven on the hotel grounds and a little excursion to Trunk Bay.
Caneel is very much a relaxed resort. We enjoyed high tea each afternoon at 4pm still in our wet bathing suits and salt filled hair. There is nothing like warm scones, lemon curd and, my favorite, macaroon cookies over looking Turtle Bay.
|My Englishman and his high tea.|
|Deer dining on blossoms over looking Caneel Bay|
Yes, you read that sign right. "Do not pet or feed the donkeys." Wild donkeys also roam the grounds. We kept seeing all the deer, but Luke couldn't wait to see the donkeys. Then we saw seven over at Hawksnest Beach:
|Donkeys at Hawksnest Beach|
I guess I didn't realize just how stressed I was until I went away. The tension quickly left my body as we soaked up the sun, enjoyed quiet time reading (I got through three books!) and hiking the Virgin Island National Park.
On our hikes geckos and lizards of all colors and varieties scurried across the tree covered and winding paths. I couldn't help, but think how much our 6 year old would love seeing them! Then we spotted these amazing and huge crabs in the middle of the forest. Soldier Crabs. Aren't they incredible? I couldn't help but think they were a lot bigger and further from the water than the ones we are used to in Scituate:
And check out this Iguana, lazing the day away at the top of a tree:
|Our friend, the Iguana|
Here we are after hiking the Lind Point Trail. This is a view overlooking Cruz Bay:
|Luke and I hiking, view overlooking Cruz Bay|
We also spent a lot of time on and in the water. We had so much fun riding on the resort's ferry, the sea mist and gigantic waves of the open ocean. We also loved kayaking in Caneel Bay. We did a two person one and tried ones with 'glass bottoms' on our last day.
For a few years I've been dying to try paddle boarding and I tried it for the first time while we were away. It was a great core workout and the best part is a I didn't fall off!
|Paddle Boarding on the calm Caneel Bay.|
My absolute favorite thing we did on St. John was snorkel. It was amazing to see the other side of St. John, that which lives under these crystal turquoise waters. I had never done it before and I have to tell you it is even more amazing then seeing it on TV. To actually be so close to these underwater creatures. We saw sting rays floating along the bottom with little fish cleaning their backs, amazing brain corals, colorful fish like you see in the aquarium at the doctors office, spiky sea urchins and fan coral dancing in the waters. But most of all we loved seeing the sea turtles casually feasting on sea grass as we swam by. We found that there were loads of sea life on the beaches of the Caneel Bay Resort, but had heard that Trunk Bay was rated in the top ten most beautiful beaches by National Geographic. We couldn't miss seeing it and doing the 225-yard-under-water snorkel trail could we?
|Trunk Bay, St. John USVI|
It was breath-taking and we picked up an underwater camera here. Fingers crossed all the photos of the sea turtles, sting ray and coral reefs come out! Snorkeling, in a way, reminds me of our own mortality. I could hear my breath so clearly going in and out so rhythmically as I absorbed the view of coral that took many years to form. Moments snorkeling hand in hand with my best friend are ones I will treasure always.
The food (and we ate lots) was amazing at Caneel Bay. We dined on seafood at the Sugar Mill Ruin and enjoyed the breath-taking views of the resort and St. Thomas in the distance.
|At the Sugar Mill Ruin|
One of my favorites, was the Conch Two Ways. They served it similar to a crab cake and then in a ceviche. The pan seared scallops on a bed of pureed sweet potatoes was also to die for. We had our fair share of grouper, shrimp, snapper and the most amazing fish curry. Yum. I'm hungry even thinking about it!
The hotel thought about everything a guest might want, or even dream about. Each night our bed was turned down and a shell was placed on it with a beautiful and inspiring saying (like the one in the first picture). A complimentary bottle of Cruzan rum was left in our room along with coke for rum & cokes. Beaches offered either a bar or bar services and we liked that very much. I enjoyed pina coladas on the beach. Our very favorite drink was a Pain Killer and let me tell you, it takes the pain right away. If you'd like to try and bring a bit of St. John to your home or Memorial Day party here is the recipe:
Pain Killer Cocktail
2 oz dark rum (we like Cruzan)
1 oz cream of coconut
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
Shake ingredients, and pour over ice in a tall glass. Sprinkle nutmeg on top, and serve.
The nutmeg is a very important component. We had some without it and the nutmeg really adds a lot. Hope you enjoy it!
So that about sums up our trip to St. John. We are already looking forward to returning, but next time we're bringing John and Conor with us!
|Honeymoon Beach, St. John|