I talked about it for months, shopped for weeks, packed for days…and now it’s over. Isn’t that the way it is with all vacations?! Heartbreaking really…However, looking back on it, it could not have been a more enjoyable vacation. I had never been to the Caribbean, and half the time I was pinching myself that I was actually there! My brother and I kept saying it was like we were living in a screensaver. Because we had two extra days, we really got to explore and see a lot of the island. Here is a little recap of the trip, I hope you enjoy it…and maybe make you a little bit jealous!
(View From the Airbnb)
St. Thomas is one of three US Virgin Islands; with St. Croix and St. John. It is very mountainous, with steep, winding roads and breathtaking beaches. Driving can be tricky as they drive on the left hand side of the road and the cars are American with the driver on the left as well.
(Views of the other Islands)
The benefit to these mountains is the spectacular views you see from just driving around, the downside is there are some terrifying cliffs! We were fortunate that my uncle was a pro at driving, having lived in St. Croix for several years, but I don’t know if I would have been adventurous enough to take on driving myself.
(The Airbnb – Point Pleasant Resort- view from the Margaritaville Resort)
Our first two nights were spent in an Airbnb in the East End of St. Thomas. This area of the island is slightly more secluded, but the beaches are phenomenal. The Airbnb was located in the Point Pleasant Resort, which is a very quiet resort located on a mountain top. It has one small restaurant, a pool, and a very small beach. The fortunate thing is that it’s a short trek (just some steep stairs, a signature of everywhere in St. Thomas) to the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville Resort, which has a great beach and restaurant.
(One of my many frozen cocktails)
When we arrived from the airport, we went right over to the Margaritaville restaurant for some much needed food and cocktails; and then spent the rest of the night just enjoying the views from the deck of the Airbnb. From the deck you could see many of the other Caribbean Islands, including Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, and St. John.
(Views from the Airbnb – East End of St. Thomas)
The next morning, (after sleeping in) brother and I went to breakfast at the small restaurant located right on the water at the resort. We then spent the day on Pineapple Bay beach, swimming and relaxing.
(Pineapple Bay Beach at the Margaritaville Resort)
For dinner that night we met up with the family members that had arrived for the wedding. We went to Havana Blue, which is located at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morningstar Resort, which is the hotel we stayed at for the remainder of the trip. Havana Blue overlooks the beach, with large open air windows where you can hear the waves crashing through out your meal. Havana Blue was expensive, but the food was delicious, albeit small portions. The drinks were also delicious, if not a little on the weak side, (Tip is to ask for the Island pour!). We had a great time catching up with everyone, and it really set us in the vacation/destination wedding mood!
(Havana Blue Restaurant)
(Dinner at Havana Blue…Ceviche and Skirt Steak)
(Wednesday morning sunrise from the bed at the Airbnb!)
We checked out of the Airbnb at 11, and spent the entire day exploring the Island. My aunt and uncle drove us through almost every part of the island, from Red Hook, Charlotte Amalie, and Frenchtown to the Mahogany Run Golf Course, Magens Bay Beach, and the Sea Plane Airport. If you are comfortable driving, I would totally recommend getting a car and seeing as much of the island that you can!
(View of Charlotte Amalie)
(Mahogany Run Golf Course)
(Alleyway in Charlotte Amalie)
We ended the afternoon in Charlotte Amalie, which is the Capital and largest city in St. Thomas. For a late lunch that day we ended up eating at this amazing Jamaican Restaurant, Trenchtown Rock. And so began my vacation love affair with mac and cheese and plantains, I literally ate them at four different meals! If you have not had a fried plantain, my friend you are sorely missing out. (Check out Los Andes in Providence, they are bomb…I am also working on an at home recipe.) Trenchtown’s food was amazing and super affordable, the perfect hidden gem.
(My brother’s meal at Trenchtown Rock…I ate mine too quickly to take pictures!)
That afternoon we were able to check into the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morningstar Resort for the rest of our trip. This place was really great. I haven’t been to a resort since I was little and went to Disney World.
(The Frenchman’s Reef)
There is just something great about being able to walk out of your hotel room and have so much to do and see right there. We had a spectacular view from our room, and there are several restaurants, multiple pools, a private beach, and adventure center right in the resort. And of course there were lots of animal friends, too!
(Animal Friends…the Iguanas really freaked me out!)
The next day was my mom’s birthday. This was by far my favorite day of the entire trip! We took a short ten minute ferry from the Red Hook section of St. Thomas to St. John. If you think St. Thomas is beautiful, St. John is unbelievable!
(Views from the Ferry Ride to St. John)
St. John is over half a nature preserve, so it is much less settled than St. Thomas. This makes such lush greenery surrounded by brilliantly teal ocean water, I can’t even describe it! We spent the day in St. John at Trunk’s Bay, which is a white sand beach with great snorkeling around a small island located directly off shore. This was my first, but definitely not last, time snorkeling. Once I got a hang of the breathing, it was the most peaceful and serene activity I have ever done. I could’ve spent the rest of the trip right there!
(Trunk’s Bay, St. John’s)
What’s even better about this beach is the full bar serving frozen cocktails! We treated ourselves to some bushwhackers, which is a coffee flavored frozen drink, think coffee colada with alcohol! We also did some shopping in town before taking the ferry back to St. Thomas. For dinner, we went to the Sunset Grille, which is located right in the Frenchman’s Reef. It was the perfect place for mom’s birthday dinner, outside overlooking the pool and Charlotte Amalie in the distance.
(Waterfall and views at the Marriott Frenchman’s’ Reef)
Friday began the wedding events! That afternoon, there was a beach party at Magen’s Bay, which was named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There was a cookout for all the wedding guests; where my dad and brother kicked it cooking! We were in desperate need of foil, in order to cook, so my dad and uncle went to the snack shed begging for foil. They returned with foil…and a pizza! Only my Italian family would buy a pizza in exchange for foil!
(Pizza on Magen’s Bay)
(Grilling Guys…Look at that flame!)
That night was the welcome/rehearsal dinner. It was at Iggie’s, which is the only beach bar located on the island, at the Bolongo Bay Resort. It was the most perfect place for a good party! Being right in the sand, taking your shoes off, and a live band playing, all while enjoying some great food and drink; could life get any better!? Yet it did, because they had corn hole and beach volleyball courts! I played volleyball in high school, and basically spent the entire night playing. (Side note- I am way better now than I ever was in High School, diving all over the place! Now I want to play all the time!) Iggie’s is a must if you ever go to St. Thomas! It’s a blast, why can’t there be a place like that in New England…oh yeah, because it’s like 30 degrees today!
The next day was the wedding. In the morning, the boys went and played an early round of golf. Mahogany Run Golf Course is the only course on St. Thomas. It has amazing views and is also a super challenging course. While the boys played golf, mom and I spent the day on Morningstar Beach, which is the hotel’s beach. It is beautiful, but compared to other beaches on the island, not the best. I think it was probably a rocky beach that they cleared away and brought in sand. No less beautiful, but the waves are bigger and the sand is slightly different. Best part is you can watch the cruise ship come in and out of port right from the beach, oh and it was walking distance from the room.
The wedding was gorgeous! The ceremony was under a beautiful gazebo and the reception was on a patio overlooking the ocean. It was a small group of only about 50 people, but it was a blast. The DJ was great and we were dancing all night long; followed by some drinks at the hotel’s Rum Bar which overlooks the lights of Charlotte Amalie. (I will share wedding fashions on next week’s Fashion Friday post!)
(The Wedding Gazebo-see the iguana?/Bride and Groom taking pictures/Centerpieces)
(A few family pictures <3- details on my and mom’s dresses coming soon!)
Sunday was our last day in paradise. We started the day with the post wedding brunch, where we stuffed ourselves on every breakfast treat you can think of! My dad alone probably ate a pound of bacon…it was vacation after all. Then we spent the day at my favorite beach on St. Thomas, Lindquist Beach (sans the brother, he was a little too hungover from the wedding!). This beach was gorgeous! It also had a man “giving” out cocktails from a floating bar, (he can’t sell the drinks, but he does take tips) and angel fish that swam all around you. I slept, swam, and read the afternoon away…the perfect end to a great trip!
(Final day at Lindquist Beach, no filter that color is real!)
Have you been to St. Thomas? Let me know your favorite places in the comments!