S: Our Honeymoon
FC: Our Honeymoon April 26 - May 8, 2009
1: After our wedding, we stayed two nights in Charlottesville at the Hampton Inn & Suites. It was nice to have some time to relax before we got on a plane headed for St. Thomas. Finally on our way to the Caribbean.
3: First glimpse of St. Thomas island.
4: We stayed at Pavilions & Pools Hotel in St. Thomas, right outside the town of Red Hook. Each unit has a bedroom, kitchen, living room, private pool, patio and garden shower. It was awesome.
6: - Day Two - Our first day in St. Thomas, the private villa was perfect. What a relief to be done with the busy wedding plans. | Day 2
8: Enjoying the Caribbean Sun at last | Beginning of Day 3
9: - Day 3 - Our villa was about a five minute walk from Sapphire Bay, which has some fantastic snorkeling. | We made good use of the kitchen and barbecue. We ate dinner in almost every night. The early beginnings of learning to love food.
10: The garden shower | The garden shower was open to the outside, so when it rained...it rained in the shower too.
11: Washing dishes already
12: - Day 4 - It was a stormy day over the ocean. The tropical storms can really dump some rain quickly. | We spent the day enjoying beautiful Sapphire Bay. | Day 4
13: Sapphire Bay was only a five minute walk from our villa. It didn't take long for it to feel like home.
14: Swimming in the rain
15: Trying out my snorkel gear for the first time. George said I looked like I had frog legs.
16: Chef George got things off to a good start. As you can see, Cruzan rum goes perfectly with every meal.
17: The gardens around our villa were a nice touch. | the path to the beach
18: - Day 5 - George planned an all day hike over the island of St. John. Most of the island is a National Park and the views were incredible. We started on the Reef Bay Trail.
20: Our Hike across St. John Island
22: We started down the Reef Bay Trail.
25: We took a slight detour off the Reef Bay Trail to see the Petroglyphs. Here we found a freshwater pool that is fed by a waterfall that cascades down a 40-foot cliff. It was a short walk and we did get a few photos of the carvings.
26: After we left the petroglyphs, we headed down the Reef Bay Trail until we reached the ruins of the Reef Bay Sugar Mill. We saw a deer and some huge hermit crabs.
27: We passed several other ruins and interesting plants on the way down to the beach. | The sugar industry died twice in the Virgin Islands. The empty rooms and stone corrals are overlapping ruins from two different eras. Reef Bay was the last operating sugar mill on St. John island. It used steam power to crush the cane. The ruins were really neat.
28: I was investigating the inside of the Sugar Mill taking photos. George suddenly says, "Why don't you come outside, like RIGHT NOW." | I looked up only to find the entire ceiling covered with sleeping bats. As you can imagine, I exited the building very quickly after that.
29: They used giant pieces of coral and built them right into the foundation of the Sugar Mill. This was one of grossest outhouses I'd ever seen (let alone used). It made me grow as a person. The giant hermit crab and I became fast friends. I really wanted to bring him home to play with my other crabs.
31: After hiking for quite a while, we came to a clearing that opened to one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. This was Reef Bay. We relaxed here for a few minutes enjoying the peaceful beach. There wasn't another soul in sight.
32: Hanging out at Reef Bay, enjoying the quiet beach. | We hated to leave, but we had several other beaches to see before the day was over.
33: REEF BAY
36: We started on the wet side of the island, by this point we were reaching the arid side. Jungle forests quickly turned into cacti.
38: A Mongoose!!! | Me doing some snorkeling | We reached our final destination. The best snorkeling beach I've ever seen, Lameshur Bay. We spent a few hours enjoying the water. Soon enough, it was time to head home. Now it's time to catch a taxi...
40: But the taxi never came...After asking one of the locals, we found out the taxis never run on this side of the island. He said to take the short one mile Mountain Trail up to another road and catch a taxi there. By this time, it was getting dark and pouring down rain. So we started our trek up the Mountain Trail, when I say up...I mean straight up. Expecting to already be on our way home in a taxi, we were completely out of food and water.
41: George proceeded to have the worst low blood sugar attack and in the worst place possible. His legs were cramping and he kept collapsing off the side of the trail. I carried my pack on my back and his pack on my front. George told me to leave him and save myself. I was FINALLY on my honeymoon and now we were both going to die. We finally reached the end of the trail, only to find another desolate road with no taxis. After another couple of miles, we finally saw a house in the distance. We knocked at the door. It was opened by the sweetest hippie lady named Amy. She gave George water and drove us to the taxi stop on the other side of island. She told us we couldn't do any more activities unless it had a huge tourist sign attached to it. We listened to her, we'd had enough adventures for one vacation.
43: - Day 6 & 7 - We slept in late after our life and death adventures from the day before. It was nice to relax and chill out in the pool. | George rigged up a temporary clothes line for laundry day. It worked like a charm.
46: - Day 8 - Another relaxing day of taking pictures, swimming and eating. This is the life.
48: The moon was beautiful and came out really early. I had a great time taking pictures of the gardens and wildlife.
49: Closeups of flowers... | Pretty palms...
51: Our villas were surrounded by beautiful landscaping, gardens and water features.
52: This little frog was just chilling out on our screen door. He was very helpful during our photo shoot. Lots of yummy food...George was already teaching me to love food. We even had our little laptop for when I went into internet withdrawal, video games were the next best thing.
55: - Day 10 - We spent all day doing all the touristy things we could find in Charlotte Amalie (like Amy told us). Fort Christian being the first of many stops.
57: You could spend all day exploring Charlotte Amelie. | So that is exactly what we did.
58: Charlotte Amalie is an amazing city, full of beautiful scenery and lush gardens. | The 99 Steps were really cool, it gave you a bird's eye view of the island.
60: We stopped by the Britannia House. Then to a few of our favorite places on the island, Duffy's Love Shack & the Marina Market.
62: - Day 11 - Coral World Ocean Park
66: The Lorikeet Garden was the coolest exhibit by far. The inhabitants of this walk-through aviary are sixteen Australian Rainbow Lorikeets and one Blue Streak Lorikeet. They allow you to feed and handle the birds, it was really fun.
68: Coral World has an Undersea Observatory Tower that extends 100 feet offshore. It allows you to observe the coral reef in a whole new way.
71: We had a great time at Coral World. One more day of snorkeling and we will be on our way home.
73: Our last day of snorkeling at Sapphire Bay. It was very overcast, but I still saw some amazing underwater life.
77: Best honeymoon ever!!!