This is what we packed for 10 days. 2 backpacks and a Duffel - all carry on sized. I wish I had brought 2 less bathing suits (I brought 5) and two more shirts. David brought way too many clothes and one or two extra pairs of shoes. Overall, I was happy with our packing.
On the plane! For some stupid reason I booked us a 5am flight. I think it was because I had to in order for us to make it to St. Croix in one day, because there is only one flight from Miami to St. Croix a day. But anyways, it was really early, but we were so excited!
This was the sunrise above the clouds. I love the pink peeking though.
The view from Jacquie's house! It was crazy beautiful.
After we got all settled in, we went to the crab races. This is the view had from dinner.
David picking out his crab!
Me picking out mine!
They put the crabs in buckets, which they turn over.
First crab to the pink line wins! (The blue line was the one we had to stay behind)
This was the next morning. Bear (the dark haired one) is reading Harry Potter and we had him sign up for Pottermore. It was pretty fun.
While the littles played with their Dad before he took off for the week, we went to the Farmer's market. They had lots of fish to buy. Later in the week, we were told these particular fish are toxic if you eat too many. YIKES.
Some starfruit once we got home. 3 for $1!
I loved this. Spiritual Ointment honey!
We went to the fort, and this is the view from the top. That little island over on the right is where we went the next week, and we got there taking that little ferry in the middle of the photo.
There are sunk boats like this all over. Its awesome/creepy.
The Sugar Mill bar. We had drinks here. Lime in da Coconut!
This is actually the company we went out to Buck Island with later in the week. The boys thought it was ridiculous that we were in the "wrong holes"
This was outside the sugar mill bar. Needless to say, when we asked for something virgin, the bartender was really confused.
Late afternoon at the Mermaid beach after we dropped Matt at the airport.
Yeah, I like this.
The view above me wasn't too shabby either.
We caught the last glimpses of sunset right as we got back home.
The next morning (Sunday) we found out that St. Croix has lots of random things, like poorly printed magazines that like the bleed all over your freshly sun screened leg. This was our beach outing after we went to Sunday Mass with our lovely hosts. It was interesting and HOT (no A/C) and they had reggae music in the service.
This is Sandy Point beach. This was possibly my favorite 3 hours of our trip. The water was perfectly clear, really calm, and someone had music playing.
David found a crab. He then killed it by accident.
This is for real, unedited. It was insanity and so lovely.
This is us at the beach we went to before Sandy Point (excuse the out of orderness, just enjoy the fact that I am actually blogging right now). You can see why we left.
That night, we watched Harry Potter. Both the boys LOVE David.
The kids had off school the next day for some reason. We went to the Botanical Gardens.
And to see the beer drinking pigs!
Bear fed one for the first time!
We got a lime in the coconut. It was yummy.
Casey fell asleep in the car after an epic tantrum. David helped him not hurt his neck.
This was at the botanical gardens. Yes, out of order.
And this was later that evening - we went to a beach close by the house with Bear (who you can see in the water) and just sat/swam for a while. I had a rule that we had to go to the beach every day, at least once. This was fulfilling that.
David didn't wanna get in. He read.
This was on Tuesday. We were supposed to go to Buck Island this day, but there weren't enough people to make the tour. We went to this beach called Shoy's and were totally by ourselves for like 2 hours. It was great. We built a sandcastle.
This is a panorama of the beach. It is kind of a bay-type thing.
David building secret tunnels.
This is the path the get into Shoy's. Yepp, pretty magical.
This is on Weds - our sailboat to get the Buck Island! I LOVED sailing. I would totally do this again. I wish we had gone earlier in the week and had only done a half day, and then come back later in the week for another half day. All we would have missed would have been the lunch part of the tour.
Ignore me, look at that water!
It was beautiful.
Seriously. Buck Island is a national park - but underwater! It has a huge coral reef, which used to be way bigger but a hurricane like 20ish years ago destroyed a lot of it. It is still really cool and we saw tons of cool fish.
Us and our boat! This was after we were done snorkeling and this is where we docked for lunch, back on St. Croix proper.
There were Mongooses all over the place where we ate. It was crazy. They eradicated all the snakes on the island, so I guess they depend on tourists for food.
Yeah, they stop here often.
It was a very pretty beach!
David laying out. We both were a bit burned the next day.
This is Thursday. We made the drive out to the Eastern end of the Island and we passed by this huge satellite. Turns out, it is part of the $85 million Very Long Baseline Array.
This was our view out of the car. Best drive of the trip. SO lovely.
Looking back down the coast from the Point. You can see Buck Island (where we were the day before) in the distance.
That land out there? Eastern most part of the US. And we were the easternmost citizens! Yeaaah.
I was excited.
David played it cool.
We then walked along this cool beach. You can see Udall in the background of David.
The ocean is just so clear. I don't think it communicates in pictures.
We then went to the Mermaid for a bit (it has beach chairs and shade) and read for a while. We couldn't do much more sun this day because we were red from the day before. But this was a great day!
This is my ? jellyfish burn? that I picked up at Sandy Point. We have no idea what it actually was, but my hand looks all better now.
This was on Friday. We went the Whim plantation. We had a great tour and learned a lot about the local history of sugar cane and rum production. They had lots of great period antiques inside.
It looks fake, right? This is truly just a regular iPhone 5 pic with NO filter.
This was on Saturday. I made a cake for one of Jacquie's friends. Easy, and fun, other than the fact that I had to change the kind of frosting I was using because we COULD NOT get the meringue to work. We have no idea why.
We decided to go back to Sandy Point on Saturday (look back up at Sunday's pics and see what it looked like the last time). It was overcast and REALLY REALLY rough. We got in for a while, and it was fun/terrifying being thrown around like rag dolls. I got sand EVERYWHERE.
The cool part about Sandy Point this day was the fact that there was an "inland sea" this day. It was basically a big puddle of really warm sea water that wasn't connected to the ocean. We watched the huge waves crash over the beach and fill this up more. A park ranger stopped by with some baby sea turtles (we weren't allowed to take pics, but we did get to hold them!) and told us a bit about the beach. It is really dynamic, and it is a huge sea turtle nesting area! They move about 60% of the nests, because the turtles put them in parts of the beach that tends to be washed away. The ranger said she's seen turtles as big as VW bugs on the beach! AHhh!.
It started to POUR at Sandy point so we went back to.... the Mermaid! (do you sense a theme here?) Later, Jacquie and I went out to dinner at Eat at Cane Bay and it was delish. I have no idea why I have no photos of food from the entire trip, but we ate super great food.
It was lovely and we saw sailboats (there was a ragata sometime that week that we missed).
On Sunday, we ventured out to Hotel On the Cay (The Cay meaning that little island right there) with the kids. It was a lovely beach, great snorkeling, and had beach chairs for rent and a restaurant. Goodtimes.
The water rivaled Buck Island.
Can you see our legs? That is a sea wall behind us.
Okay, one more. And yes, that is ocean water, and yes, that is St. Croix and the fort behind us.
Jacquie and I (and the fort!)
On Monday (our very last day. Sniff sniff) We went down to Cane Bay and sat on the beach and watched the crabs scuttle around for an hour or so. We also were adorable and did this little sand sign for our trip.
There was an old, sunken dock that I liked a lot. The waves here were pretty big, and people were swimming - like swimming laps swimming! It was pretty cool.
We went out the lunch before we got on the plane, and there was Chicken Be Gone (water in a bottle) to keep the Chickens at bay. There are wild chickens and dogs all over the island, but these were really aggressive, and almost stole some food off David's plate!
After lunch, we had some time to kill, so we we to the Rum Factory and looked around a bit. Didn't take an actual tour, but chatted with the front desk and peeked at the gift shop. If we were drinkers, it probably would have been more interesting.
This is how you load even big airplanes in St. Croix.
It seriously was a great trip and we had SO much fun. We owe Jacquie a ton, as she was the best hostess possible. The water was lovely, the beaches were great, and the weather was fantastic. It was exactly the break we needed! Can't wait for our cruise to Mexico in Feb to get us back to the beach!