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Friday, March 25, 2005

St Thomas 2005 Vacation Day Four

Breakfast

 

No Bugs

Ok, well not insects, bees or other types that seem to be pests. A lot of the restaurants are open air with no screens.

The biggest pests are the taxi drivers that all ask you if you are looking for a taxi. They are waiting outside every restaurant and shop.

Shopping

More Jewelry stores than you can count. One shop keeper said there were 118 jewelry vendors on the Island. There were five large cruise ships in port today. The shop keeper also related that this was the end of the busy season and things would slow down for a couple of months.

Lunch

We decided to seek the air conditioning. Went to the Hard Rock cafe on the waterfront. Had salads and Iced Tea. All good and suited us for the time. $33.00 with tip.

Dinner

We stopped at The Green House hoping for traffic to settle dwon a little before we went to the hotel. Had a few drinks and a shrimp cocktail.

We split a sandwich and salad for dinner at the hotel in the Cabana Bar. Good burger and the salad was great. $30.00 with tip and a couple of drinks.

St Thomas 2005 Vacation Day Two

The Sunrise

Cloudy this morning. Makes me, wonder if the money we paid for the reservation for the all day trip on a boat is covered in event of rain.

No cruise ships at dock, but one is circling the bay with his lights on.

Oops. Think I felt a rain drop. Well, that was it. A drop of rain. I retreated to a place under cover, not the clouds have blown by and the sun is rising over the hill.

Breakfast

Finally, a place that can do breakfast. The ?? is a well know breakfast spot for the locals and fit our needs well. Real breakfast. Eggs, omelets, toast etc.

The Pitch

We went to a seminar to learn of this great new way to vacation. As usuaual it is a pitch on how you should buy some time share proeprty under this new method and you can vacation for life. Well, we did get a bottle of Rum and a coupon for discounts on some things we wanted to do while we were here. Probably worth the time even if it was closer to two hours than the one houre we were told.

Lunch 

We did lunch at the tops of the ride. The ride was cool. Every visitor should do this. Our discount coupon it was $5.00 instead of $16.00 helped. Lunch was sandwiches and was good, but still $22.00 with tip.

Adventure

We took off to find the spot where we will depart from for our sailing adventure. On the narrow winding roads up the hill side. Amazigly country side. You pass the fancy resorts and then pass some shack that has a dirt floor with chickens and two or three broken down vehicles in the yard.

Dinner

The Tavern on the Waterfront. I think this is one of my top ten meals, anywhere. The place is upstairs and overlooks the water. $94.00 with tip. 

St Thomas 2005 Vacation Day Three

Weather

The Weather forcastor could record his programs in advance. Today, the same as yesterday. Lows 72 high 82, feels like 110.

Ships at port

There were three ships waiting for the sunrise this morning to dock. One of them has now docked. (6:40) The other two are circling in to the dock. All three are Big ships. We asked a guy yesterday and he said it would not be unusual for these big ships to have 3,000 passengers on board.

The Adventure

We have a day booked on a sail ship. Snorkeling and sun bathing for the day. Discount ticket we got from our two hour sales pitch did get us half off.

Breakfast and then down the winding road through the little towns. Got to the sport early, of course. More people were on the boat than we expected. But that was not a problem. New Horizons.

Fun to watch the guy and gals sail the boat. Not really agressive ride but they did get the main sail out for part of the trip. The water was beautiful. Our first stop was on the island of St. John at a beech on a property owned by the Rocerfellers. We snorkelled for about an hour had some good sightings of fish. The reef was not like we had seen in Bahammas or Mexico (Cancuun) not near the variety of corral or wild life.

Food On Board

We were served unlimited beverages and luch which was not bad for the conditions.

Dinner

We decided to eat at the hotel tonight. So we went back to the Banana Tree. Food was excellent and service was much better. Still $121.00 for diner wih tip and a couple of beverages.

Sun Burn

Well, almost. We used 15 sunblock and put it on twice. Once before we left and once while on the boat. Still sholders areas got quite red.

 

St Thomas Vacation 2005 Arrival

The Flight

The Flight went well. The Bose Quit Comfort II head phones are un-real. When you take them off, after having them on for a while, the noise was like being in a jet engine. Highly reccomended.

The Car

Rented a car from Thrifty, over the NET of course. It must of took us forty-five minutes to get the car. While we had no issuse with our reservation or the car, the people in front of us and several people who calle dont he phone did. One call was from some one whom had rented a car and the tire was flat. He wanted some road-side assistance. The thrifty agent siaid that they do not provide roadside assistance.

While there I asked how I would get to our hotel. The rental agent handed me a phone and I calleed the hotel. I was put on hold. Later the call dropped. The car rental agent said he knew right where the hotel was and provided a map that he kept circleing spots on the map where I was to turn and where the hotel was. The car rental agent had no nice detailed maps like I was used to from a car rental agent.

He tried to call the hotel and met with similar results. He said the service “sucks” on St. Thomas.

Interestingly, they had an award for the “Best Rental Compnay” form the New Paper.

The Hotel “Bluebeards Castle and Villas

We tried to use the car rental agents directions without much success. I called the hotel again and asked for directions. The “directions” were amazing. You go down the “main” to the police station and ya keep on going. Ya go on around the bend and ya keep on going. I am not sure if it was a result that maybe the person trying to give directions has never driven or what but the directions did not work.

After driving around on the wrong side of the road (they drive on the left here) for a while I pulled over and ask Molly to call. She of course had fun with the person. As she was talking on the phone, I noticed a distincttive stucture down the roadf on top of a hill and siad never kmind I can see the hotel.

Interesting place. Not fancy but Island Casual. Parts of the place seem very old and some seems much newer. Fraklin Rsevelt stayed here, well the sign says visited here in 1934.

There is a pool and the location is good. Fairly high on a hill with good views on all sides.

The Digs

Actually we were pretty concerned about the hotel as the places we had been driving around were, well, not what we had been accustomed to. But to our delight the palce seems fine.

Sitting higher than most of the places overlooking the “amile Harbor”

The First Meal

The hotel, as I had read was well known for thier restautants. They have two. The “Room with a View’ which is a up-scale, table cloth, low lighting type place. The “Bannan Tree” was a more causual place, or as they call it “Isalnd Casual” (No swim suits or sleveless shirts). We were promptly asked if we had a reservation and of course we did not. We wer offered on of three tables by the bar. The food was great but the service was from the bartender whom had too many things on his mind.

We did meet the owner, Elizibeth, who was taking reservations and assisting with seating near our table. She mentioned she had came here on her “first” honey moon and then returned to visit a girlfrined twenty-nine years ago and she was still here. She mentioned that her and her husband, Jerry, owned the restaurant. They used to have other restaurants, but thye were  destroyed byt the “hurricane” and they decided to come here.

So the food was good the service not so good and the price was higher than expected at $80.00 for food and a two drinks.

The Internet

Well I tried from the room last night with no success, but here by the pool I found a open wireless connection. Ah, life is good.

St Thomas 2005 Vacation Day One

The Sunrise

I am an early riser. So I like to see the sun rise. St Thomas, St. Thomas where we are sits in a basin surounded by hills. The Sunrize happens beyond the hill where we sit and so the sun is not visible as it rises from the horizon. Yet as always, it is a neat time of the day. You can hear roosters off in the distance as the city awakens.

No one appears to be awake in the hotel area. All is quiet except he constant fans frm the air conditioners.

A large crusie ship is dacking at the port. As I understand the crusie ships, they travel at night so when the people awaken they can be at a port.

Shopping

This is the place for shopping. When the crusies ships dock the shops fling thier doors open and the frensy begins. Jewlery sales is available everywhere. Why here?

Lots of jewlery. The variety of jewlery is amazing. any style from anywhere. The shop keepers are as varied as the jewels. A gentleman from India, been there for years. Had been married 30 years and said; “Keep the wife happy and whole familly will be happy.” A young women was from Norway. She related she just wanted a change.

Visisted a Dive shop and spoke with an great guy that told how they do thier dives in 40 ft of water and over a ship wreck.

The shops at the docks are amazing. the shops are in buildings like store-n-lockit buildings, row after row of buildings.

Breakfast

Dive shop guy reccomended a place arround the corner so we tried it. Two elderly women were working and as rental guy said, the service sucks. We were never even acknowledged we arrived. We sat patiently while they did their thing with this customer and that custumer and dissappeared int othe back and then reaapeared. Then we got a glance with a gaze of well, what do you want? We really only wanted coffee and a roll or something and the food was ok, but still expensive.

Lunch

Saw a tee shirt a guy was wearing that said; “When a person gets physically tred, one should rest. When a person gets emotionally tired, one should move one” -gladys It was an advertisement for a restaurant. So that was where we went for lunch. Good choice. The food was great. Watch out for the hot sauce, they are not kidding. The waitress was fun and much more attentive than most.

The Ocean

The “Bluebeard Resort” has a beach club down the road and a round the bend that is on the ocean. We went for a drive and stopped there for a dip in the ocean. The beech was nice, a little rocky but anytime you can get in the ocean is not bad. Sun was great.

Supper

The “Green House” We think as there is a picture of a parrot after the word “Green” is is really the Green parrot House”. We had grouper sandwiches, they were great. The cole slaw was a little spicy and not to our taste. The Margerittas were also better than most and two-for-one. We asked “jack” the waiter if he knew who had the really big sailbost that were docked on the water front. He said no, but the one was the world’s largest single mast sloop at 230 some feet and was about 50 million dollars.

 

 

 

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