13 December 2007

Thirteen Random Thoughts About My Vacation

I was going to post 13 vacation pictures from St. Thomas today, but as I'm still buried under post-vacation work pile-up, it'll have to wait until next week. In the meantime, 13 random tidbits from our December getaway...

1. Resolution: Never refuse to take an early December vacation just because it's the holiday season and you're "too busy." It's the best present you could ever give yourself!

2. Never forget to take off your pain patch before cracking open the Cruzan bottle on the first night. There's a reason there's a warning on the package not to mix lidocaine with alcohol. It wasn't pretty, and lesson well learned! LOL

3. When we travel, I'm always all for trying out the local cuisine. While I didn't fall in love with the "stewed" dishes (had trouble finding meat among the fat in one of them, and for some reason many dishes are covered in parmesan cheese, which to me smells like vomit), I did fall head over heels for just about anything jerk seasoned, journey cake, and friend plantains.

4. Why are there no seafood markets on an island plunked in the middle of the ocean? Why is the only seafood to be bought (outside a restaurant) found in frozen food cases?

5. I love Painkillers. (Orange juice, pineapple juice, coconut milk, freshly grated nutmeg, and rum).

6. I highly recommend snorkeling, even if you've never tried it and even if you can't swim well. I'm a natural "sinker" but the water in the Caribbean is so salty, it's easy to float. You may not even need a floatation vest - I wear one but only need a tiny bit of air in it. (Tip - invest in your own mask and snorkel, at the very least. A properly fitted masked makes all the difference.)

7. Coolest experience: Night snorkeling in Secret Harbor. I ended up paddling around off a little bit by myself in the dark, and ran across a huge sea turtle resting on the bottom. As I watched it, careful not to shine my flashlight directly into its eyes, it suddenly started floating up toward the surface. I moved to one side a few feet to give it room, and it surfaced for air just 10 feet from me.

8. Driving on St. John is not for the faint of heart. Think Tail of the Dragon (in NC) but without the benefit of guardrails.

9. Driving on St. Thomas isn't, either, but it's not as heart stopping as St. John!

10. Cruz Bay is overrated. If you're going to St. John, go prepared to explore the fabulous beaches.

11. I love talking to local people (and I'm not referring to the sour-faced hotel workers, who are without exception nothing short of rude). Always smile and say hello. At the Annenburg sugar plantation ruins, a smile and a hello garnered us an invitation to visit the under-restoration gardens, which are normally locked. The gardener's obvious pride in his heritage was as pleasurable as the aromatic plants he eagerly showed us.

12. I'm researching whether it's possible to grow a bay plant (see photo) in Ohio. Once the gardener crushed a leaf and waved it under my nose, I couldn't rest until I found a bottle of Bay Rum to take home.

13. Favorite restaurants: Gladys's Cafe (ask to be waited on by Pauline), Iggie's (good food, reasonable price, great setting), Molly Malone's (perfect seared tuna), Banana Tree (pricey, but the view...OMG, the view...), Craig & Sally's (also pricey, but the food is wonderful), and any number of tiny cafes where you can duck in for an ice-cold smoothie on a hot day.

Piccies coming next week! :)

More Thursday 13s!


Denise Patrick said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'll be back to look for pictures!!

Thanks for visiting my TT!

N.J.Walters said...

So glad you had such a wonderful time on your vacation!

pussreboots said...

Sounds like you had a marvelous time. My parents have a Bay tree growing in their back yard but they're not as far north as you.

Nicholas said...

December is an excellent time for a vacation.