Ok, let's do this thing.
First off, you should know that although these pictures of pristine white sand beaches and clear turqoise waters will look amazing, and it will seem as though I spent 5 1/2 days in Paradise, there is no need to be jealous. There were plenty of things wrong with this trip. I will try to give you a fair and honest analysis so that you can see the REAL St.Thomas...
So do you see all those lovely ladies I was traveling with? Good, now ignore them and look at the time stamp on that picture. Do you see what it says? If you're not familiar with army time, 06:48 means 6:48 in the freaking morning! That was only half way through our flight. We had already been traveling for hours and hours by the time it hit 6:48am and we still had hours to go. So now your jealousy is fading, right? Well, wait until you see the next travesty. You'll be so glad you stayed home...
This is the view from the apartment where we were staying. Do you see how far away the ocean was? We weren't even beach front.
And we had to sleep so close that it was like a slumber party EVERY night.
The close proximity also required a lot of us socially. We frequently had to stay up talking well into the night, and had to eat practically every meal together, out in the open air.
Magen's Bay Beach looks amazing at first glance. But do you see what that is at the very bottom of the picture? Look closely. Yes, those are LEAVES. Leaves! On the beach! Ha, "pristine" indeed.
Plus, I was forced to be seen in a bathing suit in the same general vicinity as these two perfect 10's, Leena and Kirsti. Talk about humiliation.
And on our way to the beach we almost got mauled by the dangerous local wildlife!
The ocean itself was no better. We had to swim with the likes of this man-eating creature.
And at Sapphire Beach the local wildlife wouldn't leave me alone. It kept trying to eat my food right out of my hands!
One night after dinner, we attempted to do some shopping. But the Louis Vitton store was closed. You can see everyone's disappointment. I think they were considering breaking in. But I guess they decided they'd have to forego their great love for loud, overpriced handbags for another day.
We thought maybe we'd fare better in St. John, so on day two we hopped on a ferry and headed over. But you can clearly see, St. John was no better. On St.John we were forced to endure the ultimate Caribbean insult: CLOUDS!
AND we had to walk, like one foot in front of the other, through a jungle, for a whole TEN minutes to get to that secluded beach. Can you imagine?? Walking, on VACATION? I know, I know. The lengths we will go to for a silly old beach.
Our third day, we went to Coki Beach, on St. Thomas. It was a much more crowded and touristy beach. We were forced to endure locals approaching us to see if they could bring us pina coladas and daiquiris. Sigh. "Well, if you MUST..."
And then every time I tried to read on the beach, waves had the nerve to come up and lap at my body, filling my bikini with sand. (By the way, did you know that you can carry around 2 cups of sand in your bikini bottom for several hours without knowing it until you pull down your bikini bottom down go to the bathroom and it dumps out all over the floor? Ya, neither did I. Go figure.)
At one beach on St.John there were pirates!!! We were forced to lay out in the sun with the constant threat of our booty being stolen. Or our booties. I'm not sure what modern-day pirates are after.
And then the natives on St.John kept trying to hypnotize us with their crazy voodoo music and dancing.
The food in St.Thomas was quite different. No macaroni and cheese to be found. Instead we were forced to resort to local things like seafood, fresh from the ocean.
So, yes, there were some amazing beaches and gorgeous water and sun and food and all that "great" stuff. But I think my post has made it clear that there were definitely some trying experiences on this trip. There is certainly not a vacation I would recommend for those who truly love the fast pace, fast food, noise, pollution, traffic and constant hum of city life.
Here are a few more images to convince you that I'm telling the truth about this
Super stoked to get to St.Thomas. Instantly sweaty and sticky, but stoked.
Shopping on St. John.
Riding the ferry to St.John (Kirsti, Lisa, Me)
I learned a new sport while in St.Thomas, paddle boarding. It was super hard! You stand on a long boyant surf board and paddle your way around. Much easier than it looks. That's why there is a picture of Kirsti doing it, not me. I looked like I was in the midst of epilepsy when I was on it.
Snorkeling. We got to see sea turtles, all kinds of fish and coral, and got to swim through several bait balls, giant schools of tiny fish, so many they form a cloud in the water.
Drive-by cultural exposure in Charlotte Amalie's historical center, on our way to shopping, on our way to the airport.
A cemetary in Charlotte Amalie
Finally, I can't end this post without thanking the two people responsible for this trip: Leena, for hooking us up with her sister in St.Thomas, organizing the trip, gathering such a great group of women to travel with, and then abandoning us in coach class.
And Kirsti, for letting a bunch of complete strangers take over her house, eat all her food, hog all her fridge space, leave their under-things all over the place, and deposit the sand equivalent of Maho Beach in her shower.
I heart you both forever.