Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Islands of St. Thomas and St. John

Hi again,

Today is rather snowy and cold here in NM.
And I love it! I've been hoping for some more snow since New Year's Day. Getting my wish. We could get anywhere from 1 inch to 12. Currently it's that type of snow that resembles powdered sugar falling onto the world. So nice.

Don't know how cold or snowy it may be wherever you are. Hope it's beautiful and not a burden

With a small pup that can't stay out in the snow long, I thought we'd stay inside while I updated with lots of warm sunny photos.

Makes me warmer just thinking about it too.
So without further ado, here are the highlights from the one of the excursions from the amazing cruise with my mother.

About to board the Freedom of the Seas

Port Canaveral

As our ship pulled away, we saw this tugboat. I thought it so cool that it had a pi sign on it!

And the sunset on our first day, as we dined on French cheese and fruit on the balcony with a glass of wine. It was glorious!

The ship (not boat, mind you) was at sea for two days before we got to St. Thomas. Gave us plenty of time to explore our new environment, get used to the way things were done, and be ready to go snorkeling when we got there.

We didn't count on having to get up at 5:45am on the morning of the excursion to get dressed, have eaten breakfast, and be off the ship by 7:15am.

I usually have no problem waking up early. In fact I was pretty used to it. Ever since high school, when I'd wake up at 5 to finish the rest of my homework or just be up with the dog. And then that whole thing of being a Division 1 rower...

But, on the ship, the rocking of the waves was just enough to keep me in the gentle fog of sleep that waking up that early was really hard.
But so worth it.

Got to see the sunrise!

Just glorious!

I think I like this next one the best because of the clouds!

 Le sigh. It is so pretty.

Anyway, mom and I got our breakfast and then headed out onto the deck to watch us coming in to St. Thomas port.

It was a beautiful day.

Part of St. Thomas

 And here's my Momma.

She's so cheerful!

 We finally docked and were allowed to get off!

 We waited at the set number for our excursion down below, watching lots of people walk past.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Then we were told that since the ship came into port late, we missed the boat to the island of St. John. But there would be another in 40 minutes and we would be free to go see the shops until then.

Mom and I shrugged and enjoyed the time to stretch our legs. Plus it gave me a chance to take some more photos.

It's the replica from Denmark of the Little Mermaid.

They were all decorated for Christmas

Though it was still only 7:30 in the morning, it was a lovely 75 degrees F (23C).

The flowers were pretty.

And off in the distance we could see our boat, er, ship.

Oh, but we weren't allowed to forget it was still morning. The rooster told us so. Numerous times.

Then we went back to our places. Mom got booted out of the shade because she wasn't technically waiting for a taxi. Poor Mom. We were ushered along the water line to the boats.

Once there, we were told to wait again. Our boat hadn't come in yet. It had stopped to get gas.

Fine by me. I would prefer that the boat has enough gas in it to get us all the way there, not just halfway and then have to stop and have us watch birds for the rest of the day.

Finally the boat came and we got to find seats on the top deck!
So exciting!

It wasn't a leisurely ride out to St. John, as they lulled us into falsely believing.

It ended up being like a chase scene from a Bond movie, you know, where the bad guys are hot on your tail.

How I managed to get any pictures, is beyond me.

Typical style of the houses. Looks like it could fit right in along the St. Johns River in Orange Park, FL

By the time we got to St. John, my fingers may or may not have been temporarily formed into mini claws since I was holding on to my phone camera so tightly.

But I think it was worth it.

With my claw-mitts, I was still able to take a few, less jostled photos.

I love how green everything is!

Well, we got off the boat and immediately were whisked away in open style buses. Off we went on a mini tour of the island, as we made our way to Trunk Bay.

First look out point? Lind Point.

Second look out point? Hawksnest Bay

Then the driver took off like the devil!

Can we say windy?

Finally she slowed as we approached our destination: Trunk Bay

It was so lovely there. My mom and I spent basically all the time in the water.

We snorkeled and followed the underwater trail.

I saw sea urchins that had a 6 in body and 1 foot spines.
Struck fear into my heart, let me tell you.
Especially when the waves seemed to like pushing me in the direction of a whole slew of them.

I got followed by a school of fish and saw so many types of coral.
It was incredible.

We had maybe an hour's rest on the beach and then we had to return.
Well worth the excursion.

As we approached the ships I managed to get this shot.

I pulled my hand in to get my Mom's camera. And not a moment too soon either. Something yellow fell from above and landed exactly where I had just been. Found out a girl from the trip had gotten seasick, poor thing.

But I was never so thankful that Mom pestered me to get a shot from her camera. Nor was I ever so excited to get off the boat.

We walked back to the ship and changed, then decided to head out again to see Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, the main center.

Rather than wait for a taxi, I told Mom we could just walk the 1.5 km. It wasn't that far. And I like walking.

It'd be pretty, I said.
It'd be faster, I said.
There's a breeze, I said.


Pretty? Oh yes. Very much so. That much was true.

But faster to walk? No way.

And the breeze? Hah.


How about walking with the sun full on you in 85 degree weather, no breeze, and the fumes of the car exhausts getting to you, because of course the path to the main center would be right next to the only road, and we'd be walking during their rush hour!

But it was worth it in the long run. We got our exercise and I got some lovely photos.

Plus we did find a few little trinkets and made a new friend, walking back with her to the ship.

Yes. We walked back too. Made me very happy.

All the boats waiting...

And the sunset was lovely.

We had dinner and came back to the room.  I took one more opportunity to go out on the patio and was so glad I did.

The night colors are just cool

And look what else I saw! Sky cabs lit up!

Then we shoved off.

Goodbye St. Thomas!

We went down for a little after dinner coffee and came back to a new cabin friend.

Mr. Elephant

And that brings us to a close on St. Thomas. Loved the island. Loved the views. Loved...everything.

Next up, St. Maarten/St. Martin, but that's another post.

Until next time,

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