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US VIRGIN ISLANDS
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10 Things I learned in St. John

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Aside from discovering that the clearest, bluest, warmest, calmest, most beautiful water I’ve ever been in exists around the US Virgin Islands, I have a few other pointers for any of you planning a trip the St. John (and 1 little pointer on St. Thomas). I spent a total of 7 nights there, which I felt to be the right amount even when traveling all the way from Los Angeles, and managed to make the most out of my time. Here is what I learned on this magical trip:

  1. I like to snorkel (drunk). Trunk Bay was hand-down the best beach on the island, with an added bonus of an easy to reach snorkeling area.
  2. Don’t rent a car to “explore.” We rented a Jeep one day and found the roads far too treacherous with not enough to see. The best beaches were a $5 cab away from our resort (The Westin).
  3.  You must LOVE seafood to enjoy the food. I do love seafood but was ultimately disappointed in the cuisine, as the quality wasn’t up to my standards, and the produce was weak. I was pretty burned out on fish tacos and sea bass by the 3rd day.
  4. Only drink Painkillers or Voodoo Juice. The native drink on the island (recipe coming to the blog soon) is rum-based and absolutely delicious! Just think: tropical rums, coconut cream, pineapple, nutmeg. All you need to know.
  5. There are lizards EVERYWHERE. I hate them. They were roaming all around the hotel, the beaches, restaurants. Not sure if I’m the only one that doesn’t enjoy the slithery creatures but I’m warning you.
  6. The sun is exponentially stronger and the water exponentially saltier. Wear sunscreen on every part of your body. I was lucky enough to come home with blisters and what seems to be sweat blisters. Yuck.
  7. Beware of the “invisible sand fleas.” Yeah, they exist. While their bite is much more tolerable than that of a mosquito, they still itch like a mother******!
  8. Prepare for random rain showers. We were blessed with fabulous weather except for a quick 20 minute rain shower that left as quickly as it came.
  9. There is absolutely NO nightlife. Most of the restaurants have a similar vibe (very casual) about them and it appeared that people would linger there to continue drinking after dinner. We were pretty much in bed by 9:00pm each night. Guess you could say I’m very well rested.
  10. St. Thomas, while it doesn’t compare to St. John, had better food. Havana Blue prepared some of the best seafood stew over “dirty rice,” which was served much like paella, and was outstanding.


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