Sunday, November 02, 2008

paradise: found

we spent six full days on st. john, us virgin islands visiting my friend fiona who is currently living there for several months. we had a wonderful time, so much to see and do. the hiking, exploring, snorkeling, and the local cuisine were out-of-this world! of course we had to try some of the island cruzan rum... a bushwacker is an island favorite. I shot well over 800 pics, so these are just some of the highlights from our week away in paradise. though today its a warm fall day in the 70's, coming home this past tuesday night to 32 degrees and high winds was a toughy. however the photos we took and the memories of good times are a reminder of what fun we had!

our first evening at delfini 72. a magnificent view it is... after a long day of travel and multiple flights this was a welcome sight to see.

"baby" is one of 8 cats and 1 dog fiona is caring for. i simply fell in love with baby. so affectionate, willing to give out plenty of head butts, and a purr that you can hear clear across a room. fiona was convinced i would pack him in my suitcase and take him home. considering the quantity of kitties i have already, i decided he'd be happier as an island cat. more fresh fish available :-)

this kitty knows how to live! this is an early morning view from fiona's deck of fish bay

on day three we hiked ram head trail which was my favorite as it offered beautiful views, interesting flora including cacti, and places to take a dip so we could cool off from the mid-day sun.

anthony took this shot of me as i stop to observe one of the incredible vistas along this trail

a favorite view along ram head trail

the snorkeling is incredible in st. john. my favorite being in waterlemon bay where we saw this sea turtle feeding on turtle grass about 20 feet below us. schools of blue tang, huge parrot fish, and starfish are some of the other beauties you will see.

there really is a "z road" on the island... right near fiona's house.

fiona & me hiking from the house down to rendezvous bay.

keens were the ideal shoe to wear on the island--waterproof, good traction, & easy to pack.

look closely... and you will see a fish (click on for larger view)

rendezvous bay - my view while I rest on the beach. mostly locals know about this place, so imagine my surprise when I bumped into my wedding clients karen and shawn on this very beach for a late afternoon snorkel. they were married in durham october 18th. they spent their honeymoon on st. thomas and part of it on st. john. its too bad we were leaving the next day, as a "honeymoon portrait" would've been so much fun!

our license plate on our ford escape. courtesy car and jeep rental is the place to rent a vehicle on st. john... thanks for the tip fiona!

we dropped by vie's snack shop on a friday afternoon hoping to try some of her tasty conch fritters, but sadly she was closed. but i got a kick out of her sign....

the donkey diner on the east end is yet another restaurant we did not get a chance to try. i think i read somewhere that its currently for sale. nows your chance to buy a diner and relocate to paradise :-)

wild donkeys wander the island and are most often seen on the east end. they are not afraid of people or cars, however fiona claims that they aren't too fond of her scooter :-0

driving on the island can be quite a challenge. 4wd is necessary most of the time as you often encounter steep hills, hairpin curves, narrow roads, crazy drivers exceeding the 20 mph speed limits, and the wildlife. not to mention you drive on the left side of the road...

build a better virgin islands tee-shirt on lady spotted in cruz bay. the islanders are in the process of their election as we are on the mainland...

fiona's friend ari from charlottesville arrived on the island friday evening. sunday evening we enjoyed some live jazz in cruz bay at the beach bar.

some interesting places in cruz bay...

we spent our last evening on the island with fiona, ari, and the critters and a good time was had by all. baby, the cat was thrilled he got a taste of fish too :-). We prepared a scrumptious meal of fresh grouper, portebello mushrooms, squash, and red peppers on the grill accompanied by some very tasty island rum. this is our view as we enjoyed our meal.

not so bad having to work in an environment such as st. john... here i am at work editing a wedding on my laptop our last morning on the island with a fabulous view of fish bay.

we're back on the mainland and i have much editing to do! so off i go!

1 comment:

Ari said...

Hey Z, you caught some great pics! I'm sorry you missed out on Miss Vie's (now her daughter's) conch fritters. They were hands-down the best we tried. Miss Lucy's were pretty tasty, too, but Vie's takes the cake. Baby, strangely enough, apparently did not make it into your luggage...

Be well,