Monday, May 27, 2013

.: VRBO #263122 - Paradise Condo In STT :.

The view from the living room balcony!
We stayed in paradise condo for one week, from 5/19-5/26 and it was truly not long enough. I'll start from the beginning. We arrived at STT by 1:30 and had made arrangements to check in around 2:30 so that we could get our suitcases put away before heading out food shopping. We had rented a car at Avis located in the airport and had a Kia Optima for $338 for the week. I found a deal online and pre-paid and it went very smoothly. Now, understand that the locals are unaware of the street names and just to be on the safe side I had purchased a Garmin Nuvi 50LM which has preloaded maps of the USVI as well as many other locations in the Caribbean. The condo is located roughly 5 miles from the airport according to the GPS and we arrived within 10-15 minutes or so. The GPS was about $115 and took us every single place we needed to go. It seemed as though everywhere was within a 15 minute drive. This condo is in the perfect location!! The pictures do not do this condo justice. It is everything you see and more. It’s clean and comfortable. The view is utterly breathtaking. The water has so many shades of blue and green and is so crystal clear you can see the bottom (and the fish swimming in it!). We thoroughly enjoyed drinking our coffee every morning outside.
There is a coffee maker, toaster oven, microwave and blender inside the condo on the counter. There is also a full sized range and refrigerator. The bathroom and bedroom host an ironing board (if needed although island weather is nature’s ironing!) and a blow dryer. We ended up not going food shopping on the 1st day, but went the next. Although there are a few grocery stores on the island, we preferred Food Center as it is in close proximity to the condo and has just about everything you are looking for. Do not get sticker shock at the prices as we spent about $200 on food for the week, but it enabled us to make a few dinners and pack the coolers (yes, those are in the kitchen too!!) everyday for beach trips. For discerning travelers, we found no problems finding organic milk as well as other milk-like products (almond milk, soy milk, etc.).  We ended up going out to dinner twice and lunch twice. We had breakfast everyday in the condo. Big bottles of Cruzan rum are $9.99 each and we found they are the cheapest at Food Center than anywhere else. While the water is potable and you can drink from the tap, nothing beats the gallons of purified water – especially when kept in the fridge after a long, hot beach day. They were $1.39 each at Food Center.
One of the best parts about this condo is the fact you are not in a rental or resort, but in someone’s actual vacation home and this condo reflects that. There is a closet in the hall with snorkel gear, beach chairs, floats, games (for the passing shower or two), and so much more! Whatever you do, do NOT pay any attention to the weather forecast. They will tell you there is a 50% chance of rain every day and that it is cloudy (partial or mostly). It was overcast 1 day out of 8 and another day a storm blew in and it rained during the night and on and off for about 2 hours in the morning. After that it WAS cloudy – bright white puffy clouds against the bluest sky you will ever see, and lots and lots of sunshine!
We travelled with children (3 of them), so I highly recommend a rash guard (we got ours for the baby from Gymboree) and Episencials Sunny Sunscreen. It is coral reef friendly and none of us got any sunburn. While all of us were travelling together, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to contract a photographer to do our family portraits. It’s not everyday you get to spend a week among such gorgeous scenery with the ones you love. So, on Tuesday 5/21, we had our portraits done at Bluebeard’s Beach Club by Louis Lucas Photography. Not only did he really take the time with us, but he also managed to hand deliver our cd of images to us at Iggies on the beach on Friday night! I really enjoyed working with him and my family portraits are stunning!! 

Speaking of coral reefs, snorkeling at Trunk Bay was the highlight of our trip. We actually spent a few days on St John. I’m convinced it is the most beautiful place on the planet!  We took a cab from Cruz Bay ($6/pp) and it’s for real worth every penny!! JJ’s Tex Mex in Cruz Bay served an amazing grouper sandwich and fish & chips. Don’t miss St. John Spice while over there, either! It’s definitely a must for souvenirs, spices, marinades, oils, tea, coffee, etc. Back in STT, Iggies was great and on the Friday night of our stay we enjoyed the mahi mahi dinner. The morning we left, we ate a breakfast buffet at Lobster Grille. Delicious! Right before we left, we all had a good cry on the balcony overlooking the beauty and splendor of paradise. I have never in my life felt more grateful to be able to be with the people I love the most (my husband and children). It was the most fabulous time and then some! Thank you a million times over to Sue & Joe for sharing your home with us!!

Sunrise in Paradise from the living room balcony!


On the ferry ride to St. John it was raining and the sky looked like this!!

5 minutes later, it looked like this! Moral of the story: Do NOT pay attention to the forecast!!

Welcome to St. John!

The entrance to Trunk Bay or as I say, "what I imagine the gates of heaven to look like"

Trunk Bay is really breathtaking!

The cliffiside pool.

 In the evening, you can watch the cruise ships leave!