US Virgin Islands 2022

US Virgin Islands A Beach Vacation
Arriving in style.
We were taken in from the very start by the view from our balcony.
Mountain view from the balcony.
Just turn your head to go from ocean to mountain.
Hanhan started relaxing right away.
The rum punch helps immensely with relaxation.
Hanhan thought she had found giant tropical green beans.
Palm fruit/seeds. One bunch is red, one green.
Nothing eats these apparently.
You just have to have a beach hat and a banana daquiri within hours of your arrival.
We think its a law!
Jerked chicken brought a smile.
'Early' morning coffee and view.
It was already getting hot.
7 AM sunrise swim.
The hotel had a very nice pool.
The sun hasn't yet reached the pool area but you can see it behind Hanhan.
Once it is present, its time to leave the pool.
We thought this was a onetime thing. Panini and iced coffee.
Turns out, this was our daily breakfast spot.
The world famous '99 steps'
There are actually 103 steps. These lead to absolutely nothing either direction.
Where does Hanhan work?
The lovely 190 MW oil powered generating station for St Thomas.
The first beach we visited. We were both surprised at how blue the water is.
Notice the airport directly behind the beach.
Hanhan's island boy friend.
Gary was locked in the trunk.
Gary escaped the trunk to go snorkel.
Gary gave up snorkeling long ago.
Hanhan was late, but finally found the truth about it.
We were off roading and found the ruins of a sugar factory.
This was the boiling pot where sugar cane juice is boiled down to granulated sugar.
More of the sugar factory ruins. No idea what this was, but it is rather eerie.
We are puzzled as to why this is an attraction.
Kinda like 99 steps.
This is the Atlantic side of St Thomas.
We only visited once, we liked the Caribbean side best.
This is a termite mound that is above ground.
Mountain Top.
Another attraction that you just have to do but no idea why.
Gift shop, drinks, bathrooms. Nice view from their deck. Pirates all around here.
From Mountain Top, you can see Britain.
Ok, the British Virgin Islands.
Below us is Megans Bay and beach.
This is one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
Drake's Seat.
Sir Francis Drake sat here to observe ships at sea to decide which ones to attack.
Sir Francis, it seems, was a pirate.
Another overlook. This is the town we stayed in.
This is at the top of 99 steps.
A modern version of Drake's seat.
See how many and which cruise ships are docked.
The cruise ships are really pretty after dark.
Hanhan is really pretty after dark too.
This tree was outside our balcony. This one hummingbird was there every morning.
We watched him chase off other hummingbirds who dared to come to his tree.
If you look closely, you can see a seaplane coming in for a landing.
This is local transportation to the various islands if you don't want a ferry.
Hanhan loves unknown food items.
This is the signature of USVI, Goat Water. It is goat stew.
I was robbed. This is called Red Pea Soup.
It is actually kidney bean soup with pork. Mine had no pork that day. Got a free Sprite though!
Avoiding the afternoon sun, Hanhan has her Kindle, and drink.
This was the start of our kayak trip through a mangrove lagoon in the bay.
The guide was... unique.
Beautiful sunset from the water.
We went to a small island in the kayaks. Couldn't see much, but it was still very cool.
This island has lots of hermit crabs. They can strip a pig carcass…
We checkout the cruise ships everyday on our walk to town.
They are SO big, some have 6,000 passengers!
Most every building along the waterfront used to be a rum warehouse.\
Now converted, this one had our daily breakfast spot.
A local marketplace. The chickens are truly free range. These just run about town everywhere.
These markets are locals, they go grocery shopping here.
The rooster is just looking for his hens.
This food tent had great items. We are waiting for tamarind juice and saltfish pate. Very busy stall.
Success! Tamarind juice and saltfish pate.
It was delicious.
Unique Christmas headgear.
Rising Stars steel orchestra performing Christmas tunes. They sound really great.

The Rising Stars Steel Orchestra, a calypso band of island kids.
This is Christmas Day at a square in town. They are really good.

Hanhan's first beach visit. Megens Bay beach.
Of course you are required to have a daquiri and pina colada.
Floppy hat, palm tree. Must be the spot.
Mermaid sighting!
Hanhan has her umbrella nearby in case of drink attack.
First dip into the crystal clear waters.
The water and sky just blend into one another here.
This was taken during one of our beach walks.
The waves are constantly tugging at you as if they are saying 'Come on in and play.'
Seaside cactus, an unexpected find.
Gary, in the process of being burned.
Hanhan braved the sharp rocks for this photo.
If you look closely, you'll see a pelican in the tree.
Gary is master of the ocean!
The ocean had a different idea.
Get the hat before it is swept out to sea.
Tada! Got it!
Looking for another rogue wave.
Island Santa!
Hanhan with her gift from Santa.
Our Christmas lunch.
For some reason Hanhan had two pieces of smoked tofu while Gary had ribs.
This is at the cruise ship dock. We stumbled upon this place on Christmas day.
We had a sunset cocktail cruise on Christmas day.
Here's the cocktails.
Here's the sunset.
As the sun fades below the horizon, the moon shows itself.
We had a great time on the cruise as you can tell.
We are with our hotel's managers, John and Gwen. What a great stay we had thanks to them.
Lots of sailboats had Christmas lights strung on their masts.
ary and his pirate tattoo!
The old downtown has a number of these little passageways. A leftover from the Dutch.
What a great time to be at the beach. A tropical downpour!
Within minutes, the weather returned to its normal beautiful conditions.
Gary has a new purse.
Back at our hotel watching the rain from our balcony.
Later, this caused us concern when we heard weird sci-fi noises coming from below our room.
It was the…
On the way back from getting dinner, we caught a spectacular scene.
The best of hummingbird coffee.
We both loved this every morning.
This mini mart had the nicest owner. And, though small, we never found an item he didn't have.
Heading for St John via ferry.
We barely made the sailing.
Hanhan is on the ferry while Gary is impatiently waiting at the gate.
Getting our 26 Oz rum milkshakes!
They are SO good.
Hanhan, her rum milkshake, and the national park sign.
This is a safari, a truck with an open passenger body behind the cab.
Ubiquitous mode of transportation on the islands.
Our first stop on the tour of St John.
Note Gary's new sunblock shirt!
I'd love to have the house that goes with this view.
Mobile Covid test truck. A reminder of what was.
The islands don't have municipal water though they do have desalinization plants.
You store rainwater in your cistern. If that runs low, you pay for a delivery…
Overlooking Cruz Bay, a high-end condo/resort location.
This picture-perfect location has an abandoned resort hiding near the dock.
It was ruined by a hurricane and the owners never rebuilt.
Hawk's nest beach.
The yellow bungalow was Robert Oppenheimer's during the 50s.
A nice place to avoid a nuclear war...
The dark patches are coral and seagrass.
It was beautiful, but very hot in the sun.
I always say Hanhan is pretty as a picture, so I framed her.
Gary has a festive new hat it appears.
The mountains and the sea make for a nice photo.
One day, we too will be filthy rich.
I still won't have a swimming pool behind my yacht though.
This is a rare site on the islands, a rocky beach.
This is in the ruins of a sugar factory.
The tall building is a sugar mill for sugar cane.
At one time, there was a windmill on top of the structure.
The boiling room. Once the sugar cane was pressed, the juice was transferred here to be boiled down into raw sugar.
These islands are part of a chain that extend to South America.
Conch shells used to build walls in a high-end mall.
This is a statue of a slave blowing a conch shell horn during the slave revolt.
They fought well, but lost in the end. A few years later though, they were…
Chicken Fry dinner
Chicken Fry dinner
The last day on the balcony.
This is what life should be.
Our hotel tucked away mid-mountain.
Hanhan loved this flowering tree at the hotel entrance.
There are more diamond shops here than any other business.
Cruise ship crowds are their customers it seems.
This is the old town area. Right now, not too crowded, but when the cruise ships are in, it is jam packed.
The Parley Cafe, where we had daily brunch.
This table always had a nice breeze and good people watching.
This bell is a marker for the Virginia Settlers who founded Jamestown. They landed here for three days while on the way.
We couldn't leave without visiting a street side market.
Hanhan got a couple of sundresses.
Fort Christian. This old fort was also the prison before becoming a museum.
It was under renovation, so we didn't go in.
Getting a cold drink before walking around.
Hanhan got a sea moss smoothie with beets. It was great.
This is just a fun area. No high pressure sales people, just a lot of stuff to look at and buy.
FDR, they have a park named for him in honor of his 1945 visit.
Relaxing under the shade tree after walking around town for the morning.
Heading toward the hotel you'll find the Governor's Mansion.
The guard box at the Governor's Mansion.
The First Lady of the Island garden.
Open to the public, yet we were the only one there.
A fine spot for a picnic in the future.
A tropical wonderland.
The final climb of the 99 steps.
Walking back to the hotel. We made this trip many times over the week.
Hanhan modeling her new purchases.