It’s that time of year…time that I head to the USVI…oh, that’s right…I’m writing this from my cold, winter home in Ohio. My parents are in the Virgin Islands soaking up the sun, enjoying the pool (except for my dad…he doesn’t like the pool). Seriously, he doesn’t ever get in the pool! Oh, and he was a Marine!! How in the hell does one become a Marine and not get in the water? Seriously, he will not, I mean WILL NOT get into the pool…he sits poolside and does a great imitation of a rotisserie while sitting in his chair and getting an even tan though…it’s actually pretty comical watching him rotate his chair 45 degrees about every 15 minutes while dripping sweat on the book that he is reading and struggling with an ice cold beer from St. John Brewers.
When we go to the Virgin Islands we stay at Villa Calypso Blu on St. Thomas overlooking Morningstar Beach. It’s a wonderful place to stay and watch the cruise ships come into and leave Charlotte Amalie harbor.
When most people come to the Virgin Islands, it’s all about the rum….don’t get me wrong, I like rum and it’s cheaper than water on the Island but I prefer beer. While I’m on St. Thomas I prefer to partake in the delicious ales offered by St. John Brewers. You can pick up their beer at the local Cost U Less…this is the equivalent of Sam’s Club on St. Thomas only on a much smaller scale. The only drawback to buying your St. John Brewers beer at Cost U Less is that you have to purchase it by the case…oh wait, that’s not a drawback…that’s a great thing!!!
While purchasing St. John’s Brewers beer at Cost U Less serves the purpose, it’s best to visit the taproom and restaurant on St. John…another island of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Julie and I typically take the ferry to St. John out of Red Hook. It’s only about a 20 minute ride by boat to St. John…once you arrive on St. John take a short walk to Mongoose Junction where you will find some souvenir shopping as well as a few upscale shops and some restaurants. St. John Brewers taproom is on the 2nd floor.
If you are staying long enough to eat lunch or dinner I recommend the Caribbean Jerked Chicken Sandwich or the Fish tacos. You have to make sure that you wash it down with an Island Hoppin IPA or the Tropical Mango Ale.
When you are ready to move on, stumble…err…stroll through all of the shops…you will be sure to find that “unique” item that you just have to take home from the Caribbean…for example, my wife was making a purchase in one of the local gift shops and the clerk informed her that if she purchased $15.00 worth or merchandise that she would get a free St. John calendar. What she neglected to tell her was that it was a calendar that would outdate in 3 months…just a little thing to remind you that it is a tourist destination so be on the lookout.
If you like to hike, swim or snorkel, then St. John is the place for you…almost the entire island is a National Park…all of the beaches are soft sand and the water is always warm. I have included a link below to direct you to a site that gives you things to do:
When the time comes that you need to catch the ferry back to Red Hook or Charlotte Amalie make sure that you stop off at High Tide Bar and Seafood Grill…High Tide Bar and Seafood Grill is just that, a bar and grill that is located just above the high tide line. High Tide Bar and Seafood Grill has great wait staff and off course a nice selection of the local beer.
There are typically a few locals hanging out looking to charter their boats for tours around the island…usually you have the ability to haggle a bit on the price. If you can take a boat ride around the island with a few stops at some areas for snorkeling, I highly recommend it.
P.S. Don’t be surprised if you have visitors while you are enjoying the islands…