Last Moments in Paradise

This post is a bittersweet one. I’m writing about my last weekend in the Caribbean. My husband will be sticking around a couple of extra weeks to tie up loose ends, but I’m heading back to Iowa tomorrow. A while ago my husband had a really good idea that I had been shutting down. He suggested we spend my last weekend on St. John, hiking one of the trails we hadn’t gotten to yet and visiting our favorite spots for drinks and food. I kept saying no, it was too expensive, we have enough to do, etc. He was right. I booked the hotel. Worth it.

Of course nothing in the islands can be easy, so in true island time fashion, the car barge we wanted to take was FULL. We were in a line of cars to get on the next one, and I was on a deadline for one of my clients, so Dan sent me on the people ferry to check in and work a bit in the hotel room. He was stuck in a hot car with all our stuff and our dog for another hour while I enjoyed an air-conditioned ferry ride and quick taxi to the hotel. What a guy.

*Side story: on the taxi to the Westin, there was just one other man and myself. We got to chatting and it turns out his wife is from Tarkio, Missouri. I’ve been to  and through Tarkio I don’t know how many times on the way to see my grandparents in Rock Port, MO. He was also the lawyer that sponsored our friend when he took the VI bar exam. It’s a small world, folks. Be nice to people! You never know who you’ll meet.

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Good morning, St. John

I love staying at The Westin on St. John. It may be one of my favorite hotels in the world. We got a great room right off the beach to enjoy our weekend.

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If the island did anything, it turned me into a nature lover. As a tree-hugging hippie I’ve always APPRECIATED nature, but never wanted to be that close. Now I like getting out into it.

We got up Saturday morning to hike the Reef Bay Trail, home of the infamous petroglyph carvings. It’s a decent two mile hike down to the little offshoot of a trail that leads to these glyphs, and then it’s another mile to the ocean. Then you have to hike all three miles back UP. It was hot, it was humid, we got really sweaty, and it was awesome.

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Tree pose before an ancient tree? Don’t mind if I do.

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Carvings left by early island inhabitants, most likely Taíno indians.

Some friends came over to St. John for our last happy hour at Joe’s Rum Hut, a little Cruz Bay sunset and some dinner. We feel so lucky to have met everyone on this journey, and I know we will miss our friends. Dan and I then decided to head to ZoZo’s one more time. We sat at the bar and ordered some drinks, and had our favorite appetizer and a dessert. It was the perfect way to end our last meal on St. John.

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Hard not to love this place.

Sunday was a morning for relaxing. I had always wanted to go to Oppenheimer Beach, and we finally made it. There were some people there preparing for a wedding so they weren’t too excited that we were there, but we stayed just long enough to take some photos and for me  to get a little teary about leaving this beautiful place.

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Makes you want to jump in, right? Oppenheimer Beach, STJ

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One last island selfie!

So sad to leave the Caribbean. So excited to start something new. This experience has made our lives so much richer, and we’re grateful for that.