More Iowans on the Island: Our First Visitors!

After three and a half months on St. Thomas, Dan and I welcomed our first visitors! My parents, Mike and Deana, stayed with us and we got to show them the island we call home. They arrived on Friday afternoon, and while Dan was finishing a day at work I took them to the lookout over the harbor and to Drake’s Seat to take in the view. After a stop at home to drop off the luggage, we went to pick Dan up from work and went to Northside Bistro for a delicious sunset dinner. We played a lot of cards, saw a lot of stuff and got to celebrate my mom’s birthday!

On Sunday we attended the 17th annual Texas Society of the Virgin Islands Chili Cook Off in Brewer’s Bay. The Gilberts got their first taste of USVI beach heat because it was HOT. Not much shade at Brewer’s Bay, either. We had fun visiting some of the more than 80 different competitor booths and sampling lots of chili. The highlight of the afternoon was making frequent trips to stand in the water. Holy hotness. After the chili cook off we headed up the mountain to aptly named: Mountain Top. This kitschy spot is a souvenir-hunter’s paradise, attached to a bar that makes killer banana daiquiris all with a fantastic view.


View from Mountain Top

We spent a lot of time running around all over the island, and it was time for some much-deserved relaxation. We feel really lucky to live in a place with a pool, and I think the Gilberts appreciated it too.

Our Monday tradition of having fish tacos at Hull Bay Hideaway was introduced to the Iowans, and they were treated with a pretty fantastic sunset that night as well. My dad and I joked that he was envisioning a “little shack” on the beach, not the open air restaurant with two bars and stage for live music that the Hideaway is. Don’t get me wrong, Hideaway is rustic compared to a lot of stateside spots, but it’s our neighborhood hangout and we think it’s pretty awesome.

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Tuesday was my mom’s birthday and it was so great to be able to take her to St. John for the day to celebrate. We took a taxi tour of the island and visited some sugar mill ruins at Annaberg, overlooking the most beautiful water. Then we did some shopping and ate at the Sun Dog Cafe before taking the ferry back to St. Thomas to meet up with Dan.

Annaberg Sugar Mill

The rest of the week was spent relaxing on Hull Bay Beach, enjoying a milkshake at Udder Delite after a picnic at Magen’s Bay Beach, and playing lots of cards. On Saturday we returned to St. John for a special birthday dinner for mom at ZoZo’s at Caneel Bay. Dan and I had eaten here for our anniversary and loved it so much we wanted to take my parents there. It was there last service of the season (they’ll reopen November 1st, just in time for my birthday, yay!) and we enjoyed a fabulous meal.


Thanks for coming, Mom and Dad! We love and miss you. See you again soon!

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