Thursday, March 22, 2012

We're Running Away!

If you missed our recent "Frugal Friday" post, then you may not know that Ken and I are "running away"!  Unfortunately we're not running away for good just yet, but we will run away for seven days.  We're flying to St. Thomas soon, and we are so excited!

It seems that everything has been a crazy blur of ups and downs since Thanksgiving.  In the past 3 months Ken and I have not only squeezed in all that goes with the holidays, but also a good friend's funeral, a high school reunion of our own and a house full of friends due to the funeral, a heated 3-week confrontation with our now evicted tenant, multiple trips to court due to deadbeat tenant, repairs and cleaning of rental house, applications and showings for new tenant (think we found a good one),  Mardi Gras, a visit from Ken's dad ... whew!  On top of that, less than 48 hours ago we were notified that we're about to have another vacant rental, and poor Ken has literally been working 6-7 days a week (other than Mardi Gras break) for the past 2 months.  He's exhausted!

So, this vacation is long overdue and very much needed!  In fact, we haven't had a real vacation in almost three years!  Our last vacation was in Hawaii, where we we renewed our vows for our 20th wedding anniversary.  It was fantastic, and it gave us the "bug" to go cruising on a sailboat.

What's really weird is when I recently shopped at Goodwill for Mardi Gras costumes, I noticed a bright green "St. Thomas, USVI" shirt.  I bought it, and told Ken that the shirt was my size and it was my inspiration for the day we eventually arrived on St. Thomas.  I had no idea that we'd be booking a vacation to St. Thomas just a few weeks later!

We'll be staying at the Sugar Bay Resort, and best of all it's all-inclusive.  We'll be able to eat, drink (alcohol too), snorkel, paddle board, and sail on a little boat for free!  Even better, this trip was "almost free" (we tell how in our Frugal Friday post) and we won't need to bring a lot of money with us.  We do plan on taking a ferry to St. John for a day or two, and also to Jost Van Dyke for a day as well.  The ferry is a lot less expensive than a chartered sailboat!  We've got to snorkel in Trunk Bay on St. John, and how could we be on Jost without visiting the Soggy Dollar Bar, Foxy's, and the Bubbly Pools?!   Oh, and windsurfing is something I really wanna do.  Forget the big bucks on lessons, I'll pay the $25-$30 for one hour of making a fool of myself on my own!

You can bet that I'll be busy surfing the internet for all the info I can find on the Virgin Islands.  I'm so glad we're staying six nights, cause I'm already wishing we could stay longer.  I wanna see it all!  Oh well, we'll catch the other stuff in a couple of years on our sailboat.

We'd love to hear from you about your experiences and/or suggestions about the Virgin Islands.  Just remember, we're frugal and on a tight budget!   =)

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Sandee said...

We've been to St. Thomas but were on a cruise line so we can't help you with the cheap stuff because we weren't there long enough to figure out anything. It's a beautiful island though and I'd love to visit there again. Not via a cruise ship though...the way you're doing it. Awesome.

Have a terrific day. :)

Cathy said...

Gosh, you two are just friggin adorable. Renewing vows in Hawaii?! Great! I hope my boyfriend and I can be like you two someday! Unfortunately, I have never trekked through this area but it sounds like you two will have an amazing time :) Can't wait to hear more about it!!

Cathy Trails

Jill Beaudoin said...

Wow, have a great time!!! That is some place I always wanted to go, so I can't wait to hear about it. I signed up at the cheap Caribbean sight. Thanks for the tip!

Dani said...

AHH, that sounds like so much fun:)

I really hope you get a good tenant! seriously.

Adam said...

My wife and I went to St. Thomas at the end of September through the beginning of October last year. We loved it and can't wait to go back!

We also stayed at Sugar Bay Resort & Spa and had an awesome Ocean View room. Rooms were clean and nice. If you didn't upgrade, I think you will still have a nice view. The staff at Sugar Bay were awesome! Very attentive, courteous and pleasant. The pools were really nice and the beach is right by the pools.

At Sugar Bay, we went on a catamaran sunset cruise which was nice. Alcohol and light snacks were provided. We didn't use the Spa or play miniature golf since we really there to see the beautiful beaches and sights of the island.

The Sugar Bay Activity Director was very helpful in getting us on a tour of St. Thomas. The tour was with a group and we got to see much of the island from some nice perspectives (great photo opts!). While on the tour, they drop you off for lunch where the cruise ships come in (I think it was Charlotte Amalie) and you can do a lot of shopping there too.

Like you plan on doing, we took the ferry to St. John which was very inexpensive. We were supposed to have a tour of St. John, but there wasn't enough people who signed up (I guess they have a minimum). However, it was a blessing in disguise because we ended up renting a Jeep and cruised the island on our own! I think it was $75 bucks for the day. We drove to Cinnamon Bay (which was kind of like a camping site), Trunk Bay (AWESOME snorkling!) and the old sugar mill ruins (Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins) which was pretty cool, free and more nice views from there too. Warning: if you rent a Jeep, they drive on the left side of the road and the roads are SUPER steep! You get used to it though.

We couldn't believe we were actually there. Was almost like a dream. lol

When we headed back towards the ferry, there's a couple of restaurant/bars before you get to the ferry. So, we grabbed a bite to eat and was lucky enough to enjoy FREE drinks since the owner and wife just had their first baby and were celebrating. They had free beers all day long and I think the place was called Iguana Grill. Across the street was another popular hang out where I believe Kenny Chesney was the night before we were there. We hung out a while hoping to catch a glimpse of him but no luck. :(

We went to a couple of beaches on St. Thomas: Coki Beach which was awesome for snorkling but if you go on the weekends, it's more of a LOCAL beach. Right by the outside beach bar/restaurant were a bunch of kids smoking dope and locals EVERYWHERE! We didn't mind much and saw some huge fish while snorkling. Then there was Megans Bay (my favorite!) where they have ladies serving tropical drinks and beers right on the beach. GEORGEOUS beach!!! We could have stayed there for a couple of days, but we made an afternoon out of it. I believe it's in the National Geographic's top 10 beaches in the WORLD!

Oh, while we were on St. John, the lady who rented us our Jeep told us about a lady who just started up a business of homemade Caribbean food and she, her husband and friend sets up a tent on the side of the road. We stopped there and got a Roti (sp?) which was like a fajita with meat/potato filling. Cheap and good eats!

I'm sure I have more info, but I gotta run. If you have any questions, shoot me a message on Facebook if you'd like!

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks Dani for the good vibes! I think, and hope, that we just found a good tenant this past weekend. Now gotta get the rental back in shape .. ugh!

Thanks everyone and it sounds like we'll have a week in paradise .. can't wait! Adam, thanks for the great tips!

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