Thursday, May 17, 2012

Virgin Islands Trip, Cinnamon Bay



Our last post showed the little town of St. John, which we enjoyed exploring the morning that we arrived by ferry.  After a while, we were ready to catch a taxi to Cinnamon Bay, which I heard was really beautiful.  The taxis are pretty much open air trucks, which is much nicer in my opinion.  Who would want to ride in a typical closed-up car?  Riding through the hills with the breeze through my hair and the island scents ... nice!  Since the island of St. John is so small, it only took minutes to arrive at Cinnamon Bay.  The views on the way were beautiful, and I managed to take a quick picture (above) as we sped past this site in the taxi.

Across the street from the beach path was the "Cinnamon Bay" trail, which was a short path leading through ruins of a sugar plantation.  Interestingly, the ruins were occupied as late as the 1960's ... hard to believe!  Some of the ruins were from the house of the the supervisor.  The supervisor wasn't the owner of the plantation, as he lived on St. Thomas.   With the ruins located only about a mile from the beach, it seems that the supervisor had it pretty good!


Ken exploring the ruins and reading one of several plaques throughout the trail

The ruins also contained an old cemetery, which held the remains of the owner's family.  I wanted to get a closer look, but Ken was spooked.  He wasn't getting close and gave me a hard time about "walking on the dead".  In my defense ... I wasn't walking ON the tombstones, just around them!


The ruins that I'm sitting in front of were the supervisor's home.


The trail made a loop and took us back to where we began.  We walked across the street and these were some of the first views of Cinnamon Bay ... ahhh!



Although these two guys were windsurfing and it looks calm in these pictures, it was very windy and there were no beginners ... only these two guys.  They were really moving.  I definitely want to try this someday!

As expected, Cinnamon Bay was beautiful!  We sat for a few minutes and watched the windsurfers while absorbing the surreal beauty around us.  Since we wanted to be flexible and didn't know what the day would hold for us, we had packed our swimsuits and a towel into our "Pampered Pirate" backpack.  It didn't take long to determine that we needed to change clothes and get in that beautiful water!

After changing into our swimsuits we walked along the beach and noticed that although the beach was fairly crowded, it wasn't obvious.  The beach was lined with large sea grape bushes, which provided the perfect place to tuck yourself away under the shade of the bushes.  How nice to have natural shade!


This picture is kinda dark, but it shows the beach and natural shade!

Our "Pampered Pirate" waterproof backpack ... you can get one too!

The water wasn't only beautiful and clear, but it was just the right temperature.  Ken and I spent most of the afternoon at Cinnamon Bay, swimming and sunbathing.  The sand was soft and felt great on my feet!  Also, this particular beach had a lot of little seashells on it.  I was determined to find two little shells that were similar and good for making matching necklaces for me and my daughter.  I enjoyed searching for my "treasures", and I did find two cute little shells that will soon be on a little satin or leather chord.  Oh, and did I mention how perfect the weather was?!  Well, it was ... the entire trip!  After being used to the heat and humidity of Louisiana, having low humidity and a constant breeze was awesome.  It was like being on vacation or something!


Okay, here's the bikini shot!  Some of you may have read my post before our vacation about my personal challenge, and my efforts to get bikini ready for our trip.  In that post, I included a bikini picture from 15 years ago.  At 45, I think I'm doing pretty good at maintaining my weight.  I owe it all to exercise and discipline ... not luck!

After a great afternoon, we figured we'd head back to the restrooms for a quick rinse in the shower (very clean and convenient) and to change back into our clothes.  We had no idea what time it was ... no watch or cell phone.  We were getting into the "island time"!  Getting a taxi back into "town" was very easy, as there were several waiting in the beach's parking lot.  Once we were back in town we went to a bar that one of the guests at Sugar Bay told us about.  It was called "Cowboys" and was supposed to have a good "happy hour"  with great brisket sliders.  Ken and I love brisket and a good bargain, so we tried it out even though the place didn't sound very "island" like.  We really enjoyed the sliders and the $3 rum punch, but not the country music ... the one type of music we just don't get into.  The views made up for the music, since the bar was located right across from the water, the Visitor Center, and the dinghy dock.  We watched a few "cruisers" pull up in their dinghy, and imagined pulling up in our own dinghy someday.




Afterwards, we walked across the street to get a better look at the dinghys.  Just like the sailboats we saw, the dinghys were a little intimidating.  We recently bought a dinghy with an inflatable floor, and all the ones that we saw had hard bottoms ... damn it!  We did speak to a couple as they were tying up to the dock.  They appeared to be in their sixties, and they had been cruising for about 3 months.  They said they were learning a lot, but enjoying it!  I asked where they cruised from, and they said nearby in Tortola.  They decided to buy a sailboat that was already in paradise ... smart couple!

We then meandered to the beach nearby, where the ferry had dropped us off earlier that day.  We enjoyed another cocktail (and another happy hour) at a bar called "High Tide".  This bar was right on the beach, so the views were even better.  While kicking back, I noticed a little sign in the corner of the bar that said "Clearance - $5.00".  My frugal self had to check out the clearance rack.  I found an orange (my favorite color) tank top for 5 bucks!   I love a bargain and now had a shirt from St. John!

View from the beach at "High Tide"!

Ken tried "Banks Caribbean Lager", which he said was pretty good ... especially when sipping it at a beach bar on St. John!  You can see the bartender's "High Tide" shirt in the background.


The ferry back to St. Thomas runs every hour, so when we saw the ferry pull up to the dock we figured it was about time to head back to the Sugar Bay resort and enjoy a good dinner.  Like that morning, the 20-minute ferry ride was a lot of fun, with great views.  I snapped the shot below of St. Thomas as we approached and enjoyed the sunset! 


Ahhh ... another great day in paradise!  We had so much fun that we decided to spend the next day back on St. John so we could snorkel at Trunk Bay.  I'll have more about in the next post!

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

6 comments:

Felicity MotorBoat said...

Awesome post and nice bikini shot. I know it can be hard maintaining a bikini bod especially with all those rum drinks to be had! You look damn good! Great job and thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks Jessica for your kind words! I hope someday to take one of your yoga classes on your boat! =)

Ms. Cathy said...

Could those photos get any more perfect (and the water more blue?!?) I think not. You look fantastic, the trip sounds great and weren't those ruins a little creepy? I recall seeing random ruins sprawled out on the Phu Quoc island in vietnam (I scare easy!)

Neophyte Cruiser said...

I agree. I continue to enjoy your posts and think you look spectacular in your bikini! Great job on both and keep up the good work. Hope you two are enjoying your respite and it inspires you to get your boat down there!

Emily said...

Looks like so much fun, and you look AMAZING! I still had a pretty decent bikini bod at 45, but the challenge of maintaining it has gotten a lot tougher in the ensuing 6 years. You have to work doubly hard! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. BTW, I don't like country music either, and sometimes I think I'm the only one! Glad to know I'm not alone. :)

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks ya'll! Emily, you still look great and I'm glad to hear you don't like country music either ... LOL!

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