One of the many great views from our bus ride!
After a great day on the island of Jost Van Dyke, Ken and I awoke with the reality that this would be our last day in paradise! We didn't need to be at the airport until around 3:30 in the afternoon, so we weren't going to waste the day. Thoughts of abandoning our home, our jobs and our responsibilities filled our head, and we really didn't want to have to pack our bags!
After we filled up at the breakfast buffet, we reluctantly packed up and checked out of our room. When we had to stick out our arm and have the all-inclusive wrist band cut off ... it was not a good feeling! But, the day was still young and we were able to leave our luggage locked in the lobby. This gave us the opportunity to do a little more exploring, so we caught a ride on the local bus to Charlotte Amalie, where we had caught the Carnival celebration earlier in the week. On this Tuesday, the Carnival activities were now over and the little city had a more relaxing feel. It was nice to be able to see the capital of St. Thomas in both ways.
One thing we noticed about the city during Carnival was that all of the little shops had been closed. This was different than in New Orleans, when all the shops are open for Mardi Gras ... making all kinds of money! On this day the shops were open and we were able to stroll around the streets while enjoying the music of a steel drum band playing nearby. The type of shops were a surprise, as about 80% of the shops were high dollar jewelry stores. Ken and I were constantly bribed with a free silver pendant if we'd just look around the store. However, we weren't in the market for a Rolex watch or expensive jewelry, so we kindly declined the offers. I suppose that these shops do very well since the cruise ships dock nearby.
I didn't take any pictures this day, but we were able to find the local market about two blocks away. This market was filled with crafts, t-shirts, and more affordable jewelry. Ken picked up a nice St. Thomas tank top for $3, and I found a great deal on an earring/bracelet set for myself and my daughter. The set is made of a light blue stone called Larimar, which was discovered in the Dominican Republic in the 1970's. It is said to have healing powers and is very pretty. I was able to get this jewelry at a fraction of what the stores two blocks away were selling it for!
As the day came to a close, we grabbed a ride back to the resort to get our luggage and catch a cab to the airport. On the ride to the airport, I soaked in as much of the island views as I could! We actually lucked out and had to take the "long way" to the airport due to a couple of cars having problems on the main route. The narrow roads don't provide a place for vehicles to pull over, so a broken down vehicle means a lot of traffic! The detour was beautiful and it took us to Mountain Top, which is the highest peak of the island and is 2100 ft. above sea level. We were able to see incredible views of the town of Charlotte Amalie and the beach of Magen's Bay. We had hoped to see this part of the island during our trip, but just didn't have time. Who knew we'd get to see it on the way to the airport?!
View from Sugar Bay's lobby ... and our last taxi ride from there!
Our dream vacation in the Virgin Islands came to an end, (see all of the posts here), but we enjoyed every minute of it ... up until the very last minute! The islands are so beautiful and we can't wait to sail Nirvana to them in the future. This trip was much needed with the stressful schedule Ken has been keeping. His mind and his body were finally able to relax and recharge!
Here are a few pictures from earlier in the week at the St. Thomas marina in Red Hook, which is located right next to the ferry dock that we visited several times throughout our stay.
As the "sun sets" on our trip, enjoy another sunset picture of the islands that I took. We can't wait to get back to these views in the future!
It's already been a month since we've been back home and we've been busy at work, but seeing the islands has really got us antsy and ready to start cruising! After recharging, we're now finally able to start taking some time away from work during the next several weeks to start fixing our house for resale. Hopefully we'll have that sign in the yard sometime in July!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!