Typically, I do not write a trip report as I figure nobody really cares about my vacation, but I know that this year folks (myself included) are hanging on every word, anxious to hear updates on the little island that could. As such, I will take my shot at a trip report with one big disclaimer – I am not as funny nor entertaining as 54b. You see, as much as I have tried to fight it all my life, I am not just an engineer by trade, but by birth as well and that genetic curse comes with a lack of writing skills. Besides me, a fifty-something college professor, this trip included my husband who we will call Phil. His name is not really Phil, but if you are a fan of the show “Modern Family”, you get the picture. He is an amazing guy but can be oh so geeky (surprise! He is also an engineer). Next, there was our 22 year old son who we will call Nature Boy (NB). That’s not his real name either, but all his life he has been one with nature and a critter whisperer. This trip was a celebration of his graduation from the University of Pittsburgh this spring (can you guess his major?). Finally, our 20 year old daughter, Sorority Girl (SG), was along for the ride. She has nothing in common with the rest of us and looks nothing like us, but we have learned to make it work.
It has been five years since we have taken a family vacation and five years since we have been to St. John. My husband and I have visited Virgin Gorda several times over those five years but we felt St. John needed us more this year. Although we live in Rochester, NY, we booked the trip in and out of Pittsburgh, PA. It was a combination of price, having the jfk-roc leg of our flight cancelled on 2 out of the last 3 trips and the fact that NB is still living in Pittsburgh that convinced me to go that route. On 5/27 SG, Phil and I headed to Pittsburgh, picked up NB, had dinner at a surprisingly good Mexican restaurant in a college neighborhood and headed to the airport Marriot where we had a very good deal for a park and fly. So I have already mentioned that on 2 of my last trips home from STT I have had a leg cancelled, but that is just the tip of the iceberg; I am the world’s most unlucky flier. It is so bad that coworkers specifically request NOT to be booked on the same flights with me. Over the last decade, I have had a flight cancelled on average once in every three trips. You name a reason, and I have experienced it. As a result, I got zero sleep as I compulsively checked the PIT and the Delta websites all night long. My worry was for naught as our flights went off without a hitch and we even arrived at STT almost 30 minutes early. I don’t even think there was any turbulence, but my memory of the jfk-stt leg is a little fuzzy as we had brought quite a supply of mini bottles on the plane with us. In case you were wondering, somewhere in the Delta magazine it states that you are only allowed to consume alcohol on the airplane if it is sold to you by a Delta employee on the plane, but I didn’t see it until I was in a state of not really caring. Finally…our vacation had started.
I had pre-arranged a private taxi to take us from the airport to Red Hook but he was not waiting for us. After several attempts to contact him, we just got in another taxi and paid $90 for a private ride to the ferry. By now NB was starving and we had 45 minutes to spare so he and Phil went to Fish Tails and grabbed some burgers and fries. We ate those on the ferry, sitting in the sunshine, with the wind blowing through our hair and life was good. All four of us were giddy with anticipation and could not contain our excitement as Cruz Bay came into view. Courtesy Jeep Rental met us at the ferry and drove us to their office (which is being reconstructed) so we could pick up our four door Jeep. Our villa greeter met us at Courtesy and led us to a home away from home, Palm Hill Villa. Phil and I love Gallows Point Resort and have always stayed there in the past, but unfortunately, we were not able to convince NB and SG that sleeping on a pullout couch and a rollaway in the living room would be fun. In case you didn’t infer it from her nickname, SG is kind of high maintenance. It is a bit contradictory because she has spent the last four summers working at a summer camp where she sleeps in a cabin with about 14 girls for nine weeks, but she does like luxury when she is on vacation. We were actually a little worried that she might suffer some sort of Starbucks withdrawal on vacation, but being able to drink legally more than made up for it.
We arrived at the villa (I will write a separate review of it later), picked our rooms, dropped our suitcases and headed back out for supplies. Armed with our Wegman’s bags brought from home (when you are from Rochester, any bag is a Wegman’s bag) we hit up both St. John’s Market and Starfish. Three-hundred dollars later we headed back to the villa for pool and rum time. The four of us hung out in the pool, enjoying the sunset and each other’s company. Later, Phil and I cooked dinner and it was lights out early as we were all exhausted.