St John Day 1

28 11 2007

We have arrived in St. John!

Last night we stayed at a hotel in Chicago (where I finally reaped the rewards of the great toenail painting candy eating cessation – my toes look very tropical!) so that we could make our 7:45 a.m. flight. Things went very smoothly. I had reserved inexpensive long term parking at a Marriott hotel and their shuttle took us right to our gate. We used the self-check-in kiosk for the first time – and it saved us an amazing amount of time. I think my future travels will definitely include this convenience, as well as only bringing enough things for carry-on luggage. Those measures should greatly reduce the wait time.

We flew from Chicago to San Juan, Puerto Rico and caught a connecting flight to St. Thomas. When we arrived on the tarmac in San Juan there were very large lizards running around in the nearby grass. It was neat to see the lizards in their natural habitat.

We arrived at the San Juan airport a bit late, so I was worried about making our connecting flight, and then worried about our luggage making the connecting flight. No worries, mon. Everything worked out!

We rented a jeep at the St. Thomas airport and drove to the dock at Red Hook to take a barge to St. John. It is quite a different driving experience – they drive on the opposite side of the road here – but the vehicles are still left-hand drive. I am so grateful that my husband is doing the driving, it is very disconcerting to see cars turning from what seems like the wrong place. A few times my heart dropped when I looked up from the map and saw cars in the “wrong” lane.

St. Thomas is a very crowded and touristy area. There were a lot of cruise ships docked there. I am glad that we chose to stay on St. John – after all there is a National Park here.
We arrived at the Red Hook dock where we drove the jeep up onto a barge that transported us to St. John. There were small semi-trucks and even a Fed-Ex van on the barge. I don’t think there is an airport on St. John, so I guess if you want freight to get here, the barge is the way to go.

We got to the dock and called the proprietor of the Hillcrest Guest House. She met us at the dock and led us back to our room. What great service and a terrific room! There are two different kinds of complimentary ice creams in the freezer, a basket full of muffins and various fruits, bacon and eggs and all kinds of other complimentary goodies. There is a DVD player and a selection of DVDs and books for guests.
All of the guidebooks will tell you that there is not much of a nightlife on St. John. In fact one says – Nightlife? Bring a book!

We walked down to a restaurant called “The Lime Inn for dinner. We shared a Caesar salad and an entree of blackened wahoo. I really enjoyed the meal. It was the first time either of us had eaten wahoo. I will definitely get it again. It was a thick and meaty whitefish with a good flavor. The service was great and so was the outdoor atmosphere. If you happen to come to St. John, give it a try.

I am looking forward to the rest of our time in St. John.

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