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Another Life, Somewhere in the Sun

August 10, 2012

Writers at heart, it only made sense that my new husband and I (that’s right, HUSBAND, ya know, I have one of those now!) would tell the story of our honeymoon. So on our last night in St. Thomas, we sat down together on the porch of our private villa overlooking Dorthea Bay, and wrote it all down in my journal. Some people would say we should have used all the alone time we could get rather than spend our time writing. However, it was in those moments that I really was able to reflect on the week. The wedding, the trip, it was all real. The whirlwind actually happened. And I was sitting there, staring at my husband. And I was consumed with more love and gratitude than I’d ever experienced in my life.

 

Tales of our St. Thomas Honeymoon, as told by my Husband and myself.

 

Our departure from St. Thomas was surely bittersweet, as we found a second home there on the Virgin Islands at Stone Cottage. In our own private paradise, we found the peace, relaxation, and might I add adventure we never knew we desperately needed to kick start our marriage.

 

Day One: When we arrived Sunday afternoon, Sherri’s smiling face was there to greet us warmly, offer us wonderful island wisdom, and guide us safely to our villa destination (and thank God she did! We never would have conquered the narrow roads alone!). Once we received our St. Thomas 101, we decided to venture out on our own to procure dinner from the highly recommended Hull Bay Hideaway. We were able to locate the small island bar with the assistance of Sherri’s hand-drawn, handy dandy North Shore map. The food was better than anticipated, and the highlight of the night was our first sampling of the Virgin Island Brewery Summer Ale. We took a post-supper saunter along the sand, dipped our toes in the quiet Atlantic, and began to make our way home. This trek would prove to be the first test in our marriage! One wrong turn landed us in the wrong neighborhood, in the wrong driveway, with a very angry Rottweiler anxiously awaiting a chance to attack these strangers. Thankfully, with prayerful minds and maps in hand, we made it back to Dorthea Estate unscathed. We vowed from then on we would only brave the roads of St. Thomas in daylight hours.

Day Two: We spent the morning in the company of Princess, the friendly neighborhood Chihuahua (AKA Welcome Wagon and Food Tester, extraordinaire). Matt and I were enjoying our bacon, eggs, and breathtaking view when along came this precious pup. One phone call to Sherri dashed all my dreams of claiming her as our own and carrying her home with us. With the promise of rain in the forecast, we decided to explore the shops at Charlotte Amalie. After, we came home with Hawaiian Pizza from Fat Turtle and enjoyed a midnight swim in our pool, moon aglow and accompanied by the sound of the Coqui frog’s lullaby.

Day Three: We awoke and prepared our cereal breakfast, only to find a disappointed Princess awaiting us at the door. Lucky for her, we had leftover pizza to share. Some may call her a mooch, but we found her to be quite to companion on an unfamiliar island. We threw on our swim suits and packed our beach bag…Magen’s Bay or bust! We found the perfect spot in the sand and proceeded to wade into the clearest blue water our toes have ever led us to. We enjoyed burgers at the bar, and eventually found our way back to the villa, sun-drunk and ready for a nap. We spent our night at Coco Blue, where we had the “Even Better Roll,” a delicious sushi creation with a shrimp tempura center, spicy tuna and boursin cheese topping. We caught a taxi so we could experience Red Hook nightlife without the added anxiety of navigating St. Thomas roads after dark. We topped off the night with half a dozen specialty drinks at the famed Duffy’s Love Shack. When we returned to the villa, we found ourselves indulging in another island delight, Cruzan mango Rum (or as my husband calls it, “The sweet nectar of youth). The rum soothed our sun saturated selves in preparation for the next day on the island.

Day Four: After quite the busy day previous, we chose to bask, poolside, in the glory of the Caribbean sun. Left-over pizza, more Cruzan Rum, and the Kingston music station on the stereo made it the perfect lounge day at the villa. We went to Thirteen, just down the street from the Villa, to enjoy some island fare for dinner. HOLY ISLAND GOODNESS! The food, the drinks, the view, the service, the atmosphere. It was all superb. The highlight of our meals was my chicken, wrapped in bacon, stuffed with crab and red pepper cream cheese. It was, essentially, a foodgasm, covered in crème, accompanied my home-whipped potatoes and sautéed green beans. If nothing else, I would return to the islands for this exceptional meal! My husband, however, most enjoyed the view: a UFC-esque fight between a small kitty and a massive iguana. With one whip of his fierce, spiny tail, the iguana successfully warned the little bitty kitty away.

Day 5: An island vacation wouldn’t be complete without a day trip to St. John. Friends, believe me when I say, it is more than worth the $6 ferry it takes to get there! Cruz bay welcomes visitors with white sand beaches, turquoise water, and island delicacies just a moments’ walk from the dock. We enjoyed lunch at Spyglass, where we experience Conch Fritters for the first time. A combination of freshly caught Conch and peppers were combined, fried to a crisp, and covered in an orange glaze. The waiter even showed us the very boat where his friend caught the Mahi used in my fish tacos. You can’t get much fresher than that, ya’ll!

We explored the ships at Mongoose Junction, then caught a taxi to Cinnamon Bay. When we stepped foot onto still ground, I could have dropped to my knees and kissed it (the cab driver was less than cautious on the sharp curves of the mountainous roads. Through dense tropical forest, we followed the gravel path. At the end, we found the most beautiful stretch of beach these blue eyes have ever come to behold. Bleached white sand, Caribbean coral, crystal water. In all my life, I’ve never experienced such a depth of gratitude for creation. For the next few hours, my husband and I indulged in what will surely be one of the most memorable moments of our marriage. In reflection, there’s a Kenny Chesney song that mentions, “Watching boats sail in and out of Cinnamon Bay.” Never again will we comment on Kenny’s songs of the Caribbean, for we’ve seen the places he sings of, and given the opportunity, we’d sing of them too.

We spent our final day on the island enjoying some relaxation and quality time at the villa. Friday evening we shared another dinner at Thirteen, accompanied by hand crafted cocktail concoctions by Mary, the bartender, including jalapeno infused vodka. A summer island storm arrived and was our soundtrack as we prepared for the day of travel ahead to return home.  

“Here’s a toast to you on the coast and the sailors out at sea
Drink your ales, hoist your sails
Ride the winds and think of me.”

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