Travel | St. John, USVI | Day 1

I am officially back from my surreal week in St. John! It was an amazing time that concluded with the most beautiful beach wedding ceremony and reception. Congratulations Caitlin & Mike!!!
As I was going through my journal reviewing the events of the past week, I came to the conclusion that there was no way I could fit my experience and photos into ONE post. Soooo I will be dividing my trip into 5 posts: one for each day!!! Here goes Day 1 …
On Tuesday, Charles and I caught an 8am flight from JFK to St. Thomas. This 4 hour non-stop flight went pretty smoothly aside from the fact that there were 3 babies on board (sporadic crying through out the trip). We ate trailmix and goldfish and watched the movie they were playing on the flight.
We arrived on the island of St. Thomas around 12pm. While at the airport waiting for our friends’ flight from DC to arrive, we took advantage of the “welcome shots” of rum that were offered to us upon arrival!!! I’m guessing when in Hawaii, you get leid… But when in the Caribbean, you get welcome shots!!! I prefer the latter…
Once our friends and bridal party arrived, we all hopped into a taxi and headed to the Red Hook Ferry stop which would then take us to St. John. For those who plan on traveling to St. John, the taxi from STT to the ferry costs $15 dollars per person and the ferry ride to St. John costs $5 per person plus and $2.50 per extra bag. If you have a book bag and carry-on luggage, the agent at the ferry will consider the carry-on an extra bag. Be prepared to pay $7.50 per person for the ferry.

^^^The view as we were waiting for the ferry to take us to St. John.

 Thomas & Ryan
 
Ryan & Lmya 
 

It was during this ferry ride that it finally sunk in that I was on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean Sea about to take part in an amazing week all while celebrating our friend’s upcoming nuptials… What was even more awesome was that the next couple of days were all planned out for us by the Bride and Groom. I didn’t have to do anything except come along for the ride :)

Our ferry docked in Cruz Bay and we tipped the ferrymen for handling our luggage. As we walked towards the secure dock entrance, we were once again welcomed with rum shots and beautiful scenery :)
 
Our Awesome Hostess & Host/ Bride & Groom/ Caitlin & Mike getting the shots ready for us.
 Cheers to Love on Island Time!
Our group parted ways once we got on the island from the dock. The majority of guests and family of the bridal party were staying at Lavender Hills hotel. Lavender Hills is great if you are traveling with a big group of people. Since it comes with a full kitchen, you are able to cook your own food. 
***Beware: Although Lavender Hills has awesome views, this hotel is situated on top of an outdoor cemetery… Poltergeist Anyone?***
Charles and I booked our room at the Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel located about 5 minutes walking from the ferry dock and on a busy street with restaurants and bars. This 6 room hotel was priced affordably and offered complimentary breakfast every morning, which was a great bonus. The room was “intimate” but it was clean and offered the bare necessities which was perfect since we planned on spending most of our time outdoors exploring the island. 
 The outside of Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel.

  
Our Room.

Once we checked into our room, the owner of the hotel surprised us with complimentary drinks at a restaurant across the street called “Lime Inn”. Since we had no where to be for a couple of hours, we decided to check the outdoor bar out.
 
 
We ordered a couple drinks at the bar and while speaking with the bartender learned that the best time to drink and eat in St. John were between 3-6pm when most of the restaurants have a Happy Hour special. This was a great bit of advice because we would soon learn that although St. John is in the Carribean, it is still a U.S. Virgin Island. This means that the island is still pretty expensive since it takes the US dollar and most of their goods are imported. Stick to the local beer and alcohol when drinking. One of our friends went the convenient store to get a pack of beer and a 24 pack of Miller Light was $38!!!! If we were still in the states, the same 24 pack of beer would have cost between $15-$20… But a local can of Schaefer beer was $1 each!!! Since the island does not have an open container law, we stopped by the convenience store around the way, purchased some local brews and took it to the Cruz Bay shore to watch the sun go down.
 
After hanging by the shore, we headed to the High Tide Restaurant, located in the Wharfside Landing area of Cruz Bay, to meet the bride and groom for drinks with their family. It was a perfect time to mingle and get to know everyone we would be spending time with for the next 4 days. In total, there were about 35 people who traveled to St. John to be present for Mike & Caitlin’s wedding and everyone seemed super cool. I also tried my first conch fritter here and it was Ah-mazing!!! 
   
 The Girls. I was obviously in dire need of a tan smh …
 
 The Boys.
High Tide is located on the shoreline of Cruz Bay so we decided to dip our toes in the water after eating and listening the sounds of Mikey P, a local one man band (We would end up seeing him everywhere throughout the week; he’s pretty popular at the bars for live entertainment) …  It was here that we found an interesting piece of carcass washed up to shore. We started debating on what it could be … Maybe a fisherman had thrown over these innards after skinning his fish or maybe this is what a sea turtle looks like when it dies and loses its shell …  Either way, we spent close to 20 minutes just looking at it, completely grossed out but at the same time, super curious. If you have a weak stomach, don’t look too hard at the picture below.
Anyone know what this could be?
We eventually called it a night … Around 9:30pm.  This seemed pretty early to end out first night in St. John but we were all exhausted from traveling and had a busy day planned the next day. Nighty Night.
Day 1: Click Here
Day 2: Click Here
Day 3: Click Here
Day 4: Click Here

Day 5: Click Here

xo,
Setarra