WILLIAM MANN PHOTOGRAPHY | Island Hopping Part 6 - An Evening in St. John

Island Hopping Part 6 - An Evening in St. John

June 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

On the last full day of our trip, we lazed around a bit and headed out for one final adventure: back to St. John.  A (free) resort shuttle brought us to the ferry dock in Red Hook, where we quickly got tickets and got in line for the ferry that runs on the hour from 5:30 am until midnight.  The trip takes about 20 minutes and we enjoyed sitting on the top deck and getting some sun and sea spray.  We spent the afternoon exploring Cruz Bay, the main town on the island.  It took much less time than we expected to walk the main strip so we headed over to the Tap Room of St. John Brewers to hang out for a bit.  We had heard of the Tap Room on our favorite local news magazine show, Chronicle, and learned that the founders of St. John Brewers were New England natives.  While the founders were not there that day and we wound up ordering cocktails instead of beers, we had a great time enjoying the Tap Room and playing trivial pursuit until it was time to head out.

Soon after we decided to go on this Island Hopping vacation, The Mann made reservations at another *bucket list destination*: ZoZo's at Caneel Bay.  I had seen the Sugar Mill ruins in which the restaurant is housed in a magazine years and years ago and it has been a dream destination ever since.  Real life did not disappoint.  We grabbed a Safari Taxi (a pickup truck that has been converted to have benches in the back) from Cruz Bay to Caneel Bay.  The Caneel Bay Resort is unreal... it is perfectly manicured, sprawling, features several beaches, rolling grounds and so much more.  It is also severely expensive and a little too posh for our taste, but beautiful to visit, especially the Sugar Mill ruins.  We walked around and waited for the restaurant to open.  In order to secure the perfect sunset view table, you must book an early reservation, so at 5:30 we we seated at one of the perimeter tables overlooking the ocean, ruins and surrounding hills.  It was breathtaking.  Between the view, the wine, the meal and the atmosphere this was one of the most magical experiences we've had in years.  At dusk, the ruins below lit up in twinkle lights, the sky turned colors and the wind rustled through the trees.  We feasted (grilled octopus, pork three ways, jumbo shrimp and a molten chocolate delight) chatted and basked in the beauty of the island.

After dinner, we strolled the property once more and hung out with the donkeys that have the run of the property and the island.  They are smaller than I imagined and very friendly.  They ate right out of my hand and had the softest lips.  I was enamored.  

And then I fell down a hill. 


Our magical vacation was over.  The next 24 hours were full of planes, trains boats and automobiles: a Safari Taxi back to the dock, a ferry back to St. Thomas, taxis back to the hotel and (the following morning) the airport, a plane to San Juan and then to Boston.  Perhaps St. John is so amazing because it is a quite journey to get there and back!  But we'd definitely do it again.  (A word of advice: we were told when first arriving in St. Thomas to be back at the airport 3-4 hours before our flight home.  This seemed ridiculous since we were technically in the US, but we were glad that we followed instructions.  While the jetBlue check-in and security process was pretty smooth, the American Airlines queues were HUGE and probably required over an hour to clear.  So, patience is indeed a virtue for this portion of the trip.  The airport is tiny, the waiting area is overfull, the one restaurant is expensive and mediocre.  Don't show up late, hungry or cranky and you'll be fine.)

We started planning our return immediately, figuring out the most efficient way to get to St. John and Vieques.  I'm so torn between going back to these amazing islands and exploring the rest of the Caribbean.  Stay tuned to see where we end up next! 





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