Still My Other ‘Happy’ Place – St. John 10.26.19 – 11.2.19

Several months ago my husband and I traveled to Key West for our 3rd time in one year. I couldn’t believe that we were now going back to my other happy place – St. John. I love both places, and both are so different in certain ways – but St. John always holds a special place in my heart.

I had to think about it for a bit to figure it out, but realized that this was going to be our 15th time to St. John since 2003 when my husband and I first visited the island.

My husband and I at Caneel Bay Resort on St. John back in 2003

This would be two years since Hurricane Irma and I was curious to see how the island was doing since our last visit a year ago. The villa that I had been eyeing for several years was finally available the same time I was planning our trip so I was very excited to experience a new villa in a different part of the island that we had never stayed in. In addition, my husband and I were traveling with friends of ours that had never been to the U.S. Virgin Islands, so we were very eager to show them such a beautiful island like St. John.

Saturday, October 26th – Arrival Day

I made sure the alarms were set and ready to go for our car service pick up at 5:45am. Since we were sharing the car with our friends, it made the drive to the airport seem to go by pretty quick. Once we arrived at the United Airlines terminal in Newark Airport, we could not get over how crowded it was. People were just standing around and not moving… We were finally able to figure out which line was for TSA pre, which my husband and I are, since registering last year for it. (I highly recommend it, if you travel at least a couple times a year.) After we went through security we had to wait for our friends to get through the regular lines. Eventually they made let through as well and then we walked down to the gate to wait for our flight. I couldn’t get over that it was such a beautiful morning. Lately when we had been flying, there was usually some sort of storm system that was affecting our flights. We checked the status and saw that our flight was on time, but then they made the announcement that our gate changed. It wasn’t a huge deal since it was a few gates away. Eventually it was time to board our flight and soon we were on our way. The flight was about 3 and 1/2 hours directly to St. Thomas.

It felt like an eternity to finally see the islands appear in the water, but once they did, I couldn’t believe how excited I was to seem the again. 

Once we landed and walked outside the plane, I could feel the hot sun beating down and it felt great. We walked in to the airport and did the mandatory welcome Cruzan Rum shots and welcomed our friends to the Virgin Islands. 

We all had carry on so we didn’t have to wait for any luggage. We exited the airport to get a taxi to Red Hook to catch the ferry to St. John. There were so many people waiting, but we were directed into a taxi that was nearly at maximum capacity, but the taxi driver insisted there was room for the 4 of us. So we wound up squeezing in the remaining spaces (barely). We had to first drop off a couple of people at the newly renovated Margaritaville Resort. It looked very well landscaped and reminded me a little of the Westin on St. John. I started talking to the couple seated behind me, and they said that they were staying at the Ritz. It was nearing 2:00pm so I figured we would most likely get the 3:00pm ferry since the next stop was the Ritz, however to my surprise the next stop was Red Hook. I couldn’t believe that we were going to make the 2:00pm ferry (which we never had before). I made sure I texted the villa manager who was meeting us at the ferry dock to let her know we would be arriving soon.

We were one of the last ones to get on the ferry but were able to find a couple of seats up top in the sun. The weather was just perfect and the anticipation of getting back to St. John was growing. After about 20 minutes or so we slowly pulled into Cruz Bay. 

We had to wait a while to get our luggage since there were so many people on the ferry. Once we gathered all our belongings we met up with the villa manager. She walked us over to her vehicle where she drove us to Bougainvillea Leasing to get our jeep rental. After all the paperwork was filled out, we were given the keys and we all hopped into the jeep. My husband has been driving every time we come to St. John so he had no problems following the villa manager up the steep roads to the Virgin Grand Estates to our home for the week, Arc Du Soleil. 

I saw the photos of the villa online and was apprehensive about the open air concept. As soon as we walked in to the villa I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and the views of St. Thomas. It was incredible. 

The villa manager showed us around, including the two fully air conditioned bedrooms. My husband and I choose the master suite, while our friends had the other bedroom. Both were similar in size, but our bathroom was larger. There was a 3rd bedroom on the lower lever as well. I sent a few packages ahead and they were waiting for us at the villa, along with provisions from Starfish Market (which I highly recommend). 

Once the villa manager left we all unpacked our things and changed into our swim gear. It was so much fun to get in to the pool and take in the views. 

After watching the sunset we all freshened up and headed to town for dinner. 

We decided to go to High Tide and were able to get a table even though they were pretty busy. 

Of course I had to order a rum punch which tasted quite good. I don’t remember exactly what everyone had, but everyone was satisfied with their dinner. I opted for the seared tuna which was very good.

We were all feeling the travel day so went back to the villa and turned in for the night. 

Sunday, October 27th – Trunk Bay, Tap Room, Greengos, Cruz Bay Landing

I didn’t have the blinds closed all the way so the sun woke me up early that morning. I didn’t mind since it was our first full day on the island. I was also surprised that I didn’t wake up with many bites. I normally get bitten up a lot while on St. John, however so far I was pretty good. I did notice they had the electronic bug swatters, so that made me nervous, but all and all we never had a problem like we did one time years ago while staying at Island Stones in Catherinsberg area off of John Head Road. 

I freshened up and made a large pot of coffee for everyone. Everyone eventually woke up and we discussed where we would go for the first beach of the trip. While I was cooking breakfast I thought that Trunk Bay would be perfect since it is the most iconic beach of St. John. After breakfast we packed up all our things and made our way to town towards the North Shore beaches. 

Along the way we stopped at the Caneel Bay overlook to show our friends the view. We told them how we used to stay there several times when we first came to St. John before staying at a villa. They couldn’t believe the damage to the resort and it was still difficult to see how nothing has been done to it – just left in ruin.

The next stop was the Trunk Bay overlook. Everyone took a few moments to take a bunch of pictures. I don’t know how many times I have taken pictures of the overlook, but it never gets old. Compared to last year, the green definitely seemed more abundant. 

As we were standing at the overlook, I mentioned to our friends about the St. John “smell”. They both agreed that it did have a skunky smell in the air. 

We hopped back in the jeep and my husband drove us to Trunk Bay. There were only a couple vehicles parked so we were able to find a parking spot quite easily. We grabbed all our gear and headed to the beach after paying the admission fee. We walked onto the beach and found a perfect spot to relax for a while. I noticed that we were practically the only ones on the beach. I couldn’t believe how empty it was. It was nice to show our friends such a beautiful place without being crowded. 

We spent hours swimming and talking. It was a beautiful to be spent on Trunk Bay.

After a few hours we wanted to go back to town to catch part of the Giants game. We wound up pulling into Mongoose Junction and going in to the Tap Room for a cold drink. 

Our next stop that we wanted to show our friends was Greengos. We walked in and I was thinking – wow everyone else has the same idea, watch football there since they have a bunch of large screen tvs that line the walls. Once we were able to find a couple of seats we ordered a couple drinks and looked over the menu. I remembered last year their mango glazed shrimp appetizer was very good – so we ordered a couple of them. And exactly like last year they were delicious. https://tinyurl.com/y2qew452

We were able to watch more of the Giants game, so once they tied we made our move to go back to the villa for the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the pool and views. 

Unfortunately we had issues with the satellite dish and the tv so we were unable to watch the end of the game, which in hind sight it didn’t matter since the Giants wound up losing (again). 

We waited to watch the sunset again and hoped for a good one. It started off promising, but then the sun eventually disappeared in to the clouds. 

After everyone was freshened up, my husband drove the jeep back to Cruz Bay. We parked at Slim Man’s Parking Lot and walked over to Cruz Bay Landing for dinner. The bar was available so we sat down and ordered something to drink. I decided to go with the rum punch again. I was going to order the fish tacos, which I had there before, but they had a grouper special so I decided to go with that. I am glad I did because it was delicious. 
https://tinyurl.com/y2u6365y

Everyone else enjoyed what they ordered. There was even some live music which made it a festive evening.

We were all stuffed and thought it would be a good idea to walk on over to Drink for an after dinner beverage. We grabbed a couple of drinks but it was crowded so we didn’t stay long.

We walked back to pick up our jeep and my husband drove us back to the villa. I didn’t want to stay up late since we were going over to Jost Van Dyke in the morning so I headed to bed for a good night sleep.

Monday, October 27th – Day on Jost Van Dyke

Originally I had planned on taking the ferry over to Jost Van Dyke on Sunday, but later found out that since the customs office isn’t open on St. John, once you leave Jost, they take you over to Red Hook in St. Thomas and then you have to take the regular ferry back to St. John. I didn’t want to do that, so I wound up reaching out to Second Chance Charters, beachchartersvi.com. Michelle immediately got back to me and luckily we were able to book the day sail with her and her husband John whom we went out with last year and had a great time. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147404-d13662372-r724437359-Beach_Charters_VI-St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

We woke up to another beautiful morning. I made a pot of coffee so everyone could have a cup before driving in to town. We grabbed our towels and passports and made our way back to Cruz Bay. Along the way we saw a beautiful rainbow. 

We looked for a parking space near the customs building, but with all the construction going on, there was no chance for us to find a spot since so many are no longer available.

We wound up parking at Slim Man’s for $30 for the day which wasn’t too bad. Then we walked over to have breakfast at Cruz Bay Landing. I wound up going with their standard 2 egg breakfast and my husband had the huervos rancheros. Our one friend ordered the tofu egg scramble and she said they were delicious and they actually looked like real eggs and our other friend had an egg sandwich. 

With our stomachs fueled up for the long day we walked over to the National Park Dock where we could see the Second Chance catamaran waiting for us. I gave Michelle a wave and they steered the cat close to the dock so we could all get on. 

We said hello to John as well and introduced them to our friends. They asked us if wanted to do any snorkeling but all felt like just going over to Jost for the day – so that’s what we did.

We set sail and it was gorgeous. The weather was perfect. It is always so nice to see all the surrounding islands out on the water on the way to Jost.

We made it to Great Harbour for customs, which is now up to $75 a person which I find quite expensive. John and Michelle used their dinghy so we could get to the dock. Once we got the okay we walked down towards Foxy’s.

There were only a few people walking around but did notice that there were more people by Foxy’s. We walked over and it was open. The bartender told us though that Foxy wasn’t there which I was a bit bummed because I wanted our friends to meet him. 

We all ordered a drink and hung out for a bit. I checked out the gift shop, but didn’t see anything that caught my eye. 

Once we were all ready we took the dinghy back to the catamaran. 

From there we sailed over to White Bay, which is always such a sight to see. The color of the water always gets me. It is just so beautiful. John and Michelle told us to have a great time and be back by 2:30pm. We thanked them and jumped off the cat and swam to the beach. I grabbed a swim noodle to make it easier. I usually don’t have a problem getting to the beach, it is the return swim I have problems, may be because of the painkillers?

Once we got to the beach, I found an empty table while my husband walked over to order us a round of painkillers. I did notice an unfamiliar face behind the bar. Unfortunately Leon Miller wasn’t working that day so we couldn’t get to see him. 

We still had a great time relaxing and taking turns going in to the water and enjoying the sun and beach. More people arrived as the day went on, but it wasn’t too crowded – most likely because it was a Monday instead of a Saturday when we normally would go.

It wasn’t 2:30pm yet, but I noticed dark clouds were coming so I mentioned to everyone that I was going to swim back to the boat because I didn’t want to get caught in the rain. My husband and our friends wanted to check out the One Love Bar before getting back to the cat, so I told them I would wait for them on the boat. I wound up talking to John and Michelle while I waited for everyone to return.

Eventually they did, but my husband and our one friend looked quite happy. Maybe too happy. Thankfully they were able to swim back and get back onto the cat.

We sailed back to Cruz Bay and settled up the payment before getting off the catamaran. We thanked John and Michelle and told them we would see them hopefully again.

We walked back to pick up our jeep and drove down to Margarita Phil’s to get our usual to-go order. When we drove by, we noticed Margarita Phil’s wasn’t open so we decided to go back to Greengos for our to-go order. We parked the jeep and our one friend wasn’t feeling too well. He was mentioning that he think he had a bad shot of alcohol at One Love. His wife wound up staying with him by the jeep while we went to grab dinner. Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long and we got our food order.

We drove back to the villa and our friend still wasn’t doing well. Once we got out of the jeep he had to go lay down for a while. Then my husband started not feeling well either. He also did a shot at the bar. I am not sure if it was a coincidence or not, but I didn’t have any and felt fine. It was still odd that they both wound up getting a similar reaction.

My husband was eventually feeling better to eat and the food was really good from Greengos. I wound up having the cheese enchiladas. After dinner we cleaned up and called it a night.

Tuesday, October 28th – Villa Gravity Day and Lobster Night at Morgan’s Mango

We woke up to another picture perfect day. I did the usual routine of making a pot of coffee. Everyone was feeling a bit sluggish from the day before so I mentioned to my husband about having a villa gravity and hang out the villa. He agreed and no one else seemed to mind – especially with the pool and the views the villa had it was hard to pull away from it each day.

We spent a good portion of the day relaxing in the pool and talking about the day before at Jost. No one could figure out if it was perhaps bad alcohol or what from that one bar but it was a strange. 

Everyone wound up rallying and we all freshened up and made our way down Centerline Road back to town. We parked the jeep at the usual spot and walked to Woody’s. https://tinyurl.com/yxe52qv7

We ordered a couple drinks and sat outside for a few. Then we made our way to Longboard for another cold beverage. 

I was getting hungry and their food looked very good, but I had made reservations at Morgan’s Mango for lobster night so wanted to be sure not to ruin my appetite.

We left Longboard and walked back down towards Mongoose Junction and walked up the stairs into Morgan’s Mango. The reservation was for 5:30 and it was already crowded. Thankfully I made reservations. We were seated at a nice table near the balcony’s edge. 

We all of course ordered the lobster special. My husband actually ordered a pound and a half. I just stuck to the one pound which was more then enough for me, plus I started off an order of their snapper ceviche. The lobster was so fresh and delicious. Everything was tasty as usual. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147410-d1046366-r724112116-Morgan_s_Mango_Restaurant-Cruz_Bay_St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

We walked back to our jeep and my husband drove us once again to the villa. It wasn’t too late so we all stayed up for a bit and enjoyed the night views.

We were also joking about the other night when I tried putting on flip flops that I thought were on a rug. It wound up being a running joke throughout our vacation. There was this rug with three pairs of flip flops on it. At night, the yellow colored flip flops were hard to see and the purple ones would stand out. So at first it actually looked like a real pair of flip flops on a rug. 

It was a fun evening hanging out. We all eventually got some sleep.

Wednesday, October 30th – Francis Bay, Beautiful Sunset at the Villa

Again it was another beautiful morning. I kept thinking to myself – can it be this nice for this long? 

I wasn’t really hungry from all the food the night before so I was content with a couple cups of coffee while everyone else got ready for the day.

The next beach we decided to take our friends was Francis. We thought it would be a nice beach to relax and snorkel. Once again we packed up the jeep and were on our way to Francis Bay. Along the way we stopped at the Maho Bay overlook so our friends could see the view. 

Ironically we were talking about how we hadn’t seen any donkeys as of yet and sure enough as we got closer to Francis we saw a pair.

We were able to find a parking spot at Francis even though it was already filled with a bunch of jeeps. We grabbed our things and found a nice spot to hang out for the morning. The water was beautiful and calm. 

It was the perfect opportunity to snorkel. We all took turns snorkeling. There were a lot of fish that I saw especially to the left when you face Francis near the rocks. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get to see any turtles this time, but it was gorgeous just to see all the fish. 

After a couple of hourso, we were all getting hungry so it was time to pack up our things and drive back to town. We parked our jeep once again at Slim Man’s and walked over to High Tide. 

We sat at the bar and ordered up a round of drinks and much needed food. I decided to have the caesar salad with grilled mahi. It definitely hit the spot. 

While we were sitting there we ran into a friend from our last trip – Brenda! It was great to see her again. She mentioned to us that herself along with fellow forumites (from Virgin-Islands-Online.com) were all going to meet up at Maho on Thursday so we told her we would meet up with her then. 

On the way back to the villa, we decided to grab some things to grill later on that night and stay in for the evening. We stopped at the Starfish Market and bought some fresh red snapper and a few other items. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming in the pool and watching the sun set. It was the perfect night to stay at the villa, because we all witnessed a beautiful sunset. 

After the sunset, my husband grilled up the red snapper, while our friends prepared some sides. 

After a nice dinner at the villa we all retired to bed for the evening.

Thursday, October 31st – Gibney Beach on Halloween

We woke up to another wonderful morning. The sun was shining once again. I was feeling a bit hungry so I decided to cook up some bacon and an egg frittata for everyone to enjoy. It was a nice start to the day. 

During breakfast we thought again where to go. I was thinking maybe Cinnamon for the day. Once we were all done with breakfast and ready to go, we took the jeep back towards the North Shore beaches. While my husband was driving, we were thinking that if Gibney wasn’t crowded maybe we should give that beach a try since we had not been there since before Hurricane Irma. 

As we neared the entrance to Gibney, we realized there was no one parked there. I couldn’t believe, especially since we were a bit later in the morning. 

My husband parked the jeep and we made our way down the road to the beach. We walked along the beach and noticed that now you can easily see the Gibney Beach Cottages since the hurricane took down a lot of the trees and plants. We found a perfect spot on the beach and all immediately went in the water. It was a bit wavy but a lot of fun. The sand was so soft and the water was so clear.

We spent most of the time just hanging out in the water. Our one friend tried snorkeling for a little bit but she said there wasn’t really much to see. It was still a lot of fun enjoying the water. 

Everyone had their fill of being out in the sun for a while so we decided to get back to the villa and relax by the pool for a bit. It was always nice to be able to go back and enjoy the pool. Last year we rented a villa without a pool and missed not having one immensely. It did have a hot tub, but it wasn’t the same thing.

Once again we watched a beautiful sunset while everyone was getting ready to go out to dinner. 

Our one friend knew the owners of the Lime Inn who used to have a restaurant in Long Valley, NJ called Chesapeake Bay, so she wanted to check out the place.

After we were all freshened up we went back to town and parked in the usual place. It really was the only option this time to park. Even the parking in front of Bougainvillea Leasing (where we rented the jeep from). 

Since it was Halloween we did notice a lot of people dressed up walking around which is always fun to see. 

We walked along the road in to the Lime Inn. We grabbed a few seats at the bar and ordered something to drink. While we were looking over the menu, our friend was talking to the bartender about the owners. It turned out they were not around but she was able to leave a message for them. 

The menu looked good, but nothing really jumped out at us. So we decided to make a move and try somewhere else for dinner. We wound up going to La Tapa. We didn’t have reservations but they were able to accommodate us by seating us at a table along the road (which I always find entertaining). 

We ordered a bottle of red wine to share and a bunch of items off the tapas menu. Everything was delicious as I remembered from previous trips. I was glad that we wound up going there to dinner since everyone had such a nice dining experience. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147410-d4456608-r724108458-La_Tapa-Cruz_Bay_St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

After a nice dinner we headed back to the villa for the night.

Friday, November 1st – Last Full Day

How did the time go by so fast and it was our last day? I guess as they say ‘All good things must come to an end.’

We woke up to which I thought would be another beautiful day, however while I was enjoying a cup of coffee, we noticed rain above St. Thomas. Eventually the rain did make it to our villa. Surprisingly even though it is open air, there is enough coverage that we were able to stay dry. 

I knew that we were supposed to go to Maho that day, but with the weather being a bit iffy – no one was really up for going so we decided to wait out the rain at the villa.

While waiting out the weather, we wound up taking the opportunity to pack up our things since we were leaving the next day. It did eventually clear up a bit so we could enjoy the pool once again. 

We had snorkel gear that I wanted to ship back home like we did last year through Connections. My husband suggested that we could go back to town, get that taken care of and have lunch. So we hopped back in the jeep and went back to town. 

My husband dropped me off and I grabbed our snorkel gear. I saved the box that I initially shipped the snorkel gear in, so it made the process of mailing it back pretty easy. It took a few minutes to get all the paperwork filled out, but once that was done we walked down to Mongoose Junction.

I wanted to check out the 18/64 Restaurant that is now located in the old Ocean Grill location. We wound up sitting at the bar and enjoyed a nice lunch. I decided to try the shrimp cocktail and they were fresh and delicious. I remembered that the restaurant is the sister restaurant to Extra Virgin so I didn’t think their food would be disappointing. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147409-d17700955-r724114105-1864_The_Restaurant-St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

After lunch my husband drove us back to the villa where we could enjoy our last afternoon at Arc Du Soleil. 

We were able to witness another gorgeous sunset. Earlier that day I called the Terrace Restaurant for reservations. Unfortunately the only thing they had available was a table inside at the time we wanted, but figured since we already have seen such spectacular sunsets at the villa, we wouldn’t be missing too much.

In addition during our stay, we had a couple of neighborhood cats stop by. Being that my husband loves helping animals (especially cats in particular) we stopped at Starfish Market to get food for them. At first we thought it was just one black cat, but then realized there were two that would come by throughout the day.

We witnessed once again another spectacular sunset at the villa.

We all freshened up and got ready for dinner for our 6:30 reservations. By the time we got to town, we still had some time before our reservation so we stopped by Drink for a pre dinner cocktail. The place was hopping again, but found a couple of seats at a table. I noticed that they got rid of the couches that they used to have, which I liked – but the tables and chairs did seem more practical.

Soon it was time to walk over to the Terrace Restaurant which is right next door. 

It was busy probably since it was a Friday night. We were seated inside – not the best table but it was okay. The server came over and told us about the specials for the evening. 

For dinner I went with the mahi mahi, our one friend went with the wahoo and the boys ordered the filet mignon. As a started I ordered the oysters rockefeller. The food was delicious as it was last year when we dined there. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147410-d3599329-r724401819-The_Terrace_Restaurant-Cruz_Bay_St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

When we were done with our dinner we wound up walking along Cruz Bay Beach before grabbing our jeep. It was a nice evening, but knowing it was our last it did make me feel a bit down.

We made it back to the villa and enjoyed the night views before getting some sleep for our long travel day the next day.

Saturday, November 2nd – Going Back Home 😦

My husband woke up first as he normally does on travel day since he can’t sleep in. We didn’t have to leave the villa until 9am so I tried to sleep in a little extra, but once he was up I couldn’t fall back to sleep. 

We took the time to clean out the refrigerator and make sure everything was the way it was when we first arrived. The villa had some guidelines for check out – such as leave all towels on the floor in the laundry room and leave the bedding on the beds, so we made sure we followed them as well.

Of course it was a gorgeous morning, which it always seems to be the day we leave. Once everything was cleaned and packed up we said our good-byes to Arc Du Soleil and made our way back to town.

My husband dropped us off near Cruz Bay Landing so we grabbed a table while he dropped off the rental. We noticed that everyone else had the same idea because of all the luggage lined up along the side of the restaurant.

We ordered breakfast while talking about what a great time we had. I decided to go with the smoked salmon eggs benedict which were delicious.

After breakfast we walked down to the “Creek” to catch the ferry that goes to the Crown Marina on St. Thomas. We wanted to take that ferry instead of the ferry to Red Hook to avoid the long taxi ride on St. Thomas.

We had to ask someone where the “Creek” was, but turned out it is the same location where we used to pick up the ferry to Jost Van Dyke before the National Park Dock. We walked through the gated area and were told to leave our luggage near the ferry.

The ferry was scheduled to leave at 11:00am. The person operating the ferry was very nice and told us that the ride would be about 30-35 minutes. Then it was time to board the ferry. We found a couple of seats in the shade. 

Soon we pulled away from Cruz Bay and St. John was left in the background. It is always so sad to see St. John “disappear”, but hopefully (fingers crossed) we’ll be back once again.

The views from the ferry were beautiful – after about 30 minutes we arrived at the Crown Bay Marina. We had the option to hang out at the Tickles Dockside Bar, but we figured it would be best to get to the airport.

Once again we were stuffed like sardines in a large taxi van, but thankfully the ride to the airport was only about 5-10 minutes vs. the 30+ minutes from Red Hook.

We arrived at the airport and decided to hang out at the outside bar/restaurant before going in through the terminal to the gate, since it was less crowded. A flight just arrived so the outside area was jam packed with people arriving which I always makes me so jealous – even though that was us one week ago. While we were waiting we got an alert that our 2:20pm flight was delayed until 3:10 due to it being delayed in Newark airport – great I though. At least we were not stuck in the terminal at that point so we were able to hang out a little longer.

Then came the time to go through customs, so we were grabbed all of our belongings and made it to customs. I couldn’t believe it was empty, so it didn’t take much time to get through. Plus the fact you don’t have to fill out a form anymore makes it a lot easier.

Once through customs we went through the TSA Pre line while our friends went through the longer regular line. While in line, we noticed a couple people behind us had pet carriers. It turned out they were doing the “Pets with Wings” – where you transport a shelter animal to the states for adoption. We thought about doing it but never followed through and regretted it after seeing them.

Then the couple had to take the two puppies out of the carriers to go through security. They were soooo cute. It turned out they were also going to be on our flight. They said it was very easy to do and that they would meet someone in Newark Airport to pick up the puppies. My husband and I agreed that we must do it next time.

We made it through security and as usual the terminal was packed. Unfortunately the duty free shop was no longer so we couldn’t get anything to bring home. However the restaurant/bar was back open so we found a couple seats in there. While sitting there, we saw another young lady with a pet carrier. She had a large black cat she was taking all the way to the west coast. She was also doing the Pets with Wings. We noticed even more people with pet carriers. It was great to see so many people participating in a great cause.

Eventually our plane arrived from Newark so we were able to board our flight. There were issues with one of the lavatories so we were delayed even more before take off. Finally we took off and the flight was uneventful. 

Once we landed we met up with the car service to take us home. 

We left the villa at 9am that morning and didn’t get home until 9pm. It was a long travel day, but I would do it again to go back to my “other happy place”.

I find that St. John is one of the most beautiful places with amazing beaches that seem to get more and more beautiful each and every time we visit the island. It is so great to see how much the island has rebounded after such a devastating hurricane just over 2 years ago. It was also wonderful to see our friends fall in love with the island as well. I have such great appreciation to have been able to visit this island so many times. Hopefully there will be more….

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog…. until next time! 

One thought on “Still My Other ‘Happy’ Place – St. John 10.26.19 – 11.2.19

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