St. Croix, USVI 2016


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In May, we went back to the Virgin Islands - this time to St. Croix.  Susan and I had been to St. Croix previously back in 2008.  On that trip, we were there just a few days.  This time we spent an entire week on the island so we got a chance to see pretty much everything.  I spent the previous week in Las Vegas for a conference, so I met Susan and the kids in Atlanta for the 4 hour flight down to the islands. The kids did OK on the flight down thanks to iPads and coloring books.

Our first stop was the Gentle Winds Condominiums.  We stayed here in 2008 and found it conveniently located so decided to stay there again.  First order of business for the kids was to test out the pool!  

After swimming, we headed into Christiansted for dinner at Rum Runners.  This is a popular spot in Christiansted and a favorite from our last trip.  Dinner included Conch Fritters, Manchego Crusted Scallops, and Chocolate Truffle Cake for dessert.  But the highlight of dinner, at least for the kids, were the live lobsters.

That wrapped up the first of 7 days on St. Croix.  We were off to a great start!


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We spent most of Sunday morning at the pool before heading out to Cane Bay for lunch at “Eat @ Cane Bay”.  For lunch, it was fish tacos, chicken tacos, and mac n’ cheese.  The fish tacos were fantastic! 

After lunch we hung around Cane Bay, which is a great beach for snorkeling, swimming, and just hanging out.  We spent a few hours here before heading to the local grocery to buy provisions for the week.  For dinner, we ate sandwiches and chips at the condo and got in a little more time at the pool to wrap up the day. Check out the pics!


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The first stop of the day was Columbus Landing. The beach was the site of a native village in the 1400’s and Christopher Columbus stopped here in 1493 on his second trip to the America’s. The beach is neglected and not kept up - so we came, saw, and left.

Our next stop was Point Udall, the easternmost point in the United States and territories. We snapped a few pics here and then headed for the beaches.

Jack and Isaac’s Bays are home to two of the better beaches on St. Croix. To get there, there’s a scenic 15 minute hike. The beaches are well worth the hike. We spent a few hours on the beach here before heading back to prepare for dinner.

On Mondays, the Palms at Pelican Cove has “Caribbean Night”, which includes a Caribbean-style BBQ buffet and performances from Moku Jumbies and other acts. The show was a hit with the kids and Susan and I enjoyed it as well.


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On Tuesday, we chartered some time with Lighthearted Sailing. It was Colt and Sadie’s first sailing experience. Colt was a little worried with my sailing skills - he asked if I knew where the brakes were when I took the helm.

We sailed the most of the day, had a light lunch onboard and did a little snorkeling. I ran into a spotted eagle ray while snorkeling but didn’t see much else. A lot of the coral off the island was in pretty bad shape with few fish. That is unfortunately common lately.

After our sailing trip, we capped off the day with some pool time and pizza back at the condo.  What an awesome day it was!


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On Wednesday, we headed over to the west side of the island and visited Fort Frederik, an 18th century Danish fort.  From there, we visited Rainbow Beach and had lunch at Rhythms, a popular spot on the beach.  The restaurant sits on the beach.  The location is great but the food was average at best.  Our final stop was Sandcast Beach.  We stayed here for an hour or so before heading out for horseback riding.

On the way, we stopped by the Mt. Pellier Domino Club to buy a beer for the resident pigs.  You can buy a (non-alcoholic) beer and hand feed it to the pigs.  They’ll gulp it down and spit out the can - this was a lot of fun, especially for Colt and Sadie.  From there, it was on to horseback riding with Equus.  Our ride was unfortunately cancelled on the spot - they forgot to bring the donkey along for Sadie to ride and abruptly cancelled the ride.  We rescheduled for the next morning.  Sadie was really excited to ride - otherwise I would have pushed for a refund.

After the horseback riding was cancelled, we headed back to the condo and spent the last couple hours of the day at the pool and ate sandwiches at the condo.

That evening, Colt and I joined Bush Tribe Adventures for a kayak over to the Bioluminescent Bay.  The bioluminescence is caused by tiny micro-organisms in the water that light up when disturbed, causing the water to “glow” around you as you move and swim through it. It’s difficult to explain accurately but very, very cool to experience!  There are only 17 active bioluminescent bays in the world.  I've seen two now with Vieqes, Puerto Rico being the other. Colt had a blast and ended up winning a few prizes from Bush Tribe, who was a fantastic guide for us.


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On Thursday, we ferried over to Protestant Cay (pronounced ‘key’) to hang out at the beach and do some snorkeling. The snorkeling was incredible here! We saw starfishes, flounder, lobster, turtles, and lots of other fish. The beach was very nice with calm, tranquil water. If we are back in St. Croix any time soon, this is likely where we will stay next time.

After lunch, we went on our rescheduled horseback riding trip. It was the highlight of Sadie’s trip - they saddled up a donkey named Eeyore for her. Colt, Susan, and I each rode horses. Colt had someone walking his horse for safety.

For dinner, we went to Angry Nate’s on the boardwalk in Christiansted. I had the special - Pasta with Prime Rib, Sausage, and Shrimp. It was delicious. The kids went with the spaghetti which was also very good.


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On Friday, we joined BlackBeard Adventures for their Buck Island Snorkel Excursion.  This was one of the highlights of our 2008 trip and something we definitely wanted to do again with the kids.  Turtle Beach on Buck Island is one of the world’s best.  

After the Buck Island trip, we had burgers at Shupes on the Boardwalk (yum!) before heading over to check out Fort Christensvaern.  After our exploring was complete, we headed back to the condo for some pool time.  We’d have our last dinner on the island at Rowdy Joe’s.  I had the fish tacos; Susan had the cubano sandwich.  Both were delicious.

Saturday was our final day on the island.  We about half a day to wrap things up.  We got a final dip in the pool before heading over to the Cruzan Rum Distillery and then maybe the best deli sandwich I’ve ever had at Turtle’s Deli.

All in all, another great Stabler vacation.  The weather was a bit more cloudy and overcast than usual, which was probably good for sunburn’s sake.  I think we’ve seen and done everything St. Croix has to offer now, so I’m not sure if we’ll be back, but if we’re close Buck Island will always be worth a stop.  

Our next family vacation will be back to the beaches of 30A.  Can’t Wait!

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