St. John 2015

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We decided to spend Thanksgiving Week in the Caribbean this year and took both Colt and Sadie to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Our trip would last 6 days, leaving bright and early Saturday morning and returning on Thanksgiving Day, just in time for some leftover turkey!

Day 1: Travel Day

With a 6:00am flight, we were in the air before sunrise, heading from Birmingham to Charlotte, and then on to St. Thomas.  The flight to Charlotte was great. Colt is a seasoned traveler at this point (he no longer even looks out the window on the plane) and Sadie did great on her first flight.  We had just enough time to eat breakfast in Charlotte before hopping on the connecting flight to St. Thomas.

Unfortunately we had some flight delays that resulted in us getting to St. Thomas about 4 hours later than expected, but we were able to salvage the evening.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Uncle Joe’s BBQ in Cruz Bay, then it was on to the eco-tents at Concordia for our vacation.

We did go through a lot of snacks, coloring books, and movies, but both Sadie and Colt were well-behaved and did fantastic on the trip down.  We debated about taking Sadie on this trip but in the end we made the right decision in bringing her along.

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DAY 2: Salt Pond Bay and Movie Night

We started our first full day on the island with a late breakfast at the resort’s Concordia Cafe.  After breakfast, we made the short 15 minute hike to Salt Pond Bay.  This was one of the few places on the island Susan and I have not been – despite the fact the eco-tents overlook this awesome beach.

We spent the afternoon on the beach, playing in the sand and doing a little snorkeling. We made the hike back to the resort just in time to enjoy the sun setting over the bay.

Sunday night at the resort is Pizza and Movie night.  So took advantage of the free entertainment and watched the old classic, E.T.  It was a good opening day on the islands.

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Day 3: Francis Bay

We started out our 3rd day on the island with breakfast at Chateau Bordeaux, which had a great overlook of Coral Bay.  The food was great - french toast stuffed with mango, cream cheese, and pineapple.  Good stuff!  After breakfast it was off to the beaches.  We spent most of the day at Francis Bay.  This is one of the more secluded beaches on the island and probably my new favorite.  No crowds, clear, tranquil waters and great snorkeling - it's tough to beat and great for families.

We spent the majority of the day at Francis, but made the short drive over to Cinnamon Bay late in the afternoon.  Unforunately the red flags were flying because of rough water - first time we've seen this on any of our trips to the Caribbean.  We cut our stay there short and headed to Skinny Legs for burgers to cap off the day.

Overall a great day of beach fun and the kids were WORN OUT.  Breakfast was great but the burgers at Skinny Legs were terrible.  Very disappointing experience there.  Hard to make a bad burger but they managed to do it three times! 

Highlight of the day for sure was Francis Beach.  Great snorkeling - check out the picture of the barracuda we saw!  

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Day 4: Maho Bay

Our 4th day on St. John was one of those I could live over and over again.  It was just an awesome day.

We kicked it off with an early lunch at Pickles, a small deli located close to our eco-tent.  They have pretty good sandwiches, breakfast items, etc.  Not off the charts good but very clean and a good lunch spot.
After lunch, we spent the afternoon at Maho Bay.  Nothing particularly out of the ordinary, just good times on the beach.  Lots of snorkeling - we saw a stingray here. Like Francis Bay, Maho is ideal for families.  It's actually right next door to Francis so conditions are very similar.  I think Maho may be slightly more crowded but these are our top 2 on the island, hands down.
We finished off the day with a nice meal at Shipwreck Landing, which continues to be our go-to spot for dinner on St. John.  The food was awesome, as always.  Susan and I both had the mahi, which we capped off with a giant piece of chocolate cake.  The 4 of us shared the cake, but I think Colt managed to eat about 75% of it.
We got some of the best pics of the trip at Maho.  Check 'em out!


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Day 5: Hawksnest Bay

We spent Day 5 at Hawksnest Bay.  Here you could see the ruins of Peace Hill Windmill overlooking the bay.  This was another great little bay and we spent the majority of the day here.

 After Hawksnest, we made the obligatory trip to Trunk Bay.  It's extremely crowded now, as they ferry cruise ship passengers over from St. Thomas.  We took the kids just so they could say they've been.
For dinner, we were lucky enough to be on the island for one of Miss Lucy's full moon parties!  We were there for a full moon party in the past - and Miss Lucy's does it right with good food and music on the water.  Colt and Sadie had a ball and Sadie really stole the show.  Check out the videos below from Miss Lucy's - I think we are going to be in trouble with this one. 

This wrapped up our last full day on St. John.  The next morning we'd start our journey back home after a great week in the islands.  Hopefully we'll be back down that way again soon.

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