Day 1 - Sapphire Beach - St Thomas
I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. - Hilaire Belloc
I’m not a morning person and I hate waking up early but when it comes to going on vacation, I’m more than happy to be up by 5 AM. On Friday, May 22, the girls and I boarded an American Airlines flight departing from JFK heading to St Thomas. The flight was quick and short, only three hours and thirty minutes. We landed at Cyril E. King Airport and as we stepped off the plane, we were welcomed by the much needed warmth of the island with temperatures in the mid to high 80s.
We picked up our luggage and boarded one of the airport vans that was quickly filling up with several passengers (mainly tourists) who would be dropped off at various resorts. Thirty minutes later, we arrived at Crystal Cove. We were charged $45 for three of us. If we knew any better, we would have walked a few minutes from the airport to the main road and hopped on a safari (these are local mini vans that are a main form of public transportation and only cost $2 per person).
We checked in at the front desk and to our surprise, the place we booked was not a hotel but a complex of spacious villas with perfectly manicured lawns and Sapphire beach as their backdrop. The condo was fully furnished and contained a spacious living room, kitchen, two bathrooms, a king size bed that was more than enough for the three of us and a private patio. See video and pictures below of the Crystal Cove grounds:
The view from our private balcony was absolutely breath-taking - the pond, palm trees, pathways draped with flowers in full bloom and the beach in a distance, all made the perfect post card.
We were starving by the time we arrived at our condo. American Airlines service was horrible, they only served us drinks on an almost 4 hr flight and had food for purchase. I guess that's the norm these days. We walked around looking for a place to eat, still dressed in our denim jeans. We were not prepared for the treacherous heat of St Thomas; sweating profusely while walking in the hot sand looking for a place to eat was definitely not ideal but it was short lived. We found one local vendor by the beach serving sandwiches, burgers and $7 frozen drinks that were so refreshing.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing on Sapphire Beach - oh the joy of walking on a white sand beach that leads you into the crystal clear water where you can actually see your feet! If you have been to a beach in New York, you will understand my joy. It's definitely not the warm, clear, turquoise or deep blue water that you see in The Caribbean. When your vacation consists of predominantly being at the beach, bathing suits will make up the majority of your vacation outfits. A few years ago I splurged a little on my bathing suits by purchasing several of them from Victoria's Secret. These bathing suits saved my life on this trip as I had purchased a few from Tobi about a week before my trip but they did not arrive in time. Sidenote - Tobi currently has a 50% off your first order as a new customer so I definitely took advantage of that deal.I was lucky enough to find this long cover up at Mandee's just before the trip (see similar cover ups from Forever 21). It's a cute accessory and necessary piece to have at the beach, along with the sunglasses and straw hat that can be found at Nordstrom Rack. There's something about the Caribbean sun and heat that is quite intense, you are forced to wear sunglasses and a hat. Climbing trees seemed liked a great idea at the time, it brought out the inner kid in me but don't ask me to do it again - unless we are shooting! :-). We took a walk around the town where we came across several parked yachts that were out of service. It would have been great to take a tour in one of them (wishful thinking) but since that was not going to happen, a few shots did just fine. Evening came and it was time for dinner. Unfortunately, most of the restaurants were located in Red Hook, which was a 10 minute walk from our resort or 5 minute bus ride (please do not walk to Red Hook, there are no sidewalks and the roads are quite dangerous). There was one restaurant by Saphhire Villas, which were right next door to our villas so we stayed local and had a nice quiet dinner by the pool. We were so exhausted on the first day that we went to bed right after dinner around 8PM. It was a great day so far. Stay tuned for day 2...
Until next time, stay blessed and thank you for stopping by!