Planning your next vacation? Consider St. John – Part I

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Nothing like tempting everyone when vacation time for most is over, school is starting back and some are already preparing for the holidays. But we need to plan ahead, have something to look forward to… right? Here’s one suggestion for your next vacation destination. As it is difficult to cram a week’s worth of wonderful in one post, I’ll be breaking it up over 2 or more post, so watch for followups.

As I’ve said before, we haven’t had the pleasure of traveling abroad too much but so far we’re quite partial to the calming, blue waters of the Caribbean. There’s just something mesmerizing and intoxicating about that water that can’t be matched by vacation destinations on the mainland. No wonder pirates flocked there – they couldn’t have been all that stupid.

We’ve visited a few different islands. This past June (’09), St. John, USVI (U.S. Virgin Islands) was our escape.

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The USVI’s, along with the BVI’s (British Virgin Islands), are an incredible clump of islands east of Puerto Rico. In particular St. John is certainly a gem of the USVI’s to behold.

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Half of the island is The Virgin Island National Park as is heaped with hiking trails and unbelievable beaches for swimming, snorkeling, boating or just chillin.’ Mountains plunge to crystal clear waters – truly dramatic views.

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When traveling to St. John, you’ll need to fly into St. Thomas then ferry over – St. John has no airports. The ferry ride is a good welcome portrait of some of the surrounding islands.

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Hey wait, while we’re talking about the ferry, this chick was in front of me and I was a tad bit distracted by this tattoo on her back, wondering what it means. Anyone know? Just curious. (Gosh, I hope it’s not a bad word or something. I can just see it now, people somewhere in Asia blocking me cause I just shamed someone’s mama.)

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Any who… where was I? Oh yeah, the getting there. The getting there is quite fun in itself, especially for the kids. Speaking of our beloved children, St. John is a pretty easy place to travel with the little boogers. So keep that in mind. Accommodations are mainly found in mountainside villas. There are a few hotels but I would recommend renting a villa as well as a 4 wheel drive for your stay. Groceries are readily available (albeit a little more pricey) and there are many yummy restaurants to be discovered, most offering family friendly fare.

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Be sure to check out travel books the next time you’re at your favorite bookstore. And again, look for future posts on St. John here in the coming weeks.

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