Okay, I know what you are thinking after you read that headline… hmm, she must not have enjoyed it. She must have needed a strong drink in order to endure. No, no, no. Not so. St. Thomas is such a beautiful place, full of wonderfully friendly people, epic beaches and gorgeous views. However, there is also a spot in town where you pour your own drinks. Yes, you heard me right. The bartender sets you up with the chaser and you pour as much local rum (Bones) as you want until your heart is content. I chose to indulge in one of the local favorites– a painkiller. I didn’t have any pain when I arrived in St. Thomas and darn sure didn’t have any when I left, but I was feeling irie.
During my visit to the island I window shopped at several of the hundreds of duty-free stores in town. The only thing I purchased during the window shopping tour was some coconut water, a shot glass, and two small bottles of vodka. While I did not journey over to the beach by the Marriott, I do know that if I decide to do so next time, it will only cost $7 to take the ferry over from town.
With respect to food, I dined at a great local restaurant (Glady’s Cafe) where the food is not only flavorful and the portions are awesome, but it is also at a good price point. The local dish is Fungi, a combination of okra and corn meal (similar to Cou Cou from Barbados), and, although I love okra, I decided not to forgo the experience. I also sampled their local fish dish which, once again, had so much flavor. I will definitely return to Glady’s when I make a return visit next year.
Of course a visit to the caribbean is never complete without me visiting the beach. What can I say? I am a summer baby and we LOVE sun, sand, and water. I chose to visit Emerald beach which is located within walking distance from the airport. The water is one of the MOST amazing colors of blue that I’ve every seen (not exactly like Anguilla, but close). Just spending time letting the sun bake my already gorgeous skin tone while listening to the roar of the waves. What a perfect way to spend time on a beautiful island.
Things to note. If you want to fly from Puerto Rico, it is only a 14 minute flight. Barely enough time to strap into your seat and recline it. Taxis are not really expensive on the island. You can expect to pay roughly $6pp to get from the airport to town where all of the duty-free shops are located. The shop owners in the duty-free shops always want to give you something free for stopping by (a bottle of water, a soda, a glass of rum or even a piece of jewelry). It never hurts to look, but if you truly are not interested in visiting a particular shop, a simple “no thank you” will suffice. No need to be nasty. Also, shop owners are willing to negotiate. If there is something that catches your eye, ask for a break in price.
Even though USVI is a US territory, it is definitely more caribbean in nature than US. The friendliness and vibrancy of the environment sets it apart from any other state or territory. Definitely one of my top five favorite islands at this point!