Well, we’ve finally reached the last day on St. Thomas. It’s been a long time coming, yes? I mean, good grief, we got home over a month ago. How long does it take a girl to tell vacation stories? When the stories are good…a while.
We didn’t have a lot planned that last day. We were a bit worn down by the incessant humidity. I took a bit of time that morning to take stock. We had initially planned on taking a catamaran tour to the British Virgin Island. That didn’t happen. The other activity we’d not gotten around to was stand up paddle boarding.
Now, we are surrounded by water here in the South Puget Sound. But, I didn’t really want to try SUP here. First: brrrrrrr. Second: ewwwww. In my opinion. Swim in tidal water? Yuck. Not that I’d be swimming if I was SUP’ing, but there was the concern about falling off and flailing around.
As I took stock I was fine with not having taken the catamaran trip; I tend to be prone to motion sickness and the waves were a bit whonky while we were there, so I don’t know that such a trip would have been much fun for me. However, I was not okay going home without having tried to SUP.
Turns out, the condo complex that we were staying at offered a myriad of water sports for a nominal fee. And, even better, the bay our complex sat on was like glass that morning. Probably the smoothest since we had arrived. The gal who got us set up on the boards said it was a perfect day for first-timers.
After receiving a few pointers we headed out on our knees. Very shortly we were standing on our knees. I was exhilarated. And I hadn’t even hit the best part. We headed across the bay and around the point. About 3/4 of the way out I was ready to try standing, but the water was a little rougher and I was concerned I would promptly chuck myself into the water. Not that that would be a terrible thing in the Caribbean.
As we turned back I yelled to the husband (who was ahead of me), “I’m gonna try to stand!” He yelled back, “I’m gonna get to shallower water before trying to stand.” I set my hands on the board, put one feet under me, then the other and, like a newborn foal…all wobbly and off-kilter…stood. And did not fall.
You heard me.
Oh, it was not perfect. The first ten or fifteen minutes my legs felt like jell-o and the soles of my feet hurt, for some reason. But, after that things evened out a bit. I found that things went much smoother when I stared at the horizon versus down. My strokes evened out. My wobble decreased. I smiled. I enjoyed the heat, and the view. I felt strong. I gave a nod to that yoga I’ve been practicing.
The husband? He stood as well. He did not fall. But, he didn’t enjoy it like I did. I was all smiles and am now ready to try it locally this summer. Him….meh…not his favorite thing. Of course, it was also hot…so, perhaps if the temperature was a bit cooler I might be able to convince him to go out with me.
After the headiness of SUP we had a quick bite to eat and then packed up for our last day at the beach. Destination: Cowpet Beach. It was a nice beach, but a little disappointing for our last day as we had experienced so many exquisite beaches during our stay. The beach was beautifully palm lined. But, the bay was full of boats (anchored) and the water near the shoreline contained a bit too much seaweed for my taste. Listen to me. Because we’d gotten beach snobby over the course of the week.
We enjoyed a final dip in the pool, a final Painkiller at the Island Time Pub and dinner at an Italian restaurant in Red Hook (mmmm…I had Caribbean lobster two ways; grilled and in gnocchi with a red sauce. It was amazing). It was time to wrap things up.
So, what did we think of the USVI? The two that we visited? We agreed that we would return to St. John. It’s unlikely that we would return to St. Thomas, except to catch the ferry to St. John. We loved the history of St. John, the rural feel, the trails. So many off-the-beaten path places to visit. In addition to beautiful beaches. St. Thomas feels like…well, a cruise ship port. Which is what it is. No trails. Lots of shopping. We felt the history of the island while on the historical walking tour of Charlotte Amalie, but other than that…we had to search for history. Really nice beaches, I’ll give it that. But…. There’s just that “but.” Every time we talked about St. Thomas it seems we say, “Yeah…we liked it okay…but….” Just not our kind of island.
Overall? A good vacation. Lots of time to relax. Saw some beautiful countryside. Had some laughs. Ate great food. Enjoyed our own company. Until next time….