Saturday: Arrived in St. Croix. Realized that one of the bathing suits I bought for the trip still had the stupid security doodad on it. Swam. Snorkeled. I drove to the grocery (on the left side of the road woohoo!) and Kmart to get another bathing suit. Drank Rum. Ate next door @ beachside cafe. Met some of the other people staying @ Cottages by the Sea. Swam until almost dark.
Sunday: Had brunch (banana rum french toast) @ Beachside Cafe. Swam. Snorkeled. Drove rental car to K-mart, car broke down on the way from there to the grocery store. Pulled off the road. Walked to gas station to call a cab. Caribbean cabbie on the phone couldn't understand my southern accent, and I couldn't understand his creole/ west indian one. I was trying to tell him "Centerline Road" but he thought I was saying "Cinnamon Road". Had to give phone to store manager so the cabbie could find us. Bought a coconut from a Rastafarian selling them in the parking lot of the gas station. He whacked it open for me with a machete so I could drink the milk with a straw, then whacked it in two so I could get at the coconut meat. Went back to Cottages w/ out going to store, but we already had PB&J and fruit so it was all good. Swam. Snorkeled. Finally found a snorkeling mask that fit my face. Began my obsession with finding pieces of Delft pottery in the sand from ballast dumped by the Danish boats in the 1800's. Met our neighbor Jackie.
Monday: Took replacement rental car (we got upgraded to an SUV for our trouble woohoo!) to the grocery. Took Jason by the tattoo shop to meet the guy (Jessie) to see if he wanted to do the tattoo. Ended up driving to Christiansted to just see what it was like, rode all around the northeast side of the island (we were staying on the far west side). Realized for sure that the people on St. Croix drive like maniacs. Cooked out on the grill w/ Jackie. Jason and Jackie had steak, I had bar-b-que tofu. It was GOOD.
Tuesday: Jason drove himself to the tattoo shop to talk to Jessie. Swam. Snorkeled. Drank Rum. Cooked out hamburgers w/ Jackie. Had the obligatory "vacation blow-up" with Jason.
Wednesday: Allowed my "Don Smith" genes to take over and drove myself all over the west side of the island down crazy little roads because they looked interesting. I meant to just go up the coast, but there was a sign that said "rainforest" and who can resist something like that? Those roads were INSANE. Windy, steep, narrow as HELL. I couldn't see the road ahead of me more than about 20 feet because they were so curvy and because there was so much foliage grown up on both sides of the road. The only "rainforest" I actually got to see was from the occasional break in the foliage because the road dropped off on one side about 100 feet down a cliff. Oh and P.S. these were two-lane roads and I also had to remember to drive on the left. The road was paved (as badly pot-holed as any other road on St. Croix), and then badly graveled, and then dirt, and then there would be the entrance to some giant estate, and then paved again, and then dirt again, and then a Rastafarian with 4 kids in the back of the truck, going hiking or broken down or who knows what. And I didn't turn around because I kept thinking "It's an island, right? How long can the road be? I'll hit beach eventually, right?". And sure enough, about 2.5 hours and 100 miles later (twisty, very twisty) BOOM I was in Christiansted again.
Didn't I take a MAP? Oh yes, I had a map (worthless). Luckily I lived in New Orleans long enough to understand that some maps SAY that roads do things they don't actually do (like CONNECT to some other road or allow you to cross a canal, for example). So, I take maps with a grain of salt. Plus I wasn't on a schedule so I was content to wing it. I am very glad that I didn't break down, though, because the breeze didn't get too far through all that foliage and it was about a million degrees out there. I still did not see ONE IGUANA despite everyone's insistence that they were running "ALL OVER THE ISLAND EVERYWHERE".
Jason and I made up. Swam. Snorkeled. Found some pottery. Attended Enrique's 81'st birthday party w/ the owners and other guests @ cottages. Kept Enrique and his wife Totty up until 11:30 pm because I couldn't stop asking questions. They have had QUITE an amazing life.
Thursday: Jackie, Jason, and I drove to Christiansted to take a boat-ride out to buck island to do some snorkeling. Beautiful. By the very end of the boat ride I was getting queasy, but I was fine once I got into the water. It was so amazing. Will post about what all we saw later. The sand at buck island was like no sand I've ever seen or felt - it was so soft - like powdered sugar or something. We got back to Cottages about 2 and I should have stayed out of the sun, but I couldn't stand it and I went snorkeling again. Ate dinner @ Blue Moon Cafe in Fredericksted. Jason ordered his pasta "Hot". We live in Louisiana. We do hot. Well, this was AS HOT AS THE DAMN SUN. They made it using some sort of west indian sauce that had scotch bonnet peppers in it. I took two tastes and I think my mouth is still burning. The food was good, though.
Friday: Jason went to get his tattoo. I dropped him off and went to the botanic garden, and then to Christiansted to do some shopping. I didn't buy anything, but I did find a bracelet, earrings, and ring that I'll be coveting for awhile. (I'll post about it later I'm sure.) Swam. Snorkeled. Ate our last dinner @ Beachside cafe.
Saturday: Swam. Snorkeled. Packed up and left for the airport around lunchtime. Had a pretty uneventful trip home. Dogs were obviously well taken care of because when we got home they were like "whatever".