Posted by: Moni | January 26, 2011

St. Thomas and St. John, US Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands.  When I was young, my mother had a friend who brought us back a keychain from the VI, and the phrase immediately (to my young, catholic brain) brought up a mishmash of images.  Islands, great!  Is that like South Padre?  Cue the setting of a brown beach with muddy water.  Virgins?  Hmm.. do they mean like, a bunch of Virgin Marys, with head coverings and drapes? Or, do they mean virgins that are more of the Greek variety, wearing togas? As a result of this, I never really gave the islands a second thought.

Then came the day that I was looking for an ideal place for a destination wedding.  Several places came up – Costa Rica, Seychelles, California Vineyards, the Outer Banks.. and the USVI.  Hm!  The major, MAJOR upside to doing it in the USVI?  Its in the US!  There would be little to no hassle on getting a marraige performed legally in the United States, no extra things like blood tests and waiting periods, and hell. yes. its on a beach. Bingo!  We looked at wedding planners, and I found Island Bliss Weddings, who had great reviews on wedding websites, and were VERY responsive and awesome to work with.  A few weeks later, we were St. Thomas bound!

Getting to the islands is relatively easy – a mere four hours in flight time away, and you are in the Caribbean, being served rum straight out of the airport.  Seriously, the Bacardi people are there with rum as you exit.  We were staying on St. John, so after a 20 minute cab ride later, we were on the ferry to the neighboring island.  You see, the group of islands are really close to each other, and ferry services are on the hour, every hour, between those two islands.  St. Croix and the BVI are another story (which I’ll get to later).

On the ferry. Yeah, I can see clearly now…

We went out to our resort on St. John, the smaller, more scenic and less populated island of the two, for the evening.  The place was gorgeous, and very relaxing.  It was definitely a hassle to go from our quiet resort on St. John (cab, ferry, cab, ferry, cab…) to St. Thomas two days in a row, to pick up our marraige license and to conduct our ceremony, but WELL worth it!  We got to see a LOT of the islands, and thanks to our wedding planners saw a lot more than we expected.  The islands themselves are a LOT of fun, have very friendly people around, and oh my – lots of alcohol.  Seriously, this one bar has a happy hour with dollar beers from 3-6.  There is a TON of rum around – it is the Caribbean – and lots of rum based specialty drinks.  I also had one of the best Bloody Mary’s ever!

 

The VI is a great destination, and there seems to be a host of famous people there at all times.  Kenny Chesney owns a bar there, VP Joe Biden was there on Water Island (I saw Air Force 2 at the airport!), and a few others go there – partially in the name of partying at Jost Van Dyke for New Years.  Which we did.  That deserves a blog post on its own, so stay tuned for that!

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