Before checking into the Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham in Saint Thomas we were greeted with delicious margarita's topped with overly salted rims. Two "bell boys" dressed in khaki shorts and breathable cotton blue shirts drove us with our luggage in tow to our room via golf cart. Our room was an over-sized studio with a contemporary yet tropical bathroom, amble closet space, and a breezy yet private terrace. Tony and I have a routine for planning ahead when it comes to our vacation activities, or lack there of. We do not plan anything ahead of time other than the obvious, flight, hotel and transportation. The first day usually isn't a full day as half of it is typically spent traveling. We unpack, look over whatever tourist guide pamphlet they have our room, and if we aren't feeling like sloths at this point we will explore a bit of the resort, hotel, complex... you get the point. This plan hasn't failed us yet and definitely didn't on this trip either! After getting a loosey goosey idea of what we wanted to do each day I looked up reviews on each vendor/business on Tripadvisor and called to make reservations. Tripadvisor should be everyone's best friend. It's basically a personal assistant when you're traveling, hell, I even use it locally! Look at your phone right now... do you have the app downloaded? If so, I knew I'd like you! If not, do it now and YOU'RE WELCOME. Here is a little play by play of each day along with pictures. None of these photos have been edited, other than the one at Coki Beach of Tonys back and the one of me in the water at Magens Bay and all we did was increase the saturation a tad bit. My point in making that clear is to ensure you can understand just how gorgeous St. Thomas is.
Day 1: Later that evening we found ourselves on a hammock overlooking Water Bay. Literally it's called Water Bay....not very creative, I know. There were only about 20 other guests since the resort had just opened a few short months before. This amped up the perfectly quiet and relaxed vibe. We explored the pool area and were scared a few times by dog sized iguanas before heading back to our room.
Day 2: The receptionist was kind enough to inform us about an amazing beach around the corner from the resort. We were expecting a beach full of fat tourists in ill fitting one pieces with snorkel mask stamped faces and sandy cheeks. Picture the sunburned character from Lilo & Stitch, the one who was always in the background eating ice cream...that guy was the definition of vacation goals. What we found....was simply amazing. The entrance to Coki Beach is lined with shanty beach bars and restaurants, their backs all facing the road. Through a low hanging canopy of mangrove trees we found a tucked away sandy strip of paradise. We dragged two lounge chairs to the edge of the crystal blue water and ordered a bucket full of Carib. To the surprise of many, Tony and I are lightweights. My wonderful husband has rightfully earned the nickname "Two Beer Tony". We got to the point that our selfies were quite hilarious to look back on. 0 of the 17 I took that day were instagram-worthy. I was obnoxiously wide mouth laughing in all of them and Tony's eyes were never open. I'm contemplating making a coffee table book of all of our intoxicated vacation selfies...watch out Kim K.
Day 3: If you ever have the chance to visit St. John, renting a Jeep to explore the island is a must! The ferry ride between the two islands was fairly cheap and quick. Mostly all of the island is a national park. The winding roads are sprinkled with natives, and by natives I mean deer, cows, goats and donkeys. I named one of the donkeys Doug, he came straight up to my window for cuddles. We drove up the coast of the island and stopped at almost every beach, our favorite was Francis Bay Beach. When we got back to St. Thomas and into the hotel, we saw about 20 giant birds in the lobby. We didn't really question it since they let me hold some of them and take pictures. This one was super sassy.
Day 4: Quite possibly the most popular beach in St. Thomas is Magens Bay. This is usually where all of the tourist from the cruise lines lather on their SPF 500 and peddle around wearing their mickey mouse mesh water shoes. The previously mentioned Lilo & Stitch character would fit right in. For some reason they all stay closer to the entrance of the beach, by the flipper rentals and overpriced concession stands. Tony and I kept walking all the way to the end of the beach. It was as if we had the beach to ourselves since the closest person to us was about 100 feet away. He even carved our initials into a tree by where we were sitting. How 'Nicholas Sparks novel turned movie' is that?? I remember saying over and over again, "I'm never leaving."
Day 5: With the GoPro strapped on and secured, we headed to Tree Limin' Extreme Zip Lining on the opposite end of the island. The group we were in consisted of couples from all over the US, by the end of the tour we were all laughing and making fun of each other. Being paired up with people you don't know on excursions reminds me of those dreaded mandatory team building outings at work that you debate 'scheduling' a doctors appointment for. Then you go and end up hating that bitch Debbie from billing just a little less. At each high rise stand between the zip lines there was a plaque with a fun fact about the island and a question with multiple choice answers, at the next stand was the answer. We surprisingly learned quite a bit about the islands history. The views from the beaches on St. Thomas are stunning, but the view from the top is absolutely breathtaking. At the highest point we could see all of Megans Bay. We thought we were super cool with our bandanas on the rest of the day.
We are pretty low maintenance when it comes to food. We love hole-in-the-wall places while traveling since it feels as though you're eating like the locals would. On every trip we go on we make a point to splurge on one nice dinner, usually at the end of the trip. There are a few nice restaurants on the island, but there was only one I was interested in. You see, our hotel faced the east, as everyone knows the sun sets in the west. I mean mostly everyone, if you didn't know that please get your life together. Situated on Morningstar Bay, nestled beside the Frenchman's Reef Marriott Beach Resort is Havana Blue. Hands down one of the nicest and most romantic dining experiences I have had. And pardon my language but we have been to some fancy ass establishments. The view seemed too perfect, as though my eyes couldn't believe a scene this beautiful was reality. Skirt steaks and lobster tails accompanied by brussel sprouts, risotto and far too much chardonnay had us in an elated and very tipsy food coma. I'll be honest I almost threw up on the way back to the hotel, BUT I didn't and that, my friends, is what really counts.