After my hike on Reef Bay Trail, I had the rest of the day to explore and enjoy myself on St. John. On the way back to the Westin St. John resort, my driver, Kenneth Louis, was kind enough to take me on a brief tour of St. John. From anywhere you look on this island, the views as you can see in this picture, are spectacular! Along the way he explained interesting facts about the island and pointed out some incredible scenic views like this one of Trunk Bay. The most famous and photographed beach on St. John, this beauty of beach is visited regularly by cruise ship visitors to St. Thomas. You can find clean restrooms, showers, a snackbar, gift shop, snorkel equipment rental, and lifeguard protection as well as the island’s only underwater snorkel trail. There is a $4 National Park facility use fee collected from between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm. Because it is frequently visited, the area is not as it once was and the snorkeling and coral have been affected, so say the locals. Keep that in mind when visiting and perhaps consider another less touristy spot.
I returned to the Westin St. John, jumped in my bathing suit and went swimming. All I wanted to do was cool off, swim, and lay in the sun for a while. After swimming, as I stepped out of the water I saw quite a large fish swim in front of me. This would not be my only encounter of the fishy kind on this trip and as always it was alarming. I guess no one else seems to mind! I laid out on a lounge chair to soak up some sun and enjoy the warm rays as opposed to the cold weather I was hearing about back at home and relaxed. Then it was time for a quick bite at Snorkels restaurant nearby. I asked my server, Taisha, to recommend a drink to me and she suggested the Voodoo Juice drink. Up for any challenge, I said, “Sure!” When she arrived at my table with a bucket with my drink inside, I was shocked, but so thirsty I couldn’t say “No.” She advised me to drink it slowly, but being as thirsty as I was, that wasn’t going to happen. Four different rums, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice went down quite smoothly on that hot afternoon and it was good!
I returned my towel before heading back to my room and decided to walk by the playground and tennis courts to see if anyone was out and about. No one was playing tennis and I guess all the kids were with their families, but I did see this doll abandoned in the sand on the playground. She looked so sad and lonely! Just so you know, a little while later I noticed that someone picked up the doll and held her by the pool in the towel area until she could be reclaimed. How nice is that? What’s so great about the Westin St. John is that despite it being a family-friendly resort and seeing with my own eyes the number of families staying at the resort, I never felt like the resort was overrun with children. I was told that the middle to end of December is a busy family time for the resort, but that there are plenty of singles and couples that do come throughout the year. So if you’re thinking of a romantic getaway, it won’t be all kids at this resort so don’t worry.
Later that evening I went out for a walk around the property to see what was happening. To my complete surprise, my all time favorite Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story,” was playing at the pool area. They had a large screen set up and they also set up a popcorn machine to pop fresh popcorn for free for anyone who wanted it. They were also selling soda, candy, and beer, too. Adults and children were sitting in the pool chairs and there were even people in the pool swimming and watching the movie. Despite the lack of cold weather and snow, the movie surely got everyone in the Christmas spirit. It was really nice to see families sitting together, watching the movie, and enjoying themselves.
Considering how I started my day hiking on Reef Bay Trail, I think my day in St. John hiking, swimming, having a little Voodoo Juice, and watching a movie was a perfect way to spend it. I can’t wait to go back and do it all over again!