I was almost starting to think this post would never happen, but somehow here we are! Just a little late, but who is really counting? The trip to St. Croix was one for the books with over 500 photos and a St. Croix engagement
to show for it. Luckily I managed to narrow it down to some favorites to share with y'all over here, but I can't promise this post isn't going to be one huge photo dump. Just think of it as a mini blogcation because I'm about to take this little piece of the internet all the way to the Caribbean. I hope you have your drink and sunscreen ready!
Sunday was our first full day in St. Croix after arriving to the island late the night before. Something big happened and little did I know that it would become one of the most special days of my life. If you missed it, here's what happened
. The day was spent taking it all in at the pretty beaches of The Buccaneer.
Since we only had a week, we had to strategize how we would spend our time to make sure we go to do everything on the bucket list
and we did just about all of it plus some! Monday was spent at the beaches of The Buccaneer again, which was a great place to practice snorkeling for the excursion we had planned for later. The beaches are calm like a pool, which is perfect if you don't like getting owned by waves (hi, that's me). Monday night we headed to the pier in Christiansted, the central northern part of the island, for their famous crab races. Basically, you buy a crab and bet on your crab to win the race and the winner takes home one of the awesome prizes up for grabs! My luck decided to show up for once and my crab, Brees, won a race which meant this girl got a free bar tab for drinks at one of the resorts! Sidenote: when in the Caribbean, you can never have too many drinks!
Tuesday morning we headed out bright and early back to the Christiansted pier to catch the Big Beard boat to head out to Buck Island Reef National Monument for snorkeling. Buck Island is an uninhabited island and ranked one of the top beaches in the world. When I say it's one of the prettiest beaches with the most beautiful water I've ever seen, I'm not exaggerating!
See what I mean!?
I think you get the point ;)
We stayed at Buck Island for about an hour before boarding the boat to go further out into the water where the reef trail is for snorkeling. This was my first time snorkeling (minus our small practice session the day before) and I'm officially hooked and can't wait to do it again. I'm going to sound like Ariel when I say this, but it really does feel like a whole new world down there.
We saw lots of fish, but most of them are on video, including the two barracudas I was less than a foot from and chasing to try to get a closer shot of. Had I known for sure they were barracudas at the time, I probably wouldn't have done that!
After snorkeling, we grabbed lunch at Rum Runners at the pier where we were welcomed by a few crabs that decided to join us and take a nibble on Chris's toe! After lunch, we walked around downtown Christiansted, which sort of has a French Quarter vibe in the building designs, and I shopped for locally made jewelry. St. Croix has a lot of hand made jewelry artisans on the island that make unique pieces, each with a significant meaning. I left with two rings and the famous St. Croix hook bracelet
that I now wear everyday. They're some of my favorite accessories that remind me of our engagement! I'm a sap, y'all.
After shopping, we took a mini road trip to the eastern side of the island. It was a rural, windy and narrow drive up. They drive on the left side of the road out there which isn't so fun when many of the other drivers on the road forget that rule, but the views from the drive are worth it.
We made a pit stop at Divi Carina Bay Casino so Chris could get a few poker chips (something the poker player in him likes to do) to send to his friends and my dad. The resort is where the bar tab I won from the crab races was, so we made sure to put that to use before continuing our journey east. Don't worry, we had a DD.
After our happy hour pit stop, we finally arrived as far east as you can go on the island, the Easternmost point of the United States to be exact, called Point Udall. Looking out you'll see endless water which gives such a calm connection with nature.
Spoiler alert: I had to write all of this down or else there's no way I would've remembered everything we did each day. The days were long to say the least! After a packed Tuesday, we decided to spend a relaxing beach day at the Renaissance on Wednesday. The beaches are very wavy here, but still make for some pretty views! Obviously I had to do a mini photoshoot with the scenery, which I'm sure I looked ridiculous doing, but I wouldn't be a blogger if I didn't. That photoshoot ended quickly as soon as I stepped on a bee in the sand and stung my foot. It was probably for the best, except I could barely walk the rest of the day, but hey, beauty is pain and I got some cute pictures out of it.
After the beach, we waited until it got dark and spent the rest of the night kayaking to the Bioluminescent Salt River Bay
, one of the only few bio bays left. This was one of the coolest things I've ever seen and unfortunately couldn't be documented because it's not possible (apparently National Geographic tried with their fancy cameras and still couldn't catch it). The bio bay is home to living bioluminescent microorganisms that light up. There are microorganisms that react to your hand as you wave it through the water which looks like sparkly crystals. There are also glowing jelly fish that you can scoop up. You can hold them in your hand; they're completely harmless. When you touch them, they flash and light up- really the coolest thing ever and a must do if ever given the chance.
Thursday we started the day at Rainbow Beach. There are some popular snorkeling spots to swim to that are marked by buoys. A local artist sunk sculptures at each buoy, so it's a fun attraction to explore.
Our beach trip was cut short once it decided to rain for the second time since Sunday (mind you, there had been a 3 month drought prior to our arrival)! It all worked out since we had a busy day planned ahead anyway, so we grabbed a quick lunch at Rhythms and then knocked off more from the to do list.
We drove through the rainforest on our way to visit the beer drinking pigs. Once we arrived at Mt Pellier Hut, we were greeted by two huge smelly pigs that were thirsty for some beer! Just place the can of O'Doul's in their mouth and they take care of the messy rest!
After visiting with the beer drinking pigs, we headed to the Cruzan Rum distillery for a tour of the factory. The tour is only $5 and you end it at the bar where you're greeted with free shots and two mixed drinks. Remember how I said you can never have too many drinks in the Caribbean? They mean it! We also stocked up on a football season's worth of rum to take back with us since the airlines basically encourage you to do so by allowing you to check it on for free. Don't mind if I do!
After the Cruzan tour, we made our way to Tamarin Reef Resort for their popular disco bingo night! We were hoping my luck would show up again for the jackpot, but it disappointed. That food though. It sure didn't disappoint.
By Friday, we were exhausted from all the long days and decided to make our last full day a relaxing one, with nothing but eating, drinking, and swimming on the agenda. We headed back to the Buccaneer for the calm waters for a lazy day on the beach. Chris and I made one last trip to Whistle Beach where he proposed at the beginning of our trip to take a few more pictures of our special place. We also explored the resort and the sugar mills since we didn't do that the first time around.
We ended the night doing what we know how to do best, and that's eating crab legs! Leave it to me to find the buffet on the island with crab legs, it's what I do best! The buffet dinner was at the Renaissance and included a show with fire dancers and moko jumbies. It was a great way to end a fantastic trip!
Psst.. is this thing still on!? How's that for the world's longest blog post? That's got to be a record, right? Don't say I didn't warn you! Please tell me you're still here, I'm genuinely curious to know who actually read all of this from beginning to end!
Labels: caribbean, st. croix, summer, summer vacation, Travel, vacation