St. Thomas and St. John, US Virgin Islands
20th Anniversary

October 30 - November 3, 2006

Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parrot_fish

by Paul Ridenour email

Text is still under construction

Monday Oct 30 

Mention travel agency - all inclusive for $2,096 a couple - CARLSON WAGONLIT TRAVEL/ROWLETT
Got up at 4:15 and left at 4:45 AM
Airport by 5:30 AM
Ate at McDonald's
Fantastic sunrise - took picture through airport window
Some guy came towards our camera bag and asked if we wanted a picture of ourselves - think he wanted to still the cameras.
Flight left on tine at 7:25 on an AA 737
Arrived in Miami at 11 lost an hour
Met a nice couple from Boston and shared a table - ate chicken wings
Left at 12:25 on a 757
Arrived in St. Thomas at 4:15 and did not realize we lost another hour - they do not change
Got to the Wyndham around 5.  they upgraded us with a room with a view.
All inclusive for $2000.  wanted to go there on my honeymoon but did not want to stay on the plane all of those hours.
Drive on left side just like in Jamaica.  St. Thomas was very crowded and steep winding road - mention grand Cayman island here
Ate dinner at the Manor House - rib eye $67 

Tuesday Oct 31

Woke up at 7 am - tired.  Ate a late breakfast at the Manor House.  Breakfast is $36.
Took a $5 a person taxi to Coral World at Coki Bay.  $18 a couple to get in.  Stingrays, petting pool,   300,000 natural tank - lots of iguanas.
Tigerlilies from Princeton University and Bee Gees "Got to get a message" - I was the only one.  NY Mining Disaster 1941.
And Eagles Desperado
Not hungry for lunch due to our big breakfast
Ate dinner at the Mangrove Restaurant and it sucked.  Cold Italian and cold Chinese
We went back over to the Manor House and had appetizers
Met Larry and Gwen Alexander from Ohio who built the Galveston trolley
Dottie and her pink watch was a hit

Wednesday Nov 1 (our anniversary)

St. John.  $10 ferry a person.  Takes 15 minutes. Arrive Cruz Bay, St. John.
Rented a car from Cool Breeze for $70 a day
Snorkeled at Maho Bay and the crowded tourist trap Trunk Bay.  Nice - 35mm of underwater camera.  White fish 1 foot by 4 feet.
Lunch at the famous Sun Dog Café - burgers for $18
St. John is only 9 miles of roads
Shopped and Dottie got a tanzanite and diamond heart pendent/necklace
Drove through the island and stopped at the famous Skinny Legs Bar in the town of Coral Bay.  Have drinks. Shopped.  Got gas.  $3.25 a gallon but $3.45 for premium.
We could have stayed in St. John and had dinner but Dottie wanted to get back before dark
Ate again at the Manor House - Steaks again.  The other Italian restaurant Tuscany is very small and reservations and 50% off.
Lots of pina coladas and Dottie had virgin pina coladas and virgin Banana/strawberry daiquiri's
Waitress left us some Champaign in our room.  We are sending her 2 pink watches. 

Thursday Nov 2

Breakfast and taxi to St. John for shopping.  5 ships a day.  We were told one but there were three.
$10 a person to taxi to downtown which can take 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic
Taxis are everywhere and the people are so friendly.  Tourism is #1 source of income.
No taxes which is great
Look like bourbon Street in New Orleans but almost all jewelry stores.  Some half jewelry and half alcohol or jewelry and a bar - women shop for diamonds, men drink heavily.
Dottie bought me a tanzanite/diamond/white cold ring for my anniversary.  I got her some tanzanite earrings to go with her necklace.  All in all about $2200 for the jewelry.
Had lunch on Governor's Hill at a restaurant called Herve's.  Dot had shrimp salad and I had streak sandwich.  Froghopper drink - a green pina colada.
Took the sky ride for $18 to Paradise Point and drank at The Bar At Paradise Point.  Nice view on the island/bay area and lots of birds, critters, and flowers.  A nature trail.
Met a couple for Ireland who were on a very long cruise and the liked St. Thomas the best.  Told them were like Paul McCartney.  They said the best place in Ireland is Carey.
Went shopping in Havensport on the other side of Cruz Bay
Got back to our hotel and I went on a late afternoon snorkeling adventure from our beach.  There were some rocks and lots of nice fish.  Did not have my camera and I saw 3 green Moral eels.
Knew where they lived and was planning on going back the next day with my camera
Sunset was very nice with some clouds and a light rain finally 
Pelicans, white cranes, lizards, and iguana's were everywhere
Dinner at Manor House - chicken Monsanto and seafood linguini

Thursday Nov 3 (niece London Ridenour's 10th birthday)

She was born when we were in Grand Cayman so never got pictures of her in the hospital 
Early in the morning friend Warren Frye called me and asked if I am going to Starbucks.  I meet friends at Starbucks on Rockwall, TX, when I am off work on some Fridays and some Mondays.  I told him I was Thinking about it.  He said that he will meet me there in 30 minutes.  I told him I was in St. Thomas and he said "you suck!"
Manor breakfast
Gary Timmons called me and I said "I' am in St. Thomas, what can I do for you?"  He said "you already did."  I knew what that meant.  I introduced him to Michelle Rinchuiso and he took her out the night before and said she was everything he likes and everything that I said about her.
Dottie got a pedicure at the spa while I went snorkeling and to find the ell.  The pedicure was terrible and the lady Anya was rude - do not go there!
Found their home/rocks and no eel.  Did take some nice pictures though of other fish.  3 rolls total.
We checked out at 11 and could still eat because we were not leaving for the airport until 2:30.  Bags for $4 each - nice but a rip-off.
We hung out at the pool and ate hamburgers.  Took pictures and found the iguana mother lode out back behind the outdoor grill.
Ducks and birds shared space with the Iguanas
A 45 minute drive to the airport on a Friday afternoon
Called London Ridenour from the airport since it was her birthday and we would spend the rest of the evening on a plane
We left about 4:30 and to our surprise, we stopped 22 minutes later in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  That allowed us to get some Puerto Rican rum and a collector spoon for my mother.
The pilot got us there early and we had an hour and a half to eat and shop.  We wanted to eat at the Subway but they were closing.  We ate a baked potato.  I finally got my Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks at the San Juan airport at 5:30 PM.
Plane took off at 6:30 and to my surprise, it would be a 5 hour and 20 minutes flight.  We saw two movies - The Break Up and The Lake House.  They told us the second film was supposed to be Talladega Nights and I really wanted to see that one instead.
Got to the DFW Airport at 9:30 PM

DFW Airport at 5:30 AM

Wyndham Hotel - view from Coral World, Coki Point, St. Thomas

View from our Wyndham Hotel room patio - Sugar Bay, St. Thomas

View from our Wyndham Hotel room patio

View from our Wyndham Hotel room patio

St. Thomas looking at St. John

Trunk Bay, St. John

Hawksnest Bay, St. John

"Here's looking at you kid"

Charlotte Armalie, St. Thomas

Wyndham Hotel pool and beach

"I'm too sexy for myself"

"It's a family affair" - The Iguana Family

"Hey Kermit"

"Fly like a pelican, 'till I'm free"

Downtown Charlotte Armalie, St. Thomas, is like Bourbon Street but almost all Jewelry stores

Snorkeling, Sugar Bay, St. Thomas

Snorkeling, Sugar Bay, St. Thomas

Snorkeling, Maho Bay, St. John

Snorkeling [Parrotfish], Trunk Bay, St. John (including all pictures below)