Never Judge A Book… You Haven’t Read

Having dipped our toes in the shores of several different Caribbean islands, I began to feel that I was really developing my sea legs.  At least I thought that I had.  For many years now, much of my spare time is often spent exploring the www, and traveling, albeit virtually, to a new and different island with only the click of a mouse.

I often pour over brochures, blogs, and websites, developing a sense of each islands unique characteristics.  One island excels as an eco-tourism destination, another as a sport and active travel hot spot, and yet others may be noted for shopping or dining.  Happy is the traveler that finds a destination that matches their personality and objectives.  Destitute is the traveler that avoids a destination, simply because of its perceived shortcomings.  Especially when the perceptions are misplaced.  Such was the case on my own personal assumptions about St. Thomas, USVI.

I had delayed a St. Thomas visit for some time, thinking it held no appeal to me.  An over-crowded cruise ship destination, filled with neon lights and fast-food chains.  At least that was my perception.  We decided to target St. Thomas, a couple years ago as we continued to investigate more and more of the diversity the Caribbean has to offer.  I am happy to report that my assumptions were sadly misplaced, and that St. Thomas in the USVI has much to offer even the well traveled island hopper.

We did indeed find bright colorful lights, but the view of the Charlotte Amalie Harbour from Bluebeard’s Castle left us begging for more.

The Marina at Charlotte Amallie
The Marina at Charlotte Amallie

The bright lights of the harbor however held little in comparison to the natural beauty to be found at every turn.  The island was literally covered with brilliantly colored flamboyants.

Magnificant Flamboyants Decorate the Island
Magnificant Flamboyants Decorate the Island

Shopping was easy to find, but we opted to stray a bit off the waterfront.  In doing so we found simple pleasures like these quirky bar stools at Mountain Top.

Bar Stools at Mountain Top
Bar Stools at Mountain Top

And lest you think you can’t find a nice meal in a quiet corner of the island, this is Romance with a capital “R”!

Water Side Dining, Secrete Harbour
Water Side Dining, Secret Harbour

But to our happy surprise, we found the gem of the island to be very much to our liking.

World Renowned Magen's Bay
World Renowned Magen’s Bay

Take a lesson from this now humbled traveler, and given the chance, indulge yourself in all that St. Thomas has to offer.  It is easy to get to, and is a great stepping off base for other nearby islands.  The island has more than enough to offer in dining, shopping, or just beachin it!  And never, ever, judge a book… without reading it!

Live the Lifestyle,
JVbytheSea

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Our Blue Lagoon

St. John is a unique Caribbean experience.   Given that 2/3 of this Caribbean island is reserved as a National Park, there is no other island we have found quite like it.  No mega-development here.  No concrete high-rise timeshares, no fast-food, no traffic snarls.  Nothing but pure, unadulterated natural beauty.  And if you can get there, Little Lameshure Bay is a noteworthy stop on your visit to St. John.

Recently we headed out from Cruz Bay, determined to find all of the must-see destinations on this beautiful island. We had hit the bus stop destinations of Trunk Bay,  Cinnamon Bay, and Waterlemon Bay in our clockwise circumnavigation of the island.  But in the end, we sought to find something a little more obscure.

Coral Bay on St. John's East End
Coral Bay on St. John’s East End

Meandering towards the east end of the island, we eventually turn Southeast, working towards our destination of Lameshure Bay.  Our unfailing guide source told us this would be a great spot, but difficult to get to.  The narrative was fine, as far as it went, but it fell far short of giving fair indication of the conditions ahead.  Let me just put our own little emphatic spin on this.  Do not attempt this route if you are not in a four-wheel-drive, and if you do not have rugged, battle tested kidneys.

Image Credit www.seestjohn.com
Image Credit www.seestjohn.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These little fellows are about the smoothest thing you will find along the trail!

Donkeys along the Trail  -credit Google Earth
Donkeys along the Trail -credit Google Earth

The setting is rather quiet and nondescript, though there were a few sun dappled picnic tables.  The appeal lies in its peaceful solitude.  We spent a couple hours on this quiet hideaway and we’re the only living creatures insight. If you’re looking for a quiet romantic hideaway, consider this as My Island tested, My Island approved.

Little Lameshure Bay Beach, St. John
Little Lameshure Bay Beach, St. John

So if you find yourself in the mood for a little solitude on St. John, grab your partner, pack a couple beach towels and nice picnic lunch, and wind your way around to Little Lameshure Bay Beach.  Drop us a comment, and let us know your favorite Blue Lagoon.  We’ll add it to our growing Beach Bucket List!

Live the Lifestyle,
JVbytheSea

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Top 5 Beaches of the BVI – Rum Therapy

Nothing soothes our island itch quite like time spent talking all things tropical with like-minded, salty souls.  We got just such a scratch this past January when we ran into the good folks from Rum Therapy while attending Surf Expo in Orlando.  Hearing their island tales, and seeing their great images got us thinking about their experiences in the British Virgin Islands.  We recently asked them to share with our followers, their Top BVI Beach destinations.

Five of our Favorite – Not as Well Known – British Virgin Island Beaches
by Pamela and John, Rum Therapy

With sparkling clear blue water, and beautiful white sand, the beaches of the BVI are some of the best in Caribbean. When asked by our friends at My Island Art to write a guest post on 5 of our favorite beaches in this chain of islands, it was tough to whittle it down.

While The Baths of Virgin Gorda, White Bay in Jost Van Dyke and Smuggler’s Cove in Tortola will always remain on our favorites list, we thought we’d try to focus on a few that are not talked about quite as much and may not be as well known, but well worth a visit if spending time in the BVI.

So, in no particular order, here are 5 British Virgin Island beaches that we have really enjoyed spending time on and why.
[rule] 1.       Vixen Point, Prickly Pear Island  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Prickly Pear Island borders the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. It’s located close to Saba Rock and has been designated a BVI National Park – so no additional development should take place.

Why do we like Vixen Point? The only way to get there is by boat, so unless you happen to try and visit during a private event, you’ll likely have much of the beach to yourself. There’s a fun beach bar/restaurant called The Sandbox which serves up tasty rum drinks and there are plenty of lounge chairs. Vixen Point has a long expanse of soft white sand and an excellent view of Virgin Gorda and Saba Rock.
[rule] RT #2 Pomato Point2. Pomato Point, Anegada

Anegada is a low lying island that sits north of Virgin Gorda. It’s highest point is about 28’ above sea level and is nicknamed The Drowned Island. Many of the beaches on Anegada are simply amazing and you’re not likely to encounter a crowd on any of them.
We do we like Pomato Point? When you look at a map of Anegada, you’ll notice Pomato Point on the southwest side. When we first visited Anegada, we started at that point and walked several miles on one of the prettiest beaches we have ever seen – and never encountered another person. We felt like we were on our own little deserted island! As far as we know, there is not actually a beach name for the area north of Pomato Point – we just call it paradise…
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3. Cane Garden Bay, Tortola RT #3 - Cane Garden Bay

If you’re a Jimmy Buffet fan, you’ve no doubt sung along to the lyrics of his song Manana, “I hear it gets better, that’s what they say, as soon as we sail on to Cane Garden Bay.” Cane Garden Bay is located on Tortola’s west side and is a popular anchorage for boaters.

Why do we like Cane Garden Bay? Well, in addition to the calm clear water that is excellent to float and swim in, Cane Garden Bay has some of the best beach bars and live music around – and we REALLY enjoy great beach bars and live music!
[rule] RT #4 - Sandy Spit4. Sandy Spit

Between Tortola and Jost Van Dyke there are two small uninhabited islands called Sandy Cay (the larger of the two) and Sandy Spit.

Why do we like Sandy Spit? Reachable only by boat, this tiny island can be walked in a matter of minutes, but you’ll remember it for a lifetime. Sandy Spit has great snorkeling and swimming when the surf is not rough. Take a picnic and enjoy the view!
[rule] 5. Little Deadman’s Beach, Peter Island RT #5 - Little Deadman's Beach

Peter Island is a private island and home of the gorgeous Peter Island Resort. There are several jawdroppingly beautiful beaches on Peter Island, but some are reserved for resort guests only. One that can be used by visiting boater’s is Little Deadman’s Beach.

Why do we like Little Deadman’s Beach? Well, it’s simply beautiful. Nice expanse of soft sand that drops gently into the beautiful blue water. Great place to swim, kayak and just relax. Take a hike up the hill to get a great view of the rest of Peter and surrounding islands.
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Ready to spend some time in the beautiful British Virgin Islands?  Be sure to check out the Rum Therapy Website and Facebook Page for more fun ideas on where to go, what to do and what to see on your next tropical adventure!  A big thanks to My Island Art for asking us to do a guest post – we’re always ready to talk about the islands!

Pamela and John
Your Rum Therapy “tropication” experts

Well a big MIA shout out to Pamela and John for sharing some insider tips with us!   We now know exactly where to look for a quintessential Caribbean getaway.  Be sure to check out the Rum Therapy site and FB page.  Tell them we sent you over, and give ’em a like.  If you’ve been to the BVIs, post a comment and let us know if these Top 5 match yours.  If you haven’t yet landed in this little slice of heaven, tell us, which one is calling your name?  Until we see you in the islands,

Live the Lifestyle,
JVbytheSea

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From the Blogosphere – Week in Review 07/17/13

Fresh off a whirlwind six-island tour at the beginning of last month, things are finally starting to settle back into a sense of normalcy.  Yes, we recognize we’ve taken a bit of artistic license with the use of that term!  Nonetheless, we are currently busy working at tweaking a few site issues, chatting with some awesome beach bums through social media, and working to develop some great new products.  And for the next 60 days it’s full speed ahead planning for our maiden voyage to exhibit at Surf Expo.

Today we thought we’d take a step back, and share a few of the postings we found from some of our favorite Island bloggers.
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Soggy Dollar Bar
               Soggy Dollar Bar

Bahama Bob Leonard dropped in to tell us about the Beach Bash held to celebrate the 43rd Anniversary Party at the Soggy Dollar bar on Jost Van Dyke.  If you’ve ever stopped in for one of the infamous Painkillers, you’ll want to read the details of this Day on the Beach!
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Loblolly Bay, Anegada
              Loblolly Bay, Anegada

 

From our friends at Rum Therapy, they say it’s really not that easy to get to Anegada in the British Virgin Islands.  But in this great post, they share some of the great beaches that await.  If you love stunning images of beautiful beaches like we do, check out Loblolly Bay, Anegada.

Pssst, you might also want to check out the revamped site over at RumTherapy.com.  Great job guys!
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Ever wonder what the locals recommend for favorite activities to the friends and family visiting the islands?  Then check out San Pedro Scoop’s Catamaran sailing from Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker.  One of the better photo essays we’ve seen in a while.
[rule] DONOTSTICK

One of the things we really enjoy about island life, is their more direct manner of speech.  No harm and no offense intended, they simply speak more exactly what they mean.  Political correctness takes a back seat.  Found in St. John, is this stunning example of what I mean.  Find out where it’s located in the story from On St. John.

 

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Everybody likes free, and this time the opportunity is X2!  Simply sign up for the Anguilla Beach Lovers Newsletter, and you are eligible to win a $200 Blanchards Gift Card.  Run by Bob and Melinda Blanchard, their two popular restaurants, the high-end Blanchard’s Restaurant and the low-key Blanchard’s Beach Shack next door, offer top Anguilla dining experiences.  And if you’re curious about the island transition, check out the story of their move to island life in A Trip To The Beach.

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Be sure to check out our Caribbean blogging friends.  These guys truly help to put us in an island state of mind!  And until next time, get…

Lost in a Lifestyle,
JVbytheSea

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From the Blogosphere – Week in Review 042013

After the week that was, we’re definitely needing some time away from the headlines.  We continue to remember those touched by the tragedies in Boston this past week, and pray for healing of both the body and spirit.  Stepping back from the horrific scenes,  here’s a look back at some interesting blog postings we found through the week that was.
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Charles at Big Kahuna took us on a tour of the eco-friendly resort Concordia on the island of St. John.  From the Eco-Tents, to the community aspect, and even the Work Exchange Program, this small resort on the east end of the island appears to have plenty of appeal.  Read more in Big Kahuna’s Eco Friendly.

Big Kahuna - Eco Friendly[rule]

If your thinking of a girls outing for the Ultimate Shopping Trip, check out this post by Pirates Paradise Adventures on the great shopping in St. Thomas.  Heads up guys, this could put a serious dent in the plastic!  Read all about it in this tale of Best Virgin Islands Shopping St. Thomas.

Havensight
The Waiting Game played out at Havensight, St. Thomas
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Do you love Kenny Chesney and  love to party?  If you’re in or around the Dallas area, you chesneymay want to check out the special tailgate package being offered by the gang over at Team Cocktail.  A full day of fun in the sun is scheduled for May 11!  Believe me, these guys give you bang for your tailgating buck.  Get all the deets at Kenny Chesney Ticket & Tailgate.

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Parrot Cay Resort
One more stunning resort is introduced to us by Laura from Caribbean Travel News.  In this update, Laura reports on new additions to the Parrot Cay Resort in the Turks and Caicos.  Designed to make your friends jealous, check out all the images of this beautiful layout in Parrot Cay Resort.

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Be sure to check out our Caribbean blogging friends.  These guys truly help to put us in an island state of mind!  And until next time, go get…

Lost in a Lifestyle,
JVbytheSea

Subscribe to our feeds or follow us on the social network of your choice!
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From the Blogosphere – Week in Review 041313

Slackards!  That’s us, just a bunch of lazy beach bums.  But we’re back again, with a bit of news from the best Caribbean bloggers on the web!  We save you the daily grind, and we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you.  Filtering through the many bloggers we follow, here’s some interesting site postings we found through the past week.
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rum acc
If you’re a foodie, or a spirit aficionado, you’ll want to check out the newest release from Carlton Grooms of Coastlines & Tanlines.  His newest book Rum & Contemporary Cuisine is now available on iTunes.  It’s a cooking show and a cookbook combined into one, and now available for your iPad.

 

 

 

 

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Our friend Patrick from Uncommon Caribbean introduced us to Sandy Point Beach.  The Bennett brothers are always proud to show off their home island of St. Croix, and their home-town pride comes across loud and clear in this Wallpaper Wednesday special.

Sandy-Point-St-Croix1-2048x1280

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Wendy at My Irie Time wrapped up a really great alphabetical survey of all things Caribbean with this final posting in the series, “Z is for Zymurgy”.  We really enjoyed this series.  If you missed it, go to her site and check it out, and follow the Caribbean from A-Z.

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burger

 

And finally, highlighting a Lunch of the Week is this St. John favorite at Skinny Legs!  This Burger of the Day” features smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese and a thick slice of pineapple.  Bon Appetit!

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As always, we encourage you to check out our blogging friends.  Follow along with the ones that pique your interest, and soak up a little bit of the island vibe!  And until next time, go get…

Lost in a Lifestyle,
JVbytheSea

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New To MIA – Old Mango Photography

At My Island Art we are uber excited today to formally announce a new photographer to our fold, and to now make his works available to the great customers at My Island Art.  Many of you know him by his frequent Facebook posts, and his twitter updates, and like us you’ve probably wondered, just how does he do that?  Well we’re not giving away any trade secrets, but we are thrilled to announce, available exclusively to My Island Art, select photo works from

William Torrillo, Old Mango Guide to the Islands!

Devil's Bay, Virgin Gorda
                                      Devil’s Bay, Virgin Gorda, by William Torrillo

We first became introduced to William in the same way that many of you have, by drooling every day at his stunning photographs posted on his Facebook Page Old Mango – Guide to The Islands.  We’ve watched his posts and followed his tweets, and dreamed of one day adding his works to our gallery.

In 2012 while sitting at the Cruzan Beach Club at Secret Harbour, St. Thomas, I noticed a new photo from Old Mango had just been posted to his Facebook Page.  What caught our attention was that the caption revealed that it was just taken only moments before, and at the exact same location we were now sitting.  We quickly spun around trying to locate the identity of the now mysterious photographer.

Salomon Bay, St. John
Salomon Bay, St. John, by William Torrillo
Cinnamon Bay, St. John
Cinnamon Bay, St. John, by William Torrillo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At long last I finally narrowed down the short list of bar patrons, surely it couldn’t be that geriatric woman at a corner booth, and eased up to a table.  “Are you William” I asked.  Meeting William was a real treat for us.  We sat for a brief time as he awaited the arrival of a business partner, and visited about our common love of the islands, and the lifestyle of a Island Boy.  I loved hearing him speak about his love of the islands, and his passion for capturing its beauty.

William has a wonderful eye that captures the true island beauty and warm tranquil settings, each so life-like, that you can almost hear the surf at your feet.  My Island Art is proud to be the exclusive outlet for this set of fine art images.  Our offerings are printed with the lab exclusive Pearl Print process, that highlights the image saturation and lighting captured by the artist.  Each is double-matted, and ready to frame and hang.  Included in our selection are images from Cinnamon Bay, Cruz Bay, and Salomon Bay, St. John; Devil’s Bay Beach, Virgin Gorda; Long Bay Beach in Tortola; and the famous Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke.  See the full collection of this catalog at Old Mango Pearl Photo Prints.

Old Mango Art Cards
If you are a frequent visitor to the Virgin Islands,
or if you just love beautiful island settings, you will want
to add these images to complete your tropical decor.
We also offer a limited number of sets of Photo Art Cards.
These are packets of six (6) cards depicting some of his
most popular images.  These cards are even suitable for framing.
These look awesome in a small grouping!

 

If you’re an Old Mango fan like us, drop us a comment below and let us know how much you appreciate his work.  And let us, Bring the Islands to Your Door!

Live the Life,
JVbytheSea

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Island Encounters … On St. Thomas

Our sales staff recently concluded a tour of St. Martin and St. Thomas, and are now enjoying the lush interior of Belize.  As first time visitors to St. Thomas, every day brought new and exciting experiences.  Here is a blog written to describe the coolest experience they had during our 11 days in the Islands.  I thought I’d share it and let you read about a truly memorable evening!

My husband and I were filled with anticipation as we parked our rental car,  gathered our bags, and quickly headed towards what has been voted one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, Magens Bay.

Magens Bay Beach from Mountain Top

It was around 4pm, and many of the sun worshipers had already gone home for the day.  We were focused ahead on the amazingly calm turquoise water as we walked to the white sand, but something caught both our attention as we passed by.

An elderly couple, dressed more for church than for the beach, were gently unfolding an elegant burgundy table cloth to cover the weather-worn picnic table.  A wicker picnic basket sat on the bench, waiting to be unpacked.  No children in sight – just the two of them setting a scene that was curious to us. Were they selling something? Were they getting ready for a social gathering and soon be joined by others? Just fleeting thoughts in our heads as we approached the beach.

After a short time of wading out into the pristine sea, we returned to the sand, took a seat on a bench, and marveled together at this natural wonder. God had really outdone himself!

Then we saw him walking towards us, this well dressed gentleman whom we had passed. “My wife sent me to invite you to join us at our table for some wine and cheese” he said, smiling and motioned towards the shaded scene from a classic movie.

“Really?” I responded, surprised by his boldness.  “How can we refuse an offer like that!” came my husband’s response, as we followed him and took a seat on each side of the bench.  He introduced himself and his lovely wife, explaining that they were locals who returned to this same table at 4pm, every Wednesday,

St. Thomas ambassadors and romantic fools!

to enjoy the scenery and celebrate life together.  Cloth napkins and crystal wine glasses were set before us, along with soft Havarti cheese and a bowl of fresh fruit.  I couldn’t help but notice that they just happened to have four glasses.

For over an hour we bonded with our new friends, hearing intriguing stories about their life on the island, and sharing some of our own.  Sometime during that conversation we both realized the gift we were experiencing: genuine hospitality at it’s finest.  We left with full hearts and blissful memories.  Not because of the breathtaking world-renowned beach, but because of two fascinating people who intentionally impacted our lives and left us forever changed.

Magens Bay Sunset

Thanks to T-Lynn for an awesome story.  That my friends, is island living at its best!

Live the Life,
JVbytheSea

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The Real Blessing of Travel

I have had the good fortune of traveling to a good many cultures and climates in my brief time on this big blue marble.  I’ve seen the Rocky Mountains of the western US, and traveled its beaches from coast to coast.  I’ve tasted beaches and ruins from throughout the Caribbean and the Cote d’Azur, and marveled in the history of some of Europe’s greatest cities.  However, when asked, what is the one thing we love most about our travels, we always come back to the realization that the greatest pleasure in travel is in the friendships we develop along the way.

Such was a chance meeting in our recent travels this past summer.  Little did we know that a photo contest we ran in December would pay such lasting benefits to us.  You may recall our Warm Faces, Warm Places Photo Contest,  that featured a prize of a new jewelry box featuring the winning photo.  The contest ended on December 24, and the winning image

Bridget’s Winning Photo on the Finished Product

was this stunning picture taken of Megans Bay in St. Thomas.  As it turns out the photographer, Bridget Skjordahl, lives on a quiet hillside overlooking this familiar beach.  In fact, Bridget has the terrible misfortune of having to view this beach from her home every day!  As they say, it’s tough work, but someone has to do it.

As we began to plan our June buying/sales trip,  we began to target St. Thomas as a destination for this tour.  It was to be our first trip to the island, but I assure you, it will not be our last.  During the planning stages I reached out to Bridget for advice and insights, and found her to be a wealth of information and a most willing guide.

As we finalized our plans, we agreed to meet up while on island, and upon our arrival, Bridget quickly set about arranging a time to meet for an evening together.  We quickly accepted and were supremely rewarded!  Having people on the “inside” is a huge benefit.  Membership truly does have privileges!

They invited us to an evening out and dinner at Banana Tree Grille, on the grounds of historic Bluebeard’s Castle, and overlooking the beautiful harbor of Charlotte Amalie.

View of Charlotte Amalie from Banana Tree Grille…Seriously Stunning!

Meeting her husband Marty, a pilot for Seaborne Airlines, was a another great pleasure.  Finally I’ve met someone who is as supremely Type A as I.  It’s nice to meet a kindred spirit.  They filled the evening telling us of their move from corporate life in middle America, to true island spirits.  By evening’s end, I was ready to toss my return ticket and start my own House Hunters International.

Large Silver Carnival Inspired Red & Gold Tribal Hoop Earrings

And, as an added bonus, as it turns out, Bridget is an artist in her own right. Bridget produces her own line of handmade custom jewelry, created in the islands.  Please take a moment to check out her Facebook Page at B. Skjordahl Studio Handmade Art Jewelry.

She gave us a couple gifts to remember her by, and we are thrilled to see them as our new island friends.  You can see more of her unique creations in her Etsy store at Paradise Made Jewelry.  Quite aptly named we think, given the stunning beach she overlooks from her island home.

We love the words Bridget uses describe her works and her passion,

Handmade Limited Edition Sterling Silver Sea Shell Pendant Necklace

“I live to experience and share everyday love, joy, and beauty through a multitude of methods and media. Every piece of art you find here is my answer to the call, to express my interpretation of these values, through the lens of the paradise in which I live.

Staying true to expressing my heart is paramount. Each day is a new day, unencumbered by yesterday or tomorrow.”  Now that is the true spirit and appreciation of Paradise!  We envy her for her little corner of Paradise, but most of all we are thankful for her genuine spirit of friendship and open arms.

This, my dear friends, is the true blessing of travel.  The people and the open welcoming hearts we encounter.  As we left our evening together, we couldn’t help but ask, “Could this be our future home?”  Well only time will tell, but it certainly has the gears turning, and we know that wherever we travel next, we can only hope it is a Paradise filled with friends like Bridget and Marty.

Perhaps you will see us again in ‘our’ little corner of Paradise.  Time will tell, but keep the lights on just in case!

Live the Life,
JVbytheSea

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An Island Tour -St. Thomas

With great anticipation we scoured the map plotting our course for the day.  We had planned this first day to quickly give ourselves a snapshot view of the best and most notable strands of St. Thomas’ shorelines.  We charted a path on this trip to tour the eastern and north-shore beaches,  map and requisite camera in hand we headed out.

Nearest our B&B was the westward facing Secret Harbour.  I was feeling pretty good about myself and the lovely evening I had arranged.  We stopped in and had a nice dinner to watch the sunset and I thought I was really scoring a few

Romantic Sunset at Secret Harbour

points here with my bride.  Then I spied that some over-achiever had left me in the dust with his seaside preparations!  Needless to say, this small section of soft golden sand makes this a great place for a romantic sunset dinner at water’s edge.

But alas the night was not all lost.  We had the great privilege of meeting and spending a little time with William Torrillo, a professional photographer whom we follow as Old Mango on Facebook.  I even tried to replicate an image he had posted from this beach.  What a miserable failure it was.  This guys has sick talent!

Coki Beach

Our next target was an overshot, so we made a quick detour to Coki Beach instead.  This beautiful beach has a couple small bars and grilles, and is home to Coral World Ocean Park, and the Marine Park & Observatory,  The relatively short length was more than compensated for by the numerous barkers looking to park your car and point you to a chair of their choosing.

We then heeded the recommendations of nearly every “islander” we met, and retraced our steps back to Lindquist Beach.  All we could say was “Fantastico”!  We absolutely loved this quiet, beautiful, and pristine stretch of sand.  We had the entire beach to ourselves, save one lone family celebrating the father’s 40th Birthday.  Such clear water and gentle surf makes for a perfect playground.  Thanks to all who pointed us in this direction!

Lindquist Beach
Magens Bay

We reluctantly waved a hasty goodbye and headed out for the infamous Magens Bay.  This is the one seen in so many St. Thomas postcards and websites.  Upon stepping through the trees of this US State Park we quickly understood why.  What a beautiful stretch of brilliant, soft white sand, and the entirety is lined with quiet shady retreats.  It was instantly clear why this beach is a favorite of tourists and locals alike.  Absent the usual throng of cruise ship tour buses, we had the beach nearly to ourselves. The crystal clear waters are perfect for wading at a considerable distance from shore.  One of the best tips we got during this trip came from our friends at Uncommon Caribbean.  When leaving the park, stop in at the sinfully refreshing Udder Delight!  Shakes, malts, sherbert, and even Adult Milkshakes, all guaranteed to satisfy.  Thanks for the tip guys!

We then followed the requisite path of every tour bus and headed to the top… Mountain Top that is.  This treetop giftshop and bar, situated at 2,100 ft. above sea level, is one of the oldest and more infamous attractions on St. Thomas.  They claim to be the home to the World Famous Banana Daiquiri.  In reality, they are home to the World Famous views of Magens Bay!

Magens Bay from Mountain Top

Our final stop was in search of the elusive Neltjeberg Beach.  We really didn’t know how elusive this would prove to be.  Instructed to drive past the gas station, beyond the dumpsters parked along the roadside, just past the restaurant Thirteen, and turn down the path along side the carport with the ‘blue’ tarp.  After a few laps passing the immediate area, we eventually turned at the ‘white’ tarp and found our way.

What we encountered was the absolute worst road known to man.  This was pothole after pothole, separated by deep crevices, and short unexplained patches of perfectly reasonable concrete pavement.  But the resulting stop proved to be yet another beautiful section of quiet shoreline, and we netted the quintessential Caribbean beach photograph.

Neltjeberg Bay

All in all, we were profoundly impressed with the parks and beaches of St. Thomas.  On our final day on the island, we decided to drop our towels on just one beach and spend the entire day soaking up its vibe.  For this special day we ultimately settled on Magens Bay.  But hey, that’s just our opinion.  If you’ve been to St. Thomas, we would love to hear you voice your opinion,  What is your favorite STT Beach?

Live the Life,
JVbytheSea

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