Friday, June 23, 2006

Chillin' on the Virgin Islands

In case you're wondering why you haven't seen any updates to the blog lately, it's because we spent a week on St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I originally planned to update the blog from the island in real time. But when it came down to it, what would you rather be doing? Writing a blog in the hotel room, or sipping rum punch by the pool? 'Nuff said.

James & Tim having dinner at The Fish Trap on our first full day. (06/11/06)

St. John is the smallest of three main U.S. Virgin Islands. The 20-square-mile island, with less than 5,000 residents, is more than two-thirds national park. There are no airports on the island. The only access is by boat. It's also where Academy Award-winning actress Renée Zellweger married country singer Kenny Chesney (whose marriage lasted not much longer than our vacation).

The awesome 1/4-acre swimming pool. (06/15/06)

We were there with our friends Doris & Jenn, whom we visited in Santa Cruz last year, and who visited us earlier this year. And we also invited our friend Steve, from Washington, DC (with whom we traveled to Hawaii in 2002).

The 1,200-sq.-ft private beach. (06/15/06)

How did we end up in the Virgin Islands? The idea started with Doris, whose company was planning a sales incentive meeting there. As the event planner, Doris had some work responsibilities there, but since most of her time would be free, she suggested it as a group vacation, and it sounded good to us.

Dinner on our last full day: Doris, Jenn, Tim, James and Steve. (06/16/06)

We stayed at the Westin St. John, one of the newest resorts on the island. It sits at the end of Great Cruz Bay, on the west side of the island. The property is gorgeous, complete with a private 1,200-foot-long beach, a 1/4-acre swimming pool, and lush foliage everywhere — complete with a wide assortment of wildlife, including exotic birds and iguanas!

Jenn helps feed the iguanas. (06/16/06)

The resort did an exceptional job at making guests feel secluded, even though it's only a short drive from Cruz Bay, the main town on the island. On three nights, we braved the terrifying taxi drives into town to dine at some of Cruz Bay's many restaurants. The rest of the time we stayed at the resort (who wanted to leave?).

An undated satellite photo of the Westin, courtesy of Google Earth.

We had a great time there. We also had many fun excursions, which I'll categorize separately just to keep things short. In all we definitely enjoyed ourselves.

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