Dec. 2016 – St. John

St. John: December 2016

Tips: We love St. John!  And hope the post hurricane rebuilding is going really well.

We did our open water dives here, to get PADI certified.  I’m happy we did our certification dives here because I think we saw better sea creatures on our later dive trips. We had one million hiccups (from paper work showing we passed our pool dives in Chi to trying to book dives during their busiest season and of course not pre-booking or looking into this at all before we arrived).  Low Key Dive Shop was awesome and got us in.  I think Heather and Nick helped us – great people, and we actually ran into Heather after the dives. So much fun.

Max was our dive guide for day one.  He was fantastic – showed us a ton of tiny sea creatures (I would call these sea spiders, but that’s not right) – super colorful and cool.  We did some skills with him, which went fine.

I wish I remembered the name of our day two dive master, but I don’t.  He was also great, and we got certified!  On New Year’s Eve, not too shabby.  Many of the dive masters were bartending at the biggest NYE party in town, so we of course bought them shots at the bar 🙂

Flights/ferry: You fly into St. Thomas (likely through somewhere on the way – we did Puerto Rico) and then grab a ferry to St. John.  Makes for a long trip over (and back), but so worth it.  60K Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for each of us, we were super happy to book on points.

Where to stay: Cruz Bay, hands down.  Our friend Kate recommended this, and we’re so happy she did.  Stay at Donald Schnell’s hotel!  We actually found it on Airbnb, and it’s perfect – super, super centrally located, so you walk to town, the bars, Woody’s :), the market, you name it:  We stayed in the Amore loft – small but cute, had a fridge, and they clean the rooms as well as give you new beach towels each day.  Better than a bnb without towel service.  Donald is a (the) local artist, and he sells his work as well.  He gave us magic stones (still have them and life is still magical) and invited us up for wine, which was nice.  All sounds strange, but go with it.

Food & drink: Happy hour, what!  The entire island runs on happy hour time (we’d get back from our dives, and our captain would happily state that we’re back in time for HH).  Happy hour lasted a while, so that wasn’t super hard to do.

Woody’s: I guess Kenny Chesney opened this place (or went there?  Not sure, but we were down with it and love Country music). $1 (yes, I said $1) Coors Light bottles for HH, which was maybe 3 or 4pm-6pm ish.  We’d start there for 1-2 and move on.  There will be creepy old(er) men hitting on the bartenders, but we had fun regardless.

The Longboard: Cool bar, and I’m sure we got a snack or two.  We asked for shots lit on fire, and we got them!  Fun bartenders.

Doghouse Pub: Hi to Chris Sanderson if you’re still there.  We frequented this place – good food, good vibe, and good people.

Pizza place with the awesome guy from Boston: lots of shots here, hi to our buddy!

The Terrace: Really pretty restaurant.  Go for HH!  Great deals then.

Umami Bar: We tried it but didn’t frequent it.  

The list goes on – this is why we love St. John.

Other stuff to do:

Take the catamaran booze cruise to Jost Van Dyke.  The boat is super nice, and Jost is so stinking cool.  Of course, you’ll do a Painkiller at the Soggy Dollar.  Try the reggae vibed place (one love – good shrimp or lobster quesadillas, I can’t remember which).  If you’re lucky, you’ll catch some good characters that challenge you to mind games.

Note: you’ll need your passports, as this is in the BVI.  They’ll tell you that when you book, and they’ll take care of the passports.  You’ll take care of the charge to go over.

Rent a jeep and drive to an awesome breakfast joint (The Triple B) as well as other beaches to snorkel/hang out (Waterlemon Cay is cool).  The drive can be steep, but Jon did great.

Hike Lind Point Trail – not too difficult.

We walked over to Mongoose Junction and did The Tap Room, a local brewery. Cool if you have the time, but wasn’t our favorite stop.  Mongoose Junction is much more quiet than the other side of town but worth a peek.

For NYE, we tried to shake off happy hour and made it out just in time.  We hit the beach with a bottle of champagne, and our favorite song was being played live by a country band – fate.  We then hit the rager in town.

We did have a guy who tried to get us to do a time share tour situation, but we didn’t do it.  He wasn’t super pushy.

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