Day 7 – St. Thomas, St. John

Filed Under (Vacation) by Jason L. on 27-05-2008

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Waking up so early was killer. We slept in a bit even though room service brought us food. Mandy’s arm was killing her from kayaking the night before. I felt so bad cause I should have done all the work and just let her sit there. Nessa came to our room and rubbed her arm a bit to help ease the pain. We gathered with Kris and Brittina, Nessa and Korban and headed out to the port.

Mandy and I have been to St. Thomas 5 years before but a lot has changed. We did recognize a few things like the Wendy’s on the corner and the shops in the port area. This time we were following some internet advice Kris had that suggested we go to st. John and play on a fabulous beach there. It was a bit of a walk to the K-Mart intersection where we caught a open air taxi for $2 each which took us to the ferry. Then we waited 45 minutes for the next ferry to come and hopped on it. It was a pretty basic boat with just rows and rows of seats. Nothing too special and if it was a longer ride, I would have likely needed Dramamine.

Arriving in St. John, you could definitely tell this was where the blue beach pictures are taken. The water was so clear even at the dock, I was amazed. We again hopped on an open air taxi and headed to Trunk beach. It looked to be a state park and was charging $4 a person to get it. It was well worth it. We walked a very short distance through a dense forest and suddenly there was an opening and you could see the beach and blue ocean water. The sand was amazingly white and there were hardly any people there. This changed pretty quickly, but not before I snapped some panoramic shots. We threw down our stuff and put on our brand new snorkeling gear. It was perfect. The gear we had was not the cheap walmart stuff, but the kind you could pay $100 for – it had fins and all.

At first I was panicing. I have a fear of drowning and suffocating. I had to mentally tell myself to control my breathing and not freak out so bad.

The coral reefs were so cool. We saw all sorts of fish and plants and stuff. There were puffer fish, a huge angel fish, wrasse, damsels, blue and white tangs, and others I don’t quite know. They were so friendly we could just stick our hands out and they would come right up to us looking for food. A guy swam around with bread and fed them, it was amazing. We spent over an hour in the water wondering around the reefs and then started to get tired. Mandy and I were exhausted by the time we reached shore, it’s a good thing we headed back. We laid on the beach and snapped some more pictures of us and the scenery. Nessa and K had me take a panorama of them in 3 different frames. I hope it looks cool. After resting for a while Nessa, K and I headed back out for one last adventure. I wish would could have spent more time there, but we had to leave around 1:00 to catch the next ferry. They promised there will be more chances.

We got back to St-Thomas and went shopping. We almost missed our boat, we were supposed to be on by 530pm but didn’t make it back till 536pm. Traffic was so bad we almost jumped out a few times to run instead. We really wish we had had more time in this port.

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Day 6 – Puerto Rico

Filed Under (Vacation) by Jason L. on 26-05-2008

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Woke up ate breakfast, laid out on the deck, did laundry and discovered panorama pictures. It was really windy and I was sunburned so I covered my legs and sunscreened my shoulders. I referred to my legs as being pomegranate red. We are now going to eat again and get ready for our first excursion and island. Luminescent kayaking in San Juan Puerto Rico. We are only there for about 6hours, so all of our time will be doing this event. I guess there is a 2 hour ride to the place, and 3 hours of real kayaking. We will see how it goes. Nessa and K are sleeping again, they are really not used to the time schedule here, they are still set to their old times. So far each day they have been the ones to wake us up. Everyone is just chilling today; we haven’t spent much group time together. We did our laundry for $2.00 each. I went to the casino to get change and bet a quarter and won 2 quarters. I stopped and never looked back. I’m sure we will make it there again.
We rode to the kayaking place in a small shuttle bus through Puerto Rico. It was pretty neat seeing the city for about an hour and 15 minutes before we arrived. We saw a condo where Ricky Martin lived supposedly. There were some really nice areas and some really crappy areas. We were surprised that they have all the same amenities as we expect at home. Home depot, churches, mcdonalds Walgreens, etc. When we got to the park where the boat dock was, it was dark and there were several other groups that were doing the same activity. We had to sign a waiver and mandy and I joked about death and injury. We got a life jacket and then two by two hopped into plastic kayaks. Mandy did really well at staying steady and keeping in sync. We figured out we would do left, right, left, right unless we needed to turn a bit, then Mandy would yell 2 lefts, or 2 rights. A couple times we ran into the side of the skinny canal we were going down. With no moon, it was pitch black, the only thing to guide us was the glowsticks they had put on the front and backs of each canoe. Once we went through the canal, we reached a lake. It was so cool to see the micro-organisms lighting up the water just as we paddled. I even saw some in the marina area before we got to the canal.
After paddling up and down the canal and reaching the marina again, the winds were stronger and the waves more powerful. We started to get hit by the waves from the side in shallow water, which is bad. We turned and headed out to sea looking for our group; we almost went the wrong way and met up with the wrong group. After ashore, we were given water and fake cheetos.
Mandy and Nessa headed to the public restrooms which felt more like jail cells with the bars and locks. I guess the women’s had poo all over the walls and was really nasty. Other girls were going in the men’s and so they followed. While they were changing out of their suits, a guy walked in and traumatized them.
Our ride back was uneventful. I changed out of my swimming suit without anyone in the shuttle noticing. When we got back I snapped some photos of the landscape and we boarded the boat again. It was late, so we didn’t really do anything after, we just got some food and went to bed. We were going to get up at 630am the next day and considered having a sleepover but didn’t.

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