Back from Vacation

We’re home from the sunny shores of St. John just in time to be welcomed back by a New England snow storm. We’d didn’t really get all that much in terms of snow, but the welcome home message was certainly received. Our trip went off without a hitch. It was a little cooler than last year and we had a couple of days of rain, but it sure beat the weather here. I think we can finally say that we’ve become fully acclimated to New England. When we got there we couldn’t figure out why there were so many people at the resort. Silly us, the rest of the country still takes their spring breaks around Easter rather than February and April like they do here. We ended up in one of the cabins WAY up the hill from the beach and well, everything. Now I know why they call it luggage and why you should never refuse an offer from the staff to take you up to your cabin in a truck. I thought I was going to have the big one after carrying our stuff up some 130 stairs. We counted and it was 391 stairs to the beach (782 round trip); the old legs sure got a work out but now they’re STRONG. Still I don’t think any of us miss the 78 stairs to the bathroom…

We had some new encounters with the local wildlife in the tent this time. In addition to our friends the Anoles (whom I think we all truly did miss) we got to see up close an personal a couple of scorpions. They are extremely shy creatures and really wanted nothing at all to do with us, but they are high on the heebee jeebee scale.

The ocean and reefs were of course the stars of the show. When we arrived the sea was just calming down from one of the largest swells in the Caribbean since the “Perfect Storm” of October 1991. The sea was so churned up snorkeling was nearly impossible but we had a good time playing in the waves. Piper was a little bit more cautious in the water this time out, but had a good time flinging herself into the waves. I think what happened is that she popped her snorkel on during the rough period and had the waves fill it one too many times for her to be comfortable. I still managed to drag her out on my back to the reefs a couple of times so she could see the locals. I was thrilled to finally see a sea turtle up close at Maho Point. After determining that it was going to stick around a while I hauled it back to shore so Lisa could go out and see for herself. She was much less thrilled to encounter a fair sized Nurse Shark rather than her expected turtle. Like last year I came within a few feet of a 4 foot Barracuda. It was resting on the reef with its nose down and tail up like a floating log. I can tell you unequivocally that those things are intimidating fish.

We took one side trip to visit the Annaberg Sugar Plantation ruins. The Plantation grew and processed sugar cane in a elaborate factory setting. In the factory ruins you can still see the boiling cisterns and channels used to route the cane juice through the various processes needed to turn it into processed sugar, molasses and finally rum. The site has the lower two thirds of a Dutch style windmill still in place which provided much of the energy to crush the cane. We did this on one of the rainy days so by the time we made it back from the mile walk we were all pretty soaked from the intermittent down-pours. But at least it was warm rain!

The fun is over now though! Everyone is back to work in the morning.

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