Oh baby drive away to Malibu

Tattoo by Emily North

“Not Afraid Anymore” tattoo by Emily North

There are certain places that become a legend before you even get a chance to visit. As a child of the 80s “Malibu” had a strong currency in my mind though I didn’t understand what or where it was. The word conjured “Malibu Barbie,” with her flaxen hair and metallic swimsuit and pink hued beach mansion. In reality, I’m struck by Malibu’s rugged coast, its quiet beaches, and state parks full of cliffs and chaparral and hiking trails.

T-shirt: J Crew; Shorts and belt: Thrifted

T-shirt: J Crew; Shorts and belt: Thrifted

On my recent trip to LA I took a Saturday to drive out with two of my best friends to have brunch in Santa Monica and continue up the coast to El Matador State Park, a windswept beach full of rock formations, sea anemone, surf and beautiful sand for napping, sunning and restoring.

Bathing Suit: Esther Williams; Shorts and belt: Thrifted

Bathing Suit: Esther Williams; Shorts and belt: Thrifted

I also got to show off my new (and first!) tattoo by Emily North – a phrase taken from “Insight,” one of my favorite Joy Division songs that has stuck with me for over a decade. I find that Southern California is the perfect place to wash away fear and embrace possibility with an expansive view over the endless Pacific.

El Matador State Park

El Matador State Park, Malibu, California

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The Summer So Far

Beach life, Fourth of July edition

Robert Moses State Park, July 4

It’s a cliche to say it, but can you believe how fast the summer goes? All around me I see announcements for “the last (your summertime activity here) of the season!” Already? I’m still sorting through my photos from France and there will be a myriad of posts coming soon, but in the meantime, here’s a little review of my summer activity so far. Enjoy and bon week-end!

Fireworks over manhattan (from Brooklyn)

Fireworks from a Greenpoint roof, July 4

Landing in Iceland with the midnight sun

11:30 pm “sunset” in Iceland, mid-July

Paris et ses nuages vue de haute

Rainy Paris, from le Ciel de Paris, Tour de Montparnasse

Prendre un apéro plus haute que la tour Eiffel... Check!

Cheers! With Byglam in Paris

Reportage direct de Paris: le temps de merde continue

Moody Paris skies, mid-July

Petit dej pour mon dej

Paris may have rain, but also, croissants!

Quiiiiick! Le soleil!!!!

And when Paris is sunny, there’s no where better!

Sète! Quelle belle ville! Merci @clumsy_maria pour la Tournée!

Escape to Sete and the sun in the south of France

Super déjeuner avec les fruits de mer et @clumsy_maria

Seafood feast in Sete with Clumsy Maria

A taste of the sweet life

Pool time in Provence

Beaux couleurs!

Exploring Provence by bike, mid-July

Merci mes amies pour le super soirée!

Back to Paris to wish our friends Au Revoir!

Made it to the farm in time for a beautiful ceremony!

…and directly to upstate New York for a beautiful farm wedding!

Mission of Burma hipster paradise

Mission of Burma, Ted Leo and Wild Flag for free in Prospect Park

It was a lovely beach day!

Back to Robert Moses State Park, early August

Chillin' with @easylovernyc

Corita played a show at Don Pedro’s with Easy Lover (above), Paper Fleet and Space Merchants

Now it's the ladies' turn! Let's go Brooklyn Bombshells!

Brooklyn Bombshells won a rollerderby match at Coney Island!

On a ferris wheel looking out on Coney Island...

… and after Corita rode the Wonder Wheel

Toasting a Brooklyn day well lived!

A toast to a summer well spent!

Culebra Tropical Escape, Part 2: Culebrita

Culebrita all to ourselves

Looking back towards Culebra from Culebrita

We went to Culebra to “get away from it all.” We chose an island off the beaten track so we could exhale, explore, indulge in sunshine and nature, and enjoy without being around hordes of others in a heavily commercialized place. To pursue this idea even further we decided to spend a day exploring an even smaller, more secluded place: Culebrita (little Culebra), an uninhabited island to Culebra’s east. Upon the suggestion of the dive shop employee (hint, always ask at the dive shop for suggestions) we called Captain Sebastian and he agreed to show us around Culebrita on our last full day of vacation. We assured him we were “Four healthy people in our 30’s who wanted to snorkel, hike and relax on the beach.” Sebastian was about our age and the son of a yacht delivery captain who grew up throughout the Caribbean. Culebra is most definitely Sebastian’s home, though. When asked about Vieques, Culebra’s larger neighbor, he shook his head, “Too big for me man, too many people.”

Culebrtia beach

We met Sebastian at 8 am at the dock by Mamacita’s restaurant. It might seem punishing to get up so early on vacation, but trust me, getting into a small boat to chill out and take in the beautiful, tropical sights is nothing like getting to work at 8 am, so why worry about it? You can always nap on the beach later! We began our adventure by taking a tour of a mangrove forest on Culebra, marveling at the tangled roots and the watery passages between them. Then it was off to Culebrita.  The wind was blowing strongly and the waves were super choppy, with white caps even in deep water. It was a fun, ride. Having grown up on boats myself I could tell Sebastian was super skilled at handling the the wind and the waves. So I let myself relax.

Exploring the mangrove forest by boat

When we got to Culebria we were the only ones there. Sebastian explained that it usually fills up by 11 am, so it’s good to get an early start. Because of the high winds the only other boat we saw the whole time was that of Captain Sebastian’s friend, Captain Bill. Bill has a catamaran and will fish and cook you a huge meal as he shows you around. The beach was on the leeward side of the island, so we soaked in the view and the sun out of the wind and then motivated to take the 15 minute hike to the lighthouse on the highest point of the island.

Hiking to the lighthouse on Culebrita

Close up of the abandoned lighthouse on Culebrita

A word of caution about hiking in Culebra and Culebrita: watch out for the thorns! Sebastian carried a machete to cut them back and I can see why. Those thorn bushes are intense and a brush with a thorn and your bare ankle or arms would be really painful. Thorns aside, the hike was lovely and mellow and the view rivaled those we saw from our hike along the spine of Jost Van Dyke last winter.  Speaking of our trip to Jost, Culebra and Culebrita are only 17 miles from St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, so the British Virgin islands are not too far off. In my own ignorance of the region I had no idea how close the Virgin Island and Puerto Rico are to each other. Answer: very.

View from the top of the lighthouse: Tortuga Beach

View from the top of the lighthouse: looking towards St. Thomas

Lighthouse stairs: totally terrifying

Sebastian fearlessly lead us up the lighthouse tower, which is not at all safe or a journey for the weak at heart. SMH and S. followed him right up to the top, sitting on the edge of the tower in the howling wind. Just writing about it makes my palms sweat. A. and I poked our heads out, took in the view and retreated. I’m glad I mustered my courage to do it, but climbing crumbling cast iron steps is clearly not an activity for worry warts like me.

Totuga beach, lighthouse in background, Culebrita

After lunching and snorkeling (do I even need to tell you it was amazing?) we took another walk across Culebrita to a beach that was even more perfect that any of the ones we had seen so far. White sand, palm trees, crystal water, the whole lot. Tortuga beach is also a national wildlife preserve where turtles nest in the spring, hence its name. While I would have been content to laze on the sand, the adventure continued and I went along.

On the way to the baths

Sebastian led us over craggy rocks to a series of tide pools fed by the waves. We stared at them admiringly, watching the surf crash in and feeling the wind whistle by our ears. Suddenly Sebastian stripped off his shirt, dropped his bag, and jumped in! We stared, slack jawed. We were sure our Captain was going to be swept out to sea. He waved at us, “What are you waiting for!” One by one we plunged in. The sea water was bubbly from the surf and felt as if we were swimming in seltzer.

The baths, Culebrita

Photo by Captain Sebastian

But we didn’t stop there. We hiked up yet another rocky outcropping to stare out at the sea and watch the waves crash into the tide pools. There’s nothing that settles me and puts me at peace more than watching the waves and staring across the sea towards the horizon. When I was flying to Culebra I joked that I was looking for paradise. I dare say that we found it.

Wind and waves, Culebrita

Culebrita, Tortuga Beach

I highly recommend Captain Sebastian’s tours. He’s fun, knowledgeable and will customize where he takes you to what you want to do. He also goes to Luis Pena, the islands you can see in my sunset photos in my previous Culebra entry, which have incredible snorkeling. He brings water, fruit and fruit juice for you! The price is extremely reasonable and as I said, he’s a great skipper to boot. He doesn’t have a website, but you can call him at 1-787-435-4498 to make a reservation. Don’t worry, he said it was OK for me to put his number on my blog.

You can see a full set of my Culebra and Culebrita photos on Flickr.

Finally, because pop culture never gets old (until it does) we of course, could not stop humming this song while we were boating:

Culebra Tropical Escape, Part 1

Flamenco Beach, Culebra, PR

New York winter is terrible. It grinds on and whether it snows or not, it feels like it never ends. To survive it you need to plot your escape. Our escape all started with the a flyer for the “Bruisecruise” – an indie rock cruise that features bands, DJ’s and plenty of sun starved hipsters. A. and I seriously considered it for awhile – three days on a boat with rock bands and warmth. We were thiiiis close to buying a ticket when we realized 1. the bands that were playing play in New York frequently and 2. do we really want to be stuck on a cruise ship with half of Williamsburg? and 3. for the money we could create our own tropical getaway.

Swimming at Flamenco beach

First we defined our criteria: direct flight from New York, easy, but not something that was just an all inclusive resort or tourist trap. Not too pricey. We decided on Puerto Rico because we don’t need a passport to go there and would not have to change money. I remembered when SMH and I were doing research for our tropical vacation last year we seriously considered Culebra, a small island to the east of Puerto Rico. It features one gas station, one ATM, and nary an all inclusive resort. Perfect. We mustered the troops: SMH, S., A. and myself and a few weeks of research and a few conferences calls later and we were set.

Waves, Flamenco beach

Here’s why you go to Culebra: you love beautiful beaches with hardly anyone on them, nature, and a slow pace of life. You don’t go there if you want all inclusive packages or jumpin’ nightlife or high fashion.

Beach essentials

Flamenco beach from the air as we approach Culebra

The flight itself is worth it. While there is a ferry from Fajardo, we were advised not to take it and I can see why. It was cancelled two out of the four days we were there. Instead we flew Vieques Air Link (you can also take Air Flamenco) from Isla Grande Airport in San Juan to Culebra – a half an hour flight. Limited to 30 pounds of luggage a piece before we got on the plane we joked that there would be a public shaming ritual where everyone was asked their weight. It turned out to be true! The plane is small enough it needs to be weight balanced and I felt like we were in van that happened to fly. For the landing we flew right over Flamenco beach, one of the world’s best beaches and where were staying. After the beach it looked like we were headed right for the trees! We flew in between two mountains, banked hard to the left and landed. I admit it, I was whimpering. As we were getting out the pilot was laughing and said, “Someone back there was scared!” I sheepishly admitted to it. At the airport we sipped a perfect cafe con leche and waited for our rental jeep to arrive.

Coming in for a landing in paradise

Culebra is a small island, but not so tiny that you can walk everywhere. The roads are narrow and twisty and it’s helpful to have some kind of transportation. After looking into the three car rental options available S. found the perfect one for us: Dick and Cathie’s Jeep Rental, which features the very strange Volkswagen “Thing,” a car that has a cultish following in the US. It’s got 4 gears and feels a little like driving a riding lawn mower, but with speed limits that max out at 35 miles an hour who needs a sleek jeep with frivolous features like windows and a roof? Cruising around in the Thing, top down, made it clear we were on vacation. We adored the Thing and “thinging” became a verb for driving somewhere in our vacation parlance. Dick also showed us where to park in town, where the super markets were, pointed out the vegetable seller that came to the island once a week (score!) and warned us about a pothole so big it tipped over a cement mixer. Dick and Cathie also offer bike rentals. We rented mountain bikes for 2 days, but were so busy with doing nothing, we never used them.

Driving the Thing

Party in the Thing!

Trunk in the front

For lodging we stayed at Culebra Beach Rentals on Flamenco beach, which has been rated one of the top 10 beaches in the world. The rentals featured everything we needed, and have full kitchens, so it was easy to prepare our own food. The highlight of our place was the huge porch with rocking chairs, a hammock, a dining table and grill. We prepared our dinners and ate family style every night, joined by a group of feral cats who seduced us with their sweet ways and were treated to a gourmet diet of chicken, fish and beef while were there.  Of course the best part was that the beach was steps away and we walked out at every hour to soak in the sun, sunset or stars.

The "villas" at Culebra beach rentals - so cute!

Porch friend. The mellowest one-eyed cat ever. I almost brought this one home.

Flamenco beach was wide, vast and even though some grumbled it had been “discovered” at maximum we counted 35 people there. There’s also a cluster of food stalls you can walk down to that feature homemade mofungo, shark kebabs, and from the “Mexican” themed one the best pina colada we had on the island.

Showing off my new Esther Williams suit on Flamenco beach

Thanks to the Thing we also explored some of the island’s other beaches: Zoni beach, which was the locals secret 10 years ago, but is now well known to locals and visitors. These included some nudists, who we were surprised to discover far down the beach.

Zoni beach, Culebra, PR

Enjoying the beach life

We also went to Tamarindo beach, which features a reef full of sea life that is perfect for snorkeling. You have to be sure not to touch anything though – Culebra was used by the US Navy for training exercises and there are still unexplored bombs on the ocean floor! Tamarindo is also one of the few beaches on the island that faces west, making it prime real estate for sunset watching.

Sunset from Tamarindo beach, Culebra, PR

Tamarindo beach, before sunset

Beach chickens

For the inside scoop on beaches and snorkeling we asked at the dive shop on the main street by the ferry dock. They also recommended Captain Sebastian to us for a boating adventure, but I’ll write more about that in part 2.

I’ll leave you with a few more scenes that I hope will transport you out of winter for a moment. I remember my former dubiousness about going to the Caribbean, which I have since shed. I think it’s really about finding the places off the beaten track that are strong on local flavor and pride. It’s about respecting the unique culture of a place and appreciating the rhythm of island life. In addition to the sun, sand and time away I appreciated that we found a place that felt so “us.” For a getaway from winter with some of my best friends I couldn’t ask for more.

Frozen mojito at Mamacita's

Bakery in downtown Culebra. Delicious pastries!

Culebra Dive Shop

Hotel Kokomo, downtown Culebra

Note: This was the inaugural trip for my new digital SLR camera – a Canon Rebel T3i. These photos are mostly taken from this, but the airplane shots are from my trusty Canon PowerShot (and taken by SMH) because I needed something quickly at hand (and he had a better view in the plane).

Note 2: For more information on all things Culebra visit this sweet website.

Greetings from Asbury Park (Well, Ocean Grove)

Asbury Park boardwalk at dusk

Ocean Grove at sunset

For the past few days I have been close to home, but faraway. I rented a small apartment with two of my good friends “down the shore” in New Jersey, a tranquil, two-hour train ride from Penn Station, but only a block’s walk from the beach and long from the crush of daily city life. I recently switched jobs and found out that I had to use up three days of vacation before the end of June. I called my friend L.J., who I have gone on adventures to Central Europe and Iceland with. Did she want to go somewhere for five days? Somewhere cheap and last minute? Yes! We dreamed of getting a super steal of a deal in the Caribbean, of jetting off to a quiet island for $300 apiece like the advertisements in the back of the New York Times travel section promise. However, after much research on every travel site we could find we found the deals to be far beyond our price range. We were depressed for a few instants, but then turned our sights to something closer. What did we want? Sun, sand and easy living that won’t strain our wallets. Why not the beaches of Long Island or New Jersey? We visit these beaches regularly on summer-weekend day trips and there’s no lack of cute towns. A little more research and we found our rental, in a historic community called Ocean Grove, right next to the storied Asbury Park.

Ocean Grove street at dusk

Nagle's, Main Ave, Ocean Grove

Ocean Grove is incredibly charming and full of historic, multi-colored, well-maintained Victorian summer homes. On Main Avenue is Nagle’s, a pharmacy and classic soda fountain turned restaurant where we had a burger our first night and a daily ice cream. The beach is popular without being swarmed and the boardwalk is well maintained. This is a long way from the hair gel, fist pumps and sleaze that has popularized by a certain television show. However, one thing we neglected to find out about Ocean Grove, is that it is owned by the evangelical Church. There’s regular worship services on the boardwalk, there’s a posting about daily scripture, you can’t go onto the beach before 12:30 on Sundays because you are supposed to be in church, and forget about buying alcohol. The advantage of this is the town is quiet and peaceful, the disadvantage that if you are made uncomfortable by rules, religiosity, and the sexism, homophobia and hypocrisy of the church (which we are) it feels a little… creepy.

Junot Diaz quote on the Asbury Park boardwalk

Marinere: American Apparel, Levi's shorts ("Mom shorts" found at Tucson Goodwill and cut off to be chique), Bensimon sneakers

Fortunately, not a 10 minute down the boardwalk is “sinful” Asbury Park, home of the Boss, Bruce Springstein, and the Stone Pony, the club where he got his start. The boardwalk pulses with life and on Saturday night you can hear the latest dance pop hits booming out over the water from the recently restored pier. There’s restaurants, bars, mini golf, ice cream stands, and The Silverball Museum, a pinball arcade full of vintage pinball machines where you pay by the hour! There’s also Asbury Lanes, a punk rock club that is also a bowling ally where $22 gets you unlimited bowling and admission to that evening’s show (a little steep for us, but a good deal for bowlers and music lovers).

Shirt: J Crew "Artist" T, Skirt: Brooklyn Industries, Worishofer Sandals, Sunglasses from in God We Trust (hah hah) in Brooklyn

The streets are bikeable and on a morning ride I relished taking deep breaths of the sea air and felt transported by the mixture of  of salt, sunscreen, sand and honeysuckle carried on the breeze. No makeup, no fancy clothes, no plans, just jean shorts, bathing suits, and sunscreen. These days have been like a gift—because they were unexpected there’s no obligation and no expectations put on this time. It’s just mine to read, relax, enjoy my friends, eat simple food and relish a sliver of the good life close to home.

Beach and boardwalk cruiser (not mine, I brought my road bike from Brooklyn)

Strawhat and shorts (cut off by me!) both found in Arizona, Esther Williams bathing suit (love!)

A Place in the Sun

Palm

View of White Bay beach through a palm leaf

As an earnest liberal arts undergrad I studied “Race, Ethnicity, and Postcolonial Studies” as part of my degree. As a result, I thought of the Caribbean as a place with an enduring legacy of slavery, a proud history of anti-colonial struggle, and a place where identities, cultures, and ethnicities overlap and intermix to create “hybrid” identities (a favorite term in the 90’s, I hear its less in favor in the academy now). I saw the Caribbean as a multitude of nations of which people are immensely proud, immensely tied to the island they come from, and immensely skeptical, especially as demonstrated by the huge, and famous, West Indian Labor Day parade that takes place here in Brooklyn. All that to say that I really never saw the Caribbean as a place to go on vacation. However, last winter I had had it with the cold, snow and slush and decided that there had to be a better way than suffering through it all. So when the opportunity came this winter to go somewhere sunny for a 5-day getaway I thought, “Hmmm…”

View of Ivan's Stress Free Bar
Ivan’s Stress Free Bar

SMH had some friends who lived on St. Thomas for several years who recommended a place on a beach on some island near there with an honor bar.  That sounded promising. When we inquired further they told us about Ivan’s Stress Free Bar, which is part of Ivan’s Stress Free Resort on White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke, part of the British Virgin Islands. Jost Van Dyke is named for a Dutch pirate, and White Bay has been voted one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean by some travel magazine or another, and I believe it. Even better, cabins (really a sturdy plywood shack with pastel colors with a bed, mini fridge and window screens and perhaps a porch) were $75 a night in the high season, a price you would find hard to beat anywhere in the Caribbean. So I booked us a cabin at Ivan’s, figured out how to get to Jost Van Dyke, and decided to not plan any further.

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

Before I wax poetic about how much I loved it let me tell you: This is not the place to come if you want to go clubbing, indulge in luxury duty-free shopping, swim with dolphins, get a spa treatment or do yoga on the beach. This is not the place to come if you are upset by occasionally sharing space with (small) ants, or mind getting sand everywhere, or insist on a hot shower. However, if you are looking for a slice of paradise right here on earth with soft white sand, crystaline blue water, palm trees and a bar where you can order the perfect tropical cocktail with coconut, orange juice, pineapple juice, run and fresh nutmeg called the “Painkiller” from some of the nicest people you will meet, and not have to rub elbows with loads of offensive tourists, this place if for you.

Arawak Cabin

Our cabin at Ivan's Stress Free Resort

After we called to make our reservation at Ivan’s (I highly recommend calling) we found out that it had been featured in an article by the (former) Frugal Traveler in the New York Times in 2006. Little has changed since then, although now Ivan’s usually employs a bartender (most evenings its Dorian, who is also a cricket player for the BVI’s team -amazing) instead of being fully a mix-it-yourself kind of place.

Ivan's Stress Free Bar II

Ivan's Stress Free Bar Interior

 

Looking to where we need to go
Hiking the spine of Jost Van Dyke and ascending 0 to 1,000 feet above sea level very quickly! Those white dots are goats on the path.

Despite our avoiding planning too heavily we found plenty to do, and struck a perfect balance between sitting on the beach and reading and exploring the island. This island is small.  You can walk over the steep hills in to town, which had a sand main street, and go to Foxy’s, which might be the most famous bar in the British Virgin Islands. Jost Van Dyke is quiet island which is about 4 miles long and inhabited by more goats than people, which we encountered when we took a grueling, then revelatory, hike along  the spine of the island. The hike, rumored to be among the best in the Caribbean, revealed glittering views of the the ocean and Tortola and St. John.

Great Harbor from Above
Jost Van Dyke Great Harbor from above. St. John in the background.
Watching the waves in the bubbly pool

Bubbly Pool, Jost Van Dyke

We ended our hike in the bubbly pool, which is like a natural hot tub refilled by crashing ocean waves and then a meal at Foxy’s Taboo, a bar and restaurant owned by Foxy (and named for his big black dog Taboo) on the far side of the island. We later met Foxy briefly on the main dock in town scaling freshly caught fish on his fishing boat and when we told him we lived in Brooklyn he smiled and said, “I gotta get up there to Play Mas sometime.”

Norman Island Caves

Norman Island and the caves that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson

We also took a day long snorkeling trip with BVI Eco Tours, where an amazingly nice group of Aussie and Californian surfer dudes served as our guides and captain. It was an incredible 6 hour long adventure for a very cheap price and included a stop for lunch at Pirate’s Bight on the otherwise uninhabited Norman island. On Norman island we also go to snorkel into caves that reportedly inspired Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. At the end of the day they mixed us up some rum punch on board our boat, which was the perfect way to end the day after swimming in the beautiful water. We also rented snorkel gear for 4 days from the same place, which was great.

Jost Van Dyke Main Street

Jost Van Dyke Main Street

Food is not cheap on the islands so we tried to minimize how much we ate out by cooking out own. We brought a bunch of dried, canned food, but what we quickly learned in the campground communal cookstove lacked the oomph we take for granted from our stove at home. In the future we will bring plenty of heat and serve food. However, on the night we arrived it was Ivan’s Thursday night barbeque.  We splurged and at $25 each got heaping servings of rice, pasta, salad, barbeque ribs, fish, and chicken. That is a lot of money for food in the states, but keep in mind that everything has to boated in to the island.

The Good Life on White Bay

The good life on White Bay

As different of a setting as it is, Jost Van Dyke reminded me of the islands off the coast of Maine like North Haven and Monhegan where I used to go for a few days in the summer to visit friends. As a necessity you have to live lightly on the land there and you can’t take any resource for granted. The towns are small and after a few days everyone waves at you as you walk around. It was the same on Jost. Our waiter from Foxy’s Taboo, who also turned out to be the custom’s officer, remembered us while we were waiting at the ferry dock. On Jost, like the island in Maine, while it’s clear who’s an outsider and who’s a local no one is made to feel unwelcome if you are respectful of the place and the culture and don’t act like an invading horde.

West End Harbor, Tortola

West End Harbor, Tortola

Getting to Jost Van Dyke is simple, but not always quick. We flew into St. Thomas (in the USVI), took a ferry to West End in Tortola, where we cleared Her Majesty’s Customs and Immigration, and then took another ferry to Jost. All worked smoothly, but going back to St. Thomas  a ferry that was supposed to take us to there via St. John was an hour late, which caused a bunch of fretting and nail biting on my part because I was worried we would miss our flight. We didn’t, but next time will take a cue from another couple who were headed home. They booked a night in a Best Western on St. Thomas near the airport (and right on the beach) so they had a day cushion and didn’t need to worry about how late the ferry was.

Sunset Looking West from Jost Van Dyke

Sunset Hike, Jost Van Dyke

Writing this in Brooklyn it’s hard to imagine that perfect beach, balmy breeze, soft sand, azure water, and the sound of waves crashing on the beach as we slept in a pastel colored cabin were real, but it’s right down there, just a flight and two boat rides away, paradise attained, even for a skeptic like me.

White Bay Light IV

White Bay in the late afternoon