A year older yes, wiser? Maybe. A year ago I promised myself that I would get the heck out of NYC for my birthday. It came to pass and I did. It was a very cold February last year and after riding a mechanical bull and doing the same happy hour-sports bar theme… I ended up having mixed feelings about how the evening transpired. Although I wish that my friends were on location for my birthday, I couldn’t have asked for a better time than what occurred.
I made this birthday about 5 days long, starting on Thursday.
On Friday, I went running along the pier with my buddy Francky. We did 3.89 mi on the Frederiksted pier of walking and running for 1 minute intervals at dusk.
After we got dressed and went to play some pool (I’m not good at it but I won 1 out of the 3 games).
Then, I went hiking on Saturday with Poppa John from Hike St. Croix. If you’re on St. Croix locally or visiting, you should definitely try it out! You also get to learn about some plants (including psychedelic drugs and enhancers) and the history of the indians, slaves and settlements that were on the island.
You could also be so lucky to see where Shawshank Redemption’s last scene was shot. We did 2.75 mi.
I stopped at the Agriculture fair right after having some beers and met with Shanna and her boyfriend. They got me the cutest coach bag (in red, my favorite color!).
I had good food, bought some art and walked around the fair.
On Sunday (my birthday), I embraced solitude and I was happy to have traveled all day for my birthday. I went to St. Thomas, made my way to St. John and came back to St. Croix.
The day started off at 6:30 am. Since the Agriculture fair was going on, there was a deal with Seaborne Airlines for $50 round trip tickets to St. Thomas for folks who lived on St. Croix. I got a ticket for 8am. I called a service on St. John that offered parasailing but they mentioned that they wouldn’t have it again until Tuesday (no!). I quickly scanned the other activities on the island: Horseback riding, hiking, dingy rentals– meh, I’d figure something out. I didn’t want to plan my birthday at all apparently.
I landed on St. Thomas and got picked up by my uncle who seemed to want me to change my mind about heading to St. John. I believe he didn’t like my impromptu visit with no concrete list of activities. I’d figure it out, I concluded. I mentioned to him that I wanted to try parasailing but they didn’t have it available or how about jet skiing? I loved that. Scuba (I forgot my scuba license) maybe ? He said he knew a place to jetski and when we arrived, they mentioned that they also did parasailing and could be ready within the hour.
Sweet! I didn’t plan to parasail in St. Thomas but what a remarkable idea!
Matt and Brandon from Vi Water Sports made this experience so amazing!
“They use a 600’ towline so you will get anywhere from 350’ to 400’ off the surface of the water.” It was quite high and didn’t feel like I was suspended at all. I just felt like was sitting in a chair in complete silence while I observed the coastline around me. They explained that they could dip me in the water towards the end of the experience. I told them that I’d love to!
After parasailing, I enjoyed a Dominican breakfast:
Cucumbers, green bananas, spinach, veggies, saltfish, an egg, corn, plantain and some tamarind juice (I need to cook like this more).
Right after breakfast, I took the Ferry to St. John:
Unfortunately my camera died so I only had low res shots of my experience (before my cell phone died).
The Ferry was about 15 minutes and while on, I tried to decide what to do once I get to St. John. To be honest, I just wanted to cross the island off my list of places I’ve been however, I have reasons to go again. I decided last minute that I would check the Parks office to get a map to Hike. The island is only 9 miles long, I could run it but, I didn’t want to do so with my bookbag. However, hiking… I’d get a chance to explore nature.
I asked the ranger for a short hike. He gave me a map of somewhere nearby and it was just 3 miles long. Fantastic! I also noticed that it went towards the beach. The trail was Lind Point Trail and I set my GPS watch then made my way out and up some stairs near the main office. About a quarter mile in, I came across some donkeys that were blocking the path. Since I’ve never been up close before, I wondered what to do.
I didn’t want to startle them and there were more than 6 of them so I knew they could kick my butt (and outrun me). I fished for the number of the park office but couldn’t find it, then I saw some hikers returning from the opposite direction. I asked if it was ok to walk through the herd. They said yes and mentioned that there was a donkey following them as well in the distance. Oh awesome! Knowing that they were completely docile creatures set me at ease.
I continued my way and came across Solomon Beach. I took the opportunity to strip into my bathing suit and put on my Vibrams. I went in to swim for five minutes. The shoreline was beautiful and I was told that St. John had incredible beaches so it wasn’t a surprise that I would be impressed. I continued my journey to another beach (Honeymoon beach) but it wasn’t as gorgeous as Solomon (foursquare tippers seem to agree).
I continued around and returned to the park office but not before I came across this view:
I ended my hike (at 3.2 mi) by getting some drinks and a burger at Woody’s… The drink was pretty good but the burger was ok. I decided to take the Ferry back at 4pm to meet with my uncle. We had some ice cold beers (I had a Presidente) and drive around the island. By the way, I really appreciate walking around with my drinks everytime I come back to the islands.
He made a few stops where the views overlooked the harbors where I saw yachts that I might never afford. We then stopped at an icecream stand that sold alcoholic shakes, it’s called Udder Delight (great reviews on Yelp). After downing a few more beers, I was dropped off at the airport once again for my flight back to Santa Cruz.
I was tired, tipsy, tanned and filthy:
But, I felt GREAT!
Then, I got to St. Croix and went out for more socializing and drinks!
The next day, after some recuperation, I went for another run/walk with Francky. However, not before receiving my gift. Which was really thoughtful and humorous! Right after, we went to Dorsche beach and ran on the soft sand (torture). It was 2.53 mi of challenging my entire body.
We took a dip in the ocean again (I had to! I had dipped in the water in St. Thomas and St. John and it only made sense that I did the same on St. Croix)
Immediately after, I went to Bombay with my mom and step dad to have a post-birthday dinner.
I can’t eat like this everyday!
Then, we all went home to retire. Now, I’m just waiting to get on my flight. I had an amazing time here and incredible birthday! Thanks so much for everyone who wished me well on my special day. I love and appreciate everyone of you and well, hopefully this year will be filled with more learning and growth.