Last week we took a vacation. Now, I know what you’re thinking. We live in a travel trailer and travel the country…aren’t we already on vacation? Technically, I guess I am. But, not Chris. And, with a baby on the way, we both wanted to spend a week on a vacation…together…before our lives as we know them are turned upside down. Further, I wanted a week that didn’t involve Chris having a phone permanently attached to his ear for ten hours a day. Our ideal vacation involved airplane travel, beaches, sunshine, snorkeling, and a new and unfamiliar region. After looking at the calendar in December, it appeared that last week was the only week Chris could be completely offline as his work schedule is tight for the next several months. For our destination, we chose the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. And, since Chris wanted to be completely offline and close to nature, we camped on the beach at Cinnamon Bay.
REST: I’m not an expensive resort girl. I don’t need the all-inclusive, fancy dining, no-reason-to-leave-the-resort-grounds, vacation. But, am I a camping girl? I live in campgrounds but in the comfort of my Airstream. Sure, I can shower with bugs now, but can I do a full week in a tent? Can I endure a week of cold showers? This was going to be a new adventure for me. The first few nights were not restful…at all. Unidentifiable critters were running over the tent or scurrying around the bottom of the tent. The tree frogs were really loud. (I lived in Boston and slept soundly with loud city streets. But, sirens, traffic and drunk people have nothing on tree frogs.) The humidity was brutal. And, well…my cot was not the most comfortable. So, the first two nights were challenging. I laid there with my eyes wide open, envisioning the unidentifiable critters attacking me in my sleep.
On the fourth night, we decided to stop hanging out at our tent at night and head up to the pavilion to play cards. I was quickly growing tired of bugs and the lantern only attracted more of them. Upon arrival at the campground pavilion, it was then that we learned that all of the intelligent campers (a group to which, until that night, we did not belong) were there every night, playing cards and socializing. The bugs were nonexistent there. Campers stayed in this comfortable environment until around 11pm. So, we did the same. That night and for the rest of the nights, I slept soundly…never worrying about the critters or even noticing my somewhat uncomfortable cot. Perhaps I grew accustomed to the noises and finally found the tree frogs comforting instead of irritatingly loud. Or, maybe the critters decided to leave me alone.
RELAXATION: We were completely removed from all things electronic (i.e. computers, phones, televisions, etc.). We spent a week playing cards, reading, eating, and playing in the ocean…when possible. It was wonderful.
RAIN: Our first two days were amazingly beautiful. On Tuesday, we spent the day on the beach and playing in the massive waves. On Wednesday, we hiked one of the nearby trails, caught a bus to town, bought our groceries, made our way back to the campground, and mapped out our week as to where we wanted to snorkel and hike.
On Saturday, we had our longest break from the rain and were hopeful that the rain had finally stopped. We ventured into Coral Bay to check out the village and the other side of the island that we had been curious to see all week. I found a local paper in town that said Sunday’s forecast was only 20% chance of rain. We celebrated by buying some fruit at the local market and began planning our last full day of the vacation. It involved a long hike to Waterlemon Cay and snorkeling at what was said to the be the best snorkeling spot on the island. We were hopeful and excited.