Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Welcome to St. Thomas


You know that it’s been a very trying couple of weeks at work. First, I was forced to spend an entire week in Anguilla on the eastern edge of the Caribbean. And this week, I was called upon again to endure more paradise.

Really? I don’t know how much more of this I can take.


The good news is that this time, I have a whole five days off to enjoy this incredible place. Too bad I haven’t been feeling very well. My ears are just barely starting to equalize pressure after flying full on Thursday!


I am staying at the Marriott Frenchmen’s Reef. I don’t know why it has such a foreign name considering that it couldn’t be more American. Marriott has three properties side-by-side here on the southern tip of the island. The multi-colored condos in the picture above is the Frenchmen’s Cove.


This is my place. Not too shabby, huh?


Except that this guy greeted me when I opened my curtains after waking up. This place is crawling (literally!) with giant iguanas. I have a fun story on that in a few days…

Whoever said dinosaurs were extinct obviously hasn’t been to St. Thomas recently.


Here is a closer view of the Cove. I want to sneak onto that beach to spend the day. The beach at my hotel is surrounded by very tumultuous waves. The Cove above, appropriately-named, has a nice little protected nook from the wavy ocean.


The Marriott has a private dock for small boats. This is The Cat, which does snorkeling trips from the hotel to all over the island. (I will board The Cat for just such a trip a few posts from now). I could hear the excited people boarding the catamaran from several stories up.


I really didn’t know how to get to anything on the property at this point, so I exited the lobby of the hotel to take a picture of the entrance. It’s probably all in my imagination, but it doesn’t feel quite as humid here as my trip a few weeks ago.

Maybe I’m just getting used to it? Ha!


This is a view of the other Marriott property, the Morning Star. It has a private beach (with big waves) and a nice little restaurant just off the boardwalk.

I have yet to see anyone playing tennis here, which helps me feel better about forgetting not having any room in my luggage for my running shoes.


After a little Marriott property exploration, it was time for lunch. I decided to eat near the pool area at the Sunset Grill. This was quite different from the Sunset Grill in St. Maarten from just a few weeks ago. But the view was pretty nice, huh?


Food is very expensive here on the island. For instance, a hamburger costs $17. Chips and salsa is $10. I’ve seen the salsa, and it looks like something made in New York City. None of the food has blown me away, especially for the price. If I have to pay a ton of money, I want it to be impressive. For most of this trip, I’ve been trying to find something affordable that also tastes good. It has been harder than it should be, it seems.

Unfortunately, the hotel store sells Ben and Jerry’s. I wish I would have discovered that on my last day here, but noooooooooooooo.


This is the inside of Sunset Grill by the pool. I love how open everything is. My actual hotel room is the only thing with walls. Everything else in this place is wide open to the pleasant elements!


I decided to get a Cuban sandwich, minus the mustard. Since I don’t normally go for pickles, either, I felt like I was being very adventurous here! It was good, but it was really greasy. Hubby would have loved it. I only ate about a quarter of it.

Maybe I need to be more careful about ordering something so it can be boxed and taken back to the room refrigerator.


Just a few steps away from my lunch location is the main pool at Frenchmen’s Reef. It is gorgeous and was chock-full of people. So much for being the slow season! This place was hopping!


I have seen lots of families with small kids, and this splash pad area is perfect for kids who don’t want to get dunked in the pool. Also, I am happy to announce that these lounge chairs are very comfortable.


In my ignorance, I found these beautiful loungers just beneath the pool area. I liked it because no one else seemed to know that these were down here. I plopped down with a book and enjoyed a nice afternoon.

I mention my ignorance because I casually lounged here before I knew about giant iguana dinosaurs roaming around the pool area. They like to hang out for snacks from crazy humans who apparently like to feed them to keep them around. I didn’t encounter an iguana face-to-face while lounging here, but it was soon to come.

Ignorance is bliss, once again.


But it really was nice. A light breeze from the ocean just below me. I couldn’t hear the busy pool above me. A water feature was just behind me. I read the fourth Harry Potter book while laying in paradise.


Want to see my hotel room? I would have preferred a king bed instead of two queens, but I got an upgraded harbor view by giving up the king. So here it is!

Marriott Frenchmen’s Reef renovated about a year ago. My room is stunning and hip and cool and comfortable. And the air conditioning works very well, thank goodness.


It’s been a treat to watch a little Food Network and HGTV each evening, too. I don’t have such luxuries at home. And who doesn’t love Chopped and House Hunters?


For dinner on my first day in St. Thomas, I tried the lounge at the hotel restaurant, Aqua Terra. Just next door was a pricier dining room, but who wants to pay $21 for a Caesar salad? Especially since I’m trying to eat for just $50 a day?


The lounge was nice. I wish a table outside would have been available, because it was a perfect evening to sit outside. I could deal with 82 degrees all the time, by the way.


I splurged tonight and tried a virgin strawberry mango daiquiri. It was delicious! Do tropical drinks just taste better in paradise, or do you think that is my imagination?


You know that I love me some basil and tomato and mozzarella pizza!


It was a nice ending to my first day. Also, I was able to take half of my pizza back to the room to eat for lunch the next day. That makes the price a little easier to handle when I can get two meals out of it!

Tomorrow is a pool day, and it’s going to be wonderful. I’m just warning you.

1 comment:

  1. How I LOVE your blog. I think I've tasted little samples of pizza, slurped a little daiquiri, pet an iguana or two and dipped my toes in refreshing water all vicariously. Thanks for enjoying and sharing.


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