August 20, 2015

[ travel series | honeymoon dreaming ]

Posted in: Travel

Lately I’ve been dreaming about the trips I want to take. David and I are always talking about where we want to go and what we want to do. We don’t have anything on the calendar and are working on some big house projects, so instead I’m reminiscing about the best vacation we’ve ever had… our honeymoon. We are so thankful to have some very gracious people in our lives, especially when we are lucky enough to receive a week at the St. Thomas Ritz Carlton as a wedding gift! If you ever find yourself in St. Thomas or St. John, here are some of the highlights from our trip.

First off, the Ritz Carlton Residences are incredible. If you’re looking for something quieter and less touristy, this is your space. You still have access to the main resort and all of it’s restaurants and amenities when you want some more action. [Side note: the conch fritters at the beach bar are on point.]

Our very first activity was a kayak tour on St. John through Arawak Expeditions. We hopped on the ferry over to St. John that morning and somehow found our way to their shop. [Don’t ask the locals, they have no idea what or where Arawak is. Just go left.] It turned out that we were the only people signed up for the tour that day, so we met up with our guide and made our way to Hurricane Hole.
Conveniently, we had a double kayak so I could sit back, relax, and let David do all the work. Actually, this picture was posed, I knew I would need the calorie burn with all the eating we had planned.

We kayaked around a little bit and stopped by the mangroves to do some snorkeling. This was really neat because from the surface, you would never know all of the life swimming around down there! Aside from a brief point where I thought I was dying because I breathed in water instead of air, it was the perfect start to our tour.

After that, they take you to a small cove and you break for a picnic lunch and a small hike to the other side of the island.

From there, you start kayaking back with another snorkeling stop to check out some small reefs and starfish! The absolute best part about this day was that we didn’t see a single other person the entire time. It was like a real life Bachelor date.

Now, David isn’t a big tour guy, so when he told me we had another one planned I knew he was really trying to impress me. This time, we took a nice 45 minute boat ride over to Virgin Gorda. From here, we jumped off the boat [literally jumped from the top deck because you have to swim to shore] to explore The Baths. There were tourists everywhere, but it was so gorgeous we didn’t mind too much.

After swimming back to the boat, we headed to a private island for lunch. Apparently this is where Morgan Freeman goes when he’s at his vacation home in Virgin Gorda.

After refueling, we hit the Indians for some more snorkeling, and then headed on to Jost Van Dyke for some libations. Yet another place where you have to swim into shore, gotta love the islands!

We were told a million times that we had to go to Soggy Dollar Bar. They apparently invented a drink called the Painkiller and have been frequented by Kenny Chesney. Honestly, pop on down to the One Love Bar instead… it’s a lot quieter. Unless you’re still in college, then stay at Soggy Dollar.

After a rest day, we had a sunset wine tasting cruise scheduled from our resort. Sitting on the front of a catamaran with endless wine refills is probably the best thing you can do for yourself on vacation. I definitely recommend it.

For our grand finale, we had reservations at Zozo’s. I don’t even know where to start, everything about this place was phenomenal. The restaurant is located in an old sugar mill that sits at the top of a small hill. It’s completely open-air so the view is fantastic, and the food might be even better. We ordered a bottle of Super Tuscan wine and I enjoyed a perfectly prepared surf and turf. Very rarely do restaurants live up to the hype for me, but this one far exceeded it.

Another great restaurant we went to was Fish Tails. Don’t get a table… sit right at the sushi bar and have the chef surprise you. You won’t be disappointed.

Our next trip will probably have a little more adventure and culture involved, but I would highly endorse a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands at some point in your life.

Thanks for hanging on with me through the ramblings and poor-quality waterproof camera photos!

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KATELYN@HADDYEVERAFTER.COM