Sunday, July 29, 2012

St. John 2012

For Jason's 40th birthday, we rented a villa in St. John with some of our closest friends.  It was on the 'quiet side' of the island and we just enjoyed doing very little for a whole week. 
We had to take a ferry from St. Thomas first.  The US Virgin Islands are really very beautiful.
 After arriving on to St. John, we got our rental car and headed to Coral Cove Villa.  
There had been a bad lightning storm the day before we arrived, so we had no power for a few hours.  AFter a day of traveling ( literally a full day), we found ways to enjoy ourselves.  The villa was perfectly situated.
 The next day, we had sun and relaxation were on the menu. 
The house is on the left..this was taken from the rocks near the pool
 The rocks near the pool..we called that stick the Praying Mantis all week.  Resembled it most of the time
 Sunrise was beautiful from the side porch
 This was the view from the outdoor dining table/gazebo and also the view from my room which was directly to the right of this photo
  This is the main room. All the bedrooms were separated and air conditioned. This room was not but did not need to be. All the doors opened and a great breeze was always there.

 Our bedroom.  They all had balconies or patios..but we spent most of our time in the main room
 The side porch where we spent most evenings. The chairs viewed the sunrise but had direct sun through the morning, so they were great for afternoon naps. ;-)
We had donkeys visit us a couple of days.  We discovered they enjoyed stale french bread and would let us pet them while they were eating.
 Gyeong tries to make friends too
Camera 1

 Camera 2
The snorkeling was fantastic at our house.  Everywhere you went in to the ocean, the was live coral and great fishes to be found.
 Since St. John is mostly a national preserve, the snorkeling is fantastic everywhere. So on Monday, we chartered a sailboat for a day of snorkeling and scuba.  They took us to three different places around the chain of islands. Jason, me, Gyeong, Kristen and Susan on the boat!
 Kristen and I
 The trip itself was breath taking..
 Susan and Jason did scuba while Kristen, Gyeong and I remained topside and snorkeled.
 Susan navigates the coral while scubaing
The weather was perfect, the water was crystal clear and warm and the fish were plentiful.
 The soft coral was galore!
 Gyeong tried to coax a few fish in to his pocket for dinner..but he did come away with a pretty nasty bit on his finger..he wanted to touch them!!
 We did attract the attention of a local predator..but luckily they are just menacing and not dangerous. But whenever we thought he was gone, he would emerge from the shadows and just stare at us.  He was usually about 3-4 feet away and quiet ominous!!!

I have done a lot of snorkeling in a lot of different regions of the Caribbean but I have never seen a sea turtle in the wild.  I was very hopeful for this trip since they are very common in USVI.  We stopped at a calm bay to have lunch and we jumped in the water to snorkel while the lunch was being prepared.  And right below me!!!
 We ended up seeing two more..but I only got photos of this one..I was very excited!!!
The Cloud 9 crew was awesome and we really enjoyed having the boat to ourselves.  Such a great day!!
A few days later, we jumped in the car and headed to some out of the way bays to snorkel.   We went to Sugar Bay and Lameshur Bay..both very secluded with great snorkeling
 Biggest fish we saw by far (except the Barracuda)..easily 1-2 feet long.
 On the way back, we realized we were on the hill above the house. So the red roof in the middle of the photo, is our villa.  The peninsula is where the praying mantis lives.
 For Jason's birthday, we had a chef come to the house and prepare us a gourmet meal.The chef did eventually have to kick Jason out of the kitchen 
 Not a bad view
 We did venture out occasionally to sample the fare on the island.  Miss Lucy's was a wonderful brunch location on the water.
 And Sweet Plaintains had a great rum tasting
 It was a wonderful vacation.  I feel sure Gyeong will have his blog up shortly with more photos (he had a great time with the hermit crabs!).  But I do wish I could do this every day....
 The fur kids were happy to have us home.  We have a wonderful petsitter who lives at our house while we travel.  So they are well taken care of in our absence.  But they were very happy to have us home!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cali's world

Cali decided there has been WAY too much blog time spent on 'those that aren't her' so I promised her I would rectify this situation. 
It has been hot..100+F indoor activities are a must.
Cali can be quite the diva and loves to have her 'best angle'forward
 Her guard drops when she is sleeping sometimes
 The 'finer' side of the Tart (and yes, I have Wine themed PJs..BIG surprise)
 JRG brought up 8 greyhounds from Birmingham to be adopted this past weekend.  The one foster dog could have come home with me..there is something about those white greyhounds!!
And speaking of whit greyhounds, Henry is still hanging in there.  He even feels good enough to jog around the yard sometimes. He is still happy, eating and as pain free as I can get him. 
 We are heading to St. John, USVI in 6 days along with our faithful traveling companions: Kristen, Gyeong and Susan. The blog entries should be awesome.