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Red Hook and American Legion

May 19, 2013

Virgin Islands – Thursday, May 9

Christy and I decided to do a little driving tour this morning, partly to check on the possibility of another snorkeling outing. It seemed we had to go to a big Marriott resort on the south side of the island to look into different excursions. It was a rainy morning, and it took us a little longer to get there than we thought – the southeast side of St. Thomas is also very steep, and the roads are narrow and curvy. I’m feeling comfortable driving on the left side of the road now – although the one thing that still seems confusing is that roundabouts go the opposite direction of what I’m used to, and fortunately there aren’t too many of those. We finally got to the Marriott resort, and it’s on such a steep hillside that there’s an elevator for guests to take to the pool! We found the person in charge of activities and boat excursions, and ended up getting on a sailing/snorkeling trip for tomorrow. We were happy things hadn’t worked out for today since the weather wasn’t very nice.

As long as we had come this far around the island, we decided to go back to Red Hook on the east side since we hadn’t had time to walk around there on Monday. Some of the brochures say that Charlotte Amalie is the only town on the island, but Red Hook seems to be a decent size town too. We did a couple miles of walking, but the town just wasn’t big enough to have sidewalks going very far, and we walked on everything we could. None of the streets in the interior of the island through the mountains are suitable for walking since there’s no shoulder and they’re narrow anyway – it just wouldn’t be safe. But at least there is a long stretch of good walking in Charlotte Amalie, and we got a few miles in Red Hook to add a little variety. I’ve done repetitive walking on all the island territories! We stopped in a few cafes trying to find a place with wi-fi service, and those seem to be few and far between on the island. A couple days ago, I had used my computer back on Magen’s Bay, but it was using someone else’s “hot spot” from their phone. The resort does not have wi-fi. And the few cafes around here that sometimes have it didn’t seem to be working today because of all the recent rain. But at least the rain seemed to be over for now! So, since I need wi-fi service to be able to add photos to my blog posts, that’s where I fell way behind on those, and I’m now working to catch up!

We shopped around a bit in Red Hook and Chris found some good things, then we stopped for a quick bite to eat. There’s a pretty good size high school here, and the kids were getting out as we were doing a little more walking. Like the students on Puerto Rico, the kids all wear uniforms here too – maroon and pink plaid skirts and pink shirts for the girls, and maroon pants and pink shirts for all the guys. It seemed like kind of a strange color choice for everyone. A bunch of the kids walked over to the ferry terminal – there must not be a high school on St. John (which is 2/3 national park land anyway) so they must have to ride the ferry every day instead of taking a bus.

We headed back to Charlotte Amalie, and browsed through the blue-covered tourist tents again, and a couple other stores – Christy was on a quest to find Bob Marley t-shirts for a couple of her boys, and hit the jackpot at the last store. We walked back to the Catholic Charities place to get some pictures since my camera hadn’t been working that day, and ran into Mick the director again. So we chatted a bit more – he had liked my story and had told his wife, who is a free-lance writer, and she wrote about it in the on-line newspaper for St. Thomas and St. Croix. Then we continued our walking some more by the ocean, and went back to the marina to look at all the boats again. There are iguanas all over the place, and only once were we startled by one – the tail sort of looks like a snake. We walked all the way down to the Pueblo supermarket, where Chris bought some cat food for the resort cats. As we walked several miles back to the car, I was once again struck by her walking in flip-flops (wearing the broken ones again!) and we thought how the store employees would think she’s crazy for buying cat food and walking for miles with it, especially since there were lots of taxis waiting for people at the market – everyone assumed we needed a ride since we were on foot!

My donation today is for the American Legion, which will cover the military-related donation for the week. Like on Puerto Rico, they organize Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day activities, and Flag Day observances, and they support veterans and their families and are involved with community projects. I just mailed it in since we couldn’t find the post.

We walked a total of 10 miles today, which only leaves 8 for tomorrow, so we got all caught up. We had noticed a place called the Greenhouse Restaurant earlier in the week, so we went in there for dinner, and they had working wi-fi (all I needed to do was upload some photos!) and then we headed back to Magen’s Bay.

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