January 28, 2013
We had to go thru town to get to our hotel and driving is on the left side of the road but the cars are American so it really feels weird. I did all right but missed the turn to our hotel and went up incredibly twisty, steep roads. The top of the hill looks like a cliff and you can't see the road at all. A bit unnerving. But we saw a little more of the island that way.
Finally found a place to turn around and found the right road and down, down, down to the hotel. Took us 3 tries till we found the right one. The Mariott has 3 hotels in the same area. We had to wait for our room because my sister needs a ground floor room and it wasn't ready. Having had no food at all - just a cup of coffee - we went to the Sand Bar and ordered appetizers for lunch. Very delicious albeit expensive. After lunch, our room was ready for us. It was in the 4th building but they took us down a service road so the walk wasn't far.
The room is lovely with a nice porch right on the ocean. Turns out we have an all inclusive package with included meals and drinks for the whole stay. We didn't know that but the resort restaurant prices are very high. The food is really good. It is very nice to have the price set and not have to balk at the prices on the menu. A beach restaurant, Coco Joe's is very close so we have an ideal location for my sister with her limited range in walking. Our first night, they had a fabulous buffet that they charge $50/per but it is included in our package.
My BIL and I did a little ocean swimming. There's something so pleasant about bobbing in the waves. We hiked up to the big hotel on the hill to check out the other restaurants and while it is beautiful with stunning views, it would have been a real problem for my sister. She just can't hike the distances it would have required. Also, the menus were not much different than Coco Joe's. So we are very pleased with what the travel agent did even if it wasn't all that clear what we had gotten.
On Monday, we took a drive. I noticed the car was saying it had low tire pressure so we took it back to the airport and got a different one. Then we headed to the western end of the island. It is really steep and very pretty but there are few places to stop and take a picture. It took us a long time to find our way back to the hotel and ended up going up high and over to the east end of the island before we figured out we had gone too far. In about 3 hours we managed to drive about 40 miles and went from end to end.
It looks like this will be a restful vacation more than the driving all the Big Island in Hawaii that we did there. St Thomas is clearly a volcanic island. I can easily identify the old lava rocks from all that I learned in Hawaii. It is long dead, tho. We have free wi-fi at the hotel but it is very weak and I can barely do anything with it. I doubt pictures can be uploaded with it. It drops completely often. My cell signal is non-existant but I can get a bar or two on top of the hill.