Monthly Archives: December 2016

TRAVEL VS VACATION

 

December, 2016

In my humble opinion (IMHO), the concepts of travel and vacation are different,¬†¬†but both are pretty darn great. ¬† Please don’t take this as an official statement that one is better than the other.

To me a vacation is usually something like ¬†a week long getaway to an all-inclusive resort with an emphasis on relaxation and fun. ¬†It can be skiing, surfing, or just sunning on a beach. ¬†It’s a chance to go somewhere new or familiar,¬†to get away from the day-to-day stresses of life and hard work, ¬†and enjoy some free time. Usually, we ¬†don‚Äôt learn much on vacation – at least that is not our primary concern. ¬†It doesn‚Äôt make us ¬†better people, expand our horizons, or help us develop new ideas. To me, a vacation should be easy. ¬†This doesn‚Äôt mean vacations are in any way a bad thing. ¬†I love vacationing. Cruises and beaches are among my favorite destinations, but I do recognize these activities for what they are. ¬†Basically, if your drink has an umbrella in it, there’s a good chance you are on vacation.

Strictly speaking, travel means moving from one place to another. ¬†Traveling isn’t usually easy, and for most, ¬†it’s not relaxing.

It often involves  discovering cultures, expanding horizons, learning a new language, trying new foods, maybe staying in crappy hostels, backpacking, camping, and/or RVing.

This is a pic of a pretty crowded hostel bedroom.  No privacy here.

¬†Lately for us, it’s RVing. ¬†It can be a challenge. It often involves work. But it’s worth it because it’s the kind of adventure that can leave you with a lasting sense of awe. ¬†Memories for a lifetime. ¬† People travel to experience a different way of living. To try new things and see new sights. ¬† It means meeting other travelers and locals. ¬†It’s drinking and eating in local spots – even dive bars. ¬†It’s walking, biking and taking public transportation. ¬†In a foreign county, it may even mean ¬†learning a few new phrases. ¬†The very personal benefits include the fact that it opens your eyes – ¬†you may even learn who you are.

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It can help you discover new skills, and give you a new perspective.  If you’re going to a new place to discover how they see the world, you can probably safely describe it as travel.

There is a hybrid version Р you can  vacation while you travel. For example, you can go on a two week  trip to anywhere, spend one week going to museums, learning a language, and trying new foods.  During the second week, just swim, snorkel, sun, and relax. In fact, for a really great trip I would definitely recommend taking a vacation from your travel. I know that sounds weird, but if you think about it, it does make sense. While we were traveling on the road for 14 months in our trailer, we planned at least a one day stay in a hotel room each month.

One of the reasons I write this blog is to inspire others to take that leap to travel, or at least that first step.  The following have inspired me.

And of course, my very, very favorite by Mark Twain. ¬†Read this several times – over and over again, until it sinks in. ¬†No matter whether you want to go on a vacation or travel – just do it !!! ¬†You’re never too old to try something new. ¬†In fact, I would argue that it helps keep you young, vibrant, ¬†and interesting. ¬†There are so many excuses for not hitting the road. ¬†But we don’t know what the future will bring – at any age. ¬†So many people we’ve met had this plan and that, wanted to try this, and wanted to try that. Unfortunately, It never happened, and now never will. ¬† ¬†Don’t let the lack of money stand in your way. ¬†There are ways to make money while traveling. ¬†I have one piece of advice, ¬†DO NOT WAIT !!!

This will be my last post for 2016. ¬†I hope you all have enjoyed taking this journey with us thus far. ¬†We have many travel plans for 2017, and much to share. Until then –

For my Christian Friends

For my Jewish Friends

For my African American Friends

For my Muslim Friends

For my Wiccan/Pagan Friends

and for my Buddhist Friends.

and finally, for Everyone

NOTE:  Thank you Google Clip Art for the lovely illustrations.

See you all in January, 2017 !!1

 

JERSEY DEVIL IN THE PINE BARRENS !!!

December, 2016

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Without a doubt, New Jersey’s oldest, most persistent, and significant piece of folklore is the tale of the notorious Jersey Devil.  The illustration above from WeirdNJ.com is my favorite. Almost everyone (around here) has heard of the Jersey Devil, but few (if any)  have seen him.   It has been almost 300 years now, that Jerseyans have told tales of the beast that stalks the Pine Barrens (more about the Pine Barrens later) and terrorizes local residents and animals.  This story begs a few questions: Why have New Jerseyans embraced this legend so steadfastly? Is there actually some sort of creature roaming the Pine Barrens of Southern NJ, and if so, what the heck is it?

The creature is often described as a two-legged flying beast ¬†with hooves, but there are many different variations.¬† The common description is that of a kangaroo-like creature with the head of a goat, leathery bat-like wings, horns, small arms with clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail. It supposedly ¬†moves very fast and often is described as letting out a “blood-curdling scream”. ¬†Sometimes at night, it’s eyes glow and are red in color.

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This is one¬†popular version of ¬†the story: ¬†Mother Leeds had 12 children and, after finding she was pregnant for the 13th time, stated that “this one would be the Devil”. In 1735, Mother Leeds, supposedly a witch and mistress, and the ¬†father, who was the Devil, gave birth to a normal son. ¬†Just after birth, it changed to a creature with hooves, a goat’s head, bat wings, and a forked tail. Growling and screaming, it killed the midwife before flying up the chimney, circling the village, and heading toward the Jersey Pines.

Just last evening, I spoke with a few locals who believe this version of the story: Mother Leeds birthed a son who was horribly disfigured. Not knowing what to do, they locked him in the basement where he was fed, but never taken care of or even taught to speak Рhis only sounds were animalistic and horrifying.  One day, he escaped from his basement cage, and ran off to live in the safety of the dense Pine Barrens.

The following story , written by Brian Regal (below), a historian of science, technology and medicine sounds a bit more plausible.

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“Mother Leeds was merely part of the popular legend of the Jersey Devil created in the 20th century. Long-forgotten “colonial-era political intrigue” involving early New Jersey politicians, Benjamin Franklin, and rival almanac publisher Daniel Leeds, led to the Leeds family being portrayed as “political and religious monsters”, and it was this negative portrayal as the “Leeds Devil”, rather than any actual creature, that spawned the later legend of the Jersey Devil. ¬†Yep, I can believe that.

References to the Jersey Devil show-up in newspapers and other printed material in the twentieth century. The first major story came in 1909. ¬†During the week of January 16 through 23, ¬†newspapers of the time published hundreds of claimed encounters with the Jersey Devil from various parts of the state. Among the allegations were claims the creature “attacked” a trolley car in Haddon Heights and a social club in Camden. Police in Camden and Bristol, Pennsylvania supposedly fired on the creature to no effect. Other reports were about unidentified footprints in the snow, but soon sightings of creatures resembling the Jersey Devil were being reported throughout South Jersey and as far away as Delaware and Western Maryland. ¬†The widespread newspaper coverage led to a panic throughout the Delaware Valley even causing a number of schools to close and workers to stay home. During this period, it is rumored that the Philadelphia Zoo posted a $10,000 reward for the creature’s dung. ¬†Yuck! ¬†I can’t imagine what was brought in for examination…

It is from these sightings that the popular image of the creature‚ÄĒbatlike wings, horse head, claws, and general air of a dragon‚ÄĒbecame the norm.

This artist’s rendering was printed in The Philadelphia Bulletin, in January, 1909.

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Is it just me, or does he seem to be smiling???  Weird!!!

 

Other Reported Encounters

According to legend, while visiting the Hanover Mill Works to inspect his cannonballs that were being forged, Commodore Stephen Decatur sighted a flying creature flapping its wings.  He fired a cannonball directly upon it, to no effect.

Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon, and former King of Spain, is also claimed to have witnessed the Jersey Devil while hunting on his Bordentown estate around 1820.

In 1840, the devil was blamed for several livestock killings. Similar attacks were reported in 1841, accompanied by tracks and screams.

A local farmer shot an unidentified animal as it attempted to steal his chickens. Afterward, he claimed that “none of 100 people he showed it to could identify it”. ¬†On July 27, 1937, an unknown animal “with red eyes” seen by residents of Downingtown, Pennsylvania was compared to the Jersey Devil – ¬†it was reported by The Pennsylvania Bulletin.

In 1951, a group of Gibbstown, New Jersey boys claimed to have seen a ‘monster’ matching the Devil’s description. ¬†In 1957,¬†claims of a corpse matching the Jersey Devil’s description were circulated. ¬†In 1960, tracks and noises heard near Mays Landing were claimed to be from the Jersey Devil. ¬†During the same year, the merchants around Camden offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of the Jersey Devil, even offering to build a private zoo to house the creature if captured. No one ever collected the money.

Skeptics believe the Jersey Devil is nothing more than ¬†creative ¬†Bogeyman stories ¬†told by bored Pine Barren residents (Pineys – more later) as a form of children’s entertainment.

What is a Piney?

“Piney” is a derogatory term that refers to native inhabitants of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Living conditions in the “Barrens” were considered inhospitable, and those that lived there were considered to be “the dregs of society, fugitives, poachers, moonshiners, runaway slaves or deserting soldiers”. Often, ¬†poor Pineys were forced to make a living in any way possible. They collected and sold sphagnum moss or pine cones, hunted, fished, and lived off of the land. Some of the pineys included notorious bandits known as the Pine Robbers. These bandits¬†were loosely organized criminal gangs and marauders who were British sympathizers during the American Revolutionary War who used the Pine Barrens to wreak havoc in the area.

Pineys were further demonized after two eugenics studies in the early 20th century, which depicted them as congenital idiots and criminals, most notably the research performed on “The Kallikak Family” by Henry H. Goddard. ¬†Pineys often fostered stories of how terrible the Pine Barrens are or how violent they were in order to discourage outsiders and law enforcement from entering the Barrens.

Today, Pineys tend to wear the label as a badge of honor, much like the term “redneck” has become in the Appalachian Mountains and the Southern United States.

Indulge me for just a moment here. ¬†Let’s assume the Jersey Devil does exist, and that he lives in the Pine Barrens. ¬†So what exactly is the Pine Barrens, and how can it keep a creature like this one hidden for so long?

The New Jersey Pine Barrens

According to PineyPower.com,¬†The Pine Barrens is part of 1.1 million acres of the Pinelands National Reserve, which ranges from northern Ocean County south and west, and occupies 22% of New Jersey’s land area. It is the largest body of open space on the Mid-Atlantic seaboard between Richmond Virginia and Boston Massachusetts ¬†That sounds like big enough space to hide in, right?

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Since ¬†there are lots of cool places to see and fun things to do in the Pine Barrens, and surrounding areas, ¬†Tim and I have decided to take a drive to have a little “look-see”, and of course, try to spot or hear the Jersey Devil. ¬†We found ourselves on Indian Cabin Road. ¬†It felt that we were onto something – a bit eerie. ¬†Signs began to show up that this was private property.

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¬†As the road narrowed, the signs became more frequent. ¬†I guess whoever owned the land meant business. ¬†We ¬†heard stories of being run off the road, and a woman, complete with a rifle aimed directly at your head, who comes out of her home to confront you about your lack of knowledge about the words “private – stay out”. ¬†We decided to get the hell out of there.

We spent an entire day and evening trying to locate the gruesome creature – perhaps bones, or a corpse. ¬†All of a sudden, we heard ¬†one of the most hideous sounds we had ever heard. ¬†Loud, ¬†ferocious, and oddly changing. ¬†Driving slowly, and with the windows down, we followed the sound, getting closer and closer. ¬†Wait – there’s a sign. ¬†POPCORN PARK ZOO ! ¬†What have we here ???

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Popcorn Park Zoo is a wildlife rescue/animal sanctuary and refuge established in 1977 for the sole purpose of providing a refuge for animals that were sick, ¬†abandoned and/or abused. ¬†What a marvelous place! ¬†Of course, we went in to check this place out. ¬†There is a nominal admission fee – $5 per person ,and $4 for seniors. ¬†They sell “popcorn” (hence, popcorn zoo) if you would like to feed the animals – $2 for small, and $2.50 a large. ¬†The receptionist said we could feed any animal except the cats – they don’t like popcorn. ¬†Cats??? Hmmm. ¬†This place is very, very cool – lions and tigers and bears ( At this point, I ¬†must insert “oh my”). ¬†The hideous sounds we heard from the road were actually donkeys – heehawing with all of their might. The handsome fellow below was part of the “chorus”.

donkey

And when we passed by their area, they all came running to get their share of popcorn.  Believe it or not, they also have several gigantic brown bears, monkeys, and a number of tigers.

This is Kya – a blind Bengal tiger. ¬†Isn’t she beautiful?

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Here’s Sister reaching for a peanut

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NOTE:¬†Liste -up people, Vietnamese Pot-bellied pigs are cute when they’re babies. ¬†But they grow up to be HUGE!!! ¬†If you don’t have the room for them, or the desire to take care of a gigantic pig – don’t buy one !!! ¬†Below is one of several pigs at the zoo.

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If you buy popcorn, be prepared to be accompanied by dozens of creatures, all looking for a handout. These guys came around at the beginning of our stroll.  Trust me, many, many more followed, going so far as to nudge the popcorn box.

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At the end of a very satisfying day, we decided to have a bite to eat .¬†We didn’t ¬†get to see the Jersey Devil (this time). ¬† Besides, what would we have done if we actually spotted him? ¬† The only Jersey Devil we found was a namesake pub, JD’S BAR & GRILLE in Galloway, New Jersey. JD’s has good food, pretty good drinks, entertainment on the weekends, and great specials . ¬†We didn’t find the Devil, but JDs will have to do for now. ¬†Trust me – we’ll ¬†keep our eyes and ears open. ¬†Wouldn’t you?

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NOTE:  In Popular Culture

Who can ever forget The Sopranos??? ¬†“Pine Barrens” is the eleventh episode of the show’s third season. In this episode, Christopher and Paulie Walnuts take a guy to the the woods, and have hime dig his own grave, owing to a bad debt. ¬†If you haven’t ¬†seen The Sopranos – it’s a must !!! ¬†Especially if you’re a native. ¬†Many critics think this is one of the best episodes ever, including Time magazine.

sopranos

Folklorist, ¬†Jan Harold Brunvand wrote that the spread of contemporary pop culture has overtaken traditional Jersey Devil legends. ¬†One New Jersey group called the “Devil Hunters” refer to themselves as ‚Äúofficial researchers of the Jersey Devil”, and devote time to collecting reports, visiting historic sites, and going on night hunts in the Pine Barrens in order to “find proof” that the Jersey Devil does in fact exist.

The Jersey Devil has become a cultural icon in the state, inspiring several organizations to use the nickname. In professional hockey, the Eastern Hockey League Jersey Devils played from 1964 through 1973.  When the National Hockey League Colorado Rockies relocated to New Jersey in 1982, a fan poll voted to rename that team the New Jersey Devils.

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Tim and I will continue exploring this area.  Stay tuned for nature trails, wineries, casinos, campgrounds and a whole lot more.

SAM WITH A CAPITAL “S”

December 2, 20016

Good Mawnin’ – I gon’ tell you some ting – dat trip was dee bes !!!

As you may know, we used to live in the islands – 3 years St. Croix, 7 years in St. Thomas, and 3 months in Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, or BVI. ¬†We haven’t been back for about 5 years, so lots of changes. ¬†But what a trip — If you’ve never been, ¬†put it on your bucket list. ¬†The beauty is heavenly!!! ¬†For those of you interested in camping, I’ve included some info, ¬†as well as our sailing stops, and a few restaurant reviews.

It was a long haul to get to and from the boat.  Four plane trips, 2 ferry rides. and countless taxis.  We tried UBER  for the first time, and it worked out very well, while still in the USA.  I especially like that you know what it will cost before you start the trip.  Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous taxi drivers who go out of their way to run-up the meter when you are clearly new in town.  Not so with UBER Рyou can relax Рno listening to that infernal meter tick-tick-ticking.

On Saturday, we arrived in Tortola. ¬†There used to be a campgound at Brewer’s Bay, but it seems to be no longer in existence. We are here ¬†to ¬†board our 50′ Catamaran for a week of sailing the islands. “Tennessee Waltz” would be our home.

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The captain was my son Gene. ¬†The crew consisted of Gene’s wife Jenny, and my grandsons Timmy, Dan, and Matt. ¬†Also on board acting as crew were their friends the Cooks – Dad, Mom, and three sons, ¬†along with Tim and me. (Six boys, ranging in age from 6 to11). ¬†After a briefing for the captain and main crew, and a boat walk-through, we were on our way. ¬†First stop – Norman Island.

Norman Island is one of a number of islands reputed to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate novel, Treasure Island. It¬†is a well-known destination for cruisers and other tourists because of three sea-level caves at the base of cliffs.

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The caves are ideal for snorkeling. ¬†There are ¬†no permanent inhabitants (other than wild goats), but there is a restaurant and bar named “Pirates Bight”. ¬†There is also an old schooner named the William Thornton, or “Willy T”, ¬†which operates as a bar and restaurant. ¬†The Willy T gets pretty rowdy, and is not suitable for small children. ¬†But we did explore the caves, and have dinner at the “Pirates Bight”.

Picture of “Pirate’s ¬†Bight”.

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What the heck is a “bight”? ¬†For years I’ve heard and said that word, not knowing what it means. ¬†Well, in geography, a bight is a bend or curve in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature. It typically indicates a large, open bay. It is distinguished from a sound by being shallower. OK – ¬†now we all ¬†know.

There are no campgrounds on Norman Island.

On the second day, we snorkeled at The indians, then spent the night on a mooring at Cooper Island. ¬†The Indians are four¬†rocky pinnacles that rise straight up, about 100′ from the ocean floor. It’s one of my favorite places to snorkel because it’s like being inside an aquarium.¬†There are lots of blue tangs, parrotfish, cow fish, damsel fish, sergeant majors, jacks, queen angels, wrasse, trunk fish, and all the usual suspects, including an eel or two. If you’re lucky, you might spot a queen trigger fish. ¬†You need luck because they’ve been pretty much fished out. ¬†Unfortunately for them, they happen to be delicious.

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This is a painting of a Queen Trigger Fish.

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Cooper Island used to be an overnight stop without too many tourists.  There was one building on the beach which served as a restaurant, and a dock that was home to more barracudas than I care to think about.  There were also a few simple beach cottages for rent.  Today, the island remains fairly simple, but the beach has tuned into a pretty large restaurant/bar complex.  The barracudas have moved on.  Although there is no campground on the island, staying in one of the cottages  is more akin to camping than to a luxury resort, although a bit pricey.

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Day three was an incredible day at The Baths on Virgin Gorda, and a night at Leverick Bay.  There are no camping facilities on Virgin Gorda at this time.

The Baths  are a result of geologic changes to granite that eroded into piles of boulders on the beach.  The boulders form natural tidal pools, tunnels, arches, and scenic grottoes that are open to the sea. Since 1990, this area has been a BVI National Park.

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 Although it was a bit frightening getting onto the beach due to rough water, everyone had a great time exploring, climbing on the boulders, and swimming in the grottoes.

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This it the Leverick Bay resort.  They had good food, and a pool for the kids to play in.  They even had a laundry that boaters could use Рwith six kids, you know we did laundry!

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On Tuesday we put the sails up, and headed for Anegada, my favorite island. ¬†Here’s a photo of Matthew (age 7) at the helm with my son Gene.

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Anegada was formed from coral and limestone. At its highest point the island is 28 feet above sea level. Anegada is 11 miles long and fringed with mile after mile of white sandy beaches. Named Anegada or the ‚ÄúDrowned Island‚ÄĚ by the Spanish, Anegada is famous for its horseshoe reef that extends 10 miles, and has claimed over 200 known shipwrecks. ¬†It is quite a trek to get there – and tricky. There are many ¬†coral heads and odd currents that surround the island. ¬†It is also difficult to identify landmarks and dangerous reef areas, making Anegada off limits for many charter companies, and in fact, it was once advertised as the ‚ÄúForbidden Cruise‚ÄĚ. ¬†Since we owned our own boat, we traveled to Anegada back when there were no water markers. ¬†One person stood at the bow with a hook, and pointed the way through the reef. ¬†The hook was used to push away from coral heads, if necessary. ¬†It was really, really scary, but very exciting, ¬†especially when you made it safely through the reef to your anchoring spot. Today there is a well-marked channel into Setting Point so, with ¬†good weather and a vigilant crew, the trip to Anegada is delightful.

What makes it so great? ¬†The beaches – ¬†Cow Wreck, Loblolly, and Flash of Beauty to name a few. ¬†The restaurants. The friendly people. The flamingoes – yep, there is a flock of them. ¬†The fishing. ¬†The lobster. ¬†And oh yes, there is campground . ¬†Actually, it’s a “glampground” at the Anegada Beach Club. ¬†The resort features seven uniquely designed and beautifully appointed Beachfront Luxury Tents. ¬†The tents are raised above the dunes and overlook a pristine, powder sand beach. ¬†The rate is $300/night¬†(yikes).

Picture of the outside –

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and of the inside –

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I did meet a young man who primitive camped on the dunes above the beach between Cow Wreck Beach and the Anegada Beach Club.  He said that no one bothered him there, but the wind was very strong, and the bugs almost ate him up alive.  Not for me!!!

Anegada is also known for the large salt ponds which cover much of the west end of the island.  In the 1830s, thousands of Caribbean flamingos lived in these ponds, but they were hunted for food and feathers throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and disappeared by 1950. Thankfully, they have been reestablished. As of 2016, the flamingo flock numbers approximately 200 birds. The birds are another tourist draw, but officials are trying to keep the number of visitors to the flamingo areas at a level that allows the birds to flourish.  Observation decks have been built to keep people in one area only.  if you are unaware of their existence and stumble across them, it is quite a shock Р but a good one.

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You may think a beach is a beach is a beach.  I disagree.  Check out Cow Wreck Beach.

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And to think that just days ago, I was sitting there having a pina colada -ahhhhhh…

All the kids at Cow Wreck

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From the left: Nolan, Danny, Mick, Matthew, Timmy, and Liam.  The kid crew.

The sun is setting at Loblolly Bay –

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Anegada has some of the best restaurants in the islands. ¬†Naturally, the specialty is seafood, with lobster as the star attraction. ¬†The Anegada Reef Hotel is usually our “go-to” place, the food is fabu.

The people are friendly, and are customer oriented. ¬†When we woke up on Wednesday morning at anchor, a small boat pulled alongside with a single passenger who began to belt out “Oh what a beautiful morning…”. ¬†Naturally, when he started singing, we all ran towards the sound, including the kids, to see who was singing. ¬†It was very cool. And then “Welcome to heaven on earth. ¬†My name is Sam, with a capital S, and I would like tell you a little about my restaurant. ¬†If you come for dinner, please call before 4pm to let us know you are coming, and if you go somewhere else, have a safe and wonderful time. ¬†But stop by to say hello”.

This is Sam –

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I could write a book about Anegada, but I have move on to our next stop,  Jost Van Dyke РWhite Bay during the day, and Great Harbour for dinner and overnight on a mooring.

Remember I told you we lived in Jost for a short while? ¬†Here’s a picture of White Bay.

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Do you see the blue and pale green awning?  OK Рnow look at the branch above it, partially obscuring a window.  That window was in our apartment.  Yep, I know Рspectacular, right?

Also on this beach is Ivan’s Stress-Free Bar and White Bay Campground. ¬†Ivan has tents, bare sites and cabins.

After playing on the beach, we motored around to Great Harbour and moored. ¬†It was Thanksgiving Day, and I knew Foxys wouldn’t let us down. ¬†Correct ! ¬†On the menu was a full Thanksgiving dinner, and it was delicious. ¬†Everyone had a great time.

For our last day, we went to Monkey Point, on Guana Island.  The snorkeling there is excellent.

monkey 

On our way to Soper’s Hole, to moor for the night, ¬†we were rewarded with this gorgeous sight.

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In the evening, we had one of the best meals we’ve ever had at a restaurant called¬†Scaramouche. ¬†This is an extraordinary restaurant owned by a man from Italy named Roberto and his wife Chiara. ¬†Please see my review in Food Section.

On Saturday, it was time to return Tennessee Waltz. ¬†We got up very early and decided to snorkel The Indians one last time. ¬†The kids took turns jumping off of the bow, climbing the ladder, and doing it ll over again. ¬†So fun! ¬†We got back to the charter company in time for the 12:00 noon check-in. ¬†Thankfully, the boat was in perfect condition. ¬†The Reilly and Cook families headed to the airport for their trip home. ¬†Tim and I returned to St. Thomas for a few days to chill. ¬†It was an excellent vacation, with memories I’ll cherish forever.

Note#1:  There are campgrounds in the United States Virgin Islands.

Water Island Рa 7 minute ferry ride from St Thomas will bring you to the Virgin Islands Campground.  It is an eco-sensitive resort with self-contained cottages.

St John

Cinnamon Bay Campground Рlocated inside Virgin Islands National Park.  40 rustic cottages, steps from the beach, platform tents and bare sites are available.

Maho Bay Campground Р has 114 eco- tents on Maho Bay.

Concordia Eco-Resort –¬†Concordia Eco-Resort offers two distinct types of accommodations – Eco-Tents that are wood framed, soft-sided structures. Units are available for the guest who prefers a more traditional room experience.

St Croix

Ridge to Reef Farm –¬†Agro-Eco Farm at the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute ‚Äď the Virgin Islands‚Äô only certified Organic and Green Globe destination ‚Äď a sprawling 200-acre conservation forest farm with comfortable guest cabanas.

Mount Victory Camp –¬†Handcrafted Bungalows on a homestead in St. Croix‚Äôs West End Rainforest. ¬†The handcrafted bungalows are made from local tropical hardwoods. ¬†This is ‚Äúcamping‚ÄĚ at its most comfortable with handmade teak beds with linens, efficiency kitchens, and hot showers in a clean tiled bath house.

 

NOTE #2 Р When we arrived in Tortola,  I met two lovely young women, one from St. Croix, and one from St. Thomas.  I told them I would mention them in my blog, because they have a great cause.  Grace King is the founder of A.N.A.T.H.A. and  Ywamle Sheridan is the Director of Operations.  ANATHA is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide training, guidance, mentorship, and counsel to a adolescents facing the challenges of recovering from domestic abuse, substance abuse, as well as overcoming behavioral health conditions.  They seek to empower, enhance, and educate to create honorable citizens in the USVI.  Their website is   www.anatha.org.  Please support them if you are able.

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