We had the amazing, pretty much once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the US Virgin Islands together this past week. It was a sudden trip that came up for Devon’s work, and I happened to have a super rare, free June weekend to go with him. The hurricanes from last season have badly damaged a good deal of the infrastructure, and the tourists have been gun-shy to return since, but the beaches & views were still utterly breath taking. The water was some of the clearest, warmest, and most beautiful I’ve ever seen. While beautiful, the islands are definitely not for the faint of heart, at least currently. Driving can be quite the challenge (with left-side driving, lax traffic rules, no street signs & rough road conditions being the norm), but we found the place certainly rewards the adventurous.
We spent most of our time on St. Thomas, admiring the colorful alleyways of Charlotte Amalie, but we were able to catch a ferry over to neighboring island of St. John for our last day. Most of St. John is home to the absolutely unreal Virgin Islands National Park: bay after bay of the clearest, insanely blue water filled with even more insanely colorful fish. While most of the buildings were damaged in the storms, the trails are still in surprisingly good shape. The park is the only place in the national parks system to have an underwater trail, which we were lucky enough to have time to snorkel through. Plenty of ruins from rum & sugar plantations from previous centuries dot the landscape, providing beautiful vantage points to see out over the island chain. It’s hard to describe or even capture in photos how beautiful the place really is, and while we’re happy to be home (and driving on the right side of the road again), we are already dreaming of going back.