The Sweet Sweet Virgin Islands
Before I begin I want you to know this wasn't just about vacation for me. It was also, a wake-up call on how good I truly have in this life. If you do not already know The Virgin Islands had it pretty bad last year. Two Hurricanes hit all of Virgin Islands in 2017 Maria and Irma.
I was only there for four days and honestly, I wish I could have stayed longer. As the hours went on learning about the locals and the people even visiting The Virgin Islands. I just wanted to learn even more!! You know when you get the emotions of excitement and pure relaxation when you get somewhere for vacation. TRUST ME I did! Although, the people who surround this place that they call HOME actually makes you feel for them. They put a smile on for us "Tourists" and shake your hand, laugh with you, and even a few gave hugs or that could have just been me but, I'm a hugger :) The Locals are learning from you as you are learning from them. The fact is what they are surrounded by is pure brokenness and heartache. Day to day life for most of them is a real struggle!! People don't have jobs, some are struggling just to make a dollar or they work and never see any money that they've worked so hard for.
I met a man from Texas he works for a Company that is funded through the Government to help rebuild houses and businesses in The Virgin Islands. He told us he's been there over three months and said St. Croix is in horrible condition. It's nothing like what you see around here ( St. Thomas ) "Tourist Attractions" as he says. He mentions that the Government can only provide so much but, most locals are out there working hard day and day out. In HOPE to receive any kind of money to support their families. The hotel which was Windward Passage Hotel & Casino was where we stayed for three nights. The Hotel was still under construction from the Hurricanes. They had a Casino, Gift Shop, and their Restaurant was still undergoing construction, so everything was closed... We had "the nicest room" in the hotel as the front desk lady said. At one time it had two balconies but, since the Hurricanes they aren't viable anymore. The staff defiantly made it even better with there smiles. Calling us a taxi whenever we needed. I mean I get it it's their jobs but, I've had the worst service here in Ohio at a Five Star Hotel than this 3-Star Hotel that's under construction. People writing reviews saying horrible things clearly have no respect of what the Locals have been through this past year. I mean if you actually looked into what happened in The Virgin Islands last year you would think it is not going to be an all around paradise for you... I'm sure most lost family members, friends of friends, and even their homes gone... It shocks me on how some people view life. Sometimes you just have to step back and look at what's surrounding you...
As we walk to the closest restaurants and shopping areas. Which by the way we were in a perfect location to get everywhere we needed! Airport., Beaches, Ferries to other Islands, Shops etc. Taxi rides were about $8.00 to $20.00 a person to get around the St.Thomas Island. Which is not bad and BE WARNED they drive on opposite sides... Just because you're in the United States Territory doesn't mean you drive on the right side as we do. HAHA!! So, funny when we all gasped coming out of the airport!
Speaking of United States Territory I was talking to a security officer that was there to check I.Ds and Passports at the Airport. This is word of mouth but, supposedly they're trying to make it to where you have to have a passport starting in the month of October 2018. I have no words in it... Didn't really ask why he was intimidating a little haha. So, no idea if someone has thoughts on this subject I'm defiantly interested in hearing about it.
We enjoyed two beaches while we were here Megan's Bay and Coki Beach. Megan's Bay was my favorite. So relaxing... They have a bar and a place to rent Snorkeling gear, float mats, chairs, etc. A Shack to Kayak or Paddle Board. The lady there was pretty sweet. She explained how the rescue boat still didn't work due to the Hurricanes and if we get stuck were stuck on the Kayak haha!! We decided not to but, it would have been pretty cool to experience maybe, next time. Coki Beach was a vibe for sure! We went kind of late around 1700ish so the water was colder and there was a lot more fish and seaweed. I didn't like stepping on all that especially when I found beer bottle caps and stuff. But, the view was still beautiful.
All in all, it was still a beautiful place to visit, even with all the rebuilding going on! I would love to learn if they're any Charities or some way of coming back over to help for a few days or something. I'm sure they have something. Hopefully something or someone taking action to protect the Locals during Hurricane Season which is here now. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them. <3