St. John Journal - 12.20.07 (Thursday)

My husband Steven and I spent a week visiting St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, December 17th-23rd. I kept a journal that week and wanted to share our travels and my thoughts here on my blog. To find the earlier posts (2) follow this link for all the travel journal posts & scroll down! This is the 3rd of 5 entries . . . .

The past two evenings Steven & I have enjoyed watching DVD movies from the home library here at our "villa" as we are now calling it! We have found this a nice and relaxing thing to do with a symphony of frogs and bugs singing outside the window. We have also been cooking dinner at 'home' instead of going out to eat. I remember when Steven first mentioned that we might cook at home while on vacation, I wasn't sure how I felt about that! When I went on vacations previously (unless visiting my parents in Florida) I had dinner out in restaurants instead of cooking in. But, I had to admit to Steven today that I was really enjoying cooking & eating at home. We have had delicious fish, steak, yummy salads, baked potatoes, and I even made my Nonie's shredded carrots! This is a vegetable dish I have been wanting to make for Steven for the longest time, and I just never remembered to do this until now. Carrots were not expensive at the little grocery store we shopped at the other day, and carrots are a good veggie all around, so we bought a bag. We have also enjoyed a super sweet and delicious mango, and a yummy avocado. mmmm!
We fed bits of the mango and some orange juice to the visiting bananaquit birds - that was fun. Click on any photo for a more detailed view. There are also lots of little anole lizards scurrying around, and a stray cat that comes by for food, provided by the owner of the property, who gave us instructions for us to leave food out.

I saw a powder puff tree growing right here in the yard! This is a tropical plant that is exactly the same as one that my ex-husband & I bought from Logee's Tropical Plants in Danielson, CT. It started as a small plant but grew to be a tree very quickly in just a few years -- I am not sure if that is one of the plants John took with him or not. It may not have survived our divorce; I don't have it anymore. Perhaps it is still growing? None the less, it was just amazing to see this same plant/tree growing wild outdoors.
Today Steven and I went to the Annaberg ruins. This is an old Sugar Cane Plantation and factory where slaves worked. The remains of the buildings and the grounds were very interesting, I thought, so I took some photos. I looked up the History later too and will share it here with you . . . . .

After visiting there we walked to Water Lemon Cay; quite a long walk along the shore - longer than Steven remembered! He has visited St. John before and so he already knew different beaches and places he wanted to share with me. He said he was happy to "burn new memories" with me on this island; this is something we have both

done for each other by going to places that were familiar to us with our ex-partners -and instead visiting these places now with each other. It really has been helpful.

Water Lemon Cay was different from Salt Pond Bay, which we went to yesterday. At Water Lemon Cay we went snorkeling and saw a lot of fish; pike and string-rays - who scared me a little, even though I really had no reason to be scared of them. They just look mean and dangerous and I was swimming near them. We saw one starfish, then another, and then we realized there were a whole lot more starfish, nearby on the ocean bottom. Floating on the surface looking down through my mask, it looked like a starfish garden to me; very beautiful and different. And then, we saw a huge sea turtle! He looked like he was flying as he floated through the water moving his flippers, going up. When he reached the surface of the water, he took a breath of air and then dived down into the water again. It was wild!

Yesterday at Salt Pond Bay was different than today because there were less people in the water or on the beach. It was quieter. Yesterday was the first time I had been snorkeling in years & years and so I had to re-learn how to do it. It didn't take too long . . . I had to teach myself to breathe through my mouth ONLY, and when I did, I relaxed and found it very enjoyable to swim alongside Steven. The salt water kept us afloat very easily and with my head half way under water I could hear myself breathing . . . in and out of the tube. I would make myself slow down my breathing in order to relax more and found then I more fully enjoyed the wonder of all I was seeing: all kinds of coral, sea urchins & lots of fish. It felt extremely meditative to me swimming along like that, moving slowly, breathing slowly and taking everything in through my mask.

It is very beautiful here on St. John; tropical waters that are often a shade of turquoise blue, surrounded by green hills. I would almost describe them as small mountains, except that I think they are too small for that. This is definitely a paradise island and I am enjoying it, but I am not in love with it. I do not want to move here! The warm weather is a lovely change for us and simply time spent with Steven is the best part of this vacation. We are funny and perhaps a little unusual in that we can spend inordinate amounts of time together, happily! We can talk + talk + talk + talk -- or we can just be quiet together. We are very well suited for each other! I am enjoying this and relishing it . . . and feeling very grateful right now that we are such a match.

Steven adds this to my journal entry:
"Sitting on a towel in the shade at Water Lenna Cay (I officially re-named it). Sailboats are moored here in the bay and people are snorkeling here and there. We KNOW where the Sea Turtles and String Rays are because every group of snorkelers who see them underwater lift their heads up and yell out to their friends. It's a Turtle Warning System." : )

Here is a drawing that I started and asked Steven to finish (he is so much better at drawing than I am!). . . of Water Lemon/Lenna Cay ~ and he helped me with the perspective around the edge of the water . . . thank you, Steven! xo