Bon Voyage: Destination St. John


St. John did not disappoint this year. Such a small island, so much to do.

Or not to do.

Husband and I stayed at the same villa this year, the stunning Island Manor. I love having a home base while on vacation, a full kitchen, and a fully stocked bar of our own. Island Manor is a luxurious home away from home.

Our main objective while in St. John? Hit the beaches and relax.

Maho beach, my favourite, where we saw a deer running down the sand, a baby lemon shark patrolling his new turf, a wily mongoose, and rays upon rays in its clear blue water. Salt Pond, and Vie's private beach (on the East end of the island near Coral Bay) were a nice change of pace, though Salt Pond involved quite the hike to access the bay. Once we reached Salt Pond we snorkelled, took in giant sea turtles, and schools of exotic fish.  Definitely head there early in the day to score a spot in the shade. Also on our list, Honeymoon beach, where they have a small diner and rentals of paddle boards and kayaks, the secluded Solomon, a small hike away, and Cinnamon Beach. 

We took a day away from St. John's beaches and ventured to Jost van Dyke in the BVI's via ferry, where we docked at the Soggy Dollar Bar (park your boat, swim in and indulge in the original painkiller) and Foxy's for cocktails and lunch. Soggy Dollar Bar was packed, likely matching Jost van Dyke's total permanent population of 200, on a daily basis. Hard to believe this tiny, sleepy island is the host to one of the biggest New Year's Eve parties on the planet. 

I should note, we hiked a few gorgeous trails during our stay and made passing attempts at staying in shape, or at least burn off a few rum cocktails. 

Well, maybe it wasn't just rum cocktails we needed to burn off. We had some delicious dining indulgences during our stay. The Mr. and I trekked out to Morgan's Mango, two for one margarita night (duh).  It was hard to choose between lobster night and two for one margarita night, but we rose to the challenge. The BBQ at Uncle Joe's did not disappoint, with orders so large husband and I split a plate of ribs, macaroni salad and slaw. Uncle Joe's BBQ is cooked on the sidewalk, guests dine next door on the covered patio, and take in the bustle of Cruz Bay while the eat. A twisty drive to the East end of the island brought us by Skinny Legs, where we ducked into the shaded bar, chowed on burgers and tried every variety of hot sauce available, including a house made smoky chipotle, bottled up in a recycled patron bottle. My favourite was the epic fried garlic chicken at Vie's Snack Shack, where Vie and her daughter cook everything to order. We washed down herb flecked conch fritters and johnny cakes with cold beer after a day at the beach. And then walked across the street to the beach, Vie's private beach, where you can gain access for a few dollars. It is well worth the price of admission, small, secluded and pristine. Last but not least, the cafe at the airport. Yes, even the airport food is quite good. After check in, we b-lined for the cafe, grabbed a few cocktails, and indulged in rich oxtail stew, roast chicken, and beef filled johnny cakes while we waited to depart. 

My beach reading list: The Night Circus, The Family Fang, and The Twelve, the fabulous follow-up to The Passage by Justin Cronin. A fanciful love story, a dysfunctional family of performance artists, and a tense post apocalyptic vampire-esque thriller....pretty much covered all genres in the week.

For more reading and guides to St John, check out St. John Off the Beaten Path and Fodor's US and Virgin Islands.

Finally, last year's adventures here.


Two Tickets to Paradise


Above: Corey Lynn Calter jumpsuit (check out the sale at CLC, tons of fun tropical goodies!), Erotokritos sandals, West Elm clutch, coral necklace lovingly made by my mom, Rayban sunglasses


If you are looking for tropical paradise, St. John has you covered. 

Sun, sand, rum cocktails. Snorkeling, hiking, sunning.  That pretty much sums it up! 

I stocked up on tropical goodies before the trip at Anthropologie (on sale!). Scored this Corey Lynn Calter jumpsuit for a song. It is sold out at Anthro but you should check out the sale at CLC's site right now, tons of tropical wares at great prices.


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Tropical Getaway: Pack Your Swims, Sunnies & Havaianas



The snap of cold weather has me longing for my recent vacation in St. John.  Was it really just two weeks ago that I lived in swimsuits and flip flops? Now it is 30 degrees and snowing.  Welcome to New England! I'll be rolling out some of my tropical outfits and travel tips this week, in honor of our first snow...


I am already planning my next get away and as luck would have it, it's the perfect time to stock up on all the essentials- swimsuits, sun dresses, most importantly, all on SALE. Here's a peek at my tropical wish list and a few things bound to make it into my luggage for the next trip.


My go to flip flop? Havaianas of course, who have some seriously adorable styles in their current resort collection. Born in 1962, Havaianas spread like wild fire in 2000 across the globe- available in an astounding 60 countries today. You can even create a custom pair on their site....for yourself, or as a gift (or, do both, for those of us that have a one for you/one for me gift policy when shopping for the holidays;). Not sure what to gift? Give'em a gift card to pick out or make their own.  I'll personally be giving the Lucky eye flip flops to some of my Greek in-laws, they are perfection! Along with keeping a pair for myself.


1. Gucci Grosgrain Hat
2. TopShop Dip-Dye Maxi Skirt
3. We are Handsome Swimsuit
4. Givenchy Crocodile Cuff
5. Havaianas Slim Animal
6. Thierry Lasry Sexxxy D Sunglasses
7. TopShop Lace Maxi Dress
9. Shiseido Sunscreen
10. TopShop Ikat Backpack
11. Havaianas Missoni Slim Rachel
12. Missoni Bikini
13. Marni Shopping Tote
14. Crosby Derek Lam Azure Short
15. Havaianas Slim Lucky Eye


This post was sponsored by Havaianas.