Friday, August 2, 2013

Epic Journey Part IV: Paradise (aka St. John)

We woke up Friday, July 19th in paradise.  The storms from the day before had passed and the skies were clear and the most piercing blue, matched only by the ocean.  Concordia Eco Resort has a lovely continental breakfast, which we enjoyed while looking out over the sea and plotting our day.  After two days of travel, we didn't want to go far.  We decided that after a morning swim in the pool, we'd head to Salt Pond Bay (which is the beach closest to our resort -- just a 15 minute hike down a trail peppered with hermit crabs, lizards, and beautiful fauna).  Why, you ask, did we need to stop by the pool first?  Kailey!  She was begging to get in the pool that she had been eyeing every time we passed it coming or going to our cabin.  We told her the ocean would be just as good, if not better, than the pool.  But, Kai's idea of the ocean was the Pacific, and she wasn't buying it.  So, we headed to the pool at the resort first, which was an ideal temperature and a very nice place to cool off.  Indeed, it became our habit as we went up the long staircase to our cabin to stop and take a quick dip in the pool, since it was about 3/4 of the way up the stairs and, by that time, you really felt like jumping in a pool.

After our swim, we packed for a day at the beach and headed out on our adventure.  We were not disappointed.

As soon as Kai saw the ocean, and realized how calm it is compared to our ocean back home, she was in.  Literally, in -- she ran straight into the water.  We were fast on her heels.  The water is as warm as a bath, and Kai started giggling and yelling, "it's my first time swimming in the ocean!"  It was a glorious moment.  

Eric dived under the water and told her he could see fish.  Kai's eyes got wide and she said she needed her goggles.  We told her she really needed her snorkel gear.  Leading up to St. John, Kai had said at least once a day that she was not going to snorkel in St. John.  Even after learning how to snorkel in the pool in DC, she continued to tell us that there would be no snorkeling in St. John.  We never pushed her, because we knew she couldn't envision St. John. We would just tell her that if she didn't want to snorkel, she didn't have to do it.  But, as soon as she was in the warm Caribbean water, and knew there were fish right around her feet, she forgot all mention of not snorkeling.  She really wanted to see those fish! 

Kai grabbed her gear and was back in the water as quick as can be -- good thing she's such an awesome swimmer now, because she is hard to keep up with!  Soon we were all geared up and we ducked under -- and were immediately rewarded with a fish sighting.  Kai popped her head up, sputtering that she had seen a fish.  We nodded and told her to look under again but, by that time, most of the fish had left.  We swam further out and saw all kinds of blue, yellow, pink, white and orange fish.  Kai was estatic.  Every time she saw a fish, she popped her head up to tell us about it, scaring all the fish away.  Eric told her to just point at the fish while under water and, from that point on, Kai was constantly poking us, grunting through her mask, and pointing at each of the (dozens) of fish swimming around us. 

We decided that day that we really were going to want to rent a car.  It would not have been possible the day before, as the delays in traveling got us in after all the rental companies were closed.  So, after the day at the beach, we caught the bus into town.  This was no normal bus ride... more like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride... whipping around curves, hanging over cliffs, on this rickety old bus that sounded like it might burst into bits at any moment.  Kai slept through the whole thing. 

We then rented a two-door Jeep... perfect for island living.  In St. John, they drive on the opposite side of the road from us.  So, it was like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride all over... especially those right turns!  We had dinner in town and headed back to camp for some night swimming in the pool.  I think night swimming might be Kai's new favorite activity!  

It was a great first full day... and now that we had a Jeep and knew we could get anywhere on the island, we began eagerly planning our adventures for our next few days... (to be continued)

1 comment:

John and Karen said...

I love reading about your trip. Sounds like you had an amazing time.