The one thing that I was craving while I was down in Boston for Pax East was some chowder. Or as the Bostonians say chowda. We tried the No Name Restaurant, which was rather disappointing in the seafood chowder department. It was a bit too oily and watery. One of our cab drivers then suggested the Union Oyster House. According to him it had the best chowder in Boston and, as a bonus, is also the oldest restaurant in the US. Now when we say oldest, this restaurant has been in the same place in continuous service since 1826. I can see why. The food was pretty good.
When I first stepped into the Boston Convention center, I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who gathered together for Pax East. For those that don’t know, Pax East is a video game convention in Boston, MA where a bunch of AAA and Indie developers get together to showcase their coolest products. This was my very first convention and I was there with a media pass. Probably the best and only way to attend these kinds of conventions. While I was there on “official business” I was able to fully enjoy myself and revel in the geekery around me.
The US Virgin Islands, like so much of the Caribbean is picturesque. I think it’s practically impossible to take a bad picture. The views from the mountaintops and on the beaches are amazing and the contrast in colors just lends itself to amazing photos. Enjoy the gorgeous photos I were able to take below!
Let’s face it. We all want to travel more, but it takes a lot of time and money. How can we afford a vacation if we don’t have any time off left from work? That kind of thinking holds us back from taking a trip of any kind. Rather than focus on taking one very long trip, why not consider taking many short trips throughout the year? You may not be able to travel to a different country, but you’ll be able to get out of the house and explore places you otherwise would not have visited. If you don’t have vacation time, or you want to save it up for a really big trip at some point, schedule on the national holidays that your company observes. Prices may be a little higher, but you won’t have to use vacation or sick days.
Travel Tip #1: Travel Off Peak
Airfare is expensive nowadays even within the US, so it can be hard to find good rates. While it might be time-consuming, the best way is to go to sites like kayak.com and check up on the rates daily.
If you’re traveling to St. John and St. Thomas, you’re pretty much guaranteed amazing views and beaches regardless of where you go. There are, however, a handful of places that you should definitely stop by during your visit. Forget Magen’s Bay, it doesn’t have have anything on some of these beautiful beaches.
This is, by far, the prettiest beach on St. Thomas. Prettier than Magen’s and Sapphire combined. The water just looks prettier. Maybe it’s because of the soft, white sand or maybe it’s the fact that the waves don’t crash that hard on the beach. Either way, it’s incredibly relaxing. They actually filmed a couple Corona commercials at this location, so you can imagine just how scenic it is. There is a small fee, but you get lockers, a shower and life guards. It’s a hidden gem of a beach. If you’re looking for it, look for a sign that points to Smith Bay.
After around 3 hours of hiking at the Reef Bay Trail, Jill and I were quite famished. Not surprising considering all we had for breakfast was some trail mix and water. We drove around, admiring the view and making sure that we didn’t hit any stray cows or goats as we made the practically 180 degree turns in the road. We reached Coral Bay and stopped at the first place that we came upon that also had parking – Skinny Legs.
“Let’s take the 6.30am car barge to St. John so that we can get to the Reef Bay Trail.”
“Uh…so that means we have to wake up at 5am?”
The warm breeze hits me and that’s when I know, I’m in the Caribbean. This is no place for my sweater. Even in the middle of November the weather is perfect 83 degrees. Paradise? Yes. Everything is like a scene out of a movie. Even the airport is scenic. And of course, the main thing to remember about being on an island, everything moves a little slower. Everyone is on island-time.
After getting our rental Jeep, we soon realized that getting around the island wasn’t as easy as we were expecting. Streets were not labeled and roads that were supposed to connect with each other led to a dead end. We circled around the same way at least ten times before deciding to commit to a route. Eventually, we found our hotel, The Inn at Blackbeard’s Castle. We were greeted by several nudists (we were warned beforehand that there was a nudist party) and led to our room. For $90/night, the room had all the necessities: two beds, air conditioner, shower and toilet. It wasn’t the most luxurious, but it certainly did the trick. On premise there were also three pools, a bar and also several different sites that we were able to go to for free since we were staying at the hotel: Blackbeard’s castle, 99 steps, Rum Factory, The Amber Museum and more. They’re all fairly close to each other and eventually lead down to Charlotte Amalie for some excellent Duty-Free shopping.
If it hadn’t been for Jill, I most likely never would have gone down to Lexington, KY. I’m glad I did despite the travel mishaps. There was a lot to see and plenty of cool places to go. Besides that, it was also an incredibly scenic place complete with a cute city and gorgeous, wide-open plots of land. It’s such an interesting mix of landscapes and fun people (especially that chick in the superhero outfit), I couldn’t help but like it.
You might just be going down to Kentucky for the Bourbon trail, but there’s so much more that the area offers. There are some great bars, food and of course the horse tracks. No trip to Kentucky is complete without seeing at least one race and experiencing what Lexington and the surrounding area have to offer.