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.
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.
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 you’re looking for some delicious food to go along with the home-brewed beer at Country Boy Brewing, then look no further than their parking lot. A variety of food trucks stop there to feed the drunk masses, however our visit allowed us to taste delicious food from Fork in the Road. There you will find traditional fare with a twist and a good dose of butter. There’s nothing better than a hearty meal to go along with that Jalapeño Smoked Porter or Peanut Butter Stout. You just need to travel to Lexington, Kentucky.
If you happen to be in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, you should definitely stop to have lunch at Lakeside Restaurant. There might not be a lake next to it (at least none that I saw) but it was delicious.
We came upon this restaurant after visiting Four Roses distillery and before we made our way to Wild Turkey. We had never heard of the place prior to coming there and found it, surprisingly enough, by GPS. I cannot thank Jill’s Australian-accented GPS enough for that find.
It’s unsurprising that when we arrived the restaurant was fairly empty. It was around 2pm so most of the people had most likely had lunch and were on their way to bigger and better things. The emptiness didn’t necessarily deter me, but the decor definitely made me think that I might regret stopping in. I’m glad I was wrong.
“Ou est rue de…de…” Of all the places to visit, I just had to choose Paris. I couldn’t choose Spain where at least I could speak a little, oh no. Well, the plane tickets were cheap and I couldn’t really pass up my first experience traveling abroad and by myself. Still, it wasn’t a good way to start off. I couldn’t speak the language, I couldn’t even pronounce the name of the street my hostel was on. I wrote it down and handed it to the cashier at the bakery. She looked at me like I was from another planet. I pointed at what I wrote and shook my head and shrugged…a gesture that I hoped would translate to “I don’t know where it is.” She also shook her head. I was on my own.
There I was, 19, lost in Paris on a winter night. It was starting to get too cold. A vision of me frozen to death on the streets of Paris flashed through my mind. This was it. The end of my short life. And then…somehow I found where I was supposed to go. I swear I had walked up and down the street 5 times, but somehow that sixth time I saw the street sign. I was saved.
I know that I should have taken more pictures than I did, but I was so busy relaxing that I kind of forgot. And for a short period of time I also couldn’t find my camera. Turns out it was wedged between a decorative dresser and my bag. These things happen, you know? Anyway, it’s difficult to really capture Pembroke in all it’s glory, but hopefully these pictures do some justice. Some of these are also my mother’s pictures.
For some reason, it seems like the fates were conspiring against my sister, my mother and me every time we tried to take a trip out to the Pembroke Springs Retreat. We were originally supposed to go in May however work and weather got in the way. When we finally were able to get together and take the drive down, we were hit with a tornado warning 30 minutes before reaching our destination. At that point, we had come too far to go back home. Luckily, we only had to deal with the bad weather for ten minutes until we arrived at our destination. The road there wasn’t easy though. We drove through the winding path through a pretty wooded area. Thank goodness there were no cars coming in the opposite direction as the way was almost too narrow for two cars to fit. When we reached the clearing at the top, though, my anxiety immediately disappeared as I took in the gorgeous view.
There are plenty of places to pop in for a drink, but not all bars are equal. While Bourbon street is probably synonymous with drinking, there are plenty of awesome bars that evehttp://rovingwanderer.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=166&action=edit&message=1ryone should experience simply for the history. Of course you can most likely wander in anywhere and grab a drink, but here is my top 6 list.
There are actually 2 different Pat O’Brien’s but they all connect to each other through a beautiful backyard. It’s a huge place so you’ll more than likely run into some fun people. Pat O’Brien’s is allegedly the birthplace of the Hurricane, so you’ll have to get it when you’re there. I’m not really a huge fan of sweet drinks, so I didn’t really like the drink but I finished it. I just like the atmosphere and the fire fountain.