Monday, March 9, 2015

Cruise Log Part 6: Look What the Tide Brought in!

Wednesday the 10th we arrived in St. Thomas.  We also went to Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas on our last cruise.  I love the view from the balcony of the island and all these little sailboats moored and dotting the bay.  It's so picturesque.  Our excursion for the day was to go to Magen's Bay Beach.  Supposedly it is one of the top 10 beaches in the world.  It was very pretty and very fun.  We had an open air bus to take us there.  We were first taken to a scenic overlook where we could see the beach from above and it was beautiful!  There was a lady there with a donkey, that seems to be a famous fixture there because I saw a lot of postcards with that donkey on it, wearing a hat and flowers.  There were also locals selling bottled water because it's more expensive on the beach.

When we got down to Magen's Bay, Scott went to change (I had worn my swimsuit and just put a sarong and a t-shirt on over it) and I went in search of beach chairs to rent.  We set up our chairs and went out into the water.  I had my waterproof camera strapped to my wrist.  It was a beautiful day with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.  The waves were awesome.  It was like being in a wave pool.  If you stayed pretty close to shore, you were really tossed around.  There were teen boys laying on the sand and waiting for the surf to come up and then it would suck them back into the water.  I made the mistake of hanging around in that depth, looking for seashells and got tossed around so much, I had sand all in my swimsuit.  I went out in the water a little farther out to mask what I was doing and pulled my swimsuit away from my body, hoping to wash all of the sand out of it (it didn't work, apparently.  When we got back to our cabin and I peeled off my swimsuit, I was caked with sand).  I was enjoying floating on the water and feeling the waves push and pull me.  I could spend a whole week at that beach.  Or live there!  So peaceful and relaxing.  I finally figured out that there was a little "shelf" near the shore.  It was really fun to let the surf carry you towards the beach, but if you had your legs drawn up, you could brace your feet against that shelf and not be swept along the sand (which is quite abrasive).  Then when the wave went back out, you'd be sucked out again.  I did this back and forth over and over for a while.  I may be easily entertained, but all I wanted for this trip was to relax and de-stress and this was the best of any of it, just floating along with the waves.

When the tour bus was ready to take us back to the dock, we decided to do some shopping.  We have been through some of the shops in St. Thomas before, so we knew the street where most of the major shops were and also the markets near the pier.  Shopping is a big deal in St. Thomas because it's duty free.  They hand out all kinds of coupons and free offers, especially for jewelry.  Next time I go, instead of wasting all kinds of money on the spa, I'll save it for jewelry shopping.  I really love the Tanzanite and the Ammolite and colored opals.  The sales people are a little pushy.  They stand on the sidewalk in front of their shops and try to convince you to go in, even offering you free stuff and nearly pushing you in the door.  One guy seemed very helpful, telling us the layout: this way is food, this way for clothing, that way for jewelry, etc.  But, then he urged us to come in his shop.  One place that I like to go into is Mr. Tablecloth.  They have tons of linens.  Last time, I bought a jacket there.  This time, I got large and small white lacy parasols.  I think they would be adorable in my photography!  Can you imagine a mother/daughter picture?  In the back of the store, there is a small drugstore and we have visited there both times to pick up necessities and a few souvenirs.

After we got back on the ship and showered, we went to La Cucina for dinner, which is the Italian restaurant on-board.

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