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Long St Croix trip report with kids in tow (12-21 - 12-28)

Long St Croix trip report with kids in tow (12-21 - 12-28)

Jan 4th, 2007, 06:34 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Long St Croix trip report with kids in tow (12-21 - 12-28)

Our big group consisted of my husband and I, our 13-month-old, my mother-in-law, and my brother-in-law and his three kids (17, 14, 10). We rented a house on Judithís Fancy which we found through VRBO. It was a great location although the beach was flanked on both sides by sharp rock which prevented walkers or us walking along the beach beyond our property. As a result there was a great deal of coral on the beach but also a great deal of trash - unavoidable I suppose but sad nonetheless.

In search of a quick easy dinner upon arrival, H2O was recommended. Itís part of the Hibiscus Hotel which seemed lovely. The restaurant itself was very elegant and high priced. Iím not a seafood fan but those choosing that option enjoyed their meals. As a new parent I find myself observing travel in a completely new way, and they were very accommodating to my daughter - bringing out a high chair and whipping up some mashed potatoes in light of no kids menu. It really isnít a family dining spot but is very romantic and right on a lovely groomed beach.

Friday we zipped the grocery as our plan was to eat in as much as possible. It was very easy to navigate the roads, and we soon learned that even though roads aren't marked very well a wrong turn eventually will end up on a main road to get ones bearings again. That night we visited Green Cay Marina and the Deep End Bar for their hermit crab races. The restaurant was wonderful - reasonably priced food, very kid friendly. The races were a bit longer than expected. We made the mistake of ordering food when we thought the races were going to start. Turns out that was the introduction to the closing of the entries, a process that lasted another 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes worth of advertising the companies who had supplied prizes for the evening. I normally would have no issue with this, but our food arrived just as first race finally started and with four hungry kids in tow we basically missed the actual purpose of the evening.

Saturday my MIL and daughter stayed at home while we took the half day Caribbean Sea Adventure tour of Buck Island. It's billed as a glass bottom boat tour, which it really isn't. CSA was excellent however for a group with variable skills. The boat captain and his crew were so patient with the kids who were just learning. Overall Iíd recommend them. There were many fish and coral, but no other signs of marine life which was disappointing. Just the luck of the draw. I felt the snorkeling was just as good off shore. Donít park by the fort for the PM boat trip - the lot closes at 4:45 and our boat returned at 5:00. We were so fortunate to have a kind park ranger let us out.

Sunday we headed into Christiansted and ate at Rum Runners. Very good bar type food, very casual, for brunch there were lots of food options for baby and high chairs. Loved Christiansted, great shops, very walkable, such a beautiful area.

Christmas day we drove to the beach by Salt River Bay. It was around the point from our house and not a very clean beach. But lots of shells and very quiet (itĎs the Columbus landing site). We then explored a little via car. I didnít realize that the scenic road on the island is 4x4 only (as marked by only one of our four maps - as many maps as possible are helpful as they all seem to contain slightly different information).

Tuesday 12/26 we headed to Fredericksted via the rainforest. Lovely drive, unfortunately LEAP was closed (national holiday) but many other places were not. We stopped at Sprat Hall Beach and ate at the Sunset Grill for lunch. No kid choices on the menu, nor did they have highchairs, but the food was pretty good and drinks were excellent. Snorkeling was fantastic and this side of the island is very pleasant - smooth clean beaches, gentle water, beach chairs and bar readily available. Saw lots of crabs among sea urchins, schools of fish and two flounder.

Wednesday we drove to Cheeseburgers in Paradise on the way to Point Udall. I was unimpressed. Not a clean environment (and I'm not that picky), there were no kids menu options aside from a burger and no booster seats. My adult burger wasnít anything special, and the sides were average.

Afterwards we tried to find Grapetree Beach without luck, but a local directed us to a remote beach with some great snorkeling on the opposite side of the island west of Cramer Park at a remote dirt turn off the road. The fish were great, but unfortunately our camera was stolen from the car - completely stupid mistake on our part for leaving it in there. It was also the only beach where our car was parked out of sight. Just dumb luck My daughter was sick during the ride back to the house which put the whole thing into perspective at least. She was better by the next morning.
Then we were getting ready to go to the airport via Cruzan Rum Factory when my husband locked the keys in the car. Word to the wise - the remote unlock doesnít work on all cars when the engine is engaged. Fortunately Avis drove the extra set of keys from the airport and we were able to join the rest of our party at Cruzan. The rum was not being produced that week, so we declined the tour but enjoyed ourselves at the free bar. Little did we know how inexpensive the rum is there - $30 for 6 bottles at the factory vs. $4.39 a bottle at Pueblo Grocery store - still incredibly inexpensive.

One thing I learned in traveling with children - keep their original birth documents handy at all times. I made the mistake of making a photocopy and putting it in the suitcase thinking we wouldnít need it to exit the country. I was wrong and we got a lot of grief (and my luggage strewn around the airport). My DH had some trouble with only a driverís license too. Passport is the way to go. Too bad they wonít be part of the passport rules change next week as that would make things so much easier. Also in the future Iíd bring along our travel booster seat when we go to restaurants.
hlphillips2 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 06:59 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 675
I have not read your trip report entirly, but I'm pretty sure we saw you at H2O... did you just get out of law school or something? We were the family of 5 sitting in the corner... the 2 men were eating h20 out of crab legs!!
TXgalinGA is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 07:01 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
THanks for taking the time to post. St. Croix has a tiny handful of devoted fans on this forum and it's always nice to hear about an island we don't otherwise hear much about.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 07:10 AM
  #4  
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TXgalinGA - that's hilarious! My husband actually just finished his first semester of law school. Guess our conversation may have been a bit loud. Next time around we'll definitely hit H2O after being there a few days rather than the first exhausted night.

Hope you enjoyed your trip.
hlphillips2 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 07:35 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 675
After I read your full report, I did realized that it was your husband... glad you had as wonderful time as we did! St. Croix was amazing and we all hope to head back there next holiday!
TXgalinGA is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 02:00 PM
  #6  
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My husband just told me that he spoke with you at length that night (I was a bit distracted). We're so glad you had fun!
hlphillips2 is offline  

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