Saturday, October 9, 2010

Caneel Bay: My Happy Place (Part 2)

Caneel's beauty inspired me to be an early riser.  It also helped that with no TV's in the room , little night life, and wearing ourselves out in the sun each day, we went to bed on the early side as well.  We settled into a routine quite quickly at Caneel.  Here is a typical day.
  • Wake up around 7am
  • I would walk over to the the bar where there was a free continental breakfast and bring food and the daily NY Times fax back to our room to eat on the deck
  • Go to one of the seven beaches where Chris would snorkel and I would sun myself, read and swim a little
  • Lunch at Caneel's restaurant, maybe have a drink or two at the bar...I loved the Bushwackers which were like a cocktail and dessert all in one (vodka, kahlua, frangelico, baileys, coconut cream, blended with ice and topped with nutmeg...mmmmm)...Chris was huge fan of the Virgin Islands Pale Ale
  • Back to the beach, but we'd pick a different beach than the morning, where we would stay until the sun was going down
  • Head to the room to clean up for dinner, while one of us was in the shower the other would sit on the deck and read, or just stare at the view
  • Dinner at Caneel's restaurant and another drink or two at the bar
  • Back to the room to read, or watch a DVD on the portable DVD player I brought, and go to bed
The reason that Caneel and St. John are so peaceful and naturally beautiful is thanks to Laurance Rockefeller.  Mr. Rockefeller was so impressed by the beauty of St. John that he bought most of the island and then donated it to the government to form the Virgin Islands National Park, which makes up about 60% of the island.  Caneel is on park land so there are rules about blending in with nature and abiding my Mr. Rockefeller's desire to keep the island's natural beauty.

The beaches at Caneel Bay and all over St. John are small coves, but they are the most beautiful I have ever seen.  Umbrellas are not allowed at Caneel but chairs are provided on six of the seven beaches where shade is provided by the sea grape trees. 

A short hike is required to get to Honeymoon Beach, but it is worth it as long as you get there before the snorkel boats arrive.  Chairs are not provided here so we just sat in the water.

Chris and I look for some different things in a vacation spot and Caneel works for both of us.  I like to sit in the sun and look at the water and view.  He likes to be more active and swim/snorkel/hike.  There are hiking trails that start at Caneel and also seven beaches to swim at that all have off beach snorkeling which is so hard to find at most resorts. 

We would usually drag our chairs out into water so I could sun myself.  I would go in the water every now and then to cool off and Chris would snorkel.  One day at Turtle Bay beach Chris went snorkeling while I sat in my chair.  I liked to keep an eye on him since he would be out there by himself and there is boat traffic a little ways out.

I must have fallen asleep and when I woke up I couldn't see Chris anymore!  I went out into the water to see if I could see him and I couldn' snorkelers out there.  I didn't know what to do!  Should I run to the front desk and ask for help.  I pictured a rescue crew in a zodiac or something, but that would have taken too long if he had hit his head on a rock or had been hit by a boat.  I put on my snorkel gear and swam as fast as I could out there to see if I could find him.  Turns out I can swim really fast when I need to.  I swam around the rocky point and kept going and finally found him...just fine and snorkeling.  He was happy for the company and wanted to show me cool things he saw.  At that point, my body relaxed and I may have cried a little, but I had no more energy and just needed to get back to the beach.  I now jokingly refer to this as my "Baywatch moment"...without the red bathing suit. 

The grounds of Caneel are just as beautiful as the beaches.  It's like a tropical manicured golf course.

And there is plenty of wildlife including donkeys, deer and mongooses.

The donkeys have a pretty good life here, but it was interesting to watch them.  There seemed to be a clique and outsiders.  And for some reason towels from the beach were something to fight about.

With Caneel being such a large property, most places were serene and uncrowded.  The fewer the people on the beach, the better to us.  We do wish there were more people in the bar and restaurant though as we like to socialize over drinks with other guests.  There was one couple that was quite annoying to us even though we never spoke. 

This couple was always standing in the water at my favorite beach.  The problem was that the woman was wearing a dental floss thin thong and I grew tired of looking at her rear end while I'd watch Chris snorkel (see him behind them).  They always wore those hats but didn't seem concerned about the rest of their bodies getting burned.

We have been to Caneel Bay two times now and will likely go back again next year.  We were concerned it wouldn't be as good the second time, but it was even better!  It is my happy place I go to in my head when I need to relax.  Caneel isn't for everyone.  It's not glitzy, the rooms are not luxurious and there is no pool scene.  What it does have is a place to relax and enjoy beautiful scenery that is perfect for us.

Saying good-bye and leaving on the boat is always sad.

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. We could be best friends.
    I feel exactly the same as you do. We have gone to Caneel every February for the past 6 years. This is our splurge. I love every second. Its a very special place.
    Janet from Cape Cod