Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Living in Paradise, St. Croix USVI
This is my favorite place in the world. St. Croix Virgin Islands. This picture is actually Buck Island a small National Park that is a few miles off of St. Croix. My favorite thing in the world to do, is sail to Buck Island on Big Beard's boat and snorkel the underwater trail. JFK loved Buck Island so much he designated it a National Park and it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. I was lucky to live in St. Croix twice in my life. The first time was in 1977-79 and I was 14 and hated it. That was until I fell in love with it and then ironically we moved back to California. My dad was transferred through Bank of America at the time and I had never even been out of California and we moved all the way to the Caribbean. It was a cultural shock to be sure. Things at home were tense but my social life was in full bloom. I had my first crush, my first date, my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first drink, and the list goes on.....I look back on that time as my absolute favorite because everything was so new and exciting. This was the school I went to in 8th and 9th grade it's Good Hope School and it was excellent. I have found many of my old classmates from then on facebook and it's wonderful to see where they are now in their lives. One friend Alice Henry teaches at Good Hope and lives in St. Croix and I hope to visit her there someday. My family has never been there with me. I want to go with everyone next year for our 20th wedding anniversary and have Big Beard sail us to Buck Island. That's the plan. I went back to St. Croix when I was older about 20 and lived there for 2 years and had way too much fun once again. This time on my own and in full on party mode. You can image how great living in paradise is for a young partier. It was sailing and playing in the day, waitressing and going out all night every night. (Photo of my friend Big Beard on St. Patrick's Day in the parade)I thought I'd live there forever but fate intervened. My best friend convinced me to go back to California to 'check in' and visit our families (hers was getting divorced sadly) and I humored her. While I was home two significant things happened, one was a friend telling me I wasn't even giving it a chance (being back in Ca.) and the other was dating my husband Ben. Suddenly I had a decision to make, Ben or St. Croix and obviously I chose Ben (as I am married to him now). I had never really tried at the relationship thing, I had perfected playing and having fun and I guess I was ready to see if I could settle down. I was only 23 so it's nothing short of miraculous that I didn't go back to the island life. I stayed and got married, started our family and never returned except for one brief day when I was in St. Maarten about 12 years ago. I took an island hopper over for a 24 hour St. Croix fix. It's always in my heart, and I often reminisce of all the good times I had there. I might go back sooner then next year it turns out. Ben is on a trip to St. Thomas in April and I'm going to try my hardest to see if I can join him. I have to cover my daughter in school and it won't be easy but I'm pretty determined. I need to go back to the mother ship. It's calling me. "Carrie, come swim in my ocean, come play in my sand and return to your homeland from whence you came." OK maybe I threw that in for effect but I do feel like I have to get back there. I've always been a beach bum when it comes right down to it......
Posted by Carrie Clayden at 6:45 PM