Island Time

                I am suffering from an acute desire to go somewhere warm and sunny.  Temperatures around here are barely climbing above freezing.  The sun hasn’t made a strong showing in days.  And even though we are finally receiving what I would consider to be an adequate amount of snow, it might be too late to affect my poor attitude.  I long for a vacation to some tropical paradise.  Oh, to swim in a sea the temperature of bath water.  And to bake myself in the sunshine for hours at a time, letting the heat absorb into my bones – this would be heaven.

                Because I lack the time and financial resources to even travel to the next county, I’m satisfying  my wanderlust by reading travel magazines and visiting travel websites.  Budget Travel is one of my favorite resources.  It has useful and reliable information about all things travel with a cost conscious undertone.  And the articles and destinations are real and accessible to everyday commoners like me.  I especially enjoy perusing the Great Deals section which highlights far-flung exotic trips for budget friendly prices.  This month some of the offerings include Egypt and Jordan (8 nights/$1049), Athens and Istanbul (6 nights/$1005), and Florence and Rome (air AND 5 nights/$859).  Ireland, Patagonia, Hawaii, and Costa Rica were also listed along with many others.  I drool all over my keyboard as I read the details of these trips and tours.  There are so many incredible places to see and experience on this big blue marble and I am stuck in Lancaster County, spinning my wheels in the dark, cold days of winter 2011.

                Anyway, as I meandered through Budget Travel the other morning I came across an interesting question posed on the Budget Travel Blog.

http://current.newsweek.com/budgettravel/2010/02/readers_choice_favorite_island.html

                This particular blog post wanted to know readers’ choices for Most Favorite Island Getaway.  Because I’ve been consumed with thoughts of travel to warm locales lately, this post really inspired me.  I was fascinated by the offerings.  Reader favorites ranged from the expected (Hawaiian islands, Fiji, Bora Bora, Bermuda, and various Caribbean islands) to the unexpected (San Juan islands of Washington, Prince Edward Island, and Long Island).  The Greek islands had a strong following as well as the British and US Virgin Islands.   And St. John, the smallest of the main US Virgin islands, was mentioned repeatedly.

                 I must say that St. John would definitely be my choice for Most Favorite Island Getaway in the whole wide world.  Yes, it is the only tropical island I have ever visited so my knowledge is limited.  However, I think a person might search a long time to match the combination of excellent beach-accessible snorkeling, beautiful free public beaches, lack of commercialism, and protected natural beauty and history that St. John offers.  My hubby and I spent a week on the island in June of  2009 for our sixteenth anniversary.   St. John captivated us.  I’ll save the reasons why St. John deserves to be on the list for another post.  For now, to chase away the winter blues, I’ll let the loveliness of the place speak for itself.   (Just click on individual photos for a larger view).  And, as always, if you have a favorite island, please share.  I would love to hear about it.

Cruz Bay, St. John USVI
Salomon Beach
View from villa to Fish Bay and Atlantic Ocean
Starfish at Waterlemon Key
Haulover Bay

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