An odd place for a smoke

March 17th, 2012

The world is getting increasingly smaller for smokers, even on St. John.

For guests at the Westin, there is only one designated place left to light up. A little smoking patio, in a very odd place.

It’s right outside the Westin’s gym.







St.John’s Best Bushwhacker is…

March 16th, 2012

The good news is we couldn’t find a bad Bushwhacker. But in the end, it all came down to flair and finesse.

Where do we think you’ll find the best Bushwhacker? Find out, below…







St. John Vistas: Bordeaux Mountain Overlook

March 15th, 2012

If you’re on your way to Coral Bay, your first peek at where you’re headed is just past the road up Bordeaux Mountain.

If it’s your first visit to St. John, stop here and take a picture or two. You’ll quickly realize why you’re in one of the sailing capitals of the world.

Bordeaux Mountain overlook, below…







Parking Myths: Cinnamon and Maho

March 14th, 2012

We keep reading misinformation about changes at Cinnamon and Maho that have severely reduced or even eliminated parking.

Cinnamon Bay has reserved almost all its parking for people who are camping there. -Naw. Not at all.

We counted 10 spots reserved for guests (and shouldn’t paying guests get a shot at parking?), leaving 28 others available to the public. Plus, there’s a big back parking lot that has room for a couple dozen more parkers.

There’s hardly any parking at Maho now that they’ve changed things.
-Nope. There’s more, if you look for it.

There’s parking for a dozen vehicles on the new paved parking pad and along the parallel parking spots on the beach side. And if you go toward the end of the beach and look to your right, you’ll see a huge, sometimes empty parking lot right across the street. (Below.)

If there’s still no parking available at either one of these beaches, we’d probably take that cue to move on and find a less crowded beach anyway.







Luffa at the Farmers Market

March 13th, 2012

Farmers are setting up shop every other Thursday in front of Connections in Cruz Bay for a tropical version of a farmers market, with cucumbers, squash, herbs and greens, as well as more exotic stuff.

Like Luffa. Or Loofah. The spongy interior, above, and the dried plant, below.

Bath shops in the states market the luffa as a high-end exfoliating sponge that is a must-have for your fancy marble, two head steam shower.

At the Farmers Market on St. John, they’re just a pile of dried plant sponges in a box. Read what Wiki has to say about the Luffa plant, here.







Doll up your iPad with exotic leather

March 12th, 2012

Leather doesn’t come from just cows, and if you want to see a wild variety, check out Sea Leathers, next to JJ’s Texas Coast in Cruz Bay.

Owner Chris Ball, who came to St. John from Tortola eight years ago, just moved her store to the new location from Mongoose Junction, and her purses, bags and wallets are made from the skins of eel, python, ostrich, cobra and stingray.

“It’s a very tough leather. The men’s wallets will last ten years, ” says Chris. “The stingray comes from Thailand, where they are harvested for food and the skins are used for a variety of products. ”

Her stuff includes some cool cases for iPhones and iPads, and bags made out of recycled canvas tarp. She also carries antique jewelry, if old bling is your thing.







Newest Advertiser: Pilates on St. John

March 11th, 2012

You’ve rented that villa, you’ve got that big pool deck, now maybe your group should consider your own private Pilates class.

Meet Pilates on St. John’s Keryn Bryan, who moved her life to St. John from Virginia Beach about 25 years ago. Keryn leads about a dozen group Pilates classes a week around the island, like at the Westin where we met up with her.

Keryn also loves doing private, in-villa classes and hopes to expand.

Meet Keryn, and learn the difference between Pilates and Yoga, below…







And not one bit faster

March 10th, 2012

From On-StJohn.com reader Brice McLaughlin, who is very worried he’ll be getting a photo-enforcement citation in the mail soon, after blowing past this sign going 10 miles an hour.

“On my way home from St. John, I stopped at Yacht Haven for lunch and I’m sure I got busted. The Jeep’s speedometer doesn’t read in 0.5 mile increments,” says Brice. “Ask your readers if they think I should just send a blank check to DMV now. Or maybe to one of the senators.”

You can take a tour of Yacht Haven Grande without risk of a ticket, here.







Best Bushwhacker Round 6: Lime Inn

March 9th, 2012

Our Best Bushwhacker contest’s final Bushwhacker is made by camera shy Lou at Lime Inn, and served up for the camera by not-so-shy Chelsea (so if you like the looks of this one, ask for the Lou/Chelsea tag team.)

Lou makes her Bushwhacker with vodka, coffee liquor, Amaretto, Bailey’s, creme de cocoa and, like Banana Deck Robin, a secret splash of commercial ice cream mix.

Served in a properly painted hurricane glass and garnished with whipped cream and a cherry.

The Lime Inn Bushwhacker, $8 most of the time, $4 at Happy Hour.







Another chance at getting this Jeep

March 8th, 2012

This is the Jeep that keeps on giving.

Part-time St. John resident Ruby Ramos won this souped up 1985 Jeep Scrambler at Gifft Hill School’s February 16 raffle drawing, and now Ruby has donated it back to the school for its big annual fundraiser this weekend.

It will cost you a little more than a $10 raffle ticket to try to get it this time. Minimum bid is $7,500. Whatever the Jeep goes for, it goes for a great cause – paying for the rest of a student trip to Costa Rica this spring.

Come on. You know you want it. Bid on it online here.

 







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