Monday, July 30, 2012

Au Revoir la Belle Isle

It's finally our last day in the beautiful St. Thomas. I keep on thinking it's the Bahamas, because the scenery all looks the same in these islands (though I've never been to there before).

I couldn't wait to enjoy every last moment of this day, so I got up and ran to the convenience store to grab some breakfast.

I always wanted to try their banana-nut muffin since day one, but was temped by the carrot-raisin muffin, and the double-choco brownie muffin for hubby. But I decided to settle on my original idea.

Banana-nut Muffin

For hubby, I got an apple danish. And I got two Marley iced coffees for the two of us.

Apple Danish

I sat outside my balcony enjoying my breakfast. It was a mighty hot day, around 35C, with the sun's rays hugging the island tightly. 

I convinced hubby to go swimming one last time (by making a call to reception to extend out checkout time to noon). We got ready as quickly as possible, as if we were military personnel on call of duty, and ran to the ocean. I checked out a small surf board so I can snuggly ride the waves. It was a pretty windy day, and bopping up and down the waves was really fun.

Hubby says I was cheating the waters because on the first day I was knocked to my feet by the waves (it really hurt!). I told him that I was going to take down the waves for once and for all. He said using a board doesn't cut it, and he tried to steal the board away from me so I'd have to swim by myself, but I grabbed it back. 

While I was on top of the board and riding the waves close to shore, a giant wave came and enveloped me, rendering the board useless. I was totally engulfed by the waves. Thankfully, I was already pretty close to shore, but I did have a nose and ear full of salt water and sand. 

We washed off the sand in the pool by the beach, where we spent one last time in the waters and the jacuzzi. 

We checked out around noon, and hung around the hotel before going to the airport. I watched the newcomers come in with giant smiles on their faces, and reminisced our "firsts" as well. Most of the tourists that we've grown accustomed to seeing around the island is leaving today as well, probably so they can have at least one day to settle down before getting back to the grind.

While waiting, I was getting hungry, so I got some plantain chips to munch on. These chips were just like the ones back home - crunchy, oily and tasty. I'm not sure why they are called the "alternative snack" when half of the calorie is fat.

After an hour of lounging around, we took a taxi to the airport. I found this display pretty amusing. The thing in front of the bug spray is a jar of grape jam, which they do not recommend you carry onboard the plane, at least not without some peanut butter to go with.

There were long lineups at the airport because of all of the tourists waiting to go home. I was so hungry when we finally checked in. Thankfully, the airport was the size of a small terminal in a normal airport, and it only had one food place, the Hibiscus Cafe and Bar.

Once again, not surprisingly, the lines were out the door at the cafe when we got there. While I waited at a table to reserve seats, hubby lined up.

It was refreshing to see that finally, somewhere on this island offered a taste of the tropics. They have a specialized fast-food menu with the usual chicken fingers and burgers, as well as an island menu with specialities like jerk chicken.

I got the island beef plate and hubby a hot dog. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my box...

Meatballs n rice!

The rice and beans were so delish - different from Mexican flavors, this one was infused with spices and herbs that melted together and settled comfortably into my mouth.

I was also surprised that I got beef balls - I was excepting a slice of steak or something. But these were really nice and tender, really like the Swedish ones you get at Ikea. But it can get a little overwhelming after a while, because it's too full of flavor. You have to mix the sauce with the rice and eat it together to even out the flavors.

The veggies were kind of meh, as they were just frozen food heated up to add some color (not much nutrients after it's been frozen and then zapped).

Hubby got something uneventful - a hot frank. He ate that and half my plate because he loved the meatballs so much.


We waited at the airport for a good two hours, browsing the only two stores they have, which is the Duty Free with racks upon racks of cheap rum and the convenience store with overly priced souvenirs. 

I did however get the chocolate rum cake to bring back.

While waiting for our plane, we sat behind a cheerful Floridian couple and their grandchild, whose parents just got married at the islands. They were pretty funny and their granddaughter Ariel was full of life, jumping up and down her seat and asking me to play with her.

Starring into the eye of the fan engine, there's a spiral thing that can get you pretty hypnotized...

You are getting dizzy...

Around late afternoon, we finally boarded our first flight. I had some foresight in buying some chips at the airport, because I knew hubby was going to get hungry on the plane.

While sipping my coffee, I opened up an issue of Sky Mall, an on-board flight shopping magazine full of crazy inventions like the ones you see on infomercials. 

Now I've always loved ketchup, but is this going a little too far?

Protein-infused Ketchup (in takeaway size!)

Beside the ketchup btw is the world's first yogurt that does not need to be refrigerated. Guess it's a crossbreed between yogurt and Jello.

This futuristic machine purported melts away stress and tension, allowing you to enter a state of euphoria. Sounds kind of scary if you need a helmet to be induced into euphoria.

Euphoria helmet

It's a bird, it's a bird-house, no wait, it's actually...

Yes, ladies and gents, a barking dog deterrent

One of those products that make you go huh? The birdhouse apparently carries a high frequency ultrasonic tone inaudible to humans which startles your dog into silence, because it considers it to an unpleasant sound. Not sure if the animal cruelty people would like it very much.


Who needs an iPad when you're in the tropical beaches? 

Wiener Leash

Btw the add that accompanies this one says it's funny even if you don't have a wiener dog. If you do, then it's hilarious. I would just get a hot dog and tie it up to the wiener leash. 

Need I say more?

This one I felt to be a little weird...

iGrow technology (not associated with Apple, I think)

This helmet apparently helps you grow thicker, fully hair with microbes that massage your head, stimulating your hair and scalp. I'll have to see the results to believe this one. 

Finally, a slimmer for men!

I'm not sure how comfortable this will be...

SkyRest pillow

I never realized how wacky the stuff in this magazine really were until now. Oh well, maybe people actually find this stuff useful.

After our first flight over, I was starving! We got off at North Carolina again, but this time our connecting gate was in another wing. So we trekked a good distance, passing by tons of fast-food stalls, smoothie stands, stores and a BK.

Near our gate, we got some dinner at Sbarro.

I decided to be a little creative with our drink, which I mixed sweetened ice tea with Sprite (they didn't have ginger ale...notice the pattern here?). The result was sweet bubble tea! Even hubby who normally doesn't approve of my drink mixing liked it. Nestle should really considered this concoction =)

Iced Tea Soda

I got a mushroom spinach pizza, and hubby a meat pizza.

My large slice of pizza was re-toasted. I really enjoyed the texture of soft mozzarella cheese topped with spinach and mushrooms on top of doughy crust. But towards the very end the crust was hard to chew, but oh well, it's airport food.

Steamed Veggies

We also shared some steamed veggies. The zucchini, snack-sized carrots and bits of broccoli flowers were drizzled in garlic and olive oil. It was lacking some flavor, so we sprinkled some red pepper flakes on top.

Overall it was a pretty enjoyable meal that cost $17. I was just happy to be back in the mainland again and spending normal prices for food, even though this price would still be considered kind of lucrative in NY.

After a short two hour flight where I slept soundly, we finally got back home. I had some energy to unpack before crashing in bed, this time not from swimming exhaustion.


10 hours later

Hibiscus Cafe and Bar
**** (4/5)
Kids-not-friendly (especially during peak hours!)

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