Virgin Islands - Our Arrival

We didn't have long to wait for our first rum punch: a welcoming greeter pushed a cup into our hands halfway between the plane and Baggage Claim. After picking up our bags, we boarded a ferry and made the short trip to St. John. On the way over, we saw the vacation homes of Michael Jordan and Madonna, as well as a private island on sale for the bargain price of $27 million.

Arriving on St. John, we docked at the Westin Resort on St. John, our home for the next five nights. Thanks to lots of business travel over the past year, CJ had built up gobs of Starwood points, so our stay in this fabulous, $500/night resort was gratis. The price would have been right even for a hammock and ratty pillow, but for the same price ($0) we got the famous Heavenly bed in a poolside room steps from the beach.

With a day of travel behind us and a day of diving ahead, we decided to turn in early—but not before taking advantage of the open bar at the Managerís Party in the beach bar. There, we got our first taste of a Painkiller, which is apparently the signature drink of the Virgin Islands: rum, orange juice, pineapple juice and cream of coconut, with fresh nutmeg grated over the top. Dangerous!

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