Where do you go to vacation in paradise… when you live in paradise?
Whenever I meet someone new during my self-imposed exile in New York City, and the subject of where I’m from comes up, I always get the same question: “How could you leave paradise and move here!?” Well, the funny thing about being born and raised on an island paradise is that you don’t really ever think of it as such. Back in the 80’s St. Croix did pull some tourists from the states, so I did know that people from far and wide wanted to visit my home, but I never really thought of it as a vacation spot myself.
No, that far away place with exquisite beaches and a more laid back island vibe wasn’t home, it was St. John.
I mean you had to take a plane and a ferry just to get there! And the first place you’d see would be Cruz Bay. There were fewer brightly colored buildings surrounding this little gateway to our island fantasies back then, but it basically looked a lot like the photo above. From here, we could thumb a ride to Cinnamon, or Hawksnest, or Trunk’s, or even Maho Bay for our own vacation from paradise in paradise. Back then, hitchhiking was the best way to get around St. John and you could still somewhat manage with that strategy today.
I don’t know why, but back then I hadn’t heard of Solomon Bay. This small strip of (unofficially) clothing-optional sand is just a short hike out of Cruz Bay along a picturesque trail that takes you to the top of a small hill before heading down to the beach.
From that hill, if you turn around and look back towards Cruz Bay, you’d have the same view as this photo.
Unfortunately, if you’re sitting in front of your computer reading this, you’re unlikely to be halfway to Solomon Bay. Unlikely to be enjoying the warm sun outdoors on the island that islanders vacation on. But that doesn’t mean you can’t daydream a little.