And now a word from the happiest $1.5 billion lottery loser!
Like most of you, I spent January 2016 with total lottery fever. $1.5 billion. An inconceivable amount of money. Just 10 tickets for me, $20 for the chance of lifetime. Of course, I understood the odds, I was more likely to be hit by an asteroid, struck by lightning or even become President of the United States –but when did winning a billion dollar lottery have anything do with reasonable sense. As each drawing came and went and the jackpot surpassed any imaginable number, my excitement grew. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be and I am just another $1.5 billion loser!
Why would anyone be such a happy lottery loser? The answer is simple, I hit a different jackpot many years ago, I found the perfect year round island paradise — St. John, USVI. Located just 3 miles east of St Thomas by ferry, this tiny island will change your life, even if it’s only for a week at a time!
It’s hard to believe that there are more than 50 pristine beaches with crystal clear, tranquil waters on this tiny island of less than 20 square miles — and the beaches are only the beginning. More than 75% of this perfect island has been protected as a National Park. The island boasts numerous snorkel sites and hiking trails, historic ruins and archeological dig sites, native plants and animals –not a single commercial franchise or traffic light.
Happily St. John remains an eclectic “local” island with live music daily, local art, and very “happy” hours in the lively waterfront restaurants and bars in both Cruz Bay and at the east end in Coral Bay. Travel pros at Conde Nast, National Geographic, Travel and Leisure and Islands magazine continually rate St. John as one of the top island destinations in the world. It is the perfect confluence of casual island relaxation, beach adventures, dining, local shopping and watersports. With little or no planning you can snorkel, windsurf, hike, kayak, parasail, paddleboard, day sail, rent a dinghy, play tennis, or take a sunset horseback ride. The island’s casual vibe is reflected in the many dining options from casual BBQ to waterfront fine dining where you are always welcomed in casual attire. There isn’t a bad meal on the island!
Every season is perfect on St. John. With little fluctuation in the weather, the winter and spring offer daytime temperatures in the low to mid 80s, with evening temperatures dipping down to 70. Summer and fall temperatures generally rise to the mid to upper 80s with cooling tradewinds throughout the day. Night time temperatures are in the mid 70s. Abundant sunshine makes this island paradise the perfect destination for couples, honeymooners, and families throughout the year.
Where to stay: The number #1 choice is J20, The Penthouse at Grande Bay Resort, Cruz Bay, USVI. Just a short 5 minute walk from the Cruz Bay ferry dock, J20, is a luxury waterfront condo located in the Grande Bay Resort community. This gorgeous Penthouse offers 2 air conditioned, en suite Master Bedrooms with 13 foot peaked Caribbean ceilings, island inspired furnishings, a fully appointed kitchen, comfortable living and dining room with 4 outside balconies to maximize your options to enjoy the stunning waterfront views –the best views at Grande Bay Resort. J20 offers complimentary wi-fi, cable tv, 3 flat screen tvs, washer/dryer, beach chairs and equipment, and free US nationwide land line phone service. Additionally, J20 guests are welcome to take advantage of the Resort’s beautiful pool, hot tub and fitness center as well as J20’s reserved parking.
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J20, the Penthouse at Grande Bay Resort, is delighted to offer guests great rates for remaining Spring, Summer and Fall 2016 weeks. Additionally, reservations are being taken for Winter/Holiday 2016-2017.
Author: Joan Clayton has been traveling throughout the Caribbean since 1980. She has explored the US Virgin Islands, French West Indies, British Virgin Islands as well as numerous other island nations and territories in search of the perfect island. She and her husband, Jim, have owned J20 since 2008.