Friday, January 21, 2011

A light at the end of the tunnel

We've had three storms in just over a week. The snow heaped on each side of the driveway is piled about as high as we are tall! But - there was a difference when I shoveled today. This time I saw a bright light at the end of the tunnel! ... that being warm sun shining on white sand & reflecting off bright blue 80 degree water!  Must've had something to do with the fact that just before bundling up & heading out, I booked a trip to the Virgin Islands (St. John & St. Thomas)  for my husband & I in March! ... likely to be the highlight of our year-long/monthly 25th Anniversary celebration.  Flights are booked & I submitted a reservation request to this eco-resort  on Maho Bay, St. John (still researching places to stay on St. Thomas)  where guests basically "camp" in elevated eco friendly tent cottages that I gather are constructed almost entirely of recycled materials, powered by the sun and wind, and built with site-sensitive techniques that preserve and protect the fragile eco-system of the US Virgin Islands  My husband & I are not the five star resort/cruise type. "Adventurous" & "active" accurately describe us. We like to explore - so this place should be a great fit  ...  a bit remote/off the tourist beaten path, snorkeling right from the private beach. Hiking. Sailing. Swimming. Kayaking...

As I write this, I gather a fourth snowstorm is brewing - supposed to hit after the bitter cold temps we're plummeting into this weekend. I have a feeling I'll be revisiting this post frequently between now & March - if only to lay my eyes on the first pic & take a brief "imagination vacation" every now & then(!) - as, even now, just trying to imagine what it will be like where we're going has been a wonderful reprieve from the cold reality of winter in New England. 

For anyone interested -  I cut/pasted/highlighted interesting/intriguing info from the website - as this place is not "typical" by any measure.

Although Maho Bay Camps is probably the most highly praised ecotourism destination in the world, we had modest beginnings. In 1976, we built 18 tent-cottages on 16 foot square platforms in the Virgin Islands National Park using hand construction methods which left the natural environment virtually undisturbed. The platforms were connected by elevated walkways to avoid soil erosion which endangers the beach and fragile coral. This sensitive land use stimulated an explosion of favorable press which has encouraged our growth to 114 units, connected by an extensive network of stairs and boardwalks.

Now we are celebrating over 33 years of an improved local environment as a result of this sensitive and sustainable development. We are encouraged by our growing popularity in a culture which is becoming more aware of the importance of preserving nature's precious gifts.

The roomy tent-cottages are nearly hidden by lush foliage providing privacy. Translucent frabric on wood frames, screened windows and open air terraces take advantage of the cooling island tradewinds.  Linens, blankes, towels, cooking and eating utensils are all provided, includng propane stove and ice cooler. Every tent-cottage has its own private deck, electric outlets, lights and fans. Barbeque areas and fresh water are available along the walkways. 

Our secluded white sand beach and year-round tropical climate offer a variety of popular water sports ... including kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving. 

Glassblowing demonstrations are a popular activity with mesmerized guests watching beautiful glasswork being made from crushed bottles in ourTrash to Treasure Art Center.

...we also offer an array of classes ...that include a number of craft areas such as fabric batik, ceramics, glass blowing, watercolor painting, and paper making — and each class demonstrates an aspect of creating art out of recycled materials.
The immediate area around Maho Bay Camps has beautiful hiking trails. ..including walks to historic plantation ruins.

Conveniently located bathhouses are equipped with modern, low-flush toilets and pull-chain showers connected to a recycling system which irrigates the surrounding vegetation.


The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

That is so *Totally Cool*! It sounds like living Swiss Family Robinson style, or staying in a grown-up tree fort. With the classes, and the hike to the old plantation, Wow, it sounds perfect! I agree with your sentence about not being the "five star restort type", this sounds like a REAL vacation :)

troutbirder said...

Oh my that sure sounds great to this snowbound hibernator here on the Tundra.... :)

Mug said...

Oh...I agree with farmGal! Wonderful!!! I may just check into that place in case we ever decide to take a break from the "wilds of Hatchechubbee"!

Thank you so much for sharing!

mom24boys said...

I LOVED St. Thomas......Magen's Bay Beach....beautiful. At the time we went no hotels or anything right there so it was peaceful. And away from where the cruise boats dock so not as populated. Beautiful places StJohn and St. Thomas but as you drive around the islands you are struck by all the poverty as well.