Cheeseburgers in Paradise

Well, that was completely fun!  This year, Abbey and I decided last minute to take a trip for Spring Break to St. Thomas.  We only had about 3 weeks to plan it, so off we went.

Now, if you have never been to the islands, St. Thomas to be exact, book a trip soon.  It is so worth it and the rest and relaxation are second to none.

So, when you decide to go, and do, here are some helpful travel tips to make your trip even better:

  1. Get a Room with a View

We stayed at a Marriott property called The Frenchman’s Reef.  This was our second time there and it did not disappoint.  The staff is friendly and helpful and the views are stunning.  So, here’s a tip.  Get a Room with a View.

When I booked our reservation, I did not book a room with a view.  However, when we arrived, I decided to go out on a limb and ask if there were any available.  Turns out, yes, there were.  So, we upgraded our room for a small fee and boy was it worth it.  Every night we would walk into that room and comment on how we loved that view.  It was so pretty!  And totally worth the extra cash.  That’s the lovely little town of Charlotte Amalie!

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  1. Go Early and Leave Late

When we left for St. Thomas we were on the earliest flight out of Norfolk.  We wanted that so we could enjoy the afternoon on the beach.  Sure enough.  We did.  We had lunch at the Reef and then were able to put our suits on and head for the beach.  It was so fantastic and leaving early pretty much gained us an extra half day of fun in the sun.

Now, to head home.  We booked a late flight.  We flew out in the late afternoon and were able to enjoy, again, an extra half day by the pool.  The hotel gave us a late checkout, so we were good to go.

I highly, highly recommend this.  It pretty much extends your vacation by about a day and at no extra cost to you.  Win.  Win, for sure.

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  1. Share and Share Alike

Think back to being a kid.  Our moms always told us to share.  Sometimes we did.  Sometimes we didn’t.  Right?  But, here at The Frenchman’s Reef, share and share alike – food items that is because the portions are pretty large.   Abbey and I literally shared almost every meal and had great food at a great savings.

You can completely judge for yourself, but, honestly, in many places you will be able to share.  Try the cheeseburgers by the poolside.  They are so yummy and big!  We shared one almost every day.  Ha ha!  And save your cash for fun things like sightseeing, shopping, and such.


  1. Take Sunscreen and Use It

Trust me on this one.  You will need sunscreen, even you darker skin tones.  The sun in the Caribbean is completely gorgeous and completely strong.   Stronger than here at home in Virginia.  Abbey and I loved sitting on the beach, but, trust me, I should have used more sunscreen.  Hint!  Hint!

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  1. And take Aloe Vera Gel

Refer to before tip and you will know why you need to take Aloe Vera Gel.  Ha ha!  I needed this badly and did not take it with me.  I didn’t realize until the last day there, the little surf shop down by the beach had Aloe Vera Gel.  Darn.  So take it and be ahead of the game.  Aloe Vera Gel is a lifesaver.  Just saying.

  1. Take a Trip to See St. John

St. John is an absolutely stunning island just a tiny ferry ride from St. Thomas.  You can grab an open air cab from the Reef and head to Red Hook Marina.  From there, the boat will take you over to St. John.

I highly recommend going.  St. John is so lovely.  Even the little port that you pull into is so cute with cute little shops and all.   And once there, go see Trunk Bay!  Trunk Bay is a gorgeous little beach spot with some of the best snorkeling in the islands.  We had heard about Trunk Bay and went on our last trip to the islands.  It was so worth it.

st john

  1. Do Go Snorkeling

If you are anything like me, I was so afraid to snorkel.  I just couldn’t get through my head that whole breathing underwater with this little tube thing.  EEEeekkkk.  Seemed impossible.  But, once I relaxed and trusted the process, low and behold, it worked.  And then off I went.

The last time we went snorkeling was at Trunk Bay when the girls were little and boy was it breathtaking.  It was amazing to get out into God’s creation and enjoy God’s creation.  The number of marine animals we saw was astounding.  At Trunk Bay, they even have a snorkeling path to follow.  Yep, how cool is that?


  1. Do Go Parasailing

Okay, that was another faith process for me.  I’m not afraid of heights, sort of, but the whole getting into a little seat and flying above a boat thing was scary at first.  But, I am so glad that I did it.

One, it is a great family memory with our girls from our first trip to St. Thomas.  Two, it was so crazy cool to be flying above the water and seeing the world from an entirely different perspective.  It’s different than being in an airplane, so go and try it.  It is fabulous!

All of our parasailing pictures are on a little camera memory disk that I could not locate, but here is a lovely picture of what you will see while flying above.  Pretty sweet, right?

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One note.  I do get motion sickness and the boat has motion too, so take Dramamine or something that will solve that challenge.  I did.  No sickness for me.  Yay!

So, I hope you find some time to go to the islands.  The rest and relaxation are wonderful.  Or, if you so choose, the adventures abound as well.

Like Zac Brown says in his song, “Toes in the water …. Life is good!”


XO Nikki


P.S.  This is cute little Charlotte Amalie.  Be sure to go in town to see it.  It’s super cute with great shops and great food.  You can even take a ferry ride from the Marriott across to the town.

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All pictures were taken at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef  and Trunk Bay with our own camera


Lyrics belong to Zac Brown and fellow songwriters

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