Monday, January 19, 2009

Liming (Partying) Island Style

The days following my arrival on the island, I was slowly, relentlessly and absolutely being seduced by the sun, sand, and sea. I was completely entranced with the music, people, beaches, and just altogether comfortable with the beautiful, lush surroundings.

At first, it was relaxing to slow down, not rush around, and slide into the islander's slow, easy style of living. Plus, moving too fast generally attracted attention; and not in a good way.

It wasn't until I was living there that I'd feel like screaming ... "There's a reason they call this FAST food!" ... while standing in a line at say, McDonald's that was so slow, I could read a couple of newspaper articles before making it to the counter. But, it's amazing how I eventually and unconsciously adapted to the slower pace.

My first beach experience was at Sapphire Beach Resort. Everyone kept telling me I didn't want to miss the Sunday afternoon beach party. Pretty soon, I believed them. When Sunday rolled around, on my third day, I was off to Sapphire.

What a party!

Also designed as individual condos, Sapphire Resort has a casual ambiance with an open lobby, restaurants, and a gift shop. It is best known for great water sports: sunfish sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling; and a long, lovely beach with sugary white sand, beautiful palm trees and amazing turquoise water.

Videos on Sapphire Beach, St. Thomas, USVI

A covered pavilion on the beach is a big attraction ... okay, it's the star attraction (aside from the beach), of the resort. A covered dance floor with a recessed bar, and a stage for the bands that play there puts the J in jam on Sunday afternoons.

Some of the locals ... and visitors swim and picnic in the morning on the beach, then in the afternoon dance to live Calypso/Reggae music at the pavilion. Calypso, by the way, is the main music heard in the Virgin Islands.

Then, the serious partiers show up once the band starts to play to get their dance on. They're the ones without sarongs and swimsuits; free of sand; hair combed and with shoes on. But, what's great is that all are appropriate.

Everyone comes together to lime (party), island style.

This is where I was introduced to the Bushwhacker (a potent, popular island drink); Caribbean dancing; and Calypso music (I had been more familiar with Reggae). Calypso is quite different (more on that later).

Talk about fun? By the time I left that evening, I was sold on the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands and St. Thomas.

More on the beautiful beaches of the Virgin Islands and its 4 main islands later!

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The adventures ... and misadventures of a city slicker turned mellow islander.