After reading the opening of that section, I thought ... Although attributed to the heroine of the story, what a perfect and honest account of my first impression of St. Thomas; an impression that I should perhaps share here on my blog.
So, below are selected excerpts from Book 3 of "The Secret of the Veil".
From pages 291-292:You can read more about the "The Secret of the Veil" on my website, www.claudettejones.com.
From the sky the ocean was a deep, mystical blue, but when the shoreline came into view before landing on St. Thomas, the water turned a translucent and beautiful shade of deep turquoise.
When the airplane landed and I walked down the steps into the bright sun, the heat hit me like a solid wall. For a few moments, I felt like I was suffocating and frantically wondered what I was doing on this island. Gratefully the trade wind breezes I had heard so much about kicked in and cooled me down some.
When I reached the ground, I stopped and stood staring at Sammy's hills; green slopes checkered with colorful houses. As people brushed past, I continued to stand transfixed by an eerie sense of familiarity with a place I had never seen and only recently had heard about. I had an odd feeling of inevitability combined with a peculiar sense of homecoming.
Of the four major islands in the Virgin Islands chain of St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island, I had chosen St. Thomas because it was where Sammy had lived. I hadn't a doubt it was the right choice.
From page 293:
On the drive from the airport, we passed the harbor in Charlotte Amalia and it was pure majesty. Cruise ships lined up at the dock across the bay had disgorged hundreds of passengers who filled the streets and the colorful shops to overflowing.
Once through town we were driving up and down hills so steep, I was lighheaded and breathless, and more than a little bit afraid, but pretended not to be.