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I finally had time to post about Mandy and I’s trip to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

Sunday July 24th
We arrived at the Bolongo Bay Beach Resort but we weren’t greeted by opulence (ice cold towels, flowers and fresh coconut milk).  Bolongo Bay was a simple family owned resort that welcomed you with a tasty but potent rum punch. Ahaaaarr!  I booked a cheaper non-beach view room since the beach was so close.  We were pleasantly surprised to receive a room with an amazing view.
Bolongo Bay beach view
The room was a bit dated but super clean. It worked great as we planned to spend our time enjoying the sun.
Monday July 25th
We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast. The all inclusive route is definitely the route to go. I tried to limit the amount of food photos I took this trip since I always get a hard time for doing that. But I can assure you the food was beautiful and delicious. We went over to the onsite dive shop and picked up snorkel gear (which is included in the all inclusive price). We immediately started snorkeling and it was exceptional. The water was clear and there were lots of interesting sea creatures (flounder [likes to hide in the sand], large barracudas, etc.).
Barracuda
We signed up for the afternoon turtle snorkeling (which is also included in the inclusive deal). We rode over to the turtle habitat on the Heavenly Daze.
Heavenly Daze sailboat
There were an amazing number of sea turtles. Basically, they eat lots of sea grass on the bottom until they need air, then they surface breath some air and repeat!
Sea Turtle
Tuesday July 26th
We chilled at the resort and snorkeled three times during the day. This was the first time I saw a squirrel fish. Those black eyes and red body make one pimpin’ fish.
Squirrel Fish
I must say I enjoyed the beach bar and tried all sorts of concoctions. Iggie’s has great dining on the beach. I have two important words for you. Voodoo Juice! Let the good times roll! The all you could eat crab dinner was awesome.
Wednesday July 27th
We got up early and went to Coral World, since there was free transportation on Wednesdays. A nice side effect of group transportation is the opportunity to check out the other resorts. Some of the other resorts were ritzy and stately but they didn’t offer the great beach, snorkeling, excursions and all inclusive deal. Mandy did a great job picking Bolongo Bay! It was rainy but we still enjoyed feeding the birds and the indoor fish exhibits.
Birds
Birds
I really enjoyed snorkeling at Coki Beach. We picked up snorkeling equipment at the dive shop (which was the best equipment I have ever used) and they gave us hard doggie treats to feed the fish with. Reef fish love the doggie treats. Barkley better watch out! I plan on taking his treats on our next trip to the Caribbean.

Video link for those with Apple products that don’t support Flash

The first fish in the next video almost took my finger too!

Video link for those with Apple products that don’t support Flash

We went on the romantic evening cruise on the Heavenly Daze (also included in the all inclusive deal). We enjoyed several large barrels of rum punch that the staff mixed up on board the boat. We sailed downtown and saw the largest cruise ship in the world leaving port. Then, we enjoyed the carnival night stilt dancing.
Romantic cruise
Thursday July 28th
We enjoyed onsite snorkeling. The staff took us out in the Hobie Cat right before a storm hit. We beat the storm back to the resort and celebrated our good luck with some rum punch! Thai shrimp and lobster were my food favorites.
Friday July 29th
We did the morning experience scuba diving lesson in the pool. We learned the basic skills and signed up for the afternoon boat. There were two dive sites and one featured a sunken ship following by snorkeling with the turtles and squid. It is amazing that the sunken ship is still available given the government mandate to destroy it but it had to be relocated. There is even government red tape underwater. I had difficulty equalizing my ears (due to sinus congestion) and unfortunately had to abort. Mandy enjoyed both dive sites and noted the Black Tip Caribbean Reef Sharks, Puffer Fish, Squid, Arrow Crab and Sea Cucumbers. I was bummed about not being able to complete the dives but look forward to next time.
Scuba Diving
Saturday July 31st
I was lucky enjoy to see two juvenile Black Tip Caribbean Reef Sharks by the resort’s dock. There is nothing like seeing a shark through your mask only a few feet away. Unfortunately, our underwater digital camera died the day before. It was a wonderful camera and captured many wonderful memories. We used it many times underwater and nature finally won out. Mandy found a really cool puffer fish under the rocks on the right hand side of the resort. She also pointed out a Sea Cucumber. I had a crab pot for lunch at Iggies and it was a killer meal! I wish I would have discovered that the crab pot was included earlier the trip. However, that would not have been good for my waistline. We had a nice dinner at the Lobster Grille. We especially liked the Lobster mac and cheese with breadcrumbs. The banana ice cream was a nice finish.
Fish
Sunday August 1st
I had another crab pot for lunch without the potatoes and prawns. It still was huge and amazing. I had some Voodoo Juice and was in good spirits before leaving for the airport. Mandy also enjoyed a few last beach foo-foo drinks.
Foo foo drink
We arrived back to Columbus very late and the Jetta was running a little crazy. A small piece of the exhaust system broke and caused the turbo to be bypassed. It fortunately was an inexpensive fix but added a sense of adventure to the drive back to Findlay. We thought about how soon we could return to Bolongo Bay!
 
Slideshow