St. John 2011

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and drift wherever the wind takes you, or in our case wherever the storm redirects you. Chris and I had a beach trip in the Outer Banks of North Carolina planned in August this year, but Hurricane Irene decided that we would be better off going to the U.S. Virgin Islands instead.

Part of traveling to the Outer Banks during the summer is knowing that it’s hurricane season and that there’s always a chance the weather could be unpleasant or even dangerous. We’ve spent two summers (and one Thanksgiving) in the Outer Banks with great weather, but this time Mother Nature was not on our side. Hurricane Irene hit the coast of North Carolina on the day that we were supposed to check into our beach house. Not only was it not safe to drive down, the entire area was evacuated and no one was allowed entrance to the Outer Banks. There was nothing we could do. Throughout the weekend we remained hopeful that the weather would subside, and our fingers were crossed that no damage or harm would come from the storm. (Sadly, this was one of the more costly and damaging storms in the U.S. and our hearts went out to those affected.) By Monday, the situation was not improved and we weren’t sure when we’d be able to take our vacation if at all, so we decided to utilize our travel insurance and cancel the Outer Banks trip altogether. Thank goodness for travel insurance!

Thanks also to some quick-thinking and spontaneity, we were able to reroute our travels and book a vacation on St. John instead since we still had the week off from work. We already knew the island from our trip there in 2008, so it was an easy choice for a last-minute getaway. I found a beautiful villa called Palm Vista high on a hill overlooking Fish Bay, and it was the perfect spot for us to relax after the stress of rerouting our trip. We booked next day flights, which surprisingly weren’t outrageously expensive. Tuesday morning we hopped on a plane and arrived at the Palm Vista in time to enjoy an afternoon of sunshine and relaxation.

We didn’t do a lot of exploring or take a ton of photos – we ended up hanging out by the pool and at our favorite bars and restaurants because it really was just supposed to be a decompression trip, but here are a few images from the five days we were able to salvage. Not too shabby, huh? Five days of gorgeous weather in the Virgin Islands certainly beat a week of rainy weather in the States.

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