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Story #25: Pre-Move Story from a Prospective St. Thomas Resident!
(Submitted in 2004) Purpose: Stay for a week and try to determine if St. Thomas suits us as we are considering purchasing property. We tried not to treat this as a vacation, but as a learning experience to determine if island life suits us.
Arrived in St. Thomas, Tuesday, at 1:15 pm, picked up luggage and checked out a Hertz rental. All went flawlessly.
Arrived at Point Pleasant Resort (East End) and checked in. The condo unit (D34 – Top of the Hill) was great! What a view! Point Pleasant is really a beautiful place….nature trails, two great restaurants and all the incidentals provided by a good hotel operation. The people there were wonderful….from the receptionist to the bartenders to the security folks. We had visited Point Pleasant in January looking to buy a unit, however none were available for viewing at that time. Following unpacking we took a ride to Red Hook, and shopped at the Marina Market for breakfast stuff, soda and wine.
Wednesday morning we met with our realtor and toured six other properties, as units at Point Pleasant were still unavailable. None of the properties suited us. It seems Point Pleasant, our "first love", was just what we wanted. So, we resigned to the fact that we'd just spend the week getting to know the island. By the way….renting a car for the week was the way to go. Getting used to the driving on the left was easy……having the convenience of a car was necessary for our exploration of the island. We rented a mid-size from Hertz for $193. (including taxes). Gas was $20. ($2.13/gal).
Wednesday afternoon we drove to several stores, Home Depot, K-Mart, Cost-U-Less and a furniture store. We wanted to check prices and availability of items that we would need if we purchased a property here. By the way, I think many of you local folks give the K-Mart employees a bad rap…..I was waiting in line to pay for an item when the lady at a "closed" register called me over to check me out. Now that's service! Prices in general appeared to be a little higher than on the mainland, but not excessive. Actually I found some items at Home Depot to be less expensive than back home.
Thursday we viewed another property and spent the rest of the day at Fungi's and on the beach.
Friday we went sailing with Captain Mike and his first mate Abigail (along with about 15 other people) aboard the New Horizons out of Sapphire Beach Marina. We met Captain Mike at Point Pleasant on Tuesday. We had a wonderful time sailing to St. John, etc. They provided a continental breakfast, hot and cold lunch, pastries and (of course) unlimited drinks (including Abigail's "Pain Killers"). We had a great time! Highly recommended.
Saturday….. we started out late….took the ferry from Red Hook to St. John…..walked around, had lunch and the wife shopped.
Sunday….. we drove around the island….really got to see most of the areas of St. Thomas. This gave us a good feeling for the size of the island and what to expect if we moved here (even temporarily). Yes, we did get caught in traffic, but you folks on St. Thomas who complain about traffic obviously haven't been to New Jersey (Garden State Parkway on a summer weekend).
Monday…… we planned to rent a powerboat and sail to several of the other islands. Instead we met an owner at Point Pleasant that wanted to sell his unit….well…..you guessed it….we viewed…we liked….we signed a contract.
Tuesday…..we hated to leave….we were just getting acquainted with the island and would have extended our stay if it weren't for work back home. Well, at least we accomplished our mission….got a good "feel" for the island and signed a contract at the place we liked the best. Mission accomplished!
For the entire week we did not meet a person that was unfriendly. Everyone was very helpful. We made new friends from New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oregon, Michigan and Georgia (Atlanta) as well as many from St. Thomas. In all it was a very good experience.
One interesting occurrence…….what continues to surprise me is that everywhere we go we meet people from New Jersey. This trip we met folks from Long Branch, Morristown, Allenwood, Loveladies (Long Beach Island)…even Captain Mike was from New Jersey.
Hope this helps others trying to decide on moving to the USVI.
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