After an incredibly delicious breakfast at the B & B, we walked down to Charlotte Amelie and found a bustling community. The vendors were out in the market, and cruise ship passengers had descended upon the city. We took a taxi to one of the most famous beaches on the island, Magen's Bay. Over a steep mountain hillside, the taxi driver chatted pleasantly with us even as we were stuck in traffic. Of course, even on the U.S. Virgin Islands, they drive on the left side of the road, so it was probably a slightly more harrowing experience for us than it was for the driver.
After that ride, the beach fortunately was everything that we had heard. The white sand beaches were so clean, and the turquoise water sparkled in the sunlight. Although there was an entry fee ($4 per person) there were ample amenities at the beach, including a snack bar, and clean restrooms with changing rooms. They even perform weddings on the beach, which we witnessed. However, as we were starting our lunch and the wedding guests were eating their cake, it started to rain. We tried to wait it out under one of the many palm trees, but the storm just got heavier. We took refuge along with many other beach goers in one of the pavilions for about half an hour before we decided to head back to town. We rode in a taxi van stuffed full of cruise passengers and took the much more harrowing drive down the mountain in the rain. Of course, by the time we got back to our hotel, the rain had mostly stopped. We decided to stay by the pool, as we were waiting for our car company to contact us about picking up our rental Jeep.
We finally had our rental about 5 pm, and Matt had a few but not many issues with driving on the left. Actually, the biggest issue we had wasn't so much the driving, but the lack of street signs. There are no signs on any of the roads, either major or minor. Luckily, our innkeeper had given us very detailed instructions on how to get back to the B & B and we were happy to park the car there for the evening.
We had not made any specific plans for dinner, but we decided to wander over to Paulette's Patio, the sister restaurant of Herve, one of the finest restaurants in St. Thomas. Unfortunately, we got to the restaurant to discover that it was closed on Mondays. As we were deciding whether or not to splurge on a very pricey dinner at Herve, the proprietor invited us to stay and order from the Paulette's menu. We were happy to do so, and enjoyed our dinner there immensely. Although the guidebooks say that reservations are essential, the restaurant was not anywhere full--a situation that we would come to recognize as one of the major effects of the recession on the islands. The views from Herve were incredible, and we left with plenty of goodwill toward the restaurant.
We heading back the one block to our B & B, and enjoyed another evening on the veranda.