I’d like to begin by apologizing for the extreme delay in updating. I would be lying if I said we haven’t been spending days off enjoying island life and entertaining our visitors. Let’s begin, shall we?
When finding a home, there are many things one has to consider: the location, the safety of the environment, the quality of the home, and the feeling of being home when one finds the right place. When finding a home on St. Thomas one MUST consider the following: Can my vehicle make it up (and down) the hills to the home? Will it take me all day to reach civilization? Can I live without air conditioning at this altitude? Does this area get enough rain to fill my cistern? How far is the beach?
Chances are you won’t ideally meet all of the criteria- unless of course you have an unlimited budget- but obviously some items are essential.
We fortunately found a safe, lovely, 2 bedroom, House-friendly apartment that our vehicle can make it to and is about 10 minutes from 2 major towns. We have a great view, plenty of rain and breezes, but we’re not near any beaches or public transportation- a fair exchange overall.
Living on an island and at the top of a mountain brings many “quirks”.
First is getting there- to the house I mean. At the bottom of the mountain, there are three roads that lead to our home; we always take the middle road. We live in an area called Estate Mariendahl. There are no street names in St. Thomas, just areas. Residential areas are estates; commercial areas just go by name. Two major areas for locals are Tu Tu Park (grocery stores, banks, the mall, etc.) and Red Hook (restaurants, ferry dock, and local shops). At the bottom of our mountain, we are directly in the middle of Tu Tu Park (turn right) and Red Hook (turn left). Once we begin the trek upward (middle road of course), we have to put the SUV in 1st gear. Yes- we have an automatic. There are other gears! Who knew? I certainly never shifted a gear in my life in Louisiana. Climb, climb, cross your fingers, and then make the steepest climb of all- our driveway.
Now that we’ve arrived. First stop is the “laundry room”. So it’s more of a concrete workspace with a washer and dryer, but hey, keep your judgments to yourself sir. Our dryer runs on propane because it’s cheaper than electricity, and baby it was born that way. Believe it or not, the breeze is so strong outside of the laundry room that it’s actually cold.
Next we climb, yet again, the stairs to my favorite part of the apartment, the balcony. We’ll call it an outdoor living area/kitchen. We grill here on our little beast of a grill and eat here on a fancy folding card table 😉
aaand we have an amahhhzing view!
As we enter, we have the living room on the left with our Hawaiian shirt furniture- Hot! Hot! Hot! The kitchen is on the right- all new appliances- with our propane stove. P.S. cooking with fire is terrifying.
The bathroom has a beautiful tiled shower with an unusual quirk. Living with a cistern, it’s all about conservation. We have a water conserving shower head that has two functions: water hose and pressure washer. It takes some getting use to.
The guest bedroom gets the best air circulation in the house. It’s fully equipped and ready for guests 😉 Notice our collection of movies hiding on the left. We have no television. Perhaps one is in the near future, but in the mean time, we’re content using Project Free TV to watch tv on the laptop.
Finally we reach our bedroom which has 4 windows providing an excellent view (especially of the cruise ships at night) and breeze. We keep a standing fan at the foot of our bed for “a/c” at night. Our apartment is also fully stocked with Damp-rid products. They help with the humidity level as well as mildew prevention.
P.S. This is House’s bed.
I hope you enjoyed the tour. Step two is finding a vehicle which naturally will be provided by DJ. Feel free to comment or ask questions loved ones. Missing everyone!