Good Day Friends,
Happy Friday! Thanks for checking in for today’s Island Feature!
Living in an area that sees far more tourists than actual inhabitants can be very frustrating at times: traffic, not being able to find parking for your favorite restaurant, having to wait at your favorite restaurant, traffic accidents from someone driving on the wrong side of the road, being packed in like sardines to pick up a gift for someone from a store, traffic- like you need to reroute for several months of the year, general unnecessary rudeness (i.e. “Hey you look lost- can I help you find something?” “NO! We read online that we’re supposed to be HERE in Cruz Bay.” “Well there’s actually more to Cruz Bay than…okay just walk away sir.” 👌True story.), traffic- like I take this ferry several times a week and there are now 40 people queued for tickets and all are frantic and complaining, going to the beach and literally turning around and going right back home, insensitivity to people who actually live here (i.e. “Is everyone here poor? Because this island is so dirty.”, “Does it rain here all the time?” “No-we’ve actually been in the worst drought we’ve seen in about 20 years” “Well it’s ruining my vacation.” “Oh.”, “Is your hospital like a hut?”,”I like other islands better because there’s too many tourists here.”😳 All true stories.) You get the point- I’ve come to learn that people on vacation are some of the most miserable on the planet- VERY frustrating. But tourism also brings: bazillions of dollars to our economy, wonderful people and friendships that span the country, literal paying of my bills (as we work in hospitality), and unique island gems that I can experience any day of the week- like Mountain Top. So I keep my complaining to a minimum.
You know those promotional catalogs that businesses receive where they can put their name on any possible thing one could imagine? Imagine that catalog as a store and instead of a business, the label is St. Thomas. This is Mountain Top friends. When I say it’s a souvenir MEGA store, I mean like Megatron Mega. So you may be thinking- ‘gross, why would anyone want to go to a store filled with promotional crap?’ Because it’s wonderful! That’s why!
I like to think that Mountain Top is what hipster dreams look like- just tons of irony and weirdness. Not only can you score a great deal on a t-shirt, you will also find items that make you think ‘what is this?, why would anyone want to put St. Thomas on this?, and what happened to that?’ Discovering new weird items they’ve stocked is one of my favorite shopping experiences on island. It’s thrilling to roam the store, share pics, and laugh with friends at your findings.
In addition to the eclectic merchandise, Mountain Top also offers awesome daily specials on merchandise, and they have great selection on t-shirts, dresses, swimsuits, kid’s clothes, bags, and jewelry (my favorite). You get real shopping and hilarity all in one!
best second best part of Mountain Top is the view. The store is seated atop the highest accessible elevation point in St. Thomas, and it opens up to a wide balcony complete with viewfinders and perfect selfie spots. Just before the balcony is a large bar area, so one can enjoy a “World Famous Banana Daiquiri” or any libation while shopping and taking in the sights.
And to top it all off with a wonderful random bow, Mountain Top comes complete with at least a dozen life size pirates and what I can only hope is the world’s largest bottle of Cruzan Rum replica!
I like to think that while thousands of people have walked through this souvenir metropolis, picking up random trinkets, beholding the giant rum bottle, and thinking to themselves ‘Just…why?’, Mountain Top is proudly exclaiming “Why the heck not!?” And for us local people, Mountain Top is open 7 days a week, rain or shine, so we can enjoy a sardine-free shopping experience.
And might I also add that the jungle trek to Mountain Top often leads to my getting lost and discovering new parts of the island along the way which adds to fun!
While I certainly wouldn’t call Mountain Top a MUST for a trip to St. Thomas, I will say that it’s the perfect rainy day or sun-break activity and certainly a must for the souvenir-adorer. I’ve had some truly “good times” here 🙂
Well friends, DJ and I are off to NYC tomorrow for a week and then off on our New England cruise for the following week, so we will be back to blogging sometime after September 27! I encourage you to follow our travel adventures on Instagram @mrs_carp and @darrencarpenter and also on Steller @mrs_carp.