YOUR Day on St. John: Come Away With Me
Dear Readers, You have had a rough couple of weeks. The election, the loss of DST, the dreariness of November. Please allow me to transport you for a day to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands where I set my books, No Virgin Island and Permanent Sunset. I wrote this originally for someone who was too ill to travel but was able to visualize a day in paradise. You awaken in a bed not your own but as comfortable. You stretch, feeling tropical breezes brushing your body. There are no aches, no pains, just anticipation of another day in paradise. The smell of coffee brewing lures you from your bedroom into the kitchen where you grab a mug and pick a croissant or scone and some strawberry jam and head out to the back deck. The sun is rising over Ram Head spilling light onto the lush mountains and vast ocean. The colors grow so brilliant your eyes wonder can those verdant greens and cool azure blues be real. You realize you have decisions to make. What will you have for dinner that evening? Lime tarragon swordfish on the grill? Chicken piccata with capers and lemon? Or maybe shrimp scampi? And you need to choose which beach you will go to today. Will you settle in at Francis Bay, where there is sun and shade to pick from and simple but sweet snorkeling? Perhaps a day at Trunk where the sand is so perfectly fine you don’t care how many tourists are sharing it with you. Or will you go to Gibney down that long driveway onto a beach under a glorious canopy of palm trees so quiet, you are sure it must be private?Next, you must decide what book you will bring? Should you crawl into a good Louise Perry or has Lee Child written a new one just for you? You realize you cannot possibly make these decisions without first taking a dip in the pool. You slid out of your sarong and pause at the edge of the pool, feeling the warmth of the tropical sun slide down the back of your body, filling your spine with a growing glow that spreads throughout every cell. You look up at the cloudless cornflower blue sky and dunk into the warm water, moving slowly with ease. Now you are ready to make those decisions and go. Soon you are at the beach of your choice, with your book open on your lap as you sit in the world’s most comfortable beach chair, occasionally running the sugar-fine white sand through your toes. You dip into the silky turquoise water at your will, floating in the warmth of water so clean you can see your toes and the little fish that want to swim with you. By the end of the day, you’re ready to toast the setting sun on the back deck overlooking St. Thomas with its lights twinkling like a Christmas tree and Puerto Rico in the distance. Your raspberry Stoli lemonade slides down your throat while you munch on stuffed mushrooms and ciabetta dipped in aoli. Dinner over candlelight is divine. Good company, the glow of a little sunburn with a touch of red wine makes the food even better. You watch a little silly local television while you nibble at a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s Bourbon Browned Butter ice cream and yawn. You grab that book you are so into and return to your fluffy bed with pillows just like the ones at home. You crawl in, listening to the tree frogs lullaby you. You need to get some sleep. You get to do this all over again tomorrow.