End of day 1...
Trip Start Apr 10, 2008
8Trip End Apr 16, 2008
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First stop, the historic St. Thomas Synagogue. It is the oldest synagogue in continuous use under the American Flag, founded in 1796 by 9 families fleeing the persecution in Europe. We met Rabbi Arthur Starr, who was very welcoming and who gave us a brief tour. An interesting tidbit about the synagogue it the sand floor. You can go to the website to read about it at www.stthomassynagogue.com.
On to...SHOPPING! No, we didn't buy anything yet but it was fun to walk around. Jewelry is the big draw here but we saw some beautiful art that we may go pick up later
For lunch we had locally caught mahi - I had a mahi taco and Tim had a mahi burrito. After lunch, we started our tour. We hit the historic Post Office, the Fredrick Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Seven Arches Museum.
The Seven Arches Museum is a Danish Colonial home furnished in the caribbean style - it is representative of life in the islands in the 1700s and has been on The Discovery Channel. We met Barbara, the owner, who gave us SUCH a wonderful tour. We were so lucky to have the place all to ourselves. You can read about the museum at www.sevenarchesmuseum.com, but my favorite thing was the old kitchen...very cool. Tim was most impressed by Barbara's enthusiasm, devotion and preservation of the history. She has dug for artifacts, uncovered old gas chandeliers, found letters and pictures...she is amazing.
Finally we headed down the famous 99 Steps, wandered about the hillside where Blackbeard's castle and Hotel 1829 are located (we have to go back to them...they were closed) and then ended up back in the shopping district where we were ripe targets for a timeshare presentation! Hilarious! But, we made it through without being caught and headed to dinner.
Dinner was in Frenchtown, at a place called Epernay. It's a cozy wine bar and bistro and we really liked it. Very much a local spot. Good dinner but better company - the scene in there was friendly and fun. To add to the flavor of it was some drama at about 6:30 when a local fishing boat came in with a load of just caught mahi. The largest was about 4ft and 35lbs...we wished we had room in our tummys for him! Anyway, the whole bar was so excited and talked about the catch for the rest of the night.
And so wraps up our first day. We came back to our B&B and had some wine on the veranda. The house is set into the hillside with a dramatic view of the bay - probably one of the best in town, so the view from the porch is beautiful. Nite!