Goats, Donkeys, and Skinny Legs (oh my!) – Our Adventure to the “East Side”

After taking a break from the beach for a day on Tuesday (golf for the guys and shopping for the girls), we all thought it might be fun to make the trip all the way up to Maho Bay.  We’d heard it’s where a lot of the locals like to go because it’s less crowded than the more popular Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay.  Just as expected there was hardly anyone on the beach. 


Probably because of the looming rain clouds.


Nonetheless, it was still beautiful and everyone managed to muddle through yet another glorious, albeit cloudy, day at the beach.  As you can tell, Suzanne’s boys, Matt and Josh, weren’t having any fun at all.


But the when the rain really started to come down and we saw the lightning off in the distance, we thought it best to pack it in for a least a little while.  That’s when Tripp suggested, “Why don’t we check out the other side of the island.”  (Tripp’s known for taking adventurous drives you know.) So we loaded up the two jeeps with our towels and chairs and set off for the east side of the island. 

After driving along the the tortuous road for about 20 minutes, we came upon the cutest herd of wild goats eating the grass and whatever else they could find while wandering along side the road.


They did not seem the least bit concerned with the fact that all three women in the backseat (Carrie, Suz, yours truly) needed to find a ladies’ room ASAP!


Thankfully, Skinny Legs was just up the road. 

Skinny Legs is fun, funky little roadside bar and grill full of locals and tourists and as it turned out, it was the perfect place to grab a cool drink and get a bite to eat.


You wouldn’t find this in a fancy midtown Tulsa restaurant.



The rum punch was their specialty drink – a sweet blend of several kinds of juice and a splash of rum.  Carrie’s husband, Bryan, was particularly fond of this Summer Ale.


The food was really good as well.  I thoroughly enjoyed my Mahi sandwich while Tripp and Suz both raved about the blue cheese burger.  Tripp still contends that it was the best blue cheese burger he’s ever eaten.  After everyone finished their food and found the perfect souvenir T-shirt, Bryce and Tripp finished up their works of art on the table top.


While we were paying our check, Tripp asked the waitress if there were any beaches nearby where we could stop and hang out for a while.  She told him, “Well, I like to go a few miles down the road to Vie’s beach.  To get there, just stay on the asphalt, go over two BIG hills, and when you come to the tree in the middle of the road, you’ll see Vie’s snack shack.  The beach is across the street, through the gate, and past the cemetery.”

Well needless to say, our adventurous band of travelers couldn’t pass up a recommendation like that, so after one more stop by the bathrooms we loaded up the jeeps and set out for the second leg of our expedition.

About 15 minutes into our “short drive” we were beginning to wonder if we’d made a wrong turn somewhere.  We’d gone over far more than two giant hills.  Plus you’d think we would have known if we encountered a tree in the middle of the road.  We certainly had no trouble noticing the herd of wild donkeys…


…in the middle of the road.


But we pushed on and sure enough we finally came up on the tree and saw Vie’s Snack Shack on the side of the road.


She was closed that day – apparently Vie makes her own hours.  I would too if I lived in paradise.  And if I “owned” a beach.  Apparently from what our waitress said, all of the beaches on St. John are free – it’s the “access” that costs you.

Apparently Vie ain’t no dummy either.

Anyway, we found the gate and the “honor system” drop box for our $2.50 per person “admission fee”…


…and the cemetery…


…and made our way to the private beach.


All I can say is that it was worth the trouble.


Vie’s beach (also know as Hansen Bay) is just one of the beaches in “Hurricane Hole.”   It’s a safe harbor for boats to hideout during hurricanes.  On that day it was just a perfect place to take a dip, cool off, and share a few laughs.


It was also a great beach for skipping a few rocks.



Besides our rowdy crew, there wasn’t a soul on the beach.  Well that is unless you count the skittish ghost crabs sneaking out of their holes occasionally.


As it got closer to 3:30 p.m., we wanted to get off the beach before the no-see-ums (aka sand fleas) came out.  Plus we knew that we had a long and winding drive to get back home.  So we packed up our stuff and and headed back to the other side of the island.  We just had to make one last stop to try to soak up the breathtaking vista.


The thing I LOVED about our east side adventure is that the entire afternoon was completely unplanned and spontaneous.  It would never have happened if we’d had a perfect, sunny day at Maho beach.  And the truth of the matter is that it was one of the most memorable days of our entire vacation. 

That lesson did not go unnoticed by me.


Peace, Kelly


About Minding My Nest

wife, mom, not-so-empty nester.
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