In case you were wondering as of 2/5/2018, the island does not entirely have electricity.
Let me say that again, the island AS A WHOLE DOES NOT HAVE POWER.
Think about that for a moment. Hard to cook. Hard to keep food from spoiling. Hard to keep cool in 80+ temperatures. Hard to dry clothes, heck, hard to wash clothes. Hard to… yeah. That also. And WiFi? Internet. Cable TV. Don’t make me laugh.
We had planned a trip in early May 2017 to visit St. Croix again. I adore the island. It is perfect. It is very non-commercial; the people are genuine salt of the earth people. I want to tell you to visit and yet I don’t want it destroyed (yeah, Kauai looking at you). I emailed some locals I knew and said 1) we want to come if it will help 2) we don’t want to come if it will hurt and they all said COME! So we did.
Was it a different St. Croix that I saw 2 years ago… of course. There is FEMA cruise ship in port. There are linemen everywhere. There is no cable and no Wi-Fi. Restaurants offer frozen drinks based on if they are on electric or generator. (You learn to ask) And yet at its core… this is an island with steel in its spine.
For clarity sake, left side of the island has more electricity than right side (not where Maria hit straight on). So as you drive to the right side, stop lights with no power. And people stop and let those without the right of way out. Think about that. Would that happen where you live? Because that is NOT happening where I live. And it happened, and it was a non-event. A. Non-event.
The people of the island are, and I am not exaggerating… AMAZING. On NYE we went to the Kmart, to pick up some supplies for the evening and basic necessities (what can I say, no street lights, Kkdonk not fond of traveling roads in the dark). Every single person we met wished us a happy new year. They were smiling, bubbling with optimism and just, well happy. It was contagious. I was so buoyed about the new year… just by being around them.
I have spent quite a few years on this earth and have spent NYE in many different places (Times Square, Indiana, Myrtle Beach, Boston, Rochester, Miami, etc.) never in all my days has the spirit of hopefulness filled my being because of the love of strangers.
And I will be very honest… lack of 24 hour news helped, lack of no Facebook helped and as I returned to the 48, I tried to hold that feeling (and the lack of constant news feed). Bottom line, St. Croix needs to be on your to do list… if nothing else for the week to relax, read a bit, ignore life a bit and enjoy a Bushwhacker.