If I could sum up the experience I had this past week into one word, that would be impossible; but the closest I can get is “unforgettable”. It truly was an amazing experience to shoot with Amber & Carraig for such a special occasion, and it such a meaningful place. Amber grew up there and had not been back in 17 years, so it was an honor to be there with them and her family. St. Croix is a beautiful place, but much different that I had anticipated. Not different in a bad way, just different.
The first thing that Carraig let me know was that everything moves at a slower pace on the island . . . much slower (except for the traffic, where speed limits are ignored). Food is prepared slower, your bags at the airport are released at a lethargic pace, it’s just a very laid back (as you can imagine an island vacation should be like!) community. I had pictured in my mind, and from online photos, that it would have been somewhat like what I see in one of my favorite TV shows, LOST. Close, but not quite. It did have a very fascinating rainforest part, but quite interesting was that the other part of the island was somewhat like a desert. The beaches had lots of lava-rock on them, but the water was as clear as you see in the pictures! Aqua green and you can easily see 20-30ft down without a problem! Coral lined the shores like it was nobody’s business. The architecture is very old, leftover from the Danish when they owned the island (don’t quote me on this, I’m no historian by any means). It was fascinating though! There were a bunch of old sugar mills left from back in the day when harvesting sugar cane was the big thing to do, now they were left empty as tourist attractions. Other ruins dotted the island (as you’ll see from the photos).
One other special thing for me was that I found out that my Great-great-great-great grandfather had lived on the island when he was in the Royal Danish army, back in like the 1840s or something. Although I didn’t get to tour the Fort where he was stationed, I’ll be sure to do so when I return in January for the wedding. We did get a neat and special tour of the main Government building of the island, and the Royal Ballroom, now that was neat.
I was able to drive across the entire island, so I guess it’s safe to say that I saw just about everything, almost all of the beaches as well (the island isn’t that big). It was a lot of work, but well worth the price to have been able to create such beautiful photographs for Amber & Carraig. Thanks again you two!