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Old 02-12-2014, 07:20 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
I agree about STT. I don't think my liver could survive the daily $1-$3 happy hours on STJ! One of the major issues of owning property on STJ is the outrageous costs. A 400 square foot "house" with no electricity or cistern, nowhere near the ocean that was unlivable based on the description and pictures was almost $200,000. I have never been to St. Croix but was dissuaded to go based on online opinions. I almost got the impression if you want to get shot, go there and hang out in one of the two "towns" after dark.
Heh. When we were there 10 years ago, a gallon of really decent Cruzan Rum could be had at Kmart for $5! The soda and juice mixers were what cost you there. Lots of problems with alcoholism in the islands. Yes, there was a lot of crime on St. Croix. Even if you live in a secure area, you still shop at the same stores as the rest of the island. One time I pulled up to the Kmart with two toddlers in tow just after a drive by shooting took place. IMO it is a mistake to think this only happens on St. Croix, though the news is probably better controlled on the other islands which are more heavily dependent on tourism. If you are a follow the crowd tourist you are probably OK, but we are off the beaten path types. And our experience was during better economic times than now.

Crime is probably the main reason we left the island, though there were several factors. The thing I loved most was going to isolated beaches you had to yourself, to the point where a bathing suit was truly optional. But we soon learned these beaches were drug drops, where small boats would motor in and bury a stash in the sand for an islander to sell. It soon became known that one went to the hotel beaches for a safe outing. Another large issue is the mentally deficient that used to be at hospitals on the mainland until the USVI gov't stopped paying their bills. They were sent back en mass without resources by the stiffed institutions. The warm climate is a haven for the homeless. I took more than a few on a shopping trip for food when they begged for money. It made for some interesting conversations with the kids, and I eventually took to avoiding the favorite corner of the guy who stood there with dropped pants, a stiff one waving to the passing traffic. Yes indeed. A very different culture. Don't even get me started on dealing with hurricanes and the aftermath, which can involved months without electricity. Buyer beware, a thousand fold.

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Old 02-12-2014, 12:03 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by InParadise View Post
It made for some interesting conversations with the kids, and I eventually took to avoiding the favorite corner of the guy who stood there with dropped pants, a stiff one waving to the passing traffic...
When he awoke that morning, it looked so pretty out that he thought he'd leave it out all day...

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Old 02-13-2014, 01:13 PM   #43
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:28 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I guess I don't understand the psychology of snowbirding. To me, it seems like the ultimate, expensive consequence of not being able to make up one's mind. But then, a lot of people do it so I suppose it must have its appeal.

I would certainly urge renting before buying. Your opinion of a location, and of neighborhoods, may change once you are living there.
+1 on this.

When I lived in Boston, I would have been a candidate for heading south in February when the snow is all dirty and slushy and everyone has a cold and the holidays are too far in the past. Even though I hate complicated and expensive situations. A good 3 week vacation in Florida would have done fine if I had had the money and the time.

IMO there would be no reason to snowbird if you lived in coastal California, or even Portland or Seattle. Or really anywhere else that really fits you. I enjoy the winters here, and love the summers. If you really like a place, you want to see it in all seasons. My GF is only off in August, and she tries to get me to travel then. I tell her perhaps a short tour here in WA, but you will never get me out of state in August.

I have a few friends with summer places up in the San Juans. Once or twice I have gone up with them. First spend 5 hours in a hot car in a ferry line. Then have a nice ferry trip, whereupon you have to again get into your car. Then arrive at the homestead where there is always something that has gone wrong since the last visit, so you can't just get busy drinking and deciding how you want to fix the oysters you find. Then back into the car and the even longer line back to the mainland.

I told GF, never again. I like ferry rides and so do you, we'll walk downtown and walk on a ferry out to Bremerton, get some lunch and a drink, then when we return we'll go in Market Fish and buy a couple dozen oysters, take them back to your place and mix some martinis and sit on your deck looking at your beautiful view eating oysters and drinking martinis. If we want company we can always invite them for all of part of it. Also, a semi-deserted downtown Seattle in summer is charming.

Sooner or later she will likely dump me for being a stick in the mud, but maybe not.


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