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Cute gay-friendly hotel with a beautiful beach, delicious...

St. Croix, St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
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OK, so picture it. Four families with 1-2 babies and/or toddlers per family...8 adults and 5 kids)! A relaxing week long getaway to the tropics can be done, relaxing, and down-right fun!

Every year, we plan a getaway to the Caribbean in the middle of the winter...we aim for February but based on our work schedules, sometimes it falls in January. Anyway, we decided to go with 3 other families this past winter (Jan 2017)! Craziness! Each of the families had a toddler each and we had a 2 year and a 7 month old. Since we hadn't finalized the adoption of our son at that point, we had to stay in the U.S. so we decided on St. Croix. I've never been to any of the US Virgin Islands but in the Caribbean, you really can't go wrong. Based on experience and from what I've read. Anyway, with a quick pit stop in Miami, we were off to St. Croix!

We had rented this amazing villa on the northwestern side of the island called Mill Point (! We were looking for a place big enough that we didn't all have to share a room with our kids...I mean, you need some time away from your kids, right? However, two of the families wanted to room with their kids so this place fit the bill! Six separated rooms/pods each with their own full bathroom all centered around an old windmill and overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The views are truly breathtaking every morning you walk through the windmill and see that ocean...instant relaxation. I won't give you a full review here of the property but just know that it was the best place we've ever rented for the first time we went away with several families.

St. Croix itself is a beautiful island. Frankly, as I said previously, any island in the Caribbean during the winter is welcomed sight for New England eyes. We stayed in the northwestern part of the island. There's not a whole lot to do in that immediate area so it's a bit secluded which was also nice. The beaches were a bit rocky...sometimes very rocky. So rocky to the point that you had to wear flip flops to get out to the softer sand. We found ourselves traveling south a bit for less rocky shores. Sand Castle on the Beach ( was a lovely gay-friendly hotel that had a beautiful beach that we could use. There was a small nominal fee for beach access but it absolutely perfect there!

Frederiksted was one of the 2 larger towns on the island that was just south of where we were staying. Truth be told, we drove through quickly but never stopped and shopped. I've read that it's a nice quaint place to shop but upon driving through it, it seemed a little underdeveloped and run-down. It is a frequent cruise port stop so there must be a nicer neighborhood than what we saw so I'm sure we just needed to do a little more detective work in finding it. But we're more beach-goers than anything so we didn't spend too much time looking for it.

Food. While staying at the villa, food was our responsibility. We went to the grocery store a 3 times during the week, with each family taking a turn to make a dinner for the rest of the crew. However, most of the food is imported from the continental states so expect your grocery bill to be more than expected. But it sure beat eating out every single day!

Lastly, and most importantly for us all, was relaxation. With 5 kids ranging from 7 months to 3 years old, how on earth could any amount of relaxation be part of this vacation. Well, if you go with other families that have kids around the same age as yours, you have instant playmates. For every couple, one would alternate getting the kids up and fed while the other slept in. That worked out well to catch up on sleep and just have some quiet time every other day in the morning instead of just waking up and going. That's not relaxing to me. Secondly, there were times when each couple of would head off for the day without their kid(s) and have the other families watch them. This worked out really well too!

All in all, it was an amazing trip and the same group of us have booked another place for this February in St. Thomas! Going away with your immediate family is nice but parents always have to be "on" in this case. Going away with multiple families allowed us all to get some more down time while the kids played with each other, and also allowed the parents to bond with each other more.
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