|Where to venture on the island today?|
|Grotto Beach near the Buccaneer.|
|Marin, L to R: at the beach, out to lunch in Christiansted, on a sailboat.|
But that was in the days before I got sick, and before I became healthy again on a gluten-free diet. Eating off the beaten track has become more challenging, more plagued by potential dietary land mines. And so it was in St. Croix.
As lunchtime loomed, we walked to and fro on the boardwalk, searching for a restaurant that seemed (a) safe for gluten-free food, and (b) appealing. A number of options seemed to involve either sandwiches or foods that were breaded and fried. After taking what seemed like our third lap, still looking for a good option, we settled on the popular RumRunners.
Gluten was everywhere on the menu. But though the menu wasn't particularly GF-friendly (by any stretch), our server was incredibly accommodating, checking with the kitchen and helping to construct lunch meals that in theory would be safe for us to eat. My blackened shrimp with rice and pico de gallo was quite tasty. Alas, a short time later, the telltale signs of having been glutened started to rear their ugly heads. Strike one. I spent the afternoon back at the resort, recovering.
|Argh... there be rum in them there barrels. At the Cruzan Rum Distillery.|
|Charlotte, L to R: at the beach, at the pool, on a sailboat.|
|The two faces of Frederiksted: sleepy town and gorgeous waterfront.|
Then our server informed us that they had a gluten-free coconut macaroon pie (my memory suggests almonds were also involved, though I forget...), topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. What was this? A pleasant surprise! Yes please. I'll have one of those.
But for the second day in a row, a little while later the rumblings began as they had the day before. Glutened. Blech. Strike two. We—and especially I—began to appreciate more and more the gluten-free offerings of the Buccaneer.
|Air and water.|
|At the Christopher Columbus landing site.|
Then it was onward to Cane Bay, home of The Wall, a world-famous dive site just a few hundred meters offshore where the ocean floor drops from 90 feet deep to thousands of feet deep.
|Showing a little Rudi's gluten-free love at Cane Bay.|
|Are you feeling relaxed yet?|
|Sunset over Green Cay Marina from The Galleon.|
The Galleon is pricy, but for us, the quality of the meal was worth every penny. If you visit St. Croix, indulge and visit this gem.
|Turquoise waters and white sand beaches at Buck Island Reef National Monument.|
|Ahh. That's better.|
On our last day, we went on a sailboat—a gorgeous 40' catamaran—to Buck Island Reef National Monument. By what can only be described as a most incredible coincidence, the captain of the boat, Captain Mike, hails from New Paltz, New York, less than 30 minutes from where we now live in the Hudson Valley. What's more, he's an ultrarunner and one of the organizers of the St. Croix Scenic 50 ultramarathon. It was happening the weekend after our visit! Had our vacation been shifted by one week, we would have been in town for the event.
Captain Mike suggested I fly back for the race. That didn't happen. But there's always next year, and now we know where to eat ... and where not to.