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The Violence Against Women Act, est. 1994

This week marks a milestone in women's and human rights nationwide. 15 years ago, on September 13th 1994, the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA was signed into law.

I wrote about this legislation in a blog I contribute to for SOAR (Speaking Out About Rape), you can read the post here:

As I mention in the post, why are so many waiting until violence hits close to home to get involved? If we all do just one thing to help, imagine what a difference that would make in the lives of people and in the world.
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Daytripping: Three Virgins and the VI - RI connection

Yesterday morning I set out on a mid-week adventure. I had been planning this for awhile, since finding out my cousin and his wife from RI would be stopping in St. Thomas aboard the Disney Magic. I knew I would go for sure.

We arrived in St. Thomas at around 9am, having taken Seaborne Airlines' fairly new addition, the Air Shuttle. We got a GREAT deal at only $99 per person round trip, and decided to rent a car Jeep Wrangler to get around the island. So we grabbed the vehicle and drove over to Havensight, where the cruise ship was docked. It was the only one in port that day, so St. Thomas was quieter than usual - that was very nice. Once we found Bobby and Tracy, said our hellos and made the necessary introductions, we decided to try out the skyride to Paradise Point, where the bar at the top is known for its phenomenal Bailey's Bushwhackers. So once up there, of course we indulged - an excellent breakfast! It was indeed a wonderful view, we were a bit disappointed with the experience for the price, however it was worth a try. We snapped some photos with the harbor, islands and cruise ship in the background, though far below us. Due to the lighting, the pictures taken with my camera left something to be desired, but I think Bob got some good shots.

Next, we piled into the Jeep and set out for a scenic drive around the small island's hilly, windy terrain. We stopped at Drake's Seat, a fantastic overlook point where it is said, Sir Francis Drake sat to spy on enemy ships. There was a local man with a goat up there (her name is Madonna) offering the history of the attraction and taking photos for the tourist types. We let him take our photo and tried to run away before he asked us for money, however we were unsuccessful and he got a buck out of Bobby, which apparently didn't please him so he didn't even thank us.

Madonna was enjoying a taste of Tracy's shoe.

Then it was onto Red Hook on the east end, where we planned to take the ferry over to St. John for an hour or two. Unfortunately, we got there just a bit too late for the noon ferry, so we walked over to Molly Malone's in American Yacht Harbor for a quick lunch. There are loads of iguanas that live around there, and they had just thrown out a bunch of lettuce for them to eat, it was fun to watch the dinosaur-like creatures eating, frolicking and sunning themselves all over the place. I recognized our waitress from previous visits and she was wonderful about getting our food and drinks out quickly so that we could catch the 1:00 ferry. Everything worked out perfectly and we got to there with a few minutes to spare.

The ferry ride to St. John was only about 15-20 minutes and we chatted with Bobby and Tracy about the kids, they have three not-so-little ones who are at home with the grandparents so mom and dad could enjoy a nice vacation. On St. John, I had hopes of running into my childhood friend from RI who I recently found out has been living in STJ for years! She works across the island however, and we didn't want to waste time. Besides, I know I can get over there easily anytime, Bob and Tracy were only here for the day! So we grabbed a taxi to Trunk Bay, one of the island's most beautiful beaches, and part of the VI National Park. It was a bit overcast when we got there, but the water was cool and clear and the temperature perfect and refreshing. We spent less than an hour on the beach, so we could head back to STT and get the Rhode Islanders back on the boat in time. We said our goodbyes and wished them the best on the rest of their vacation, it was so nice to have some time with my family, we are a small one, but do our best not to let the distance keep us too far apart.

We decided to drive a bit more and managed to drive around the same roads a few times before figuring out the way we needed to go to get where we wanted. We had time and gas to kill though, so the detour was a welcome one with gorgeous scenery all around from the skies, water and lush foliage. We found our way back to the airport in another round about sort of way, deciding then to find a little place to have a last minute drink, seeing as we had some time still before our flight. After a few more detours, thanks to a less than ideal road map, we eventually found a great little pizza place in Frenchtown and sat at the bar for an appetizer and martinis. The waitress there had been in St. Croix recently and asked me about "that popular Italian restaurant" and "this cool waitress who works there". Of course she was talking about one of my best island girls, Sid! We had a great time chatting with her, and exchanged numbers for the next time she comes over to St. Croix. Her last name is Cruzan and her number was a 401 - a RI number! She had spent time in Newport, where my sister now lives.

Rushing to the airport to catch our flight home, we arrived just in the nick of time, or so we thought. We ran separately to return the rental and get checked in for our flight, only to find that our plane was delayed and we would not be leaving until around 7. This gave us an extra hour, so we headed to yet another bar for yet another last minute cocktail.

The day ended with an evening flight home, probably my calmest and most enjoyable flight ever thanks to several pre-flight gin drinks. Three Virgins in one day was exhausting but incredible! It was a fantastic adventure in paradise!

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