Boys Will Have Fun

When Quinn wakes up in the morning his first question is usually "Is Don home?".  Then he says "I wish it was the weekend so Don was home".  Me too buddy, me too.  

These guys just have so much fun together.

Most nights before dinner they pump iron.  They love to see who can do the most reps.



And Quinn introduced Don to the game Plants vs. Zombies on the ipad.  I know, it sounds like a great game for a 5 year old kid.  But, it actually requires quite a bit of strategy and planning.  And Quinn is very clear on what is real and what is pretend.

They came up with a new way to play Plants vs. Zombies with Legos.  This game is played most nights after dinner.



I love my wacky and funny guys!

Sleeping Santa

Last night I took Quinn to bed in his little bed and he seemed to fall asleep pretty quickly.  I turned on the light in our bedroom, turned down the comforter, and went back downstairs.  When I went to bed a short time later I found this sleeping little boy in the 'big bed'.  




Hair Cut

Ever since we got back from STJ Quinn's hair has been a tangled mess.  It seems like there is a residue in his hair that we just can't wash out.  The only solution was to cut it off.   I like!



Just for kicks, this is what it typically looked like in the morning.  I got this picture at gymnastics with my iphone.  I think he had a fat lip that morning too.  He's a hot mess!



Spiders, Spiders Everywhere


We took a Spiders book with us down to STJ and Quinn and Don read that book almost every day.  On our last day at Trunk Bay I saw this huge spider that I thought was eating a caterpillar.  When we got back to the villa I thought the spider looked familiar and looked at my camera.

On the left is the cover of Quinn's Spider book and on the right is the picture I took at Trunk Bay.



One of the other spiders in the book is a Wolf Spider which carries it's babies on it's back.  And did you know that spiders have 8 eyes?  I was rather surprised to find a Wolf Spider in our house!!


The wolf spider on the left is an example, the wolf spider on the right is the one I found in our home (courtesy of D & Q)

St. John: Wrap Up

I'll start with the day after race day.  We are taking it easy at Trunk Bay.  Did I mention that we follow the cruise schedule to see how many ships will be docked at STT which will indicate the crowd level at Trunk Bay?  Should be a quiet-ish day.  

A family with a bunch of boys were camped out next to us building a large sandcastle.  They let Quinn join in on the fun and one of the older boys took to Quinn.  At one point he asked Quinn where he was from and when Quinn said New Jersey the boy wrinkled his nose in distaste.  Funny, kinda.  Then the boy said "I call it New Joisey" and Quinn thought that was pretty funny.  

He had a great day playing with the boys and kept asking to go back to Trunk Bay to find the boys from Michigan. 

I love the heart shaped leaf which is from the Maho Tree. 

I would never tire of this view over to bright and shiny St. Thomas.  



The next day we were off to Maho where we found a quiet little spot.   Don went out for a snorkel by himself and a short time later I saw him hauling ass towards the shore.  There had been spotting of a Manta Ray in Maho last year and I thought maybe he saw one and was coming back to get me.  Turns out he saw a 4 ft. shark chasing a sea turtle and nipping at its flipper.  Don didn't want to be Plan B for the shark so he made a quick exit.  



When we got home there were 2 iguanas waiting for us.  We had just seen the big guy on the driveway so he must have ran to the pool and kicked the little guy off.  I went out to get some pictures and I realized that he was approaching me.  Other guests must feed the iguanas and that's why they were always waiting for us.  




This might have been our best day ever on St. John.   Today Crystal watched Quinn so we could snorkel.  We got an 8 am start and hit Salt Pond first (top picture).  It was pretty good but not super great.   Then we headed to our favorite place, Waterlemon Cay, which never disappoints.  It was gorgeous!!

See the turtle with the dark Sargent Major swimming around him.  The fish's partner laid some eggs on a nearby rock and the male Sargent Major turns purple and swims rapidly around the eggs to deter predators.  Unfortunately the turtle wasn't swayed.   The bottom left picture is a school of Sargent Major's in their "normal" yellow color.


Our favorite sea creature is the Spotted Eagle Ray.  They are fairly rare but we manage to see one on just about every trip.  On our way back to shore from Waterlemon Cay we found our Spotted Eagle Ray!  

We had some down time and then headed out for a late afternoon trip to Maho Bay.  It was glorious!



This might be my favorite picture from the trip.



On our way home we were just in time to see the sun set over STT.



Some random pool pictures.  By the end of the two weeks, Quinn was able to swim from one long end of the pool to the other.


Our last day on STJ.  I was up early and got this picture of the moon going down.



It seems to be our tradition to spend our last day on Trunk Bay.  We got an early start so we would get a parking spot and place on the beach.  




One of my other favorite pics from the week.



And then heading home...


STJ never disappoints us and Quinn had his best visit so far.  Let us know if you hear of any job openings for a Credit Risk Manager or Chef on STJ because we are ready to make a move south!

St. John: 8 Tuff Miles

Don ran it and conquered it!  There were almost 1,500 runners with about 1,200 runners finishing the race.    The organizers arranged for 2 ferries to travel from STT to STJ to transport runners.

Don reached back to his days of cross country running to train and mentally prepare for the race. We drove the course a couple of times so that he could develop a strategy.   His strategy once he hit the course was run as much as he could, power walk up the hills, and stretch out his long legs and run down the hills.

Ready to head to town at 6:30 am.





I also had to have some strategy when it came to the race.  The one road that would get me from the starting line to the finish line would be closed for 3 hours while the race was in progress so I dropped Don off in Cruz Bay and hit the road.

There are a handful of overlooks along the beautiful north side beaches so I was prepared to make a quick stop and take a picture of each one as the sun was rising.  

Top Left:  Cruz Bay (St. Thomas is the island in the distance in the upper right)
Top Right:  Caneel Bay (this is a hotel that Rockefeller built when he purchased much of the land on STJ and donated it to the National Park Service.  75% of STJ is protected land)
Bottom Left:  Trunk Bay (you can see the BVI's in the distance)
Bottom Right:  Maho Bay, Little Maho, and Francis Bay  (you can see the Eco Tents on the hill between Maho and Francis.  STJ has sold this land and the buyer hasn't been revealed yet.)




Some shots from our day.



I had heard that the race started 15 minutes late so I wasn't sure what time to expect Don to come flying by.  I was very excited when he passed me much earlier than his goal time.










There was a celebration in town that evening.  We stayed for a little bit but we were hungry and ready to get home and relax.




St. John - Part 1




We had a fabulous, relaxing 2 weeks on St. John.  Quinn now proclaimed that he likes St. John better than Westfield!  Smart Boy!

We stayed in a villa new to us but in the same general area where we usually stay.  We like to be close to the town of Cruz Bay and all the wonderful north shore beaches.  Our first night at the villa we experienced our best sunset of our trip.  We were starting things off right.


We were so excited to get Quinn snorkeling this year.  He is such a great little swimmer we knew he would love it.  We know that Maho Bay is teaming with turtles so we took him out to find a turtle and found one immediately.  See him waving to the turtle!   He also loved that there were underwater signs at Trunk Bay.  




Here are some captures of our second day on the island.  This year a little lemon shark cruised up and down the shore at Maho Bay.  We saw him every time we visited.  




Do you know what Don was really looking forward to in St. John?  A recession special at the restaurant Fatty Crab!  It's a shot of whiskey, a shot of pickle back, and a Shaefer beer.  Sounds great, doesn't it?



Sun, rain, sun, rain.  Either wait 10 minutes or drive to the other side of the island if you don't like the weather.



We were so fortunate to find a really great babysitter on our first visit to STJ.  Don and I have the chance to get out alone in the evening and go on snorkeling adventures during the day.   We were up early and getting ready for Crystal to arrive when I caught my toe on the leg of the couch.  Turns out it was broken.  Yes it really hurt, but I wasn't giving up our snorkel day.   Don was so proud that "I nutted up".  

Our first stop was Hansen Bay.  You can see the luxurious beach accommodations on STJ.    We were on our way back to shore when it started pouring down rain.  2 seconds later it was sunny again.    We enjoyed a post-snorkel beer and watched a local fisherman toss out his net.  There may be a handful of wild animals on the island....goats, chickens, donkeys, deer, iguanas.  



Again, again, again.  Don would wake up in the morning and say it felt like he was punched all night.  Hmmm, maybe his shoulders hurt for this reason:



Quinn captured this happy hour photo for us.  Let's just say happy hour starts very early on STJ.  




Our favorite spot at Maho Bay is slowly eroding away.  We used to sit under these trees and enjoy the shade and quiet at that end of the beach.  




Captures from our day.  We were at the beach a little later than normal and I went out for a swim/snorkel and saw something new.  We very, very rarely see spiny lobsters.  Well every group of urchins had a spiny lobster hiding in it's needles.  These lobsters are very aware of you and point their antena directly at you and stare you down.   He's giving me the stink eye.



This was our first time visiting STJ during the high season.  We will never complain about being on STJ but it was our first time experiencing crowded beaches, a chilly ocean, and waves/swell.  We needed this trip and loved it but have noted to return only in the off season.  

Part 2 to follow with lots of pics from race day to our departure.