STJ: Day 7

Today we woke to rain so today was our chillaxin day.

We all needed a break from the sun so we decided to take a drive and check out some of the hurricane damage and have lunch. 

We had read that all the leaves were stripped from all of the trees on the island.  Many of the trees are coming back to life but many are not. It's devastating in person and hard to capture on film. 

Although much was lost or damaged, the people are strong and the island has come back to life.

7 day stj from amy white on Vimeo.

STJ: Day 6

On Wednesday we went on an all day BVI adventure boat trip with the Bad Kitty.

It was a great day visiting The Baths, which Don and I visited many years ago.  We also had a snorkeling stop on Norman Island and a lunch/beach stop at White Bay on Jost Van Dyke.  White Bay is a beautiful white sand beach with crystal clear water but it's pretty much a party spot.  Lots of boats pulled in right to the beach to get one (or many) of Soggy Dollar's famous Painkiller drinks.

Quinn had a very funny moment on the trip.  We were sitting on the top deck of the boat and his hat went flying in to the water.   We insisted it wasn't necessary, but the captain was determined to get the hat.  He considered it "man overboard practice".  Quinn was feeling pretty embarrassed while it was going on because everyone cheered when the hat was recovered.  But now Quinn thinks it was pretty funny.

Our day...

6 day stj from amy white on Vimeo.

STJ: Day 5 PM

After Don and I had our day snorkeling adventure we grabbed Quinn, picked up some dinner, and headed to one of our favorite beaches...Maho Bay for sunset and dinner.

Maho is such an amazing place to watch the sunset and the bay is full of active turtles and rays feeding in the seagrass at this time of day.  As soon as we got in the water we came upon a HUGE turtle with multiple remoras hanging on it's shell.   We probably saw 10 or more turtles and a couple of rays.

Quinn is really into skipping stones and found the perfect stone that he sent back and forth and is sitting on his bedroom dresser right now.

The sunsest was not your typical red blaze of glory but was a beautiful lavender blue.  I did a time-lapse but I'm still figuring out the GoPro so it's a little wonky.

But our sunset at Maho was perfect.

5 Day STJ PM from amy white on Vimeo.

STJ: Day 5

Quinn made his first trip to STJ when he was about 18 months old.  I'm not sure how this happened but I found a babysitter for him and she has watched Quinn on every trip down to STJ.

Today we left Quinn with Crystal from 8 am - 4 pm and went on an adventure.  Our goal is to go to snorkeling spots that require a bit of a hike or have a challenging (for him) swim. 

We left with a snorkeling plan however the power workers replacing all the poles and blocking the roads had a different plan.  But we still hit three of our favorite spots and had a great day.

5 day stj from amy white on Vimeo.

STJ: Day 4

Don ranks this is as one of our best days spent on St. John and I have to agree that it was a pretty amazing day.

Today Quinn had his first scuba dive and he LOVED it!  We went with a local company that we have known for years that offers a Discovery Scuba Dive for anyone over the age of 10.  And it was a great refresher for us after not diving for 10+ years.

We watched a short video and then Quinn had to take an easy 10 question test.  Then it was out to the boat.  We had a dive guide whose only job was to take care of Quinn.

On our first dive we went to Caneel Bay and dove in about 10 feet of water.  It was a great place for Quinn to get his feet wet.

Then we cruised out to an island off of St. John called Lovango Cay.  We dove down to about 35 feet.  It was pretty spectacular and Quinn did amazing.

I try to keep the videos pretty short but this one is about 5 minutes because there was so much goodness I wanted to include. 

4 day stj 2018 from amy white on Vimeo.

STJ: Day 3

It's our first day here but our third day of travel so I'm calling this day 3.

We keep track of how many cruise ships are in port in St. Thomas because it dramatically impacts the number of people at various beaches, especially Trunk Bay.  Today there were zero cruise ships so off to Trunk Bay we went.  

We were saddened by the devastation.  One of the reasons we love Trunk Bay is because of all the natural shade from the trees that line the beach and we had a favorite spot under our favorite tree.  Unfortunately there are very few trees left.  The bathroom and shower facilities are open but the snack shack and store have not reopened yet.

But we saw signs of new life everywhere.  Small coral and sea fans growing under the water and new trees everywhere.  So happy to be here!  #stjohnstrong

Getting There: STJ 2018

We have arrived at our favorite place on the planet -- it was worth the long overnight travel.

Our excitement is even more on this trip because Quinn is so stoked to go to STJ (he doesn't love being away from home, regardless of the location). 

We are ready to support this island that has given us so much.  #stjstrong

Getting There STJ 2018 from amy white on Vimeo.

School Work

A sample of Quinn's school work over the year.  I'm trying to get 4th grade all wrapped up so I can work on 3rd grade work :)


He was so excited about the little pun he put at the bottom of his letter (it's a picture of Kevin Hart).   

I just read this for the first time.  You have to read his biography on the second page.

















Hayden's Weekend

Quinn's buddy Hayden stayed with us over Father's Day weekend and I put this little video together for his mom and dad.  I've been pushing myself to work on my video editing skills (before we got to STJ) so will probably see more videos on this page. 

Haydens Weekend from amy white on Vimeo.

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to Don!!    This guy makes our lives so much fun and always keeps it interesting!


As I put this slideshow together, I was reminded again and again what an amazing father Don is to Quinn.  All the times that he's carried Quinn on his shoulders or guided him with a gentle hand on the back.   Quinn will be a great father one day because he has a fantastic role model.

fathers day from amy white on Vimeo.

Second Degree Red Belt

Quinn took a big long break from TKD while he was neck deep in Odyssey and missed a testing period.  But he got back in to it and worked hard to earn his Second Degree Red Belt. 

After the kids were presented with their belts it was time to do their best move.  Matrix time for Quinn.


Then Quinn got a big surprise and was named Most Improved Student and was presented with a trophy.  Master Stolsig and Quinn did a little matrix thing with the trophy but since we were surprised I wasn't able to capture it.

Lucky for us they were willing to re-enact the scene.

TKD Matrix from amy white on Vimeo.

Quinn's next belt will be 3rd Degree Red and then.....BLACK!    He has alot of work ahead of him.  His goal is to test for his black belt in May 2019. 

So proud of this kid!

Last Days of 4th Grade

I was so proud of myself for packing such an awesome lunch at the end of the school year.   This was the day before the last day of school.  The little ball in the middle is edible cookie dough and it is yummy.  I have to admit I packed a Lunchable on the last day of school.  I was DONE.


Field Day was on the day before the last day of school.  Always a fun event at the school.



Quinn's class.


 And Quinn's first and last day as a 4th grader.


His buddy Hayden came home with us so that they could do this.


Weekend Wrap-Up

One of Quinn's 4th grade goals was to learn how to make chocolate chip pancakes.  We have made them a handful of times over the year but he has never made them by himself.  And Thursday is the last day of school.

So mom supervised while he did the work.  




After breakfast we met his buddy Dan for some archery. 



Then Quinn went to a sleepover birthday party so Don and I went out and played!  First stop in Hollywood, some caffeine to make it through the night.  Trying to look SoCal casual.  Fake it 'til you make it!


Dinner at The Hungry Cat.  We started with this seafood platter.  It was so very good! 


We had planned to catch the sunset at the Griffith Observatory which sits above Hollywood.  However, the line of traffic to get there was unbelievable.  We felt pretty lucky just to get a parking spot.  

As we got out of the car there was a little bit of orange left in the sky so I quickly snapped a pic.  


A view looking towards the observatory with a line of cars waiting to get in and LA in the background. 




I love our ghostly selves in this one.  Long exposure and movement. 


And a look out over downtown LA.


Sunday morning Quinn got home around 10 am but was off again with another friend at noon.  So Don and I took the opportunity to go on a hike in Malibu.  



The hiking paths were overrun with these mustard flowers.  It was quite beautiful. 


A glimpse of the ocean. 


Point Dume in Malibu. 


I propped the phone up with a rock and set the timer.   It was a great hike but it was much warmer than we anticipated.  We jumped in the pool as soon as we got home. 


And what was Quinn doing?  He went to a children's film festival in downtown LA with a buddy.  He saw a series of short films from around the world.  He thought some were pretty great and some were duds.  Photo courtesy of my friend.