North Shore Overlooks

Monday morning was another stunning day here on island. It was so pretty that we strapped Dalton in his car seat and grabbed the GoPro. We took some shots for you at all of the North Shore overlooks. If you can listen with the sound up, please do. If not, simply enjoy the views.

Have a great day everyone!

A Walk in the Woods… Caneel Hill

view of caneel from caneel trail september 2018

The view from the top of Caneel Hill

Yesterday was definitely a top 10 day here on island, so I decided to take a little walk in the woods. I set out to hike the Caneel Hill trail where I knew I would be able to see spectacular views all the way out to St. Croix and Puerto Rico. I wasn’t disappointed.

For those of you who aren’t super familiar with the island, we are two-thirds National Park. This means we have a plethora of hiking trails ranging from the easy tenth-of-a-mile hike up to Peace Hill to the grueling 2.6 mile trek down to Reef Bay. The Caneel Hill trail is only a half mile each way, that’s if you start on the Caneel Hill Spur Trail like I did. This section of the trail begins across the street from the Virgin islands National Park sign, which is just beyond the Cruz Bay overlook.

The spur trail begins at the stairs across North Shore Road.

The spur trail begins at the stairs across North Shore Road.

You can park in the lot on the left prior to the sign.

You can park in the lot on the left prior to the sign.

caneel hill trail september 2018

So as you can see in the picture above, the trail to the top is only a half-mile. But don’t be fooled, it’s not merely a stroll in the woods. The terrain is rocky in spots and steep in others. There are several switchbacks too. This is definitely not a flip flop hike. I suggest wearing sneakers and bringing along a bottle or two of water. And because we lost a fair amount of trees last year, it’s pretty sunny in some spots. So I also suggest wearing sunscreen and some bug spray too.

As you start off on the spur trail, you will come to some power lines which will cross your path. No need to worry. These are not live wires, so simply climb over and then duck under them.

powerlines across trail september 2018

Powelines cross the trail in one spot

After about five minutes on the trail, you will come to an intersection. The Margaret Hill trail, which goes down to Mongoose Junction, will be on your right. Continue straight to get to Caneel Hill.

This is the intersection of Margaret Hill.

This is the intersection of Margaret Hill.

trail sign september 2018

After you pass the intersection, you will walk through some areas of tall grass. We’ve received a lot of rain lately, so areas of the trail are a bit overgrown. You will also encounters a few switchbacks as you start to gain elevation.

The trail is a tad overgrown in some areas.

The trail is a tad overgrown in some areas.

One of the trail's switchbacks

One of the trail’s switchbacks

After walking about 20 minutes (more or less depending on your speed and how many times you stop to enjoy the views), you will come to the “almost there” bench. This is a great spot to take a break, have a few sips of water and enjoy the incredible views.

The "almost there" bench

The “almost there” bench

Incredible views from this bench

Incredible views from this bench

Once you pass the “almost there” bench, it’s only 100 more yards until you are at the top. Once at the top, you will see another bench to rest on, as well as a lookout tower.

The bench at the top of the Caneel Hill trail

The bench at the top of the Caneel Hill trail

The lookout tower at the top of the Caneel Hill trail

The lookout tower at the top of the Caneel Hill trail

So again, depending how fast or slow you hike, it should take about 25-30 minutes to get to the lookout tower from the parking lot. You will also be covered with a fair amount of sweat. :) But the views at the top are totally worth it, I promise. Check out this quick video we took yesterday.

Gorgeous, isn’t it??!!

Once at the top, you can either turn around or continue straight. You can opt to take the trail down to the entrance of Caneel Bay or over to the Water Catchment trail, which leads to Centerline Road. I simply turned around yesterday and went back down.

If hiking from the parking lot beside the National Park sign up to the lookout tower and back, it’s about a mile round trip. My Apple Watch clocked it at just over 1,000 steps each way.

In terms of difficulty, 10 being “I can run 8 Tuff Miles” and one being “I struggle to lift the rum bottle when making my Painkiller,” I give this trail a solid five. I say that because it’s steep in some sections, hot from lack of shade, and the terrain has loose rock in some areas.

So if you like a nice little hike with stellar views, add the Caneel Hill trail to your list on your next visit. And in the meantime, have a great Monday everyone!!

On the Market: Parcel with Expansive South & Possible North Shore Views

pastory land 1

Hello everyone and happy Saturday! Today we’d like to tell you about a piece of land that recently listed for sale. It’s located close to town and borders the Virgin Islands National Park. It has expansive views of the South Shore, Cruz Bay, St. Thomas, Pillsbury Sound and out to the Caribbean Sea.

This property offers privacy and is located in a quiet neighborhood. It has underground utilities and paved roads, making it a must-see. There are also possible second story views of the North Shore.

Check out a view pics and a video taken recently at sunset:

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0159.JPG

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0153.JPG

pastory land map

This parcel is being offered for $325,000 by Tammy Donnelly of 340 Real Estate Co. For more information, please contact Tammy at at 340RealEstateCo@gmail.com

Pictures: One Year Later

Hello everyone and happy Friday! Thank you all for the kind messages posted yesterday. You’re all certainly keeping the love in Love City!!

Dalton and I, plus my good friend Lindsay, took a cruise around the island Thursday to take some pics for all of you. As always, none of the images have been edited in any way. It’s pretty amazing how far we’ve come in a year. I think you’re really going to enjoy them. :)

cruz bay overlook september 2018

Cruz Bay overlook

national park sign september 2018

North Shore Road

caneel overlook september 2018

Caneel Bay overlook

hawksnest september 2018

Hawksnest

trunk bay overlook september 2018

Trunk Bay overlook

cinnamon bay house september 2018

Cinnamon Bay

Maho Bay overlook

Maho Bay overlook

maho francis bays september 2018

Maho and Francis bays

leinster bay september 2018

Leinster Bay

coral bay overlook september 2018

Coral Bay overlook

coral bay sign september 2018

The new Coral Bay sign

coral bay harbor september 2018

Coral Bay harbor

salt pond september 2018

Salt Pond

ram head september 2018

Ram Head

Cruz Bay overlook sunset

Cruz Bay overlook sunset

Great Cruz Bay sunset

Great Cruz Bay sunset

One Year Later.

salomon rock structure
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I should post today. It’s 11:05 p.m. on September 5th, and I am still at a loss.

I’ve spent the last hour or so rereading posts from last year. Posts I made leading up to Hurricane Irma and posts I made in the days after. I’ve also read hundreds of comments left by all of you.

What I’m seeing and reading is pretty amazing. The love and support you showed us in those days leading up to Irma, during the hurricane itself and the days, weeks, and months after is palpable.

I really don’t know what to say today. So if I start to rant, please forgive me.

On September 8, 2017 I asked you all for help on my Facebook page. At that time, many of us on St. John felt forgotten. I asked you all to reach out to any media contacts you had, to call your congresspeople, to contact anyone you thought could help our situation. And you did. You did more than I ever could have imagined.

That single post was shared 23,000 times. Twenty-three thousand times. It was seen by 2,437,133 people just on Facebook alone. That’s pretty incredible. And you know what? It worked. It alerted people to our plight, and it helped get additional help to the islands. And that’s a credit to all of you. Thank you.

The day before Irma, I posted that our world was about to change and despite the inevitable destruction that was on the horizon, we would show you the best of humanity. And this island did. It was, and continues to be, awe-inspiring to witness.

In my final post before we ultimately lost power and internet on September 6, 2017, I asked you all to come back. And you did that too. Overwhelmingly. Thank you.

You know, those first few months before you all starting trickling back onto the island were strange. Sure it was strange because we were adjusting to our new post-hurricane world, but it was also weird to not have you all here. I’m not sure if you all realize this, but many of us here on island feed off of the energy of the constant influx of visitors. I know I certainly do. And I missed that. So thank you for coming back. I wish I could happy hour with each and every one of you! Cheers to that!

So what’s the state of the island today? Well it’s pretty darn good. All of our beaches and trails are open, and have been since late last year. We have countless villas and condos available to rent, and many of those damaged during the storms are currently undergoing repairs. The Westin is working hard on its rebuild and is on schedule to reopen in January 2019. The future of Caneel Bay, however, remains in limbo, so there is no telling when it will reopen. And while many of our restaurants and bars are currently closed for low season, dozens will be open for you to enjoy this winter. And yes, Joe’s Rum Hut and The Beach Bar will reopen this year … I promise you that! Lastly, the airlines are expanding their flight schedules making it easier for you to visit us. Things are happening here.

It’s now 12:27 a.m. and I should totally be snoozing. Dalton is sleeping peacefully beside me. Can we chat about him for a moment?

I’ve always said that I thought St. John was a great place to raise a child. I just never knew that I would be fortunate enough to have that experience. And little Dalton’s story is a good one. Well it is in my opinion. :)

My boyfriend and I evacuated six days after Irma. His restaurant was destroyed, and I had no way of communicating with all of you. We figured it’d be best to evacuate so not to take up the island’s limited resources.

We returned to St. John on one of Kenny Chesney’s relief planes on October 3, 2017. A little over a month later, we learned we would be first-time parents.

Being pregnant in a disaster zone certainly wasn’t the easiest, but it also gave me purpose. And that’s something I really needed back then. There were so many days when I would have preferred to daydrink at the Landing all day, or sip wine until the wee hours of the morning. There were days where I, and many others, simply struggled to get out of bed. But I couldn’t succumb to any of that because I had this precious little life to take care of. I can honesty say that Dalton, coupled with the love and support from all of you, is what got me though the last year. Again, thank you.

They say that not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path. Hurricane Irma led me to Dalton. So that’s my silver lining to this storm.

It’s now 12:43 a.m. and I’m getting weary. So I think I am going to end this post here. Again, I cannot adequately say how much your love has touched my life. I have read the comments. I have read the emails. I apologize if I have not yet responded to them all, but I assure you I have read them. If you are reading this site, it means you love St. John, and I love you for that.

So in true St. John fashion, let’s raise a glass and toast us all today. It’s been one hell of a year, but we all made it through it together. Much love to you all.

-Jenn

New “Bar” Opens on Island! And Other Exciting News!!

new clinic location

St. John Market is located across from the Westin.

I’m not sure how to start this post…

You know you live on an island when…

You know it’s slow season when…

…you get so darn excited when a new salad bar opens on island!

Tricked you all with the title of this one! A salad bar is just as good as a regular bar, right??!! haha

So today we didn’t think that we had that much news for you. We planned to tell you about the new salad bar that recently opened at St. John Market, which is located across from the Westin on St. John’s south shore. While we were doing a teeny bit of research, we stumbled on something super exciting! But hang on for that little nugget of excitement…

So the salad bar is now open and honestly, it looks great. It’s very exciting to get new healthy offerings here on island. We stopped by St. John Market the other night and took some pics. It was later in the day, so the salad bar probably wasn’t at its peak. So you’ll just have to trust us that it’s amazing. :)

market salad bar 1

market salad bar 2

Looks great, right? The salad bar costs $8.95 a pound.

Ok, but here’s what I just learned that is so exciting … St. John Market offers online shopping! How did I not know this??!!

(Full disclosure: I live about a minute or two from the market. I can probably walk there in less than 10 minutes. But I’m a sucker for online shopping, much to the dismay of my debit card, so I find this to be crazy exciting!)

Ok, so all you have to do is go to www.stjohngourmetmarket.com and click the Online Shopping tab at the top. From there you can choose what you would like. You can either pick it up or have it delivered. The service charge is minimal and based on the amount spent. For example, orders up to $50 only have a $5 service charge. Not bad in my opinion. And delivery charges aren’t bad either. The Cruz Bay area is only $20 while Coral Bay is a bit more at $40. But still, neither are too bad in my opinion.

And there you have it… news you can use today folks! Have a great one!