St. John Travel Tips

St. John Travel Tips 1

Good Morning Everyone!  We just wrapped up a  CRAZY busy wave here on St. John!  President’s Day week was one for the books and it’s no surprise.  With many destinations, including the British Virgin Islands, continuing to keep their borders extremely restricted, flight costs to the territory at an all time low and the USVI topping the lists of travel blogs all over the web as a top destination for 2021, its not surprising that we are seeing a lot of new visitors and repeat travelers doubling down on their time spent here this season.

In the following post, I’ve compiled a list of current Do’s and Do Not’s, including up to date COVID-19 information, as a guideline for newcomers and as a refresher for those of you who have visited religiously over the years.

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Love City Takes a Shot! (In the Arm)

Love City Takes a Shot! (In the Arm) 2

The winds have shifted here in the USVI. Today we no longer focus on the number of positive COVID-19 test results, although those numbers are very, very low!  In the Governor’s press conference yesterday, he marked the coming one year anniversary of a year of response and hardships for our community and small business owners.

This one year anniversary reveals a new chapter and new goal of working as a community towards herd immunity.  As of yesterday, 12,000 Virgin Islanders had been vaccinated, and the Governor has set a community goal of 50,000, or half of the population of the territory, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming months.

Love City Takes a Shot! (In the Arm) 3

So today, we focus on growing the number instead of decreasing it.  Say what you will about the administration and their accelerated efforts towards the COVID-19 pandemic.  St. John is currently busier than I have seen in recent years.  And active cases are below 100.  Something is working.

Love City Takes a Shot! (In the Arm) 4

This is not a plug for vaccinations…I believe that we have all been on our own very individual paths through all of this pandemic.  And each person’s stance on vaccinations do not delineate from that belief.  Here, I’ll tell a story of a milestone for a local clinic, a story of a community working together and my own personal experience in receiving the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine.  Because during my experience, I was once again reminded of how truly fortunate I feel to live in this community and how grateful I am for the hardworking people who make the wheels turn behind the scenery and the beautiful backdrops!

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Popular Eatery Closing in Cruz Bay

Popular Eatery Closing in Cruz Bay 7

Good Morning!  I’m afraid I have some not so great news to share with you today.  Many of you may have stopped by the popular deli on the third floor of the Marketplace for one of your favorite sandwiches or a beach breakfast to go.  I know that Sam and Jack’s Deli has always been super high on my own personal lunch list of priorities.  Today, I’m very sad to say that the pandemic and economic uncertainty of the past year and the foreseeable future has claimed a long standing favorite breakfast and lunch spot on St. John.

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Postcards from Love City

Postcards from Love City 8

Happy Tuesday!  It has been busy and beautiful down here this past week!  I cannot say enough how much we appreciate all of our visitors and their kind and careful consideration of the COVID mandates the Governor has in place. The towns and beaches are bustling with rosy cheeks and smiling faces and the majority of them have been masked up on the streets as per our government’s regulations.  This has allowed us to keep numbers down and remain OPEN and we thank you ALL for visiting!

The beauty of St. John and her surrounding waters has been breathtaking as of late.  For those of you who are here, I’m sure you can agree that the non-stop rainbows, consistent Caribbean breezes, the brightest of blues and striking sunsets have given a lot of reprieve from the day to day hustle and bustle.  For those of you who aren’t here, I wanted to take a moment today to share with you some of the recent beauty I have been fortunate enough to capture.  Enjoy the views and the rest of your Tuesday!

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New Business Alert: Smoothie Stand Re-Opens After Lengthy Closure

New Business Alert: Smoothie Stand Re-Opens After Lengthy Closure 9

If you’ve driven up Centerline Road recently, you may have seen some activity at the iconic Colombo’s Smoothie Stand just between the Reef Bay Trailhead and Coral Bay. The stop that was once known singularly for its fresh fruit smoothies with a splash of rum managed to withstand the wrath of Irmaria in 2017 only to be closed and put up for sale in 2019. I’m happy to say that today, this St. John gem has re-opened with a new look, a new menu and a healthier twist on their infamous smoothies!

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Kevin and Cheech Talk Love City Hard Seltzer

Kevin and Cheech Talk Love City Hard Seltzer 10

Last Friday, I was at Cruz Bay Landing having dinner and I ran into Kevin Chipman, co-owner and founder of St. John Brewers…Love City’s only brewery.  He was wearing a backpack and a mask and pounding the pavement in promotion of the company’s latest creation; Love City Hard Seltzer.  Kevin asked me to come by and pick up one of their mixed 12-packs to sample before coming in to chat with he and STJ Brewers co-founder, Chirag “Cheech” Vyas, about the product that is proving to be the dynamic duo’s silver lining of 2020.

Kevin and Cheech Talk Love City Hard Seltzer 11
Cheech (left) and Kevin (right) started St. John Brewers over 15 years ago.

Since the pandemic hit, I have watched with pride as many Love City locals, business owners and residents, once again, proved resilient.  Although severe economic impact swept St. John like a dark cloud, I watched as many people changed their focus, tried something new or made a great use of their time to produce a new venture that would further sustain them in the event of ANOTHER bump in the road.  On February 1, St. John’s beloved brewers launched their new Love City Hard Seltzer that would broaden their market and give seltzer lovers, like myself, another way to shop local.

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ABC Announces TV Series Based on Elin Hilderbrand Trilogy

ABC Announces TV Series Based on Elin Hilderbrand Trilogy 12

If you are an avid St. John vacationer and you love a good beach read, you have likely followed along a notorious author named Elin Hilderbrand.  Dubbed “the queen of the summer beach read” by the New York Times, Hilderbrand is a local celebrity on St. John and created the “Paradise” trilogy.  In these page turners, Hilderbrand drops the names of many St. John locals and locales, business owners and bar dwellers…Making Love City enthusiasts feel right at home, regardless of from where they are enjoying the three novels.

ABC Announces TV Series Based on Elin Hilderbrand Trilogy 13

Last month, ABC announced the possibility of a new limited series entitled “Winter in Paradise” that features the characters and stories from these Best Selling, St. John centric novels.  And, in turn, St. John herself 🙂

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Online Art Auction and Virtual Concert Series

Online Art Auction and Virtual Concert Series 14

Good Morning All!  I have mentioned many times before the absolutely devastating effect that COVID-19 has had on our island’s very necessary non-profits over the past year.  The majority of them host fundraisers throughout the year that give the little island that could a reason to get out and socialize for a number of great causes.  This year, many of them have struggled with the cancelling of these momentous annual events which has caused drastic decreases to their annual fundraising efforts.

But, in the true spirit of St. John, most of them have been flexible and creative; developing new ways to raise funds and collect donations online.  And fortunately for all of you who are not currently on St. John, this means that you can participate and support from afar like never before!  This month, the St. John School of the Arts has taken their annual concert series to the web and are hosting an online art auction to “keep their lights on” and support the artistic community and students of St. John!

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