Passing the Torch…

Passing the Torch... 1
Well folks, all good things must come to an end, right?

Nearly seven years ago to this day, I published my first post on News of St. John. At the time, I lived in Connecticut, had a full time job and recently completed a master’s program. When I mentioned the idea of buying a blog in the Caribbean, people told me I was crazy. And maybe I was – lol. But I didn’t care, and I did it anyway. 🙂

My trips to the island soon became more frequent. Every three months became every month, and before I knew it, I rented a small, one bedroom apartment in Cruz Bay. I bought a nice little island Jeep to go along with it.

I ran out of vacation time a few months later. My initial thought was, if I can’t visit St. John so I can write this fun little blog that really doesn’t make much money at all, I should probably quit my fancy corporate world job and move to the island permanently. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest decision to make. But you know what? That’s exactly what I did!

The first four years were so much fun. Perhaps they were too much fun. 😉 I spent my days writing about island happenings, and I spent far too many nights over at The Beach Bar where I often posted pictures of cocktails at sunset. I did it for all of you, of course, and for the sake of independent journalism!! Haha … Cheers! Well apparently I posted too many boozy photos for one frequent reader’s liking, and he subsequently dubbed me the “Booze of St. John” back in the summer of ’16. It made me laugh, especially considering the majority of the drinks were borrowed from other patrons. But nevertheless, I’ve been the proud owner of BoozeofStJohn.com ever since.

Turning lemons into lemonade, folks!

So as I mentioned, there was a lot of fun and games at the beginning. I spent so many days lounging at the beach, soaking up the sun, swimming around with the turtles. There were boat trips and passport stamps. St. Thomas staycations and quick little jaunts to Puerto Rico. A friend often told me back then that we were living the good ol’ days, and boy was she right.

Then September 6, 2017 came and went, and our world changed forever.

Prior to the hurricanes, readership wasn’t too shabby for this little Caribbean blog. We hit 1.2 million page views in 2016, and I was thrilled. On September 6, 2017 alone, we had more than 126,000 page views. We received more than one-tenth of the previous year’s traffic in just one day. I was stunned. A few days later, a Facebook post I wrote was seen more than two million times. All eyes were on me, and I knew it.

When you have a website like this, you sort of invite the world in to experience life along with you. That’s something that I’ve truly loved over the years. You were with me when I adopted Charlie, my ACC rescue dog, back in 2014. You were with me in 2015 when I grieved over the loss of Captain John Brandi, my self-adopted island dad. You were with me through the storms and when I announced my pregnancy shortly thereafter. And most importantly, you were there when I introduced Dalton to the world in 2018. And now, during this unprecedented time, you continue to be by my side, reading every word I write. The majority of us have never met, yet I feel like I am friends with each and every one of you.

But, on the flip side, when you have a website like this, you also open yourself up to public scrutiny. And let’s just say I’ve been scrutinized – lol.

Not everyone liked what I wrote following the hurricanes, and I quickly became an online target for some. I even received death threats. Why? Because I told the truth.

I had a stint as a crime reporter in my past life in Connecticut, and I received death threats back then too. Truthfully, I was pretty shocked to receive such violent threats as the writer of News of St. John. But did I lose sleep over it? Not a wink.

They say all publicity is good publicity, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. Every time News of St. John was slandered online, people viewed my website. And when they viewed my website, it increased the all-so-important page view number. That subsequently made my advertisers happy, which made me happy. So these people who sought to tarnish my name ultimately helped me transform this tiny little Caribbean blog into an actual business. I should probably send them all a fruit basket. 🙂

In 2017, NewsofStJohn.com had more than 2.7 million page views. In 2018 and 2019, we passed the two million mark yet again.

Back when I bought this blog in early 2013, I never, ever thought that this many people would read the site. I didn’t think anyone would care about what I had to say, nor did I expect anyone to rely so heavily on my words and advice when planning a trip to St. John. To say I am thankful and overwhelmed by your continued love and support is a gross understatement.

Together we’ve chatted about the beaches and bars, restaurants and regattas, openings, closings, events and more. And how can I forget our raffles… The raffles! Because of you, we donated more than half a million dollars to so many deserving charities! That’s so much money!! You have been with me every step of the way, and when I asked for support, you responded in such a big way. I truly cannot thank you all enough.

St. John was really starting to bounce back this season. We had strong seasons following the storms, but this past winter was different. The amount of people I saw milling about in Cruz Bay, dining at our restaurants, enjoying our beaches and trails, was, by far, greater than any other year in recent memory. Businesses were finally bouncing back following the dual 2017 storms. People seemed so happy again. And then the pandemic hit.

I was sitting at home in late March when I received an inquiry about St. Johnopoly. This casual conversation about the game’s next edition soon morphed into a serious discussion regarding a potential sale of St. Johnopoly and subsequently News of St. John.

This wasn’t the first time I was approached to sell News of St. John. But it was the first time I thought the timing may be right.

I’ve spent nearly every day since May 2013 working on News of St. John. Whether it’s posting stories, monitoring website comments and social media, or answering emails, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of it. But the thought of taking a break did intrigue me.

I’m not really good at taking time off. I even wrote a story from my hospital bed when Dalton was just a few hours old. I had every intention of taking a two-week break last May when I traveled to Italy to enjoy a vacation that was postponed from September 2017. But then a big story about the Cinnamon Bay campground broke. I immediately grabbed my laptop, so I could share it with all of you. What can I say, I simply love sharing the news with you!

And now here we are, joined together amid this pandemic. I, like many people I love, have been forced to take a break. I’ve continued writing the News of St. John, of course, but my island tours have been temporarily placed on hold. Like many people, I’ve had the ability to spend so much time with family. I’ve cherished all of these extra moments, especially those spent with Dalton.

Here’s a quick update on Dalton: He swam by himself for the first time ever this past Saturday at Maho. Ok, he had a life jacket on, but it’s a big deal for us! 🙂 Within 48 hours, I officially deemed him a fish. He’s walking and talking, and keeps his daddy and I on our toes. Dalton turns two on July 1.

Passing the Torch... 2
Dalton

So as I mentioned, I’ve received a handful of offers to sell News of St. John over the years. I politely declined them all, as I simply was not ready. But after spending these past two months with Dalton and experiencing moments I would have otherwise missed, I’ve decided the time is right.

That being said, I recently accepted an offer to sell News of St. John and St. Johnopoly.

The new owner is a St. John resident who is excited to launch a company that combines News of St. John with a local radio station and St. John.Deals, a new website that will offer discounts on accommodations, boat charters, restaurants and more. They will officially take over News of St. John and St. Johnopoly on June 1. I plan to contribute from time to time, so definitely keep an eye out for me. The new owners plan to keep the same format, and I hope you all continue to read. I know I will.

But this is in no way a goodbye! You didn’t think I’d leave you all, did you??!

Yes, my time is ending here at News of St. John, but it is not ending on the island. I will continue to offer my island tours, which is now called ExploreSTJ.com. You can follow me over on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ExploreSTJ. Please click that link and give the page a like! (I will be going from 54,000 likes to 300, so please go and give me some love!) You can also email me at my new email address – [email protected]

Or even better, book an island tour with me! I’d love to catch up with you all, share some island tidbits and perhaps even a little gossip, all while exploring this beautiful community with you! And be on the lookout for my new hiking tours that will begin this fall!

But before I end this today, I need to say thank you. Thank you for reading this site. Thank you for stepping up and supporting the island when we needed it most. Thank you for coming back after the hurricanes. Thank you to those of you who are planning on returning, yet again, once it’s deemed safe. Thank you to those of you who have entered our raffles. I still cannot believe that we raised more than half a million dollar over the years … That is simply astonishing. And inspiring. Thank you for caring about me as a person, and thank you for caring about my family. And lastly, thank you to all of the St. John businesses who supported this site over the years.

Because of you, I’ve been able to live my dream. I encourage you all to go out and live yours.

 

187 thoughts on “Passing the Torch…”

          • Thank you for opening your world and life to us. I really appreciated the candid pics after the hurricane and the updates on what’s open and what’s not. I’m sorry it won’t be your voice that gives me the daily and weekly news on St. John, but I’ll smile when I see your byline from time to time. Next time we’re in town we’ll take one of your tours good luck and I’m glad you’re living your dream.

        • What a great adventure. Wishing you and Fakton many more to come. Thanks for all you do for SJ. Welcome to the new people, big sandals to fill.

      • Jen, we will miss you so much. You’re the friend that lives far away, but when together the conversation picks up where we left off. Much good luck and happiness to you and your family. Thank you for keeping St. John in our hearts!

      • I’m so glad we got the chance to spend a day together this past winter. Best of luck in all your future endeavors. Perhaps we’ll see you next March when we return.

        With love,

        The Walker’s

      • Thanks for always sharing the news and beautiful pictures! We are coming next year and bringing our children for the first time. I cannot wait to introduce them to this wonderful place !

      • Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do. Your reports always kept me informed on what was happening there which has meant more than you know because my son and fiancee live there and I visit often but miss it and them when im gone. Much love to you and your family!

    • I wish you all the best Jenn. I’ve enjoyed your blogs over the years especially when Sept 2017 hit. My husband and I first found St. John for our honeymoon and have returned many times. What’s not to love about this island!
      Where in CT are you from? My birthplace. Hope to see you on our next trip to paradise.

    • Jenn- Dalton is as cute as can be. We have enjoyed reading your blog over the years. You covered so much, the good, the bad & the ugly. Your dedication to the island & the facts that you presented offered us a wealth of information. We could trust your word and understand everything you said as fact. Don’t miss a single step as a parent. Children are such a gift! I wish the three of you so much joy and happiness. Thank you for what you have given to ST John, its’ people and their guests. Our paths will cross again, as our son, daughter in law and new born sweet baby girl live on island. May God bless you in your new endeavors. Donna & Ned Woods

    • Wow, I’m so much going to miss your posts. We missed the tour last year, but we’ll be back in October, so we’ll book early. Thanks again for all of your informative and entertaining articles!

  1. Thanks for all you have done, be well, enjoy the wee one and your well deserved family time. Will look for you at the Beach Bar.

    Living the Dream

    • Thanks Jenn, we visited St. John for the first time exactly one year ago. I have checked your page every morning since. I hope the new owners continue the same vibe. Good luck in your next chapter. See you around the island.

  2. Best of luck to you in your new adventure. I loved reading your site nearly everyday. We are longtime STJ lovers. We were engaged there, married there and travel to STJ as much as we can. It brings so much happiness to us and our family. Being so far away is hard, but your updates make us feel closer. Maybe we’ll get our our St.Johnopoly game tonight to play in your honor! Enjoy!

  3. Job well done Jenn!-Dalton(little Mike) sure is a cutie Thank You for being a part of every morning for years.Enjoy-he will grow up way too fast.-Take Care-Bruce

    • You will never get back those moments with your precious boy! Enjoy every minute. Thanks for the many years of island news. Hoping to visit again some day soon.

  4. Hi Jenn! Thank you so much for putting yourself and all things St. John out there for all of us to enjoy. My husband and I have followed you before, during (especially during!) and after the storms. You were our lifeline into all things St. John. We can’t wait to be back on island again and book a tour with you! Who better to show us around?!! Best of luck, thank you and we’ll see you soon!

  5. Thank you so much!!! I read every post and past them along to my family to read. They were very informative and I always looked forward to finding out what was new. Good luck to you in the future. All the best!!! Diane Wood, Chesterfield, MO.

  6. Thanks for everything, Jen. I have enjoyed following you for the past few years. We are frequent visitors to St John. I even got to meet you on one of our trips there. Wishing you the best, but we will definitely miss you!

  7. Jenn, This time has made us all take a step back and realize what’s truly important… and that’s family. Thank you for sharing these past years, your insight and information has been a blessing. We wish you the best and will see you down there soon! Take care and best of luck!!

  8. St, John has been my “go to” place for over 25 years. During those very few years I was not able to get there, I relied on your news to stay updated. Even though we have never met, I feel as if we are long time and dear friends. I personally will miss your posts and your upbeat style of writing. Hopefully a tour of STJ with you is in my future, and I’ll think of you when playing St.Johnoply. Good luck, and enjoy every minute with your little one!

  9. Thank you for sharing your dream realized….many of us readers share ‘THE’ dream….to live where we have found the ahhhhh in life. I discovered STJ back in the early 90’s and have carried a Donald Schnell ‘thumbprint’ in my pocket every day since….no matter where I am, I carry STJ with me. Wishing you all the good things in life…enJOY your journey and thanks again for sharing part of it with us.

    • Jenn,
      Thanks for sharing STJ with us over the years. You are a gifted writer. Such a trusted source of information about a place that so many hold dear. In 2017 during the storms, you made sure the world knew exactly what was happening. Good luck and much happiness!

  10. We’ve loved you and all the experiences you have shared with us over the years! You deserve every bit of happiness. Thank you for sharing a bit of St John every day for those of us not lucky enough to be there.

  11. Congratulations! You and your friendly writing style will be greatly missed. I think my wife will miss you the most as she refers to you as, “my friend Jen”. You have been a voice for the island that has served it and it’s people so well. We are headed down at the end of July for a greatly needed infusion of Love City with our graduating HS Sr and can’t wait to be where our heart always remains. Thank you for everything and God speed!

  12. We haven’t met in person, but share our love of wine, your island, and our Jeep tours! Best of luck in this new phase of your life! I know I will see you in my Jeep in the Napa Valley soon, and I will see you in yours next spring! Cheers! Julie

  13. We have enjoyed your post over the years! Thank you for keeping us all informed on STJ news! Take care !

  14. Your love and caring for St. John….and your inherent goodness….shines through in your words. So, the thanks and gratitude really belong to you more than anyone else. All the Best!! Joe Martino

  15. Thank you for sharing your love of St John and its people. Having this connection through your blog has increased our knowledge of the island and it’s businesses. You informed us of ways to help post hurricanes by donating and kept us updated on the state of the island and your recovery We have come back every February and loved seeing the recovery progress We hope to be able to be back this February if travel gets back to “normal”. Thanks for everything you have done

    • It makes me a little sad to know you won’t be on the other end of this great connection with our family’s favorite place. You have made the News so very personal as well as interesting. And when nasty comments came your way after the 2017 devastation of the island and the hearts of her residents, we hurt for you and were angry for the lack of compassion. No fruit for them! Thank you for all that you have done (and will continue) to help others see STJ through your curious, loving eyes. And for sharing a bit of your personal life with us. Love that photo of Dalton! Put a Jenn and a Mike together and you get the cutest babies! Enjoy your family and your island life for many more memories to come. And thanks again, from the Colmans

  16. Thank you for all you’ve done. I relied on your information immediately in 2017 to keep me informed. Good luck in the future.

  17. Your blog has provided me the opportunity to visit St. John and take in events, experiences, dining, ocean breezes, etc. Definite “ROCK STAR” status!!!!! You will be missed! Best wishes to you and your family.
    Regards, Gratitude and Blessings.

  18. Every goodbye begins with a hello!
    Thank you for sharing our mutual love for a special place called St. John.
    Continued success & stay healthy!
    Most important, enjoy the little guy! 🙂

  19. Happy for you Jenn! Best of luck on your new chapter. If past successes are any indication of future outcomes I’m sure there are many new adventures to come!

  20. Thank you Jen, I have loved your blog and when I need a happy moment, I turn to it. It sounds like you have picked a good successor, that’s important. I hope they do as good a job presenting the island as you have. All the best to you!

  21. Jenn, saying we will miss your stories and updates is an understatement. We wish you and your family the best health and happiness in your endeavors and hopefully our roads will cross in the near future.
    Godspeed
    John & Cindy

  22. Thank you Jenn for being a trusted source of information and imagination. You give us, on the mainland, great information and allow us to imagine being on an island we love. We will see you in July! We are so appreciative of your efforts and work.

  23. I have enjoyed so many of your updates, posts and points of view. You truly encompass all that’s great about the island. You’ve dedicated so much of yourself and I understand your decision. Thank you for the memories and thank you for loving St. John.

  24. Haters gonna hate, so disappointing to hear of threats, but thank you for all the love and info from Love City. Best wishes and many blessings as you follow in wisdom that one season has ended and another begun. Wishing you many wonderful adventures ahead!

  25. Jenn ~ Thank you so much for all you have done to bring STJ to the world! Congratulations on the sale and beginning this next chapter. Enjoy all those little moments. ~ Christy

  26. Jenn, I literally got choked up reading this!. I love my mornings because I know I will sign on to my computer and see News of St. John. You have kept us connected to an island we love and that has become our 2nd home.

    You have done so much good for so many people, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    I will look forward to seeing you on island (hopefully in December) for a tour. I wish you an abundance of success, and happy times with Dalton and your husband. You deserve it!

  27. We have enjoyed being connected through you. We have started visiting in 2002, introducing our son in 2006. We loved spending the Summer on island in 2015 under your guidance on the happenings. Thank you for always making us feel close!

  28. Regrets you are leaving. You have been an invaluable source. Much success in your new ventures. And by all means please make sure that the new people will keep us informed as to what is happening on our beloved St. John. All the best to you and your family.

  29. Well written and, as always, from the heart Jenn.

    You are much appreciated and we very much enjoyed having you join us for a drink at Gallows Point when we introduced our friends to the island 5 years ago. It was the first week of December and we have some great sunset pics of your Elf on a Shelf (the bar windowsill actually).

    Best of luck with your next chapter and growing family Jenn and we’ll look you up on our next trip.

    Ken & Amy

  30. Jenn. Thank you so much for all that you have shared over the years. You have brought St. John to those of us who could not be there as much as we would like to.
    You made us part of your world and brought the island to us! Always honest and true. Wishing you and your beautiful family the best of luck. Enjoy your little one they grow up way to fast! Looking forward to booking a tour our next trip. Good Luck!

  31. I have followed you and your blog for so long I can’t remember. I always appreciated all of the informative and straight forward comments. Unfortunately, our annual trips has to satisfy our dream to live there. You got to live the dream! Congratulations Jenn! You deserve it!

  32. Good for you! It HAS been wonderful to be connected with this blog knowing you hailed from Connecticut, but I love STJ so much that I will certainly continue to follow. I did just like your FB page and will certainly look you up when I get my butt back to the best place in the world!

  33. You’ve done a great job throughout the years Jenn. One chapter ending, another chapter beginning… xoxo

  34. You are much appreciated and will be greatly missed! I wish much love, adventure, peace & happiness on your next path forward! 🙂

  35. Thank you, Jenn, and you shall be greatly missed. News of St John is the first “click” on my computer each morning with my first cup of coffee. Thanks to you it will continue to be and I
    hope to see an article from you from time to time. This blog keeps me connected to St John and fuels my desire to return again when I will definitely tour with you.

    “Some think we put life on hold to raise a child but we know to hold a child IS life.” Enjoy your time with Dalton. As you have learned, it passes all too quickly.

  36. Oh Jenn! What will I read with my morning coffee?
    LOL. Seriously, Congratulations to you. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to keeping all of us St. John Dreamers informed. This virus has caused all of us to take stock of life and what is truly important. Enjoy your family and enjoy beautiful St. John. Best wishes for you.

  37. Hi Jenn
    I’m sad for me but happy for you. You are really good at what you do. As someone else said, your innate goodness and optimism shine through everything you write. Is there a book or magazine article in the future? You should not stop writing.

  38. You were pretty much “St John” for many of us who only get the luxury to come visit once or twice a year. I’ve enjoyed your stories, updates, opinions for the past many years.
    I’ll make it a point to sign up for a hike in Sept. when I return once again for our week long glimpse of Heaven.
    Let’s continue to think of you as our own St. Gabriel welcoming us through the Iron Gates at the Ferry Dock!
    Stay Safe

  39. You are my daily read from my office desk as i await my next trip back as i have done most every year since 1981. Thank you for keeping me updated on my special place most every day since you started the blog. Enjoy the new adventure and hope to see you next winter when we will return.

  40. Jenn,
    I have always enjoyed reading this blog and been truly impressed with your thoroughness. You never left a stone unturned and we all depended on you for that. Thanks for your truth in reporting.

    Thank you,

  41. We have been coming to St John at least once a year for 25 years and our son honeymooned there. We have really enjoyed News of St John—especially your coverage of serious issues such as the proposed (and environmentally horrible) Summer’s End development of a large commercial marina in Coral Bay and the details of CBI Acquisition’s abysmal failure to rebuild Caneel Bay and their political efforts to change the deal with the Forest Service. You got the NY Times interested in that story. I’m not sure there is anyone else who would have shed light on these issues, and what happened after Irma. We have cheered and viewed the rebuilding of STJ. We sincerely hope the owner continues in these journalistic efforts and your blog doesn’t just turn into a travel blog. That would be disappointing. Good luck in your future—we will miss your voice

  42. Thanks for all the wonderful news over the years. You brought the life of the island back to the states. We will miss your weekly news…so I guess this means we will just have to visit more often!!! Thanks!

  43. Thank you so much for all you have done for this little island. You helped understand what was happening during the hurricane when were supposed to be there vacationing. It was devasting but your updates kept us sane. Your insight has enlightened us and helped us plan our trips to our favorite place on the planet. You will be missed but I give you so much credit for taking these chances and bringing us so much happiness. Best of luck in you new endeavors. ❤️

  44. Jenn,

    This space has been a blessing to my wife and I. We are only able to get to the island once per year, so News of St John keeps us in touch and in tune. THANKS A MILLION!

    Congratulations and best wishes for the future.

  45. Well, this is sad news for us, but happy for little Dalton. I never regretted being home with our children, and I know you won’t either. Your warmth, cheer and great info won’t easily be matched. All the best to you and your family always, Carla and Steve

  46. Well done, Jenn! You have helped many, including me, get our fix between visits to the best island in the Caribbean. Thank you and good luck.

  47. I’m so sad to lose you but happy for you and your continued journey. You brought this little island through the page to so many. We have been coming to St. John for 20 years and finally bought a home there late last year. I like you have dreams of giving it all up and moving to a much different lifestyle someday. Good luck with the tours, hopefully our paths will cross someday.

  48. I will miss your blog but am so happy that you are still doing the tours. I will book one on my next trip.

  49. Thank you so much for bringing St John to our home. We loved reading your blog! I also want you to know how much we appreciated the time you helped my husband and I find medical help on the island.

  50. Oh Jenn, we will miss our daily dose of St John. You have been inspiring and comforting and a link to my paradise. We will miss your writing but continue to stay connected. Love you, Cecilia and Don

  51. Hi Jenn,
    First of all, congratulations! My congrats may be slightly different than most. My congrats are for having the ability to understand that your little boy will be a big boy in the blink of an eye. I’m happy for you that you’ll likely spend more time with him. I’m happy for him that he will get more of Mommy’s attention.
    You’ve done a great job, Jenn. Way to build a business out of nothing and selling it, even better!
    Look forward to knowing who the new owners are and wishing you the best. I’ve already clicked “LIKE” on your new page so this is not a “good bye” but a “talk to you later.”

  52. Thank you for your outstanding stewardship of NOSJ. You really took it to a different level.

    Shout out is due to Frank Barnako, who started the blog many years ago. We had the good fortune to meet Frank and rent his house a few years ago.

    Looking forward to the future!

  53. Jenn, that is sad news. I am a 2x per year visitor to the island (hurricanes and pandemics not withstanding) but your articles and columns always made me feel I was connected throughout the year. Hopefully the new owner will bring the same passion and love for the island to the articles and features. Best of luck to you!

  54. Jenn,

    Sad to see you go. My wife and I had much fun following you. Whenever we were looking for some ideas or advice about St John, we knew we would find it somewhere that Jenn wrote. You had great updates after the two storms and will forever be grateful for them. You will be missed.

    Congratulations and good luck on your new chapter.

  55. Good for you Jenn! I’ve been coming to USVI for 20 years and was happy to find your blog a few years back – something fun to ready, especially during the MN winters.
    It was great touring with you this February, I’m glad we met!
    Take care and keep living the dream 🙂

  56. Thank you Jenn and live from the northeast (Nh)! I have lived this blog since I found it a number of years ago and will be sad to see you go but wish you all the best! Cheers to living your dream.

  57. Jenn, You have become a friend to us for sharing news of St John. We are glad you will still call St. John home & we will be seeking you out in December for a tour to somewhere we may not have explored yet. I believe we saw you on the BB webcam last evening? Your little boy was there too. All the best in your next adventure. Stay safe.

  58. We wish you the best of luck! You were the voice for St John and we loved reading all your post! We built a great friendship while we lived on island and I am thankful for those memories! You never let the negative comments or ugly people knock you down and always continued to do what you do best and that is rise above the negativity! Thanks for the years of writing about the island we once called home. You were always truthful and honest about things you wrote about and you always wrote from your heart.

    You will be missed! You have came a long way from the first blog and now you have a beautiful lil family that you can share more time with! Those are moments you can never get back! Dalton is such a cutie and a Lil mini Mike for sure!

    Wish you the best! Keep in touch . Much love and we wish you all the happiness you deserve!

    Btw, I will never forget when you asked this “Texas” girl…..” if someone says bless his heart (referring to Charlie), is that a compliment or a negative statement” !

    Memories will last a lifetime but time passes by so quickly so enjoy your family and hope to visit and see you soon!

    Much love ❤️

  59. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished thus far. Tom and I grew to love St. John after our first visit and keep tour with you! Thanks for the blog and sharing adorable pic of your little swimmer. Best wishes!

  60. Good luck Jenn in your new endeavors. I have enjoyed your columns and videos. Your son is so adorable, enjoy him time goes buy quickly.

  61. So sad to hear Jenn but so happy for you too! Thanks for keeping us all so well informed, we have often turned to you for some good advice over the years. Especially when we first began coming to beautiful St John over 10years now. I only hope the new owners will also keep me well informed! Enjoy your family time, good luck with your tour company and hope to maybe even meet you on island one day. We were lucky to visit for the 8 Tuff miles before all this happened. See you next year!

  62. Thank you for everything especially in the days after the hurricanes when seeing & hearing what was happening was so important to those of us who love STJ. Best of luck on your new chapter. Hope to see you on our next trip.

  63. Love your awesome attitude and obvious resiliency. Congrats on building your brands and businesses – and on the sale!

  64. Jenn,
    Good Luck in the next phase of your life. You have always been good to us and we appreciate all the support. See you at the Chaotic Kayak Race.
    Gary
    Team River Runner Virgin Island Program

  65. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have done the island a great service. I am another “never met”, but feel we are friends. So happy to hear you are staying on island. We will book a tour when we next visit. All the best to you!

  66. Best of luck to you and your family, Jenn! What made your blog special your human touch. Make sure the new owners understand the importance of that so it doesn’t just become a marketing tool of their combined ventures.

  67. I am Danish citizen who have been visiting St. John Several times. I have fell in love with your little Caribbean paradise and enjoyed reading your stories and updates from abroad. I really hope it will be possible to read your old posts in the new format.

    Thank you so much for a fantastic blog and best of luck.

    Jesper

  68. What happy and sad news all at once. Happy for you that you lived your dream and now have new dreams to go to. Sad for us who consider you family that we visit with daily and will miss you. We were fortunate enough to have met you and take an island tour with you in Oct. 2018 (gave Dalton his first Corvette t-shirt)! You have done a fabulous job keeping us all informed about our beloved STJ. Hope to see you on our next visit on island. Much love and success to you Jenn!

  69. Thanks Jenn for all the updates and tours of my favorite vacation place. Enjoy that sweet little boy and good luck on your revised tours. We hope to get back there next year and will look you up. Stay safe, well and take a swim with the turtles for me.
    Karen Lukomski
    Mukwonago, wi

  70. We love your blog and will miss you, but best wishes always in all you do. We will definitely see you for another island tour soon. Take care and enjoy your beautiful son Dalton. xoxo

  71. Congratulations and all the best as you move on to this next chapter in your life! I first visited St. John in the mid seventies a couple of times. It was love at first site for me! Right after the “hurricane twins” hit, I found your blog and have enjoyed living a bit vicariously through your posts. You see, I never forget how wonderful and magical St. John is to me. I finally got to a position where I have been able to come back to visit each year for the last twenty years. Jenn, you have kept me and everyone else who follows your blog connected to St. John even when we can’t be there. I thank you so much for all your hard work! Enjoy more time with your adorable Dalton! Believe me, as a mother of three adult children, I will paraphrase something I read somewhere, the days, at times, seem long, but the years are short! Enjoy now!! Hope to meet you next trip down with a tour!!

  72. WE WILL MISS YOU ! We read your post every day, and if you miss a day or two, we notice it. Kate and I first visited STJ 15 years ago and have returned every year since. In between visits, your blog is our link to paradise. We met you and a friend several years ago at The Beach Bar, and knew right away that you and your passion for STJ and it’s people were a perfect match. We wish you and your family all the best–we know you’ll make whatever is ahead an ADVENTURE. We agree with the suggestion that you should continue with your writing–we would buy a book by you in a heartbeat. Continued success with ExploreSTJ. Visitors will soon come–fingers crossed.

  73. Best of luck in your new endeavors.

    I have been a regular reader of News of St John, and I will continue to follow with the new owners.

    When I am home back in the States, I regularly (almost daily) check your blog, and I have found it very informative.

    Be well and good luck.

    Paul E. Newell
    Long Branch, NJ

  74. Awww. Say it isn’t so Jenn!!. Same as most people, we’ll miss you & your honesty. we’re Connecticut/ St Johnians & for the last 20 years or so coming to St John it’s always great to have a “inside “ perspective. From the new gas station all the way back to Zozo’s leaving Gallows! Stay safe Hope to see you on island. You should do a face reveal or at least wear a shirt that says Jenn!! I’m sure people would love to buy you drinks. Best of luck. Maybe see you in February.

  75. Good luck to you! Truly enjoyed your blog! Have been coming to St John yearly since 2004. Missed 2012 when I was hospitalized and 2017. Many years it was twice a year or three times. Was looking forward to Amarilla Villa this year.

  76. Congratulations! Thanks for bringing St John to us each day. We have seen the island grow/change since our first visit 25 years ago. The mention of Captain Brandi brings back such good memories. We loved being on the water with him. It was a treat each time we went out with him. I feel being on a tour with you would be as much fun. Next trip we will book with you Jenn

  77. Best of luck to you now, Jenn. Enjoy your family and your son–it will be a precious time for you and goes all too quickly. We will miss your courage in reporting what you hear and see on St. John and hope the new owners will meet reporting challenges in the same way you have, and without fear of reprisals or losing advertisers. And hopefully, they will love St. John just as much as you do.

  78. Thank you, Jenn, for every hour, every word/photo/video you shared with each of us! You truly kept us who can’t live there as close as we could get at the time. Looking forward to hearing from you as we can. Thanks again for it all!
    Robyn & Randy
    Dallas, Texas

  79. Thank you so much for bringing bright light during the offseason and, especially during difficult times. Your blog has been right there with my first cup of coffee every morning for five years. I found your hurricane coverage essential, your video tours therapeutic. Wishing you all the best with your growing family, but we will miss you. Here’s hoping you still contribute often, and we hope to see you at the Beach Bar on our next trip (April);-). Cheers!

  80. Thank you, you will be missed. You have kept the island and it’s spirit (no not just rum) in my heart and mind for many years.

  81. Thank you so much, Jenn. We don’t get to St. John as often as we like, with long gap years, but your blog kept it fresh for us and ever yearning to return.

    Thank you and good luck!

  82. Sad to see you go, but happy that you’re making a choice to spend more time with that adorable baby. I was one of those readers who found this blog on Sept 6 and continued to come back for every post because it was clear you cared deeply about this island and its people. Best of luck in all your future endeavors and thank you for all that you’ve done.

  83. Good luck and thank you for all you’ve done to keep this Pittsburgh-rooted island girl close to the action. I’ve enjoyed so many memories in the US and BVI. You’ve lived my dream! Godspeed.

  84. Thank you for bringing the island to us. I will never forget experiencing the hurricanes through your eyes (from the safety of my mainland home), and celebrating the birth of Dalton with you, from afar. Wishing you all the best. You will go far, even if you never leave St John!

  85. Even though we have not formally met, as I was hoping to meet you last week and this week, as I should hav been then now with the gang. I enjoy the times we’ve chatted through News of St. John. You are amazing source of news and I look forward to one of your adventure hopefully this Fall or next Spring. Take care and have fun with that adorable boy, Dalton!

  86. We’ve been visiting St. John annually since 2007. And like many others, we’ve come to love the island for the paradise that it is. But, we want to echo today’s posting by “Becky.” Thank you for your courage in reporting on the proposed development of a large commercial marina at Coral Bay and about CBI Acquisitions’ (Caneel Bay Resort) maneuverings after Hurricane Irma. We are glad that your postings on CBI Acquisitions caught the attention of the New York Times (articles by Emily Palmer, 2020-01-20 and 2020-01-27). Thank you for your upbeat, entertaining, but straight-forward reporting of the everyday happenings on STJ. It has been a pleasure to read! We hope, too, that the new owner continues to be an independent voice. Best wishes to you in your future endeavors!

  87. Jenn,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping folks informed with ALL things St. John. I’ve been following you since the storms, and have always appreciated your writing, honesty and humor! My husband and I have been back to the island X 2 since the storms, most recently this past January; I’m glad our trip was in January, and not Easter week, as originally planned! We will always come back to the island. We’ve been coming to St. John since 1992, and it’s our favorite place on earth. In fact, we just got a new puppy, and have named him Maho. Even though he has no direct connection to St. John, he reminds me of a “coconut retriever”! All the best to you as you pursue this new chapter in life! Enjoy !

  88. Jenn: TU for all the timely posts/updates. You keep the spirit and beauty of STJ alive for all of us who can’t be there as often as we wish.

  89. Thanks Jenn for all of your hard work and fantastic stories and videos. This site has been a balm for our collective homesickness for St. John.

  90. I loved reading your post from N.H. It brought us back to a beautiful place until we were able to return. Playing St. Johnopoly has been so much fun. We think of you and St
    John News every time.
    Thank you for brightening our world with your post.
    Best of luck to you!

  91. THANK YOU! You have kept us well informed and we appreciate it. I giggled at the “boozy” comment! It would have only made me a bit more jealous. Enjoy your family and life in paradise. Stay well. xoxo

  92. No doubt you and News of St John has helped make this little island even more desirable thru your writing. During the difficult time and the good times you have been a beacon of light and encouragement. We have made many friends on the island in the last 14 years we have stayed. As a professional photographer for over 40 years I encourage you keep photographing your little guy all you can. Love the water pic. They grow up so fast. We also will do a tour with you on a next trip when life settles back to a new normal. Really like the St Johnopoly Game. May your family stay healthy and continue living the dream. M&M

  93. Jenn, Thank you for your words and pictures over the years. I have so enjoyed following along. Look forward to meeting you in person when we visit in January! Best wishes on the new chapter in your life.

  94. Congrats Jenn! I know this was a big decision, but as a Mom of 2 now almost adults (yikes), I can say that the time spent with them as they grow up is priceless. You will be so glad for every minute of it! I will miss your voice in these posts, but I definitely look forward to seeing you when we are back on island next February. Heading over to like your new FB page now! Take care!!
    Laura

  95. Congratulations, Jenn, to you and your family! I’ll definitely miss your emails and badge alerts as something I always looked forward to receiving and sharing with my wife as a little bit of daily bliss, updates and insights, and a reminder to plan our next trip back. Best wishes and thank you!

  96. Thank you for the years of sharing the island and keeping us informed. Best wishes. Dalton is a cutie.

  97. Jenn, we will really miss you & your perspective on St John. You have done a wonderful job & my family & I love St Johnopoly. After visiting St John for 6 years, we did your tour & saw places we had never visited. It was well worth the money! Best wishes to you & your family.

  98. Hi Jenn,

    Thanks for your friendly, uplifting News of St. John! I have loved reading it and keeping up with my island home away from home through you. Best wishes as you

    • Thank you so much for your ongoing positive st john news.I wish you the best.your tours,your stories are sincere and your Dalton is precious.. A local st john radio wow ! Very Cool..

  99. Jenn always a pleasure for your write about a place I love and can only visit.
    Enjoy the time with your little one and your husband. May your business prosper and thanks again.

  100. Jenn, thanks for all the content over the years. Your blog has helped us keep a connection to our favorite place. We can attest that your tours are fantastic and recommend everyone take one on a future visit. Best of luck!

  101. You have been a comfort and an inspiration to so many people, as well as our connection. Thank you for all you have done to help us visit St. John, in person and virtually. Blessings to you as you embark on the next chapter of your life.

  102. We will miss your “voice” of St John but wish you all the best. Nothing beats time with family! Cheers!

  103. Thank you for all the hours you spent making sure we, those of us who so love St John, were kept up to date with all the important news. You will be so missed. Your island tour is wonderful, so we know you will do so well with the tour and all you do. God bless you!

  104. Thank you, Jenn………..we will miss you! I read your blog every day without fail. I love your style of writing and it keeps me connected to St. John when we can’t be there. We were married on St. John……just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary………..and have been on the island many many times throughout those 15 years. It is paradise and thoroughly understand your love for this island as well. We wish you much success with your business…………stay well. Cheers!!

  105. Thanks for all of the information that you have provided over the years, including “keeping it together” after the hurricanes. We had to cancel our trip this year, but we will look you up when we get to St. John. The best to you and your family.

  106. Jenn, thank you for giving me my daily dose of St John. I love hearing about everything, good and bad, that is happening on the island. All the best to you and your family.

  107. Hi Jenn,
    Thank you sooooo much for your blog. We read it every day. We have been coming to St. John for the past 25 years. It is such a special island. Best of luck to you and your family.
    Marianne Davessar

  108. Thank you for your posts and keeping us connected to StJ. I called my Congressman after the hurricane because of your posts to ask that the Feds help USVI.

  109. Good evening, Jenn, thank you for keeping me connected to the beautiful island, St. John. I have loved and enjoyed your drives around the island along with the updates of progress after the hurricanes while keeping us current with the present pandemic situation during the past weeks. You’ve been kind to share photos of Dalton since he became a little island baby and now as a little island boy. You’ve done a stellar job of sharing island news with your readers, and for that I applaud you. Though I am sad to hear that you have sold News of St. John, I know you’ve given the decision much thought and doing what is best for your family. You’ve enjoyed an amazing adventure with News of St. John. Now you will continue a new chapter in your journey that will include many more adventures. Best wishes to you, and your family, as this new chapter unfolds. Thank you for sharing this little slice of paradise with your readers and me.

  110. Jenn, I’m a faithful reader. I often wondered how you got it all done…this blog, your island tour business and your well known charitable contributions to the health and wellbeing of STJ will be your legacy. Good luck, Bruce Simon (a frequent island visitor)

  111. Jenn Thanks for all the wonderful News of St J. We had the pleasure of meeting you a couple of years ago, at Hansen’s. Love your blog. We wish you the best. Enjoy your family. Life just flies by.
    Charlene & Harlan

  112. Jenn,
    Thx for all the wonderful “excursions” you have taken me on. The I could always picture exactly what you wrote of. Enjoy the extra time with family and next time I’m there, I’ll be on your tours. A heartfelt
    Thanks again. ❤️

  113. Jen – Thank you so much for all that you have done, Michigan is so far from St John and your blog has helped me feel connected with the place I love so much. I wish you the best on your path forward.

  114. Job very well done! You certainly have a lot to be proud of! And that beautiful little boyBest to you on your next adventure! My husband still talks about the tour you took us on in 2018. Such fun! Thank you so much!

  115. As someone who has read this site for everything from pure escapism, to a needed source of news while worrying about island friends and family during hurricanes, I will miss your voice terribly. Good luck with your next chapter!

  116. Jen,

    Thank you for keeping the place we love close to us even though we can’t be there every day. You kept us informed, entertained and helped us keep St John in the fore of our thoughts and longing to return. Congrats to you and your family. It is amazing when you can turn something you love doing into a business. Enjoy the time off – I suspect it won’t the the last venture you undertake.

  117. We wish you the best of luck! St. John has flourished after tough times because of your blog! Enjoy your family!

  118. Thank you for creating this labor of love about the island we all enjoy so much. You provided essential information about St. John during the hurricane, and did it with a fair, honest viewpoint that most of us share with you. We can only hope the new owners of this site can maintain your excellent standards. Best of luck to you and your family.

  119. Jenn, the very best of luck to you and your family. You and your regular updates have been an important part of my daily routine for many years now, and I will miss my morning coffee getting caught up on the happenings on St John. I’ve always valued your honestly and insights. Best of luck as you focus on family and your tours. See you around! Best regards, Ed

  120. Jenn, thanks so much for everything you did for St. John over the years! My husband, my family and I love the island and everything it’s about and your blog was the only way we could stay connected to the character of the island. I totally appreciated your candor about the island during the hurricanes if that helps you feel any better. My parents just bought St Johnopoly and have been playing at home in quarantine in NJ listening to Kenny Chesney. We can’t wait to visit again. When I read you had sold the blog I admit the tears immediately came rolling from my eyes. Although I am so sad to see the end of this beautiful blog, I am so happy for you and your family. Best of luck!

  121. Thank you, Jenn, for everything you have done for us. Your commitment has kept us informed through the good times and bad. You and your talent will be truly missed.

  122. Thank you, Jenn, for feeding our souls with beautiful photos, videos, and web cam footage. Thank you for keeping us informed and allowing us to contribute to a place we LOVE so much. We wish you all the best and hope to see you on a hike tour soon.

  123. As I write this, with a background of White Beach on my left screen and a mosaic canvass picture of Trunk behind me in my Napa office, my soul is once again transported back to the island. I too was a child of the “Good Old Days” but have found a way to give back to the community that showed my family so much love & friendship over the years. This blog was my way of staying in touch with the day to day on island and to understand the issues faced by my island friends.

    Dinged and tarnished from never being removed, my hook bracelet taps gently on my desk as I type; and my heart yearns to come back. Your posts have sustained my island-sick heart for years and made me whole if only for a few precious minutes each day. My family and I cannot thank you enough for your years of service to the island community.

    Thank you Jenn and my best to your family in their new adventure. See you on island.

  124. Thank you for everything! You have been my daily happiness for years because I check your updates every day! I feel you capture the amazing culture of St John, but without “sugar coating” reality. We have considered St John our 2nd home for 15 years through thick & thin. Our visits continue to be our motivation! I hope the next owners will keep up the integrity you have built! As a working mom….take advantage of every minute you have with your family! It is priceless! Congrats on the move and know we will miss your connection. See you on our next visit!!!! Kelly

  125. Jenn, happy for you! Great things happen to great people an keep showing the love for Love City and hope to see you in the future .

  126. Jenn, I found News of ST John, when desperately looking for information about the hurricanes. You had the most information, I could find and I so appreciated how you described everything. My husband and I have been following since then. We went to the fund raising event at Mystic Indoor Sports, CT. I was impressed to see so many people from this area that showed up. Yes ! You have many followers. We have been wanting to go back to the island for a few years, now. Having your posts help us to keep an eye on our favorite place in the world. We will miss you.
    Congratulations on making a big personal decision. You deserve a break and time to spend with your adorable son !!

  127. Oh, Jenn, such mixed emotions: Norm and I are so happy for you as you embark on your new chapter and have more space and time in your life..and so sad to miss you online every morning. You have truly been an inspiration: the Voice of St. John–and your writing has always been honest, positive, open , accurate and filled with love. We could always trust whatever you wrote. We look forward to seeing you and Mike and Dalton when we are back on island–and celebrating you, your amazing accomplishments and your new beginning.

  128. Thank you. I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog. It makes me feel a little bit more connected to St John. Best of luck as you move onward.

  129. Jenn, Thanks for keeping us informed and entertained all these years. It really was almost a daily read for me to get through my daily life and look forward to my next St. John trip.
    Dalton is adorable and I wish you and your family all the best in your future endeavors. I hope the new bloggers are up to the task.
    Thumbs up for following your dreams and doing what makes you happy!!

  130. Hi Jenn — wonderful news for you, but sad news for those of us (like me) who can’t start the day without checking what news you bring from one of our favorite places on earth — 25 years since our honeymoon there and 25+ visits since! We’ve loved this site since Frank began it, and will continue to check in, but your positive energy, comprehensive reporting and manifest affection for the site and your readers can’t be replicated. Thank you for everything and good luck!

  131. We have never officially met, however we feel we know you. We did however encounter you one year, by the Smoothie Stand when you asked if we needed help on our scooter. Your News was a way to stay connected to STJ when not there.
    Jim and Karen

  132. Best wishes on your next adventure! I have enjoyed your blog very much. We visit the island every year except for hurricane year which was 3 weeks prior to our visit that year. We were actually suppose to be there last week and were so sad to not be there. Hopefully we can rebook soon. Thank you again for bringing the beautiful island to us!

  133. Thank you for all of your work on the blog. My husband and I fell in love with St. John several years ago when we took a cruise to the USVI, and have been back twice since, the last time in 2018 and stayed ON the island. There is something magical about St. John, and you have helped keep it alive with your blog. (Plus I am a huge Kenny Chesney fan and St. John is definitely a part of No Shoes Nation!) You have done a fantastic job and you will be greatly missed. I have already “liked” your Explore St. John Facebook page, and I hope to sign up with your tour the next time we are lucky enough to vacation on the island. Take care and best wishes to you and your family!

  134. Jenn,
    Thanks so much for a job very well done. We always enjoyed reading your blog and keeping up with the on-going activity in our winter happy spot. Best of luck in all your future endeavors

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