IAD to STT: nonstop heaven

June 3rd, 2012

After a sometimes rocky but monogamous 12 year relationship with US Airways, we just cheated and we loved it.

United Airlines’ nonstop flight from Dulles to St. Thomas gets you to St. Thomas shortly after noon in a little over three hours, and that puts you back on St. John in time for a late lunch.

It is really almost an entire extra day to enjoy your vacation.

The nonstop Dulles to St. Thomas and nonstop St. Thomas to Dulles route is on Saturdays only and this year is available through mid-August and then resumes again in early November.

The nonstop flight from St. Thomas also gets you back to your D.C. grind when the sun is still up. That makes re-entry a little easier.







Three-peat swimmer winner: Event tops last year’s fundraising

June 2nd, 2012

This year’s Beach-to-Beach Power Swim raised more than $32,000 for Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, $10,000 more than last year.

There were 285 registered swimmers this year, compared to about 200 last year, and the winner of the men’s 3.5 mile Long Course was the same St. Croix teenager who won in 2011 and 2010.

17-year-old Bryson Mays swam the course in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 40 seconds, just shy of his record last year.

Oregon native, and new St. Thomas resident, Brittany Iverson won the Long Course for women, with a record-breaking time of 1 hour, 17 minutes and 37 seconds.

Heather Ruhsam at Friends says there were participants from 29 states, all three US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Tortola, Trinidad, Spain, Mexico and Argentina.

More than 100 volunteers made this year’s Beach-to-Beach swim happen. (Photos courtesy Yelena Rogers.)







Lunch of the Week: Banana Deck

June 1st, 2012

 

Today’s Lunch of the Week takes us to Banana Deck in Cruz Bay.

Here we have the BLT Salad, romaine, cheddar and Jack cheese, tomato, bacon and cucumber with your choice of dressing. $10

And the Burger in Paradise, on homemade Ciabatta roll, with lettuce, tomato, onion, Swiss cheese and bacon, with fries. $11.

The tree top perch looking over Cruz Bay is included.

 







Gifft Hill School student fundraising video

May 31st, 2012

There is one month left to contribute to Gifft Hill School’s Annual Fund, and 9th grade student John Spinale has put together a video with fellow classmates Gemmal Ashly and Jackson Barry to emphasize the importance of giving.

Photographer and videographer Steve Simonsen, also a GHS faculty member, gave the students a little professional guidance too.

Check out the video, and see how many folks you recognize.







A Banana Deck Bloody

May 30th, 2012

Weekends are Make Your Own Bloody Mary time at Banana Deck, and you can make them any way you like.

Banana Deck is a fun place. We’ll take you there for lunch later this week.

In the meantime, make your own Bloody Mary – Brynne will show you how – below…







Blake, the Coral Bay fawn rescue

May 29th, 2012

Say hello to Blake, a whitetail deer fawn found alone and rescued by several caring folks in Coral Bay.

Blake, now about 8 weeks old, spent a little time at the Tourist Trap, making new friends while he was nursed back to health, but you can’t have a deer for a pet and he is now living on protected, private land where wild deer congregate.

“Whitetail deer that are hand raised by humans very easily return to an adoptive herd when they are old enough,” says Cheryl Geller. “He will soon be fully weaned and free to join up with the herd of wild deer that pass through the land he now lives on.”

It’s a bittersweet story for everyone involved in his rescue. All are happy that he made it – the mortality rate of orphaned fawns is 90 percent – and they’re happy he’ll have the chance to live out his life as a wild deer, but he’ll also be missed.

Check out the video Cheryl shot for us, of Blake and her cat Geoffrey. Blake apparently likes his cats clean.







Cool vibe at Motu

May 28th, 2012

Motu just celebrated its two month anniversary, and owner Dawn Burgess is pleased.

“The feedback has been fantastic by both visitors and locals. They love the couches and the laid back feel. Bushwhackers and Mojitos are my biggest sellers,” she says.

Motu is finding its own niche in the Cruz Bay bar scene. It hosts a cocktail party for Grande Bay guests every Monday. And Wednesdays are “Wine Down Wednesdays:” $20 all you can drink wine and sangria from 5 to 7:30.

Check out the cool, granite bar top. (And our $6 rum punches.)







Lunch of the Week: Ocean Grill

May 25th, 2012

Today’s Lunch of the Week takes us to Mongoose Junction and the breezy, open-air Ocean Grill.

Here we have the Tuscan Truffled White Bean Soup, topped with applewood smoked bacon and minced scallion. $12

And the Crispy Beef and Chili Tacos. 3 spicy, but not fiery crisp shell tacos with beef simmered with poblano and jalapeno chilies, bell pepper, onion and spices, tossed with shredded cabbage and shredded cheddar cheese and served with guacamole and pico de gallo. $15

And the Ocean Grill Panko Fried Chicken Sandwich. Chicken breast lightly panko fried, with spicy cole slaw, pepperoncini, tomato and swiss cheese on a toasted knot roll, and served with homemade blue potato salad. $16

Don’t forget dessert.







GHS’s pride and joy – No water required

May 24th, 2012

Gifft Hill School has a soccer field worthy of David Beckham.

The field, named Trayser Field, after long-time GHS supporter Fred Trayser, was completed in 2010.

“The original plan was for a grass field, but after collaborating with our partners at Iowa State University and realizing that grass would require not only mowing and maintenance, but 19,000 gallons of water a month, the decision was made to use artificial turf,” says GHS’s Molly Murrill.

The field gets near constant use. In addition to students, there’s a men’s soccer league that uses it, members of the GHS Fitness Center use it for walking and running, families bring their children to play and it’s even used for baseball, volleyball and flag football.

“The field has dramatically changed our athletic offerings, and the views and breezes are beautiful and the afternoon shade is wonderful,” Molly says.

Read about Gifft Hill School’s field and its upper campus here. It’s a story of great generosity.







Break a record, win a phone

May 23rd, 2012

The 9th Annual Beach-to-Beach Power swim is this Sunday, and if any swimmers break records they’ll get a phone and wireless service for a year.

Choice Wireless is sponsoring special awards for record breaking times by any VI male or female swimmer on any of the three solo distances, and will give record breakers a free Android phone and one year of Choice Wireless service.

There were 200 registered swimmers last year, and Friends of the VINP’s Heather Ruhsam says they’re expecting at least 250 this year.

If you plan on swimming, you’re running out of time to register. Go here.







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