We spent the better first half of February combing the beautiful, sandy beaches of St. John with the entire Giles family. It was an amazing family vacation!
The trip started off with Carson, Bill and I catching a red-eye flight, stopping over in Newark and continuing on to St. Thomas. Getting there wasn't too bad, Carson and Bill slept while I was filled with anticipation of our upcoming adventure. During our layover in Newark we pointed out planes to Carson and watched the sunrise over beautiful, New York City, with the Empire State building making its mark as the perfect backdrop. Carson was mesmerized with the all of the planes. It was during our last leg that things got interesting. I think we were all just anxious to get to our final destination!
When we finally landed in the gorgeous island of St. Thomas, we were greeted by rays of sunshine and the sunny smiles of Lisa, Tom, Max and Ava! We were lucky all of our luggage fit in the back of the roomy minivan. Between strollers, carry-ons and suitcases (plus 7 people) we were packed in like sardines...and happy as clams that we were finally on our way!
First stop was the grocery store, where we were introduced to some island culture (a little Bob Marley blaring from a boom box by a rasta local (We Be Jah Mon). I waited in the car with sleeping kiddos while the rest of the adults got us stocked on food for the next 12 days. Our journey to St. John continued when we loaded a "ferry"...that let's just say was not the typical Washington State ferry.
When we finally arrived at our destination, The Westin St. John Resort & Villas, Grammy and Grandpa Giles were there to greet us! Vacation had finally started...or so we thought. We had to get through the initial first few days to adjusting to a new schedule and Carson had get over a bug. THEN vacation officially started!
The Westin was absolutely beautiful and filled with every amenity imaginable. I will never forget on the first night we headed to the resort beach bear to watch the opening ceremonies of the SuperBowl on a 30' x 30' "TV". It was amazing to feel the ocean breeze, hear Alicia Keys singing the National Anthem and be surrounded by family. A moment I won't soon forget.
We had sunshine almost everyday and all of the cousins got along famously. Especially Amelia and Max who could have been mistaken as twins. Carson loved hanging out with everyone and would drag his cousins around like a puppy dog. He grabbed hold of any article of clothing and wouldn't let go. Carson also loved pooltime and made sure to say hello to each sunbather attempting to read a book. He had to make his presence be known and would walk right up and say, "HI"!!! I call him our little Mayor...making nice with everyone just like his Dada.
A few of my favorite St. John moments:
-Drinks the second day with Steve and Jennine at Sun Dog Cafe (in our failed attempt to find a camera and flip flops!).
-Anneberg Sugar Plantation with Bill, Carson, Barb and Steve...it was just gorgeous!
-Snorkeling around the different bays with Jennine, Steve and Bob.
-Date night with Bill, Jennine, Steve, Lisa and Tom at Morgan's Mango.
-Dancing to Beyonce in the living room with Lisa, Carson and Ava.
-Date night with just Bill and I at Ocean Club.
-Max's birthday celebration with entire family.
-Bill's birthday celebration the evening before we left.
-Paddleboarding around the bay with Jennine and Mira...checking out our dream homes.
-Watching Carson play in the sand and run around with his Giles cousins...the entire trip!
Such and amazing time. And a special thanks to Miss Mira for letting me borrow her camera to capture these images!
|Thank you Grammy and Grampa Giles for an amazing time!|
|Carson and I LOVED the Iguanas. 5 or 6 would bask in the sun right outside of our door.|
|The Resort right after a downpour.|
|Carson pointing out the boats to Bill.|
|Spent a lot of time trying to keep lil' man from jumping into the pool!|
|Enjoying some pool time and smoothies.|
|Cousins playing in the sand.|
|The perfect day.|
|He wanted to swim with the big kids.|
|A few days spent with a sick baby on vacation meant extra cuddle time...I didn't mind.|
|Handstands in the sand! Go Mira!|
|Living the good life poolside!|
|Grammy and Carson digging in the sand.|
|Loving lunch poolside.|
|Carson trying to coax Max into feeling better!|
|Building sand castles is serious business.|
|My lil' beach bum.|
|He will kill me for this later, but look at those thighs!|
|Palm Trees and blue skies...awesome!|
|Barb, Steve and Bill checking out the views from Annaberg Sugar Plantation.|
|View from Annaberg Sugar Plantation.|
|How we spent most of our days.|
|Waiting out the rainstorm in the lobby. Is it just me or does he look about 3 in this pic?|
|Happy 6th Birthday, cousin Max!|
|That cake is good!!|
|Kaneel Bay from a distance.|
|He is ALL boy and loved playing in the sand.|
|First watermelon from the rind...loved it!|
|Happy "early" Birthday to Bill. Thx to the family for making it special!|
|Make a wish on that HUGE mudslide! Good thing we could walk home :).|
|Mira, Lisa and I on the last night. Here is to a wonderful St. John trip.|
|I think he could get used to this place. Taken on the first day!|
|Max and Nolan waiting for the next big wave!|
|The entire crew on our last hurrah!|
|The boys on date night.|
|Kind of love this pic taken on Valentine's Day (after we had left).|
This one goes down in the books!