New York City, New York

New York City is undoubtedly one of my favorite cities. The excitement, energy and endless opportunities for something new are unmatched. This trip was a girls’ trip with one of my absolute favorite people and it’s not one we will be forgetting anytime soon.

Arriving about an hour earlier than my friend, I dropped luggage at the hotel concierge and decided to take a stroll in Central Park. We stayed at the Essex House on Central Park South, so it seemed like the obvious place to kill time. Once my friend made it to the city, I met her at the hotel before making our way to Butter Midtown to enjoy a delicious late lunch.

Central Park - New York City, New York

Central Park – New York City, New York

Friday night we had tickets to see Cabaret, which is performed at Studio 54 Theatre. The interior of the theatre was intimate and the details were incredible. The carpet was leopard print, the downstairs seated area had small cabaret styled tables with lamps that helped set the ambiance and overall was much smaller than I expected. The show was fantastic and highly recommended!

Cabaret - Studio 54 Theatre

Cabaret – Studio 54 Theatre

Studio 54 Theatre

Inside Studio 54 Theatre

Studio 54 Theatre

Lighting in the foyer of Studio 54 Theatre

After the show we walked back to the hotel by way of Times Square. Summer is not the best time to visit this area, since it is crawling with tourist, however no trip to New York City is complete without at least one glimpse of Times Square.

Times Square - New York City

Times Square

Saturday the weather could not have been any better. It was 70 degrees, sunny and the city was alive. The day started by catching the subway down to The High Line. The High Line Park is an elevated public park that was once railroad tracks. We enjoyed the walk, landscape and city views. Great views of the West Side of New York City can be seen from the park and a different perspective than what is seen while walking at street level. This park is a cool use of something historic that was almost demolished at one time. If interested in reading more about the history of The High Line, you can do so here.

The High Line - New York City, New York

views from The High Line – New York City, New York

a view down The High Line - New York City, New York

a view down The High Line

Empire State Building view from The High Line

a view of The Empire State Building from The High Line

The High Line - New York City

view of the West Side from The High Line

The High Line - New York City, New York

another West Side view from The High Line

Hudson River from The High Line

a view of Hudson River from The High Line

Leaving The High Line we walked to Soho to grab brunch at Hundred Acres before heading to the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market at 39th and 9th.

Hell's Kitchen Flea Market

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

We decided to walk back and detour slightly to make a stop at Grand Central Station. Walking past the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building on the way were an added bonus.

Chrysler Building - New York City, New York

Chrysler Building

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Grand Central Station

inside Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall was the plan for the night. What an incredible show! She truly is the original diva. If ever given the opportunity to see her perform live, do it.

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall

inside Radio City Music Hall

inside Radio City waiting on Aretha Franklin

Sunday was another beautiful, sunny day so we spent some time in Central Park before catching our flights home.

baseball game Central Park

watching a baseball game in Central Park

Central Park

another shot in Central Park

New York City never fails to be less than amazing. Counting the days until we meet again. Until next time NYC.

Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Sailing is the one adventure we undoubtedly knew we would embark upon while visiting St. John. My dad has always wanted to sail through the Caribbean, and has yet to do it, so this was the perfect opportunity to make that happen. We opted to do a private charter on a regular sailboat, versus a catamaran, which proved to be an excellent decision. Cloud 9 Sailing Adventures is the company we used and chose a sailing trip to Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands, which included a snorkel stop in Lovango Cay.

We started in Cruz Bay and headed to Lovango Cay, where we snorkeled for a little while before sailing to Jost Van Dyke. This was my 4 year old’s first snorkeling experience. She can swim but since she was not able to tread water for a long time, she used a mat to float on while checking out the beautiful tropical fish. This was awesome.

St. John, US Virgin Islands - Lovango Cay

Snorkeling in Lovango Cay, St. John, US Virgin Islands

When we arrived on the island, we first went through customs then walked to the world famous Foxy’s for lunch. Foxy’s has so much character! It is also worth noting that the Chicken Roti at Foxy’s is unbelievably delicious!

Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Welcome to Jost Van Dyke, Britsh Virgin Islands

Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Customs – Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Foxy's - Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Foxy’s – You must try the Chicken Roti

Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Swinging in the tree outside of Foxy’s while waiting on lunch

Great Harbour - Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

more of Great Harbour – Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

When finishing lunch we sailed over to White Bay and swam to the beach. It was a beautiful day to bask in the Sun and be entertained by an interesting crowd. After a few painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar, we enjoyed a calm and perfect sail back into Cruz Bay.

Caribbean Sailing

Sailing back to St. John in the beautiful Caribbean

My dad had a perma-grin on his face the entire day, we all had a blast and the trip turned out to be one we will never forget.

St. John, US Virgin Islands

When searching for a place to go for our family vacation this year, the Caribbean was at the forefront of our search. My husband, Caleb, and I had not been to the Caribbean since our honeymoon, which was over 7 years ago, and some of the other family members had never been. It was time to go back.

After an exhaustive search, St. John began to look like this year’s spot. We rented a house overlooking Fish Bay and the views from all areas of the house were stunning. These are a few photos from the balcony at different times of day.

Fish Bay, St. John, USVI

panoramic shot at sunset from the balcony

St. John, USVI - Fish Bay

St. John, USVI – Fish Bay

St. John is a quintessential location for relaxation time spent on the beach. A must see while visiting St. John was the infamous Trunk Bay, which is located in Virgin Islands National Park. It did not disappoint.

St. John, USVI - Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay – St. John, USVI

A couple of the other beaches we checked out were Cinnamon Bay and Honeymoon Beach. Each was beautiful, had its own vibe and provided options for water sports and activities. We all agreed Cinnamon Bay had the best snorkeling.

St. John, USVI - Cinnamon Bay

My daughter having a blast at Cinnamon Bay.

St. John, USVI - Cinnamon Bay

panoramic view of Cinnamon Bay

St. John, USVI - Honeymoon Beach

panoramic view of Honeymoon Beach

Distinctive flowers were scattered throughout the island. These are a few which made an impression.

St. John, USVI - Flowers

Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis)

Orange Flamboyant Tree - St. John, USVI

Orange Flamboyant Tree (Delonix regia) – Caneel Bay

Umbrella Tree - St. John, USVI

Umbrella Tree or Octopus Tree (Schefflera actinophylla)

While waiting to board the ferry back to St. Thomas, I snapped a few final shots of Cruz Bay.

St. John, USVI - Cruz Bay

St. John, USVI – Cruz Bay

St. John, USVI - Cruz Bay

St. John, USVI – Cruz Bay

St. John, USVI - Cruz Bay

St. John, USVI – Cruz Bay

St. John was an amazing vacation and the views were breathtaking. It’s never easy to leave such a beautiful location. Check back for the next post which will detail our day sailing trip to Jost Van Dyke, BVI!