You know on off to a great start when your husband gets to sit next to Roland Williams on the small commuter plane from Miami (I’m a big fan of the MIA! – second best airport in the country) to St. John’s. I learned who Glenn’s row partner was when I recognized and then asked “Is that a Superbowl ring you’re wearing?” Mr. Williams is warm, wonderful and gracious and kept Glenn entertained during our short flight. He also played tight end on the Raiders trip to the 2003 Superbowl. Sadly, the Raiders lost to the Buccaneers but Mr. Williams still won a ring which he let me try on! (see pix below.) In exchange I offer this link to the website for his foundation – Youth Lifeline America – a non-profit organization that harnesses the powerful influence of arts, entertainment, sports, celebrity athletes, entertainers and business professionals to teach youth valuable life skills necessary to become more productive individuals.
And on to St. John’s! Glenn and I were on a “Sierra Club Service Trip” working in conjunction with the US National Park Service – about 80% of the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands is National Park. We did some trail maintenance and eradication of invasive plants on the beaches and trails. The picture of me digging in the sand – it’s not an elaborate sand castle – I’m removing an invasive plant that is at the point where the turtles will not use this gorgeous beach to lay their eggs. So, after our work, the park service is hoping the turtles will return! The old plantation house (Par Force) was practically covered in vines when we arrived. We cleared off the front porch, cook house and entrance. Without this kind of volunteer work force the house would probably be engulfed by vines and literally disappear in about a year.
To reward ourselves after a week of hard but fun and rewarding labor we traveled to St. Thomas and the funky and comfortable Bolongo Bay Beach Resort where I discovered the zen of paddle-boarding. The last days in the Caribbean and my reward for cutting vines and uprooting invasives – worth every second.