Don’t you just hate it when people brag about their tropical vacations while you’re stuck at home trying to swaddle yourself in layers of sweatshirts and blankets?
Yea, me too.
Good thing this wasn’t a vacation then. It was work.
And sometimes, you need to work in beautiful, stunning, tropical places.
The school district where I’m employed has an amazingly supportive administration to the arts. The high school band travels every two years to some pretty freaking cool places to play a partnership concert. This year: Tortola BVI.
Oh, sorry, British Virgin Islands. BVI is what us insiders call it 😉
It’s a little beautiful island just a ferry ride away from St. Thomas.
And look who was asked to chaperone… that’s right, this elementary band teacher 🙂
We have squirrels. They have roosters.
Seriously, they’re everywhere.
And I may have gone a little overboard with following one around photographing it. National Geographic eat your heart out.
Seriously, do you know how hard it was to get a photo of a rooster standing still. They never stop moving!
This is how all us chaperones felt after not getting a ton of sleep throughout the trip:
One of our kids spotted this little baby chick. She picked it up. #fearless
Getting 120-something people around the island was no easy task. There was lots of taking attendance to make sure we had everyone.
We had an entourage of sweet open-air trolleys. These were two of the trolley drivers.
As one of the kids told me, this was my attempt of being artsy.
And I don’t know why, but that 2nd photo reminds me of Wall-E. It’s in the eyes.
There were these little shops right next to our hotel full of the typically touristy garbage. Normally I can’t resist said garbage and end up getting stuff that just gets thrown out eventually anyway. Thankfully for my wallet, I had a moment of self-restraint.
Now isn’t this just cutesy… the travel agency had a little DJ dance party scheduled at the hotel one night and the kids all named the night Band Prom.
Total band nerds, I know. And I love it.
Now listen, sure there was a bit of pleasure in touring the island of Tortola. Breaking out shorts and tshirts in February was pretty satisfying. Yes, a hike in the mountain of Tortola was pretty cool, as was spending a few hours at the beach in crystal clear water.
Although, side note, I’m honestly not a fan of going to beaches. Sand gets all over you. Sunscreen is gross. My milkly white complexion is not what you would call ideal beach material.
Another side note.. who goes to an island in the Carribean and comes back paler than when he left? This guy. Really. Somehow I got negative color.
But the real reason for our visit. The purpose for us traveling internationally (any idea how long it takes to check in 120 high school students at the airport and to get through customs???) was to perform with the Tortola BVI high school band.
It was actually pretty darn cool.
I’ve been playing trumpet for over 20 years at this point. Sure I’ve played at some pretty cool venues with some spectacular ensembles (including a Christmas Eve service at a church in NYC where President Clinton and his family were in attendance. My big claim to fame. woot.), but never have I had the chance to perform internationally.
These kids already have that on their resume now. Like I said, that’s cool, especially if you’re a band nerd like myself.
We got the chance to rehearse in the hotel’s conference room.
And then it was concert time. The kids played great.
And those would be the kids. They are a fun, wacky, talented bunch.
Now I can’t wait to see where the band decides to go two years from now 😉
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that our home is offically for sale. It’s crazy scary yet super exciting at the same time.
I bought this house exactly one month before I met Asheley. My friends and I all thought this was going to be the ultimate bachelor pad. I was the first one to own a house, making it prime real estate for single guy revelry.
And then, boom. Asheley. It’s funny how God works.
Oh, you think it’s going to be your party bachelor pad? Here, meet your wife.
This is how I know He has a great sense of humor
…and really, His plan for this house was way better than my plan. Because Asheley is amazing.
The hardest part about selling is that the house has to be pristine at all times for surprise last minute showings.
Thankfully I have the best wife ever and she has been taking care of keeping that on point. She even tries to vacuum all the carpet in the house quickly every morning so there are fresh “vacuum lines” for potential buyers.
This is our sweet basement. No, the couch does not just face a random wall. That would be weird. There’s a tv just out of view.
And all those frames on the wall are some of the autographs I’ve collected over the years. Did I ever tell you that back in college my little “business” was getting and then selling autographs? It was pretty cool. Met a bunch of athletes and celebrities. Have some really cool stories, including Sylvester Stallone threatening me, a totally plastered David Lee Roth (of Van Halen) asking me to help him find his car and driver, and oh jeez, so so many more. Crazy times.
I’ll share more about my celebrity adventures another time…
I literally had thousands and thousands of signed photos and memorabilia at one point. I just sold off almost all my collection a few years back to financially feed my current obsession… photography 🙂
But I digress.
So that’s a little inside look of our home. I won’t bore you with photos of all the rooms. But rest assured it’s a pretty awesome place to live. Oh, and big thanks to LI Home Photos for taking all the photos of our house. He was really great.
We’re excited for the next chapter of our lives, when we get to find a home together. And not going to lie… I’m looking for one fantastic entertaining set-up. Open floor plan. Kick butt kitchen. Heck yea.
What an exciting news! That’s a really beautiful island. All the best with the move and new job, Chris!
As a former band nerd I can definitely say that your trip must have been a great opportunity and experience for those kids! Looks like fun, even as a chaperone 😉
Wow – what gorgeous scenery!!! God does have a sense of humor indeed – not only did he send Ashley your way at the most opportune time, but he is letting me view your GORGEOUS “work trip” photos from behind a computer! 🙂
This scenery is simply breathtaking – even the roosters!
4 years of high school band and marching band under my belt so I guess you can consider me a band nerd too (Flute and Color guard so top tier nerd I guess you could say 😉 What an awesome trip…I can remember one year we went to cruise to Bermuda on a band trip and it was definitely awesome. Although it would have been alot cooler if I could consider a trip like that “work.” I had to sell a dam lot of citrus fruit to get on that trip. Our marching band also got to play in Giant Stadium (back when it was). Even though my Mom sort of forced me to take band I’m really glad she did.
Best of luck with the house, but looks like you guys won’t need it! Can’t wait to see your new kitchen.
Kelly - LEFT SIDE OF THE TABLE
Good thing you clarified BVL, Chris! I was lost for a millisecond! Looks like a lovely spot. I bet it’s a weird thing to sell your home. But onto another chapter 😉 Thanks for sharing!
I love hearing about people’s vacations! Your pictures are beautiful. 🙂 I’m afraid of roosters so you’d never see me near one! Hehe.
What a cool trip you had, Chris! I love your ‘artsy’ photos, especially the black and white ones! Your home looks sooo cool,too. If I was going to live over there, I’d buy it!
Nice to get these little insights into bloggers’ lives outside of the kitchen! Have a great weekend!
Aw this was such a lovely post to read! Looks like you had a wonderful time in Tortola. The scenery is just gorgeous!
That is really really cool that your school supports trips like that! I burn like crazy so as much as I say I would like to go on a tropical vacation I really would prefer to go to the mountains or something like that : ) Good luck selling the house – hope you guys get an offer fast so you don’t have to keep it quite as spotless for long!
Sarah & Arkadi
wow! we so jealous for your little trip there! awesome! hope the sale of your house goes well and smoothly!
Yeah, not gonna lie, I’m jealous of your vacation! It looks awesome. I may be more jealous of your autographs. That is super cool. I have lots of Disney character autographs from a Disney World trip when I was five 😉
Hahaha I used to have that Disney autograph book lying around somewhere. My most prized Disney autograph was definitely Figment and The Dreamfinder!
I don’t know what it means to sell a house, but I have been on the buying side and keeping it in proper shape at all time is definitely a must. Some people do not have much imagination, so when searching they want to see everything to the tea. Oh, and your trip sounds fabulous, I’d lie if I said I’n not a little jealous 🙂
I’m gonna say it, I am green with envy of your vacation. Tortola looks like heaven on earth, I so want to go there!!!
I need a job that sends me to fancy places too! Lucky duck!
Haha yea not going to lie, it was great 😉
Wow, it looks beautiful there, thanks for sharing these awesome pics! Good luck selling your house and hopefully you get an offer fast so that you can get back to your regular routine and not have to worry so much about keeping the place spotless.
It was definitely beautiful there! And thanks for the good wishes! We can’t wait to get back into the regular routine of us leaving piles of stuff everywhere 🙂
I don’t think you’ll have any trouble selling your house…it looks marvelous! And what a great trip to the BVI…nice time of year to go somewhere hot! And your photos, especially the rooster shots, are incredible!
Thanks so much Liz! I was really happy when I finally got that freaking rooster to sit still for a second. I looked like an idiot chasing it up and down the beach!
Oh nice. I went to St. Thomas back in my youth. It is so beautiful in that area, the water is absolutely gorgeous! I’m jealous … well except for the traveling with a bunch of kids part. lol
Haha, c’mon Nicole. You know you secretely want to cross off “traveling internationally while being in charge of the safety and well-being of 120 students” off your bucket list!