Living in St. Croix – Instagram Photos

I know it has been a long time since I have updated the blog. We are still here and happy in St. Croix. Both happy we moved here and happy we built the house. The cottage rental is going well and it is a pleasure to meet our guests from all over the world. If you have questions about building you may find some answers in the comments of the individual posts.

If you are looking to stay with us at the St. Croix Ocean Vista Honeymoon Cottage you can find all the details here:

Since this site will not be updated regularly you can see some new photos from my Instagram feed below:

St. Croix Ocean Vista Guest Cottage Rental

We finally have our guest cottage available for vacation rentals.  Our first renters are arriving from Georgia this weekend.  If you are interested in coming to visit St. Croix, and you should be, then consider staying at our cottage.  Sorry, no kids, and no smokers, but our rates are great.

 Check out the details on VRBO


House Hunters International on HGTV – St. Croix

I should have posted on here that our show was airing on June 12th, but forgot.  Sorry.  So for those that have not seen it and want to, our episode is airing again on July 27th at 11pm.

Here is the link to showtimes:

Chad, Emily, and Alexandra Bentley


Solar Electric System – Finally online

Eco-Innovations (see update at bottom of post) installed 13 panels in December.  They wired us up in early January.   In early February, DPNR came out to do their inspection.  DPNR finally signed off on our system in early May.  Paperwork immediately handed to WAPA.  WAPA engineers finally came out to inspect this week.  Yesterday they changed out my meter so I can send the energy I produce back into the grid.  After nearly eight months I finally flipped on my panels for the first time this morning.

You can see my system here:

Solar Panels installed 12/15/2011



I found this net metering flow chart on the WAPA website. It gives you an idea of the complexity of the permitting process.

Update 2014:
When choosing a solar provider here in the USVI do keep in mind that the company mentioned above disappears after the install and is unreachable should you have any issues.

Some professional photos and House Hunters International

Well, it took nearly two months, but we finally received our CO (certificate of occupancy).  Yeah, not sure what to say other than I suppose it isn’t surprising it took so long.  DPNR, as with most government agencies here, are not in much of a hurry.

In mid-March HGTV’s House Hunters International was here to film.  We really pushed hard to have the house mostly complete prior to their arrival.  We got quite a bit complete but we lacked decorations and outdoor furniture, and we had bare walls.  Our architects (and interior designer), Hera and Eduardo of Design Lab, lent us a bunch of decorations and asked a few St. Croix businesses to borrow some items.  Pat from Sweet Lime Furnishings lent us some awesome outdoor furniture and some other decorations and Ted Davis from D&D Studio Fine Art Photography in Christiansted lent us some amazing photography for the wall.

Ted Davis came by to take some photos the day of the HHI shoot.  Below are some of the photos he took.  He made our house look incredible.  Thanks Ted.

Guest House Bedroom

We Are In The House

As always, this post arrives a bit late.  We moved in 4 weeks ago.  It was probably a mistake as it has been a bit stressful trying to do “work work” while people around me are doing “house work”.  But each day we are getting closer to having all the essentials completed.  All the interior doors are up and the trim should be completed in the next few days.  We had to build all our door frames because of all the crazy sizes.  All counter-tops, vanities, and sinks are in except for the powder room.  We are still waiting on some things from the Marble Shop out of San Juan that really should have shipped 2 months ago.  It has been extremely difficult to work with them and I won’t recommend them to anyone. The AC units are finally all in. Not all functional yet, but all installed.  They started installation in December and proceeded to come work on them in one hour increments since.  I don’t get it.   Main kitchen cabinets, same thing.  They started before Thanksgiving and we still have a few drawers that don’t function as they should.  The company seems to send a different worker each time they come out.

After finishing our pool we found we had a leak.  The concrete work wasn’t done properly around the skimmer, so we had to remove all the tiles from that area, rework the concrete, apply a sealant, and re-tile.  My pool guy does a decent job….when he shows up.

The house is a bit of a mess at the moment.  Boxes everywhere.  Dust everywhere.  Dust dust dust.  Everywhere.  Fun stuff.

We put in for our final inspections last Tuesday.  The plumbing inspector came out that same day.  Structural and CZM (Coastal Zone Management) both came out Wednesday.  We are now just waiting on electrical inspection.  By getting our Certificate of Occupancy we can move off of the construction electric rates, turn on our solar panels, and move off of our construction loan to our 30-year loan.

The dogs and cat have settled in well.  Besides the barking at all the people in and out of the house all day, they do seem to enjoy it here.  We don’t have a front gate yet so I can’t let them out in the big yard without supervision, but they have the fenced back area for the time being.

Our first guests (my mother and her friend Deb) arrive next Wednesday.  Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that the furniture is going to arrive on time for the guest house.  Sorry Mom. 🙂

Front Door Finally Completed

Front Door Finally Completed. Some grass growing.


Our newly planted Christmas Palm Trees

Our newly planted Christmas Palm Trees (and newly planted grass)



The dogs enjoy the deck

The dogs enjoy the deck



Pelicans have been cruising by my office window non-stop the past two weeks and dive-bombing for their meals right in front of the house.