Martha Stewart features recent trip to St. Croix on her blog


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ST. CROIX - Martha Stewart, who spent the holidays on St. Croix, has been showcasing the island on her official blog.

"This past Christmas, I had a quiet and relaxing getaway with my family on the Caribbean island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands," begins one of the posts - which features 62 pictures of the island, many showing off the scenery to its best advantage. Local bounty - food, produce and farm animals - is also featured. There is even a nod to the coquito.

Titled "My First Holiday Vacation Blog from St. Croix," the Jan. 14 post chronicles some of Stewart's visit, including a trip to the La Reine Chicken Shack, which she proclaims to be her favorite restaurant on the island; Point Udall; Christiansted's historic sites and a farmer's market. There are even daytime pictures taken through the gate at Carnival Village.

In a second post, titled "A Visit to Cane Garden in St. Croix," Stewart chronicles a tour she took of Cane Garden, a private estate that was once a sugar plantation. That post, published Jan. 15, features 65 pictures of Cane Garden, its furnishings and environs.

It wasn't clear on Friday whether another post about St. Croix might be forthcoming on the blog. The Daily News was unable to interview Stewart.

A multitude of comments on both posts include quite a few from Crucians, thanking Stewart for the visit and the posts.

Stewart - who has 2.9 million followers on Twitter - also tweeted a couple of times from St. Croix, at one point proclaiming it to be a beautiful evening on the beach.

Luca and Christina Gasperi run ARTfarm, a small local farm that Stewart and some of her friends toured while she was on island.

Christina Gasperi said they took Stewart around the farm, through all its gardens, and then out to see their sheep.

"It was nice. She had so much enthusiasm. She was talking about all the different fruits she'd tried here," Christina Gasperi said. "It was fun. They were really nice."

She said Stewart seemed interested in the farming operation.

"I just enjoyed how curious she was," Gasperi said. "She had a lot of different questions. I love it when people come to visit the farm and they're really interested."

In a phone interview, V.I. Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty said that the publicity from someone so widely-known could prove to be a boon to local tourism.

"First, we are so happy that she selected St. Croix for her holiday vacation," Nicholson-Doty said. "I think that was fantastic. I think it speaks to the fact that awareness of St. Croix has been building."

Nicholson-Doty said the fact that Stewart is featuring St. Croix on her blog - and in such a positive light - has tremendous marketing value for the island.

"The fact that she had a positive experience and is so willing to share it is great," Nicholson-Doty said.

Tourism had already planned on launching a national advertising campaign focusing on St. Croix in the coming weeks, which features the theme of "Finding Your Bliss" on the island, whether that means adventure, romance, or culture and history, Nicholson-Doty said.

She said she hopes Tourism's campaign is able to build on the positive publicity that is out there now.

"We hope to remain top of mind," Nicholson-Doty said.

Stewart's blog is www.themarthablog.com. Links to archived posts are on the right column.

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