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Crocus Bay Beach

June 7 – Monday

Gabriel was woken up by the bright sun shining on his face before 6:30, so I wheeled his crib into the bathroom where it is quiet and quite a bit darker.  He slept for another hour or so and then took two more naps before we got to leave for the day – a nap after breakfast and a nap after lunch – so we had a late start.  In the morning, we sat outside on the porch and watched the birds dive for fish.  It was so neat to watch them soar over the water, looking for fish, and then dive into the water.  Then they would just float on the water for a while so they could eat or just relax.  The boys got a kick out of it.  Ezekiel and I went to the pool, which was delightful, during Gabriel’s nap after lunch.

We decided to go to a new beach called Crocus Bay Beach.  It was really easy to find and there was a store there and a couple of restaurants.  The store called Why Knot was featured in some magazines and some Anguilla books as a must-see shop since their product was the most original Caribbean piece on the island.  I got a top that can be worn 6 different ways and seems really easy to wear.  It was really neat.  Then we hoped into the water.  There were chairs and umbrellas for rent, but if you ate at the restaurant, you got them for free.  However since it was way past lunch and they were getting ready to close, we got to use them for free.  Monday was a new day for Gabriel.  He LOVED the sand!!  YIPPEE!!  He sat right down in it and started playing in it.  It was really hot sand, but neither of the boys seemed to mind.  They just used their buckets and shovels and sand molds and had a great time.  Of course they got our chairs all sandy as well, but that’s alright.

The bad thing about the water here was that it had a lot of rocks in the water until you get to a certain point and then it’s okay.  I wore my sandals in the water, but then you get rocks in your sandals and that hurts just as much.  So once you are in, it’s fine, but getting in and out is a pain, literally!  While I was in the water, their was the little fish that kept following me around everywhere I went.  I tried shaking him off by splashing a bunch, dunking myself under the water, swimming away – everything – but I could not shake that fish . . . until Josh came into the water!  I finally got rid of it, for a while, as it went to Josh.  He didn’t want it around him for fear it would go up his trunks and stay or nibble on him!  HA!  We laughed so much about this little, tiny, harmless fish that would not leave us alone.  We tried to ignore it, but couldn’t.  The little guy finally left us alone when this huge school of fish came charging at us, running right into our legs, and swimming as fast as they could.  We screamed and laughed and got out of there!  It was hilarious!  We got back in a while later and no fish were around this time.

So, we packed up, headed back, showered, got dressed for dinner, and went to The Ferryboat Inn for dinner.  We were wanting a good, juicy burger for dinner and have read that they have the best burgers on the island.  So we both got an 8 oz burger with cheese and mushrooms and it was wonderful!  The boys just ate chicken salad and crackers and our french fries.  Monday was such a wonderful day!

I also wanted to remind everyone about the pictures. Just go to photos tab in the menu and several categories will drop down. We will be adding pictures to these categories throughout the month so just because you don’t see a new category doesn’t mean there are not new pictures.  In fact, Josh has added several pictures to each category every night from that day’s adventures.

Closer Look at Our First Few Days on Anguilla

We’ve been so busy enjoying ourselves that I have gotten behind on my portion of the blog updates. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the pictures and videos Josh has gotten up so far. Here is a look back at our first few days. I’ll try to update more often so there isn’t so much to write (& read) all at once.

Wednesday, June 2 -

Our first full day here, we got up, got in our bathing suits, got all lathered up, and headed to Shoal Bay East Beach!  Maria, the inn keeper, told us to find the Tropical Sunset restaurant and tell them Maria from Arawak Beach Inn sent us and they would give us the chairs and umbrella for free (some rent for $5-25).  Man was it pretty.  The water was crystal clear and the white sand was glistening with a few sea shells.  Boy were we ready to get in that water!  It was so hot and we were so sweaty and the water was so nice and refreshing!  Gabriel stayed out of the sand – he didn’t like it one bit.  He loves the sand box back home, but not here.  Ezekiel, of course, loved the sand and the water!  We ate our lunch on the beach, Gabriel napped, and we all played.  We met a family of four from Germany and another family of 6 from Pennsylvania.  The lady from Pennsylvania was so excited to meet someone else who spoke English, which is funny because English is the national language!  She was so funny!  Then before we got scorched, we went back to our place and just as we arrived both boys had fallen asleep. We turned around and went to the grocery store. So I read my book in the car while the boys were sleeping and Josh shopped. The boys woke up just as Josh was finishing so we headed back to the room got in the pool to rinse off the salt water and cool off some more.  Then we got all showered and dressed and made penne pasta alfredo for dinner.  We hung out at the pool with the Inn Keeper, Maria, and the other guests, and listened to some local musicians play acoustic guitar and sing. It was wonderful! Then we collapsed into bed, still tired from our travels and our big day.

Thursday, June 3 -

Well, we basically did the same thing the next day, even going to the same beach!  Why not go to that beach when the chairs and umbrella are free?!  You can’t beat that!  We loved it again!  Gabriel still wasn’t all that keen on either the water or the sand, but Ezekiel absolutely loved it!  There wasn’t many people on the beach, so we just kept an eye on both boys and got in the water when we wanted.  Everyone is so nice there and we feel safe!  No kidnapping worries, like some thought there might be (HA).  So, again, we played in the water and the sand, ate our lunch, and Gabriel slept in his stroller.  We packed up, got in the car and decided to go exploring a little, hoping the boys would take a nap.

So we went driving and of course the boys feel right to sleep!  We went out trying to find anything recognizable and came upon this really expensive, high-end resort that all the rich and/or crazy people go to, called Cuisin Art Resort & Spa which is on Rendezvous Bay (prices start at $400/night for a standard double room).  Since the boys were asleep, Josh and I had to explore in shifts, but it was so nice.  We still had on our bathing suits and cover-up for me, along with our sandy feet in our sandy beach shoes.  So I’m walking in this nice fancy lobby of this ritzy resort and boy do I feel out of place!  I almost ran out of there, but I acted like I belonged there and made my way through the lobby and out by the pool.  The pool is long and skinny and stair steps all the way down from the resort to the beach. I followed it down and walked along the water on the beach!  It was gorgeous!  The sand is a little different than Shoal Bay East where we have been going.  It was such a nice beach!  I reluctantly went back to the car so Josh could have a turn.  He wasn’t gone near as long, but he found out more than me by talking to the concierge about this neat greenhouse and snorkeling options (but more about that after we go there).

So we decided we did enough exploring and needed to head back and get cooled off. We didn’t have a watch, but we knew it had to be close to dinner time by then, so we went to this little van of a restaurant called Hungrys!  We met one of the locals there and he talked our heads off.  He was real helpful of what to eat and where to go that the locals like.  He was so funny!  You should see a picture of him and the menu on our photos page.  So we ordered conch soup (which was weird – the texture was so different and wasn’t good in our opinion), lobster quesadilla, cheese quesadilla for the boys (however they gave us chicken quesadilla instead) , and vegetable pasta.  It was really good.

Friday, June 4th -

Today we pretty much did the same thing again.  Same beach and same pool.  Then same food as the day before – leftovers.  Really relaxing and really nice.  We have been such bums!  So nice not to have to be anywhere or do anything and to do or not do whatever we want.  We haven’t been wearing our watches, so we eat when we are hungry and sleep when we are tired.  Very nice.

Saturday, June 5th -

Unlike the other days, we did not go to the beach!  Instead we got dressed in shorts and t-shirts and actual socks and shoes.  I put on make-up and fixed my hair, even.  First stop was breakfast at Le Bon Pain (pronounced Lay Bon Pon) which is a French bakery – supposedly the best on the island.  It was delicious!!!  We had a chocolate pastry with walnuts, pecans, and almonds, a chocolate croissant, a buttered croissant, and a pineapple pastry for $6.50 US.  We will probably go there at least once or twice a week.

Then we went shopping and exploring.  We went to this one Exotic Shirt store that sells these goat t-shirts.  It’s an Anguillan joke since there are so many goats here.  All the books on Anguilla say to watch out for kids of both kinds.  They all belong to the locals here (not wild), but some roam around without fences or anything.  Goats are like cows – a food source. Maria said if you accidentally run over a goat, then make sure you pick it up and take it back where it belongs.  She said that they will then say they will cook it up for dinner that night!  Yum!   They really like their goats here.  So then we went a little more shopping, trying to find some souvenirs for family and the boys.  We went to this art gallery that different local artists make.  We were too indecisive to buy anything and wanted to shop around more too.

It was about lunch time so we decided to try out the “Corn Soup Lady”.  She makes a HUGE pot of corn soup and several small pots of different kinds of soup like chicken, goat, conch, etc. and sets up street side under a tent every Saturday and sells it until she runs out.  We had to get the corn soup and it was delicious!  She puts in corn, peas (not the green kind Americans think of), and various other veggies, finger-sized dumplings, and pigtail for flavoring.  I didn’t try the pigtail, but the soup was amazing!  Josh said the pig tail is kind of like chicken neck – not very meaty. She also makes barbecue chicken and johnny cakes (see our Food pictures).

Then Gabriel and I took naps while Josh got our dinner at Ken’s BBQ before he ran out.  He got us 3 racks of ribs and some garlic bread.  For one rack of ribs it’s $6!!!  WOW!!  $6!!!  The garlic bread was $1. What a great deal!  Then he got some pasta salad and slaw at Fat Cat’s Gourmet shop to go with our meal.  So when Josh got back, he and Ezekiel went to the pool while Gabe and I slept.  Then Ezekiel and Josh came back to the room and Ezekiel was so excited about seeing 2 lizards on the path back that he told me about them and woke us both up.  So then we all went to the pool, then showered, and had our dinner.  What a great food day we had!  We had 3 great meals and we still can enjoy the leftovers another day!  YUMMY!  So we again hung out at the pool and visited with everyone.  Then off to dreamland for us all.

Sunday, June 6th -

YIPPEE!!  Gabriel slept in until 9:30 this morning!!  He was in such a good mood that we decided to venture to another beach a little further down the island.  We weren’t quite sure how to get there, but we knew we could follow the map.  So we got ready, said goodbye to Tom, the guy from Toronto Canada, and headed on our way.  So after we went through the Valley, around the round-about, turning left, then through 2 stop lights and then turned left, trying to find the 3rd stoplight and the next round-about, we finally made it to Jeremiah Gumbs Highway (mind you there are almost no street signs until you get to the round-about and if it’s a major highway).  So we knew that there was a little road to the beach we wanted to go to, Little Harbour, however there were no signs to the beach.  We saw signs to Little Harbour Village and then to different Villas, but not a single one to the beach.  We got so turned around trying to find it and almost got lost, that we decided to give up after about an hour of trying to find it.  Gabriel was still awake, but we had to revert to the paci to keep him happy and Ezekiel was sound asleep.

We finally decided to go to another beach, any beach that we came across and finally made it to our second choice of the day, Savannah Bay. The local’s call it Junk’s Hole. Luckily we recognized a restaurant in all our studies that was on that beach and followed the signs to there.  So after 2 hours of driving, we finally made it to the beach.  Now, let me remind you that the island is just 17 miles long and 3 miles wide, so how we took 2 hours to find a beach on an island that is only 20 square miles, I have no idea.  We weren’t laughing then, but we are now.  So, Savannah Bay was really nice.  There weren’t any chairs and umbrellas to rent, but there was snorkeling gear that is normally $5/day from the beach restaurant or free with lunch. We had already eaten lunch, but Nat, the owner, gave it to us for free anyway.we got for free.

There was a ton of fish around, so we took turns snorkeling and used our water video camera to film the fish.  It was so neat.  We met some other people and they said that if you swim out a little further, then you can see lobster.  So my goal was to swim out close to this huge rock in the water that was a little ways out, but not too far.  So I’m snorkeling out to the rock and I’m following this little fish and see some rocks on the ocean floor.  I think I’m getting closer and closer to the rock, but as I pop up to check how close I am I see beach!  Now how in the world did that happen?  I got so twisted around, thinking I was doing good, only to find myself back where I started.  I got so tickeled at myself, I told Josh about it and had a good laugh, then composed myself and tried again.  I laughed so much, I swallowed some water!  Anyway, it was hilarious!  So I tried it again to get to the big rock and wouldn’t you know, I’m back at the beach again!  Had to give up since I got so tired.  But I did get a good video of some fish.  We walked down the beach to an outcrop of rocks and watched the eaves splash.

We were about to leave when some locals came and started fishing.  They just had a reel of fishing line (no rod), a bucket of hermit crabs, and a hook.  They broke the crab shell on a big rock, took the meat out of the crab, threw the shell and the rest of the crab into the water and used the meat as bait for the fish.  Then they threw their fishing line into the water and waited  about 10 seconds, jerked the line and pulled in a fish. It took longer to crack the shell and bait the hook than it did to catch the fish. The boys got a kick out of it and Ezekiel even touched a couple of fish – even rubbed one of the fishes eyeballs.  They had a ton of people they were going to feed and they were going to cook it there on the beach on this grill that was set up.  They fish they were catching were what we saw snorkeling, which are called “cobbler”. Since it started thundering, we decided to leave and let Gabriel nap in his bed instead of the car. Then we took a dip in the pool, showered, and got dressed for dinner.

The Arawak restaurant here does a special English dinner every Sunday night (it is a British territory and the owner and inn keeper are both British as well).  Josh got the roast beef and yorkshire pudding and I got the roast lamb.  Both came with 2 scoops of mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, pea/corn medley, carrots and lots of gravy!  The beef came with horseradish and the lamb with mint sauce. It was really good.  The boys just ate their normal stuff and played with a 3 year old girl named Tia.  Ezekiel and her watched one of Ezekiel’s shows together on the portable DVD player.  It was cute!