Archive for the ‘Anguilla Beach Time’ Category

Last Day!

Today is our last full day for the beach! So terribly sad. We are, of course, looking forward to seeing family, but not at all ready to leave this beautiful island. In a dream world, we’d rather stay and have our family come here! Today we plan to stay close and finish out the trip at Shoal Bay East, one of the top beaches in the world and favorite on this island. The property owner is here in Anguilla (arrived yesterday) and he offered to give us dinner tonight on the house during the Wednesday night music so we wouldn’t have to worry about cooking or going out for our last meal. We’ll probably do one more post after we get back to put the finishing touches on the blog (we are saving all of these entries in a journal to remember this trip).

June 29 – Tuesday

After our late date night Monday night the boys were exhausted. They woke up at the normal time, but by 10:30 or so Gabriel was ready for a nap…he slept until 2:30pm! Shauna and I took turns in the pool with Ezekiel – the whole time hoping Gabriel would wake up so we could get to the beach! I went out and picked up lunch from Hungry’s food van. Then we fed Gabriel after he woke up and took off for the beach! We went to the western side and returned to the Viceroy Beach club on Meads Bay. We spent a little over 2 hours there, met a nice middle-aged couple from Dallas, TX with their Texas accents. She is a school principal so when we told her about the Arawak she started making mental plans for next summer to spend her summer vacation at the Arawak! We had a really nice chat with them and shared some of the high points of our trip and answered questions they had. Which reminds me, if anyone plans to come to the Arawak next summer or any time in the future, we will be happy to come as you personal tour guides and all you’d have to do is pay for our family to come back. Ha!

After the beach we ran by the store and picked up a rotisserie chicken for dinner and some more drinks (didn’t quite have enough to finish out the last couple days). After dinner we walked up to the pool area and the boys had popsicles and we chatted with Maria (inn keeper) and Maurice (owner). It was a nice preclude to tonight’s final dinner.

Church in Anguilla and a “Tasty” Dinner

June 27 – Sunday

I cannot believe we are rounding out the final few days of our trip!  It doesn’t seem possible that we have been here for almost a month.  Now our parents, on the other hand, CAN believe that we have been gone for nearly 30 days and cannot wait to “put their hands on us” as my mom said!

We went to church for the first time since we have been in Anguilla.  We planned to visit once or twice, but we weren’t really sure which one to try and most that we passed had doors open (no AC) and the thought of putting on dress clothes in this heat was unbearable, but we finally made it.  We found one with AC -  No Walls Church of Hope. It was the top portion of a building, so not your typical looking church (and yes it had walls).  When we got there 5 minutes before 11, Sunday School was still going on in the sanctuary, so we got to hear a little of Sunday School.  Then the Children’s Sunday School group came out and told about what they had learned in their class, took their seats, and church began.

There were three women who started the worship time. The first couple songs were just voices and just drums…the keyboard wasn’t working.  They finally got it fixed and everything was full speed ahead! We knew nearly all the songs except the style of music and beat had more of a Caribbean feel to them.  We got some of the worship time on video so have a look.  During worship the Sunday School teacher came up and said a prayer for a sick woman from the church. After the worship service, there was prayer and then the preacher started.  Unfortunately, the normal pastor was out of town and they had a guest speaker – a very long winded woman that Josh said reminded him (looks, voice, and mannerisms) of Whoopi Goldberg.  She started in Ephesians 4 for about 30 minutes or so  before transitioning to 1 Corinthians 13 for another 30 minutes or so. About 1:15pm she was starting in Revelations and without any childrens’ classes the boys were getting very restless so we made our exit. Anyway, we are glad we went to church and got to see how their service compared to ours.

Another thing about Anguilla is that when we are asked what the boys’ names are and we tell them, 9 out of 10 say, “Oh, good Bible names!”  We have only had to tell a couple of people they were from the Bible, but everyone else knew.  It was refreshing to hear that.  Back home when we are asked what their names are, we are lucky to get the comment about Bible names 3 of of 10. The other times are either no comment or “Ezekiel – how did you get that name?” We explain it is from the Bible and the eyes sort of glaze over. Kind of disheartening. America is supposed to be a Christian nation yet we have to go the tiny island of Anguilla before people recognize “Ezekiel”, a significant Old Testament person and book of the Bible.

After church, we ate, then watched it rain some, then headed out west to Rendezvous Bay to escape the rain and enjoy the beach.  We swam for a couple of hours before the rain reappeared in the western part of the island. On the way back to the room we stopped at an Italian restaurant called Un Amore and ordered garlic knots and New York Style Pizza.  Yum was it good!  The garlic knots are just normal bread dough, but tied up in knots before baking. Then were tossed in olive oil and fresh garlic.  They were wonderful.  After pizza we hopped in the pool and Josh taught Shemar (a worker here) how to make dressed eggs.  She thought they were wonderful and really easy to make.  It was fun to show a little bit of something from back home.  Then we got cleaned up and went to bed.

Here are some sample clips from the church we visited:

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June 28 – Monday

We started the morning at the pool (since we had specific lunch plans).  Maria gave the boys a “special,” which is frozen kool-aid in a cup that is for $1 EC (which is about 37 cents) and of course they loved it.  The school kids were there, coming in shifts whenever they wanted since their school is basically right next door, and they were all having the “special” and watching the boys.  Gabriel really took to Maria and the “special.”  She helped him eat it and he got it all over his face.  He was her buddy after that, loving on her by giving kisses and hugs, and he even laid his head on her shoulder.  It was so sweet, she was melting!  She loved it!!!

After we swam in the pool for about an hour and told the school kids bye, we headed off to have some lunch at the English Rose.  They have an assortment of entries to choose from, but we were only interested in the cheese burgers and fries they have for $7.  It was a pretty good deal – our second burger this month.  After lunch, we stopped in a couple of shops and then headed to the beach.

We went back to the Viceroy Beach Club at Meads Bay and were not charged $10 again for the chairs and umbrella, however we still received the “royal treatment” of fresh towels spread on our chairs, an ice bucket with 3 bottles of water, and usage of sand toys for the boys.  I met one of the workers the last time we were there on Saturday, who really took a liking to the boys.  His name is Edwin and we talked quite a bit.  He asked what the boys names were and I told him and he said, “Oh good Bible names.  Gabriel – the Angel Gabriel.”  Then he asked if I was a Christian and I said I was and then I asked if he was.  He said that he used to be, but he isn’t walking the full Christian life right now, but would like to.  We began to talk some more about it and it was a really good talk.  So we saw him again Monday and he remembered us and took us on the Sports Boat so we could go snorkeling.  He took us to another part of Meads Bay where there are a lot of rocks, but also a lot of fish and sorts.  Josh stayed with the boys (he has really bad swimmers ear) while Edwin and I went snorkeling.  It was neat to go with him, because he knew his way around and saw a lot of fish that I had missed.  I took some video of the fish, but then it locked up on me and I couldn’t get it reset under water (have to take the battery out if that happens). Just at that time I saw a couple of really neat squid! I was so mad the camera wasn’t working at that moment.

Anyway, after snorkeling, we played on the beach and in the water.  We met a couple from Italy.  The husband is from Italy and only speaks Italian and a little bit of French and a little bit of English.  The wife is from Switzerland and speaks French, Italian, and English.  They have a 6 (almost 7) year old son who speaks French to his mom, Italian to his dad, and has just learned English this past year.  The mom was excited to have Ezekiel and her son playing together, forcing him to practice his English, which he doesn’t get to do much back home.  A little more about them is that they have 1 1/2 months vacation, so they spent a month in Las Vegas (they have been going every year for 11 years, so it’s like a second home), then 5 days in Angullia, then 5 days to Orlando, FL.  They were really interesting people and we really enjoyed talking with them.

After the beach, we hurried home, since it was already 7:20, and showered and got ready.  Maria took the boys for some ice cream  and then back to her house to play while Josh and I had a nice date out.  We don’t get many dates, so when she volunteered to take them out one night, then we were super excited to have the time to spend together.  They have some baby-sitting services on the island that we had considered using, but decided against it because they are total strangers. So when Maria offered we couldn’t pass it up. This may seem scary to you, but you have to be here to fully appreciate it. Maria has been running the place for 11 years and over the last month has treated us just like family.

So, Josh and I went to a place called Tasty’s!  And man was it tasty!!!  First of all, it was packed!  We have never been to a restaurant here where there were a lot of people dining in, so it was refreshing to see it full.  So, we asked for recommendations and we took one of them and it was so yummy.  Josh ordered the “Tasty’s 6″ which is a 6 course sample meal for $45. Sampler platters back home list what all you get. Not here. It is up the chef to decide what to make so you have no idea what you’ll be getting.  They did ask if there was anything we did not like or were allergic to. Since we were a little nervous, I ordered something safe, Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Breast with a mango chutney sauce served with rice & peas and then we split everything.  Our first thing was mahi mahi with eggplant that was compliments of the chef for the both of us. We watched the other tables and no one else was sent out anything compliments of the chef so I guess because we ordered the “Tasty’s 6″ we got the special treatment.

His first course was Lobster & Corn Bisque, which we are undecided if we really liked it or not.  Bisque is very rich and full of flavor – almost heavy. It was really different, but it was good.  I think I liked it more than Josh, but he said he has never been really wild about bisque.  The next course was a Warm Goat Cheese Salad with roasted marinated peppers and red onions.  It was really good.  Next was Tasty’s Sea Food Salad “the Chef’s Favourite”, including Sauteed crayfish, snapper, lobster, shrimp, Conch, & salmon with Tasty’s basil vinaigrette dressing (pictured at the right).  It was really good too.  The next two courses were entree type foods. First came Tasty’s Shrimp – sauteed in “yummy” coconut curry sauce & served with “Southern Mashed Potatoes.”  It was really yummy and I’m not fond of coconut either.  My chicken was brought out with this course. Next was Coconut Crusted Filet of Fish with lemon sauce and served with rice & peas.  Whew, it was so good too!  By this point, we were getting so full and we still had dessert.  We got to pick our dessert, either a Chocolate Mousse or Banana Creme Brulee, so we chose the Banana Creme Brulee and it was so yummy.  There was a delayed reaction of the banana with that first bite and then it was spectacular from the first yummy explosion until the last.  What an excellent meal!!  We are so glad we went there. As far as food goes, this and the Scilly Cay Caribbean Spiny Lobster were the highlights for sure!

So, we picked up the boys from Maria’s house after a quick tour of her home, and got them to bed.  Our dinner took over  2 hours, so we were trying to hurry as quickly as possible to get them to bed.  Anyway, it was a great day and a great night.

NOTE: There are new pictures in Around the Arawak, Beaches Cont, and Food Stuff

3 Beaches in a Single Day

We have gotten a bit behind so I’ll do a couple days today and a couple more tomorrow to catch us back up. Shauna is at the pool with Ezekiel and I volunteered to stay behind while Gabriel took an early nap.

June 21 – Monday

Today was pretty simple. We returned to one of our favorites, Shoal Bay East. Just quality R&R on one of the top beaches in the world. We went back, got cleaned up and ran to the grocery to pick up some fresh ground beef I had seen at one store earlier in the week. Well, they were out so I had to buy frozen beef any way. We needed that to make our Old El Paso burrito kit. Typically, we would not even buy these little kits, but with limited fridge and storage space we used this. Back home we eat Mexican probably once a week at least. We haven’t had any since May (before we left) so we craving Mexican something fierce! They do have 1 Mexican restaurant on the island, but it is on the  extreme western end and a little pricey so we decided to do our own. This silly little burrito kit tasted soooo good!

June 22 – Tuesday

Today looks like a good beach day and we are bound and determined to take advantage of it. Go away rain! With no rain in the sky we decided to visit three different beaches in a single day! Cove Bay, Maunday’s Bay, and Shoal Bay West.

We set out for Cap Juluca, another expensive resort property on the island that was situated between Cove Bay and Mauday’s Bay. The main beach for the resort is Maunday’s Bay, but the back side of the resort as you go down the drive from the main road passed Cove Bay Beach. We stopped, got out and took a few pictures. It was fairly barren. No people, no chairs, no umbrellas. There was a volleyball net set up, but the beach had quite a bit of seaweed and the waves looked a little rough. In the end, we decided not to waste precious beach time on this beach.

We continued down the drive to the other side of Cap Juluca to the Maunday’s Bay Beach. Cap Juluca wasn’t quite as fancy looking on the outside as Cuisinart so we didn’t take many pictures. Everything was very spread out, which would be perfect for honeymooners because that means more privacy between the villas. They have little guys on solar golf carts to transport guests between the different points on the property.

We had a nice picnic lunch in the grass and shade of some coconut trees. Then we went down the beach. Cuisinart, if you recall, was going to charge us $200 to use a chair and umbrella for half a day. We were told Cap Juluca was only $5. That used to be true, but they stopped doing that last year and now only guests are allowed to use the chairs and umbrellas. Non-guests cannot use them at any price. We made the best of it and played in the water and sand for a couple of hours before retreating to the shade trees. Make sure you check out all our pictures under Cap Juluca for this beach.

Next we decided to proceed west to Shoal Bay West. We wanted to see the western counterpart to Shoal Bay East. It was not nearly as nice. If we hadn’t gotten quality beach time at Maunday’s Bay I would have felt cheated. The chairs & umbrellas were $40 if you didn’t eat lunch at the restaurant there and it was about 4pm so obviously we had already eaten lunch. We found a nice big coconut tree on the beach and set up under that instead. The water was very murky compared to all the other beaches so we could barely see more than a few inches into the water. There were lots of shells, rocks and who knows what else since we couldn’t see – that we kept stepping on in the water. We spent very little time in the water here before heading back to get cleaned up and have left over burritos! Yeah! And yes, they were just as good left over as they were the first night we had them.

June 23 – Wednesday

This was our second day of rain during this month. We had just finished up laundry and hung them out to dry. I commented that it looked like ti was going to be a nice, beach day today. Not 5 minutes later the sun disappeared, it got cloudy, and started raining all over our wet clothes. Ha!

We basically repeated our last rain day last week – watched a movie and headed out in the afternoon to shop after the rain quit, but was still cloudy, wet, and gloomy. We went to a couple of nice art galleries with creations by local artists and then finished up our souvenir shopping.

NOTE: We have new pictures under “Cap Juluca”, a few under “Around the Arawak”, “Scilly Cay” from Father’s Day if you missed those, “Exploring Anguilla” including the island’s oldest building, and “Anguilla Beaches Cont”.

The Sand Man & Sailing!

June 14 – Monday

Monday was an Angullian holiday – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, so most of the stores were closed or those that were opened, closed early.  We decided to go to our familiar beach, Shoal Bay and it was as beautiful as ever.  We played in the sand and in the water.  And we created the “Sand Man!”  Dum, dum, dum!!!  Josh and the boys were playing in the sand together and he buried each of their legs.  They all loved it and he asked Ezekiel if he wanted to be buried all the way but his head and he got excited.  We buried our boy and it was so cute.  He kept telling us that he was still breathing and he was “o-tay!”  Then when we were all finished, he escaped like the “Sand Man” and it was scary.  OOOOOooooo!  It was so cute.  He loved it.  We did it at least 3 more times (see video below) and even made him look like a monster by putting spikes on him.  We tried Gabriel and he did OK, even helping some, until we got up to his chest and then he didn’t like it. So then they decided to bury me and that was when some waves started packing in the sand along my feet and up to my waist.  Gladly it didn’t drown me while I was buried and waiting for Josh to get a picture.  HA!

After Shoal Bay beach, we decided we should check out the boat races at Crocus Bay.  We were told that the time to be at the boat race was either when they started the race or when they were finishing the race.  They had activities during the race, but there wasn’t anything to see.  By the time we got there, the race was finishing and we got to see some of the boats.  It was really neat.  There were tons of people, music, food, and fun.  Kids were in the water playing and having a ball.  The only bad thing was the air on the beach reeked of alcohol. We stayed for a bit, collecting some stones, and then headed back to our place for a dip in the pool.  We swam until our pizza we ordered was ready, then we ate, showered, and headed to bed.  It was a nice day.

June 15 – Tuesday

Tuesday we decided to explore the west end of the island, which probably only took 20-25 minutes to get there.  Think of being able to drive across the entire country in less than 30 minutes.  We had lunch at a sandwich & pastry shop called Geraud’s.  We split two different lunch specials -  Parmesan Focaccia stuffed with chicken, bacon, & cheddar cheese with Caesar salad and the other special was ham & turkey Panini with pasta salad.  They were both very good and big enough that we should have just ordered one to split.

Since we had not been to any of the beaches on the very West End of the Island, we decided to try Meads Bay which we heard was beautiful.  We were driving around, trying to find a place to park that had chairs and umbrellas and wouldn’t charge us $200 like Cusinart tried to do.  We came across this place called Viceroy which that guy we met at Hungry’s told us about.   It is a beach club on Meads Bay that you pay $5 for use of a chair and umbrella.  The guys are dressed in Kahki shorts and white polo shirts – beach dressy. After we selected our chairs a guy carefully lined both chairs with towels. Next he brought out  2 complementary bottles of water in a plastic ice bucket and set on the table under our umbrella. They also had beach toys for the boys to check out for the day – also complementary.  It was awesome.  They even had a bathroom inside their building we could use and it was . . . AIR CONDITIONED!!!  Amazing!

A guy that had been out snorkeling brought in a star fish that Ezekiel held.  Josh & Ezekiel went for a swim first.  So while they were in the water, I was sitting on the chairs with Gabriel while he was playing in the sand.  A guy came around asking if we wanted a “chill towel” which was ice cold and smelled of mint and eucalyptus type oils.  I felt like we were at a resort.  Then I saw this couple get on a speed boat and go tubing and then a sail boat came in with another couple.  We inquired about both and get this, they were all complimentary as well.  WOW!  So we went sailing!!!  It was amazing!  All four of us went together and it was great (see video below)!  We couldn’t believe that we only paid $10 ($5 for each chair) and got to do so much stuff.  We found out that the “sports boat” will take you tubing and snorkeling, possibly skiing.

After sailing Josh took Ezekiel inside the building to show him around and this guy asked his name, but of course Ezekiel was being shy.  So the guy offered him some ice cream and then he livened up.  He brought out two miniature tubs of Haagen Dazs ice cream and said, “Here’s one for you and one for your brother”!  That hit the spot for both of them.  We will definitely be back.  It was such a beautiful beach and such a neat beach club that I want to go there every single day!

After Gabriel woke up from his nap, we left the beach and went back to our place.  Ezekiel was knocked out pretty soon, holding a can of Pringles while we were driving back.  Gabriel was hungry too, so he was eating chips on the way back.  When we got back, Josh and Gabriel showered while I sat in the car with Ezekiel and read while he slept.  Then I woke him up, we showered while Josh cooked dinner. After dinner we had popsicles by the pool, then went to bed.  What a nice day.

NOTE: Make sure you check out all our new pictures. If you missed it Josh added some new categories like Anguilla Beaches cont., Cuisinart Resort, Gwen’s Reggae Grill, Queen’s Birthday, and there are new ones in Anguilla Beaches and Food Stuff.

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Shells, Pool, Reggae, and Snorkeling

I have several really fun videos to share today so I thought I’d just do a very brief recap of the weekend and get on to the videos!

June 12 – Saturday

We did a mid-morning walk along a more secluded part of Shoal Bay East and collected shells and pieces of coral reef that had washed ashore. We took a quick dip to get cooled off, but didn’t stay long since there were no umbrellas and the sun was really bothering Gabriel. We went back to the room for lunch and naps. I did some grocery shopping while they napped. Then we went for a swim in the pool, made dinner and went to bed.

June 13 – Sunday

After breakfast we did some cleaning up while trying to figure out what beach we wanted to visit (talk about hard decisions!). Gabriel was all out of sorts so we laid him back down at 10am and he slept until 1:30pm! Obviously we didn’t get out of here. It was kind of nice just hanging out on our porch, reading, relaxing and listening to the waves. After Gabe woke up we got him lunch and decided just to go to the pool since it was so late in the day. I captured all of Ezekiel’s tricks and swimming advances on video (see below).

After pool time we got cleaned up and headed to Gwen’s Reggae Grill on the beach. We ordered a cheeseburger and snapper and shared both. Both came with fries, cole slaw, very small side salad with vinegar & oil, and a spicy pasta salad that neither of us could eat much of (not spicy hot, just spicy flavors that we were not accustomed to). Shauna was afraid she wouldn’t like the snapper (she doesn’t like strong fish flavored fish like Salmon), but she did and everything was very good. The best part was the live Reggae band. People were dancing and having an all-around good time. I’ve added a brand new category of pictures just for this. Now on to the videos!

Here are Ezekiel’s tricks in the pool (4 videos). We mentioned previously about how far he has come and now here is the proof!

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Here are 4 videos from Gwen’s Reggae Grill. There is one girl in short white shorts who kept messing up my shot. I apologize in advance (I tried to avoid it as much as I could), but I did want you to see the fun Reggae band.

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Here are 8 videos from our snorkeling adventures on Shoal Bay East beach. It was a bit challenging to hold the camera in one hand while swimming/navigating with the other and add in being hit by the waves so its a bit shakey. We tried our best. Oh, and on Shauna’s video “The Big One” – after the first glimpse she couldn’t find it so the rest of the video is nothing much to see.

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