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From Dinner Theater to Sting Ray

June 24 – Thursday

We did a little pool time in the morning, ate lunch and then did a bit more shopping today hunting for those last minute things. Then we came back and got cleaned up for the dinner theater. Yes, a dinner theater in Anguilla! This was on the west end of the island at a nicer hotel. The buffet was $35/person and we, of course, brought our own food for the boys (even at half price Ezekiel & Gabriel combined don’t eat $17 worth, let alone each).  The buffet had salad with thyme dressing, potato salad, a sweet cole slaw with raisins, black bean soups. eggplant parmesan, mahi mahi, stewed conch,  BBQ chicken & ribs, steamed veggies, fried plantains, and probably other stuff I’m forgetting.

There was some music during dinner and then the singers/dancers came out to perform as things were settling down. This was the” Mayoumba Folkoric Theatre” – first and oldest on the island having started in 1972. Some of the original members are still with the group. The lighting was really dim so the video quality isn’t the best. The guy in the middle would do a brief narration that introduced the next song. It was really neat the boys enjoyed it too!

Here are 5 video clips from the theater:

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June 25 – Friday

We spent a little time back at Shoal Bay East today, one of our favorite beaches on the island before it clouded up and started to thunder and some lightening. Thinking it probably wasn’t a good idea to be in the water during a storm we packed up, stopped at the grocery, and went back to the room to make dinner.

June 26 – Saturday

We headed out pretty early today and went to the Viceroy Beach club on Meads Bay. This is probably our other favorite beach on the island. They were short-staffed so we didn’t get to go sailing or snorkeling. Just normal beach day with the added complimentary waters. I met a couple from North Carolina, who luckily were not basketball fans so we got along OK. :) They were staying at the Viceroy hotel for 4 nights @ $2300! Craziness to pay all the money for flights and only get to stay 4 nights and pay that much for the hotel.I also met several couples from Puerto Rico, but didn’t talk much.

While in the water the group from Puerto Rico was situated a little up the beach from us. I saw all the women run out of the water in a hurry and all the guys  looking down into the water. I hollered to ask what they were looking at and they said a sting ray. I called Shauna over after it made it down to where we were and had her keep an eye on it while I ran to get our camera. Shauna had also filmed some birds diving into the water for fish.

Here are the video of animals we saw.

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Father’s Day Weekend

June 19 – Saturday

Today was still a little left over rainy feeling. It was very overcast, cloudy, gloomy – in general, not a good beach day. There was a beach on our list to visit that is not good for swimming, but for shelling so we decided this would be a good day to do that so we we wouldn’t get too hot from the sun and not be able to go into the water. We started with a french pastry breakfast from Le Bon Pain again.

After breakfast we grabbed the map and set out to find Mimi’s Bay. It was slightly more difficult than some of the others since this isn’t one of the major white sand, beautiful swimming beaches. We found what looked like it should be the right road and headed down this little dirt road. We got to a fork that veered right. I noticed a sign post, but no sign. I stopped, jumped out and fit the pieces back together. Mimi’s Bay! We were on the right track. So we took the fork and arrived at Mimi’s Bay.

The waves were pretty rough and there were large rocks right off the beach so definitely not for swimming. The boys loved hunting for shells and we found a few neat ones too! There was also an abandoned life raft on the beach that we used to have a picnic lunch.

After lunch, even though the sun was not out, we decided to go to a beach and get in the water. We couldn’t stand the thought of missing beach time two days in a row! We were very close to Junk’s Hole so we went there. They don’t have chairs & umbrellas so again, a good day to go there without the hot sun. Gabriel fell asleep on the way so we pulled right up onto the beach, rolled down the windows, and left him to sleep in the car while we jumped in the water. It was cold, still a bit rough, but nice to be back in the beach water.

After beach time we headed back into the Valley to pick up Ken’s ribs again for dinner.

June 20 – Sunday (Father’s Day)

The sun came peeking through! Not full sun yet, but a sight for sore eyes! We celebrated Father’s Day today at Scilly Cay. Make sure you check out our pictures under the photo tab for this day called “Scilly Cay”. This is that little mini island in the harbor here right across from our room. The island and restaurant are owned and operated by Sandra and Eudoxie Wallace. They even have their own website (http://www.scillycayanguilla.com).

It was a WONDERFUL (albeit expensive) experience. This was Father’s Day, Shauna’s 30th birthday (April), my graduation celebration meal, and our 8th anniversary (May) dinner all rolled up into this meal. We didn’t do anything special for those occasions knowing we would while in Anguilla. It’s a good thing too because this was $75/plate for what we got! Yikes! But a wonderful, wonderful experience!

There is no electricity on the island. Early in the morning they bring large coolers over by boat with all the fresh food ingredients to prepare the meals. They offer three main entrees: lobster, chicken, crayfish or a combination. The lobster is the specialty. The fisherman go out 25 miles into the ocean and set lobster traps. They are brought back and kept alive until they are ready to cook. Talk about fresh seafood!

We, of course, had to try the Caribbean spiny lobster. Neither Shauna nor myself are big fans of lobster – during previous east coast (US) beach trips we always choose Snow Crab legs over King Crab or any lobster.  Caribbean spiny lobster is soooo different from lobster in the US – much better based on mine and Shauna’s personal tastes. According to the info I looked up they are barely even related to traditional lobster we see in the US. Caribbean Spiny lobster does not have any claws and instead has sharp spikes down its back for protection.

We were told it takes about an hour from the time we order. We were already starving when we got there! We fed the boys some chicken salad & crackers while we waited and took a dip in the small beach on this island. Our meal came with three lobsters on the plate lined with sea grape leaves (we had no idea we got that many), pasta salad, bread, and fresh fruit. The lobsters were grilled and then brushed with a special sauce (butter based I think) prior to being served. The texture and flavor was just completely different – soft and sweet, just melts in your mouth. A local band was playing and singing throughout the afternoon. This will go down as one of my all-time favorite dining experiences ever!

After lunch we laid around on the beach. The water was super shallow – we had to almost lay down to get water over our shoulders. Ezekiel came in for a bit and the rest of the time played in the sand with Gabriel. We also saw about a zillion crabs in and around the bushes. Ezekiel was catching them in a cup and bringing them down to the decorative drift wood log on the beach.

They quit serving food at 5pm and start packing up. We stayed about an hour after that until most everyone was gone. I asked Ezekiel if he was ready to go and he said, “No, not yet.” So we let him play for a bit more. I went over and asked him again and he said, “Stop asking me. I’ll tell you when I’m ready to go.” If that wasn’t so funny he would have been in big trouble!