Archive for the ‘What We are Doing’ Category

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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Boys Are Getting Bolder

June 11 – Friday

Friday was a completely lazy beach day for us. We tried to do a ride on the Glass Bottom boat to see fish, turtles, reefs, etc., but the travel guide we had said $20/ea and kids free. We got there and it was $40/ea and kids free for a short 30-40 minute ride. I tried to negotiate with the boat owner and he said he’d take $40 now and come get the other $40 from us at the Arawak the next day. Well, that is still $80 so that wasn’t any help.

Instead we rented snorkeling gear for $12 and Shauna and I had a blast snorkeling while the boys had fun in the sand and are getting bolder and bolder with the water. We got tons of snorkeling video that I’ll have to work through and find the best ones to put up.

We’ve also been working with Ezekiel in the pool. He’s now out of the inner tube and only wearing his arm swimmies. I had him hold onto the ladder and practice holding his breath under the water. Then I moved him away from the ladder by about a foot or so and let go of him and he doggy paddled back to the ladder. Until yesterday he’s wanted us to catch him when he jumped into the water so his head wouldn’t go under. After holding his breath by the ladder he decided he was ready. He jumped in with only the arm swimmies, without being caught, went under the water, resurfaced and doggy paddled to the ladder without any assistance. He’s come so far in less than two weeks!

For now, here are a couple of videos of the boys getting more comfortable with the water. Remember the one early on in our trip where I said, Who’s chasing who – and had Ezekiel running back and forth with the waves. Well, Gabriel was doing that exact same thing yesterday and we caught it on video! Ezekiel ventured out deeper into the water, up to his neck at times with the waves. One time he got knocked off his feet and couldn’t touch. He rotated around belly down and chin up like he’s been doing in the pool. He looked up at me with surprise and a tiny bit of fear. I made a paddling motion with my hands and he started paddling like in the pool and rode the wave back into where he could touch. I was so proud! Of course, I could have reached down and grabbed him if he was in serious trouble, but decided in that split second to see how he handled it and he did great! We stayed at the beach until 5pm, headed back to get cooled off in the pool and then cooked dinner in the room.

Anyway, here are a few videos including a sample of the Wednesday night acoustic guitar here at the Arawak.

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Beach, Shopping, and Interesting Food

June 9 – Wednesday

We had a nice morning, relaxing in our room and enjoyed a leftover meal of pasta marinara for lunch.  Then we headed to Shoal Bay Beach for a fun in the sand and water.  Gabriel was a hoot to watch at the beach.  He went right into the water, getting his feet wet, and then running away from the waves.  Then the waves would retreat and he would run towards them again and then run away when they were coming towards him.  He would squeal and laugh and he had a great time, finally (see it in our video coming soon).  He enjoyed playing in the sand and of course got it all over him.  He took a nap in his stroller as well.  Ezekiel and I played a new game in the water.  We both laid on our bellies in the shallow part of the water, mainly in the sand, feet toward the ocean and let the waves crash over us.  It was the most fun when the waves would be so strong that they moved us.  Sometimes we got so excited and tickled at ourselves that we swallowed some salt water, but it was so much fun!  Ezekiel said, “this is more fun than everything!”  Ezekiel and Josh did another fun game in the water by sitting Indian style on the sand in the shallow part facing the ocean, letting the waves crash over them .

While on the beach, I met a really nice couple from England, Mark and Celia.  They are leaving on Saturday and will have been here for 5 weeks then.  They were telling us of all the places to go, eating and shopping and entertainment, but were shocked at how much we already knew and how much we had already done.  We have already done some things that they wished that they had done, but didn’t find out about them in time.  We talked for at least 30 minutes.  So far we have met:  family of 4 from Germany, family of 6 from Pennsylvania, a couple from Rhode Island who lives here now, Tom from Canada (whom we’ve mentioned before), a couple from Connecticut, a lady from Florida (whose sister lives here), of course some Angullian’s,  and I’m sure we have left out someone.

So, after the beach, we cleaned up and went to Ripples for dinner.  They have an Early Bird Special on Wednesdays and Saturdays, for $12.  Their special Wednesday was “Fish and Chips” with peas and Indian Chicken Curry dish with chutney and a cream sauce to lessen the spiciness of it.  We got one of each and the boys split pasta alfredo.  However, the boys enjoyed my fish and fries more than their pasta, so they split a piece of fish, while I ate their pasta.  All-in-all we all got full on what we wanted.

After dinner, we went back to the Arawak Beach Inn and enjoyed the live music performance and then back to the room for bed.  It rained for about 5 minutes and one point, then another 5 minutes a little later.  Other that, it was a quiet night.

June 10 – Thursday

We didn’t get out of our room until around 10, but then headed to Le Bon Pain for breakfast at the French Pastry place we went to on Saturday.  We ordered the exact same thing, but then added a raisin cinnamon roll and instead of pineapple pastry, they had blueberry. This time we remembered to take photos.

After breakfast, we went to the Drug Store, which doesn’t even sell any kind of medicines.  No one is sure why they call it the “Drug Store” but they have for years, so I guess it stuck.  They had a lot of toys, t-shirts of all sizes that have Anguilla on them, lots of other souvenirs, etc.  It was a neat shop and I wished that we had gotten to enjoy it more, but the lady running the shop was watching us like a hawk after Ezekiel accidentally knocked a little wire thing over that was just in the way.  Then Gabriel was playing with a bunch of empty hangers and those were rattling around so one of the workers came running over for inspection and gave us a harsh look.  They weren’t doing any harm or breaking anything, just being boys.  So, instead of taking them out in the hot sun or wasting gas in the car, I decided to take them through the store to find them something to quietly do.  We found some books and puzzles and it kept them busy and quiet.  But, of course, the lady had to inspect that they weren’t getting into anything again.  So we high-tailed it out of there after she came over there and took away the one book Gabriel was looking at the puzzle Ezekiel was playing with. This was our only bad experience so far. Everyone else, by far, has been so nice and talkative.

So then we went to a couple of other stores and made sure the boys weren’t getting into anything so no one thought we were trouble makers.  Before we could stop to get any lunch, both boys had conked out in the car.  Josh went into the Roti Hut and ordered a beef roti and a chicken roti that came with mashed potatoes with some veggies stirred in and grilled plantains (see pictures).  It was really good, but we could only eat half, so there’s another lunch for us both.  We ate in the parking lot at Shoal Bay Beach so that the boys could finish their naps, but Gabriel woke up as soon as we got there.

After we ate, we drove back to the room and gave the boys their lunch, hoping they would finish their naps afterward.  However, after trying for an hour, we gave up and went to the pool.  Then for dinner we stayed in and made a simple chicken and rice dish and spent a quiet evening enjoying the cool breeze and the crashing waves of the ocean.  It’s beautiful here.  We love it!

Rendezvous Bay Beach And Videos

June 8 – Tuesday

The boys and I slept in until about 8:30 or 9 this morning, then Josh fixed pancakes for breakfast.  Then we headed off for Cuisinart Resort & Spa for the tour of the hydroponic farm (greenhouse).  Josh has put more details of the tour in the photos.  During the tour, I had to keep the noisy, playful, active boys away from the rest of the group so that everyone could hear what the tour guide was saying, so I missed a lot of what was said.  Anyhow, they gave us samples of cherry tomatoes and they were delicious.  Delicious enough that Gabriel ate 5.  He ate three right away and then was getting restless, so I went back and plucked 2 more off the vine to give him.  He loved them.

After the tour we had a nice picnic lunch under the trees on the grass.  The boys loved the picnic.  Ezekiel liked following the lizards around too and trying to catch them.  He is bound and determined to catch one.  Speaking of lizards we have found 2 lizards in our room so far (leave the door open except while sleeping).  I moved a suitcase close to Ezekiel’s bed and it jumped off and started running around.  Luckily Josh got 2 glasses and caught it (see photos “Around the Arawak).  Then another one was in my book after we got back to our room yesterday.  It was a tiny one and I closed the cover a little so I could show the boys on the porch and set it free, but I squished it and killed it.  Whoops.

Back on task . . . after our picnic we went to the beach down by the resort and were told you need a day pass in order to use the chairs and umbrellas.  We expected so since most chairs & umbrellas are for rent, but we have lucked out so far and not been charged anywhere. Not so here. We decided to just try somewhere else on the same beach, Rendezvous Bay, instead of having to pay.  Out of curiosity I asked how much the chairs and umbrellas were at the resort.  For a half day pass it was $200!  $200!  Are they out of their mind???  Who on earth would do that?  So we went just a little further down the beach and got the chairs for free – no umbrella needed because they were shaded by the coconut trees.  They had signs that they were for $5, but no one came to collect, so we got them for free.  How nice.  So, after a day of fun in the sun on the beach and in the water, we went to a couple of grocery stores, dipped in the pool, showered, and made marinara pasta and garlic bed.  We were worn out, so we all got to bed early.  What a good day.  It rained for about 5 minutes during the night, just like another night, but so far, no rain during the day.  HA for those of you wishing for us to have rain 20/30 days!

A little housekeeping – if you have seen our photos recently please check out all the categories, we’ve added a handful of new ones to each category and added one new category – Cuisinart Resort & Spa. If you have looked at photos recently then you can check out the new category and new ones this morning in beaches and exploring.

Here are some videos from our adventures over the past several days including Crocus Bay Beach, Rendezvous Bay Beach and a special performance of “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain”. Josh tried making the videos a little higher quality, but the trade off means a larger file size and larger load times (don’t ask me). He said there is a 10 second buffer before each video will start to play. I’ve found it works best to click on the title, wait for it to start and click on the next title, wait for it to start, and keep going to the end. Then start over at the beginning and watch them all.

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