Video Tour of the Arawak

One note before starting this post: I’ve added photo galleries so make sure you check out the pages from the main blog menu. I’ll be updating throughout the trip. Back to business: I wanted to make a video tour of the Arawak for us to look back on with fond memories for years to come and decided to go ahead and share with everyone. Some of the commentary is a little hard to make out because of the wind. There is always a breeze here that makes the heat so much more bearable. When I get to our little blue house you cannot hear me at all. What I’m describing are all the conch shells Ezekiel decided to gather and line up on our porch. At last count I think we’re up to 25 or so. Because of the constant winds and breezes most places do not have air conditioning. The nicer 4 and 5 star resorts that cater to us spoiled Americans have AC. The small inn we are staying in does not. The last several days have been unusually humid so the inn keeper brought us a couple of floor fans from her home for us to use in our room. She is super nice and super helpful. It’s like a big extended family. I’ll have Shauna give an update of the happenings over the past several days sometime today or tomorrow.

After our video tour we all jumped in the pool so I added that video too making a total of 5 short videos below. Enjoy!

Upgrade your Flash Player to version 8 to view this video! (Click here for the download)

Our First Day on the Beach

We woke up this morning to the bright sun and the sound of waves. We spent some time on Shoal Bay beach. Gabe was a bit tired still from yesterday and was not himself. Both boys fell asleep in the car so we took the opportunity to go the grocery store and stock up on some supplies. Shauna sat in the car and napped with the boys while I shopped. Prices were in EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollars which is fixed at $1 US to $2.68 EC. Most restaurants are in US dollars so this was a bit confusing. For example, I bought 24 cans of pop for 31 EC. All the prices look super high and I was mentally dividing everything by 3 to try and figure out how much things were. Then when you check out you tell them what currency you are going to pay with and they bring up a menu to convert to US dollars in my case and tell you the new total. Very challenging.

Speaking of a challenge – It is very hard driving on the left. I thought it would be simple, but my mind is so programmed to drive on the right that it takes a lot of concentration, especially when making turns. But I managed to navigate pretty well today. Road signs are terrible. I have no idea what most of the road names are. Directions from the Arawak to the grocery were as follows:

Go to the end of the road and turn right. Turn right on the first big road (with blacktop) and go past Serenity. Go to the end of that road and turn right. Then at the end of that road instead of turning right to go to that beach turn left and go up the hill. When you get to the round about (very tricky to navigate driving on the left) go to the right. Go past the first stop light and the grocery store is on the right. If you get to the second stop light you went too far.

We said OK thanks and drove away and said, can you remember that? I somehow managed to follow them.

We made it back to the Arawak and went swimming the pool, which is really cool to be able to see the ocean while swimming. Then I cooked some penne pasta alfredo for dinner and we went back to the pool this evening to listen to some local musicians sing and play acoustic guitar.

Anyway, check out the videos below for a sample of our first day on the beach.

Upgrade your Flash Player to version 8 to view this video! (Click here for the download) Put streaming video on a web page

We’ve arrived!

Hey everyone!

It was an impossibly long day, but we’ve arrived. I could not sleep at all last night thinking about everything and making sure all the ducks were in a row. I tried sleeping on both sides, back, stomach, with my head at the foot of the bed and finally fell asleep on the floor for about an hour before my alarm went off at 4am! We drug the boys out of bed at 5am and headed to the airport. We had a 1 hr flight from Lexington to Charlotte and then 4 hr flight to St Martin. Then a 20 min cab ride from the airport to the port after we cleared immigration and customs. Then we had a 30 minute wait for the ferry. Then we had a 20 min ride to Anguilla. Then we had to clear immigration and customs again. Then we had a 20 minute cab ride to our destination. We finally arrived almost 12 hours after leaving the house. Our boys did AMAZINGLY well on virtually no sleep. Ezekiel loved the airplane. He was sooo excited! Well, we are getting ready to hit the sack, but wanted to let everyone know we have arrived and our vacation is beginning! No internet in the room yet. Cable company is supposed to fix tomorrow (fingers crossed) so for now I have to come down to the restaurant or sit by the pool for wireless internet access.

Pictures and more coming soon!

Josh

Our Home Away From Home – Arawak Beach Inn

Arawak Beach While in Anguilla we will be staying at the Arawak Beach Inn. You can see the property in the distance. They have 8 duplexes (top/bottom) and a single unit.
View from the Ocean In this view you can see all 8 units plus if you look very closely to the right you can see the rooftop and blue paint of the single unit in front of and between the 2nd and 3rd units from the right. This single unit is the one we will be staying in.
A bedroom Here is a picture of the inside of a room. Ours will have a king size 4-post bed like the one pictured here.
Scilly Cay This is Scilly Cay – a stone’s throw off the island from where we are staying. Essentially a small mound of sand. They have one building there that is a restaurant. You go down to the dock, wave your hand and they send a boat over to get you. They serve freshly caught, grilled lobster and salads (No electricity).

Where is Anguilla?

Probably one of the most often asked question we get about our upcoming trip is…where is Anguilla?

Islands that lie on the Caribbean plate are called the “West Indies”. They are divided into two regions: The Antilles and the Bahamas/Turks and Caicos Islands.

There are two sets of islands that make up the “Antilles” (the larger portion of the West Indies): the “Lesser Antilles” and the “Greater Antilles”. The “Greater Antilles” are formed of bigger islands like Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti/Dominican Republic. The “Lesser Antilles” include Barbados, St. Barts, Dominica, St. Martin/ Sint Maarten, and,  Anguilla! These islands are located in the Eastern part of the Caribbean sea, bordering the Atlantic ocean.

Anguilla