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Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

Minneapolis...
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Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

I tend to get wordy so I will break this into several segments. Someone should invent a sarcasm sign as sometimes it gets lost during translation. . . 

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

Thoughts on our first couple hours on the island.

Anguilla reminds me of VG in one retrospect; it took 3 grocery stores to fill our basic 1st night stock: water, ting, milk, rum, punch and beer. Not in the order of necessity. After getting settled in we were hungry, tired (up at 1am) and still in need of a case of beer. Otherwise known as cranky (me).

It’s dark, but this isn’t our first rodeo driving at night or on the left side of the road, so off we go to find a place to eat. We can see Sandy Ground in the distance and were told take a left when the road ends, you can’t miss it. . . Well, Murphy’s Law.

Suddenly we are in “rush hour traffic” where the only people adhering to the speed limit are tourists. Unfortunately, we are the only tourists in our cluster of cars and we all pass someone riding a bicycle. In the dark. Is he insane? We pull off into a church parking lot for a sanctuary moment to let the locals pass. Regrouped, off we go with no one behind us & clueless as to where we’re going. What the car rental place failed to mention (other than you can’t possibly get lost) is the map they give you is a novelty item. What good does a map do when the roads aren’t marked? Shortly later I hear the DH say “oh no”. What? We are now going so slow the insane bicyclist is about to pass us.

Luckily, we came upon a big grocery store so we stopped to get our last item – the case of beer, so all is not lost. While the DH is putting the precious cargo in the trunk, I asked the security guard if there is a place nearby with takeout. He points you go that way, when you hit the roundabout go this way and then at the second roundabout you go that way – you can’t miss it. . . . . Yea, heard that before.

When I get in the car, my husband asks what he said. I replied he said we were too stupid to find anything at night and to just go home. I must have said it very convincingly as the DH’s look was priceless.

Which begs the question: why is there a security guard at a grocery store – surely, it’s not to assist with ice. . .

Do you know how many one-way streets are on Anguilla? At least one, because we took it going the wrong way trying to get “home”.

Vacations aren’t supposed to be stressful. As I lay in bed, I’m starting to think we chose the wrong destination.

Minneapolis...
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2. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

My husband’s version is different: Yea, it’s not our 1st rodeo, but it wasn’t a big deal. We got a case of beer so it was a successful night. My only mistake was asking the cranky wife where was her sense of adventure. . . .

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

Next morning.

Being the co-pilot (brimming with adventure, thank you very much), the novelty map made sense in the daylight. Everything makes sense in daylight. Navigate by roundabouts, stop signs and stop lights. Screw the road names. What seemed like a Lewis & Clarke expedition the previous night, was actually 10 miles or less round-trip. And now we know of a grocery store to pick-up most items.

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

Backstory.

We’ve been Virgin Island junkies, particularly Virgin Gorda. Why mess with a good thing. So, why did we choose Anguilla? By default. Last year it took us 20+ hours to return home and that wasn’t with any major delays. There are quicker options but not with our pocketbook. My only criteria this trip was a non-stop flight home, and SXM fit the bill.

Comparing the two would be apples to oranges, but both are beautiful just the way they are. To be honest, we were excited to try a new place but we didn’t have high expectations as Anguilla is not known for its snorkeling or hiking – two activities we enjoy. Nor are we foodies or people who lay on the beach all-day-long. No, it’s not a perfect fit, but we haven’t met a beach bar or vacation that we didn’t like.

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

Thank god for default.

I must admit, we were blown away by the beaches. Who needs hiking when you can stroll down Rendezvous or Shoal Bay East for miles upon end. Excuse my layman terms, but there are some serious mind-blowing beaches on Anguilla. We usually have “happy feet” and are constantly on the move. Who knew we could become so content on a beach and where does the time go doing nothing?

Snorkeling. Had plans to circumvent the entire island, but Mother Nature (swells) and a broken snorkel limited our best laid plans. We did snorkel Little Bay with Calvin. Perhaps we are lucky when we snorkel or perhaps our expectations were low, but it was a pretty good snorkel. Saw some of the normal suspects, plus two schools of fish and a lot of starfish all within an hour. All-in-all probably what you see when you snorkel off the beaches of VG on an average day. Anxious to try other areas where we could see the reef from shore.

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

The Michael Jackson of Fisherman.

One of the most interesting conversations we had was with a fisherman on Crocus Bay. He was carrying two pails of fish. He didn’t come from a boat, nor did he have a fishing pole. This man is amazing. He doesn’t need a stinking pole, net or spear. His weapon of choice is a black rubber glove with grippers. That’s right, he wades in the water with patience, quickness and snags fish by hand. Incredible.

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

Bottom line. We thought this was going to be a once and done vacation spot for us, but we have plans on returning (god willing) next year. We had a great time hitting the beaches, beach bars, Gwens for Sunday Funday, AARF, exploring West End to Island Harbor, and a serious putt-putt golf competition that we must return for a play-off match. And while not foodies, we had some delicious food without breaking the bank or spending precious vacation time getting “dolled up”. In 8 days, we just scratched the surface wanting more.

Lastly, I’ve read about the Anguillan spirit and am happy to report it’s true :).

If you’re still reading this - thank you to everyone who contributes on this forum – some very helpful information.

New York
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8. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

I always find driving stressful, so my expectations are low. I plan on making a day run to Sandy ground before travelling there at night for dinner. I will be eating our first night walking distance to our unit. We will be going to only one grocery store. If what I want is there, it's there. If it isn't, it isn't. I will be bringing a few snacks and such as I usually do. I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation. One thing I found while travelling is location is everything. You can get a completely different experience depending on where you are staying. My only concern is that my knee is healed so that I can enjoy going to different beaches.

Mystic, CT
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9. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

So happy you loved it. Anguilla truly does have something for everyone. I'm glad you learned that the true beauty (beyond the beaches) is the people. Best in the Caribbean no doubt!

Philadelphia...
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10. Re: Just Back - Newbie Thoughts (long)

Oh how I loved your posts. Yes, you too are not a fan of night driving. There is a small group of us (smile!)

But things get so much better in the daylight and then you start to fall in love with the things that count to the point that by the time you are ready to leave you feel like making a reservation for next year right away.

Anguilla's like that. It kinda creeps up on you and steals your heart!

Edited: 5:07 pm, February 20, 2017