A Travellerspoint blog

Anguilla, Part 1: Newbies by the Numbers

What happens when two longtime visitors to Anguilla bring two newbies along for a week . . . besides the crushing pressure of planning the perfect trip?

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A whole lot of incidents, injuries, and ill-considered decisions, which are best summed up in this handy tally:

Large ducks mounted: 1
Large ducks destroyed: 1
Times Trina went home with a stranger: 1
Times Scott went home with a stranger: 1
Times Tracey sampled a stranger's dinner: 2
Fake accents employed: 2
Injuries (cuts/scratches/scrapes): 15
Injuries (bruises): 11
Injuries (Angel): 0 (for the 22nd year running)
Hexes placed upon Angel for his lack of injuries: 1
Stabbings (by a particularly sharp plant): 2
Sun rashes: 3
Swim platforms exposed to ladybits and sloshed with frozen mojitos: 1
Times we mashed de place up: 1
Bug bites (Tracey): 2
Bug bites (Trina): 7 (all localized to right butt cheek)
Bug bites (Scott): 11
Bug bites (Angel): 348
Goat pettings: 0
Attempted goat pettings: 42
Faces melted by Carolina reaper & ghost pepper sauce: 2
Stories we heard about someone named Snakey: 2
New British greetings invented: 2
Resort pools crashed: 3
Cheeseburgers consumed: 8
Pizzas consumed: 6
Bottles of wine consumed: 9
Number of rum punches consumed: We can't count that high (and even if we could, we can't remember)
Pounds of homemade scalloped potatoes consumed: Until nauseous

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I should have known when Delta Airlines slashed our newbies' connection time at JFK to just 45 minutes -- then sent them a red, boldfaced warning which read (I'm paraphrasing only slightly here), "Hey, you're probably not going to make the connection that WE idiotically scheduled for you, so you might want to re-book at your own expense" -- that this trip was not going to be tranquility wrapped in blue, but calamity soaked in rum. But as my sister Trina and her husband Scott skidded breathlessly into the early boarding line with us at JFK and we scurried onto the plane bound for St. Maarten, I still held out a sliver of hope.

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And in fact, the rest of the travel day ran like clockwork: An easy transfer from plane to dock, complete with icy bottles of water and chilled towels soaked in lemongrass oil(!); an uncharacteristically bump-free boat ride over to Anguilla complemented by a round of rum punches; a breeze through Customs; and the Jeep we'd rented waiting in the parking lot, just as Ronnie Bryan promised.

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I mean, Catherine (of the fabulous Anguilla Villa Company) was even waiting at the villa wearing a fabulous tropical-patterned dress that (1) I immediately commented on and (2) she admitted to wearing just for me. Smoooooth, I tell you.

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As we have on trips past, we stayed at Coconut Palm on Mead's Bay, not wanting to risk any surprises at a new-to-us place with our new-to-island peeps.

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After months of agonizing, I knew I'd made the right choice when Trina and Scott sequestered themselves in the suite downstairs, leaving me and Angel with the entire upstairs to ourselves. (This was pre-Covid, when people sequestered themselves on purpose.)

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But we didn't come all this way to hang around the house; I had an entire island to show off, and just one short week to do it. And so we made a beeline for one of our (literally) nearest and dearest, Malliouhana.

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Soon the long day of travel began to catch up with us.

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Luckily it was nothing that a couple of glasses of Minuty at Leon's couldn't fix.

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That evening we decided to stick close to home for dinner, so we headed down the beach to Waves.

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We ordered a round of drinks, and pretty much everything on the menu.

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It was a quiet night at Waves, with just a handful of bored locals at the bar. And so, when they cranked up the music and asked if we wanted to mash de place up, who were we to say no?

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The next morning we explored Coconut Palm and hung around the pool for a bit.

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Soon our stomachs began rumbling, so we got ready for lunch.

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I picked Ocean Echo on Meads' for Trina and Scott's first lime. I'd say they got the hang of it.

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Soon the sweet smell of curry wafted down the beach, so we willed ourselves out of the water and up to the restaurant for lunch.

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It was a tough choice -- eat a second pizza, or get back in the water? I think I chose wisely.

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Later that afternoon, we spotted it. Like a mirage, it bobbed unsuspectingly in the distance: A gigantic blow-up swan that was just begging to be boarded.

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Or, as Scott put it, "You guys are gonna mount that big duck?"

Yes, Scott. Yes, we are.

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We bounded off down the beach, energized to complete our conquest.

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Only later did we realize that we'd wasted precious energy jumping around like idiots, because that swan was far.

Like, really far.

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Indeed, it is no accident that we look like we are drowning in this photo. Did I mention how far it was?

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Finally, sweet relief! We grabbed onto the swan for dear life and clambered aboard . . . to find not an Instagram-worthy rosé party, but a couple of children sitting in a puddle of warm water that had collected in the middle.

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But it wasn't until we'd, um, swanned off and headed back to shore that we realized that the "water" in that swan was suspiciously warm. Bet you never see that on Instagram.

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The next day, we noticed that the swan had disappeared. I guess they had befowled it.

That evening we enjoyed the sunset at Coconut Palm before heading out for dinner.

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I really wanted Trina and Scott to enjoy the island on their own for a bit, so we dropped them off in Sandy Ground while Angel and I headed up to Falcon Nest.

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But not before yelling, "Don't do drugs!!!" -- Almost Famous style -- as they exited the car.

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We ordered up our "usual" - two gigantic lobsters, a rum punch, and a Presidente -- and set to work.

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As we were finishing dinner, we bumped into friends Sue, Dina, and Denise enjoying a pasta feast. They politely asked me if I'd like to try it, and anyone who regularly reads this blog knows what a bad move that was.

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At least Denise had her head on straight. Here she is thinking, "Don't even look up. Don't make eye contact. Just eat your food before she does."

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For their part, Trina and Scott had enjoyed a tapas dinner at SandBar, then walked down the beach for a couple of nightcaps at a new spot on Sandy Ground, Lit Lounge.

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The next day we decided on lunch at Elodia's, which Angel likes for their strong rum punch and I like because they do not shame me for ordering off the kids' menu. But first, a stop at the scenic overlook on Back Street.

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At Elodia's, Angel and I played in the water while Trina and Scott perfected their limin' technique.

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Soon it was time for lunch.

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We were just on our way to be seated when we ran into my friend Karen, who was in Anguilla with her parents, who also happen to read this blog. I was honored when Karen said it would make her father's trip if I stopped by to say hello and, after chatting with the three of them for nearly an hour, I was even more honored to have been so easily welcomed by this warm, charming bunch with such a great sense of humor. (Case in point: When Angel came by to gather us up for lunch, Karen's dad took one look at his dark sunglasses and shaved head, and exclaimed, "Oh, look, another celebrity: Mr. Worldwide!" How an 80-year-old man knows who Pitbull is is anyone's guess, but what you don't need to guess is whether Angel was referred to exclusively as Mr. Worldwide for the rest of the trip.)

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After lunch, we settled sleepily into our loungers to while away the afternoon.

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Of course, we couldn't leave Shoal Bay without introducing Trina and Scott to a local Anguillian favorite, the guavaberry colada. Tropical Sunsets makes an O.G. version that's just Pepto-y enough to satisy even the most discerning palate.

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That evening we decided to go fancy for sunset at the Four Seasons.

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The place was packed -- particularly for August -- but we lucked into a table with a great sunset view.

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Trina and I took a stroll while the guys held down the fort.

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We'd timed it perfectly in order to make our dinner reservation at Picante.

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I tried to introduce Trina to my beloved seafood enchiladas, but she rebuffed them.

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Instead, her and Angel had a staring/swearing/sweating contest, melting their faces off with Picante's Carolina reaper & ghost pepper sauce, made with peppers home-grown by the chef's mother-in-law.

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I, of course, was not foolish enough to burn off all my taste buds so early in the trip.

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Thankfully they took things down a notch at dessert, with some cool, creamy vanilla ice cream and Picante's justly-famous frozen lemon-lime pudding with the little chili-lime salt shaker on the side.

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But you just know those two hotheads went crazy with the chili salt.
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Posted by TraceyG 12:59 Archived in Anguilla

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Comments

Nicely done (as usual)! 💕
I guess this was back, pre-COVID time, as Elodia’s still hasn’t reopened (sadly). Hope to see you in Anguilla soon!!!

by Nadine

A wonderfully entertaining read, as always, with fabulous photographs. The swan - bizarre - if you hadn't captured it on camera I'd think it's da rum punch! So looking forward to the next part.

by Jan Clydesdale

So fun! You did it all (so far)! Can't wait to hear how their intro to FBI goes!!

by A.P. Duffy

That was a fun read Tracey, loved all the pictures. Thanks for taking the time to share.

by Ellen

This report is making me cry both sad and happy tears...we had to cancel our
November trip (2021)- two years in a row now.
Thank you for bringing all the happy sights and beautiful places to us!!

by quetsch

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