On Sunday evening we decided to relax at the house with some pina coladas before heading out for the evening.
I'd made reservations for the Elm Beach BBQ that evening, which in island-speak means that I received an email from Steve stating that he'd "let the girls know that you are coming."
Of course, once we arrived "the girls" had no idea what I was talking about and were loath to seat us since a few large groups were supposedly on their way. But after Lunchless Christmas at Lambert Beach Resort, I was in no mood for another mealtime bait-and-switch. One look at my face must have made it clear that I had no intention of leaving without some ribs, even if one of those large groups had to eat their ribs sitting in their car, because in short order we were seated at a nice, large table right in front of the band.
Do you remember that scene in "Jurassic Park" when they lower that cow into the velociraptors' paddock using a sling, and after some thrashing about in the bushes, all that's left of the cow is some bones and the shredded sling? That was me and Angel with Elm Beach Bar's fantastic BBQ ribs.
Soon the Elmtones got going, and everyone made their way out to the dance floor. Some more reluctantly than others.
Sure, this guy is glaring at me now, but like so many others before him, by the end of the night he will absolutely insist upon taking a blurry photo of me and Angel, while I give him an uneasy smile that pleads, Please don't drop my camera.
The next day we decided to take a day trip over to Anegada, partly because we didn’t make it there on our last trip to the BVIs, and partly because Anegada is low, flat, scrubby, dotted with salt ponds, and composed of coral and limestone . . . just like our beloved Anguilla. And so we boarded the ferry at the ungodly hour of 6:45 a.m. and set off through the early morning gloom for, um, Aneguilla.
After a quick stop in Virgin Gorda, the ferry continued on its way, the sun made an appearance, and soon we were docking at Setting Point, the main harbor on Anegada.
After a quick pit stop, we decided to make the short walk over to Neptune’s for a quick breakfast, not because we were particularly hungry but because we had heard raves about Pam’s cinnamon rolls, and deciding to skip cinnamon rolls because you’re not hungry is like deciding to skip dinner because you ate yesterday.
Soon the adorable Neptune's came into view, and Angel snagged the last waterfront table while I went inside to choose our cinnamon roll.
Unfortunately, we must have arrived on off day, because although we could tell that these cinnamon buns are probably delicious when freshly baked, the one we got was clearly a day old. What a waste of 5 lbs. of butter.
After breakfast we hitched a ride with local taxi driver Jerry, who was friendly and knowledgeable and knew all the best cow-watching spots.
As we bounced along I worried that Jerry's rickety van might shake apart, held together as it was with seemingly nothing more than spit and glue.
A short ride later and we found ourselves at Cow Wreck Beach, which on this particular day was so windy that it was all we could do to remain upright, let alone sane from the constant whistling in our ears.
Look up "classic Caribbean beach bar" in the dictionary and there is undoubtedly a picture of Cow Wreck Beach Bar. Perched at the edge of a stunningly perfect sliver of beach, Cow Wreck features a brightly painted bar decorated with debris from the sea, a couple of good house drinks, a simple menu of grilled seafood, and an assortment of sun-faded Adirondack chairs nestled in the soft, white sand.
Cow Wreck reportedly got its name when the Rocus, a ship carrying animal skeletons to a bonemeal factory in the U.S., wrecked on one of the many reefs encirling Anegada and the skeletons washed ashore.
More likely, though, Cow Wreck just refers to the state you'll find yourself in after a couple of the bar's famous Cow Killers, which are made with light rum, dark rum, passion fruit juice, and ginger ale.
Or whatever else you might feel like throwing in, since Cow Wreck functions as an honor bar at which patrons can simply slip behind the bar, whip up the concoction of their choice in the strength of their choice, and then keep track so they can let the bartender (who also doubles as the waitress, the cow-patty-on-the-beach remover, possibly the cook, and hopefully the hand-washer) know what they had.
Indeed, these guys felt so at home at Cow Wreck that when they were bothered by some flies while eating at the bar, they headed out to the shed, grabbed a ladder, dragged it over to the bar, and proceeded to hang up a few baggies full of water to keep the flies away. (After all that effort, I didn't have to heart to tell them that a few drops of hot sauce around their plates would have worked just as well.)
Did I mention that there's also a country club here? This vacation, it really was all about the finer things.
Angel thinks God loves Painkillers, but I hear he's partial to the Cow Punch.
Luckily the small dune here protected the restaurant from the incessant wind, and the flies were busy over at the bar, so we enjoyed a peaceful lunch while admiring the view.
Of course we had to try the Anegada lobster. I stupidly ordered a half-lobster, which was tasty but disappointingly puny, while Angel decided to try the "Anegada-style lobster," which is made by sauteeing lobster meat with onions, peppers, and . . . ketchup. You can go ahead and read that again, but I doubt it is going to sound any more appetizing the second time around. Still, I should have known that anything made with ketchup -- even fresh lobster -- would be delicious, and in fact it was.
We also had the lobster fritters, which did not contain any discernable lobster but were still good because fried dough.
After lunch we decided to head over to Loblolly Bay in hopes that it would be less windy.
It was not, but they did have a lovely assortment of plastic flamingos, and if forced to choose I think we both know that I will pick the kitschy lawn ornaments every time.
We spent a little time in the water, a little time lounging in the sun, and a lot of time sipping pina coladas.
And then, because the meat on that half-lobster I had at Cow Wreck could have fit inside a coin purse, and at the rate this trip was going, I couldn't be sure when or if I might ever get another meal, it was time for lunch . . . again.
Two lunches in one day? Now that's what I call luxury.
The sixth and final part of our BVI adventure is now posted! Come along as we wrap up our visit with hot dogs, hooch, and one very unfortunate frog.