A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about moondance

Anguilla, Stage 2: There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

The next day, we awoke in the comfortable cloud of our king-sized bed, having slept more hours in the past night that we typically sleep in an entire week. We flung open the drapes and were greeted by another picture-perfect day.

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Sunrise_-_1.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Sunrise_-_2.jpg

2016_Aug_A..ivalpix_-_7.jpg

We listened to the waves crash on the beach. We watched the clouds settle on St. Martin's mountaintops in the distance. We luxuriated in the solitude of just a handful of neighbors. (In New York City, a place without neighbors is called Connecticut.)

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Sunrise2_-_2.jpg

We showered -- in an open glass shower large enough to hold our NYC apartment in its entirety -- then floated downstairs to lounge by the pool while lazily batting ideas back and forth as to how to spend the day. (Okay, you know that's a little white lie. Our agenda had been planned, in daily 15-minute increments, for at least the past 8 months.)

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Sunrise2_-_3.jpg

As we contemplated nothing more strenuous for the day than deciding who would get up to fetch the next round of rum punches, the next stage of Anguilla Vacation Grief, anger, began to worm its way in: What kind of suckers were we anyway, with our stupid jobs and our stupid mortgages and our stupid student loans? Why on earth have we tethered ourselves to those annoying iPhones and iPads? Who even needs material goods, when you could live in a shack on the beach and scavenge for your dinner every night? This is how we were meant to be living, dammit: Jobless, homeless, and almost certainly dinner-less. Where had we gone wrong?!?

2000_Aug_El_TTGAG_-_1.jpg

We pondered these unanswerable questions as we made the short drive over to Elodia's on Shoal Bay East.

large_2016_AUG_AXA_ElodPano_-_1.jpg

2016_Aug_A..odlunch_-_7.jpg

2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_11.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..odlunch_-_6.jpg

There, we sprinted for the loungers at the farthest end of the beach, away from the madding crowds.

large_2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_16.jpg

2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_22.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_13.jpg

2016_Aug_A..odlunch_-_9.jpg

2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_12.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_17.jpg

For lunch, I feasted on chicken nuggets, while Angel ordered off the adult menu.

2016_Aug_A..odlunch_-_3.jpg

2016_Aug_A..odlunch_-_5.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..odlunch_-_4.jpg

Some people like to bring their own salad dressing when they go out to eat. I like to bring my own nutmeg.

2016_Aug_A..odlunch_-_2.jpg

2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_10.jpg

We spent the rest of the afternoon in deep contemplation of our pathetic workaday existences.

2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_20.jpg

2016_Aug_A..dlunch_-_19.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..lounger_-_1.jpg

Back at the villa, we cleaned up for dinner, hoping to drown our sorrows with a round of sunset cocktails at the Viceroy (now the Four Seasons) beforehand.

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_1.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_2.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_3.jpg

The Sunset Lounge is modern and sophisticated, with a cocktail list to match.

2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_11.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_12.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_10.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_9.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_13.jpg

Our bartender muddled the limes for Angel's ginger-vanilla mojito and my caipiroska with gusto, and when I admired her handiwork, she invited me behind the bar to hang out and take some pictures.

2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_5.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_6.jpg

Obviously I was too busy stuffing limes and liquor bottles into my pockets to really focus on the photos.

2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_8.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Viceroy_-_7.jpg

For dinner, we had reservations at Veya, a sexy tropical treehouse perched among swaying palm fronds.

2016_Aug_AXA_Vtreehs_-_1.jpg

DEF76649DF75693E70134BC670F1B7BB.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Vkoi_-_1.jpg

We'd carefully planned the day and time of our reservation to finally catch Omari Banks' acoustic set. Earlier that week, however, we learned that Omari was going to be in Trinidad for a benefit concert, and so we would miss him yet again.

Upon arrival, we were led to a table at the front of the restaurant, overlooking the Mezze lounge and the empty stage.

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_1__1_.jpg

Accustomed to being tucked away at one of the tables at the back of the restaurant where I can snap photos with relative abandon, we quickly realized that if we remained up front, we weren't going to see Omari, but we likely were going to see the disapproving stares of the surrounding diners when I started shooting. Not wanting to annoy anyone with the camera, Angel found Jerry and discreetly asked if we could be moved to a more isolated table in the back instead.

Have you ever opened your mouth and stuck not only your foot in it, but most of your calf, too? It turns out that Jerry, who is familiar with this blog(!), knew we'd be taking lots of photos and gave us the best seats in the house on purpose so we'd have a front-row seat for Omari, who had unexpectedly arrived back on island just in time to perform that evening.

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_1.jpg

Open mouth, insert entire leg.

And while it's open, you might as well also toss in Veya's mind-blowing banana bread and Johnny cakes.

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_5.jpg

We devoured the bread basket in short order, which was a big mistake since we then had nothing to dunk in the extraordinary yellow-pepper soup that the chef presented as an amuse-bouche.

2016_Aug_AXA_Vsoup_-_1.jpg

We couldn't decide between the Vietnamese-style fried calamari with nuoc cham and the conch fritters with a chili-lime aioli . . . so we didn't.

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_6.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_7.jpg

Angel picked an old favorite for his main course, the grilled jerk tuna with a rum-coffee glaze, caramelized pineapple, and fried plantains.

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_9.jpg

I went with something more unusual, at least for me: The tagine mahi-mahi with mashed plantains and cilantro-almond pesto. That might not sound so unusual, but I am one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap. (Fun fact: Most cilantro-haters possess a shared group of olfactory receptor genes that pick up on the smell of aldehyde chemicals, which are found in both cilantro . . . and soap. Translation: We're not crazy!) But this is Veya, where the magician in the kitchen, Jerry's lovely wife Carrie, can make even an ingredient that I normally loathe taste so good that not only can I tolerate it . . . I will choose it and happily devour it. (God only knows what that woman could do with a beet.)

large_2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_8.jpg

The evening was absolutely perfect: Fantastic food, great company, and a front-row seat for Omari's performance.

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_3.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_4.jpg

And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, Jerry stopped by our table to chat, and to deliver this:

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_12.jpg

That is a dragon fruit, fresh from the garden of one of Veya's servers. Indigenous to Central America, dragon fruit comes from several cactus species, and its succulent stem provides the fruit with moisture in the arid climates where it grows -- like Anguilla.

2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_11.jpg

Despite its Technicolor flesh, the fruit is extremely mild and reminiscent of kiwi.

large_2016_Aug_AXA_VEYA_-_10.jpg

There might also have been a bottle of Champagne for dessert. You know how those restaurant people roll.

The next morning we awoke feeling great, which is not normally the case after Champagne, but can be the case if you accompany that bottle with enough food to create a sizable stomach-sponge.

2016_Aug_A..eanEch1_-_2.jpg

It was another day of glorious weather, so we decided to spend it at Ocean Echo on Meads Bay.

2016_Aug_A..anEch1_-_15.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..Echbldg_-_1.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..eanEch1_-_7.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..nTGredo_-_1.jpg

It was well before noon and we had the place to ourselves, so we dropped our things on the nearest loungers and jumped straight into the water.

large_2016_Aug_A..eanEch1_-_8.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..eanEch1_-_5.jpg

2016_Aug_A..eanEch1_-_3.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..anEch1_-_11.jpg

Eventually the smell of food wafted our way, so we dragged ourselves up the beach for lunch, which turned out to be the excellent coconut curry shrimp with pineapple, along with the Asian stir fry with jasmine rice.

large_2016_Aug_A..anEch1_-_19.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..anEch1_-_20.jpg

2016_Aug_A..anEch1_-_16.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..eanEch1_-_6.jpg

After lunch we decided to fight it out over who'd get the last sip of the Ocean Sand Lemonade.

large_2016_Aug_A..anEch1_-_13.jpg

2016_Aug_A..anEch1_-_17.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..eanEch1_-_9.jpg

Obviously, I won.

2016_Aug_A..anEch1_-_14.jpg

Back at the villa, I took a quick shower, threw my hair into a messy bun, sprinted to the car, and gunned it over to my favorite spot on the island, Ferryboat Inn. As you can see, I was just a tiny bit excited about the burger bacchanal to come.

2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_1.jpg

Now, I have raved about the FBI cheeseburger in numerous posts on this blog, have waxed poetic about it on various online forums, and have even published handy how-to instructions for newbies here. But what I have not done is compose a proper Ode to The Ferryboat Cheeseburger. I think it might be time.

Oh Ferryboat burger, how do I love thee
With a rum punch in hand and a view of the sea.

Other burgers abound, but you are The One
Ground beefy perfection on a sesame-seed bun.

You're juicy and cheesy and too good to share
Ask for a bite? Angel won't even dare.

Delightful Marjorie and Christian preside over the place
Just don't interrupt me while I'm stuffing my face.

Oh Ferryboat burger, nothing in this world is so fine
If you
still haven't had one, you're no friend of mine.

Obviously, this can be set to music as well. There's even an awkward happy dance.

2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_5.jpg

Ferryboat had undergone a mini-renovation since our last visit, with new tables and chairs and a fresh coat of cheery, lime-green paint.

large_2016_Aug_AXA_FBidin_-_1.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_3.jpg

After admiring their freshened-up digs, we got caught up with Marjorie and Christian at the bar while waiting for our burgers to arrive.

2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_4.jpg

As soon as they did, it was like one of those raucous party scenes in a movie where the parents come home and, all of a sudden, everything comes to a screeching halt and the room goes totally silent except for one drunk guy burping just off-camera.

2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_8.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_9.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_10.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_6.jpg

2016_AUG_AXA_burgbite_-_1.jpg

We'd no sooner finished our burgers and were heading home when -- irony of ironies -- we happened upon these two.

2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_13.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_14.jpg

I would have sworn it was just a coincidence . . . until I heard the big one say, "Hey, lady! Stop looking at my kid like that."
--------------------------------------------------------
2016_Aug_AXA_FBI_-_11.jpg

Click here to read Part 3!

Posted by TraceyG 06:03 Archived in Anguilla Tagged viceroy ferryboat_inn elodias ocean_echo moondance veya omari_banks Comments (14)

Anguilla, Stage 3: Pick Your Poison

The next morning I bounded out of bed at 5:20 a.m., a feat that I could accomplish back home only if the house was on fire (and even then it is doubtful). Naturally, Angel was still asleep, so I tiptoed to the other bedroom to take in the glorious sunrise.

2016_Aug_AXA_Sunrise3_-_1.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Sunrise3_-_2.jpg

5:30 a.m.: Maybe I'll head outside to poke around in the gardens for a bit.

2016_Aug_AXA_flowers_-_1.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_flowers_-_7.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_flowers_-_5.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_flowers_-_2.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_flowers_-_4.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_flowers_-_3.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_flowers_-_6.jpg

5:45 a.m.: Time to lift up Angel's eyelids to see if he's awake yet. No dice.

5:50 a.m.: Back to the balcony to soak up the sea breeze.

large_2016_Aug_A..ingBalc_-_2.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..ingBalc_-_1.jpg

5:58 a.m.: Doing nothing is boring. Happily, it suddenly occurred to me that the balcony would be the perfect spot for Angel to enjoy a cup of coffee when he woke up. And so I headed downstairs to do battle with that coffee-making contraption I'd seen earlier.

I don't drink coffee, so I don't really know how to work a coffee maker. But how hard could it be? I confirmed that I had coffee, sugar, and cream, then added the grounds to the filter, filled the chamber with water, and flipped the switch.

2016_Aug_AXA_kitch_-_1.jpg

After a few short minutes, success! The machine began to gurgle, and out came what looked and smelled like coffee. I triumphantly patted myself on the back as I poured a cup for Angel and delivered it to him in bed.

He was delighted by the coffee (though less so by the 6:15 a.m. wake-up call), and spent the rest of the morning sipping his coffee poolside as we discussed our plans for the day.

large_2016_Aug_A..oolredo_-_1.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_AGpool_-_1.jpg

We decided to do a little shopping that morning, with stops at Irie Life and a new favorite, Limin' Boutique.

2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_2.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_1.jpg

Ken and his cute-as-a-button wife Renee run Limin', while Renee pulls double duty by also modeling the bright, beachy wares that line the walls.

2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_3.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_8.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_13.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_4.jpg

IMG_0358a.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_10.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_5.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Limin_-_14.jpg

After our spree, we drove up to Island Harbour to have lunch at Elite, which is not new but was new to us. We'd heard good things, and even if we hadn't, you know I'd drive to the ends of the earth for some gnocchi.

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_1.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_8.jpg

It turns out that Elite is sweet and secluded and makes a mean focaccia, too.

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_2.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_9.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_3.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_10.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_13.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_15.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_29.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_11.jpg

If that isn't enough to get you up to Island Harbour, then maybe the view is.

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_6.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_5.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_7.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_27.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_21.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_25.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_24.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_30.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_22.jpg

We began the meal by sharing the shrimp panzanella salad, which came with croutons made from more of that fabulous focaccia, then moved on to the penne arrabiata in a spicy red pepper sauce for Angel (with just a smidgen of cheese), and the gnocchi for me.

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_16.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_18.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_17.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_20.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Elite_-_19.jpg

After lunch we lazed around for a bit, then decided to head over to Scilly Cay, since it had been 19 years since we'd last been there.

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_1.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_22.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_29.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_21.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_24.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_6.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_3.jpg

Nineteen years, and I am pretty sure we are still nursing a hangover from that visit, courtesy of Eudoxie's deadly rum punch.

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_8.jpg

Nineteen years, and we discovered that we've actually grown up a bit since then. What used to be great fun -- drunk folks lolling about in the water, awkwardly attempting to slap each other five and yelling, "WOOOO!" -- was now annoying to our old-folks sensibilities. And so we stole away to a couple of hidden loungers, sipped our rum punches, took a quick dip in the water, and caught the next boat back to Island Harbour, all before you could drunkenly holler, "Dude . . . watch this!"

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_7.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_13.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_18.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_16.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_14.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_4.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_30.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_Scilly_-_26.jpg

When we returned to Moondance that evening, Angel wasn't feeling well, and we racked our brains to see if he'd eaten something that I hadn't. (Not that it would have mattered much -- my stomach is made of cast iron.) But we'd shared an appetizer and tried each other's entrees at lunch, had ordered all the same drinks at both Elite and Scilly Cay, so we were stumped as to the cause.

That's because by that time, I'd forgotten all about that coffee I'd made for Angel earlier that morning, and of course so had he. In fact, it wasn't until his insides revolted with such vehemence that they couldn't even pick just one orifice from which to expel that coffee (and everything else in his stomach) that I realized what I'd done: Without even thinking, I'd filled the coffee pot that morning with tap water. And not just your run-of-the-mill Caribbean tap water, but tap water that had been languishing in the pipes of a house that had been unoccupied for weeks prior to our stay.

Looking back, I guess I should have known that something was amiss . . .

large_2000_Aug_El_AGpoison_-_2.jpg

At least he knew I didn't do it on purpose. There's no way I'd poison him in Anguilla and ruin my vacation.

By the time our dinner reservation at Straw Hat rolled around, Angel was in full-blown digestive distress, and it was clear that he was in no shape to go out. I picked up the phone to cancel, but before I could get through, Angel hauled himself off the sofa and insisted that he could make it. (I didn't believe him, of course, and when he actually volunteered to pose for some photos, I knew he'd gone plum delirious.)

large_2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_1.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_2.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_3.jpg

If you are new to the island and wondering if you should add Straw Hat to your list of dinner reservations, consider this: If you are suffering from all five symptoms in a Pepto-Bismol commercial at the same time and still want to go out to dinner because "It's Straw Hat!!," that's a pretty good sign that this place is worth your while.

2016_Aug_A..rawhat2_-_1.jpg

2016_Aug_A..rawhat2_-_2.jpg

2016_Aug_A..rawHat_-_18.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..rawHat_-_17.jpg

He staggered into the place like a man on his last legs and slumped into his seat at the table, where he looked like this . . .

2016_Aug_A..rawHat_-_13.jpg

. . . but probably felt like this.

2016_Aug_A..rawHat_-_12.jpg

Our table was ridiculously romantic: Right on the edge of the sea, illuminated by string lights and candles, with the sound of the surf and some reggae music floating on the light breeze.

2016_AUG_AXA_SHtable_-_1.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_6.jpg

large_2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_5.jpg

I didn't think Angel would be able to eat much, but that didn't mean his half would go to waste. And so we ordered up the lobster spring rolls to "share," followed by the lobster mac & cheese with gruyere and parmesan sauce for me, along with a mild-sounding melon-mojito snapper for Patient Zero.

2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_8.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_7.jpg

2016_Aug_A..rawHat_-_10.jpg

large_2016_Aug_A..rawHat_-_11.jpg

2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_9.jpg

Angel took approximately two bites of that snapper before he turned green, and so we explained to our server, as politely and discreetly as we could, that we'd be taking the meal to go (though not before I inhaled that entire order of spring rolls as an act of good faith).

2016_Aug_AXA_StrawHat_-_4.jpg

The lovely Doris quickly noticed that we were leaving early and inquired as to whether everything was okay. We assured her that both the food and the setting were perfect, but unfortunately Angel hadn't been feeling well. At that she sprang into action, filling a to-go container with bitters and seeing us off with the utmost care and concern.

2016_Aug_A..rawHat_-_14.jpg

For his part, Angel was the consummate professional, still shouting out photography tips as he crawled to the car gripping his belly.

large_2016_Aug_A..rawHat_-_23.jpg

We got him home, tucked him into bed, and made sure he was on the side closest to the bathroom. And that's when I realized I'd entered Stage 3 of Anguilla Vacation Grief: Bargaining.

Dear Lord, please let him feel better so I can work in a second cheeseburger.
----------------------------------------
2016_Aug_AXA_FBIburg_-_1.jpg

Click here to read Part 4!

Posted by TraceyG 05:21 Archived in Anguilla Tagged elite irie_life straw_hat moondance scilly_cay limin_boutique Comments (13)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]