|Take-out from Geraud's|
Tuesday: went to Geraud's early to buy pastries to bring back home to eat: almond croissant and raisin/pecan sweet roll. Ate on balcony. Already melancholy, which will color our experience of the entire day. The hammocks at Gwen's are exuding their siren call and we are helpless to resist. Luckily for us "Mr. Anguilla" has made himself scarce, but Terraine is there, and she's a sweetheart who puts us very much in mind of one of our granddaughters. Neither one of us is particularly hungry, so we shared a burger and got to chatting with a couple sitting next to us, Noah & Salem, honeymooners from Houston. We have definitely seen more honeymooners on this trip than previous ones, and Noah & Salem confirmed one of my suspicions: they chose Anguilla because it looked so beautiful on The Bachelor. Surprisingly, however, they chose Viceroy over Cuisinart. Say what you want to about that awful TV show (and I've said plenty!), it does seem to be bringing in new visitors to the island. N&S left and we moseyed over to "our" hammocks where we spent the rest of the afternoon.
|The beautiful Bethel Methodist church|
|Detail of the St. Gerard's Catholic church door|
|Surf at Barnes Bay|
|More Barnes Bay|
Back to Caribella--there were much bigger waves and a stronger undertow than usual when we went for our last swim at Barnes Bay. We were just thinking about getting out when we saw a large, dark brown shape past our feet near the breaking surf--maybe a sting ray?--the water was too churned up to see more than an outline, so that clinched it for us. I took a few photos of the waves, the average of which was probably 18". Very surprised at change in beach just over course of two week visit--the shape and lines of Barnes Bay beach radically changed during our stay.
|The lights at Straw Hat|
Travel day(Wednesday): woke early and started packing. When most of our suitcases were ready to go, we headed out to Geraud's for one last time, getting there shortly before 8:00, so at least most of their selections were still available. We each had an almond croissant, though I was tempted to get another Bostock (they take almond croissants and chocolate croissants, mash them up, soak them with rum, and sprinkle powdered sugar on top. how could that possibly be bad?), but I held back. We also ordered a lovely baguette sandwich with ham, cheese, and butter to go so we could have one last bite of Anguilla while waiting in St. Maarten. We sipped our coffee, read our books, and when we both looked up at the same time, we had tears in our eyes. Clearly even two weeks is not enough in this place that gets under our skin and in our hearts. We were starting to go through the motions of leaving when a woman stopped by our table to say hello--she's been coming to Anguilla for years with her family and had been reading my blog--I'm afraid her kind words disarmed me completely and tears sprang to my eyes again. Gosh, I'm such an easy mark!
|Oh, Gwen's, how we miss you!|
My husband decided he would rather fly over than take the ferry, so we booked with Anguilla Air Services, which was $80 per person. The flight was delayed by almost 30 minutes, but that was fine since we had plenty of time to connect in St. Maarten. Clearing immigration was fast and once again, there was literally nobody on hand at customs, so we walked through and checked in at the American Airlines counter. We paused in the food court to eat our yummy baguette from Geraud's and then bided our time until it was time to go upstairs. The woman working our security line was perhaps the most unpleasant TSA-type employee I've ever encountered, barking orders at all of the passengers with a real snarl. Ahh, good times! Flight itself was uneventful, which really is the main thing, but connecting in MIA is a nightmare, about which I'll say more in my closing notes. We got to our connecting BDL flight just in time, but flight was delayed for weather reasons. We got home and tumbled into bed around 2:00 am on Thursday, feeling that we were a world away from Anguilla in both distance and essence.