19 June 2012

Anguilla 2012: Getting there is half the fun?!

The Bahamas, from the air
Between spending the first week of June in NYC for BEA and then having only one week to catch up on missed work and working ahead to prepare for my vacation, I couldn't really afford letting myself daydream about Anguilla. 

And then, just 36 hours before our departure, my husband landed himself in the emergency department of our local hospital, at which point we both braced ourselves in anticipation of the doctor's advice to cancel our trip.  Fortunately my husband's physical health was good enough that we didn't have to endanger our mental health by canceling!

Approaching St. Maarten & Anguilla
Thus I am now able to post this on our first morning in Anguilla.  Our travel day yesterday had its ups & downs: we were pulled out of the boarding lines both times yesterday and our luggage challenged by the AA gate agents as being oversized.  Yes, we travel with the maximum allowed number of carry-ons, it's true.  But we've been traveling with these same pieces for years, and they *always* fit.  On the BDL-MIA leg, they challenged the bulk of my husband's main rollaboard (it's a TravelPro, made to carry-on specs), so we rearranged our items until the gate agents were satisfied.  But it was in Miami, about to board for St. Maarten, they they tried to claim that my husband's computer bag wouldn't fit under the seat and that it counted as an extra piece of luggage.  I didn't want to get testy with anybody at AA, but I was frustrated, and it was only by insisting that we'd just flown there from BDL on the same type of aircraft (737) with the bag *under the seat* that they let us pass. 

Leaving St. Martin in our wake
Both flights were fine, and frankly among the smoothest and quietest I've ever flown.  We were just congratulating ourselves on finally arriving in the Caribbean when we realized that somebody else had taken our carry-on luggage (we'd had to stow it about 15 rows in front of where we were seated).  Panic mode!  I rushed ahead to immigration upon the advice of the flight attendant who otherwise remained unhelpful and unmoved by our predicament, but luckily the woman who mistakenly took our bag realized it right before she went through immigration and we were able to get my husband's bag (with all of his meds for the next two weeks) back.  She seemed a little peeved that we hadn't brought her bag with us, but there was no way for us to have known that the bag left on board would correspond to the woman who took our bag.

The Blowing Point dock
Anyway, we make our way out of the airport and inquire with the various shuttle boats who has available passage to Anguilla and when.  We took GB for the first time, and it was a terrific experience--I think better than our two experiences with FunTime.  It was $55 per person, including transportation to the police station on Simpson Lagoon, where the boat departs.  There were only 4 passengers aboard and it was an extremely smooth crossing.  We picked up our rental car than Ronnie Bryan had arranged to leave at Blowing Point for us and, rolling the windows down to breathe in the island air, we made our way eastward to Arawak.

This is our first trip to Anguilla in which we split our stay.  We knew that we'd return to our favorite Caribella in the west end, but since we 16 days (including travel days) for this trip, we decided to start our vacation by exploring the east end a little more.  When I saw the Arawak's newly renovated rooms and a summer special offering 25% off regular rates, I decided to book it.  I've always liked the looks of these pastel hexagonal cottages in Island Harbour, and once we checked in and saw the room, we fell in love with Anguilla all over again.

 Our cottage was #14, the top floor of the penultimate building.  It's spacious, with pleasant views and proximity to the water, and incredibly breezy. The room has a four-poster king bed, a full sized pull-out sofa, small refrigerator, a decent-sized bathroom, and a pleasant balcony with a love seat, ottoman, small table, and two chairs. 

After freshening up, we immediately grabbed our books and headed out to the balcony, along with the complimentary bottle of water that Arawak provided.  We were completely exhausted and waiting the hour until the kitchen opened seemed like it might undo us, but luckily the breezy view and the diving pelicans occupied our minds sufficiently until it was time to eat.  Too tired to eat off premises, we shared an appetizer of hummus and a medium pizza, bringing the two leftover slices back to our room.  Arawak has an honor bar system, which is one that we rather like, so we grabbed water, beer, soda, and wine as the spirit moved us (so to speak) and settled back to enjoy the twilight.

Feels good to breathe the salt air

Travel worn, but happy to be here
This one better shows the view and demonstrates the breeze!


  1. I hope you guys have a lovely and relaxing trip (to more than make up for the travel woes -- that kind of thing drives me mad!).

  2. Dude, your traveling is so inspirational. I'd never felt much of an interest in going to this part of the world before reading your blogs. Glad the room's so awesome!

  3. Glad you could make it there and that you liked Arawak. Thanks for the updates. Thanks for writing.

  4. Thanks, Emily. Scary trip and AA is grasping at $$Bills as they go bankrupt and we thought USAirways was a pain!

    Glad you are happy with Arawak and I look forward to more as I always enjoy your posts. Let us know how "A" Burger is, please. We didn't make it this last time and while I liked the burger at Ferry Boat, it was a bit salty, and I'm always ready to try a good burger!

    I'm kind of "lurking" (along with a few others) now on TA and not posting because of all the censorship lately, but wanted to let you know I am reading and loving your posts!


  5. Emily,
    So sorry your trip over was such a hassle. AA is really digging for $$ to try to make you check your luggage; guess that's what bankrupcy does for you and we thought USAirways was bad!

    Glad you are in and settled. Hope you relax and enjoy the rest of your stay and hubby stays healthy. What he needs is a good Rum punch! Let us know how "A" Burger is. We didn't get to try it and hope to next time. Please keep posting. Love to read about your days and pretend we are there!

    I'm only lurking and not posting on TA (along with a few others you may notice) because of all the recent censorship but I will be enjoying your trip with you!

  6. Wow.....delighted and relieved that y'all finally made it. Loved the pictures of you and Bubba....please keep them coming. Have a rum punch for me!!

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's health issues and all the hassles with AA. Looks like you are in heaven now! I especially enjoyed all your pictures, and those of Arawak; they should put your pictures on their website - I had no idea they had renovations. Have a delightful day and thanks so much for sharing with all of us!

  8. Wow, it looks great where you are. What a hassle lying there, but hey, you can relax now. Hope your husband will be fine all the way through. Havea good time!

  9. After a hair-raising experience getting to Paradise, you deserve all of the limin' you can get. Just read, read, read and surf (a bit of fancy eatin' might not be so bad either!)
    I will be enjoying your blog along with several others who also have stopped posting on TA for a while.
    Censorship and I are very big foes.
    That new TA seems trigger happy to me.

  10. Am really enjoying your trip so far! So sorry your hubby experienced some health glitches ... and so happy that you still made it to AXA. I look forward to reading/seeing more about Arawak, since I will be staying there soon. Thanks to "elder-care" duties, I've had to post-pone it yet again (3rd or 4th time now?!), but it's bought and paid for, so I will find my way there before end of year, one way or t'other! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy ... !

  11. cannot wait to read all your adventures..


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