18 October 2009

Anguilla = Bliss, Part 2

Our breakfast view every morning

Day 2:

Very fitful night’s sleep, as the a/c was still not working. Woke up off and on throughout the night, completely sticky and uncomfortable. At one point I even got out of bed to take a cold shower so that I could cool off enough to fall asleep.

We had early morning coffee on the deck and ate breakfast in the villa again—this time scrambled eggs & toast—then headed into the Valley to mail some postcards and buy some t-shirts at the pharmacy. Oddly enough, their credit card machine wasn’t working. We’d had the same problem at the philatelic bureau the day before. No connection, apparently. Then we walked up to the Keene villa office to make arrangements for our dining voucher and to request again to have the a/c fixed in our bedroom. Apparently the request Lyn made on our behalf got garbled because the maintenance folks checked the unit in Chinaberry, not Bayberry, which was working perfectly fine. MSM got two great nights’ sleep, though, so at least we had that.

My sweet mama enjoying the water

Then we made our way to spend the day at Anguilla Great House on Rendezvous Bay. We paid US $5 per person to use a beach chair for the day, which had to be paid up front and not added to a tab. The beach was very pretty and I loved the strong breeze that kept us from getting too warm. We alternated among dips in the sea, walks along the beach, and staying put reading our books. For lunch we opted for simple fare: two grilled cheese sandwiches and one BLT, all served with fries. Two mango coladas and two Diet Cokes brought the total to only $34, plus additional tip. I was quite surprised at the value, and the food was perfectly good and generously portioned. I’d read a few lukewarm reviews for dinner at AGH, so I was a little apprehensive about our luncheon fare, but my fears were unfounded. I’d definitely recommend it as a pleasant and economical place for lunch on Rendezvous Bay.

Late afternoon we drove back to freshen up and catch the sunset from our balcony—we were completely surprised to note that we could actually see it, as we didn’t expect that that it would be visible from our location on the island. Tonight was so hazy, though, that it wasn’t worth rushing home for.

Hazy sunset

Dinner tonight was at Luna Rosa, a first time experience for us. At first we weren’t sure that we’d be able to work through the $200 dining voucher, so we agreed we’d just make this our big splurge meal. (Turns out, we needn’t have worried, as you’ll soon see…) We ordered a lot of the evening specials, which were definitely pricier than we were expecting. DH had swordfish carpaccio followed by Italy’s answer to the sea bass, the branzino. I had the Tricolore salad and the same fish as DH. MSM opted for the salad special, which was locally grown arugula topped with goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and 25 year old balsamic vinegar, followed by red snapper. All three entrees were catch of the day specials, grilled whole and then boned for us at the table. The preparation was just delicious. We shared an order of tiramisu, as we were too full to each get our own. Two rum punches, two martinis, one glass of wine, and one Grand Marnier later, our bill came to US $276, plus additional tip.

We are of a mixed opinion whether we thought the meal was worth the money. I thought it was a lovely evening, and my salad was perhaps the most perfectly dressed salad I’ve ever eaten. My mom had a hard time understanding our server (I think it was the owner) and thus didn’t realize she was ordering an arugula salad, which she doesn’t much like. DH said his carpaccio was the best preparation of swordfish he’d ever had, and we all three enjoyed our fish entrees. However, we were one table away from a couple who were smoking, which bothered all three of us, and the night was very still (borderline stifling) with no discernible breeze coming off the water and no ceiling fans to create any artificial air movement. The music was a little intrusive and a little chaotic in the choice—it meandered from a Frank Sinatra-type crooner in Italian to a lively little number you might expect at a Greek wedding, to an operatic number to a mournful sounding ballad. My husband was a little disappointed overall, but I have nothing to regret from our evening’s choices. Would I go to Luna Rosa again? Probably, and I’d go early enough to have cocktails while watching the sunset. But I wouldn’t order any specials without asking for a price ahead of time.

NB: the credit card machine wasn’t working here, either, which wasn’t a problem since we had the $200 voucher and collectively had the additional $100 to (barely) cover the rest. But if we hadn’t been dining with the voucher we wouldn’t have been able to pay for the meal. The owner graciously mentioned that if we didn’t have the cash that night we could come by the next day to pay, which is one of many reasons to love Anguilla, but I have to think it's a hard way to do business, never knowing what will work on any given day.

Finished reading J Maarten Troost’s Getting Stoned With Savages, a sequel to the author’s first book that I read and enjoyed in June. It’s nearly as funny as the first book and full of interesting little insights in his expat life in Vanuatu and Fiji.

Came home to two bedrooms blessedly equipped with a working a/c unit!

Beautiful, deserted Rendezvous Bay

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