06 August 2012

Hey Mango--Mango Italiano

Rainy Days and Mondays
Stormy Weather
Woke up to a dark gray sky and a semi-indistinguishable horizon.  We love it when it rains on vacation (for ourselves, but also because the island always so desperately needs it), so we settled in with a book and a pot of coffee and enjoyed the early mornin' rain.

So much for our plans for spending the last day down at the beach, but at least that doesn't mean we cannot eat well! Around 9:00 we headed over to Straw Hat for one last meal there.  Geraud's wasn't open and we didn't want to cook at home that morning, so it turned into a splurge-y day for us, with all three meals eaten out. By the time we got to Straw Hat, the sky was clearing a bit but we still opted to sit under the canopy rather than all the way out on the patio.  We spent a pleasant hour there over our continental breakfasts, juice, and coffee, gazing out to sea and putting our noses back into our books.

Courtney Devonish, proprietor and sculptor
After breakfast it was sprinkling, so we turned the car toward the Devonish Gallery, where we had stopped by previously without making any purchases.  I had wanted some time to mull over  a purchase that would be sizeable, at least to my little pocketbook.  Last year I'd bought a small, original painting and I was hoping to find another one that was both good and in my price range this year.  There was one that was approaching my price range, an oil painting by an artist whose watercolors I greatly admire and whose giclee prints are found all over the island.  After a couple of days of deliberation, though, I decided that it simply lacked the movement I was attracted to in his other works.

Two of these came home with us

Antoine Chapon, whose watercolors I admire
We didn't leave the gallery empty-handed, though.  DH bought two of Mr. Devonish's signature carved mahogany hearts with some beautiful graining, and I bought a mahogany sculpture of a pelican that is so sly it's almost abstract.

I love this--it sits in our hallway under the skylight

It continued to rain off and on for the rest of the day, so we spent it mostly at Caribella, with a brief hop up the road for takeout from the Blanchards Beach Shack.  Will you forgive me if I confess that I don't remember what we ordered?  It remember that it was good, with vague regret that the fro-yo would melt before I got it back so I didn't order it.

He kept taking my hand in his mouth
I went for one last walk on the beach at Barnes Bay with my dog buddy when the sun came out for a while and a last swim in my private cove.  Beyond that, there was more reading out on the balcony, and before too long, there was drinking out on the balcony, too.  I had half a bottle of a nice Pouilly-Fume left and it would have been wasteful not to drink it.  Right?

Hey Mango, Mango Italiano (not really, but I got that song in my head)
Now, despite anything my boss might have told you about bourbon consumption vis a vis me, I'm not actually a heavy drinker.  And with my husband's alcoholic intake severely restricted for this trip under doctor's orders, I was pretty moderate in my own consumption for this trip.  Right up until our last night, that is.  We went to Mango's for dinner because it's within a nice staggering distance of Caribella, and to quote a Friends epidsode, I think there was food; I know there was wine. I don't have a single photograph of our dinner experience at Mango's, nor do I have a shot of our food.  I remember they put us at a quiet corner table, and that I ordered the sesame snapper, cilantro be damned, and I think DH had a conch carpaccio special for an appetizer.  I do remember that the food was good, and I remember that Andrea was our server, and it's entirely possible that I was inappropriately maudlin to her.  DH won't tell me, and it's quite maddening!

I opted for a rum nightcap back at Caribella in lieu of dessert, at which point I basically fell on the bed and was promptly asleep.  Luckily I awakened early and with no trace of a hangover, so I packed as quietly as I could without waking DH.

Everybody's favorite chattel home in the West End

Just another random photo 
Those last hours on the island are always a bit strange for me.  I'm restless, stuck in between vacation and home, and I become more finicky (DH might say irritable) inversely proportional to the time I have left.  Alas.  We put off the inevitable by driving to Geraud's for breakfast, where two couples stopped to say hi and introduce themselves--they recognized us from the blog--and then immediately commiserate with us over our having to leave that day.  We ordered a ham & butter baguette to go so that we'd have a little of Anguilla to take with us to St. Maarten, and then went back home to finish packing.  Or in my case, to start pacing.

Another random photo for your viewing pleasure.
Eventually the time comes for us to head out for the airport, so we leave some gifts and a little somethin-somethin' for the ladies who took such great care of us during our stay.  For our last few trips we've opted for the Anguilla Air Services shuttle to SXM rather than one of the ferries--it's a little bit more money, but we love flying, especially in tiny planes, and it beats waiting at Blowing Point for the next ferry.

Sad to leave Anguilla

I love being on these tiny planes!
I shot a few photos out of the window during the uber-short flight to SXM, where we arrived in plenty of time for our flight to Miami.  MIA continues to be a disaster area and I continue to mourn the loss of the SJU-BDL nonstop flight that made travel to the Caribbean so much easier for us.  We used to be avid fans of American Airlines because they made it easy for us to fly almost anywhere in the Caribbean we wanted to visit, but now that they've severely reduced their service to that region, with no signs of improvement, it will soon be time for us to vote with our feet once we've redeemed the cache of miles.
It's always fascinated me how the propeller shows up in photos like this

Farewell, Anguilla
I usually do a "parting thoughts" section for each of my trips, but I pretty much feel like I'd just be saying the same thing I always say: the ache in our hearts when we depart remains constant, and if our eyes shine brightly through unshed tears, what of it? I don't know when my travels will take me back to Anguilla.  This October, my husband and I will be traveling with family members to celebrate our joint birthdays, one of which is a milestone, and Anguilla is *not* our destination.  A few factors contributed to this, among them my disgust at the re-opening of the dolphin prison next to Blowing Point. I'm not saying that I will forsake it forever, but I do forsake it for now. So it is with true bittersweetness that I conclude the final portion of my Anguilla 2012 trip report.  Here are some more photos from the trip.  Thanks for reading along with my travels, and if I've touched a nerve with you anywhere along the way, I'd love for you to leave a comment.

Contrast Anguilla with photo of St. Maarten below
So many highrises!

This pretty, abandoned church is still quite photo-worthy

I love the colors (and textures) here in this abandoned house near Caribella

Shooting into the sun at Long Bay 
Okay, not from this trip, but I love this sunrise photo on Shoal Bay East


  1. love the art...amazing treasures to remind you of yet another wonderful trip in paradise..

    1. hope that our travel paths cross again one of these days, ann!

  2. It has been such a pleasure reading of your holiday experiences. I have so looked forward to and enjoyed all your posts, photos and informative book reviews. Thank you for taking the time to write.
    Jan (UK)

    1. Jan, thanks for reading along with my adventures. Have you traveled to Anguilla yourself?

  3. Delightful Emily. Sad to hear you won't be back to Anguilla for a while, you will be missed, your reports are always a great pleasure.
    Thanks for all your time, each and every report has been a pleasure.
    My best to you and your DH.

    1. Thanks, Ellen. We'll get back to Anguilla one of these days, but probably not for another year or so. The dolphin prison helped galvanize the decision, but it wasn't the only contributing factor. Thanks for reading, and I hope that one day we're both on island at the same time 'cause I'd love to meet you!

  4. Thanks Emily, that kitty photo at the end is excellent. I'm glad you included it. Also love your new pelican sculpture from Devonish. We love the Chapon watercolors as well and also spent a chunk of cash last trip. Devonish is the place I want to be on a rainy day as well.

    Beautifully done. Thanks again.

    1. thank you, Daffy. I'm envious that you went home with a Chapon watercolor! Maybe one day for us...thanks for reading along with me on my trip, and I hope one day our trips to the island coincide 'cause I'd love to meet you sometime.

  5. Emily,
    Once again, an enjoyable read. Thank you for your words and photos. So sad that you are not planning another trip to Anguilla. While, we also detest the idea of the Dolphin prison, it seems to me the best ways to show our disapproval are to not patronize the place; show disdain when passing it, and patronizing Anguilla's other fine establishments.

    We cannot punish ourselves and the whole island because a few wanted this to go forward and we do not judge the people of Anguilla for wanting jobs, even if the jobs likely went to foreigners and not belongers.

    You and your DH have added tourism visits now doubt with your wonderful blog. I hope you enjoy VG with your family and maybe you will change your mind about returning to Anguilla next year. We stay in Villas all the time and you can negotiate with owners, either directly or with an agency like Island Dreams. Yes, they are likely more expensive than other islands and maybe some of it has to do with the taxes and limited number of visitors compared to the number of villa.

    Do post about your trip to VG. It has been nice "meeting" you and your DH via your blogs.

    1. Diana, I'll return to Anguilla one day, but just not again this year, and possibly not in 2013, either. There were plenty of other islands I loved visiting before our first trip to Anguilla, and I always said I wasn't going to let myself visit one while forsaking all of the others. Hopefully before too much time elapses, the efforts of you, other tourists, and folks on the island will eradicate the dolphin prison!

  6. That kitty photo is excellent! We also think Devonish is the place to go on a rainy day. Love the Chapon watercolors and the Richardson giclee prints. Sly is a nice adjective for that pelican sculpture. Love it as well.

    Enjoyed this blog so much, sorry to see it end. Happy travels, wherever you land, you know we will be reading you.

  7. As always, I love, love your blog! Thanks for another memorable trip to Anguilla (yes, I feel as though I was right there along with you!) ... it certainly goes a long way to helping me think through how my own much-postponed visit should go (I hesitate to say "plan", as I try to do very little concrete planning these days). What I love most about your blog is that I don't have to check elsewhere for my travel and at-home reading list, as well! I look forward to your next holiday ... and your next instalment of lit reviews!

    1. thanks, MsJilly! I truly hope that *this* time your trip to Anguilla goes off without a hitch and that you have a wonderful time. I look forward to hearing all about it.

  8. 1. The shooting into the sun photo is amazing

    2. Tiny planes terrify me

    3. That pelican is INDEED abstract (but cool)

    4. THAT COW

    I'm glad you had a good time. ;) These have taught me a whole bunch about a region I know relatively nothing about.

    1. You teach me about Wilkie Collins, I teach you about rum punch. Seems like a fair exchange. ;)

  9. I love tiny planes!! I had the chance to visit Nantucket on one -- I felt super fancy. Loved this photos -- your trip sounded amazing -- I am super envious!!

    1. You can see so much more from these tiny planes because of their lower altitude. I love 'em and I'm glad you do, too!

  10. You sure know how to brighten my day!! Thanks so much for sharing and taking me away - I really enjoy reading your fabulous blog!! Looking forward to your next!!



  11. I love three of your photos! Shooting into the sun at Long Bay, Rainy days and Mondays and the chairs in the rain. Thanks!

    1. thanks, Levonne. I hope things are good for you up in the land of the maple leaf!

  12. Don't forsake us now, we need u more than ever before. The dolphins r out of our hands now unfortunately, though we elected the government that put them there. The people of Anguilla treasure their repeat guests you become family. Like families though sometimes things go a bit wrong, but they say blood is thicker than water!! In the words of one of Mayoumba's favorite songs 'please come back again'.

    1. hi, Anon. I'll be back to Anguilla one day, just not any time in the next year. It's time I started seeing other people, er, islands. Anguilla isn't the only island in dire need of tourist dollars and I hope to rekindle my love affair with other places for a while.

  13. Loved, loved, loved your pictures and comments. Y'all are both such great travelers and ambassadors...thanks again...

  14. Emily, I'm not sure what superlative words I can use that I haven't already. You truly are my favorite travel blogger out there, and I will greatly miss your Anguilla reports over the next year or two. In addition to your writing skills, I appreciate your honesty and down to earth attitude. You have great taste, but at the same time you come across like an "every-woman" - not like some travel writers who are difficult to relate to in their attitudes/lifestyle.

    Like here in the US, I know our dollars speak more than my letters to any government agency/official and I admire your decision to try other places as the dolphin prison is quite troubling. Animal cruelty is one issue that I do not take lightly.

    We are already booked for a December trip, but I look forward to seeing where else your travels take you and learning about new destinations. With our fellow aversion to cilantro and love of all foods related to Veya, I know I can trust your judgment and experiences to help guide future travel decisions.

    All the best,

    1. CIndy, I'm speechless. Thank you so much for your kind words. And it's ironic, is it not, that I would list you and TraceyG as my own two favorite travel writers/bloggers.

      I'm sure VG in October will be wonderful, as long as I can make myself stop trying to compare it to Anguilla! Hope your December trip there is as fabulous as usual, and I look forward to reading your reports from your new-to-you accommodations!

  15. Hi Emily--- we have stayed at Caribella 17 times in the pst 16 years of visiting Anguilla. We love the people of Anguilla and the charm of their island. We were last there in March 2012 and hadn't heard about the dolphin prison-- that was always a downer for us, even though we were able to see a dolphin born the year before the old place was torn down.
    I love your comments and pictures about your trips there. I feel like I am back walking and sitting with you as your special places are our special places. And to think that the swimming cove at the end of Barnes bay is your favorite as well as ours.
    You posted the picture of the steer grazing--and the pink house. Have you ever seen the horses on the road to Altamar? There are 3 or 4 of them that I would see on my walks from Caribella to Altamar.

    I assume that VG represents Virgin Gorda-- I am interested in hearing what you think of it. We have been there as well as to 10 other islands in the Caribbean. Once we found Anguilla, we were content to return year after year. Booked for December 2013-- not counting the days yet, but will be shortly.
    Thanks for sharing your visions of Anguilla-- love it.

  16. My wife Carol and I also love Chapon's works. We have three of his pieces hanging in our entryway. We also love works by Frenchman Paul Elliot Thuleau who has a gallery in Grand Case, St. Martin FWI. We managed to go through and meet Antoine Chapon in his home on St. Martin. Interesting fellow who lives in a beautiful location. Keep up the good work.


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)