11 July 2014

Anguilla: Off to a Decidedly Lazy Start

  Barnes Bay in the morning
Our first day waking up on Anguilla was one of pure, lazy indulgence.  Having gone to bed early and having slept well thanks to the modern marvels of air conditioning, we woke up with the sun.  Interestingly, we wake up much earlier on vacation than we do at home; I reckon it's partly because we're well-rested and partly because we go to bed a bit earlier.

We drank some coffee out on the balcony at Caribella and enjoyed the quiet while waiting for the time when Straw Hat might be open for breakfast.  Though in truth I prefer the selection of pastries and breakfast sandwiches at Geraud's, it has now become tradition for us to break our first fast at Straw Hat.  It's where we ate our first breakfast, ever, on Anguilla, and we love that place so much.

It was around that time that I was frantically searching You Tube for possible solutions for fixing my computer.  Thank goodness Caribella has wi-fi and I could use my smart phone for posting questions.  Worrying about this darn laptop took far more energy than it was worth!

Straw Hat patio
Around 8:00 we headed for Meads Bay, which is about a five minute drive from Caribella.  There had been a storm in the night and there were still puddles everywhere. Straw Hat had a few additions to their menu since our last breakfast visit, including a list of smoothies.  I settled for the continental breakfast, plus a banana and oatmeal smoothie while DH eagerly ordered the pancakes.  Or pannacakes, as the children in our family used to call them. The pastries were fine, but the smoothie was really quite excellent and the pancakes remind me very much of my grandmother's. One thing that Straw Hat does that very few other places do (Bonjour Cafe being one of them) is serve the milk/cream warm so that one's coffee stays hotter, longer.  It's such a simple touch that makes the coffee so much better.  I don't understand why more places don't do this. So yeah, breakfast was a big win.

After lingering over breakfast with our books and enjoying the last drops of coffee in the carafes, we finally got up to leave.  Incidentally, the service charge is clearly marked on both the menu and the bill when it's brought--perhaps the most clearly marked of any restaurant we visited on this trip, FYI.

We stopped at Best Buy for a few more provisions.  We were pretty amazed at both the breadth and the depth of their selection and felt spoiled for choice for some of the items we wanted to pick up.  It had better brands of rum and tequila, more varieties of ice cream and cheese, than any place else we've seen on the island.

Once we were back at Caribella, we settled into an arduous day of reading.  The toughest choice? Whether to read on the balcony or down on the beach.  Caribella provides both chairs and umbrellas, and beyond that, Dave from Mango's very graciously told us that we should feel free to use the blue adirondack chairs at their restaurant, any time, any day. We compromised by reading on the balcony to make the most of the breeze but walking down to our private swimming cove a couple of times to take a dip.

We stayed "home" for lunch, sharing a grilled cheese sandwich and some iced coffee, as we didn't want to interrupt our busy reading and gazing-out-to-sea schedule.

NB: the mosquitos were worse on Barnes Bay than they've been on any other trip.  As you can see in the photo above, we kept three kinds of insect repellent on the table, as news of both dengue and chikungunya had us a little spooked.  We sprayed down assiduously, multiple times a day.

Our beautiful and private swimming cove on Barnes Bay
We usually eat our anniversary dinner at Veya, but they're closed on Saturdays, so instead we opted to stay casual all day long and have our evening meal at Picante, just up the road.  Truly, it's within walking distance of Caribella, but we don't like walking at night on the island for a few reasons: (1) The road up from Caribella to the main road is rough and uneven, with deep ruts, in conjunction with (2) The utter darkness on the island, no street lamps to speak of, means possibly tripping and falling, (3) We cannot outrun mosquitos if we're picking our way slowly in the dark, and (4) we are inherently lazy.

We were only the second table to be seated when we arrived at Picante, but it filled up quickly, including a large table comprising the families from Carrie & Jerry from Veya and from Trip Advisor forum member, iluvdanny.  Wanting to repay a bit of hospitality that they've shown us through the years, we sent a round of drinks to their table.

We always start off with an order of guacamole and a pitcher of margaritas, which are so smooth & easy going down, that's it's no wonder I have no photographic evidence of what came after.  I barely recall what I ate, much less what DH ate, but I think I had the Picante tacos with ground beef, which are hard-shelled tacos encased in soft-shelled tacos, with insulating layer of refried beans, guacamole, and sour cream in between.  I order those on a semi-regular basis.  We also shared the bananas foster chimichanga.  My DH and I are constitutionally incapable of NOT ordering a warm banana dessert.

Jovaughn, who always seems to be our server when we're at Picante, chatted with us some more.  I had a photo of him, but it was too blurry, but you can see him here, chilling out with some of the other folks at Picante. We ran into him later on the island, but that is a story for a different day...

And so before long, we were headed back home to Caribella, soon to be in the land of nod.

Up next: Sunday on Anguilla means Geraud's and THE PLACE.


  1. I am hooked--yes, of course hooked on Anguilla, but also hooked on your blog. So simple and gracefully written and photographed. I have walked that road down to Mangoes, so I definitely know what you mean about the deep ruts. As an aside, I just started reading "Beautiful Ruins" and will not search your site to see if you read/reviewed it.

    1. Than you, Linda. I did actually review Beautiful Ruins here but there aren't any spoilers.

  2. One of life's sweet pleasures...knowing you've been to Anguilla again and looking forward to reading your latest post. Thank you for letting us share your experiences. AND thanks for all the book notices.

  3. Emily, it all sounds so good, we love the porch at Caribella, it is so peaceful. Your day sounds ideal, perfect relaxation.
    I am with you, there is no way I would walk up that road from Caribella - day or night - too many critters in those bushes!
    Thanks for posting.


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