16 December 2014

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good-bye...

Morning on Barnes Bay     
So...when I last left off with my Anguilla trip reporting, we had had a very full day: visiting with friends, eating, paddle-boarding, kayaking, and shopping. And that was all before dinner!  Though DH and I couldn't promise Ava another meal of her favorite lasagna, we had saved something special for our last dinner -- night of live music with Omari Banks at Veya.

Omari Banks
Carrie Bogar, the chef, was very accommodating in my advance email reservation requests, answering my questions about live music, which dates, which tables to request, etc, and we enjoyed chatting with Jerry Bogar and the rest of the staff while we enjoyed our cocktails and perused the menu. We've visited Veya enough times that I think we sampled just about everything on their menu, so DH and I revisited some old favorites while Ava had a difficult time deciding.

We started with the calamari and grilled watermelon for the table, followed by the shrimp entrée (DH), the red snapper entrée (Ava) and the Moroccan shrimp cigar appetizer (me).  Full disclosure: this appetizer does contain cilantro, and I could occasionally taste it, but the flavor is so perfectly balanced among various spices that the foul herb which is usually so offensive to me was, in fact, mild.

The calamari
Grilled watermelon w/poached shrimp
Red snapper
Shrimp w/ corn fritters
Moroccan shrimp cigars
We enjoyed all of the food and were tickled to sample the amuse-bouche: a skewer with okra and a bit of local pepper, something that is stronger than a bell pepper but much milder than any hot pepper. We were even more tickled when, after the meal, Jerry stopped by the table again with a different menu, saying,"Take a look at this and tell me what you think."  It turns out that in a very short while, Veya will be offering a casual, small-bites kind of bar on the lower level where the Veya Cafe used to be.

If I am remembering correctly, they will be keeping later hours than the restaurant and will be offering dishes similar to these sample menus of small bites that are more diminutive in portion than tapas. Meze (or mezze).  I can't wait to give it a try the next time I'm on the island!

Though we had a relatively early reservation for dinner, our meal lasted longer than usual -- something that I noticed on this trip in general.  I reckon that having three people at the table makes for a bit more conversation than DH and I usually have, just the two of us. After Ava polished off her malted chocolate mousse bars, we were surprised how late it was!

We got up early the next morning to pack, then we all piled out onto the beach for one last walk.  And one last hundred (or so) rocks to skip.  The wind and waves had really picked up, and the sand was so soft & mushy, even several feet up from the waterline, that I sank into it up to the bottoms of my capri pants. Ellen came outside to say goodbye when she saw us, and I finally remembered to get a shot of the two of us.

It was nice to have our feet in the sand one last time, and the weather gods were kind enough to provide one last rainbow before we had to load the car up and drive away.

We stopped at Geraud's for breakfast (and for a trio of take-out sandwiches for later) and arrived at the airport for our Anguilla Air Services flight.  Even if DH weren't such an airplane buff, we'd still prefer to fly between Anguilla and St Maarten for the ease of connection and for the simple joy of seeing Anguilla from the air.  We had the plane to ourselves, so The Kid was thrilled to be invited to sit up with the co-pilot.

We traditionally do our sad-face pose here, but the trip
was so spectacular that we couldn't help ourselves

We even got one last rainbow while we were in the air.

St Maarten looked greener than ever as we landed.

Lines for immigration were short, and we popped into the little side area for American Airlines ticketing, where something strange happened.  Even though our e-tickets had us all booked together in one row and our itineraries were linked, and EVEN THOUGH we had paid the extra fee for sitting at the front of economy with extra leg room, the ticketing agent for AA gave us boarding passes in three separate rows, all in the back of the plane.

We didn't notice this, however, until after we'd already gone through security upstairs.  Ugh!  DH and Ava weren't eager head out of the secure area to go back downstairs to fix it, but luckily there was a gate agent working a different AA flight who was willing to help us out.  I had to show her my printed-out itinerary with all three of us confirmed in the Economy Plus section (or whatever it's called), and she gave us a puzzled frown for about 5 minutes and asked a colleague to help before we got it all straightened out. Luckily for us, she was patient and willing to spend a little time fixing it.

Flights home were long but uneventful, and even transferring in Miami wasn't terrible this time around. All in all, this was a great trip.  Anguilla is our favorite place for a vacation, but this trip was a great reminder of how much fun it can be to introduce it to a newcomer.  This was the third time we've done so -- twice with our granddaughters and once with my mom.  Ava loved every bit of it, and seeing the island through her eyes was a real treat.

Right before she fell asleep in the car on the ride home from the airport, she said the sweetest thing. "You guys," she said. "I feel like if I kept saying 'thank you' every time I was thankful for something on this trip, I would have been hoarse after the first day."  She's a good kid, that one.

I hope I can manage to put together a book review or two before the end of the year of the books I read on vacation, but it keeps getting harder to make myself do it with the limited spare time I have this time of year.  Travel blogging is SOOOOO much easier than book blogging!  But thanks for reading and traveling along with me, nonetheless. 


  1. Oh Emily - that just touched my heart, your little Ava is such a sweet doll as are you, so kind and thoughtful, and your DH is a gem, hang on to him. Thanks also for keeping me in the shadows for my picture - I wanted to run out and say bye, did not want my mug plastered on the internet, but did not know how to graciously refuse! :-))) It was such a pleasure to finally meet you after all these years. Happy trails until we meet again. EG

    1. Oh, I'm sorry, Ellen. I'll take down the photo as soon as you give the word. And here I was thinking that you looked great there and that I'm quite literally twice your size...

    2. No - of course not, and you look wonderful - just remember the camera adds 10#. Thanks for posting.

    3. Yes, which means there must have been a good 5-6 cameras taking that shot. ;)

  2. Have thoroughly enjoyed your lively reports - what a great travel companion young Ava seems to be!
    I was aware that Veya were planning a more casual dining option downstairs so it was very interesting to see the menu. Not much cooking required after order - most things seem prepared in advance and served cold so it should appeal to those wanting good, light food and don't want to linger over their meal. Like you we have found our times in Veya so enjoyable we have stayed later than we realised.
    Thank you for a great trip report with super photos, as always.

    1. Yes -- exactly right. Not much cooking required for the new place. LOoking forward to trying it!

  3. sad to leave but alas, your home away from home will beckon you back soon... happy holidays,

  4. We didn't make it to Veya this trip but I love the idea of the casual bar - after a while I get tired to so many big dinners! The menu looks good!

    Overall, what a lovely trip and a real treat to see it through Ava's eyes.

    1. Yeah -- you're not alone with wanting a light bite every now and again. And with Veya at the helm, it can't go wrong!

  5. You left out "adieu"........in your farewell posting. Pictures are fantastic, as usual.

    1. "Adieu" comes at the end of a different verse, but thanks!


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