As part of a new blog series, I thought it would be pretty cool to post about some of my most memorable travel experiences! My plan is to post these trip reports occasionally on Throwback Thursdays. Be on the lookout for Travel #TBT!
For my very first Travel #TBT trip report, I've decided to reminisce on our honeymoon in Anguilla, the Caribbean's best kept secret!
Day 1- We took Anguilla Air Express for our flight from San Juan to Anguilla. Since it's a charter flight, going through security was a breeze. 45 short minutes later we arrived in Anguilla! We stayed at Sandcastle Pointe Villa in Shoal Bay East, so the property manager was there to greet us at the airport. We've seen plenty of pics online of the villa, but to see it it in person was amazing! We didn't do much the first day except for lounge around the pool as we were trying to recover from the wedding the night before. The villa provided a welcome dinner which consisted of Johnny Cakes, fish cakes, lobster, cray fish and scalloped potatoes...delicious!
Day 2- We made a short drive to the beach on Shoal Bay and parked near Madearman's. We encountered Ray Da Man, and suprisingly, he wasn't as pushy as I was expecting based on some of the comments I've read on here. He was actually pretty nice. The beach was beautiful! We walked along the beach and turned the corner to walk towards Gwen's. The walk became a bit difficult as the beach near Gwen's is pretty much completely gone. We got to Gwen's and it was closed, so we walked back and spent the afternoon eating lunch and relaxing at Madearman's. For dinner, we went to Veya. I ate the Pork tenderloin and my wife had the jerked spice tuna. Although we had plenty of great meals throughout our trip, this might've been the best one. We also got to hear Omari Banks perform during dinner.
Day 3- For breakfast, we went to Le Bon Pain, but they were closed so we drove to the Valley and ate breakfast at Sugar and Spice. The croissants and pastries were good and reasonably priced. I thought that Da'Vida was supposed to open on the 18th, so we attempted to go there for lunch. However, they were not open and preparing for their re-opening on Saturday 11/2. However, a beach attendent from Ce'Blue allowed us to rent a kayak and we decided to kayak to Little Bay. After spending some time at Little Bay, we kayaked back and then went to the Ferry Boat Inn for lunch. My wife LOVES hamburgers and I've read plenty about the burgers at FBI, so I figured we stop there. The burgers did not disappoint! For dinner, we went to Flavours. I ordered the pumpkin soup as an appetizer which was really good. For our entrees, I ordered the Pyrat Rum ribs and my wife had Uncle's pork. I was a bit disappointed in the ribs. I prefer to eat the ribs off the bone, but these already had the meat pulled off the bone. This was probably my least favorite meal of the trip.
Day 4- Went to Rendevous Bay and spent the afternoon at the Sunshine Shack. Garvey was such a cool guy. Our lunch turned out to be fairly expensive, but was well worth. I ordered ribs again (attempting to make up for my dinner the night before) and they were perfect! My wife ordered the Red Snapper, and it was really good too. We had a few guava rum punches and a BBC (Baileys, Banana & Coconut) which turned out to be a new favorite for us. When it was time to pay, I didn't realize that Garvey only took cash. We didn't have enough on us, but he said not to worry, and just come back sometime before we left the island. I was in shock, as I would've expected him to point me to the nearest ATM lol.
Later that afternoon, we used Seaside Stables for a horseback ride along Crocus Bay. That was my first time on a horse, and it was a lot of fun! The owner/guide Tonya, was a very nice lady and helped when my horse was acting stubborn. A great experience!
For dinner, we went to Jacala and we were their first customers of the season. I ordered the Grilled Snapper and my wife ordered the Mahi Mahi. One of the owners, Jacques came out to speak with us once the food came out and said I would really enjoy the snapper. I told him I had never had it before and he asked if I knew how to propery cut & eat the fish. I told him I didn't, and without hesitation, he said he would show me how to do it and filleted the fish for me! Talk about service! This was also at the top of our list of favorite meals.
Day 5- Went to Geraud's for breakfast. I believe it was their first day opening up, and they were pretty busy already. The croissants and pastries were delicious. Afterwards, we went to the Venus Spa at CuisinArt for a couples massage. I was feeling the effects of the horseback ride the day before and was looking forward to our massage! The spa was really nice and I would definitely go back the next time I visit. After our massage, we walked back to visit Garvey and paid for our lunch from the day before. From there, we went to Blanchard's Beach Shack for lunch. We both had the street tacos, which were really good. I was impressed by the size of Mead's Bay and how quiet it was, there was literally no one within sight. We booked a sunset cruise with GB Express. We attempted to book with Chocolat and Tradition, but both were not sailing yet. The crew from GB Express were nice, but I really wish we would've been able to go on a sailboat. We ate dinner at Dolce Vita that night and then went to The Pumphouse and listened to the Musical Brothers.
Day 6- Went to Le Bon Pain for breakfast pastries. Also very good and very cheap in my opinion. We went back to Shoal Bay for lunch and ate at Hank's and then lounged on the beach the rest of the afternoon. We visited the Sunset Lounge at Viceroy and were impressed with the hotel. Although it was cloudy and rainy, the lounge was very nice and provided a great view. Dinner was at Mango's. I had the BBQ chicken and my wife ordered the Sesame Seed Snapper. We both enjoyed our meals. Afterwards, we went back to the Pumphouse for their Halloween party.
Day 7- Went back to Le Bon Pain for breakfast and then had planned on visiting a few other places that we didn't visit yet, but it was raining all day, so we decided to relax at the villa during the day. For dinner we went to Straw Hat and I ordered the Blackened Shrimp. This might've been the best and biggest shrimp I've ever had! Wife ordered the Tuna and it was a toss-up between her tuna here and the one she had at Veya.
Day 8- Our last full day in Anguilla :( Since it was Sunday, we headed to Gwen's for their live music, but they were still closed for the season apparently. We then head to Da'Vida (it was packed) and ate lunch while enjoying Omari once again. After lunch, we went to the Dune Preserve. We got to spend some time there and see Bankie join the stage for a couple of songs. It's a pretty cool bar. After, we headed to Cap Juluca so that I can take a look at Maunday's Bay. As Cap Juluca had just opened that weekend, it was still pretty quiet there. For dinner we went to Barrel Stay. I ordered the Wahoo, which was really good and my wife had the Mahi Mahi. After dinner, we decided to stop at On Da Rocks before heading home to see British Dependency, but as we drove by, it didn't look like they were performing an there was only 1-2 people in there. However, on the way there, we noticed a huge outdoor party going on. So on the way back, we decided to stop and check it out. I don't know the name of the bar, but it's a very small one, near the boat dock that goes out to Scilly Cay. We had a good time partying with the locals and then it was time to go home and pack and get ready for our 8am flight :(.
Final thoughts: We really enjoyed our time on the island and will definitely go back. Our villa was amazing and provided the perfect atmosphere for a honeymoon. However, if we go back, I would prefer to stay on the west end, as we were driving there every day. Everyone was really nice & helpful and was such a fun experience. We will miss the Johnny Cakes and Rum Punches until our next visit!