It was more than a vacation... it was a privilege to stay on this beautiful Anguilla island for the full month of August years and years ago when we first visited Anguilla in 2002. I don't know why June-July-August are the off-season months here -- it was one of our best vacactions ever.
But the off-season it was. The slow, relaxed pace and the full month allowed our eyes to look past the sensational (as great as that is!), and to notice the unique, charming little things that make this Caribbean island... ANGUILLA!
Actually, though, I must say that the goats are hard to miss -- they're all over the Anguilla island, from the side of most roads to standing somehow on cliffsides.
And the babies are so cute!
Also, I hate to say it, but the curried goat stew is supposed to be delicious (although none of us was brave enough to try it!)
Anguilla's National Animal!
Although it's not really a "little thing," I have to mention the boat racing... Anguilla's national sport. Being on the Anguilla island during the beginning of August was a real plus -- it was the week of their most important boat races (in May, they have another big one, where all the boats race around the whole Anguilla island)!
And what's even more "especially Anguilla" is that their racing sailboats have no decks -- the sailors stand on the bottom of the boat. As the race comes down to the wire, they throw out hundred pound sandbags of ballast... sometimes even people!
The first week of August is a huge holiday, with a carnival, fireworks, and all kinds of celebrations. Everyone takes most of the week off -- it's bigger than Christmas. But the races are the "main event"...
Fans follow each race in motorboats, or hop in their cars and drive around the Anguilla island following the boats, and commenting about the sailer's strategies -- we even followed along once -- it was fascinating.
Those who don't follow the race? They party at Sandy Ground. I'll be writing more about the whole event, so please subscribe to my e-zine to stay in touch.
Just a few days before we left for home (sob!), we ate at a fantastic "local bar-b-q" called B&D's...
Like the other local Anguilla BBQ's (Rafe's, etc.), this one is only open on weekends. The ribs and fries are as good-or-better as any you'll eat at the expensive tourist restaurant... but at a fraction of the price.
It was really neat to see families put up their own BBQs, all over the Anguilla island, and serve absolutely mouth watering food.
Which ones are best? Just pick any one with a crowd eating there!
My dad noticed something interesting about the "Anguillian way of life." So many houses in Anguilla are unfinished. Even the "finished" ones are unfinished...
See the metal sticking out of the top of this house? My dad says that's "rebar."
You'll see many houses like this. My dad says it's a great symbol of how the people live largely stress-free, yet still optimistically for the future. Anguillians do not borrow to build a house. They save, and then build.
Everyone builds out of concrete now (hurricane-proof) -- this Anguilla island has been hit hard over the past years. The rebar is a symbol of "living within your means" but still looking forward to building a bigger house. My dad says there's a great lesson there for the rest of us.
I'll add to this page as I find interesting new Anguilla photos from the over 800 shots that my dad took of this relaxed, relaxing, and totally unique Caribbean island. For now, though, here are a few more photos of the little unique things that make this Anguilla island... ANGUILLA!...
Beautiful, Airy, Little Churches
Sensational, Firey Flamboyant Trees
Weird Cacti Called "Turk's Cap"
And my dad's favorite...
The National Heritage Museum
... my mom with curator, Mr. Colville Petty
Mr. Colville Petty's Heritage Collection is now located in the East End, near the East End Pond Bird Sanctuary.
Opening hours 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
The collection covers Anguilla from prehistoric times, all the way up to the revolution of 1967. My little sister was pretty bored, since there were no "Anguilla Video Games" in the museum. But my parents could have stayed there the whole day!
Yes, once you slow down to "Anguilla island time," you'll notice, too, that there are so many unique little touches that all add up to A-N-G-U-I-L-L-A! Keep your eyes open and please do feel free to send me your own best observations.