The Bergstein's Home Exchange Vacations
Hi, We're the Bergstein family, Helen, Joe, and Lily. We're off on another home exchange and this time we thought we'd document it! It will be like you're joining us on our travels, well, almost. Hey, maybe next time you can come along, this is home exchanging after all! Want to swap yourself? Visit Digsville.com
Friday, August 11, 2006
Well, it's our last day.... so sad to leave..... we know we're very lucky to have been guests here and to experience Anguilla as locals. We promised everyone we'd be back and we will! Joe has music gigs at Sproka's club anytime and an offer to record a cd with Andy (the singer in the white shirt)!
Here are some of my memories of this wonderful island - next time I'll hide in the bushes to zoom in on the Anguillan roosters (they, and the goats own the roads!)
Life's a beach
Our remaining days are filled with more beach activities i.e. snorkeling, shelling, swimming, floating (turns out I'm very good at this, in fact I actually fell asleep once and had to back stroke my way to shore). Most days we'd go home to shower and relax before heading out to dinner. You cannot get a bad meal in Anguilla! We tried everything, taking the advice of our home exchange partner and the many friends we met along the way. Beaching, eating, and music - that's how we spent our two weeks here!
Today is a national holiday here in Anguilla - and it's a huge party. The ferries are filled to the max with passengers from the other islands just to see the sail boats take off from Sandy Ground for the race of the year (sail racing is THE national sport).
The port beach is crowded with bar-b-ques (chicken, fish, ribs), beverage stands (rum punch is the ONLY way to go!) and live music and LOTS of dancing in the sand!
This guy made an amazing (strong) rum punch so there are no more pics after this - haha
....well, turns out this scene was a bit too much for the Bergsteins, so we dashed off to one of our favorite beaches for the afternoon.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
There have been so many great days here on Anguilla, but today stands out as super special.
Beth told us on her Digsville home listing that a 'don't miss' freebie in Anguilla is Little Bay - you can get there by boat or climbing down a very steep hill (one of the highest points on this otherwise flat island) from god knows where so we opted for the boat (not free but cheap enough and worth it!)
Here we are with Calvin taking us to our little piece Caribbean where we'll spend the next few hours. We stopped earlier at La Bon Pain (french bakery) for sandwiches for a picnic later on. Of course we had two lattes and a few croissants :) they're the best!
Lily decided today was the day she would snorkel on her own with all of her gear - you couldn't stop her - she's a tropical fish!
She says the best thing about snorkeling was the sea snake and the rainbow fish - I loved the sea urchins and I didn't tell anyone about the baby sand sharks that I spied toward the end of the day.
I don't know if you can see the cactus poking out the side of the limestone cliffs - what a sight!
One of the many goats that roam free on the island - he's having his late afternoon nibble -
Just as we arrived home - Lily saw a rainbow - Our magic moment!
Friday, August 04, 2006
Atlantic or Caribbean - our decisions for the day....
Sun is shining again - yeah!
A little croissant at Sandy Ground and a tour (ok tasting) of the local rum factory and we're off to yet another amazing beach for the day.
It's a small island and 'off' season so wherever we go we keep running into people we've met - tonight we're all headed to a club where Joe will play for the third time with Spraka (the guitarist) from Johnno's band.
Last night he sat in with him a CuisineArt (amazing resort withg their own hydroponic organic gardens)
All in a day.....
Being in a real home, we're happy spending our mornings with our coffee and light breakfast while making plans for the day. I usually work a bit, Joe practices for his next gig (he's the talk of the town, i'm not kidding) - and Lily is plowing through a few choice books. Each day we do a bit of dishes and maybe some laundry, nothing too strenuous - LOL!!!! seems every day is filled with a little adventure or culture grabber as we like to think of them. Here Lily is comparing her nail color (remember from the first blog entry) to the color in the mural - I think she got it dead on. Plus she found the island's best chicken quesadillas as Tasty's.
and maybe the best pizza in the world at the corner pizza parlor!
getting thirsty.... nowhere better than here for a papaya/mango smoothie!
This is Anguilla
The Island is small (3 miles wide and 13 miles long) - one main road and just about everything is off the main road on what looks like dirt and limestone roads. It's driving on the left so we're grateful nobody's driving much more than 30 mph.
A few of the old wooden structures survived the devastating hurricans of the 90's - Don't you love the pumpkin color?!
High tea or roti?
On Wednesday we were invited to our hosts' nanny Cherrie's house for either High Tea or Roti - with Cherrie's Trinadad accent we weren't quite sure - she had promised me some authentic roti before our trip was over so when she said, "C'mon over at 4 for ... tea - Joe was sure she said high tea, given it's a british island and the time. I, eager for the roti, had high hopes! Well, to be on the safe side, we ate a late lunch and arrived at Cherrie and Roy's home at 4pm sharp - the table was beautifully set with tea cups.... I knew right away - (though the tea sandwiches were delightful!) A few hours later, after non-stop talk and laughter, we told Cherrie about my mistake - she laughed so hard she almost fell off her chair.... and this coming Tuesday I'd get my roti - can't wait - yum yum.
After two days of sunny skies and LOTS of swimming and snorking we were ready for anything when tropical storm Chris passed by. It turned out that is 'passed' by a hundred miles or so therefore we only had rain for two days (and light winds) - nothing to keep us down! Here's Lily having her first (or was it her second) Pina Colata! That's our girl - we're proud :)
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Joe's an island celebrity....
After a few days of sunning on the perfect beaches we decide to hit some of the cute shops - Irie Life was a favorite! The small buildings are all very modest, and most are damaged from recurring hurricanes, but the resiliant islanders continue to paint everything bright cheerful colors.
This is Johnno's, our host's Dad's place. Everyone knows about Johnno's, the best gig in town for live music, beachside.
Joe, feeling all jazzed up with his newly purchased shirt hit the stage and jammed with the band - he was GREAT!!!!!
This Thursday he'll be playing at the fabulous CuisineArt resort with the guitar player!
Off we are to our second day of snorkeling - we're almost beginners - haha