Shoal Bay, Anguilla

When we honeymooned in St. Thomas we went on as many excursions as we possibly could.

However, on this island trip, we decided to go more low key. Aside from our afternoon in Philipsburg, the only other time we left our resort was to spend a day in Anguilla.

To get there, of course, we needed to take a boat.

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Though I have been known to get a little sea sick, I wasn’t going to let that stand in the way of visiting Anguilla. I was thrilled when we stepped onto the boat and heard Caribbean music–okay, Bob Marley music–playing. Our resort played nothing but pop music, but fortunately that was the only complaint I could make against them.

I’m in the Caribbean. I want to hear Caribbean music, gosh darn it!

There were moments during our boat ride where I felt like we were on a roller coaster, but my breakfast managed to stay put in my stomach. Lance, of course, wasn’t bothered by it at all.

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After about a thirty minute ride, we were finally back on land.

And me and my stomach were happy.*

*If I were feeling a little more proper today, I would have said, “My stomach and I were happy” but today I’m in a relaxed mood. Must be because I’m writing about the islands.

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After having our passports checked, we boarded a bus for a guided tour of Anguilla.

Here we were, a bus full of people vacationing, eager to get to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and as we drove there we passed homes smaller than most garages in America. Our tour guide informed us that the island of Anguilla has only one all inclusive resort: the jail. We also learned, to no one’s surprise on the bus, that Oprah has a home in Anguilla.

Where doesn’t she have a home?

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Our excursion package included lunch at Tropical Sunset*–authentic Caribbean food! We also had access to their beach chairs, umbrellas and snorkeling gear. This was possibly the best part of this trip. There were no other beach goers allowed in our section of the beach during our time there.

*Again, can I tell you how disappointed I was in the other tourists who ordered cheeseburgers and fries for lunch when Caribbean chicken, ribs and rice were on the menu?

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After a day at Shoal Bay, I’m not sure how I will ever set toe in a Jersey beach again.

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I know, I know, I know.

We love our Jersey beaches, we do. But how can it begin to compete with clean sand and clear water?

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Lance and I spent some of our time walking along the shore line and discovering as much of our little slice of Anguilla that we could. We contemplated hiding away in the hotel being built on the beach, but then decided our tour guide would miss us too much.

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We resolved that we need to buy our own snorkeling gear if we are going to continue to visit areas where snorkeling is an activity on the to-do list. The gear provided for us, while perfectly clean and ordinary in terms of snorkeling gear, didn’t seem to fit right. I would tighten and tighten my goggles and still get water in. The feeling left behind on my face  from the plastic pressed against it wasn’t one that I enjoyed either. Still the views hidden beneath the water were worth it.

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Now I am going to tell you a real truth about me that you might possibly not know.

I am not a beach lover.

In New Jersey, when we go to the beach, I literally cannot stay on the beach for more than an hour. I get bored out of my mind–even if I have a book. It’s hot. It’s crowded. There’s sand everywhere. And despite how hot I may get, I never, ever cool off by going in the ocean.

I know. Forgive me. But. If conditions were as they were in Anguilla. I think I could definitely become a beach lover.

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