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BEERMAN
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Vacation ideas?
      #1623101 - 01/05/15 08:41 PM (72.83.250.161)

My wife and I are trying to figure out a nice 1 week trip anywhere warm in late February/March for just the 2 of us. We have considered returning to the BVI/USVI, but we plan to sail there this summer so considering to mix it up. Although a week in North Sound is very appealing! SXM is high on the list right now, we've never been. Anguilla is a short ferry ride from there which is a positive. Maybe Dominican Republic?? We are looking for a beach front place that has some restaurant/bars within walking distance. Can you share any ideas that are a relatively easy trip from Virginia.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623114 - 01/05/15 09:17 PM (108.96.226.77)

For a sailer, first week in March is the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten. It's a great party with lots of sailboats!!

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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623123 - 01/05/15 09:37 PM (72.83.250.161)

Actually JWorld has a boat entered in this regatta so I'd have a built in party group! They will be located in Simpson Bay....so what would be my close villa/condo options? I have been looking at the other end of the island which wouldn't be convenient. Looking for a nice bay to swim in close to the villa.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623129 - 01/05/15 10:02 PM (108.96.226.77)

Beerman--I am totally partial to Beachside Villas! Check them out on the TTOL sponsor list. I just returned from my umpteenth visit there. Let me know if you have any questions..

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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623136 - 01/05/15 11:27 PM (72.83.250.161)

1st of many questions I'm sure.....the infamous airport is relatively close right? how distracting is the airport activity, any noise from there? also, we would want to visit Anguilla, where would we catch a ferry?

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623151 - 01/06/15 08:21 AM (108.96.226.77)

Distracting?? I don't know, I LOVE the airport being there! We love to watch the planes. The airport is RIGHT there, yes. As far as Anguilla, there is a ferry from right by the airport, which is very close and costs more or there is a ferry on the french side, which is about a 15 minute drive.

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sail2wind
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623208 - 01/06/15 12:37 PM (184.166.21.62)

Rick DR and SXM are worlds apart. The DR is very inexpensive and mostly all inclusive. We were quite impressed with everything except the warnings to not leave the property unescorted. What the DR experience offers is many choices of restaurants, unlimited free liquor including bottles in your room, 24 hour room service, free water sports, you get it ALL INCLUSIVE. We actually loved it and for less than $1000 each, you can't beat the price.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: sail2wind]
      #1623212 - 01/06/15 12:52 PM (71.101.36.77)

For sure, a/i has it's place and if you're looking to totally RELAX, it is nice to not have to worry about paying for anything, once you buy your accomodation. If you want to totally turn your mind to OFF, not leaving the 'reservation' is ok for a week.

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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623220 - 01/06/15 01:26 PM (72.83.250.161)

We've only gone to one all inclusive the RIU Paradise Island, it was a good time with our group of friends! Is the DR not a great place to travel around by car to find remote beaches and towns? We like to venture out and would rather not be confined to one resort.

St Maarten looks great because we can travel around and perhaps even visit Anguilla.

Choosing a new destination is difficult for me because I know NOTHING about these other places, but starting to plan a trip is fun as I look at the snow that fell this morning!!


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623227 - 01/06/15 01:44 PM (71.101.36.77)

NO, I would not go to the DR if you want to travel around.

BTW, Beerman, here is the beach in front of Beachside Villas, where we just stayed..

Edited by Carol_Hill (01/06/15 01:46 PM)


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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623229 - 01/06/15 01:56 PM (72.83.250.161)

Very nice! is that St Barts on the horizon? Do you have anymore photo's facing down the beach and facing the villas and...and...by the way, your trip report made me hungry!

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623230 - 01/06/15 02:03 PM (71.101.36.77)

Beerman--yes, I have more photos. Not sure I have any uploaded at the moment yet from this trip. Here is a photoshow from a couple of years ago, mostly inside..
http://www.photoshow.com/watch/hg8xX8Gq

And yes, that is ST. Barts. Depending on how clear it is, you can see St. Barts, Saba, and Statia, from Beachside. Anguilla is closer, but you can't see Anguilla from Beachside. Anguilla is the closest large island, but it is closest to the french side and we stayed on the Dutch side this time.

Edited by Carol_Hill (01/06/15 02:10 PM)


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sail2wind
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623231 - 01/06/15 02:04 PM (75.166.209.215)

probably Anguilla, much closer then St.Barts.

Carol, I am in no way comparing the 2 islands. The only thing in common is warm weather. Rick, no, DR is not safe to stroll around. We wanted a special dinner in town for our anniversary and this place was highly recommended. The resort sent us out with a licensed travel escort, very interesting. we never felt threatened, the guide was wonderful. we had a 4 lb lobster dinner, 5 course with wine and dessert for $50 for both. DR is very inexpensive


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623251 - 01/06/15 02:41 PM (71.101.36.77)

Picture down the beach, not a good one, as it's too 'scrunched', but you get the idea..

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TomB
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623316 - 01/06/15 06:45 PM (166.137.10.30)

Working off phone so no pics, but my vote is Anguilla. A lot depends if you looking slower or more happening getaway. So my recommendation - 3 days in SXM and 7 days in AXA.

--------------------
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” - Emerson


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IWIWSE
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: TomB]
      #1623407 - 01/07/15 10:02 AM (76.204.1.141)

Take a look at Nesbit Plantation in Nevis.
Nice beach, restaurant, and property.
Very gracious hosts.

Mike


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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: IWIWSE]
      #1623515 - 01/07/15 04:39 PM (174.236.198.78)

We have just one week so we're trying to keep travel itinerary convenient. Tom if we stay on sxm we'll definitely do a day trip to Anguilla. Btw where did you stay on Anguilla? IWIWSE Nesbit Plantation looks very nice!

Carol Beachside villas and the beach look great, just cant visualize that airport activity from the beach?


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623520 - 01/07/15 04:46 PM (71.101.36.77)

Beerman--not sure I understand your question. You hear the big planes come in in the afternoon, yes. In general, there are about 10 big planes per day, scattered over several hours, and several smaller ones. There is noise for about 30 seconds, then nothing for a half hour or more. As far as SEEING the planes, from the beach in front of the villas, you basically don't see the planes until after they take off over the hill, unless you are at the pool, where you can see them taxi-ing and taking off. I don't know, I love seeing the planes. You might not. As Raspy said in the other thread though, as far as for Heineken week, if you want to go that week, everywhere good may already be sold out.

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TomB
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623569 - 01/07/15 06:51 PM (166.137.10.32)

Anguilla eXcellent Adventure

http://axa2013.blogspot.com/?m=1

Here is a link to our trip's blog with all the info... With pictures.

Carimar Beach Club is where we stayed and the blog has more info on the apt and grounds. 45 steps to the sand.

Still on my phone freezing in Pensacola FL

Edited by TomB (01/07/15 06:54 PM)


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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: TomB]
      #1623597 - 01/07/15 08:40 PM (72.83.250.161)

Tom, I remember reading your report, awesome! If you had just one day on Anguilla what would your day include?

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TomB
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1623625 - 01/07/15 09:48 PM (66.210.64.162)

That is truly a loaded question.

Anguilla is about white sand, blue water, food, music, friendly people and truly slowwwwwwwwwww living. A whole different pace than SXM. So how do you do one day slow.

We have done day sails from SXM and I would not recommend that way to see Anguilla. And after snorkeling in STJ or BVI you will be disappointed.

There are a couple ferry options as discussed above but you find yourself looking at your watch. There are cabs, but I think I would get a car and be in control of my own destiny... at least I think I would.

Here is an old trip report, check out Thursday. If Pascal is still in business this was the best way to do Anguilla in a day. The speed of the boat allows one to see most of the beaches in a day. I had also never been 50 mph in a boat. WoW! Seems strange the best way to have a slow day on Anguilla is to rent a fast boat.

There is an artist named Bankie Banx that I absolutely love his music. So if Sunday was my day in Anguilla I would probably pull up at Rendezvous Bay for Sunday School listen to local artist and enjoying the beach. You will be spending the day with Rastas. Some folks are not comfortable in that environment.

Shoal Bay is Anguilla's most famous beach I think, and it deserves the title. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Some good beach bars and easy to grab an umbrella and fade away. Food available but it is more a beach bar kind of place with good food.

Meads Bay, where we stayed at Carimar, if you want a beach and unbelievable lunch. There are some AMAZING places to eat on this bay. Blanchards probably being the best known and serves a great lunch at their beach restaurant. Jacala is another place and there Calamari Risotto is the best! Meads Bay are more restaurants than beach bars. So it is a beautiful beach with GREAT Food options.

So I hope this helps and does not confuse you more. The speed boat definitely makes things very easy and Pascal is really nice guy.

Since you enjoy sailing, I have to recommend that you consider in the future travelling to Anguilla at the end of May on Impendence Day - The day was just a blast and it much cheaper to enjoy the island. The sail race around the island was sooooooooooo much fun.

--------------------
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” - Emerson


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sail2wind
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: TomB]
      #1623636 - 01/08/15 12:25 AM (184.166.21.62)

We will probably be on our boat for the month of May based in St.Martin. Would love to experience Blanchards, being we both read the book. Should we take the ferry or sail over. We have heard pluses and minuses

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: sail2wind]
      #1623680 - 01/08/15 08:26 AM (108.96.226.77)

If you want to go to Blanchards in the evening, I think you will have to sail over, as I don't think the ferry returns to SXM in the evening.

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TomB
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623714 - 01/08/15 09:51 AM (173.31.160.199)

Yep Carol that is what I was going to say. One would probably have to overnight on land, and Blanchards as well as other places on island to eat are well worth the stay.

I am not a sailor, albeit I have sailed a lot, but not responsible for the boat. I would think anchoring at Meads Bay would not be fun. It seems very exposed. When we were there it was slick as glass but anything passing made some pretty good waves. Total Sand Bottom. Most boats seem to anchor/moor in the Sandy Parts, which is a short cab ride away from Meads Bay.

So if Blanchards is on your to do list I think I would sail over for a couple days for dinner and maybe enjoy a couple other of the great places to eat on island.

For anyone that is not familiar with the book mentioned in sail2wind's post it is "A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean" A great story about the Blanchard's experience. If you cannot make the trip you may want to get the cookbook: At Blanchard's Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook. If the Chocolate Slab does not make you want to spend a week on the island... nothing will.

--------------------
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” - Emerson


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: TomB]
      #1623728 - 01/08/15 10:48 AM (71.101.36.77)

They have kind of a beach bar there now, I think, which is open during the day, although I haven't been there, but if you're going to Anguilla just for the Blanchards, I would think you should go in the evening.

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sail2wind
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623755 - 01/08/15 12:31 PM (184.166.21.62)

if you want to justify the expensive prices of food in the Caribbean, read the book. A great read, especially for a restaurateur or foodie

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tradewinds
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: sail2wind]
      #1623758 - 01/08/15 12:38 PM (71.15.50.217)

You clear Customs and can anchor in Road Bay. There's a string of restaurants and bars down the beach and it's really happening on Sundays with entertainment.

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TomB
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1623792 - 01/08/15 01:58 PM (107.77.68.115)

Yep Carol the beach bar at Blanchards has great lunches and makes a mangocolada that makes me forget what a painkiller taste like. But for the Blanchard experience it is all about dinner and dessert

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” - Emerson


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SMC_Irish_68
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: TomB]
      #1623887 - 01/08/15 07:02 PM (73.31.110.216)


We've stayed on St. Martin and on Anguilla. For us, Anguilla was better suited to our travel preferences: quiet beach and slow-paced holiday.

We were fortunate to stay at the Rendezous villas which was owned by the Gumb Family. The elder Gumb was still alive and we were enthralled by the story of the "mouse that roared" back in the '70's (or was it the late '60's?).

We didn't find any snorkeling to compare with the BVI. There were lots of high-priced resorts. Overall, though, Anguilla was a sleepy island and suited us nicely.

Let us know where you decide to go!

Karen


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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: SMC_Irish_68]
      #1623912 - 01/08/15 08:24 PM (72.83.250.161)

Hey, just pulled the trigger on Nettle Bay, St Maarten for February! We found a great little place on the beach and we're excited to have this trip in motion!! This was a last minute decision and will be our first Caribbean getaway without our daughter (well, since she was born) who is in college, unfortunately she's the only one with 4 years of French! We are making this an exploratory trip to see if there are places out there besides USVI/BVI that she'll love to visit! whose kidding who...we are excited about our trip for 2! A day trip to Anguilla is definitely on our itinerary because like many of us here on TTOL, it's our speed! Thank you all for the recommendations and hope you read the trip report on the SXM forum after we return from what I know will be yet another trip of a lifetime!!

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TomB
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1624075 - 01/09/15 10:33 AM (65.207.86.2)

Well Beerman which island next is all a matter of perspective – the fun is searching for paradise!



BTW the white buildings you barely see in the distance… That would be Anguilla - Picture taken from Friars Bay SXM

--------------------
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” - Emerson


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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: TomB]
      #1624126 - 01/09/15 01:19 PM (72.83.250.161)

Nice photo Tom!!!

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AquaGirl
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1624297 - 01/09/15 11:33 PM (100.36.132.84)

Beerman - can I take care of those cute kitties when you go on vacation (saw them on the other thread), especially the cuddly little one! I live in VA too. (Just kidding - I am envious you have a cuddly kitty, as our current one is not)

Carol - enjoyed your comment about being near the airport. My hubby enjoys being near small airports on vacation and runs to see the planes when we hear them coming or going. When we were on VG in October, we would stop at the overlook where you can see the airport when we were driving in that area, on the chance we would see a plane coming in.


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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: AquaGirl]
      #1624319 - 01/10/15 08:08 AM (72.83.250.161)

Aquagirl....thanks for the offer but no kittens here, Twanger is the guy to talk to! Meow

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AquaGirl
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1624537 - 01/11/15 02:19 PM (100.36.132.84)

oops - how embarrassing! I mixed up forumites! Well, have a great trip anyway. It will be great to get away from this cold weather.

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Cleobeach
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1625004 - 01/13/15 10:24 AM (24.229.98.189)

We loved Anguilla. Here is my trip report from 4 years ago - http://www.virgin-islands-on-line.com/vi...;hilit=anguilla

The house we stayed in was a block back from Meads Beach. There was a row of townhouse style rentals right on the beach between our house and the beach but I can't remember the name. Looked like a great option for a couple or small family.

The restaurants were fantastic across the board. If you like food, Anguilla is a good choice.

We did one trip to DR and that was enough. We were stopped by the guards when we tried leave the resort to walk down the road.


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BEERMAN
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Cleobeach]
      #1625081 - 01/13/15 03:42 PM (174.236.194.16)

Thanks for linking your report! Read it on my phone so I'll check out the photos and villa at home on big monitor. Like your husband...I would probably want to tell those 2 in the restaurant to get over themselves!!! We have reserved a villa on St Maarten, but we plan to spend a day on Anguilla, if the seas are calmer than what you experienced thanks again!

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Cleobeach
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1625232 - 01/14/15 09:02 AM (24.229.98.189)

When we go again, I will look into flying over. There is a small airline and I remember the cost being around $99 round trip.

I am not a sissy but that boat ride was terrifying! I believe all private and public service was suspended for the next couple of days.

We still laugh about those wacky people.

A very nice feature of Anguilla is that some many (maybe all?) of the beaches have bars/restaurants and you can use their loungers for free if you patronize the establishment.

Edited by Cleobeach (01/14/15 09:03 AM)


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Cleobeach]
      #1625237 - 01/14/15 09:15 AM (71.101.36.77)

The boat ride to Anguilla was terrifying?? Normally it's pretty calm, certainly nothing as bad as going to St. Barts. Now, THAT is generally ROUGH!!

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Cleobeach
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1625301 - 01/14/15 01:29 PM (24.229.98.189)

Quote:

Carol_Hill said:
The boat ride to Anguilla was terrifying?? Normally it's pretty calm, certainly nothing as bad as going to St. Barts. Now, THAT is generally ROUGH!!




Yes, it was. I had rough crossing in the North Sea and North Atlantic and going to Anguilla scared me more.

The seas were crazy rough for most of our trip. The boat captain did compare our trip to going to St. Barts, which made my decision that we will likely never go to St. Barts.


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: Cleobeach]
      #1625308 - 01/14/15 02:26 PM (71.101.36.77)

As I said, that is pretty unusual for Anguilla. Yes, if you don't like rough seas and you want to see St. Barts, take the plane!! Going TO St. Barts is almost always rough, much calmer on the way back.

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mbarnett
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Re: Vacation ideas? [Re: BEERMAN]
      #1644780 - 04/22/15 06:45 PM (24.178.48.116)

Spent a couple of weeks in February in Captiva. Beautiful house near the beach called the "Absentminded"--go to VRBO. And the village of Captiva is small but absolutely a blast. And the weather versus the Midwest was fantastic....high 70's and low 80's! Easy to get to and nice to vacation in the USA...although we are sailing BVIs in 13 days!!!

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