Returning to Paradise
I will preface this post by stating I was only on island very briefly. I am sharing my limited observations. I normally take a lot of pictures, but will not be sharing pictures of Irma damage.
1) All of the Anguillians I encountered were welcoming, smiling, and just amazing.
2) Take the time to enjoy the journey, it was emotional for me.
3) Adjust your expectations – The island is different, as it should be. See it, experience it, and love the island (and its people) for what it is now.
4) piggybacking on #3, there is limited power on island (particularly on the West End), wifi, AC, and TV on island. I would encourage you to willingly unplug from your devices and enjoy Anguilla. If you must be connected then perhaps now may not be the best time to visit. Just being honest.
5) I stayed at Paradise Cove. Big thanks to the staff for welcoming me. They had AC, hot water and wifi – powered by a generator. Please note generators are not operated 24/7, you can expect it will be turned off at midnight and turned back on early morning.
6)Beaches – still amazingly beautiful. I visited Rendezvous, the Cove, and Sandy Ground. Water was calm. No debris that I could detect. No seaweed. There is however significant sand erosion at Rendezvous. The good news is that this will fix itself over time.
7) The island is lush and very green. Did not see as many flowers, but they are starting to return. I love flamboyants, most of these trees were bare. I saw only one that was still in full bloom.
8) Tasty’s – open. Got hugs, great conversation, and the best johnny cakes from Dale Carty.
9) Elvis Fleming -hugs and a big smile. He and his family are doing well. Brett and Blu also appeared to be doing well.
10) Will Fleming – more hugs and smiles. Great to get an update on Great House, and to see that the Flemings are making progress with the rebuild.
10.5) Ferry Boat Inn – restaurant is open. View was beautiful. It was great to see Christian’s smile again. He said they are still working on refurbishing some of the rooms. Ti Punch and wings are my favorite.
11)Tony Smith (Calypso) – very glad to learn that Tony and his family were doing well.
12) Driving at night – urge caution when driving at night as it is very dark. Still some power lines (and road signs) down.
13) Be prepared to pay cash. Credit card machines are not operational in many places of business.
14) Most important – give something back to the people of this beautiful island. Whether it be hugs, smiles, prayers, encouragement, generous tipping, a ride, a listening ear, or something more tangible (money, food, water, gifts for children). They will remember your acts of kindness.
15) Piggybacking on 14, there are still many in need of help. Food, water, repairs to homes, and income. There are many reputable organizations/persons on island assisting with relief. Please continue to give what you can.
16) mosquitoes love me:) They seemed to be very active at dusk. If you are visiting now, would encourage you to travel with your choice of insect repellent.
17) Rebuilding is happening – progress is evident. One business and home at a time. Some faster than others. Everyone’s pace is different. There seems to be a lack of much needed building supplies and lumber on island.
18) If you have not already booked, book a trip to Anguilla. Your first trip back will likely be the most memorable ever.