Sunday, February 14, 2016

Anguilla --> Saba

Sunday, Day 38 (Valentine's Day!)

I ended up staying awake a little longer last night than I planned.  Once I got in bed I started researching things to do and places to go in the British Virgin Islands...and an hour later realized it was too late for me to be up!  I finally fell asleep and slept pretty well.  Comfy twin size bed, nice pillow, and an air conditioner.  I woke up around 8 this morning (late for me, again!) to the sound of the boys in the room next to mine.

I got up - in the same dress I wore yesterday - the same dress I slept in - and asked them if they were hungry.  Of course they were, so off to the kitchen I went for a little Valentine's Day breakfast!  The view from the kitchen window was not bad...

Scrambled eggs, toast, pancakes, and bacon.  Not a bad little breakfast if you ask me, and they all LOVED it, so that was nice.  I don't really enjoy cooking - especially if it's just for me - but when you are cooking for someone who appreciates it and raves about it...well, that's pretty fun!  I guess Vince makes pancakes sometimes, but three of the four boys won't even eat them.  He uses some Bisquick and water.  He had no idea you were supposed to use milk and an egg.  He never read the directions on the box!  HA!  So yeah, they LOVED the fluffy, flavorful pancakes!

They said that pancake was burnt! ^^  

And they even had red and pink plates to use for Valentine's Day!  I mean, not really for Valentine's Day -- those are just their plates -- but it worked out perfectly for today!

I cleaned up the kitchen after breakfast, and then Vince took me to the Inn he runs in Anguilla, Milli's Inn.  He had to get a credit card number from a guest staying there.  A nice little spot with an amazing view of the ocean.  His ex-mother-in-law owns it and he runs it for her.

And then we went to Shoal Bay, the most beautiful (and most famous) beach in Anguilla -- or so I read.  It really was fantastic.  It looked miles long, and just clear turquoise water and white sand.  Fantastic!

Olivier tried to talk me out of even going to Anguilla.  He said there was nothing to do there.  And he may be right.  It's not my favorite island.  It does have beautiful beaches, but it's just a little too calm and laid back for my taste.  Either way, I'm glad I at least came to see it for myself.  But like he told me, one day was good.

I had to get back to the house to shower and pack up again that afternoon.  Hot shower AND water pressure!  I appreciate that stuff so much more now after being on this trip!  They are rare commodities! ;)

I said goodbye to the boys, and Vince took me back to the ferry terminal to head back to St. Martin.  It had been a little overcast all day, but on the drive to the ferry, it just started pouring!  Great.  This always happens when I have to get on a boat!  I swear!

I got out in the pouring rain and had to get my bags out one at a time and take them up to the building.  I was completely soaked by the time I got up there.  The whole time, there was a guy yelling at me from the next building asking me if I was going to the airport.  Obviously I was, with my big bag.  I finally turned to tell him that yes, I was going to the airport.  I knew there was another ferry that went directly to the airport, but it was much more expensive.  So I was just going to take the same $20 ferry bak to Marigot, and then take a taxi to the airport.  Which probably would have been another $30.  So what the heck.  After some haggling, I got the price down to $50 for the ferry directly to the airport.  And I even got a rose for Valentine's Day from him!  (They were giving them out to all of the females.)

Went inside and had to pay a $28 departure tax!  That's absurd!  It's more to leave there than it is to get there, ha!  Didn't have to wait long for the ferry to come, and it was nice and clean and had wifi, just like the guy said it would.  I got to FaceTime with the kids back home so they could see the island and the boat and water and everything.  Not sure what Hadley thought, but Hudson thought it was pretty cool!

We made it to the airport in no time.  I think it was quicker to go to the airport (on the other side of the island) than it was to just get to Marigot.  And for probably about the same price, it was a good call to just do it this way.

I got my suitcase and walked across the street from the ferry terminal to the airport.

I was earlier than I needed to be (rather be early than late!) but Winair still took my bag and let me check it in.  So now all I had was my backpack and some time to kill.  Unfortunately, it started pouring again, so I couldn't walk down to Maho to get some food at a non-airport price.  I paid $9 for a little chicken sandwich, and $5 for an awful strawberry smoothie.  And just about the time I was finished, the rain let up enough for me to chance heading out.  The airport was freezing cold, so I had to get out of there.  (Either that or buy a $40 sweatshirt that said ST. MARTEEN on it).  Plus I wanted to at least walk down to Maho Beach and see a few more airplanes coming and going.

It was about a 5 minute walk along the road to the beach, and it wasn't quite as packed today as it was  when we came on Friday.  And later afternoon must be prime time for airplanes.  They were coming and going like crazy.  Almost non-stop, so it was so fun!

I actually think standing behind them when they take off is way more entertaining than watching them land.  The little planes aren't really that cool either way, but man, when the big jets take off, it almost knocks you over.  For real.  And the sand!  OH man it hurts!  But I still stood there and have a couple of pretty funny videos I'll have to get uploaded when I have decent wifi.  So glad I went down there for awhile!  I mean, you just have to do it when you're in St. Martin!

Back to the airport, and back through security.  Another passport stamp, another security check... and I was at my gate.  Still plenty early.  But they had a charging station and wifi, so I sat down to entertain myself.  Just about the time I got my laptop out, a young guy next to me at the charging station asked if I could watch his bags for a minute as he ran to get something.  I said sure, of course. And when he got back, we started chatting...and continued to talk non-stop for the next hour.  Amir Akl, originally from Abu Dhabi, living in Toronto, but went to two years of med-school in Saba.  He was flying back to surprise his girlfriend on the island (also in med school) for Valentine's Day!  So sweet!  Anyways, he told me all things Saba and I filled him in on some of travel highlights from around the world.  Such a nice guy, and we really hit it off.

The flight was a little delayed, but not bad.  We got on the tiny plane first and sat in the very front row.  Me on the right hand side because that's the good view of the island according to Amir. He told me the airstrip is the worlds shortest commercial one, and all kinds of other interesting facts about Saba, that I won't type out.  But the coolest one:  Dominos Pizza delivers pizza here from St. Martin -- on the airplane.  It's only an 11 minute flight.  But how cool is that!?  Order pizza and go to the airport to pick it up!!

Leaving St. Marteen ^^

Okay so the landing was pretty awesome.  I hadn't even heard of Saba before last week so I really didn't have any expectations.  But wow, my mind was just blown when this majestic mountain (or volcano, really) just appeared in front of us.  Right out of the ocean in the middle of nowhere.  My jaw definitely dropped.  It didn't even look real!

The landing was pretty fun, but not really that crazy.  Then pilot was good.  We touched down right at the end of the runway and stopped in no time.  We had feet to spare before we toppled in to the ocean!  ;)  The woman behind me wasn't as in to the landing as I was.  I honestly thought she was going to pass out.  Either way, it was really fun.  OH - and I asked everyone on the plane to smile for my selfie!  If you post it with the Winair hashtags you can win "fun prizes."  Probably nothing, but I thought I would give it a shot...


The airport was so tiny - maybe smaller than the one on Roseau, Dominica.  Got another passport stamp, and Amir's friend who was picking him up also gave me a ride to my Coushrufers house.  OH - and they know each other!  Small world.  He knew where she lived so said he would drop me off.  I mean, the island it only 5 square miles.  Total.  And there is only one road.  No joke. It's called "the road."  So it couldn't have been too far out of their way, but still, so kind of them!

They dropped me off at Funmmi's house, my coushrfing host.  A black girl with white dreads from Jersey - but originally from Nigeria.  Seriously.  The whole island knows her as "Blondie."

Oliver sent a bottle of wine for her from St. Martin - he hooked me up with her!  Small world...


I have met so many awesome people on this trip.  I have new friends all over the world!  (That's about my favorite part of traveling - the fun new people and relationships!)  Okay, this girl is wild and crazy.  And so interesting!  She, too, has traveled all over the world.  But her stories are crazier than mine.  We had some wine before leaving the house, and then went to a fancy Valentine's Day dinner at Brigadoon in Windward Side (one of the few "towns" on the island).  The food was to die for.  Honestly.  She had some sort of beef dish and I had lion fish for the first time.  Ooooh my goodness -- so so good.  And the conversations we had even topped the food.  For having no plans for Valentine's Day and no intentions for Saba, tonight turned out pretty awesome.

It started pouring on the way home (so much rain lately!), but her gypsy taxi driver - not legal but charges $5 each way to anywhere on the island - got us home safe and sound.  He's a crazy driver and the weather was nuts.

Back at home, we stayed up and talked and told stories waaaaaay too late.  From Burning Man to Beijing... It was almost midnight before I was like, look, I have to sleep.  My eyelids weren't staying open any longer, haha.  She was still wound up.  Much more of a night owl.  I went to sleep on her leather futon while she was still up on her computer.  I just couldn't hang!

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