Tag Archives: caribbean

Where else could I go?

Getting into the house is always an important factor in one’s day.  On occasion, I have been known to accidentally lock Tim out of the house.  After a handful of times, we thought it might be a good idea to get another copy made of one of our keys.

When I inquired with friends where I could get a key made, they said go to ACE Hardware.  I hopped in the car, got to ACE Hardware in South Hill and found out they didn’t have the base key needed to copy my key.  So I waited about a week and tried to find a key somewhere else.

Where else could I go?

Multiple sources told me to try Lake’s Do it Best located in The Valley.  Lake’s Do it Best is one of the more complete hardware stores on the island.  As I walked in, hopeful this would be my one and only stop, I approached the cashier and asked if they made keys.  She looked at me and said, “We do but the machine is broken.”  Darn.  So I asked, “Where else could I go?”  The cashier tells me the Tackle Box cuts keys. Tackle Box is also located in The Valley and a catch-all type of store.

Five Minutes later, I arrived.  I walked in with my hopes still high, after all, it’s only three stores so far…this is not so bad.  I inquired about the keys and it turns out they don’t make keys.  Bummer.  So I ask, “Where else could I go?”

NAPA Auto Parts was suggested as the next stop.  Located near the airport, this was about a 7 minute drive.  My feet a little heavier than when I started, I trekked into the store and asked my question.  There was a glimmer of hope when the woman behind the counter had what appeared to be a base key that matched mine!  Yes!!   She put on her safety glasses, put the keys in the machine and…oh, nope…wrong shape.  I will not be getting my key copied at NAPA today.  So I asked, “Where else could I go?”

Next stop:  Xerox.  Yes, Xerox.  I didn’t believe it when I was told to go there.  Why would a photo copy store have keys?  But, what the heck?  This IS Anguilla…anything goes.  So I drove the 2 minutes down the road, parked, crossed the street, walked in and I saw them.  An entire rack of shiny blank keys.  Wow–who knew??  This was great, they must have a matching base key so asked my question.  The woman gave my key one look and said, “sorry, we don’t have that key.”  So I asked, “Where else could I go?”

Where else couldI go?  I’ve been all over the Island looking for this key for hours, now I’m hungry, and ready to give up. Please let them tell me something amazing like ‘we’re getting a shipment of these keys tomorrow’.  No such luck, I was directed to ACE.  I’ve already been to ACE last week and was told they didn’t have the base key.  With a shrug, I said to myself, “Ok, try it.  You never know.”

Map showing my travels from one location to the next. Follow the colors from dark to light.

So I left Xerox, crossed the street, got back in the car and drove 10 minutes back to ACE.  Maybe now they have the key I need.  I got there…walked in and there were two female employees sitting and talking.  I told them what I was looking for and one of the women took my key, looked at it and without saying a word started fishing through their base keys and all of a sudden started to cut a copy of my key.  Now, my key is silver and has a squarish top, the one she was cutting was gold and had a round top.  Hmmm…something told me this might not work.  When she finished, she handed me the keys, side by side to show the cut of the new one.   The only words she said to me, “Well, I hope this works.”  I respond, “Me too.  Meee too.”  I paid my $3.00 US dollars and drove home with my fingers crossed.

As I walked up to the door I could hear the drumroll in my head…will this new key be the right cut or will I have to start my search all over?  I insert the key.  Phew–it fits.  I start to turn the key…SUCCESS!!!  The door swung open and I had a working key.

So 4 stores and 5 stops later I finally found my key. It proves that everyday this island provides a new adventure and something new to learn!

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What’s a normal day?

Recently I took a trip back to New Jersey for about 9 days.  It was great to be back, it was wonderful to see all those whom I have missed so badly, and it was so fabulous going shopping.  Oh, how I miss one stop shopping.

As I went about my week in Jersey, seeing friends and family I was asked the same question a couple of times.  “So, what do you do on a normal day?  Like, you get up in the morning and then what?”

Well today is a good example that there is no “normal” day…which I think is true no matter where you live in the world…

Typically, Monday is part of our weekend because Tim has Sunday and Monday off from teaching.  So this one particular morning, I started to make pancakes from scratch and as I turned on the stove to heat up the pan, nothing happened.  I looked and the pilot light was not lit.  A couple of matches later, I realized the pilot light was not going to light.  Tim and I spent a few more minutes investigating to discover there was no more propane.  The pancake batter made its way into the fridge and I proceed to go into the garage where the propane tank is to attempt to disengage the gas line.  I used my hands, I used a wrench, I used my entire body weight and nothing worked.  I called for reinforcement from Tim, who also used his hands, a wrench, and his entire body weight with no success.  What the heck?  How could this gas line be so tight?

We called our friend Maduki.  He didn’t have much luck loosening the gas line either.  He contacted King Nyah.  We drive down the hill to pick him up with a bigger wrench in hand.  Back at the house King Nyah walked up to the propane tank with his big wrench and proceeds to loosen the gas line with no problem.  Huh?  How’d he do that?

It turned out my 2 other reinforcements and I were turning the nut in the wrong direction…there’s a joke in there somewhere….how many people does it take to remove a propane tank?  Well, the three of us were going ‘righty-tighty lefty-loosey’.  Except in this case, it was the propane tank end not the gas line end that held the saying true.  So all the energy Tim, Maduki, and I put into turning the gas line was actually tightening it.  Oops.  lol

Now that the tank is free from the gas line we have to get it in the car and refill it.  This tank is no joke…it’s slightly bigger than the tall ones used for helium balloons.  The tank is easy to load into the car empty but after it’s filled it weighs….A LOT.  With Maduki and King Nyah off on their way, it was up to me and my hubby to lift this heavy tank and reattach it to the gas line.

It was rough, mostly on Tim, because I can’t lift too much weight but we managed to successfully reattach the tank.  Two hours later, we finally cooked our pancakes.  Gotta love having breakfast for lunch!

So much for a typical day…but too many of those makes for a boring life.  🙂

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“No-see-ums” but you ‘feel-um’

Recently Tim & I went out with a group of friends to an outdoor beach bar & grill.  It was a great time, a little overcast, but sometimes that’s a nice change from all the intense sun we get here.  I’d say we were there for a good 4 hours chatting, snacking, people watching, and enjoying the live music with the incredible view of Shoal Bay….

That same night after dinner both Tim and I had extremely itchy feet.  I’m talking the kind of itch that no scratching can ease.  What the heck??  I don’t remember being bit by any mosquitos.  Upon examining my feet more closely, I see tons of little tiny red bumps…almost like a rash and too small to be mosquito bites.  Turns out these are from tiny sand flies or “no-see-ums” as some locals call them.  (Enter forehead slap here)

I think almost everyone we were out with has these bites on their feet and lower legs…the only relief I found has been to stand in the ocean.  The salt water is helpful with the itch but I can’t stay in the ocean 24/7.  This led me to research online.  Here’s what I found so far:  baking soda and water in paste form works for a while.  You can also slice a lemon or lime and squeeze the juice on the bite to help dry it out.  Witch hazel is another one I tried.  Nothing holds for too long.  It’s been 2 days and they still itch like new….if anyone knows how to soothe these crazy “no-see-um” bites, please, fill me in.

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Quality Time

Hanging out with those you love is the best thing ever.  This past weekend we got to do just that.  A day outside on the porch, Tim painting, Holly reading & emailing, dogs sleeping…it was a good day.

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Doggie Drama

Today was an interesting day with the dogs.

Let me give a little background information….Seagull and Spartacus finally spent time together this past Sunday.  They had a “play date” in a neutral space (aka–not our house), for about 4-5 hours.  They get along just as expected; Spartacus wants nothing to do with Seagull and Seagull just wants to play.  Spartacus puts her in her place every time she jumps, licks, or is even remotely near Spartacus.  It’s actually quite amusing to watch…remember the Looney Tunes cartoon with the two dogs and the little one jumps all over the place asking a lot of fast paced questions?  That’s how this scenario is playing out in my eyes.  (See picture below)

This morning started off pretty well, the dogs were spending their 3rd day together and Tim and I were being productive.  Part of our productiveness meant running some errands around the Island.  At about 12pm, while being productive, I get a phone call that starts out with “Don’t freak out but…”.  This is never good.  Turns out Seagull threw up A LOT and then passed out and was just lying there.  I called the vet’s office which was closed until 3pm.  I called the local groomer who is also a vet tech and she told me to call the vet and then if no answer than to bring the dog to her.   I decided to call back the messenger and ask some more questions.  At that point, the dog was up, walking around, and drinking some water.  Good!  Turns out she got stung by a wasp.  A Benedryl and a little love and she was good to go.  She didn’t have to go see anyone.

About 2 hours later, I get another phone call, this time from Tim.  “So, Spartacus just caught a chicken and brought it back for us to see.  It’s only mostly dead.”  “Only MOSTLY dead?”  What does one do with a mostly dead chicken?  We didn’t have these issues in Jersey.  Turkeys maybe but they’re so big Spartacus was afraid of them; I don’t blame him, they scare me too. lol    The chicken didn’t make it.  RIP poor chicken.  You landed in the wrong property today.

20 minutes after Spartacus delivered his catch of the day, with feathers in his mustache and beard, he started throwing up.  3 times to be exact.  Apparently, his belly doesn’t like feathers…

Ahhh…a day in the life on the island.  I’m glad everyone and every dog is feeling better, not throwing up, and now sleeping it off.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring.  Lol.

Spike and Chester of Looney Tunes remind me of Spartacus and Seagull.

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23 Days Later

My life in New Jersey was filled with dance classes, choreography, and even more dance.  I taught ballet, tap, jazz, and modern at a wonderful studio called Metuchen Dance Centre for 5 years.  This was my home away from home.  I was there 4, sometimes 5 times a week for classes, rehearsals, office work, picking out recital music, choosing costumes, creating new programs for summer, helping to re-work the schedule….the list goes on and on.  But it wasn’t work there, it was sharing a love of a life that few understand.  The life of a dance teacher.

So imagine having to leave, mid-year, this family that you have spend endless hours pouring your love, sweat, pirouettes, and now, tears with.  Leaving my family at MDC was one of THE hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

23 days later–with no dance classes in sight–I was connected with Gina.  Gina, I’m told, is involved with a dance school in Anguilla.  There’s a dance school here?!?  Fantastic!  I immediately contact her and she invites Tim and I to see her perform with the Myoumba Folkloric Theatre group at the Anacaona Boutique Hotel.  When the performance was over, Gina and I met eyes and said almost in unison, “are you Holly/Gina?”  lol  We hit it off right away, like we were long lost friends.

She was very excited that I was on the island because the dance school she’s involved with was in need of  teachers so the school can grow and further enhance the quality of the education provided.  On Sunday I took a Musical Theater workshop at the school.  Before the class started, around 12pm, Gina introduced me to the owners of Klassique Academy of Dance and we had a quick chat introducing ourselves.  I was told the owners would call me later that night.  Later that night when Tim and I returned home from a beach party, I noticed I had 4 missed calls and a text!    After returning their calls & texts, we met again that same night to chat.  It was ultimately decided I was going to teach 45 minutes of a modern class and 45 minutes of a jazz class on Monday night.

I started my modern class on the floor as I always do, with spiral x’s.  Basically you are leading with one extremity (fingers or toes) and using that extremity to lead the body in a roll.  Then we did seated leg swings etc etc etc….then I taught them part of a piece I had choreographed to the movie theme song, “Triplets of Belleville”.  They did well with the movement and even giggled a little at it (which is good because it’s a silly and fun piece).  Keep in mind that this was probably the first modern class any of the kids had ever taken–they did excellent and really seemed to enjoy it!

Moving on to jazz I got them into it with a warm-up I had choreographed to “Rich Man’s Frug” from Sweet Charity and they had a ball with it!  Most of them had never heard of Bob Fosse so this will be a treat for me to be able to teach them about his style.  We worked on pas de bourees, pirouettes, and then I moved onto a combination.  Again they had such a good time–as did I.  The energy in that room was addictive!  I felt like I could’ve stayed there and taught for 3 more hours!

Long story short (to late), I am officially teaching and on the schedule at Klassique Academy of Dance and Performing Arts Anguilla and I’m very excited.

The link to Klassique’s Facebook page:  http://facebook.com/KADPAA

The link to Metuchen Dance Centre’s website:  http://metuchendance.com/

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Bay Hopping

Our first attempt to go lay on the beach was at Limestone Bay.  Note:  It’s been a REALLY long time since Tim and I have tried to go on a ‘relaxing vacation’ be it a day or an extended length of time.  We take all these adventures in stride and laugh the entire time.

As we pull up in our little rental car there’s no one around.  We park on the side of the road, grab our beach bag and walk onto the beach.   It’s a small beach; quaint and secluded and about the side of a dance floor.   The water is really rough here not suitable for swimming but definitely suitable for a nice day at the beach.  There are big coral rocks on both the right and left of the entrance to Limestone Bay which caused some outrageous wave sprays.  Really beautiful.  We picked a spot in the shade and out came our towels to lie down and relax, read, etc.  About 5 minutes in we start getting eaten by mosquitos.  Yikes!  We looked at each other with the expression that said, “we can’t stay here without bug spray, where else can we explore”?

Our new plan was to look for Rendezvous Bay.  After finding some vague directions, ie “Take the road west from the Airport and follow approx. 3.5 miles to the Great House road sign on the left.  Follow road to the beach. Park next to the hotel and along the road.” we set off for Rendezvous Bay.  After about 15 minutes in the car, we approached a sandy lot that appeared to be a parking lot.  The ocean was in front of us, so this must have been it. Yay, we found it!  We get ourselves all set up, towels out, enjoying the sun and the fantastic view of St. Martin.  The waves were gentle, the water was warm, there weren’t that many people there, and a few boats were anchored in the bay.  It was picturesque.  Next thing we know, we’re getting rained on!  We pack up our stuff and hustle back to the car to wait out the rain.  Wouldn’t you know as soon as we get in the car, the rain stopped.  lol The rain blew over quickly so out we went back to the beach to enjoy the sun and water for a couple more hours–rain free.

Our Findings:  Rendezvous Bay is A LOT calmer than Limestone Bay.  One reason is they are on different sides of the island.  Limestone Bay is on the Northern side of the island and Rendezvous Bay is on the Southern side of the island.  The southern side of the island has calmer waters because of the short distance between Anguilla and St. Martin.

Here are some pictures of Limestone Bay and Rendezvous Bay.

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