Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July....went off with a BANG!

Our July 4th started out with excitement from the second we walked out of our apartment. We made arrangements with a few of our friends to sail to Anguilla on July the 4th because they had the day off of school. As we took off walking to our shuttle that was waiting for us, Geneva was giving us the checklist of everything that we should have. Passports...yea, towels...yea, sunscreen...yea, tickets....tickets? I had packed the night before so I would make sure that nothing got forgotten and what did I do? I forgot to pack the tickets in our beach bag. The shuttle was waiting for us a little bit down the road so we had to get to the shuttle or he would leave us. We took off for the bus as Jason ran back to the apartment to get the tickets. We were hoping the bus would be a little bit late so we wouldn't have to hold the bus for Jason, but an island first---the bus was right on time and maybe even a little early. I explained to the driver our situation and he had no problem waiting but the longer Jason was away the more I worried that he would say it was time to go. When we saw Jason running down the hill, I was relieved. I had to sneak a picture from the side of the bus of him running towards us....it was a great start to our first 4th of July on the island. We had to stop at a few hotels on the way to pick up some other people and then we were on our way to the "Lambada"--our sailboat. We checked in once we got there and made our way onto the boat. We removed our shoes and boarded the boat. The captain said the ride should be a smooth one with 3 foot swells in the channel. When we backed out of the dock, he requested the help of some guys to help raise the sails. Jason, Chuck, and Andy all helped pull up the sails, while the girls sat back and laughed at the boys and their facial expressions. Once the sails were up, then we were off to Anguilla. The ride was so relaxing! We had nothing to do but to sit there, enjoy the view, and do nothing. We went to the front of the boat for our ride to enjoy the wind, the sun, and the waves. It took a little longer to get to Anguilla than I had thought. I can see the island from the French side of St. Maarten so I thought it would be a lot closer than it actually was. I stood up the whole way there because I was hoping to see dolphins swimming along with the boat. No dolphins were seen but I felt like a little kid waiting to see something jump out of the water. When we were about half way between Anguilla and St. Maarten, the crew came through the whole boat passing out bread, cheese, and apples, so yummy! We didn't eat breakfast so we stuffed our faces and went back for seconds...well actually Geneva went back for seconds. She would wait until the crew went around to everyone and then she would go down and fill up cups full of bread, cheese, and apples for everyone. It was fun to watch the island get closer and closer....until we finally reached our destination, Sandy Beach. The sand on Anguilla was so soft, it was the softest sand that I have ever felt. We stopped at Sandy Beach to snorkel over a huge reef and to explore the little beach. We found a sea dollar, a jelly fish, and tons of bright colorful fish. We had a good time snorkeling but we wanted to explore the island a little bit before it was time to go so we headed over to the island. We walked around and took some pictures and then we were ready to get on the boat and head off to lunch. Before stopping for lunch, we passed by some caves on the coast of Anguilla. The scenary was amazing but by this time we were all starving and we just wanted to get to Roy's--where we were eating lunch. Lunch was served (chicken, ribs, or fish) on one of the beaches of Anguilla and then we spent about an hour playing on the beach until it was time to board the boat and head back to St. Maarten. The day was GREAT--even though I didn't get my fireworks! For dinner we went to Andy and Alissa's house for a barbecue and we called it a night pretty early. We were going to try and stay awake for the firework display, but we were exhausted after a full day of being in the sun. I missed my family, friends, and FIREWORKS this year....but I was able to experience a whole new aspect on July 4th----I keep telling myself "We are Making Memories!"

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