August Monday: a day full of bikinis, barbecue smoke, unaccepted behavior and copious quantity of booze. In my opinion the name should be officially changed to “Day of the Excesses” but that’s just me.
Anguilla’s carnival takes place every year in the last week of July and first week of August and every first Monday of August the island’s “Jouvert” (which is what I can only describe as a parade of debauchery) ends on the beach of Sandy Ground with one big bash, complete with live music on a large stage and barbecue grills everywhere. People from neighboring St. Maarten long ago claimed August Monday as their preferred party for the summer and half of the island invades Anguilla in boats of all shapes and sizes. From politicians to desk clerks, young and old St. Maarteners will make sure to take this Monday off work to party on Anguilla’s Sandy Ground beach.
After having experienced this madness quite a few years in a row myself, I have decided 5 years ago not to bother with it anymore. I’d rather save my pennies and travel and besides there are only so many drunken beach days I can handle. But as life would have it my girlfriends and I got invited to a beach wedding the weekend prior to August Monday so we all rented a gorgeous villa and made a long weekend of it. While my girls were all discussing which bikini would be sexier for the fête of the summer, I was making plans to lounge by the pool and totally indulge in the quiet their absence would undoubtedly bring.
Obviously I grossly underestimated their power of persuasion. They laid such a thick layer of guilt on me that at the end of the morning I was dressed in my pink bikini with an enthusiasm for August Monday I haven’t felt in years.
So off we went in our tiny rental car, excitingly chatting about what we would drink, who we would see, how long we would stay and where in F’s name we would park. I should mention that this is the first August Monday I attended from land, meaning that since I was already on Anguilla I didn’t have to catch a boat ride with friends from St. Maarten.
The nightmare started the moment we came closer to Sandy Ground. Anguilla is quite laid back and hardly has any traffic on the roads at all, so imagine our surprise when we found ourselves in a major traffic jam. We sat sweating in the tiny rental, bumper to bumper in complete gridlock for what seemed an eternity. I mentally cursed my girlfriends for forcing me to leave the serenity of the villa’s pool deck. I could have been dozing off with my feet in the water at that very moment, darn it.
But an hour or so after leaving our gorgeous island pad we were on the very noisy and very busy Sandy Ground beach. Boats were lined up side to side over the whole stretch of the beach, I had to squint to be able to see through all of the barbecue smoke and we were being checked out like new meat fresh from the slaughterhouse. What is it with caribbean men and women in bikinis?
Seasoned drinkers that we are, we made sure to check off everything on our “Day of drinking survival list”.
Big breakfast sandwich before leaving ….Checked
Apply sunscreen over entire body…..Checked
Apply higher factor on tattoo’d places on body….Checked
Pack extra outfit in case the first one goes missing ….Checked
Don’t mix your alcohol……Checked
Lunch loaded with carbs …….Checked
$10 pair of sunglasses since you will undoubtedly lose your favorite pair of Carreras….Checked
Designated sober friend to drag you away from terrible situations or to alert in case of a bikini malfunction……..Checked
Hydrate as much as possible during and after (and no, although rum is a liquid you cannot hydrate with it)…..Checked
Stock up on Gatorade, water and Dramamine at home to combat the after rum effects….Checked.
Seriously, Dramamine, the motion sickness relief drug is a true lifesaver after a day of drinking. Take the non-drowsy version as soon as you wake up to battle any surfacing nausea. Hangover be GONE!
All in all it was quite a successful August Monday, despite my initial resistance to go. Although I came home that night without sunglasses and flip flops and sans shorts (don’t ask) I did have a lot of fun. It all depends on the people you go with and I have one of the best group of girls. Would I attend next year again? Probably not, but for now I am content with the fact that my presence at this year’s crazy August Monday at least gave me something to blog about.
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Remember to Live, Laugh and Travel.