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A Trip to the Beach
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A Trip to the Beach

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,632 ratings  ·  184 reviews
This is the true story of a trip to the beach that never ends. It's about a husband and wife who escape civilization to build a small restaurant on an island paradise -- and discover that even paradise has itspitfalls. It's a story filled with calamities and comedy, culinary disasters and triumphs, and indelible portraits of people who live and work on a sliver of beauty s ...more
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Published November 20th 2001 by Three Rivers Press (CA) (first published October 10th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Yoonmee
I seem to be one of a few that didn't give this book high ratings. Why the low rating? A few reasons: the book is poorly written for starters. It's a slow read and, to be brutally honest, not all that engaging once you get past the first chapter or so. It's the memoir of a self absorbed couple who decide to move to Anguilla to open up a restaurant. The adventures of an affluent white couple in a third world country! Oh the stories they could tell about those nutty natives and all the crazy thing ...more
Melissa
Ok, so while I was pleasantly surprised by how this turned out to be sort of a foodie/travel book, it still wasn't the best account out there. It had many strengths to it, but in all, just wasn't as interesting as it could have been.

Melinda and Robert Blanchard, after selling their business at far below what they should have, decided they want to live on the island of Anguilla. Not as well known to the tourists, but still with a thriving tourist economy, they decide they will open a restaurant o
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 10, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Ultimate Reading List
This is the memoir of a Vermont couple who moved to the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla and poured their heart and sweat--and life savings--into creating a world class restaurant there. It was recommended in the Travel Section of The Ultimate Reading List that had provided me with reading for years--and this is the penultimate book left. On that list travel memoirs seemed to split into two kinds: tales of tourists, such as with Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country or expatriates, such as Franc ...more
Suzanne
This explains why meals/accomodations on some Carribean Islands can be so expensive.
The first half of this book is fun and interesting to anyone who has ever visited Anguilla. A middle-aged Norwich Vermont couple relocate to Anguilla and open a restaurant. It is still in business, and is called Blanchards. Import duties, taxes, delays, weather, and the relaxed approach to life by Anguillans contribute to stress equal to that of any restaurant opening in NYC.
The second half drags a bit, then H
...more
Barbara ★
Part one is a whirlwind and exhausting move to Anguilla along with building, stocking and staffing the beach restaurant. An expensive and tedious process undertaken on Island Time. Part two is an endless and tedious day-in-the-life (more like year) of being a restaurateur. This section was endless and repetitive though some of the staffs antics were rather amusing. Part three involved a disaster and a rebuild. All in all, a well-written book that read more like fiction than non fiction. I'm glad ...more
Annalise
A nice, easy book that gave a general idea of life in Anguilla - the sights, the sounds, etc. I couldn't help but wonder how much money Melinda and Bob Blanchard had, to pull off their move to Anguilla, the movement of all of their possessions, and the opening of their restaurant. And, of course, their lunches at all the expensive Anguilla hotels.

Ah well. The book is a nice bit of fluff, easy to pick up or put down at any point. Nothing mind blowing, but generally pleasant. And the recipes look
...more
Regina
An enjoyable walk through the excitement and difficulties that come along with leaving it all behind to open a restaurant on the beautiful island of Anguilla. This memoir introduces a variety of friendly and likable characters and leaves the reader with a strong desire to pick up and head off on their on island adventure. I enjoyed this read from start to finish.
Glynis
This was a surprisingly good read! I don't normally like non-fiction, but this came highly recommended. I really enjoyed the author's way of telling her story, and I felt a part of the whole adventure.
Rosemary
This book is a delightful first-hand account of the ups and downs of opening a restaurant on an unspoiled tropical island paradise. Engaging and downright funny in parts, Melinda Blanchard thoroughly enchants the reader with her descriptions of colorful island characters and mouthwatering recipes. Life isn't always idyllic due to the very real complications of having most everything sent over by boat from either St. Martin or the USA. Not to mention the very real threat a hurricane can be to a s ...more
Brooke Everett
Nov 22, 2014 Brooke Everett rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brooke by: Mike Casey
Shelves: food
This book was a welcome respite from the single digit real feel temperatures that hit Philadelphia in November. Even if my body was stuck in Arctic conditions, my mind and imagination were in sunny, gorgeous Anguilla.

Opening a restaurant is tough stuff as is. Opening a restaurant on a tropical island might be more relaxed in a few ways than it is in the U.S. (see quote below about signing the lease), but there's also a whole separate set of challenges and red tape to navigate. Hello, customs dut
...more
Kate
As a quick reading alternative to a romance novel, this book would work. But for a literary experience this book falls short. It is an interesting exsersize to read it and figure out why. First, the book has two authors, but only one voice. Melinda Blanchard's voice dominates the text. During the parts of the story where she is not around, i.e. the parts her husband Bob wrote, her voice becomes omniscient. Second, Melinda tells us what we see instead of showing us the surroundings and everything ...more
BJ
Feb 27, 2011 BJ rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a good armchair traveller type book with a "foodie" edge.
I found "A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda and Robert Blanchard on a list on the Goodreads site. Reviews were mixed, but it sounded good to me, so I checked it out of the library and I'm glad I did. This book tells the story of a couple from Vermont who go to the island of Anguilla on vacation and fall in love with the island and its people. Later, after selling their business, Blanchard and Blanchard, a popular specialty food company, they decide to open a b ...more
Dianne
It feels like a long time since I read a really good travel book. Or maybe it's just that it's the end of February and reading about a warm, sunny island felt like such a relief. Whatever the reason, I loved this story of a Vermont couple who move to Anguilla to open a restaurant and make a life for themselves there.

This is the kind of travel book I like best, the ones where the writers have done more than just vacation in their chosen spot - they have lived there and because of that they can gi
...more
Kate
Lately I've been reading non-fiction books about people who drop everything and travel around the world or start new lives. This book is about a couple who decided to sell their home in Vermont and open a restaurant on a tropical island.

Overall, the book was great. Their main goal, however, seemed to be to tell stories about the life of the locals. I appreciated the stories but I wanted to hear more of the logistics of starting a restaurant in a foreign country.

For instance, the wife is the cook
...more
el_quijote
Sep 14, 2007 el_quijote rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beach lite
This is definitely a beach read, one of the new generation of adult chick lit type books about life, travel and cooking, with a few interesting recipes strewn here and there.This one is about a man and woman that move from Vermont to the eastern Caribbean island of Anguilla (their favorite vacation spot) to open the beachfront restaurant they have always dreamed about.

It is an easy read that is written as a one year narrative about dreaming, building and running their restaurant until it is dest
...more
Madrezenith
The story of this couple selling everything in Vermont and struggling to open a high-end restaurant on Anguilla, an idyllic Caribbean island, is inspiring. The writing was clunky at times, but I don't think people read this for the writing but rather to see the details of a risky, big life change. The author and her husband are entrepeneurs with experience starting food-related businesses and a strong sense of adventure and lifestyle creativity. I admire them. They are dreamers who can deal with ...more
Kristine Buchholtz
I'd really give this book 2 1/2 stars if that was an option. This memoir offers some unique insights into the challenges and triumphs of chasing a dream and making it happen, on island time. Conveniences that we take for granted in America are essentially non-existant in Anguilla, and the Blanchards found a way to beat the odds, time and again. Also, Melinda shares some fantastic recipies throughout the text--a foodie's dream.

I just found myself wishing that the memoir was written in another fo
...more
Carrie
Memoir of a Vermont couple who move to the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla to start a fancy restaurant on the beach. It's a good quick read if you are looking for a tropical fix and/or like true accounts of people who decide to do unusual things (I do). It's not terribly well written (there's no masterful use of the english language, at least), nor does it delve very deeply into the emotional roller-coaster that their endeavor must have been. It also doesn't go into any depth about the dynamic ...more
Ann
Good book...it takes you on a journey to Anguilla and introduces you to the locals and daily life on a paradise island through the eyes of Melinda Blanchard and her husband Robert as they have decided to move their life from Vermont to paradise in hopes of building their very own restaurant. You feel like you are right there building this life with Melinda and Robert in paradise and go through the struggles and hardships right along with them. The charaters (or I should say people since it's a t ...more
Ellen Librarian
This book, which I "read" in audio form, grabbed my attention when it crossed my desk at the library because its story, about a couple who decides to move to their favorite vacation spot, is one that is so common where I live. But instead of moving to the mountains of the southwest, Robert and Melinda Blanchard move to the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The narrative, read by Melinda Blanchard, is part autobiography about opening a restaurant and adjusting to a new life in an exotic location, par ...more
Joyce
From the horror of Angola, I have now journeyed to the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla. Definitely prefer the beaches and friendliness of this small island. It is a pleasant diversion and an opportunity to go along for the ride as a couple live out their dream of opening a restaurant on an island. Next stop: Antarctica.
Shauna
Having the desire to move to St. John, USVI, I ordered this book specifically online so I could read a first hand account of the process and feelings associated with moving from the states to a tropical caribbean island. The book chronicles the lives of a married couple from Vermont, who decide they would like to live on the island of Anguilla, and open a restaurant. The book is very detailed, the descriptions of the island, the people, the process were very vivid. I enjoyed reading the book, al ...more
Torie Duda
Read this some number of years ago...very entertaining AND includes a recipe for the best cornbread. EVER.

The Blanchards are a couple who decide to pack up and move themselves to the Caribbean isle of Anguilla. There, they begin a highly successful restaurant and turn the native people into their family-away-from-home.

As in your life, every day isn't pina coladas and sand between your toes - the Blanchards contend with hurricanes, employee headaches and even wildlife issues - who knew Paradise
...more
Kristen
I found this book by accident -- I was preparing to leave for a summer internship in Anguilla and stopped in a bookstore to escape the rain and get some summer reading. I looked in the travel book section to see if by chance there was anything from the Caribbean. The very first one I picked up was this one -- which happened to be about Anguilla!

The book itself is not spectacular. But it gives a good idea of what Anguilla is like for anyone planning to go there. All of the descriptions are spot o
...more
Michelle
I really enjoyed this book. The cover art alone was enough to make me want to devour it in one sitting during a lazy summer afternoon. Alas, duty called so I had to take several days to read it.

The authors moved from Vermont to Anguilla to follow their dream of opening a seaside bar and grill, which after one look at the rent expense involved, evolved into a more upscale yet casual dining restaurant. The writing was average, but I still immensely enjoyed the authors' description of choosing the
...more
Lee
What a surprising find this was! While staying in Austin last year, we found this book in the hotel lending library that Hilton Garden Inn hotels have started adding to their properties. My husband started reading this first, and he enjoyed it so much and recognized that it's the type of book I'm usually telling him about that he recommended it to me. Melinda and Bob's writing style is easy and engaging, and their story of how they moved to a tiny island and opened a world-class restaurant is pr ...more
Rhoda Perron
Love this adventure but real life story. Made me find their Island on Google maps and want to travel there some day. I admire people who take a risk to follow their dreams.
September Dee
I truly enjoyed this book. Love the account of living on this small island. Well written and makes me want to visit the island of Antigua and meet the people there.
Sharon
This book took me away from the frigid cold to the warm waters of Anquilla. I have been to this island and the Blanchard restaurant so this book took me back to that vacation. The people are as warm & nice as described. It was interesting to learn about the challenges in setting up a business on an island.
I dug out my pictures from our trip and will be sharing them with my book club when we review this book this weekend. I loved the shared recipes also. If you are looking to escape the col
...more
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“From the air Anguilla looked narrow, flat, and scrubby, but that was only part of the picture.” 1 likes
“Combine equal amounts of pineapple juice, guava juice, freshly squeezed orange juice, and Mt. Gay rum. Add just a dash of grenadine and another of Angostura bitters. Pour over ice and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg.” 0 likes
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