Travel: Lazy Days in Antigua, Part II

Antigua license plateThe goal for our December trip to Antigua was to do as little as possible, and Francis and I were exceptionally successful at achieving it (see Lazy Days in Antigua, Part I to read about how we sat around all day, mouths open, spittle running down our chins). Let me tell you, though, there were other forces at work.

Disastrously, we met a very fit and rather diabolical Antiguan-American woman named Sara on the flight down. Insisting that we “go out and see the island” (???!!!), she picked us up at our apartment and drove us North to South, East to West, on several occasions. It was terrible. We barely survived it.

On Christmas Eve, Sara’s idea of fun was to join in the merriment in downtown St. John’s. There were lights and decorations, happy people everywhere, and to rub salt in the wound, a deceivingly-scrumptious local dinner at Roti King.

Christmas in St. John's, AntiguaDowntown traffic on Christmas Eve - St. John's, AntiguaChristmas Eve - St. John's Antigua

Cruise ship coming to eat us
Cruise ship coming to eat us

Dinner at Roti King - St. John's, Antigua

Then, a couple of days later, she thought that perhaps we should see another beach besides our own. She first took us to Devil’s Bridge, a big, splashy-water place with a natural rock arch. We continued on to Half Moon Bay, and not long after we got there, Sara pulled fresh papaya from her mother’s yard and crunchy snacks out of her bag to share with us. So presumptuous! I know you’re shaking your heads with me.

Devil's Bridge, Antigua
Devil’s Bridge



Sara and me at Devil's Bridge, Antigua

Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay

We also went to Dickenson Bay, just down the road from our apartment, where Sara arranged for this rainbow.

Dickenson Bay, Antigua
Dickenson Bay, Antigua

For the eve of New Year’s Eve eve (that would be Dec.29, for you slow people), our tour took us to the south end of the island to Nelson’s Dockyard, a cultural heritage site and functioning marina. Here, we were able to view the boat used by a reckless man named James (Tiny) Little for his solo Atlantic crossing. I say reckless because it appears that he didn’t brush his teeth in the evening – for 116 days! Just check out the poster of his daily schedule.

Francis and Lisa at Nelson's Dockyard, AntiguaTiny's Atlantic Row - Nelson's Dockyard, AntiguaSolo Row Across the Atlantic - Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua

I would be able to tell you more about this cannon if I could have read the signs.

Cannon - Nelson's Dockyard, AntiguaRusty signs - Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua

Powder Magazine at Nelson's Dockyard
Powder Magazine at Nelson’s Dockyard

A Sunday night tradition on Antigua is live music at Shirley Heights. The steel drum band sizzles and the views are breathtaking, so we spent our evening letting the local music seep into our souls. What’s done is done, however. We can’t undo it now.

Steel drum band - Shirley Heights, Antigua Live music at Shirley Heights, Antigua

View of English Harbour
View of English Harbour

 Who’s a pretty bird? Who’s a pretty bird? Not the English, apparently.

Antigua vs. England cricket billboard

And that’s how it came to be that we mingled the time at our “home” beach at Runaway Bay with some of Antigua’s other charms. But take a lesson from this story, travelers. I have a feeling that there are more like Sara out there.

Have you encountered a Sara in your travels? How did you protect yourself? Share your stories!



  1. says

    I can’t say I’ve encountered a Sara per se, but the general hodge podge of folks one meets when out of their usual environs always plays such a huge role in the memories made from a given trip. One of my favorites was Effie, the chain-smoking tour guide at the Temple of Poseidon who could barely breath, let alone walk, in her high heels over the slick and uneven stone.
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  2. says

    And now we have to wonder what Sara is telling her friends about you! ;)

    I’ve never met a Sara as such – but we did once stay at a little bed-and-breakfast near Cambridge for my cousin’s wedding and was persuaded by the cat-loving host to visit a nearby cat refuge. Guess who ended up taking a small furry passenger home that night…

    Not as reckless as it sounds, though – we already had three cats and this super-shy, unwanted kitten, Grace, gave us much pleasure for many years, and we gave her a good home.

    At least Sara didn’t follow you home…

    Another great post, Laura! :)
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    • Laura Zera says

      Oh my, you made me laugh, Debbie! Yes, a cat I would happily bring home, a Sara, not so much. But poor girl, she’s off on a cruise with her extended family right now, and doesn’t even know what I’ve been saying about her… :P

    • Laura Zera says

      I hope you had a good mindful break, Jodi! Sometimes just remembering the sound of crashing waves can bring quite a lot of inner calm.

  3. Sara says

    Hi. It’s Sara, the diabolical Antiguan-American back from her cruise! I give you and Francis lots of credit for keeping up with me and gracefully allowing me to drag you all over the island. I’m glad you both managed to survive without too many bumps and bruises! Hope there aren’t too many others like me out there to kill the rest and relaxation of a vacation. :)


    • Laura Zera says

      Yessssss! I was wondering how long it would take you to stumble upon this post, although I knew you’d get here eventually — there’s no getting away from you! Hahaha! Hope you had a great time on your cruise, talk soon via email.

  4. says

    Ha, I once vacationed on Antigua and during my stay there was an earthquake, a trip on a one of those flat boats (a pontoon?) over rough seas that made me ill to Barbuda, and a horrible tour via some residents that ended with a picnic lunch out of the rear trunk of an old station wagon, which I wouldn’t eat. While the island is beautiful, the place we stayed was very primitive and I wouldn’t go back there.

    • Laura Zera says

      Oh no! Sorry, I had a laugh at your expense here, Susan. Mercury must have been in retrograde when you were there! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your, er, misfortune. :P

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