Jan 21

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!



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  1. Aniruddha

    Wonderful post, Laura. Enjoyed reading it.
    Aniruddha recently posted…Life…My Profile

    1. Laura Zera

      And not even a hint of sarcasm, hey?! Heh heh. Thanks for reading, Aniruddha.

  2. Jeri

    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.
    Jeri recently posted…User Survey for What do I know?My Profile

    1. Laura Zera

      “Effie, the chain-smoking tour guide” — that has GOT to be good for a character in a book somewhere!!

  3. Debbie Young

    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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    1. Laura Zera

      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

  4. Jagoda Perich-Anderson, M.A.

    I chuckled throughout this post–thanks. What a fun-sounding vacation. At least Tiny remembered to schedule two trips to the toilet, and hey, there wasn’t anyone around to kiss his fuzzy teeth at night anyhow, right?
    Jagoda Perich-Anderson, M.A. recently posted…Ten Quotes on Conflict, Innovation and Mental StrengthMy Profile

    1. Laura Zera

      This is true. I wonder how much he enforced that toilet schedule for himself…

      Thanks, Jagoda!

  5. Jodi from Heal Now and Forever

    Devil’s bridge looks so beautiful! Time for a break for me I think. I am going to go there in my mind!
    Jodi from Heal Now and Forever recently posted…Want To See A Therapist? Demystifying Therapy and TherapistsMy Profile

    1. Laura Zera

      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.

  6. Chris James

    Ack – if that’s what they think of the English, then I ain’t going anywhere near there. Really, I do wish sometimes that people would remember the more positive to come out of the British Empire, like tea and cricket, instead of all the bad things.

    Great post, Laura. Love the pics and thanks for the heads-up for your English readers!
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    1. Laura Zera

      Would they even let you in, anyway, Chris?

      Thanks for reading, and thank you for tea. I’m about to have some right now, actually.

      1. Chris James

        I dunno, but if they did, the first thing I’d do is take my marker pen to that hoarding, cross out that “WE” and replace it with “US”. So it would probably be better for all concerned if I just didn’t go ;)
        Chris James recently posted…Indie News Beat: Which perspective would you like with 2014?My Profile

        1. Laura Zera

          I’ve heard Pitcairn Island is nice this time of year. #PitcairnOrBust (Can I use hashtags in my blog comments? Well, I just did!)

  7. Sara

    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. :)


    1. Laura Zera

      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.

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