Friday, 24 April 2009

Holiday Happiness and Holiday Happenings

Hello again bloggers, lurkers, readers; well, let's just say, hello again, friends.  Yesterday was a bit of a washout here at the HenHouse, having stepped off the plane at 5:15am with very little sleep and also losing the 5 hours which represents the current time difference between Antigua and England.  Mr HenHouse somehow managed a day at work, the Munchkin a day at school and I managed errm, very little!  (Well, I did read Country Living mag, does that count?) Add to this that the broadband service was down so I couldn't even blog, the cable tv was down so we couldn't catch up with the Apprentice, and it was a relief to fall into bed last night! 

We had a marvellous time in Antigua, I'm pleased to be able to report.  The weather was on the whole fantastic, about 29 degrees with a good breeze, oodles of sun and very little rain, still about 24 degrees at night.  Of course, when we did see a bit of rain, it was Caribbean-style, that's to say a mega downpour for ten minutes before reverting back to glorious sunshine!  Yes, there are quite good tans being sported in the HenHouse, though not so much by the Munchkin who was slathered in high factor lotion most of the time (and which alarmingly, was blue!)  The resort was great, far too much good food, few outings (just too hard to drag oneself away from that beach), quite a lot of rum punch and pina coladas, steel bands and so on.  Yes, a perfect cocktail.

Hope you'll indulge me in some full-on photos of the beach. Ah, sigh...

I thought you might like to see a few photos of our trip?  I've put together some mosaics to compact them a bit which I hope you'll enjoy.

Antigua is quite dry and sparse as far as Caribbean islands go, nowhere near as lush at St Lucia, for example but it does manage some pretty and exotic flowers.  These were growing just in the hotel's grounds.  

You don't see these growing back home!

These were right by the swimming pool and tasted marvellous. It makes you realise how tasteless and under-ripe the bananas are we can buy back at home. It's great to be able to show a child where bananas grow and let them eat one, straight from the tree! Sadly, although the mango trees were laden with fruit, they were not yet ripe as the mango season proper is a few months off.  We did see some pineapples, which in Antigua are called the "black pineapple" and which they claim to be the sweetest pineapple in the world (of course). Unfortunately, we didn't get to eat any.  We did see, and indeed eat, plenty of melon on our holiday.  Please please, no more melon for a very long time!

Its fair to say that the Munchkin had a marvellous time. He was much more active this holiday, being a year older (make that "too active" sometimes!)  The children's club, however, was also great and it being the Easter holidays, there were plenty of children around so we managed a good bit of peace and quiet whilst they were entertained for us!

There's not an awful lot in the way of sightseeing to be done on Antigua, not like Barbados, for example, but we did manage a few trips out. We couldn't miss the English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard. The name will have told you that this is the ex-Naval dockyard where the Brits used to maintain their ships, indeed the dockyard meant they were able to keep a naval presence in the Caribbean all of the time. The dockyard dates from the 1740s and is still a harbour to many yachts today. 

Antigua is a mecca for yachters, indeed next week is the official Antigua Sailing Week and there was already evidence of many yachts having arrived ready to compete in the races and a fair few yachty crews were spotted in bars and restaurants. 

Sunday late afternoon and evening, sees the highest point on Antigua, "Shirley Heights", putting on a great party, definitely the place to be.  There is a fabulous view down over the harbour not to mention a brilliant steel band, a yummy bbq and usually, an opportunity to see a wonderful sunset.  Sadly, it was quite cloudy the day that we went so we made the most of the band and the booze!

The Munchkin just couldn't keep those little feet still!

Another trip was made, off roading in a zebra-striped jeep followed by a spot of kayaking and finally ending at a dreamy uninhabited island, "Bird Island", for the obligatory lunch, rum punch and swimming in the crystal-clear waters.

It was just perfect to have some time to relax.  A spot of crochet was indeed done (didn't try to take my stuff in the cabin on the way but managed to get a metal crochet hook, needle and scissors onto the plane on the way back!)  Mr HenHouse and I realised just how hectic the pace of life is back at home. Inevitably, all too quickly, it was time to say so long, Antigua...

Its exciting to be back home, though! We missed our three furry boys very much (although we did find some in Antigua but they were not very friendly!) and I managed the odd sneak at some blogs via my 'phone but I have lots of catching up to which I can look forward. Everything has changed so much in the few short weeks we've been away. The garden looks like a very unmanageable jungle! Most of my seeds have germinated and we're looking forward to making some progress outside.  Of course, there'll need to be some progress inside too, in particular in my den!  I'll be hoping to share that with you, so please, come back soon...


  1. I'm so jealous - I'm glad you had a wonderful holiday with all that sunshine. I love melon, I bet the melon from the place it is grown is much nicer than the ones transported to the english supermarkets. You'll have lots of lovely memories of yours holiday for many months to come. You will sit there and think we were doing this this time last week or that this time last week!

  2. Hi Hen, the photos are gorgeous and I am pleased to read that you had a lovely time. My hubbie used to live in Barbados and did lots of sailing around the West Indies. Lucky thing! Looking forward to hearing about your work room...are you all stocked for the Vintage Fair. Alas, I am madly behind, but I am sure I'll be able to make stock over the next few weeks gulp!! Kathyx

  3. Glad you had such a wonderful time..Tis nice to see you back though!

  4. That looks heavenly. Lovely pics x

  5. gorgeous pictures and looks like you had a fab time :-) nice to have you back though ;-)

  6. Welcome back! The pictures are gorgeous. I like the idea of the mosaics as you can get many more pictures in. I have been fancying melon all day and now my mouth is watering at your mention of it. A rum punch would go down a treat too!x

  7. I'm glad to read that you had a fabulous time! Now....back to work!!


  8. Hi Hen,
    so lovely to have you back! We had a wonderful time in Barbados in Feb.The Carribean is so gorgeous and the people are soo lovely too!Looking forward to the progress in you den! Also thank you for being a Follower on my blog,how lovely! I havent worked out how to do it yet,I'm still working on it.
    Rachel x

  9. Pleased to read you all had a wonderful time.
    Photos of paradise for sure!

  10. I'm so glad you all had a good time - I've been thinking of you! My uncle was in jail for one night in Antigua - something to do with smuggling lobsters, I believe. That's my little claim to Antiguan fame! Looking forward to seeing what you get up to once you've got over the jetlag...

  11. That beach looks beautiful - I'm so jealous. Lucky you!

  12. Oh I am so jealous! What lovely photos, glad you had a good holiday.

  13. How good to have you back, sounds like you had a fantastic time...lovely photo's. Why did the boys go to school & work after the flight??? I know I wouldn't! Enjoy catching up with the blog world... it will take a while :) x

  14. Hi Hen, been following your blog for a few weeks now, and so glad to see you back!!
    Looks like you all had a brilliant time, the pictures are wonderful and the sunshine, well it just
    makes a holiday, doesn't it?
    I had to smile at your Munchkin, he looked like he was really enjoying himself.
    Linda O xx

  15. Wow! Looks like you have all had a fab time........
    It looks beautiful there...
    I love the hand woven baskets. Your photos are really good...
    Well have a Happy weekend Hen...
    Warm Wishes

  16. looks absolutely glorious. Especially those first beach pictures (you could work for the Antiguan Tourist Board with those)! Sounds like a great time was had by all - always takes a while to get back in the swing of things after such a relaxing break like that I find. Looking forward to hearing from the Den though...

  17. Your photos make me want to go to Antigua! They look like a snazzy travel brochure. Gosh, I'm suddenly wondering if I can drop everything and just go?! I love those baskets being woven in one of your photos. And Munchkin looks so happy, he's so sweet! I totally understand why you found it difficult to leave that beach, it's beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing these photos and your wonderful holiday with us Hen, it's been very very enjoyable.
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)
    P.s. I love your blog header by the way. I've got a dish like your flower one, but mine's a Pansy.

  18. Hi Hen,

    Welcome back! Lovely holiday pics!

    I did have a go at the ripple pre course and it turned out ok, but now that I hold the hook properly (much quicker than how I was doing it before) and have got the tension sussed I definitely want to have a go again. :-)

    Sian x

  19. Looks like you all had a fabulous time. Good to have you back though.

  20. nice to see you back . did you see any Johnny Depp type looking pirates while you were there !!!!!!! x noelle

  21. Hello Hen, WOW!!!!!
    Lovely holiday!
    Such amazing pictures!

    So glad you had a fabulous time!


  22. Great to have you back in blogland - missed all your crafty creations! So glad the holiday went well - looks so beautiful. G

  23. What a wonderful trip and the photos are lovely. I have always wanted to visit so thanks for your mini tour right from my desk and I did not even have to put on a teeny tiny bikini to visit:)

  24. Hi, I sent you an e-mail with an order for a crochet hook roll at the end of last week, I just want to advise you that I can now pay be pay pal rather than cheque if you could just send me an invoice please. Many thanks Sara

  25. What an amazing trip! WOW! Thanks for sharing the photos! I'll put it on my list of places I would love to visit!


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