May, 2014

21 May
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Antiguan diary continued….

I hope you enjoyed the first instalment of my diary, here is the rest……

Day eight.

We awoke early and headed off to the gym, for a quick work out and a light breakfast, before meeting our boat driver and his assistant, Owen and Irwin. Today we were being taken out to a reef for some snorkelling and then onto Prickly Pear Island for brunch and swimming. The sea was a little choppy today so the snorkelling, for me, was a little scary! (I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to the sea!) Nicky dived straight in and I watched for a while, lounging on the back of the ‘Monteray’. After persuasion from the crew and Nicky I decided to give it a go. Wow! How amazing it was to see all of those fish! There were hundreds of them. Only about three or four species but so many! They were all around us. You didn’t really have to swim out to see anything, you could basically just stick you head into the sea! It was like Disney Land! A whole other world going on. Amazing! After returning from our fabulous trip onboard the ‘Monteray’, Nicky and I lazed by our pool floating on a lilo and watching a wedding take place in the distance. So romantic….

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Owen, Irwin and myself in front of the Monteray.

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Lounging on the boat.

Day nine.

Another early start – this time due to the fact that we were water skiing – no not me, Nicky had a session booked. I was going along to be the photographer! We met the skipper on the beach and jumped into the speed boat. A few minutes around the corner and we wherein Dickinson’s Bay. A super calm, flat bay perfect for water sports. After our energetic morning (taking photos is hard work!! haha!) we decided to stay in the privacy of our own villa and listened to music relaxing by the pool. We had another game of chess too!

Tonight we ate at the Cove, it is becoming a favourite with us. It’s probably something to do with the perfect setting, above the rocks, overlooking the sea with BlueWaters in the view to our left and the vast sea out in front of us. Not to mention the fabulous food and service!

Day ten.

We didn’t have the usual sunshine beaming into our bedroom this morning, it was looking a little grey outside? We wandered down to breakfast, taking our time today as it didn’t look like we would be missing any sun on the beach. It soon started raining, light at first then heavy rain and then a tropical storm! There was something quite cosy about it though, sitting in a bikini and a summer dress with it raining cats and dogs! As the rain seemed to not give in we decided to take a trip to St Johns again. A great day for wandering around the shops, picking up a few souvenirs! It was much quieter in own today as there was no cruise liner in. Cooler too, so perfect for exploring. We went into a local cafe for a drink to rehydrate – Hemingway’s. Such a cute place above the shops on a busy Antiguan street. It was a real hit with the locals and guys were coming in and their favourite drinks would be put in front of them without them saying a word to the waitress. I love places like that, a table reserved for you every day and your favourite drink served as soon as you walk in! A real life ‘Cheers’ bar!

Day eleven.

We woke to more rain today, it was still very warm but wet spells. We caught up with some friends over breakfast and we decided to take a road trip around the island as the weather was not that great. We drove towards the south taking in the sights of Jolly Harbour. We ended up at a trendy beach club called ‘Jacqui O’s’. As we arrived the sunshine was coming out and the heat rising. We sat down and had a much welcomed bottle of Rose wine! Lunch was delicious and we then move to the beach. It was pretty windy so every now and then we were exfoliated by the sand! It was like we were in the desert in a sand storm. The sea was pretty rough here too due to the wind, but at the same time that made it fun! We lay in the sun taking in the rays wondering if the rain was still falling at BlueWaters?

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On the beach at Jacqui O’s

Day twelve.

Today the rain had eased pretty much to nothing, a few clouds in the sky but overall a pretty nice day. We decided to stay by our pool today and catch up on a bit of fashion and gossip in the magazines. Nicky went sailing in the afternoon and I watched from our terrace. It really is paradise here….

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Day thirteen.

After the gym and a delicious breakfast of healthy porridge and fruit we headed to the beach for a walk hand in hand. The sea is so crystal clear at BlueWaters, just how I like it! Powder white sand under foot and the warm sun on our skin. Bliss! Back at the villa, Nicky was flower arranging with the Bourganvilla and we had vases full of it everywhere! There is so much around the resort in fabulous pink and oranges. We were having a chef come to cook for us this evening on our terrace so I think Nicky wanted to make an effort and make the house look even more special than it already was! Dinner was a tasty BBQ, prepared and cooked for us by head chef – Jason. We had mouth watering meats served with Corn, salads and spicy Caribbean sauces. I love a BBQ, deliciously healthy!

Day fourteen.

Oh boy, it was a hot one today. Absolutely burning! Trying to stay cool, I spent most of the day in the pool on a lilo and in the sea. Nicky was sailing quite a lot today and eventually persuaded me to try it. It was just a hobby cat sail boat but still pretty scary to me! I really am not in love with the sea when I can’t touch or see the bottom. I must be brave though – I thought! Nicky had been on at me the hole time to try this so I needed to shut him up! On with my life jacket and onto the boat. Not the most lady like manoeuvre to get on but I was on. I went with a friend that we had made, Zsa Zsa. Zsa has been sailing since a chid and knew exactly what she was doing. I felt safe. We started heading out towards Rock Cottage and it was clam and we moved slowly, this was day I thought! Once around Rock Cottage we needed to turn to come back the other way. In order to turn we had to sail into the wind to pick up speed. The sea was a little choppy out this far and waves were crashing over the side. I was now feeling a little nervous! Never the less, we got the speed that we needed and made the turn safely, ducking under the sail each time it changed sides. I can see why people get into this sailing lark but I am not too sure that t was for me! I was glad to be heading into the beach but also secretly pleased with myself for doing it! Also Nicky would stop nagging me now too!

Before dinner we had arrange a photo shoot on the beach with Gwen and Daniel. They wanted us pictured  by the Hugo tree. Nicky and I love to take pictures as the sun is setting, the light is so soft and thus makes the pictures look so professional. Some of the best shots of me have been taken by Nicky on the beach at this time of day!

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Our last evening meal was eaten at the Cove, our favourite. It was hard to imagine that we had now been at BlueWaters for 2 weeks – the time has flown by! We headed back to our home, for one last night, and watched the film ‘Gravity’ in bed – Well, Nicky fell asleep and I watched it!

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I can truly say that I have never been to any other resort where the staff are so friendly. Everybody remembers your name and nothing is too much trouble. We were looked after like a king and queen. It was truly magical. I will be recommending this hotel to everyone that I know and would absolutely love to return. Thank you BlueWaters! xx

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I hope you all enjoyed our stay at BlueWaters Antigua as much as we did! Thank you for reading my diary.

Catch up with you next week.

Big love,

Kelly x

@kelly_simpkin

 

08 May
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My Antiguan Diary …..

Hello again, it seems ages since I last blogged but its only a week! Must be something to do with being sooooo relaxed!

As I am away on holiday, in Antigua, I thought that I would keep a diary for you all to read! Here goes….

Day One.

We arrive in beautiful Antigua! After a great flight from London with British Airways we touch down on the island. Its only a short taxi to the final point and the aircraft doors are open! Wow, the heat just hit us both as we walked down the large steps onto the tarmac. It was hot with the sun beaming down and a warm breeze in the air!

We soon cleared customs and a porter at the airport had somehow miraculously picked out our luggage for us, all 6 pieces! How he knew it was ours I don’t know – hmmm?? He escorted us to outside the airport where we met our driver and were chauffeur driven to our hotel – BlueWaters.

Once inside the hotel lobby we were given a refreshing cold towel and a glass of Rum Punch (what else!). Anderson, the hotel manager, greeted us with a warm Caribbean welcome. Next we were taken to our room, or cottage I should say. This was the bit that I was waiting for! The photos looked outstanding on the website but I couldn’t wait to see it in person! So exciting! Turtle Cottage was enclosed in a cute white picket fence with bourganvilla creeping over its top. We opened the small wooden gate and there to meet us was Gwen, our concierge. Gwen gave us the grand tour and what a tour it was! This place was something special. Stunning! The great room was vast and finished to such a high standard. There was everything that we could possibly need on hand too. The master bedroom had the most spectacular view, as did most of the villa to be honest! We had our own private BBQ and area, pool and beach! We were in heaven! We soon unpacked and felt at home.

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Our gorgeous bedroom complete with four poster bed!

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Our lounge

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Our Pool

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Stunning view from Turtle Cottage.

Day two.

After quite an early night – Jet lag of course! – we had an early wake and headed down to the main part of the hotel for breakfast. It was a feast. Everything that you could have wished for was there, omelettes, fruit, pancakes, champagne, cereals and much more! Breakfast is our favourite meal of the day!

After breakfast we headed back to Turtle Cottage to relax by the pool. We love having the privacy of our own pool and the 180 degree view was great for creating a warm breeze.

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 How lovely this was, listening to the birds and the sea lapping at the beach down below us. Perfect. After lunch Nicky showed me how to play chess. I have never played in my life and he was teaching me which part could move where and so on. Once I thought I had the hang of it we kicked off my first ever game! Ok so Nicky did some 4 move special and had me in check mate as fast as I could blink, but hey, this was my first ever game! I think it was a little mean of him to play so hard straight away! Our second game, however, was a different story, I beat him! OK so he gave me a few little tips and probably missed a couple of vital moves that he could have made to beat me but I STIL WON!! That evening we ate at Bartley’s, one of the hotel restaurants. It was lovely, Italian food, but Nicky was almost asleep at the table. Home to bed for another early night!

Day three.

Wake up time was a little better today, we were getting into the swing of Caribbean time, and we started our day with a Pilates session. We set up in the great room and had my favourite Pilates DVD on! Even just ten minutes of this and I can feel that i’ve worked out. Today we just chilled by the beach and pool, taking in the fresh sea air. We played my second game of chess over afternoon tea – very quintessentially English! We spent our evening at The Cove restaurant with a setting on the rocks over the bay. Beautiful.

Day four.

It was time to see a little of the island, after breakfast we set off for English Harbour. English Harbour takes its name from the fact that the British Navy established its base of operations for the area during the eighteenth century. It is a wonderful historic sight full of sail boats and yachts. After our walk around the most famous part of the harbour, Nelsons Dockyard, we headed down to Pigeon beach for a bite to eat. We were booked at a place called Catherine’s, which was a spot that I can only describe as ‘Ibiza meets the Caribbean’. Such a chilled vibe. The food was delicious, mostly French with a Spanish twist! Something different!

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Day five.

Today was my cousin’s birthday back in the UK so I decided to write a message in the sand and send the photograph to her – she thought this was quite cute and original!

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What a canvas!

 Whilst walking along the beach I spotted some shells being washed up with, what looked like, beads attached to them. It was some kind of seaweed that had grown onto the shells. I found a way of using them a fashion accessories! New shoulder tassels….Michael Jackson style!

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Strike a pose!

This evening we went to the famous ‘Shirley Heights’ Sunday party. Overlooking English and Falmouth Harbour, the amazing panoramic view takes in its neighbouring islands of Guadalupe and Montserrat. This is the home to the most happening parties on the island. Steel bands playing, rum punch being served and the smell of a bbq in the air. That’s all before you even look at the view! Hundreds of people gather to watch the sunset. Its like Antigua’s answer to Cafe del Mar in Ibiza. Once the sun goes down, the live band kicks in and the party really gets going. We were lucky enough to see a whale in the sea just off of the cost below, I could not believe it!

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What a view!

Day six.

We experienced a cloudy day today, a little overcast, but to be honest is was much welcomed. The weather here is divine but boy is it hot! A day with intervals of sun was quite refreshing. Just relaxing by the pool, catching up on some gossip in my magazines and totally resting. We extended the relaxation into the evening and had room service! Yes I know, but room service here is unlike most other room services. We have the ‘great room’ with a table fit for eight people to dine from. Candles burning, music playing softly in the background, looking outside to a million stars in the clear sky…..so romantic!

Day seven.

Our day started with our regular trip to the gym before breakfast, we are so disciplined! ha ha! We followed with a trip to the Island’s capital, St Johns. Many souvenirs to buy from conch shells to cigars, T-shirts to Caribbean Rum. Our driver, Chamouy, was fantastic he gave us a whole history lesson on the island including soaking up the atmosphere of the back streets. He seemed to know everyone in town.

There was a cruise liner in today so the place was a little busy but this just added to the atmosphere. Everybody on the Island is so friendly, its nice to just talk to the locals and hang out!

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Stretching out after the gym!

I hope that you have enjoyed my first week in Antigua as much as I have. Believe me it is total paradise and I will definitely be returning. All of the staff are so friendly and nothing is too much for them. You couldn’t ask for any better!

I’ll catch up with you again next week for the second instalment of my Antiguan Diary……

Until then, take care.

Kelly x

p.s If you can’t wait until then, follow me on twitter for regular updates!

t: @kelly_simpkin

 

 

 

 

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