I never would have guessed I’d end up in Antigua for New Year’s Eve, and quite frankly, I found myself googling this Caribbean Island whilst perusing possible getaways just to get a glimpse at exactly who and what it was. A twin-island country set between the illustrious meeting point of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, of course it took only a moment’s glance at Google Image’s renderings of Antigua and Barbuda to be convinced that this would become the setting for my first moments of 2016. Nicknamed “Land of 365 Beaches” to describe just that – 365 coral lined, turquoise blue water beaches – this was island was paradise. Formerly a British Empire, you can easily pick up on the remnants of the British culture here, starting with the left-side-of-the-road cab ride from the airport to your resort of choice. We stayed at Jolly Harbour’s Jolly Beach Resort, which turned out to be a wonderful experience within walking distance to the harbour and set on a beautiful expanse of a bright blue beach. Spanish for “ancient,” I found Antigua to be a splendid combination of warm tropics and intriguing history, though you might not know it by a simple glance at the architecture around St. John’s, which is the docking place for ginormous cruise ships. If you’re into snorkeling or diving, you’ll the fact that the islands are rimmed by reefs boasting plenty of colorful underwater life – which I got a glimpse of from the bubbly surface… turns out I’m not a world-class snorkeler, but that’s okay. The sailing and kayaking did me well, as did the wonderful, friendly locals.
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