There aren’t many things better than spending a spring Sunday morning at the beach.

Today, we awoke early as we were leaving on a shore excursion at 8:15 AM. After our usual breakfast on the aft deck on 9, we ran down to deck 5 to get ready to go on our trip. As soon as we arrived, they called our trip and we disembarked to get onto the small bus that was taking us across the island.

We have been to Antigua before, probably 15 years ago, and we were pleased to see that the island seemed more prosperous than we remembered and better off than many Caribbean islands.

Our trip took us to Long Bay Beach on the northwest shore of Antigua, driving through three different parishes on our way. Barb asked a great question on the way out and had the tour guide explain cricket. The guide did a great job and we now feel like we might be able to understand the game!

We made a quick stop for pictures at a coastal spot called Devil’s Bridge. Sadly enough, this was where many African slaves leaped into the ocean in futile attempts to swim back to their homelands.

We spent about four hours at Long Bay Beach, a gorgeous white sand beach. The beach is partially open to the public, sharing the sand with the Grand Pineapple resort.

After splashing in the warm, clear water for a while, we went to sit near the bar where we could get out of the sun. We had seen some small transparent fish in the shallows, as well at ghost crabs on the shore. At the bar, we were visited by some small, brightly colored birds with bright yellow breasts, as well as some black birds who were courting.

I spent quite some time relaxing and reading Stephen King’s “Under the Dome,” which I started during the trip and have been glued to. Barb is going for more intelligent fare, “The Seven Storey Mountain” by Thomas Merton.

Back on the ship, we grabbed a table at Waves, the small grill near the pool, and wolfed down a couple of burgers since we won’t eat dinner until 8 PM tonight.

All in all, it was a pretty darned good day in paradise.

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