October 22nd, 2013
Aaliyah (left) with her mom and younger sister Eden.
Summer is at an end, but thank goodness, memories of “summer with my family” stay with us forever. Eight-year-old Aaliyah Cannon shares her poignant memories of a vacation on the beach and the fun she had with her family, the last they would have together, in her prize-winning essay. As the winner of our Jolly Kidz Essay Contest, Aaliyah and her family will enjoy an all-inclusive stay here at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa. Thanks to all the children who took the time to submit entries, each and every one reminded us how wonderful it is to have precious time with our loved ones, new experiences, and being able to share them with family and friends.
My summer with my Family
By Aaliyah Cannon – Age 8
I had a lovely time when I was 3. It was the last summer I spent with my daddy and my mummy, my brother and my new baby sister. We spent it at Jolly Beach. I had my 3rd birthday there and it was brilliant because I could go to the Kidz Club where Sandra looked after me and we played every day. We spent lovely times on the beautiful beach and my new baby sister went into the sea with mummy and daddy. It turned out to be the best summer ever because it was the last time I went on holiday with my whole family as we lost my daddy and brother the next year. I will always remember that summer as it was my last and my sister’s only one with our daddy. But I am happy that we spent it at Jolly Beach because it was wonderful and my baby sister was named Eden because we were also there when my mum was pregnant and mummy said it was paradise.
August 29th, 2013
The pressure of a pretty picture: Such high expectations are placed on professional photographers. And rightly so: It’s your wedding day. It’s your proposal. It’s your family portrait. It’s your memories and there’s only one chance to get it right. That’s why the photographer we recommend to our guests here at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa is Abena Barnes.
Always artistically inclined, Barnes fell in love with the art of photography in high school working on her School Based Assessment project studying the architecture of Antigua’s famous St. John’s Cathedral. She followed her passion and began her hands on experience and enrolled in the Antigua International Institute of Technology where she studied photography and computer graphics. In 2005 Barnes began her career as a photographer working with local professionals and honing her craft taking pictures every day.
Today, Barnes enjoys what she says is a challenging profession and at the same time the best job in the world. She has been there to get the once-in-a-lifetime shot of a nervous groom-to-be popping the question; and there to take a portrait of four family generations together for a wedding. The sky’s the limit and every day is different.
When you are based in the Caribbean’s “Romance Island,” there are a lot of memorable wedding stories to tell, but Abena says that a growing trend for vacationers is to hire professional photographers like her to capture a family vacation memory. This may seem counter intuitive with everyone taking pictures on-the-go with their phones, but she says as fun as those images are for sharing in the moment, they’re not the professional quality that her clients now want as a keepsake or album of their vacation getaway together. And with a professional photographer, everyone in the family gets in the picture! She has done family shoots on the beach as well as memorable sites including Shirley Heights Lookout and Devils Bridge.
For families hiring a photographer on vacation, Abena says to remember three things.
- Spontaneous outdoor shoots work best both for the kids and adults.
- Let kids be themselves, relax and let them show their personalities, otherwise no one will be happy and that shows in the photo.
- Think about dressing up a little for your family vacation photo shoot, those cut-offs may be comfy but might not be very photogenic.
March 5th, 2013
This weekend I marked a personal best. I participated in a 14km walk/run to the top of the highest point in Antigua, Mount Obama. This turned out to be the most challenging thing that I’ve ever done since my quest for fitness began 4 months ago.
It was dark arriving at Ffreys Beach for the start of the hike at 5:00am, but the mood was anything but with 59 people ready to spend the next 2 ½ hours together, supporting each other to reach a common goal. There were clusters of people who stuck together and motivated each other throughout the walk. It was great team spirit.
The instructors were terrific, making us push ourselves but not so much that we couldn’t keep up. There were moments when I wanted to slow down or just stop but being part of a group and having the instructors confidence in us kept my feet moving. I tried to pace myself knowing that to reach my goal I’d have to go uphill for the last 15 minutes. Then came the hill, I knew that this was the biggest test, but what accomplishment to overcome it.
My muscles felt the exertion on Sunday, my hike didn’t include a massage like the Insane Beach Body Boot Camp Package but that’s OK, I’d do it again in a minute.
- Congratulations all around at the top of Mt. Obama and the finish of a challenging, 2 1/2 hour, 14 km hike.
- Patrice climbing the last hurdle up Mt. Obama.
- Sisters supporting each other on the trek up Mt. Obama, Megan and Derede.
- Capt. Browne, Mark, Sam, John and Kwasi flash a victory sign as they take the top of Mt. Obama after the 14 km hike.
- Lots of company helped get the adrenaline pumping at 5:00 a.m. leaving Ffreyes Beach on a 14km walk/run to Mt. Obama.
- Oslyn and Patrice half way to the top and ready to conquer Mt. Obama.
- A breathtaking sunrise about 40 minutes into the hike to Mt. Obama is worth the effort.
- The sun is up and boot campers are treated to a veiw of the Caribbean as they hike up Mt. Obama.
February 6th, 2013
Welcome to the Beach Blogger. We’re looking forward to letting you know what’s new and happening here at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa and in beautiful Antigua and Barbuda.
Kicking off 2013 we created the “Get Into the Beach of It” fitness program. According to Statistic Brain the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions included Staying Fit and Healthy at #5 and Lose Weight in the #1 spot. Of course these aren’t always top priorities on a vacation, whether we plan to or not most of us end up take a little vacation from our health and fitness routines. But our first activity program is sure to get you up and working out. It’s absolutely insane!
That’s right; we’re going to boot your body into shape at our “Insane Boot Camp.” it’s not just jumping jacks on the beach. Led by former military instructors, this fun and invigorating 5 days of activities include a 12-mile hike up Mount Obama and a 10-mile hike to the famous outlook, Shirley Heights. What a way to see the sights and panoramic views of Antigua. We’ll get you out on the beach for those jumping jacks and more, Socarobics, the ultimate full-body cardio workout to the Caribbean’s hottest Soca music, and an Insane Fitness Challenge.
Plan to be here April 25-29, 2013, August 2-8 or November 15-19. There is a registration fee of US$150.00 to take part in the five-day workout which also includes a boot camp shirt and water bottle, a welcome cocktail and a therapeutic 30-minute massage.
So come join us for some fun-in-the-sun, and when you head home those tan muscles will be a terrific souvenir to show off.
Jolly Beach Resort & Spa’s mile-long beach is a heavenly setting for a devil of a workout for the beginning of this Insane program which also shows off the scenic side of Antigua guests otherwise might not get to see.
The five-day Insane Boot Camp fitness program challenges “campers” to push their mental and physical limits embrace the aches and pains and come back for more.