I have traveled the world in search of fun and relaxing destinations, and I’ve been known to return to places that I love.  My recent assignment to Antigua was an extra treat because this time I was able to also discover the small island of Barbuda.

Barbuda is located north of Antigua, in the middle of the Leeward Islands. Just south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadeloupe. Known for its pink sand, and mile after mile after mile of beaches, I was excited to visit Barbuda and discover it for myself. There are only two ways to get to this island: by boat or by helicopter, and of course, having never been on a helicopter before, I chose that as my form of travel.

Captain Greg (as seen in the photo) took me for what was a “ride of a lifetime” up among the clouds. I took in the sites of both Antigua and Barbuda from a whole new perspective, and the filtered light and layers of soft clouds above the horizon made it a spiritual experience that I welcomed. I could see the heavens and I felt at ease as we rose to 500 feet above the sea. The blue-turquoise water below offered a refection to the sky and I counted my blessings for being so lucky in life to experience such beauty.

I ate lunch at the wonderful and exclusive Lighthouse Bay Resort, where I had a wonderful welcome after touching down in the chopper. After lunch, I did a little horseback riding along the pristine sand. Barbuda is also the home to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, which is located in the Codrington Lagoon. The sanctuary is about a 10-minute boat ride from the resort. These amazing birds, with their huge wingspans, are protected by the government, and one can take an escorted visit to see them up close and in person without them flying away. September to March is the mating season, and over 20 thousand birds can be found nesting and taking care of their newborns. The males have a distinctive, large red pouch that blows-up to attract their mates, and once they do, they are responsible for sitting on the eggs and nursing their young, while the female is responsible for seeking out food. Truly wonderful to see – it was like a National Geographic special live and in person.

So I look back and think about the island, the activities, the food, the people and the birds and I can only say “Now that was ‘frigate’ MARvelous!”