Friday, July 25, 2008
Nassau - Bahamas
The second port of call on our cruise was to Nassau, Bahamas.
I started the morning on the ship's gym with windows floor to ceiling overlooking Nassau. Did some weights and a little yoga. Joined the morning stretch class and then a vigorous spinning class led by a young man from South Africa.
By 9:30 a.m., I was showered & fed and we debarked off the ship and past the vendors in the immigration hall and onto the shopping mecca of Bay Street. Being that we are not big shoppers, we kept on walking until we left the strip and found a little beach and some shade to cop a squat. We sat under a Casuarina tree, a/k/a the Australian Pine Tree, and listened to the delightful sounds of the wind blowing through her pine needles. After a little while, we started walking again, destination seemingly unknown to the mind but familiar to the soul. We passed a lovely park and beach and Fort Charlotte and found ourselves in front of Arawak Cay - a whole bunch of fish fry restaurants and bars.
12 years ago, Arawak Cay was not developed at all. It was a little pitstop on the road full of shacks with tables and chairs and vendors cracking the conch right out of the shell in front of your eyes. We had the bestest conch salad and a concoction called Sky Juice (a mixture of coconut milk and gin). Being that we were here on Sunday, nothing was yet open . So we kept on walking, dreaming of the conch salad and conch fritters we would have for lunch.
It's funny but we haven't been here in 12 years.
In fact, the first and last time we were here was the first trip we ever took together. Noah surprised me for my birthday and booked tickets to the Bahamas. He called my boss and coordinated everything so that he would pick me up at my office early Friday afternoon, suitcases packed and to the airport we would go. The funny thing is that he forgot the tickets at home - so on a Friday afternoon just at the beginning of rush hour, we drove from downtown Miami the 20 miles to Hollywood and then 18 miles back to Miami to the airport. We made it for our flight just in the nick of time - of course, this was before 9/11 and long security lines and taking off your shoes for no purpose. Tee hee!!!
Back then, he had booked us into this romantic hotel called Orange Inn. We ate a lot of conch, an island aphrodisiac, because we were told it made a man stout. We discovered Compass Point and had a delightful birthday dinner while meeting new friends and listening to a great singer. Back then, we rented a moped to get around the island. This time, we upgraded:
We found Island Scooter Coupe Rental and chose the topless yellow model seen above. For 2 1/2 hours, we scooted around the island, honking and laughing and letting the wind and sun scorch us as we ventured to Cable Beach and beyond and went back in time to the places of long ago.
Revisiting Compass Point and its lovely cottages made me realize how inspired I was by their decor. And how I came home and incorporated their savoir-faire and joie de vivre into the design and color of my home. Being here gave me the freedom to be and paint in wild and fabulous colors and express myself.
This vacation has been so nurturing for my soul. Noah and I really had an opportunity to relax and unwind and have no response-abilities. And play and explore and discover. And revisit the past and observe the changes and growth in Nassau, in ourselves and our relationship.
Right across from Arawak Cay, Noah found a vendor making conch fritters. She dunked her little balls into the oil and four minutes later, we were eating the yummiest conch fritters.
And then we headed back for our cruise, full and satisfied and happy.