Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vacation Report - Day 2 Photos Part 1

Since it was chilly on Friday (overcast, low-mid 60s with 15-25 mph winds) we decided to get in all the sightseeing so we wouldn't waste any potential beach time if it warmed up on Saturday. We were staying in the southern part of the island, so we decided to head north and see everything we could between Tarpum Bay and Glass Window Bridge (about 60 miles one way).

Eleuthera is about 110 miles long and about 2 miles wide. They drive on the left side of the road in the Bahamas, but as we learned the cars are not necessarily right hand drive. It is, in fact, a complete toss-up as to what side the steering wheel might be on in any given car. I this found both incomprehensible and endlessly amusing.

There is one road that goes the length of the island with small roads that branch off to various points along either coastline. It's a place where you absolutely must rent a car to see or do anything, but also one where it is physically impossible to get lost. There's also almost no crime. You can literally just wander from isolated beach to isolated beach with few worries beyond checking a tide chart.

Rather unnerving view from the passenger seat in a left-hand drive car on a left-side drive road with no real speed limits.

The "paved" section of what's left of the very rough side road to the extremely well hidden Islandia Beach (on the Atlantic side).

Wonderful Husband checking out Islandia Beach.

A closer look at the beauty that was, literally, underfoot. We had to tread carefully so as not to injure anything. This was taken about an hour before low tide.

Since it was too cold and windy to swim at Islandia (and we were reluctant to risk the relatively unsheltered Altantic side in such a remote location) we headed up the coast.

These beautiful rocks along the ocean (Caribbean side) were just outside Governour's Harbor . The water was so cold I was reluctant to go in even to my ankles. There was a lot more than shows in this picture; we were fascinated with the sea life we found just in the small spot and climbed around for a good 20 minutes.

A row of trees adjacent to the actual harbor in Governour's Harbor. I saw quite a few trees like this with what I assume is a fungus of some kind. I found them fascinating and beautiful.

Right next to those glorious trees, right on the waterfront, is this amazing cemetery dating to the 1600s. We saw several cemeteries, and I couldn't get over that they were all on what we would consider here to be multi-million dollar waterfront property (and many graves were completely buried in sand from, we learned, hurricanes).

A decent trek north from Governour's Harbor we came to Gregory Town, where we did our souvenier shopping at the one shop on the island dedicated to the purpose. From there we were directed to this little cafe, where we had a great lunch.
It's worth noting that seeing two cars in the parking lot at an eating establishment was a big deal. Most of the restaurants were empty, and one gentleman we spoke with said that he hopes President Obama can fix things because the American economy is hurting them badly down there.

After a wonderful lunch at the Lizard (where I had the most delicious jerk chicken, mango chutney and romaine wrap) we continued the last few minutes north to Glass Window, which was absolutely worth the effort it took to get there...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vacation Report - Day 1 Photos

The Bahamas trip was far from what we had eagerly anticipated, but we made the best of it and still had the best time possible.

It started with a 2 am wake-up. About 15 hours later, we arrived at my friend's house on Eleuthera.

Coming in to land at Nassau, this was my first peek at advertisement-worthy Caribbean waters. I tried to ignore the heavy cloud cover and the pilot announcing that the temp was in the low 60s.

We'd had to run at top speed through the Philadelphia airport to baaarely catch the connecting flight, which meant we didn't have time to eat until we got to Nassau, at which point we'd been traveling for 12 hours. Thank goodness I'm a compulsive over-packer and had a carry-on full of healthy snacks, because the options for the 3 hour layover at Nassau were starving to death or something called Pig's Feet Souse (which I later learned is like head cheese, but with feet).

Wonderful Husband says it wasn't that bad, but at this layover I felt like I was trapped in a Neil Gaiman novel. I was half-convinced the walls would start fading away and revealing portals to the Hell dimension where they invented Pig's Feet Souse.

During the Nassau layover I stared at this plant for a couple of hours. We became pretty good friends. I plan to send it holiday cards.

Getting off this plane was a Hallelujah kind of thing. I generally don't mind flying, but this particular flight made me rethink that position.

The charmingly rural Rock Sound International Airport, where Baggage Claim means rummaging through the luggage tram around the back of the building and taxi service means the neighbor picks you up in their car. Also - we learned the hard way - they run their flights pretty much whenever they feel like it, regardless of what time the ticket says.

Home Sweet Home on Eleuthera.

The main living area. Wonderful Husband thought it was amusing how the camera flash lit up the transition bag.

The short walk to the beach. As illustrated below you can, technically, see the ocean from our house.

Tarpum Bay Beach across the street. I managed to sneak in a quick walk before the sun went down our first night. I would have gone wading, but the neighbor warned us not to because the sharks come in really close to shore at sunset to feed. It's a rocky beach full of fascinating shells and bits of coral. If the water hadn't been Great Lakes cold and choppy I'd have gone in, but as it was we didn't go in at this beach deeper than our ankles.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Not Quite Too Good to Be True

Still can't believe that I'll be here tomorrow...

You know how one thing has to go wrong with every major undertaking? And if it doesn't then you keep worrying what's going to go wrong? Well, I got my period. After a lifetime of total irregularity, this one came Right. On. Time.


BUT. I figure that's my One Thing To Go Wrong. So now I can stop worrying about the plane crashing and getting eaten by sharks and just enjoy my vacation.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Nobody Gets Me Like You Do

I was just telling one of my closet, dearest, most bestest friends about how excited I was for our little Bahama weekend coming up in t-minus 4 days.

I'm excited, of course, because I'm getting two days of all-I-can-eat open water swim practice. In February. And that all kinds of rocks.

Of course, the prospect of the first real vacation with my beloved Wonderful Husband in a decade is pretty awesome too. But seriously - open water swimming. In FEBRUARY.

My friend's response was... "ya know, there's such a thing as too focused."

*sigh* That's ok. 'Cause I have y'all. And I know in my heart of hearts that with you guys, I'll never need to defend myself on this point.