Monday, August 11, 2014

Honeymoon Day #10: July 10th

Yesterday was our last day on Long Island. Right now we're on a plane from Nassau to Charlotte.

Us in front of our plane on Long Island, getting ready to leave

Yesterday wasn't too exciting. We stayed in the room most of the day: packing, reading magazines, sleeping, etc. Mark was out in the lobby for a while using the wifi. We went to the 40th independence celebration at Salt Pond around 4. There was pretty much just a lot of food with drinking and music. 

Max, from the Conch Bar, came to talk to us for a while, which was nice, and then his wife did too. Turns out her name was Liz. We had been wondering. She was so nice. Everyone on the island was so nice. I mean, the idea that we could vacation somewhere for 10 days and already be friendly enough with people that they would come and talk to us is amazing.

Liz and Max (from the left) listening to the band

A little girl mistook me for her teacher, which was nice because she threw her arm around me from behind and said, "Hi Miss (So-and-so)!" all happy. I almost wished I was Miss So-and-so. I ate baked crab, some baked macaroni and cheese that came with Mark's ribs, and a guava cake thing. All were excellent. I was proud of myself for ordering the baked crab, especially because it turned out to be so good.

Me very happy with my baked crab - served right in the shell

There were two bands. We waited for the second one because Max and Liz said they were good, but they didn't come on until like 7:15 and then they managed one song and then appeared to have some sort of technical difficulty, so we finally left just before 8. Neither of us liked driving on that road at night.

The second band, for a hot second

When we got back I put Picture Perfect on the TV while I packed and then we went to bed. Neither of us slept very well. Our flight out of Nassau was delayed by 45 minutes so we're hoping we still make our connection in Charlotte.

I'm looking forward to writing reviews on TripAdvisor. Hance had a little dog that I never mentioned that Mark named Rowley St. Clair.

Rowley St. Clair

We learned that you should ask specific directions for anything that's not on the main road, and don't expect everything offered on a menu to be available. It also helps to call before going somewhere to find out if the place is still open or the event is still happening. A "yes, we're open" sign doesn't necessarily mean they're open, and people are going to wave at you while you're driving, so wave back. It's not necessary to tip gas station attendants. There are no radio stations, so either bring something to play music in the car, or get used to the (reggae?) CD that your rental agent might leave you. Good snorkeling requires boating off the island. To find Adderley's Plantation you have to walk down the beach to the right a bit. It might actually be easier to drive fast on the dirt tracks than slow. Keep reapplying sunscreen. :)

A year later, I've finally finished logging our honeymoon. At this point it's more for me than for anyone else, but I do hope that if anyone is looking for info about Long Island, somehow they'll find this. Now I want to go on vacation again :)

Honeymoon Day #9: July 9th

Yesterday we woke up and had a big breakfast. Mark tried to make an omelet but it stuck to the pan so it ended up being a scramble with green bell peppers from Leonard, tomato and summer sausage. And the yummy bread. :) Then we went to Galloway Landing, which became my favorite beach. 

Beautiful sand, cool water. It was pretty wavey. There were several big houses along the road - it looks like that's where some rich people hang out. They weren't all done being built though, and Mark said one of them had a smashed window even though it was all furnished inside.

We swam, then laid out, then went skinny dipping (there were some other people there but they were around the corner - they had actually been at the restaurant the night before too) - it was Mark's first time! Then laid out again while he explored, and then went back to take showers.

I finally found a small conch shell. I slowly discovered I'd gotten really sunburned on my legs because I forgot to put sunscreen on before laying out the first time. I'm really regretting that.

After showering we went back to Max's for food. He got jerk pork and rice and I got a cheeseburger and fries. We ended up buying a 2014 Bahamian calendar that I had resisted at the museum the day before. Again, really good food. I also had two rum punches. :)

We stopped at the two churches in Clarence Town on the way back. One was under renovation so not interesting on the inside, but the other was great. Hance had told us we could climb up one of the towers, so we did.

the one under construction

The one we got inside - we climbed up that left tower

Four ladders in a tiny little space! 

The view at the top was great though, even though it was a little scary getting up. We took lots of pictures.
The view of Clarence Town from the tower

The view of the other church from the tower we climbed up

We went back to the room and I was in a lot of pain so I covered my legs in a towel and put an ice pack and some frozen vegetables on them while we watched TV. We left for Earlie's, a bar, around 9, to hear some rake 'n' scrape music that Shavonne had told me about, but when we got there we found out they'd cancelled it because they weren't sure about the weather and it was going to be outside, and everyone was going to Salt Pond anyway for fireworks and stuff there. We didn't want to go that far so we just went back to the hotel and I put a wet towel on my legs and we watched Cabin in the Woods finally. :) It was interesting because I already kind of knew the story and Mark kept telling me when not to look, so it wasn't quite the same experience as if we'd both been seeing it for the first time. :) Then we put aloe on each other and went to sleep. 

You will be missed

"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams."

—Barack Obama

Friday, December 6, 2013

Honeymoon Day #8: July 8th

     I know I fell apart on writing these entries, but every so often I remember, and I'm still determined to finish this project :) I like having a record that includes the pictures.
So this entry continues from where I left off at the last one.

     Yesterday we journaled for a while and took our time leaving. We went to Max's Conch Bar for lunch, which was awesome.

Mark at Max's

     Mark got a conch salad, which was spicy, adn I got a conch quesadilla, which was so good. I want to go back before we go to the mini regatta on Wednesday. I just realized I hope they're open because it's their Independence Day :-/
     Anyway, we talked with Max's wife for a while and then more people showed up. Omar came with a group of tourists and joked that we were following him - or was he following us? Some local guys showed up and one of them talked to us but he was so mumbly we could hardly understand him.
     After that we went to the museum, which was nice. I learned about Junkanoo, which I'd never heard of. I guess it's a festival the African slaves brought over. It was interesting to see white people participating. They don't seem to have any racial issues here. I also learned about Prince Charles' visit for the independence in 1973. We looked around the gift shop but didn't buy anything.

Many places serve multiple purposes on Long Island

Wednesday, July 10th, 9:50 am
     We headed back to the hotel after the museum and stopped at two shops along the way - It's All Under the Sun, a department store where I got a bottle opener that says Bahamas on it for Pascale, and Unique Decorating, where I got straw stuff: a picture frame for Sam and a coin purse for Bobbie.
     We napped/read at the hotel for a couple hours and then headed to the Outer Edge for dinner around 7. It was busy this time. I thought it was probably the most people we'd seen in one place since we got here. Mostly boat people, we thought, since it's on the marina. 

Look! People in the background!

Mark got the rib eye, I got grilled grouper, and we took home chocolate rum cake for dessert. We watched Knight and Day, which was good. Good Tom Cruise character.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Honeymoon Day #7: July 7th

     Yesterday I woke up at 9 but it took us three hours to get out of the hotel. I made eggs for breakfast. I talked to Hance for a while about good places to go snorkeling. Turns out there aren't really any right off the land - well, Dean's Blue Hole was good, and I think the northernmost tip of the island but we'd already been up there - so he gave us some good beach ideas.

Tuesday, July 9th, ~9:30 am
     I just dragged myself out of bed because I feel like we shouldn't waste time today and tomorrow because they're our last days on the island. But I'm too lazy to really get ready so I'll write because that's still productive.
     So on Sunday we set out at almost 12:30 for the north end. I feel like we stopped somewhere...oh! we drove out to Chez Pierre, in Millers or Millerton, I wasn't sure which. It's supposed to be the best restaurant on the island according to our visitors' guide, so I'd called them a couple times trying to make a reservation for Wednesday evening but nobody answered so we saw the sign and just decided to go check it out and if they were open, just have lunch there then. The road was another one of those super bumpy dirt tracks, which I was surprised at because I thought it was supposed to be this fancy place. It was a long road too. And when we finally got there...they were closed! It's a hotel too, and the whole place was deserted. Grrr. You'd think they could put something on their voicemail or on their sign by the main road. They actually didn't even have a real voicemail though, just the "the subscriber you are trying to reach is not available" thing. Weird.
     Anyway, we looked at the beach, which was lovely. I contemplated stealing a conch shell but decided not to. We would've stayed for a while but Mark was getting hungry. So we bumped back out and continued north until we ran into the Beach Bungalow restaurant. Once again we were the only people there except for the cook and her two little girls. The place was lovely though, with a big deck overlooking the water. It was on Deals Beach. 

     As we waited for our food the TV started reporting on a huge plane crash at SFO which immediately had me riveted. Flight 214 from Asiana Airlines crashed as it was landing. It's totally crazy. I was all "of course we had to end up here, with a TV, I couldn't have waited until we got back to hear about this." Since then we've seen video of the crash and it just looks crazy. 305 of the 307 passengers survived though. As far as I know. I don't know if any of them have since died in the hospital.
     Anyway, the owner of the place showed up and talked to us for a while and then sat down for lunch with his son. Our lunch came, which was really good. He got a regular burger & fries, and I got a fish burger and fries. I think so far our best meals have been here at Gems, at the Outer Edge, Beach Bungalow and Max's Conch Bar & Grill. Everything's a bar & grill around here.
     Anyway, we ate, took some pictures, and headed out. We were stopped a little further up the road gathering our stuff to go snorkeling when Omar drove by and stopped to see if everything was okay. We asked him if he knew of any good snorkeling spots nearby and he thought for a minute and then took us back south a few minutes and we parked in what looked like the parking lot of an abandoned school or youth center. He told us to grab all our stuff and lead us to a path through the woods. At first we couldn't even tell where he was going - we couldn't see any break in the bushes. He said this is where the Stella Maris Resort people get dropped off because they don't have a beach. He told us to just follow the path to the beach and there'd be an island we could snorkel around. Sure enough, after a few minutes we emerged on another beautiful, deserted beach and found the island, which took us a minute because it was kind of around the corner. We snorkeled for about 45 minutes. The most notable thing we saw was a big starfish - like the size of a serving platter. Once again wished we had an underwater camera. The sand underwater was really mucky and squishy feeling, it was weird. It looked the same.
     Anyway, then we laid out for a while, took some pictures, looked for a good conch shell but didn't find any pretty ones, and headed back.

     We ate leftover mutton for dinner and watched a bootleg copy of The Call, which we're going to have to download when we get home because the end skipped so bad we missed some chunks. Not good for such a suspenseful movie!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Honeymoon Day #6: July 6th

     On Saturday we had breakfast at Rowdy Boys. We got cinnamon french toast. It was yummy :) Then we came back and tried to nap/read. We napped a little and then we went to the house of Leonard Cartwright for a tour of Hamilton Caves. He was really nice.

Mark and Leonard, ready to go

     He gave us lamps and the cave was scary but cool. Absolutely no development whatsoever. He owns the land - it's been in his family for like 170 years, and he's been playing in the caves since he was a little kid. There were lots of bats and he showed us a couple cockroaches in the beginning, which had Mark freaked out for the rest of the time. I was more scared of the bats.

     Some places were really dark but some places had light from the outside.

     There were some carvings his brother had done.

Up until about 10 years ago they used it as a hurricane shelter.

People would sit around the edges during hurricanes

     Mark took lots of pictures. After that we tried to find Grays Plantation (ruins) but couldn't. We ended up taking a road out to the ocean side of the island that dead ended at a half-built house (lots of those too) so we walked down the path to get as close to the water as we could (we were up on a hill) and took pictures.


     There were a bunch of goats. Lots of goats here. We headed back to the hotel because we had dinner reservations and wanted to snack on cheese, summer sausage and crackers first. Dinner was very good - we had told Sandy we wanted to try mutton (or Hance, probably, he's the one who's always around) so he had let us know (Hance) that she got some. She served it with rice and coleslaw, which normally I wouldn't have chosen but it all went very well together. 

Mmmmm, mutton

      I ended up with lots of leftovers, which I ate last night. They were delicious. Turns out the mutton was sheep. (I guess it can be goat too) After dinner we watched two episodes of My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet and played Connect Four. :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Honeymoon Day #5: July 5th

     Okay! On Friday I woke up around 10 and told Mark a little bit about the dream I'd had and he wasn't really interested in hearing it, which clued me in that something was wrong. Over breakfast we ended up having a talk about getting ourselves back on track after Thursday kind of knocked the wind out of our sails. He was worried that all the romance and adventure had gone out of our honeymoon and I had to reassure him that just because we had one off day didn't mean that was the case. There was more talking but it's not really worth writing down - too complicated and not interesting for a honeymoon journal :) Relationship negotiations.
     Anyway, we got over it and set off for Dean's Blue Hole. It's not too far from our hotel. We snorkeled around there for about an hour and a half.

Mark getting ready for all the snorkeling

     I didn't freak out at all. I got used to snorkeling right away, which is unusual for me, and I even swam out over the blue hole, which I hadn't thought I would do. It was really cool. We were wishing we had an underwater camera. There weren't a ton of super interesting fish but there was a good amount, and the edges of the hole were cool looking.
     We took some pictures of ourselves while an older Bahamian lady stood by and watched. I talked to her a little bit but it was really hard to understand her. She was waiting for her granddaughter, who was off in the bush taking pictures. We tried to get the old lady to take our picture but she said she didn't know how to work the camera and by the time her granddaughter got back we were done.

That's the hole! Not very wide.

Our new friend, with Mark trying to adjust the camera in the foreground

The view to the right of the hole

     Mark was getting hungry and I wanted to try a new restaurant so we went to a place called Swamp Thing.
     Oh, I forgot, on the way to the blue hole we also stopped at the post office so I could mail a postcard to my dad and went back to Ena Major's, where we'd gotten the little guava jam, so I could buy the two packages of local salt that she had. And I think we got some more jerk sauce and some pineapple jam. The salt, jerk sauce and pineapple jam are for Nix. The other package of salt is for my mom. 
     (since originally writing this, I've discovered we only bought one jerk sauce :-/ I don't know how I thought we had two. So Nix, if you're reading this - looks like you only get salt and pineapple jam. Whenever I get around to mailing it. Which I swear to god will be soon. :))
     Okay, so, Swamp Thing - it was nice inside but there weren't even any menus, the cook (who I assume was also the owner) just listed off what she had. Mark got a pork chop and fries, which he didn't love, and I got fried chicken and fries, which I thought was pretty good. They had the TV on real loud for most of our meal, and turned to Maury first and then the Bill Cunningham Show, which I'd never seen before but seems similar except he had a psychic on to counsel people's relationship problems instead of telling guys if they were the father or not.
     After lunch we headed down south. On the way we saw a deserted church so we stopped and took pictures. Mark was freaked out by the big dead moths and then I got a little freaked out too so we didn't go in all the rooms.

A room in the back of the church


     There was still stuff in there, like papers and books and statues. There are a lot of deserted buildings here. The recession and two hurricanes - Irene and Sandy - have hurt the island. 
     We hit the end of the road at Gordons Beach and hung out there for a while. Mark went swimming and I read. We left at about 6:30.

The end of the road

Goats at the beach

Mark sleeping at Gordons Beach

We posed with our car by our hotel sign when we arrived back

     When we got back we had a drink, then I made dinner, and we watched Little Fockers. :)

Big version of the guava jam. Yum! I miss that bread. That bread was awesome.