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.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Honeymoon Day #4: July 4th

     Thursday was a bit of a bust of a day. It was rainy and thundery and lightingy all day off and on. We had quiet time at the hotel until early afternoon.

Journaling in the dining room

We were going to go to the caves in Hamiltons but cancelled it because of the weather. We were able to go out souvenir shopping though. We just drove north and stopped at whatever looked promising. There's a place near us called Ena Major's or something like that. We got mini jars of guava jam for our cat sitters there. I got some postcards and a pair of sandals at a place called Chic Boutique. We bought some more groceries at the Sea Winds market. I bought a bag of yellow grits there and then saw them for half price at the True Value grocery store near our hotel later :-/ We hit the straw purse jackpot at a place called Lorna's (which didn't actually have a sign on it so we only found it by asking at the library where it was).

This is the library/museum, not Lorna's

       We got our moms straw bags for $12 each adn Mark got his dad a shot glass. Lorna was a bit out of it and even though she had her "open" sign out, the store was locked when we got there and we were just lucky a friend of hers showed up right after us and knocked on her house door to come open up. Then she told us her mom had died a couple weeks ago so she had lost all her motivation. :-/
     I bought myself a much bigger straw bag at the True Value grocery store for $30 later to replace the purse I came here with because the handle has started to fall apart. It was something Sarah gave me that I never totally loved anyway, and this one will fit more stuff.
     We went back to the hotel and Mark wanted to nap by the water so we went down there. It was really windy.

example of a windy tree

    I read. Then the wasps showed up so I woke him up and we went back to the room and napped some more. Then we made dinner (he cooked more while I read him snippets of the story I was reading about Saudi Arabia) and ate and talked about movies and TV shows. He fried chicken in butter and lemon and it was really good. Turned out he was a little annoyed at me for not helping more though :-/
     After dinner we watched The Rundown, which was awesome, and went to sleep.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Honeymoon Day #3: July 3

     On Wednesday we made our own breakfast - Froot Loops, toast and tea.

     We headed north around 11:15. I think it took us about an hour and a half to get to the sign for the Columbus Monument. Then we turned down the incredibly bumpy road I mentioned earlier. I was really worried we were gonna break something but we made it.

     We stopped about two-thirds of the way in and walked the rest of the way. Of course the last third was the smoothest :) We saw a Jeep parked at the bottom of the walkway up to the monument and saw the people were snorkeling.

This is where we saw the snorkelers

     We walked up the hill to the monument and took pictures.

view from the top

     When we came back the snorkelers were gone. We saw the same jeep later at Cape Santa Maria Resort. We had parked near what looked like a good beach so when we got back to the car we grabbed our bag and walked through the brush to this inlet-sort of beach. It was gorgeous and warm and completely deserted. The shallow water went on forever, it probably took a good five minutes to walk out to where we couldn't touch. It was quite windy but it was my first real swimming experience. We stayed in the water for a while and then came out and let the wind dry us off a bit. Mark was getting worried that clouds were coming and we'd get stuck in mud if it started raining, so after learning how to use the timer on my camera and taking a couple pictures, we left.

     Macho Camacho got us out to the main road and next we went to the Cape Santa Maria Resort. Mark wanted to rinse off his feet so on our way to the water we head, "are you the guys from Gems?" and I turned around and there was Henrietta calling to us from their cottage. She invited us in for a drink so we drank Hennessy with them for a good half hour/40 minutes.

     After two strong drinks with Henrietta and Emerson, we went next door to the resort restaurant and proceeded to drink more. Mark ordered a Sands beer (local) and I can't remember what I ordered. I think it was a Kalik Gold. (another local beer. Turns out I like Bahamian beer!) 

     I got a conch salad and he got a meat lovers' pizza. I put something called Gwen's hot sauce on a small corner of my salad because it smelled like Italian dressing but oh was that a mistake. I ended up having to ask the bartenders for milk because my mouth was on fire. They didn't know milk was good for that so I taught them something.

     I had been feeling a little guilty for not inviting Henrietta and Emerson to eat with us so I was glad to run into Emerson again when I went to the bathroom because he mentioned that he had left his medication at our hotel so I offered to drive it halfway up the island for him because it was about an hour and a half drive from Cape Santa Maria to Gems. We traded phone numbers and agreed to do it the next day. The receptionist told us about an app called Whatsapp that can be used to text for free. I might try it. She was very nice.
     After a mango daiquiri because it was happy hour by then, we went down to the beach. We made friends with a kitty (all black) who followed us to our beach chairs, then laid under Mark's chair and scratched his foot. Mark hollered, then a few minutes later Rascal Flatts (as Mark theretofore named him) jumped up on Mark's chair for cuddles and Mark proceeded to pet him while I teased him for becoming such a cat person.

     I went swimming for a while and it was beautiful and warm and calm. I wrote our initials in a heart in the sand and took a picture. 

Mark joined me in the water and we floated around some more and took a picture. Mark joined me in the water and we floated around some more and then watched the sunset and headed back to our temporary home.  

     The drive back was scary because it was dark and our high beams are not great and we were pretty much blinded by every car that passed us. We ended up pulling over so I could pour water on the windshield because it was too dirty to see well and Mark couldn't find the washer fluid button. We made it back okay though. :)