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. :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Honeymoon Day #2: July 2

     On Tuesday morning we got up for breakfast at 9. We saw the one other couple that's staying here - Henrietta and Emerson, an older black couple from Brooklyn. They were very friendly. I had fried eggs with bacon and grits, which was very good. Mark even liked the grits. :) The cook's name is Sandy and she's very nice.
     After breakfast we went back down to the beach for a bit. Neither of us can remember exactly why we decided to leave - I assume the weather was getting a bit windy and/or rainy.

That's me on my way to the beach

      We decided to go grocery shopping. We got distracted by lunch at the Rowdy Boys Bar N  Grill on the Flying Fish Marina. I had a conch burger and he had a regular burger.


      Mine was okay - turns out it's a little difficult to eat conch on a burger because it comes in wonky-shaped strips, not patties. I'm not sure I love conch. We walked around the property a bit afterwards (it's a hotel too)

the restaurant

 and pet a dog (lots of dogs and cats here) and then headed out for grocery shopping. We ended up at the Sunflower Market - not sure what settlement it's in. They had everything though. Shopping on vacation is fun when you're not worried about money or diet. I'm now regretting telling Mark our basket was full and we couldn't buy eggs or cheese though. I wanted both this morning. I did a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie, which was amazing. We also bought 3 bootlegged DVDs (one of which we have since discovered was filmed at the theater so it's not even watchable), a bottle of wine and a bottle of coconut rum. We gotta start drinking those.

We found some more rum later...

     After we got back and put everything away, we went to the beach again but after a while (maybe 45 minutes?) it started sprinkling and then officially poured rain on us, so we ran back to the room.

     Mark did get a good swim in.

     We decided to make some drinks in the lobby (the bar is self-serve, as well as the kitchen when Sandy's not in it) and find something good on TV. 

We ended up drinking Yellowbirds (light rum, amaretto and pineapple juice) and watching the middle of Father's Day and most of The Birdcage. Mark dies over Agador Spartacus. Around 7:45 we decided we needed dinner, so we headed back over to the marina to the Outer Edge Bar N Grill. Turns out they close at 8, but they were super nice and stayed open late for us. There was another group of 3 there for a while but then they left and it was just us. We got pork chops and I got baked macaroni and salad. It was really good. Then we went back and read until we fell asleep.