Friday, October 20, 2006

Did I Really Take 2 Weeks Vacation???

As some of you know, I was away from Oct 1 – 16 in the Abacos Islands of the Bahamas at the Sealevel Cottages specifically at the Dolphin House. This was my first trip out of the country and first trip to the Bahamas.

On the plane ride from West Palm Beach in what is called a puddle-jumper by many, I was just absolutely spellbound by the view of the water below the plane. It was deep blue in areas, then a gorgeous turquoise, and a lovely greeny-blue that I’ve never seen nor can I describe. Just breathtaking.

As we were landing at the Abacos Airport in Marsh Harbour, I saw the destroyed plane that carried Allyiah (sp?? – the young, talented R&B star, and star of the movie Queen of the Damned) to her death a couple years ago. That was really a rocking sight. However, we did land safely.

My first impression of the Abacos after landing was – “Am I in a 3rd world country like El Salvador or something?” The poverty was…unbelievably obvious. And people drive on the opposite side of the road. And you never know if you’re going to make it safely to your destination from your cab…they are crazy drivers.

We got to the Boat Harbor Marina to wait for our traveling companions (Meg & Carl, H’s sister and brother in law who were coming on a later flight) at the outside tiki bar. It was HOT. HUMID hot, and very little breeze. But oh, was the atmosphere beautiful. I had my first rum-runner, made by the bartender, Tamiko, a native who was quite a character. And H & I struck up a conversation with 4 20-something year old guys and a girl who were hanging out there as well. They were all in for 2 weeks from Virginia, staying in Hopetown (across the water from where we were staying) and were very, very friendly and funny. We ended up trading radio call names (no phones, just a call name for your boat radio) so we could keep in touch, and hang out later. We called them the Virginia 4 (Amy, the 5th, only stayed the weekend) Jason (known as Bird), a 30 yr old phys ed & volleyball coach as well as a very talented singer-songwriter, his brother Phil (known as Dog) a 25 yr old music producer/musician, Steve, a 26-28 yr old real estate entrepreneur, business owner and carpenter, and his brother Scott, 24-25 yr old partner of Steve. NICE guys. Can’t say enough of them. FUN. After we got to know them a bit, we traded one of C’s fishing poles for them bringing us some ganja that they knew how to score on their part of the island. Needless to say we hung out with them a bunch. They came to our wedding ceremony on Friday October 6th. Fun. They brought me and everyone in the ceremony flowers, wore flowers in the buttons of their nice shirts that they wore with their knee-length Old Navy-ish shorts/swimtrunks, and acted as photographers for the ceremony itself. More on all that later.

Anyway, we met up with M & C, and called our hosts on the bar radio. They came to collect us and our luggage on the boat we would be using for 2 weeks and took us over to The Dolphin House. It looks just like the pictures on the website. Gorgeous. AND we had a little tortoiseshell kitty named Spooky who lived there, too! I was so thrilled about that. Within the first 10 minutes of landing at our spot, I acquired about 500 sand flea and mosquito bites. I guess they like white girls from PA. I was tasty to them. Whatever. After 3 days of being food for the insects, it no longer bothered me, and I also could no longer count my bites.

This is a very scattered recollection of events/stuff, so please bare with me. Its been very stressful upon our return to real life/home.

The next day we went back over to Marsh Harbour to do some shopping. Being the smarties that we are, we packed a cooler as one of our allotted checked baggage, packed with steaks, hotdogs, burgers, chicken….because we had heard the prices of meat etc. were outrageous here. It was true. We went to the grocery store. More of a warehouse than anything else. Our first taste of the work ethic of islanders. NO ONE is in a hurry who lives in this place. Not to work, not to cross the street, not to do anything. In fact, there’s lots of people supposedly working, but not really doing anything but walking along, or sitting around….its very strange. Anyway, the food was pricey. A bag of chips was $8. A loaf of bread $5. And it goes on…I pretty much put it all out of my mind after a while. You have to do what you have to do.

SO – anyway, we had lovely weather. Gorgeous days of sun, blue, crystal-clear water, lovely breezy nights of star filled skies. I’ve never seen so many stars in the sky before.
And back to the water….so clear. I spent a lot of my time on the dock/pier watching the fish. To my delight I saw several sting rays, a manta ray….but to my disappointment, no sharks. They were there, the nurse sharks, but I didn’t get to see any. I did see a lot of barracuda, needlefish and some other kind of funny looking guy. I had a lot of fun just observing the water. And listening to it as it lapped up to the shore, or splashed against the poles on the dock….heaven to me.

I read 4 books while I was gone. Didn’t eat much, didn’t do much drinking/imbibing. This vacation was not only to get married, but to just simply relax. Which H & I did very well. M & C did a lot more bar hopping and excursion seeking than we did, which was fine. We all tried to stay out of each others way, and get along as best as possible. There were some clashes as to be expected between M & H….due to their personalities and some alcohol consumption and lack of memory/control….but that was really all.

The wedding was wonderful. There’s a point on the dock that has a little roof made of palm leaves that shades it and breaks some of the breeze, and we decided to have the ceremony there. Welly, our cottage caretaker and go-to guy, cut down two huge palm fronds and attached them in a kind of ark under the roof, and decorated it with flowers he cut from around the cottages, mostly bougainvillea…gorgeous fuschia flowers. It really was special. However, this day it was about 95 degrees and NO BREEZE, so we were all quite sweaty for the nuptials. No matter, it was a very emotional yet simple ceremony and I am now officially Mrs. H. W. III. J We had a lovely dinner of jerk marinated and grilled chicken, homemade pasta salad and potato salad, along with cheese and crackers and plenty of Kalik beer and champagne (YAHOO for champers!). we spent the rest of the evening with the Virginia 4, M&C out on the dock, sitting in old, white adirondak chairs, listening to music, - some of which the Virginia 4 sang for us, the rest from our cds, and watching the star filled sky and the stillest water I’ve ever seen. Did I mention it was a full moon? Gorgeous.

Near the end of our stay, everyone else became bug food and the insects thankfully left me alone. Either I was camouflaged by my tan, or they just got tired of white PA girl meat. I still have plenty of scars though. Ugh. Mosquito coils and bug repellant don’t work there. Its fruitless.

The flights home were horrible….and there was HUGE miscommunication with the girl who was staying at our home, taking care of the 6 month old puppies and our 3 cats. Its such a frickin nightmare I don’t even want to get into it here. We’ve been dealing with interfamily drama because of it since our return Tuesday, and it’s now Friday and it’s still going on. Needless to say this is a big lesson on family communication, who to deal with, who to absolutely NOT deal with, and what to do when you leave the country.

I’m married now. Happy. It’s quite a different feeling this time around.

So I’m stressed with work complications, this family drama, and now my baby Stella, the female Boston Terrier puppy is getting spayed this morning. She was SOO good in the car this morning that I wanted to cry. I find out in a couple hours how things went and I get to pick her up today after 4. Teddy is at home losing his mind right about now, as they’ve never been separated for hours on end – being brother & sister from the same litter. I hope he’s ok.

If I think of anything else, I’ll add to the blog later.

OH yes, my lovely new camera? Got the wrong card for the damn thing, even though the people at the store assured me it would work. It was the right kind, a 1 gig, but it was too THICK and wouldn’t fit into the slot for the card. I was pissed. So, I didn’t get to take pictures with my camera while we were gone. BUT I did get to have some time with M’s camera, and as soon as I get her to put the shots on a disc for me, and as soon as I figure out how to load pictures onto my blog, I’ll post some of the trip. Promise.

Did you miss me??


aharamanx said...

Absolutely you were missed !! Major congratulations and love to you both. Thanks for the lovely description of the Bahamas and your wedding. :hugsandkisses:

Anonymous said...

It was terrible. Every day, I asked Holmes if we should write something about you. and she said, "No, dummy, you'll let the secret out." She's such a smart cookie.

You may remember, I sent you an e mail before you sent me one. I couldn't wait. WELCOME BACK

(you had ganja? I'd have flown there for that!)

Anonymous said...

Best Wishes, Long Life together filled with happiness! :)

I've wandered in from the Ceo's place. My father was born and raised in the Bahamas. It is beautiful there but yes, poverty is terrible. Please tell me you had Grouper or at least Steamed Conch while you were there?! Its' freaking incredible.

Anonymous said...

I just clicked through to one of your links. Captain Buddy Pinder, I believe, is a relative of mine. Small world. Weird. I can't seem to get away from the Bahamas lately LOL

Mississippi Songbird said...

Yes, We missed you.. Glad you had a wonderful time..

newwavegurly said...

I'm glad you were able to relax and enjoy the wedding and subsequent vacation.

Congratulations, Rebecca. :hug:

melanie said...

yes, missed you. I am so mosquito bait too.

and that SUX about the memory card. TOTALLY!

sounds like a great journey. glad you are home safely, and happily married.