Sunday School

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School of jacks returning…

Our first full day on Long Island, began with us praising the morning view out.

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After that  the ritual of coffee and the writing of yesterday’s trip report began. Next on the Sunday task list was  breakfast of pancakes. Our friends on Staniel taught us that on Sundays you must eat pancakes in the Bahamas and 8 a.m. was the time to start. So ricotta pancakes were created and consumed!

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Sunday ricotta pancakes

The view for breakfast was perfect and we spied a school of jacks heading out for Sunday School towards Thompson Bay.

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Following the jacks lead we decided to head to our Sunday worship services and school. It was time for our first beach walk to the Atlantic side of the island about a mile away.

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Our return walk, allowed us to worship the views and flowers.

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We walked along the road until our driveway, soaking in our driveway view as we descended.

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The way to the sacred view

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the view…

Of course after the walk, it was time for the next ritual; making of our peanut butter and guava on Bahamian bread sandwiches.

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After lunch it was time for a snorkel. It was the first snorkel in our new spot. Sadly the water was cloudy and no pictures were taken. We did spy a few barracudas, angelfishes and one big pufferfish. Hopefully another day we will have photos.

After the snorkel, we decided to dry off and head North. We made it as far as Stella Maris Resort and on the way back stopped at the touristy sign of the Tropic of Cancer.

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Yes we did stand on both sides!

Once home it was time to clean up proper and enjoy appetizers on the gazebo.

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While enjoying this, the school of jacks returned from their Sunday School.

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Afterwards it was time to cook dinner ( a nice risotto with chicken) and enjoy the meal. We settled in after dinner to pay our respect to the setting sun and say goodbye to a Sunday spent at Nature’s school.

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Words of Advice Bahamian Style

Nassau Airport

Our adventure to an out island started in the wee predawn hours in Boston. We boarded JetBlue to land in Nassau a mere three hours later, greeted by warmth and sun.  We cleared all the necessary checks in no time, grabbed some eats at the airport pizza place and waited a few hours until  we boarded our little plane.

We had nine passengers and two crew members, with room left over.   It felt strangely odd and a bit sad, knowing we weren’t going to Staniel Cay this trip. I love flying over the islands, sadly this plane had horrible windows, so snapping those stunning photos wasn’t going to happen.

Part of the Exumas, HI Terri and Butch!

We landed early and Phil, the owner we are renting from welcomed us. This was an unexpected and welcomed treat.  Our car rental person wasn’t around, so Phil gave us our first piece of advice by suggesting we go grab some cold beers down the way and bring back the beer to drink “if you have to wait, wait with a kalik.” So we did. While we waited another passenger was waiting for his car rental. While talking with him we learned he was down here to practice free diving at Dean’s  Blue Hole before the big competition at the end of April(why we didn’t offer him a beer, can’t drink due to diving). He mentioned to us that a few world-class divers are coming in this week to practice and invited us to watch.

grabbing cold kaliks

We returned to the airport and half way through the first bottle, the rental car lady arrived. Mike went with her and I remained with Phil, so he could point out things on Long Island. The most notable item, the liquor store was closed, even shocking Phil, it never closes early. A quick 20 minutes later we arrived at the cottage.  He gave us a tour of the grounds and repeatedly gave us our second piece of advice, “Don’t swim at night, tiger sharks are out.” A rather sound piece of advice.

view from the screened in porch

little man-made cove, private

one of the many views

After the walkabout, Phil left and we went out to the grocery store. Having been on Staniel Cay we didn’t expect much and we were in shock with how well the store shelves were stocked, even days after the mail boats had left. We asked inside where to get beer and their advice “go to Sou Side, she will sell you some.” Taking her up on her advice we headed out.

First though we went to another grocery store, which again was well stocked. We then headed back stopping at Sou Side Restaurant to ask is she would sell us a few Kaliks.  Happily she did, though she was out of just plain regular Kalik. But we purchased the other Kaliks.  She imparted on us our final piece of advice for the day about Sunday, “if you need anything at the markets, they are only open from 8-10 and so is the gas station.”  Again important words to know when on an out island.

We settled in, cooked a quick dinner and dined in the gazebos that was newly built.

dinner with a view

After dinner clean up, it was time for sunset viewing.  We won’t have a water sunset, as the arm of Long Island faces us, the sun drops behind that. It doesn’t matter because we are on an island, receiving sound advice, listening to the water and the rooster, drinking beer and just relaxing.

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Hanging with 3 of my favorite guys – Day 3 in DC

Yikes, Martin Luther King Jr day was downright cold in DC.  We quickly decided not to go out to a new coffee place, that would require a metro ride and a long walk. Instead we walked the .2 miles over to Firehook bakery for a breakfast sandwich to go.  We briskly walked back, made some coffee, lit the fireplace and enjoyed a breakfast in a warm flat.

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Afterwards we cleaned up the flat and packed our bags for our departure.  This is a great little flat to rent.  We found it on Airbnb.  The size is perfect for two people and the location is simply superb.

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Living room looking into the kitchen

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Bedroom with a queen bed

We waited till a little before 10 a.m. and quickly walked over to the Smithsonian’s American Indian Museum for a new exhibit on Hawaii.  We were really excited to see this exhibit, but it was a huge disappointment.  It was more signage than artifacts.

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We then endured the cold and went over to the Natural History Museum to see another new exhibit.

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It was a beautiful photography exhibit.

 

After our walk back to the apartment in the chilly air, we gathered our bags and our friend Peter arrived to take us out to lunch.  We enjoyed a tasty lunch and some beers at Rustico Restaurant.

Our plane kept getting delayed, Pete suggested we visit one of my favorite men, President Theodore Roosevelt. Why not?  I was already with two of my favorite people. Good things happen in three.  Off we went to Theodore Roosevelt Island to see the Teddy statue.

Our flight was delayed once again, so off we went to Port City Brewery to sample their goods.  This is excellent beer and we hope to return once again to drink more of their goodness.

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Our last day, I spent with some great guys, eating, sightseeing and drinking good brews.  Perfect way to end a fun visit to one of our favorite cities.

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Bei Bei Bucket List

Our one goal today was to see Bei Bei, the baby panda at the zoo.  First though we had to fuel up with coffee.  We tried a new to us coffee place, The Coffee Bar.  The place was busy, but that didn’t interfere with them making delicious coffee.  Mike had an Americano and I enjoyed a perfectly made cappuccino. The peach raspberry muffin was amazing too.

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Hopping back on the metro, we headed to the zoo.  I had convinced myself if I didn’t get to see Bei Bei due to long lines, I wouldn’t be crushed.  We entered the Asian trail and walked right up to the house entrance, waited a few minutes and we were in the next group allowed in.  The zoo was allowing 40-50 people in for 10 minute viewings.  I couldn’t believe our luck, no waiting.  I think the cold weather and conversational snow, kept a few people away.  Of course Bei Bei though wasn’t playing, he was sleeping in a bucket.

Towards the end of the enclosure was the viewing cameras. It was more fun watching all the cameras then watching a sleeping Bei Bei.

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We wandered around the zoo to check out the other animals.

After spending a few hours at the zoo, it was lunch time.  Hoping on the metro once again, we landed in Shaw and went to Right Proper Brewery.  We’ve been here a few times, but our last visit was a disaster, in which we ended up walking out and vowing never to return.  But a good beer menu forced us to give it one more try.  Glad we did.  We had a delightful lunch with a few excellent half pours.

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By this time, it was 2 p.m. and that means nap time for me.  We returned to the flat and spent some time re charging our batteries and resting our legs.

After walking over 9 miles yesterday, our legs were done. We decided on having dinner close to home and call it an early night.  We thought we might do a nighttime walking tour of the monuments this morning, but our legs rebelled and it was just dinner, then back to the flat.

We walked the short distance to Barrel. As we walked in, we were recognized and welcomed over to the bar.  It was the owner of Sona Creamery and she remembered us.  It was a great feeling to be recognized and treated like we’ve known her forever.  Dinner was amazing and I had a mixed drink call The Milk Bar, a nice bourbon mixed with banana, vanilla and citrus.

 

After dinner, we wandered back to the flat, we turned on the fireplace and enjoyed our gifted Mexican Radio.  Great day and one where I can check off a bucket list item, seeing a sleeping panda cub in a bucket, that seems appropriate.

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Day 1 in DC

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We started off our day with a walk over  to the Eastern Market, thinking we would grab a breakfast there.  We’ve done breakfast at the market on a past trip, but it wasn’t exciting food.  We sauntered over to Bourbon Coffee, in the Capitol Hill area, instead.  We enjoyed a great pour over and cappuchino of Rwandan Coffee, plus a delicious breakfast sandwich.  So happy we skipped that breakfast at Eastern Market.

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We walked back to the flat, to shower and then returned to the Market to pick up apples, cider. We also wanted to pick up some cheese at one of our favorite places, Sona Creamery. We were shocked to find out their cheese counter is gone and has been replaced with a beautiful extension to their bar area. We’ve been going to Sona before they could even make cheese.  Luckily Genevieve, one of the owners, remembered us and came out to chat with us.  They did offer to sell us some of their homemade goat cheese, which we happily did purchase.

After returning the purchases to the flat, we ventured out to the Renwick Gallery.  We’ve been waiting for this gallery to open for some time.  The Renwick is a contemporary craft museum, and as part of the Smithsonian it is free. We arrived just after opening and the place was busy.

After our stroll through the museum we headed over to the National Geographic Museum.  We stopped by the White House to people watch, unfortunately not many wackos were out.  Sadly there is another blockade after the perimeter fence.  Last time we snapped photos of the White House, we could do so through the big fence, no more.

The next museum was a paid museum, but because they are undergoing some exhibit changes the price was reduced.  We both agreed the price was still high for the one exhibit we did see.

After our two museums, we were a bit hungry.  We ended up at ChruchKey, a place a nephew had highly recommended.  The tap menu was exceptional and the food matched it.

We decided a nap was in order to round out the day activities.  We returned to the flat to nap and freshen up before we meet our nephew and his girlfriend for dinner.

Dinner was at our favorite craft beer place, Bluejacket.  We have always had amazing service here and tonight was over the top.  We arrived earlier and had a chance to chat with our server, Brad, before the place became extremely busy.  We told Brad how we fly down from CT and always make a visit here, especially for their Mexican Radio Beer.  Next thing you know he comped us two Mexican Radios.  Our nephew and his girlfriend soon arrived, the half pours started flowing and Brad comped us two appetizers.  After dinner, Brad handed us a bottle of Mexican Radio to take home, his gift to us. This man  knew beer,  handled multiple tables and found the time to give us great service.  Couldn’t ask for a better feeling at a restaurant.

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Mexican Radio Beer, a sweet stout

After dinner, Mike and I decided to take a little stroll to see the Washington Monument.  Perfect way to end a great day.

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It’s Over

Thursday was our last day on Oahu.  I tried not to whimper to loudly throughout the day.

We ate breakfast at Sunny Days, this time the food was just as good as the first time, but the service was lacking.  I think we had a new waiter, that spoke little English and was just thrown into the job, so he lacked basic table service skills.  The people watching saved the day, as there were some interesting people to watch, as we waited for food.

Our leisurely breakfast was finished and back the to the little hale we went. Love that we could walk to this place. Truly this cottage is located in a great location, close enough to walk to good food places, Waikiki Beach and other beaches, plus it is in a nice quiet neighborhood.

After we cleaned us and the cottage up, we packed our bags, headed out for some indoor sightseeing.  Our first stop was the Honolulu Museum of Art. Parking was down the street and easy.  The museum was a great find.

We needed lunch after spending almost two hours here. Instead of returning to Honolulu Beerworks, we dined at the museum.  Amazing food and my last bit of fresh ahi until we return to Hawaii.

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We still had a bit of time to meander before our rental car was due back.  Oahu Trailblazers book recommended an “underrated museum”, The Hawaiian State Art Museum.  I would agree it was a worthwhile museum, that was small,but had stunning artwork.

After our brief time here, we had to head to the airport.  Once again I received pre check and got ahead of Mike.  Our flights were on time,even early.  Out of all our trips, this flying seemed to be the easiest and quickest, even with a two hour drive home from Boston.

We had an amazing week, returning to the state we feel more at home at than Connecticut.  We did stay in a different area of Oahu than before. That was important to us and we realized we are country people at heart, north shore living feels more at home to us than Diamond Head area.  We are pleased to keep our every other year to Hawaii travel in place.

This was a great way to end the year and starting 2016 in the air, just seemed appropriate.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou 

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