Naughty or Nice List? – Day 3

I believe one of us was put on Santa’s naughty list and the other one was put on his nice list.  You can fight amongst yourselves where to place us…

We woke up early, listening to the waves and asking the universe to deliver our luggage today.  Stormy rain clouds surrounded us, so we made coffee and ate our muffins we picked up yesterday, realizing the incoming morning flight would be delayed due to rain.

After breakfast we went to three markets to pick up items before stopping the airport to check on luggage status.  I love the view from the Hillside Store parking lot.


On way home we stopped at the airport and told the morning flight was delayed, the bags were on the plane and to come back later.  We returned to the rental, dropped off the food and beer and returned to the airport.


And we arrived at the airport to locked doors, yup we missed the incoming flight, but looking in the airport building our bags weren’t there.  What was the next logical thing to do? Go drink at Max’s Conch Bar.


While sitting there a man struck up a conversation with us. We told our woeful story.  He told us he has a house here, a boat and heard his Bahama Air stories.  It was going well, until he started bashing educators about all the time we get off.  If I had the energy I would have said a few words to change his mind, but I didn’t.   As we left he did tell Mike he could borrow some of his clothes and gave us his card to call him, the redeemed him a bit in my eyes.

Back to the airport we returned and were told the bags would be on the afternoon flight.  The worker said she called and all bags were on the afternoon flight, if they didn’t come in the morning flight.  Guess what? Back to the house we went.  We had enough time to look outside, bake the crust for dessert and read a little.


We returned to the airport, only to sit and wait for 45 minutes for the flight, it was delayed.  The flight arrived with only one of our bags.  One of our bags had the coffee and clothes and the other had chargers, snorkel masks, sweaters for our beers, santa hats and a camera.  The bag with electronics arrived, but not the other one.  The new story is it was on the morning flight and someone must have taken it, oh well, sorry nothing we can do was what we were told.  But stop by on Christmas for the morning flight, maybe….Stories are told, the run around is wearing us out.

It’s Christmas eve, 4 p.m. at this point, would any of the stores be open that had clothes? Trust me, we don’t have a big choice here. We stopped at one place, they had guys board shorts, I stood in the store and just started crying.  Feeling frustrated sucks.  The ladies were so kind, one even was concerned if I had underwear and she would give me her unopened pack of unides if I wanted, sure make me cry harder over your kindness.  The ladies directed us to the one clothes store on the island that would be open, so off we went.

We spent over $250 on three board shorts and 3 tee shirts for Mike. For me, one tee shirt, some undies, a bathing suit (only the top fits, forget the bottom) and one short.  So please forgive all future pictures on this trip, we will be in mismatched, ill fitting and in stunningly bright clothes.

Mike modeled one outfit on our first beach walk when we returned home.


This was our first beach walk and we didn’t travel far, it was needed therapy to get our feet in the sand.

After our brief walk, I made dinner while Mike opened our one piece of luggage to see what was in it.  It provided a much-needed laugh, the beer sweaters for our beer arrived, so our beer has clothes but we don’t.

I made a yummy Christmas Eve risotto and we finished making our coconut bars for dessert for the week.


After dinner, we organized our stuff and I wrote, nothing exciting.

What a day of running around and be given the run around.  Maybe if someone did take our luggage they will return it, maybe if it is hanging out in Nassau it will arrive tomorrow, life is full of maybes, so maybe it will all turn out ok.

But really one of us must be on the nice list and the other on the naughty list…


Day 6 – Making Plans

To day it was about making our next trip plan around sand dollars hunts.

After a restless night’s sleep due to little wind, an air conditioning unit set for an Arctic chill and waiting to hear back about our first choice rental, we got up early made the coffee and went to Dean’s Blue Hole to enjoy it.


But we decided to walk across from the hole to that other beach to sit and sip.


After enjoying the coffee, we walked the beach and while walking we received the news that our first choice rental was unavailable. Wespent time considering what our options were, go back to our Christmas place, go to another island, find another rental here, hmmm…


After our coffee, walk and conversation we returned to the cottage to search once again for another spot to spend the holidays at.  We found a rental that met every want, except for sunset views, which we are desperately missing here.  While searching, our power went out, a sign this was a good time to drive out to check out the rental. While checking it out we found the Dunmore Ruins, which we had been looking for the other day.  We decided if the rental was only missing sunset views we could survive, it sits on a hill and we have a better view of the sky, so maybe we could get some dramatic color.  Not sure if power was restored at our current rental, we stopped at Galloways to see if it was calm enough for a snorkel. It looked calm so we set up camp and went in.


In we went, however the rolling small waves made Mike a little seasick so he got out while I tried to snap some underwater photos. It was a bit churned up so not the clearest pictures.

Of course there were sand dollars to be found in the water.  I left these behind, maybe it will make some tourist’s day that doesn’t go out snorkeling.  Mike also tried to blend in with the view, so he would be left behind to.

We packed up and headed into Clarence Town to find the bakery. We found it and picked up two slices of poppy seed and a pumpkin bread for our coffee beach walk tomorrow.  While here, in a spot that I had reception, we sent an email to ask about Island Dreams vacation rental.

We needed lunch and still not sure if power returned (power can go out for hours here on the island), we went to Max’s Conch Bar for lunch. The owner’s wife recognized us as repeat customers and spent some time chatting with us. I had my usual grouper fingers and Mike enjoyed cracked conch. While enjoying our lunch we received word Island Dreams was available for our next trip and we confirmed booking


We were utterly exhausted, after a stop at the grocery store for supplies for tonight’s fish stew we returned to the house that had power restored and napped for an hour. After feeling a bit better, a snorkel and sand dollar hunt at Dean’s was had.  The fish were abundant as were the sand dollars.

We came home, cleaned up, wrote, made dinner, relaxed, enjoyed dinner, read and went to sleep.  Contented in knowing we have a rental for our next trip, making plans today that worked out.



Day 3 – Days like This…

A  day like today makes it difficult for us to travel to another Bahamian Island to explore (well except for Staniel Cay, that is such a special spot to us). Today had everything we love; walks, snorkeling, exploring new places, great food and just the time to do it in.

The sunrise painted the sky a lovely shade of pink this morning. P1010453

Mike decided to start his day with a run, while I made the coffee. After his return home, we walked over to Dean’s Blue Hole to have coffee and a swim for Mike to cool off.


We enjoyed a bit of time here savoring the coffee and walking the small beach.

There are 4 items in this photo that have a Hawaii connection

Our walk back to the cottage had us planning out the rest of the day. First thing though was to make a quick breakfast.Then we made sandwiches (just in case Max’s Conch Bar was closed), gathered our snorkeling gear and headed off to Guana Cay, Pinders to see if we could get over to the island to see some iguanas.

On our way to today’s beach spot,  we spotted fruit on a platform, so of course we stopped. We picked up Dilly Fruit and Seville Oranges, all for three bucks.  We were two happy campers finding dilly fruit.


We arrived at the beach and decided snorkeling would allow us to make it over to the island. Let me tell you that was a workout for me with the current.  I was excited to see my first turtle of this trip, but he was quick and I lost him within seconds of spotting him.

Guana Cay, gonna snorkel over to there

We made it over, able to walk the final bit and proudly took a photo.  Years ago I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this. I would have chickened out and missed this experience. Glad I found the strength to trust myself enough to do it.

We started back behind us, crossed the channel to make it over.

I was expecting iguanas to come out to get us, instead we were greeted by curly tailed lizards.    Little disappointed yes, but these guys were cute and I quickly got over the disappointment.



On our snorkel back I was happy to find a conch with a critter in it. We did leave it behind to grow big and strong.


The blues of the water were just so enchanting.

We walked the beach some more to dry off, before heading to Max’s Conch Bar, our favorite dine out place on the island.

Lunch at Max’s was crawfish salad with johnny cake and grouper fingers with peas and rice.  We love to sit at the bar and watch the master at work making conch salad, which we did get a bowl to go.


We had another grocery run to make, so after that we headed home, threw the groceries in the fridge and went to Dean’s Blue Hole to snorkel.  In December when we were here, we didn’t snorkel, just floated over the hole.


Today we snorkeled and I was blown away by all the fish.

By the time we exited the water it was after 4 p.m. so we called it a day and walked home. Once home it was the usual clean up and make dinner.  Tonight’s dinner was chicken enchiladas followed by dessert of ginger nut cookies with peanut butter and pineapple jam!


A day like today of walks, snorkeling, good eats makes it hard to visit another island. Guess that means a few more trips must be made here.




Not the best title, because we do explore everyday it seems. However today we even explored below ground.

We started off  the morning with a stroll and a hearty breakfast before heading off to the farmer’s market for some straw goods.

After the farmer’s market we decided to do some cave exploration, right in Salt Pond. We parked at Hillside Market and walked south to the path by Seaside Auto. We took the path down to the cave.

We grabbed the rope and in we went.  We didn’t explore to far, but it was enough for us.  Ok I was freaked  when I heard the bats and they started flying.  I called it done for me at that point.  We brought a headlamp and a flashlight, plus wore hats and closed toe shoes.

After our adventures in caving, we headed back to the cottage to pack up for the next part of the day’s adventuring, new to us beaches.  We did have one stop though, to meet the caretaker of the cottage we rent.  She owns a really cute 4 unit guest quarters a bit down the road.  Something to consider for rental if we return on an April break.

We headed up south again and our first beach today was in Morrisville. As we drove in you could see offshoots of roads that at one point someone had planned to build houses.  There was a wreck offshore that the ospreys converted into their home. It was a beautiful beach and if it was just a bit calmer we would have snorkeled here.

Our next beach was Cabbage Point.  At one time this was going to be a big resort, it appears.  You could see the beginnings of a wall, guard houses and roadways in.  Two locals were out fishing and this was the perfect shelling beach.  I could have spent hours here searching for shells, but my Irish skin was calling it quits after 40 minutes out there.

After our walk it was time for lunch and we headed over to Max’s Conch bar for one last nibble. I had the best conch burger ever and Mike enjoyed wahoo with amazing johnny cake.

I wanted one last stop, a place we drive by every time we go up south, a small gift shop, Judee’s.  I love the straw work of the island and wanted to see if there was anything we “needed”.  I am so happy we stopped in. The woman told us this used to be the old Deadman’s Cay police station and she converted the holding cells into display rooms of Long Island History, it was awesome.  I did pick up one more straw item and a seashell Christmas ornament.

We returned to our cottage for our last float of the vacation. Mike started the packing after we cleaned up and I started the picture uploads.  We watched the sunset, had leftovers and did the last bit of cleaning up before we leave in the morning for home.

It was another great day of being explorers, discovering a cave, finding new beaches and supporting the local economy.

All I Want For Christmas is…

All I wanted for Christmas is ocean blue at Gordons Beach.  I decided last April, when we re-booked was to have lunch on Gordons Beach on the southern tip of Long Island.  My Christmas wish came true, but first we had to start Christmas morning with ricotta pancakes with guava jam and bananas.

After our hearty breakfast and some holiday cheer photos we gathered up our beach gear and headed out to Gordon’s Beach.

I will say this is one of my favorite beaches we have ever visited. All I have wanted for Christmas day was to sit here.

We also worked on next year’s Christmas card photo, nothing like planning in advance.


After our selfie photo shoot, a walk and a float it was time to enjoy lunch.  We had Max’s Conch Bar conch salad for lunch.

We stopped to take photos at the end of the highway, after leaving Gordons Beach.

On the return trip to our cottage, we decided to make a few stops. First stop were two churches that looked interesting.

Our second stop was the Diamond Crystal & Salt Flats in Hard Bargain. The flats have been abandoned and we found the old runway that serviced this area. Nothing really to see here, nothing of note.

We had one final stop in The Bight, the new sign since April. We wanted to read it and then decided to adventure down the road by it.  What we discovered is a conch and sponge area.

We came home and the plan was to nap, but the water looked so inviting at the house, we decided to go in for a snorkel.  The water wasn’t clear and visibility was poor so the snorkel turned into a short swim.

We prepped dinner of salad with chicken, waiting for the sun to set.  Sunset was obscured by a bank of clouds, put nevertheless it was pretty in its own way.

After our dinner we enjoyed an altered dessert recipe of frozen bananas and other goodness over Bahamian sweet rolls (should have been sponge cake, but we couldn’t find any).

We finished the night playing cards and realizing Christmas wishes do come true.

santa left his hat with our stuff


A “hole” lot of fun

Dean’s Blue Hole

Today we had a whole lot of fun, but first we had to get up to experience it.  The question we asked ourselves this morning was why do the roosters find us on islands?  We have about three roosters that decided an early wake up call was the way to go.  Maybe they were summoning me to go for a short walk.  Glad I listened to them, the views and the visitor were both lovely as the sun rose.

Breakfast was easy, just eggs and toast, keeping it simple this morning, didn’t want to be late to the farmer’s market.


We made sure this trip we were at the farmer’s market a little before 8 a.m. Last April we arrived a bit after 8 a.m. and all the greens were gone.  We learned our lesson. We scored okra, kale, a Bahamian pumpkin and sweet potatoes, green onions, passionfruit, homemade jam and some bread.

The walk to the market had a holiday  attraction to see and the view from the parking lot wasn’t bad either.

Once back at the cottage, we unloaded the small haul and headed out to finish the shopping for a few days. After our two “must do” stops were done, we headed off to have a whole afternoon of fun.  First stop was Dean’s Blue Hole, the deepest blue hole in the world.  We first visited here in April, but didn’t go in the water, because professional divers were practicing for the big contest that was approaching.

Two families were there, jumping in to the hole.  We beached walked for a bit and then got into the water to swim over the hole.  I was dismayed at all the garbage that littered the beach.  Mike picked up some to see where it originated, seemed to be from Haiti.

I was so excited I was brave enough to swim over the deep hole and we will return with our snorkel gear to further explore this treasure.  Advantage of coming in December over April, we don’t have to stand by and watch professionals train, we can get in the water!

Our next stop was one of our favorite watering holes, Max’s Conch Bar by the airport.  We love to watch Gary orchestrate the making of his conch salad. This time we were smart enough to get a bowl to go! We prefer to sit at the bar with locals and listen to their banter (which we rarely can decipher the slang).  Our lunch was fantastic, grouper fingers, peas and rice, crawfish quesadilla and johnny cake.

After lunch required an afternoon float, this time complete with Christmas music. Mike purchased a waterproof speaker to float with us, put the ipod in a waterproof bag and away we floated to Christmas tunes.

After we cleaned ourselves up it was food prep and download/edit a million pictures of the day.  As the sun set, we decorated our Christmas tree.  This is the first time in 16 Christmases away vacations we have brought items to decorate something.  We still have to go beachcombing to get some shells to add to our little tree.

By the light of our little tree we watched the sun set, reflecting on all the fun we had today.

As dinner finished cooking, I went outside to stand among the money moths, hoping one would land on me.  We had dozens fluttering about. Bahamian folklore says if one lands on you, you will come into money.  I am standing outside every night, waiting.


The sun sank, the glow was serene, the tree twinkled and we reminisced on our day full of a “hole” lot of fun and then some.


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