Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Bahamas Geographical Lesson - The Bahamas Experience, Part III

The day is Thursday. Today is the day of Carol and The Cap’n’s wedding! P.O.D. and I wake up, thaw out (refer to the broken thermostat reference in my last blog entry), grab a good breakfast, and head to the airport. Our flight to the Bahamas is at 11:40 a.m.

So far, everything has run smoothly with the exception that our calls to the hotel where we have booked lodging on Green Turtle Cay have yet to be returned. Apparently the phone service to the hotel is unreliable. When it was possible for him to do so, P.O.D. has left two messages at the hotel, but no one has returned our phone call. Apparently, if you run a hotel in Green Turtle Cay, customer relations is not a requirement. We have already missed one night in our hotel and we want to make sure we are not charged for it.

Our main goal for today is to be able to manage an on-time flight departure, get to the ferry and get to the island. If all goes well, we should have one hour before our arrival time at Green Turtle Cay and the ceremony. We have checked our luggage (again!), maneuvered through security (again!), and wait at the gate (uh…you know the adverb!). Despite P.O.D.’s nagging head cold, we are in good spirits.

At 11:50 p.m. (see my previous comment regarding airline departure times and how they are interpreted by BahamasAir in last Friday’s blog), we board our much bigger and much more safe-looking airplane and, once again, begin to fill out our necessary immigration forms. We settle into our seats on our flight bound for Nassau on BahamasAir. I pick up the promotional Bahamas in-flight magazine and it hits me:

In order to get to Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas, we need to take ONE MORE flight from Nassau to Treasure Cay island, where, we have, yet, to take the ferry that will take us to Green Turtle Cay.

I am sick. P.O.D. has begun to calmly read his book, unaware of the fact that I am about to lose my (until this moment) even-temperedness. I study the map closer. It all begins to make sense, now.

In my geographical naïveté, I realize that the Bahamas is not just one small set of islands, but a rather large and complicated system of island chains. Carol and The Cap’n were very clear in their initial booking instructions, but all of this material that they had sent to me in May had been filed away at my home, a thousand miles from where this airplane – bound for NASSAU! – is sitting. Once our flight from Fort Lauderdale to Treasure Cay on Vintage Props and Jets, Inc., had been cancelled, we just didn’t realize that we needed to book a flight to Nassau…THEN to Treasure Cay. I sit and stare at the map. I feel like a prize-fighter that has just been dealt the K.O. punch.

Here is a map, similar to the one I saw in the in-flight magazine....I have marked our route from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, to Nassau and the route we have YET to take to get to Green Turtle Cay (circled) off the coast of the th Abaco island chain....

I turn to P.O.D. I begin to cry. I am certain the Bahaman woman, a kindly-looking grandmother wearing two baseball caps stacked one on top of the other (what is that all about??) and a beautiful dolphin ring (she boarded the plane with a gi-normous bag of electronics that she purchased at Target) must have thought I was completely nuts. In fact, looking back at the situation on the plane, she never made eye contact with me once. She huddled up next to the window, hugging herself….maybe she was worried that her seatmate was crazy. I assure you, she was.

I croak out to P.O.D. that we still have another flight that we need to take. He, of course, cannot hear me as the engines are firing up and my speech, through tears, is largely incoherent. He places his book in his lap. “What are you saying?”

I dramatically point to the map on the in-flight magazine. “WE STILL HAVE TO TAKE ANOTHER FLIGHT!!! WE ARE NEVER GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE WEDDING!” More tears.

“No,” reassures P.O.D. “We are going to Nassau. We will just catch the ferry over to Green Turtle Cay.”

“Uh, no,” I say ‘with a tone in my voice’. Again, over-dramatic pointing to the map. “We land here,” I say, now speaking to P.O.D. like Barney the Dinosaur would explain to little Suzy in the “Barney Travels To The Bahamas” episode (there really is no episode of Barney explaining the geography of the Bahamas island chain….but if there was, I seriously wish I would have watched it!). “We still have to get to here (I say, in a patronizing tone, whilst pointing to the island of Treasure Cay), then we have to catch a cab to HERE (now, big pokes of the map with my finger, stabbing the place on the map where the ferry dock sits), THEN catch the FERRY TO GREEN TURTLE CAY (I shake the map in front of his face – “And the award for frantic, frustrated, and immature traveler, goes to……1SweetMama!”)!!! AND WE ONLY HAVE TWO HOURS TO DO THAT!!!!”

P.O.D. just stares at me. He is a very seasoned world traveler. A million-miler. A Crown Room regular. How something like this could have gone so completely wrong is baffling to him.

We want to blame each other but neither one of us do. We know better. This trip has been a string of small “clusters” from the moment we awoke 24 hours ago until this very painful moment. P.O.D. tells me not to panic. We will find out what we can do when we get to the airport. He smiles at me, even though I know that deep down, he must want to strangle me for dragging him all across the globe without a real clue as to how to get to our final destination. He is a good man.

I stare at the map for the duration of the flight. And cry.


Matt said...

Hey Sweet Lady, try not to catch everyone on the face of the planet in your disdain for Vintage Props. The Green Turtle Club is a first class operation, with first class award winning staff. You will figure this out once you have the pleasure being in their care. And if you don’t find this to be true; then, believe me, it is all you, not them!
Hope the balance of your trip is wonderful.

1SweetMama said...

Hey, matt! Please know that my posts are made with dramatic "flair" and are meant to be comedic. I/We take full credit for our complete inability to make our way to this resort destination - with the exception of not being notified of our flights being cancelled by a company that went out of business. We are hoping to make it back there one day and truly enjoy the full experience of the Green Turtle Club. The rest of the trip is truly an experience, which is why I am blogging about the whole thing. On this trip, when it rained it poured. There will be some small victories, as you will read....but most importantly I want you to just read it for entertainment value. Even though I joke about them, I make no harsh judgements. Thanks for reading and I hope you will return to my blog.