Friday, November 21, 2008

"Yo-Ho-Ho!" - The Bahamas Experience - Part VI

Friday morning, I awoke at 5 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. But we had left the curtains open so that we could wake up to our ocean view. From where I lay, when I opened my eyes, I was able to, over the course of the next hour, watch the sunrise over the ocean and observe a large cruise ship make its way across the horizon to the port at Nassau. At first, in the purple-y light of dawn, the ship looked like an island with everyone’s lights turned on. Then, I realized that it was moving. I have never seen an actual cruise ship, outside of those commercials where people are climbing rock walls and dancing with the captain.

Another cruise ship (in the daylight), bound for the port of Nassau...

This morning was all about “beach time”. Now, you have already learned that P.O.D. does not care for sunbathing, casinos, and wrist-band-wearing…all of which had found their way into our itinerary.

Sunbathing (for us) is tricky. I, against my skin’s better judgment, am a sun worshipper. He, is a self-described “pasty white guy who prefers shade and a good book” while on the beach.

Since P.O.D. had naughtily removed his wrist band (read about P.O.D.’s distaste for wrist bands in my 11/14/08 blog entry), I had to pick up two towels from the towel cabana, just adjacent to the pool construction zone – if you thought it was loud from 5 stories up…! We negotiated the beach front (preferring the beach atmosphere to that of a pool at the Sheraton) and surveyed the chaise lounge situation. We found a perfect spot: one chaise lounge chair in the sun and one, resting in the shade of a palm-frond-roofed permanent umbrella.

I think a weatherman would describe the beach climate as “Mostly cloudy with moments of sun and a gale-force wind blowing in from the ocean.” He would have been mostly accurate. The term, ‘gale force” is kind. As I lay in my chair, the sun darting in and out, I go from warm to cool, depending upon the relationship of clouds to sun. But, the continual battering of wind – begins to burn the inside of my nose and I can’t hardly stand it.

“Okay,” I announce to P.O.D. “We are going to find a windbreak!” He finally admits that he, too, is cold. We relent and venture over to the Sheraton. I am prepared to drop him like a hot potato if the wrist band police discover that he is sunning himself at the Sheraton pool without his Wyndham jewelry. We find the perfect cove behind a sculpted rock formation next to the pool. It is secluded and we rejoice that no one had the wherewithal to think to look for a spot to sun themselves away from the beach. There is no wind. There is a lounge chair in the sun and one in the shade of the rock. A single palm tree planted atop the rock formation floats above us and it is the only reminder that it is windy “up above”. Now, each time the clouds pass between me and the sun, it is a cool break from its sizzle upon my skin. Ahhhh.

My view from the chaise lounge in our "new" spot from The Sheraton Pool:

We decide that we will come back here tomorrow.

When the blue skies submit to more and more clouds, we head to the Sheraton, this time, for lunch. While we dine, a dense rainstorm quickly passes through, revealing blue skies behind. For the first time, we feel like we have a handle on this Bahamas thing.

We venture to downtown Nassau and tour through the Pirate Museum where we were greeted by a jolly, yet characteristically nasty pirate – no Johnny Depp, I assure you but he was darling - can pirates be darling?? We walked a few miles to a “locals” recommended restaurant called The Fish Fry where we ate fried conch fritters and I finally got a rum drink. While the atmosphere of the restaurant was flimsy, at best (P.O.D. noted that he could see daylight through the cracks in the ceiling – I wish he would stop studying the architecture!) the food was very good and we felt like we were getting a real taste of the local culture.

We catch a cab home and spend the rest of our Halloween in bed in our jammies by 8 p.m. watching, ironically, “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest”. P.O.D. and are I are asleep by 10 p.m. P.O.D. is feeling the effects of his cold and I am feeling the effect of conch fritters and rum.

Saturday is another day….we are making plans to visit the Queen Staircase and a military fort – both of which have been recommended as “must sees” while in Nassau. We are also making plans to dine at CafĂ© Matisse, one of the top rated restaurants on the island. Saturday should be a fun day….or will it….?

Find out in the final installment of “The Bahamas Experience” on Tuesday!

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