Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Goodbye Girlz

Packing sucks, but leaving the Island groove is harder! Flight wasn't too early but we got up and got it together in good time. The weather was a somewhat cloudy and it was as if the ocean was telling us to go, it was choppy and windy. After cleaning up at Spencer's and stripping the beds we did another quick check.....yep it's time to go. With a little time to burn we headed to the little gift shop in Cupid's Cay next to the docks. The tide was coming over the road in Governor's Harbour and there was even a poor guy trying to bail the water out of his rowboat, there was a storm a brewin! We went to Banks Road Deli where they had some really cute little souvenir's and fresh croissants etc...Got Mike a Kalik beer mug here - good price and was able to squeeze it into my case! After driving as slow as we could we finally arrived at the airport for our departure. We were all a bit nervous as the wind has really kicked up and knew we were in for a "bumpy" ride back to Nassau. DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE!!! Kara and I smoked as many ciggies as we could and boarded the plane with everyone else (including an old guy in a genuine Scottish Kilt! Holla!) The ride was a bit bumpy on the ole prop plane - but have experienced worse! Customs in Nassau was torture - and quite unpleasant actually. Kara ended up checking her bag as they wouldn't allow shells. I managed to make such a commotion that Hope was able to sneak her shells back in her bag. Customs in Nassau SUCKED! We had a very long 3 hour wait - no real food there to speak of - we made mental note to try and bypass or shorten our stay at this airport on the next trip. Felt like a long time to get home - and it was a long day. It's definitely worth trying to the most direct flight you can even for a few extra $$'s. Can't wait till next year's "The Girlz Do Eleuthera vAcA!!!"
Perri

Monday, April 14, 2008

Relax or Panic....that is the question


Wow!! Today is our last full day and night here...where did the time go? Do we panic 'cause our vacation is almost over?? No way! Being the adventurous girlz we are, we lounged around in the morning and then threw our snorkel gear in the car. We decided to head south and find somewhere on the Atlantic to snorkel. After all, there are beaches down just about every road in Eleuthera.

We ventured down a lonely road, as we have pretty much all week and came to a clearing where another car was parked. Having been the only ones on the beaches all week, this was somewhat of a surprise! A couple was coming up the hill from snorkeling and told us it was a good spot.

After being chased around by bees for a few minutes, we were able to secure our gear and hit the beach. We were just south of Windermere Island; there was a reef that was keeping the larger waves at bay, so the water was very calm.

We snorkeled for hours...even in the rain (very quick passing shower). We found conch, sea biscuits, sand dollars and shells. I got stung on the rump by a pesky horsefly and my ears got so sunburned...(note to self: next year apply sunscreen on the ears!!)

Since it was our last night we wanted to do it up "big" so we went to Tippy's for dinner. Now, I must say...I was not that impressed. Their food is so-so, service is not great and the prices are quite high (remember: budget vaca!). We had an appetizer, salad and meal (no alcohol) and our tab was $99 for the three of us. Not bad, but our meal at Sunset was much tastier and a better price.

Tippy's is on a beautiful stretch of beach on the Atlantic side of the island - quite windy (see BIG 80's hair in photo below) - but beautiful. This is a happenin' place with locals and tourists alike...I'm thinking the bar is probably the big attraction.

Back to Lil' Red for some preliminary packing, a Kalik on the deck and a good night's rest!

Monday, cause that's my fun day!

Monday was upon us fast! Tempus Fugit when you are having fun.....It was another hot and calm day on the Caribbean side so we decided to go and see what the Atlantic looked like. We packed up our snorkel gear after a leisurely morning and headed south on the Queen's Highway, totally comfortable in our surroundings and feeling adventurous. We tried a couple of dirt road turnoffs and took a peek, some places looked too rocky for water entrance, some were kinda spooky and then we found our perfect spot! Just south of Windemere Island. Little rocky but not too hard to get in water and luckily the Atlantic was calm. We were quite thrilled with what we found! The raised up, puffy starfish - dead of course. We didn't go too far out - we all know our limits and have watched way too much "shark week", consequently didn't go 'round the big reef! I got a bit chilled after it got a little cloudy and rained on us, so I wandered up the beach for a stroll and warm up whilst Kara and Hope continued. I returned to find them holding up their goodies from the water! Huge conch shells and sea biscuits! Warmed from the sun I ventured back in the water for some searching:)

We finally drug our pruned bodies out and up the hill back to the car. We got back home and had a Kalik on the deck admiring our view for one last evening. We readied ourselves for our last meal out at Tippy's.


We found Tippy's no prob....We were fairly early so there was hardly anyone there (snorkeling makes you really hungry!). We sat at the bar and had a beer at looked at the beautiful view of the Atlantic. We were seated quickly and I promptly decided on the fish and chips, thinking the grouper was by far the best choice for me on fish. We also decided to try their conch fritters. Fritters were not as good as GH Fish Fry, the chips were excellent and the battered grouper was so-so - was a bit more like minced fish instead of the fat, juicy battered grouper I had at Sunset Inn. We had a pineapple dessert thingy, was good - that's all I remember. Prices in my opinion are quite high on the island in general. Three meals with one appetizer and one dessert for $99 is more than we spend at a very nice restaurant in VA. The automatic 15% added gratuity can get to you sometimes when the service isn't "all that." Nice tourist piccie of us on the deck was all we need to top it off! Back home to pack and gather our S**t! We definitely felt like we could stay for awhile longer.

Perri

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lazy Sunday


Having been on the go all week, we decided to just relax and play it by ear. Good thing because poor Kara had a sun reaction with one of her meds and woke up quite swollen. Since we are all moms, we of course gave her the third degree, insisted that she take a Benadryl and lay down for a bit.

In the meantime, Perri and I went into our "crouching tiger" positions on the beach and looked for shells. There are so many perfect little shells, it's amazing! It was a hot sunny day and of course we sat out there until we just couldn't take it anymore. Yeah, sunburned doesn't even quite begin to describe it!!

Once in the house, we watched some daytime tv and became obsessed with our bug bites. We put everything on those suckers; witch hazel, lime juice, alcohol even mouthwash and NOTHING made them stop itching. Except maybe the plastic fork that Perri used to scratch the hell out of them.

Kara was still sleeping so went ventured out to find the little wading pool like cut-out along the shoreline. It felt so good to get into that water. There were some fish swimming around, but they didn't mind us. The water was warm and very soothing on the ole bites.

Kara rejoined us - looking very refreshed - for some more shelling and then we did our "holy quick shower" routine to head out for dinner at the Sunset Inn.

Great prices, service was a little slow, but you are in the Bahamas. I don't remember what I had, but I know next time I'm getting the grouper (that's what Perri had - it was delicious!!) We did try some cracked conch and ugh!! That is a taste that one does not soon forget...not a good taste either (in my opinion). Very wild and chewy...not a big fan!!

There is some very nice art work hanging inside that was done by local artist Kevin Cooper. It was nice to see his work since we had met him at Mate & Jenny's after the famous "dog" incident.

Hard to believe we have been in Eleuthera for six days...time sure does go by fast when you are on vacation. Another perfect ending to a perfect day in paradise!











Sunday, I don't have to run day!



Sunday and no plans! Great. We were going to have a nice "down" day, this ended up being a good thing as our poor Kara woke up swollen! Unbeknownst to her, she had a reaction with one of her meds + the sun. We had to lay the smack down and make her stay inside with Benadryl. We spent our morning sitting or crouching in the sand looking for shells, finding lots of keepers! The water looked super choppy and come noon you can really feel the intense heat of the sun so we went in to cool down and Hope and I needed to address our bug bites. We settled into the two seater and watched a little boob tube, just chillin for a change - you have to keep reminding yourself you are on vAcA! We gathered everything we had brought in our "quart baggies" - we had some witch hazel, mouthwash and the local remedy of using a fresh lime??? I found a plastic fork which ended up being the perfect bite scratcher?!!?? We tried it all.........aaaaggghhhh! The bites were BAD and driving us nuts! Kara was having a nice Benadryl induced nap, so we meandered back out to explore the beach again and ended up in a square lava rock saltwater pool (the Kanucks had told us about it, we had spotted it when the tide was out before, so it was good timing- was super warm and felt great! We floated around in the water whilst the tide was coming in - was spa like:) We were sunburned again from just crouching in the morning, down one side only! OMG! Reapply!!! Hope and I explored the coastline - there is lots of lava like rock - so crocs or watershoes are a must! Kara joined us out on the beach feeling and looking Way better than she did earlier! More shelling - it never gets old!
Next? Yes, "holy time limited shower~n~all", get dressed and we're off to Sunset Inn for dinner. Large, airy & bright establishment, seating on the patio - kinda seat yourself as there only seemed to be one lady serving?!?? Think we got the Fried Conch appetizer, not keen, way too chewy and strong. Maybe if the conch was pounded and marinated a little longer in the lime it wouldn't be quite so chewy? Just my 2 cents worth! I ordered off the smaller "snack" portion meal ($13.00) and it was more than enough food! I had the fried grouper fingers, with chips and a small very basic salad. The grouper was in a nice light but crispy batter, not greasy and very juicy pieces of grouper cooked to perfection! There was a nice breeze out on the patio, the moon reflected on to the waves and the sound never gets tired! Would definitely return to the Sunset Inn. Made our way home and chilled - time flies when you are having fun! No laptops or cell phones......Oh glory be!
Perri Again...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Island Hoppers

After a good night's sleep, we were up and read to explore the northern part of Eleuthera. Since we were not as liberal with the sunscreen as we should have been the day before, we stopped in Governors Harbour for some Aloe sunburn relief at the gift shop and then explored a church that was over 100 years old. There were some youngsters in there practicing for their easter service. It was nice to sit for a second and take in the beauty of my surroundings.

We set out for Rainbow Bay to find the lot that Perri's dad bought in the 60's...this was a MUST since that was the driving force behind our vaca in the first place! I'm pretty sure we found the correct place (or pretty darn close!). What a beautiful place that would be to build a home...ahhhh!



Another quick side road and we were on our way to find Surfers Beach. After telling Kara to just keep going down the road, we realized that it was becoming more and more sandy. We parked our lil red car and walked to a clearing that overlooked the most beautiful waves below. We took a few pictures and decided it was not in our best interest to continue in the car...our hilltop view of Surfers Beach would have to suffice!




Off again, this time with a stop in GregoryTown...home of Lenny Kravitz!! We stopped in a cute little gift shop with reasonable prices. We bought some souvenirs to take home, chatted with the girl that owns the shop and then we were off again.


Next stop...Glass Window Bridge. I have seen pictures of this online, but I was not prepared for the breathtaking beauty of this spot on the island. To the right is the deepest blue ocean you can imagine, crashing waves, whitecaps and all the fury of an untamed sea. But look to the left and you will see tranquil, turquoise-blue sea, smooth as glass as far as the eye can see. Under the bridge the two meet as if lovers seperated and desperate to reunite. AMAZING!!! The three of us just stood in awe, speechless (which is quite a task for the three of us chatty girlz!!).




Back in the car and headed north...we decided to go to Harbour Island. A little bit of discussion, some apprehension on my part and off we were! (We didn't bring much cash with us on this leg of the trip, not many gas stations around, etc....what can I say, sometimes I'm a pessimist). Anyhoo - I think it was $10 each round-trip for the boat ride to Harbour Island. We didn't get a golf cart since it was only about 5 min walk to the beach. What a beach it was!! The pinkest pink sand I've ever seen. We played in the water (it was a H O T day!!!) relaxed on the beach and then began our voyage back "home" to Lil Red.


Being accustomed to our quick shower, crank the tunes, drink a Kalik routine, we were soon dressed and ready to go to the South Palmetto Fish Fry. Many more locals than Governors Harbour, but still fun. We got there in the nick of time for food and ran into our friend Mike. Had a few drinks, enjoyed a good laugh and called it an early nite!! A wonderful ending to our exciting day! (Hope)

Day Trippers

Saturday! Great sleep. However, all that sunscreen I slathered on? Can you say...Ouch? I am burned on the backs of my legs and bum - not good. (Note To Self: more sunscreen) We decided to head out for a bit of a look-see towards the North. We stopped in Governor's Harbour and went in the Islands 1st church? The Episcopalian Church. It was very pretty inside and out, just imagine your service steps away from the ocean! Gift store and then Burrow's for our much needed Aloe and some snacks for the drive. Off again.....beautiful views, you can see the Caribbean in most places from the highway. Queen's Highway not too bad - could be worse, few nutters who want to whiz past - nothing new!
I really wanted to stop in Rainbow Bay and try and find Dad's lot/plot! We think we did, near as dammit. The area looked like a nice spot to stay in - something to keep in mind for next time!
We putzed along the highway and "happened" upon a little signage for Surfer's Manor and beach and made a quick right and careened our way down a bumpy and sandy road. Eventually we came to a turnaround and decided we should stop here as the road turned into a steep, sandy downward slope.....not too good in a Taurus! The view was AWEsome! It was quite a ways down to the beach, there were really nice sized waves (a little out of our element- reminded me of Hawaii) and a gorgeous stretch of beach. It was yet another sight to behold. There must be an easier way to get to Surfer's Beach through Gregory Town! One day.........
We headed into Gregory Town and stopped at a really cute little gift shop, chatted with the lovely girl who owned/operated it, she had actually lived in Virginia for awhile. Super nice gifts and reasonable prices! We got most of our souvenir's here! Almost out of cash, we decided to press on to find Harbour Island.

Next was Glass Window Bridge, whilst we pretty much new what to expect from pictures we had seen, it was totally different to walk there yourself! The bridge has been washed away a few times and rebuilt kinda on top of what was left...Lots of rebar and concrete. The most mezmerizing site and sound was the Atlantic crashing its' way into the Caribbean. Speechless (for once). Was quite the sight to behold. High, rocky cliff on the Atlantic side with waves crashing into the rocks and then rocks making their way down to the calm Caribbean on the other side.

video


On the road again, we ended up a bit too far to the NE, uncharted territory perhaps? Made a quick "U-Turn" and found the water taxi's for Harbour Island. Kara and I spent most of the cash we had on us in the gift shop so we ended up debating whether to spend $10 each for the return trip to Harbour Island.....think budget vAcA?!?! After a few minutes of indecision we decided it was best to go now as we probably wouldn't drive back up this way! We were all really hot so the water taxi ride was perfect with the nice breeze! When we got to Harbour Island we asked how far it was to the public beach and were told only 5 minutes! The golf carts were about $40.00 for the day - no hourly rates...so we hoofed it! Absolutely charming little island, very quaint and "Up Market", picket fences, lots of flowers and Inn's and people riding up and down the little lanes in golf carts. We made our way uphill (ugh!) passed lots of chickens and roosters and finally found the steps down to the beach. WOW! Just beautiful. The kind of beach you have in your dreams. Pristine pink sand, with aqua waves crashing down. Could not get in the water quick enough! The water was perfect, felt so good to finally cool down. The waves were a decent size and there was a fairly strong current, but we played in the water for awhile finally getting out and relaxing on the sand.
Luckily, the walk back to the dock was downhill! Waited no time for a water taxi back to our car! Bought a nice cold soda from a guy at the dock and hopped in the back for the ride home. I think it took us almost an hour to get from the dock to South Palmetto. The sun was slowly setting - another beautiful day in Eleuthera:)
Once back at Lil Red House we had an ice cold Kalik and started the "holy quick shower" rotation, which we pretty much had down to almost....the last bit of hot water.

Refreshed and starving we headed to South Palmetto Fish Fry. Lots of people again, mostly locals though and not too many tourists or other regulars from Governor's Harbour. It's kind of a settlement thing! We just made it for the tail end of the food, Thank God! Not quite the same atmosphere as Anchor Bay but food was still tasty and we ran into our buddy, Mike, who got us a table and sat with us while we chowed down! They had some live music and Karaoke but the night was slowing down - if there were alot of "night life" here I wouldn't make it - I was worn out and ready to hit the sack.....Perri

Friday, April 11, 2008

TGIFFF...


We were up pretty early so we could go to Island Farm. Before showering and heading out, we had to sit on the deck to enjoy our island paradise....I think we are still in awe of beautiful Eleuthera.

Every Friday they have warm, fresh bread available for sale as well as local jams/jelly's. They have lots of plants and vegetation at the farm as well. Perri (?) inquired about a mango coconut..."what's that?" The lovely gentleman pulled out his machete...(RUN PERRI RUN!!) Just kidding...but he did pull out a machete and carved away the outer layers to poke a hole in the coconutty thing...then he put a straw in it for the three of us to share. It was a different flavor; sweet, salty, fruity, pithy...hard to describe, but tasty nonetheless.

After we left the Island Farm, we drove down the highway and found ourselves at Unique Village. It's on the Atlantic side of the island and we got our first view of actual waves. The Atlantic side is such a stark contrast to the Carribbean side - deep blue ocean, crashing waves, pink sand and a constant breeze. The untainted beauty of Eleuthera is beyond words. Standing on the hill looking down at the waves, I felt such peace and tranquility. It's as if we stepped into the enchanted garden (where's Eve?) - From there, we drove around a bit and then headed back to our beloved Lil Red.

Of course we had to indulge in the yummy breads we purchased...and OH YEAH...that danish butter was soooo goood on the fresh bread. I made a grilled cheese, 'cause...I like to eat! Next we got on our suits, grabbed our snorkel gear and headed to the beach.


Getting in the water was a little challenging - it's not very easy to navigate over coral with flippers on! We didn't go out very far but we saw a stingray, sea fans, coral and various fish, but not as many as I thought we would. Our adventurous nature kicked in when we navigated around the bend to Palmetto Point Beach. On the way back the tide must have started coming in because it felt like we were swimming in one of those endless pools (against the current), and to top it off I realized we were all SURROUNDED by jellyfish. Now either they were too little or not of the stinging nature because we made it back unscathed, but it definitely freaked me out.


After getting back to Lil Red (my legs were tired from all that swimming!!) we jumped in the shower, cranked the tunes, cracked open the ice cold Kalik and got dressed to go to the Friday Fish Fry in Anchor Bay.


We arrived to see a lovely mix of people, we even bumped into the lovely couple we met at the airport! We placed our order, had a beer and ate like we hadn't seen food in days!! We had worked up an appetite snorkeling.

The funny thing was you could get two Miller Lite's for $5.00...but the Kalik and Rum Bubbas were close to $5.00 each.


But if you are in Eleuthera you definetly need to put this on your list of things to do!!

Friday and the Fish Fry

Have made it to another day! Slept pretty good, little itchy. Hope - well, she didn't sleep so good. Seems her OCD got the better of her when she examined somethings a little too closely - noseeums and/or sand fleas...RotRow. Kara and I decided NOT to inspect anything too closely! We joined Hope on the deck to see the lovely pictures she had taken of the SunRise, fully aware of the fact that we would only be observing the Sunset:) Once again we had a nice little wake up marvelling at the colors of the Caribbean right in front of us! It certainly doesn't get old! We decided we would try and find the Island Farm and some of the homemade bread we kept hearing about. We drove our new way around past Dolce Vita and past what kinda resembles a white, deserted quarry of sorts. At times not really sure if it was a road or not....Made our way back to the Queen's Hwy. Found farm no prob...quite a few people milling around and purchasing fresh veg and fruit as well as lots of yummy bread and jam! Smallish loaf is about $6 and worth it. The kind gentleman who runs the farm, lots of local varieties of plants, flowering shrubs and trees gave us a fresh "mango coconut" - we shared, it was sweet and different. We moseyed around and enjoyed looking at everything and asking lots of questions about the names of the plants.

We hopped back in our Hoopty and headed for North Palmetto so we could see how accessible the Atlantic was. We happened upon Unique Village and had a peek around - didn't see a soul?!? Picturesque with incredible views, steps long way down to beach - beautiful contrast to the Caribbean side! We drove on, there were lots of "private driveways" along that stretch of road. We stopped at the "big tree" and I think one of us got a pic. Cruised the rest of the way back home and ate some more bread smothered in lovely Danish butter and jam!!

We all dug out our snorkel gear and slathered (we thought) on the sunscreen. I wore a tee because I already have some bad memories of snorkeling for hours with a bikini on (years ago) and getting fried. We headed out to our beach - navigating your way past the rock and/or spiny coral can be a bit tricky! Not too far and there was a ledge that dropped off quickly from knee/thigh deep to over 6 feet. It was great - water was perfect and calm and there was lots of coral - saw a stingray, few Trigger fish, schools of some small fish, Trumpet fish and lots and lots of very small clear jelly fish. Was a bit panicky when I looked at my girlz and saw they were surrounded - which obviously meant I was too...but either they were non-stinging variety or too small, wee bit of luck there. Lots of coral and sea fans but did not see as many fish as I thought I would. We didn't go too far out cause we are weenies and felt more comfortable staying near the rock, although we did go quite a long way around the bend to the next beach. We only realized when we started heading back that the water was a bit choppy now and the beach seemed a little further than we gauged! Our legs would certainly feel this the next day - and we knew we would sleep like the dead that night! We straggled back to the house, shells in hand, and had a beer and mused over our findings. Next was the "holy quick shower and shave" rotation, with IPOD tunes cranking to get ready for Anchor Bay Fish Fry in GH. Thank Goddess were are low maintenance girlz! We had our island groove on, our Kaliks nice and cold and we were off again (on the left, remember!)
I DO IN NO WAY CONDONE DRINKING AND DRIVING! ALWAYS FIND A SOBER DRIVER:)

Lots of cars already there, and music coming from huge speakers in the street. Lots of people mingling, tourists, expats, locals - great mix! Great vibe - a lovely couple we had met at the airport who are regulars on the island, gave us a shout out and told us how things worked - am sure her name sounded like a flower?? what was it? Bob and ??! Gotta get in the line to get your meal (after getting your drink - beers/rum bubbas pretty much US bar prices) write your name down on a styro box and tell them what you want (over the very loud music).
God only knows how they remember what everyone wants - mostly women getting all food containers ready and taking orders - they worked incredibly well together and were very friendly. I asked if I could just "try" one conch fritter as we weren't sure we would like them....and she was super nice and gave me one to try! Conch has quite a chewy consistency and is a little strong in flavor, in my opinion, but after trying others these were the best - they had a nice peppery bite to them. The meals were $10 each - great deal. You had your choice of fried red snapper, grilled pork chop or BBQ chicken and conch fritters with a side of coleslaw, potato salad, rice & peas or a block of dense mac-n-cheese. I had the chicken and coleslaw and it was fantastic - and I was starving after all that snorkeling. We stood in the sand at a wooden thingy and ate like we hadn't seen food in days- BBQ sauce EVERYwhere!! Yummy. Fully sated, we wandered back to the "tent" area for another Kalik and a port-a-potty break...(fyi- by evenings end, to some, the ocean was the port-a-potty- Uh....AWKWARD) Music was going full blast now, we mingled and chatted with lots of people and took lots of pics with people. Who saw the Steven Spielberg look-alike? Hope? Kara? dragged me over to take a picture with this nice stranger.....I'm like - you girlz - this is so Not Spielberg.....SMILE = click!! We were having fun! We gave a ride to a new buddy, Mike, who was going our way and just happened to be friends with the people we had met at Mate & Jenny's. Exhausted - we collapsed. Even Hope managed to "forget" about the bugs and go to sleep. Ready for another day!
By Perri


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Luck be a lady...

Needless to say, we were a little "fuzzy" the next morning! I was the first one up...again...I was getting ready to head out to the deck, when I heard a knock on the door. It was Dorrell checking to make sure we were doing alright. (He dropped the "painter" off next door to work on Spencer's new construction) That was really sweet!!

Soon, Kara and Perri were up and we were sitting on the deck together looking at our wonderful (new) view. Since arriving at the Lil Red House in the cover of darkness, we didn't know that we were OCEANFRONT. Lucky us!! Things were really starting to look promising.

Excited to FINALLY have running water...we all took our first shower in two days! The water pressure sucked but man that was the best shower......EVER. Emerging from our cottage clean, shiny and new we climbed in the Taurus, tackled the bumpity road and went to the store in Palmetto Point. We picked up a few grocery items, Shampoo, Goombay Punch (yummy!) and more Cadbury bars.

Back at the house, I was feeling sleepy and still a little "fuzzy" so I was relieved when Perri and Kara wanted to take a nap. I'm not usually one for the mid-day nap, but since my stomach was still doing flip-flops and my head was heavy, I was happy to lay on the bed with the A/C pumping and nap for a couple hours.

When we woke we went out to the beach and started walking; thankfully there were no dogs to be found. A little way up the beach we heard country music (definately an older song we all knew, but can't remember now)...we kept walking wondering where it was coming from. We passed a house with two couples on the deck...said Hello and they invited us up for a drink.

Two canadian couples that met on vacation in Cuba...we chatted and kept feeling something nip at our legs. The two ladies told us about the no-seeums and showed us their horrible, blistery bites. They gave us the last of their Beachcomber Buds Coconut Oil since they were departing the next day. The coconut oil soothed the bites and kept the noseeums at bay (for a few minutes at least). Chatted for a while then headed back to our house.

Decided to go back to store to get a "to-go" sandwich, back to the house and in front of the TV to watch...S U R V I V O R!! Yes, even on vaca we like to catch our shows. Dexter was on after that...at the time I was the only one following that show, but I made an addict out of Perri!! We stayed up for a while, then off to bed we went. We were planning on an early-ish start in the morning to hit Island Farms for some fresh bread...

Thursday........in Paradise

We slept well in our rustic surroundings, thanks in part to our imbibing the night before and our getting in and out of Ocean Hole a few times! Perhaps just a little wobbly in the morning but the weather and the view soon put the wind back in our sails! It was closer confines than Seabreeze (2 dbls and one loo) but after seeing our new view we knew we had made the right decision - and not a dog in sight - praise Jah! So for under $300 each person for seven nights (really six @ Lil Red) we were still doing good......there was a few OCD moments but they were easy to pass over due to our private and beautiful tropical surroundings! We vowed never to leave.....
We took our morning slowly - we had adapted to "Island Time". We sat on the deck and were in awe of our view. We finally got our showers in - um....yea long time for us Americans with no water 'cept salt water! We also were "green" when it came to being water conscious while we were there knowing conservation is crucial on Eleuthera! We then made a trip to the newer store in Palmetto. We got some supplies and groceries and then made our way back to the house. It was super sunny and hot (and I was feeling a wee bit hung over - mybad), so we decided to spend a little down time in the house, eat grilled cheese sandwiches, little nap (just cause we could!) and wait till later in the afternoon to go and explore our beach. We ventured out to our beach - we were relaxed and happy campers and there wasn't another soul on the beach! There was tons of cool shells to be found - they were everywhere, and if you bent down (which kills the back and knees) you could spy some real "keepers" - love shelling! We heard some music coming from the cliff - Ya know that "I'm getting my buzz on..let's see how loud I can crank this?!?!? - I'm thinking it was country, some little ditty you'd know the words too.....anyho, later to find out it was the house of an expat going by the name "Cowboy", is a bit of a character there in the middle of Eleuthera! We saw a group of people up above on their deck and we all holla'd "hey!". We were invited up for a drink. It was their last nite there! They were a delightful two couples from Canada. We had a good natter and that's the first time we noticed the "bugs".....noseeum's biting you every second - omg! We were getting eaten alive - the girlz then showed us ALL of their bites!! Worse than Survivor One....huge and blistery AND EVERYWHERE! Out of the four peeps only one guy had NO bites. This was a sign of "bites to come" SERiously!! We moseyed on home and decided to go back to Palmetto to the gas station/store to get a sandwich "to go" and some more Cadbury's. We sat on our little two person couch with one chair and settled in for - yep, you got it.....Survivor. There are some TV shows you just don't want to miss. Yes, I like TV wherever I go. I wouldn't have missed the Fish Fry for it, but for a night when you just want to relax it was perfect. We made our calls home with a calling card we bought - had to check in with the families and let them know where we were now! We watched the sunset on the Caribbean and it was picture perfect, sailboat off in the distance, balmy weather, palm tree......What lucky girlz we were:)
Perri

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tarpum Bay, Beautiful Beaches, and Vicious Dogs.....

The drive to Tarpum Bay was beautiful. Queens Highway runs the length of the island - a twisty, curvy road with little to no signage directing us...The sea was amazing...it shone in the most incredible shades of turquoise, aqua, teal....Our view was mainly of the Caribbean. (It took us a couple of days, really, to find the Atlantic even though the island is barely two miles wide!)

After traveling, I guess about 45 minutes south on Queen's Highway, stopping to admire the views and take pictures, We found our adorable little house in Tarpum Bay...off of Queen's Highway and offset from the road. We turned right, from the left side of the road...(it was a bit difficult getting the whole English way of driving down....) onto the gravel drive and were THRILLED at what we saw. There was our secluded little brand-new house and from the porch at the back of the house was a beautiful view of the Caribbean.

We could not wait to get out of the clunker and into that house! Loved it! Perfect! Beautiful......

Yet, Perri and Hope have mentioned our travails - the scorpion - I thought we were in big trouble. I had no clue there would be scorpions. We told one of the locals, they said that they really don't see that many scorpions.....hmmmm, one of the few on the island and IT'S IN HOPE'S BEDROOM! Well, as Perri mentioned, the scorpion suffered a tragedy, and we all were able to sleep our first night in Eleuthera (not without checking under the beds, under the sheets, inside the pillowcase......etc)

Next morning, BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR A WALK ON THE BEACH!

Cannot express the tranquility, the beauty, and the absolute peace I felt on that beach. The walking was a bit difficult, though. As we found out, the Caribbean side of the island is much rockier than the Atlantic side. There are ledges of rock, at times, between you and the sea which makes for a bit of a treacherous trek into the water. There is no running and jumping straight into the ocean on this side of the island.....which brings me back to the walk. There we were, enjoying the sun, the walk, the shells.... Quite a way down the beach from our house, on the hill above the beach, we saw a dog. No sooner had I said, "Oh, look a dog...." did that thing come bounding down that hill, onto the beach - and he brought his friends with him!!!! These were not nice dogs, these were Cujo's friends! One even had yellowish eyes! Controlled panic is all I can think when I look back: My thoughts were -we are going to be attacked; question was, how many of us would be bitten and how bad was it going to be......Adrenaline and instinct made the three of us immediately turn around and head back to the house. We could not stay on the beach - we had to get something between us and them so we headed into the water. Yet, These dogs DID NOT STOP! They just kept coming after us. Hope was our lookout, really, and the furthest in the water from them....It was Hope, Perri in the middle, and me closest to the beach......we kept edging deeper into the water...walking (stumbling) over the rocks....we grasped hands. The three of us were in a chorus line of sorts, our elbows were bent, I had Perri's right hand in my left, Perri had Hope's right hand in her left.....and we kept walking.....we walked as closely together as we could....all the while they were behind us, growling and snarling .....only after we were safe did Hope let on that one of the dog's was inches from MY ARSE!!!

We Survived obviously, realized we truly had no running water in the house as Perri had mentioned, met the local police, and decided that Tarpum Bay was nice, but GOTTA GO! We moved on from our perfect house, and with the persistence, energy, control and determination she so well embodies, Perri got our money back - ALL OF IT- and began the search for our next home away from home......

Moving on up...the coast that is

Okay, so after our horrible run-in with the dogs, and our visit from Officer Turnquest, the day was still young. We hopped in the car and headed south to Rock Sound. A few turns later and we were staring in amazement at Ocean Hole...a saltwater hole (the size of a large lake) in the middle of town. We looked at the fish, took in the scenery and wondered "didn't we read that you can swim in here?" We knew you could jump in...but how to get out was the real question.

Then a church mission group from South Carolina pulled up. Some of the kids made their way down the steps while others were at the top stripping off shirts...then "SPLASH!" We looked up to see the teens jumping off the cliff above into the ocean hole. Perri being the "talk to anyone" kinda girl she is, struck up conversation with the teens who then showed us how to get out. After some convincing, Perri and I decided we could jump off that cliff too. COWABUNGA!! Kara jumped in as well, but from the lower cliff...still adventurous since that was not exactly close to the water either.
We stayed at Ocean Hole for a while longer before deciding to head back to the house to shower......hopefully! Ahhhh, but no such luck...no water, and come to find out there had been a problem with the water prior to our arrival. At this point, we were all fed up with our current lodging situation and scared to death to go back on the beach. Perri called the cottage owners sister and nicely demanded all of our money back (including our security deposit.) The funds had to be rounded up. While waiting for our monies, Kara and I began packing and Perri began calling around to find us another abode. I went into panic mode a little...we were unfamiliar with the island and our reservation for Seabreeze had been secured months in advance...how were we going to find somewhere to stay, in our PRICE RANGE at this late point in the day???

After a couple of phones calls (small island, remember?) Perri arranged for us to meet Spencer Thompson at Mate & Jenny's in South Palmetto Point, about a 20 minute ride north. We packed up the car, did a last minute sweep of the house, decided to grab those beach towels (okay, they belonged with the cottage, but we just borrowed them...they are still in Eleuthera...lol) and by 7:30 we were on our way.

Spencer was not at Mate & Jenny's when we got there, but Mate let us use the phone; Spencer was only minutes away. We had a drink whilst waiting for him and began making conversation about our almost fatal dog attack with some locals. Upon Spencer's arrival we promised our new friends, Mate, Dorrell, Kevin, James & Meagan that we would return in a while.

Dorrell and Meagan

We followed Spencer down a road that was treacherously bumpy and had potholes that I'm sure could swallow a Mini Cooper. By this point it was dark, but we turned off the road down a short drive and there in the night was the Lil Red House.

Spencer had it prepped for our arrival and although much smaller and older than the Seabreeze Cottage, it was cozy and felt like the place to be. We paid Spencer, staked out our rooms (okay, Kara and Perri went left, I went right...LOL), debated for a few minutes about going back to Mate & Jenny's then hopped in the car.

I'm not sure if it was fate or luck, but something was working in our favor, you see, Spencer was departing the next morning for Miami. He was going on a cruise with his family (otherwise he would have joined us for a drink at Mate & Jenny's). How fortunate we were...

Our new friends were happy that we kept our word and eventhough Mate was closing (officially), he said not to worry. He even made us a bite to eat. We chatted, drank, danced, sang and let the perils of the day fade away into the darkness. Finally (I think around 1:00 am?) Mate decided he was going home. Being the night owl, party girlz we are, Perri and I immediately invited everyone back to the Lil Red House...(sorry Kara)

Down the bumpity road we went again. Everyone pitched in and helped us unload the car. Then we chit chatted the night away. By 2:30 everyone departed, exhausted (mentally and physically) we collapsed snug as bugs in our beds. Day two of our trip turned out to be the re-start to our Eleutheracation that we needed...

Off to a relaxing start...


We arrived at our "first" beach cottage rental Riley's Seabreeze Cottage. It was beautiful! Clean, brand new, 2 bedrooms, washer/dryer, just perfect...or so we thought! We were informed that the water pressure had been a little "low" that day (no problem!). We couldn't get unpacked quick enough to run to the beach.

After being awestruck by the beauty of the beach, we decided to get settled. The cottage was very well equipped and nicely decorated with new furniture and such. We made our way into Tarpum Bay for a "to go" dinner from Sammy's...very nice lady that runs the place. Kara and I had the chicken; Perri had the red snapper. When she opened the lid to her meal she had this funny look on her face, so of course Kara and I were intrigued...well, Perri got the WHOLE fish head and all. YIKES!!

We ate, chatted and then decided to put on our PJ's and watch a little TV to unwind. As I entered my room, much to my amazement (and SHOCK) there was a damn scorpion slithering across the bedroom floor. "Peeerrriiii.....help!!" And to my rescue she came, with conch shell in hand she chopped that scorpion in half! (not to scare anyone...it was a baby...lol) Although a little uneasy, I did managed to sleep pretty good that night.

Oh, before I forget...the water...well, that night it was a little trickle, so we hosed off in the yard after taking a dip. Since we are adventurous and checked our OCD in Nassau, we weren't too bothered by not being able to shower that evening...surely the morning would bring water pressure with the sunshine.

I was up early the next morning (okay it was 9 ish, but I was the first one up...HA!) I swept and waited for my girlz to wake; I didn't have to wait very long. We got our tea and made a b-line for the beach, where we took piccies, looked for shells and enjoyed our morning with one another. It was a little windy, but as the day progressed the wind died down.

We went back to the house for a bit, still no water pressure, in fact...NO WATER at all!! UGH! We decided to start the afternoon with a stroll on the beach. Heck, we are on vacation after all!

We were enjoying the sun, the water on our feet and conversation with each other. About 1/4 mile away from our cottage, we saw a dog in someone's yard. The dog was barking and running back and forth. We thought "okay doggie, we get the point...that's your yard...we're walking". Suddenly there were five dogs, barking, growling and coming after us! Kara and I are "dog people" , but we were petrified. The three of us linked arms, and walked into the water. The waves crashed and the dogs kept coming. The rocky ledge of the ocean was tearing at our feet; making us slip and stumble, but we kept moving forward. Finally, we entered waist deep waters, the dogs were held at bay, but still in hot pursuit.

We stared straight ahead, waded fast as we could and finally about 20 yards from our house, they turned and ran away. Still scared and shaken, we stayed in the water for a little bit, until they were almost back in their yard. We got our belongings and ran fast as hell to the house. Perri and Kara had to have a ciggie and all three of us were in need of a drink...an alcoholic one...like a beer! "Holy Shit" and "WTF" were about the only responses would could muster for a few minutes.

Perri got on the phone to the Department of Tourism, who suggested we go to the Tarpum Bay Police. We got in the car, drove 5 minutes up the road and found the PD. They looked at us, laughed (probably thinking...Crazy American Girlz!), but Officer Turnquest assured us he would check out the situation. He checked it out, came to our house and informed us that the dogs were "wild bitches" and if they weren't on someone's property he would have shot them! His advice...stay off the beach. HUH?? Ummmm....that's kinda the reason we came to Eleuthera...to stay ON the beach!!

Officer Turnquest









First Nite & Next Very Long Day....Tarpum Bay


We had quite the journey down to Tarpum Bay, each time we stopped to take pictures, all I could think of was how badly I wanted to get into that crystal clear water! And it was HOT! The roads are rough and there are very few signs along the Queen's Highway. We "happened" thru Governor's Harbour and stopped at the Shell Station - only to find out that "everything" is pretty much on a "cash basis!" No Shell cards, no credit cards - just good old cash. Thought at the time the store wasn't that well stocked.....well actually it is! Large selection of canned and boxed food. On the HWY again....seemed like forever to get there, but Hope was doing a great job at driving on the left hand side of the road with a left hand car! We spotted the house and made the correct assumption (quite an easy process of elimination) and we drove on into Tarpum Bay and the lady at the little market let us use the phone so we could call the homeowner's sistah to meet us at the cottage. Had a peek around store, with the occasional cockaroach scurrying by and reminded myself "I am on a tropical island..." Finally met up at the house and all seemed just great! Brand new house! Gorgeous views - couldn't be more private. Whew! We made it! We got our cossies on and ventured out to the beach for a pre-sunset swim. I say swim loosely because the tide was way, way out. So we kinda floated in very warm, clear, knee deep water. It felt so good to let all your worries go and relax.
Next we ventured in to shower and go and seach for some food. Yeah, uh, sorry... no shower tonite. Good old hose rinse off outside, I always get sand in my pants. I think maybe Hope had her eye on me when I walked in the house to make sure my feet were sandless. OCD + SAND=bad mix:} She had already spied the broom. This is our first trip altogether and we all know I am not "known for neatness" so I wasn't too sure what I could get away with.....I didn't want Hope secretly wanting to swipe ME with the broom! We dressed and looked at some great notes & recommendations that had been left for us and we ventured into Tarpum Bay convinced we were all gonna love the fresh conch salad, well Hope and I did - Kara was smart and knew well enough to steer clear! After watching the local "conch maker" we decided against it. We went into the local "order your food to go" place (Sammy's?) and got our food to go. We asked where we could buy beer and we were directed to a little building a block down. Just a few older, local guys drinking beer, and we went and asked for a 12 pack of KALIK and when the guy told us $37 I almost fell over....Search around for cheapest beer - great liquor store in South Palmetto on the left driving North. Hope and Kara got the BBQue Chicken and I got the fried Red Snapper. Was good, prefer my fish guillotined though, and the rice & peas is good but more like brown rice and lentils (actually pigeon peas), and you get a thick chunk/block of mac-n-cheese. Hope put her PJ's on and we were all gonna relax and watch a little TV to wind down. But wait............Yes, that's Hope's ScReAm! Tada....Perri to the rescue. Who knew there were Scorpions on Eleuthera? Sorry, but we had to smush it in half....it had to go and not onto the porch either! Kara and I gorged our Cadbury's Picnic bar (yea! Cadbury's...luv'n it), while Hope nibbled hers and saved for later. ONCE AGAIN....tropical island=bugs! Hers was covered in the AM with minute sand flea thingys - not even rinsable. Needless to say we finally collapsed in bed and slept great.


New day, got up and wandered down to beach with tea in hand - Serenity Now! Was Nirvana! Per Hope, see about the dogs! I have never been so petrified in my life.....We were all in major panic stage - wondering what to do. If we got too deep in the water would they stay on the shoreline? Would they ever go away? They were right on our asses so it wasn't like you could stop to find a piece of coral/lava rock to what......... throw at 5 dogs? WTF?? I was so, so peesed off! I got out the phone book and called the Ministry of Tourism....Hope tells about our adventure where we pretty much got laughed right out of Tarpum Bay at the Police Station. We knew we were not going back on the beach so we decided it was still early enough to "find Ocean Hole" in Rock Sound. We gassed up and went searching. After asking directions, we were on our way again....Think small roads, very small settlements with lots of lefts and rights. We Found It! We were so hot and the water was so inviting we couldn't wait to jump in. Yea....easy to get in but how in the heck do you get out. We looked and talked and lo and behold here comes a group of teens from South Carolina visiting on a mission - all very sweet and polite. They were all lining up getting ready to jump in from the very top and we were asking them how they planned to get out! We couldn't wait for our turn. I jumped off a lower ledge - and managed to get out so we were confident we'd make it. Hope and I jumped from the very top and one of the kids got a great picture of her jumping. Kara came in at the lower ledge - it was a "BIG" jump and you either had to "run at it or jump really far out", at last we were all relaxing in the healing waters of Ocean Hole! What a thrill.



Getting out is very doable - just ungainly, as you can see! And Hope is getting a good chuckle watching me trying to pull my fat arse up! LOL! Then we kept driving looking for a beach and we got way off any beaten track - we were in the middle of knowhere! (Me thinks we were almost to Light House Beach?!?) Wisely decided to turn around and make our way back to the house hoping the issue with the city water had been solved! No water - come to find out there had been a problem with the new city water for quite awhile. Hhmm....doesn't sound good. Luckily after all that ensued we were able to find another place to go.......we got a full refund which had to be "gathered" but we waited patiently...and there was alot of luck involved because Spencer's Lil Red House was about the only rental in our little local booklet left on the counter other than a $500 per night resort! Hope and Kara went on a RE-packing frenzy while I sucked down my Kalik and called Spencer for the ThIrD time telling him we were on our way.............oh and how do we get there? It was a few Xanax and Kaliks later that we arrived (hot and sweaty - no less) at Mate & Jenny's in South Palmetto, ordered a drink and used the phone to call Spencer to "come get us" (we were to return to Mate & Jenny's pronto for a few more cocktails and some friend making). Not much business goes on after 7 or 8 at nite and Spencer was packing to go on a family cruise. He was super friendly and we followed him down a dark and VERY bumpy road to our new humble abode! We ended up closing Mate & Jenny's and making some new friends.........
By Perri

ps. Our new local buddies thought it was really funny that we wanted to jump in Ocean Hole! They don't! We are going to get them to jump in next time!