You’d expect a wedding in the Bahamas to be different from a wedding in the Midwest, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when two bottlenose dolphins showed up after the ceremony. The dolphins and their trainers, from the UNEXSO facility next door, entertained the wedding guests with some precision acrobatics, flips, and well-crafted maneuvers. It was pretty amazing stuff.
Aside from a first-class dolphin show, other significant differences between midwestern weddings and Bahamian weddings would include lots of blue water, bright sunshine, guests in sunglasses, conch fritters during the cocktail hour, and potent rum drinks. It’s a good place for a wedding.
This morning we wandered around the Port Lucaya marketplace, getting our bearings, then stopped at a local joint for breakfast. I asked our server for a recommendation of a local favorite, and without hesitation she suggested the tuna and grits. How could I say no?
It was excellent. The tuna was mixed with onions and a spicy sauce and was bursting with eye-opening flavor, and the grits were creamy and spicy, all at the same time. Add in a delightful dining companion, a hot sun, sunglasses, reggae and steel drum music pumping from the sound system, and the sea tang heavy in the air, and it took all of my willpower to refrain from washing it down with an ice-cold bottle of Sands.
Freeport, Bahamas is a significant port. No surprise there — presumably, that’s how Freeport got its name in the first place. It’s very close to the American mainland, and a convenient stopping point for ships coming and going to the U.S. of A.
During our recent visit to Freeport we had the opportunity to take a boat trip past the port, thanks to our gracious hosts the Bahamians, and therefore got to see some of the larger ships up close. What’s interesting to me, as a dry landed Midwesterner, is the many different kinds of big boats you see around the Freeport port. Tankers, tugs, and tenders, construction boats and unloading boats — each with its own special design related to its specific function in making the port work.
When you get to the tropics, you get bright sunshine — and bright colors. The brighter the better! No boring beige here, thank you very much! We’ll go for lurid pinks and purples, lemons and greens, and pastels as far as the eye can see. They are a better match for the aquamarine water and green plants and deep blue sky.
Whether it’s a seaside beer joint or a resort like Old Bahama Bay, everyone adheres to the Bahamas palette. The color scheme is so prevalent that, when we walked past a house painted a staid gray yesterday we shook our heads and thought: “What were they thinking?”
When we pulled into the lagoons at Port Lucaya, Freeport, to dock last night, the sun was sinking, the air was cooling, and the water was smooth as glass and a mirror to the sky.
I think it is crucially important to any Midwesterner’s sanity to get a little beach time every once in a while. When it happens during the middle of winter it’s a bonus.
Nice change from gray and cold Columbus!
In Port Lucaya, on Grand Bahama Island, we welcomed in 2012 with a beach bonfire, fireworks, and very cool hot air balloons.
Happy New Year!
It’s been a long, hard year for us all. Time for a cocktail, some relaxation, and the tough mental and physical preparation for whatever New Year’s Eve celebration you may grace as 2011 draws to a close and we ring in the New Year.