Bold And Beautiful

One of the great things about a visit to the Bahamas this time of year is the welcome contrast in colors.  In the northern U.S., except for Christmas lights and decorations, it’s drab and dreary, a study in shades of gray from the sky to the ground.  Here around Freeport, however, the tropical plants are blooming in an explosion of colors, all of which are cast in sharp relief by the bright sunshine.  The effect is stunning.

Vacation’s End

Well, Kish and I have experienced a bit of temperature shock on our return home.  During our stay in the Bahamas we enjoyed mostly sunny days with temperatures in the 70s.  Here in Columbus it is snowing and the wind chill factor is probably in the single digits.  Morning walks in the Bahamas were barefoot strolls on the warm sands, accented by the coconut smell of suntan lotion and fragrant tropical breezes.  This morning the walk was a slippery, bundled up tromp across crusty snow-covered ground, with snow pellets blowing against every inch of exposed skin.

Vacations always seem to end abruptly, but this is ridiculous.

Vacation Time: Waterfront Bars

What is it about waterfront establishments that are so conducive to a pleasant drinking experience?

A view from the deck at Banana Bay

Beers rarely taste so good as they do when you are sitting at a picnic table, gazing out at the surf from under palm trees and a thatched roof, and eating a hot conch fritter.  There are two good waterfront venues within walking distance of the Pisciottas’ home, and we’ve taken advantage of both of them on this trip.

To the left, about a 15-minute walk away, is Banana Bay.  It has a big covered deck with picnic tables that looks out over the broad sweep of Banana Bay and a sand spit that stretches far out into the ocean at low tide.

Chuck at the entrance to the Sand Bar

To the right, past Club Fortuna, is the Sand Bar.  It is a smaller establishment with a narrow entrance off the beach, two outside decks with good views of the beach and ocean, and a dim interior bar with a sand-covered floor and a collection of local characters.

Banana Bay is more of a lunch restaurant with a drink menu, whereas the Sand Bar is more of a bar with a few food choices. They are both good options for a cold beer on a hot day.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone!

Kish and I rang in the New Year at a Shoreline party that featured shepherd’s pie and apple pie for food, dance music played by a synthesizer and guitar, lots of alcohol consumed by about 90 guests, and then bonfires on the beach as fireworks burst in the sky above nearby Port Lucaya.  Standing on cool Bahamian sand with an ocean breeze at your back with your lovely wife and close friends, watching bonfire flames  and sparks climb toward the stars in a clear night sky, is a good way to start the New Year.

Vacation Time: The View From The Deck

The infamous Pisciotta deck

We’re down in the Bahamas, at the Pisciottas’ sumptuous home in the Shoreline development outside Freeport.  It is a fantastic, relaxing place where we always enjoy ourselves. So far, we’ve managed to eat some good Caribbean food, drink beer at several oceanside bars, and crash a party thrown by some of the many Brit residents in the development.

The view from the foot of stairs at the bottom of the deck

We particularly enjoy the sprawling deck, which looks out over the Atlantic and is well-suited for a breakfast talk, a mid-afternoon siesta, or drinks before the evening festivities.  It has a great view of the ocean, and when you sit out there, sipping a beer and listening to the gentle sound of the ocean, you can’t help but relax.

Pool Music

We are down in the Bahamas visiting our good (and generous) friends Chuck and Laura Pisciotta. They are graciously hosting us at their lovely second home near Freeport, and we have had a wonderful time.

Yesterday we were sitting out by the pool on a bright sunny day and were listening to the trusty Ipod played over our portable speaker set-up. I chose my Orlando Ave. playlist, which features songs from the 1950s and early 1960s, up to the cusp of the British invasion. I have to say it is just about perfect pool music — the Four Seasons, the “girl groups” of the early 1960s, the Coasters, Connie Francis, and so on, with some Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Jerry Lee Lewis sprinkled in. The songs tend to be light and bouncy in tone and short in duration, and before you know it you are on to the next one. I never thought Dominique by the Singing Nun would appeal to Chuck’s musical tastes, but in that setting it did.

Countdown To Freeport

We are less than a month away from a much-anticipated visit with our old (in the sense of long-time, of course) friends Chuck and Laura Pisciotta at their excellent vacation getaway home on the outskirts of Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island. While there we will sleep in, drink Kalik beer, have great conversations on their deck, and luxuriate in the sun — weather permitting. Russell, we will try to say hello to Mr. Sun on your behalf!

I have attached a link to some video of Deadman’s Cove, where we snorkeled during our last visit. We saw all kinds of fish and other aquatic life, including watching a flock of rays glide majestically past as we floated in the warm, tropical water. I can almost taste the fried lobster now . . . .