Island Hopper

6 Mar

I’m back in the States, so I thought I’d check in with a quick report about what I’ve been up to since I last posted something here. Wednesday night I flew down to Florida, and Thursday morning I flew to the Bahamas for four days on a (free) press trip. Not too shabby. The trip was to a hotel in the Abacos, and while it wasn’t the most luxurious hotel I’ve been to, I can say it was the nicest one I’ve ever stayed at in the Bahamas — since this was my first time to that part of the world. There were three other journalists on the trip, all around the same age as me and from varied other publications, so that made it fun.

Anyway, as opposed to, say, Nassau or Freeport, the Abacos are a quieter, more laid-back part of the Bahamas, and the trip’s low-key itinerary reflected that. Thursday night we had a nice dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Friday we went to Hope Town and walked around there during the day; at night we went out to a couple bars near the hotel for drinks and dinner, and danced with the locals at one place where a great band was playing. Saturday the group of us went island hopping aboard a 20-foot motorboat (easily the best part of the trip), and then at night we had dinner al fresco by the pool. After breakfast on Sunday we headed back to the States, and that was that.

I took about 115 photos while I was there, some really great. I’d have taken more, but Saturday my camera got a bit too wet, and let’s just say it is now on the permanent disabled list. I’ll post a link to more of my pictures when I’m back in Boston, but you can get a sampling here. And yes, I came back with a little bit of a sunburn, like I usually do when I go somewhere warm, and actually, I also busted up one of my toes. But there were good things too, including the fact that I ate stuff like conch fritters, something I’d never had before (and probably never will again). And the times on the boats — Saturday, and the ride back from Hope Town to the hotel on Friday — really were a lot of fun.

I want to add that on Saturday I saw one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, on Guana Cay (pronounced key). Of course, I saw it after the camera broke, so I have no photographic proof of its existence, but you have to believe me when I say that I’ve never seen sand that pristine or water that clear. There were even dolphins swimming just off-shore. And I came back with a really unusual, really cool shell, which is a great memento. We had a star sighting in the Fort Lauderdale airport on Thursday; David Caruso, from CSI: Miami, was also going to the Bahamas (I think to Nassau). And I loved that the airport in Marsh Harbour was literally two rooms: one for arrivals and one for departures. There was not even an X-ray or metal detector before you boarded the plane, nor was there an actual baggage claim area. (An interesting piece of trivia is that this is the same airport that Aaliyah left from when she died in 2001.)

So, overall, it was a good time. And now I can say I’ve been to the Bahamas. Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been up to since I got back to Florida.

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