Friday, October 23, 2009

Discovering the Grand Bahamas!

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I am not sure that anyone lives for adventure like we do!!!

It's ironic how it is so much easier to get up early in the morning with very little sleep for something fun and exciting than it is to get up for work on a full 8 hours of sleep. Even though we live in south Florida and are loving it, I still find it exciting to go and visit other spots of paradise and so did Uday when he found out that I gave him a gift for a one night and two day trip to The Grand Bahama Island for his 30th birthday! My mom and I also bought him an underwater camera to use for snorkeling.

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale at 5:45am for our cruise to the Bahamas on the Discovery Sun Cruise ship. It is smaller than a "typical" cruise ship but had a pool and included a complimentary breakfast buffet and on the way back the next day a free dinner buffet. I used the pool but Uday did not since it feels like their is an audience and everyone is watching, but it got hot and I was glad I had a swim in it and cooled off. It was filled with salt water from the ocean and I loved how much easier it was to float.

Uday's birthday was on September 24th but since we had to move out of our Townhouse that weekend because our new renters were moving in and it was too difficult to go that weekend, we went the following weekend on October 3rd and 4th. It was also good timing since Uday had been working really hard with his new job and we already could use a break from my Mom and she with us since we moved in with her for a while!

I was planning on catching up on some sleep and some reading on the cruise but Uday was too excited to check everything out and take pictures. For entertainment we played Bingo, explored the ship and did a lot of people watching. Their was also a casino on the ship but we did not go in there as we wanted to keep our money for the rest of our trip. We enjoyed the entertainment where they held contests for the people on board.

In about 5 hours we landed in Freeport Bahamas and after a somewhat long process at our hotel called
Flamingo Bay, and we were off to visit the caves we learned about all the way on the east side of the island.

Driving fast on our rented scooter, Uday was in the front and I in the back, we were off on a new adventure. We were told it would take about 45 minutes but it seemed to be a lot longer than that until we finally reached our destination. As soon as we got there it began to rain. I did not mind it because my bathing suit was on under my blue cotton dress and it made it more exciting and fun with the rain. Giggling with my dress up above my knees I ran alongside Uday to take shelter in our first cave.

I know this is not very lady like but it was a long drive on the scooter and no restrooms on the long empty road of trees so with no one around and some shelter I used the cave as a good spot to take rest.

Then the rain got harder as we journeyed on through the trail to visit the next caves. I thought this cave made for a pretty picture.

After we visited the caves we walked across the street to go visit "Golden Beach". It was still raining but we came so far we did not want to turn around and leave because we knew that we would have no time the next day. In addition it was raining so hard that we probably would not get very far on our scooter.

We walked along a nature trail before getting to the beach and took some shelter under a pavilion waiting for the rain to ease up. We used this opportunity to spend some romantic time together and to take pictures of nature.

When we finally arrived to the beach we were disappointed that it was high tide! This beach is famous for its beauty at low tide, thus the name "Golden Beach" for the length of beautiful sand. But we still went for a swim in the rain and enjoyed the warmth of the ocean and took more pictures of nature. If we get to go back again we will definitely plan it out better to see this beach at low-tide. It was interesting to me to see the underneath of trees.

Besides a few people in the distance that we thought were drowning for a little bit and then realized they were just having fun along the sand bars in the middle of the ocean we had the whole beach to ourselves and shortly these people also left.

We reached back to our hotel by nightfall and went downtown to Lucaya for some dinner and night entertainment. We danced to some live reggae music and then a D.J playing dance music and we had a lot of fun.

The next morning we ate at the Greek restaurant which was also where I had the best coconut shrimp the night before. We were told that this Greek place, ironically was the best restaurant in town and they also made local food. I had the best coconut french toast I have ever had for breakfast. Actually the only coconut french toast I have ever had! I would recommend this place for dinner or breakfast!!

All of the snorkeling trips got canceled this morning due to not having enough people to take out so we searched and searched for a place to snorkel and finally found out about a place all the way on the west side of the island called, "Deadman's Reef" at Paradise Cove. Uday was a little frightened by the name of the reef because he is always thinking about sharks but before we knew it we were back on our scooter again for another long ride. This was another place where we practically had the whole beach to ourselves and were met by a nice guy who works there selling snacks and snorkeling equipment.

Below is just a few examples of the beauty we found here but as usual these pictures do not do this place justice.

"Deadman's Reef" - is called so because if a ship were to miss spotting this reef and hit it might lead to their death as it is huge and even bigger underneath the water!

The water was very clear and perfect for snorkeling!

There were a lot more fish that I did not get on my camera but Uday got on his new birthday gift, filming with his underwater camera.

We did not snorkel the whole reef because we did not want to be late and miss our cruise ship back home. But after Uday talked more with the guy who worked there, took more pictures at Paradise Cove, we had just about the time we needed to get gas, get back to turn in the scooter and get our luggage at our hotel.

But since Uday and I always run late and get side-tracked easily we decided to take pictures of all of the conch shells we saw along the way and to take one stinky one home with us.

We suddenly realized that we had less time than we thought and that it takes more time than we thought to do everything we needed to do to make it back to our ship on time. In a panic and driving as fast as our scooter would go we tried to think positive!

We turned in our scooter and got a taxi from there to our hotel to pick up our luggage and the taxi guy charged us "an arm and a leg", could have been literal with how fast he was driving to help us get back to our ship on time!

We were so happy when we got through immigration before they closed and saw our ship! Even though we had fun and we would have liked to stay longer we knew that Uday's new job may not be so understanding as well as my Mom who was taking care of our dogs.

Once on the ship it was interesting to see this twister or water sprout over the ocean near the Grand Bahama Island, as I have never seen one in person.

We did some more relaxing and had a frozen drink and enjoyed more entertainment and our dinner buffet!

Before we knew it we were back home in Florida and it felt like we had a vacation! I was glad that Uday seemed to enjoy his 30th birthday gifts! Happy Birthday, honey!

Click on the picture below to see more pictures from this trip:

Click on the picture below to see a short video of our trip:

1 comment:

Cathy K. said...

Carolyn was clapping along with the dancers in your video. Good blog! The underwater camera seemed to work great!