I often allow my mind to wander back to the winter of 2015; it was my first winter in Atlanta after living in the glorious panhandle of sunny Florida for nearly 20 years, and I can tell you it was a winter of culture shock for this BeachGirl. I needed a reprieve from the frigid winter to which I have sadly since become accustomed.
To take that reprieve, I set sail for warmer days and more relaxing nights, an experience that taught me why the Official Site of the Bahamas boasts, “It’s Better in the Bahamas.”
Setting sail aboard Carnival Fascination* had been a much anticipated trip for me; it was my husband’s, my best friend’s, and her family’s first cruise, so I was happy to get away to a tropical paradise we all would love while sharing the cruise experience with them.
Nassau did not disappoint! The bright green water was mesmerizing, even for a Florida girl! It just seemed so much clearer with greater intensity that I’d ever experienced before. Isn’t there something about crystal water that simply soothes your soul?
We spent the day exploring the island by foot and taxi.
We experienced the hospitality of the island by taking a tour offered to us as we explored. Our tour guide expertly navigated the narrow streets through the city’s busy epicenter. I saw brightly-colored shanties as we drove through villages and got a feel for how people lived life at a slower pace and made do with much fewer “necessities” than we believe we need here in America.
Being adventure-seekers at heart, we chose also to survey the area ourselves. We found a gorgeous breezy beach where we were much obliged to simply smell the unique fragrance sea air offers. The wind tousling my hair was not a bother during my quick jaunt with paradise.
We ate local FRESH cuisine and discovered one of the most delicious hot sauces I’ve ever eaten: Lemon Pepper Sauce; don’t let the name fool you! This sauce is mixed half and half with lemon juice to create a dipping sauce that becomes more addictive the more it’s eaten! It was so spicy, my tongue began to swell! Unfortunately it was so delicious, I couldn’t stop eating it! What a dilemma, right?! After bringing a bottle home, I now use it when I make scrambled eggs! However, my bottle has recently become frighteningly near-empty. How could I possibly EVER solve this problem??
Speaking to many island residents during our visit proved true the rumors I had always heard about how friendly Bahamians are; their friendliness is contagious.
One of my favorite experiences while in Nassau was a museum visit. Our entire group had many laughs learning about the Nassau Pirates and how they Pillaged their way through the Bahamas on the 45-minute self-guided tour of the Pirates of Nassau Museum**. During a photo op outside the museum, a pirate unexpectedly pulled my while my husband was taking pictures; it was hilarious, and those pictures, along with those of my husband imprisoning me in the stocks, are among our most cherished memories from the day.
While sampling a variety of regional fare at an open air market in one of our ports, I discovered what has become one of my favorite beers: Kalik! Try it if you haven’t!
Take it from me, someone who knows, it IS better in the Bahamas! The air smelled cleaner and time passed differently. While there, I felt like I was home, even though I was nowhere near. I yearned to stay a little while longer and hated when it was time to board my frigate, which would inevitable sail me back to reality.