Monday, July 8th.
Our flight from Toronto touches down in the Bahamas a speedy two hours and 50 minutes after takeoff.
Outside the airplane window, Nassau looks dry, dusty and a bit brown. But I know what awaits us on the other side of the airport will be a lot easier on the eyes.
My friends Christine, Jen and I don’t wait very long for our luggage to appear on the carousel, and we hustle out to the taxi stand, where a woman in uniform directs us to the closest available driver.
The conversation between us and the driver is initially awkward and full of pauses, but cordial nonetheless. It’s a bit like meeting a distant relative for the first time.
We’re at our resort in about 10, 15 minutes. The lady at the front desk is very warm and friendly, explaining what we need to know during our stay, and giving us a manila “welcome” envelope.
As we walk to our condo, I’m acutely aware of the humidity, even though the sun isn’t yet beating down.
Our accommodations are enormous. It’s essentially like a townhouse that can sleep six, but for the three of us, there’s plenty of room to spread out. We’re not facing the ocean, but that’s no biggie, because we’re mere steps away from the beach.
After unloading our luggage and fiddling with the air conditioning, our first point of order is to find groceries.
Correction: our first point of order is to eat some lunch, then shop for alcohol. Yep. Priorities.
We leave the resort complex, hang a right, and lope along about three minutes down the road to the nearest restaurant for some mid-afternoon deli-style sandwiches and chips.
Stuffed, we walk a bit further down the street to the liquor store. Between my packed belly, the sun (which is now out in full force) and trying to function on roughly three hours’ sleep, I’m fighting the urge to lie down on the pavement.
We find “Jimmy’s Wine and Spirits” … and a locked door, despite the fact (1) the door’s clearly marked “PULL” and (2) there are people in there. A tanned white man with snowy white hair and a beer bottle in hand lets us in. Perusing the shelves and trying to figure out pricing, we grab some rum, vodka, gin and a case of Sands beer.
We carry our loot back to the condo, then make a second trip to the grocery store farther down.
Later, Christine and Jen decide to hit the beach; I change and join them for a bit.
It’s late afternoon. The sun’s still beating down, but the proximity and sounds of the waves offer some comfort.
The bartender from the resort’s bar comes down to the beach to offer us free drinks. He says he’s experimenting and has tried to create his own spin on the mojito. I can’t speak for the others, but to me, it tastes like a lime slushie, minus the mint. Meh – it’s free.
As the sun moves farther away, it gets a bit cooler.
As the other two chat, I curl up on my side and feel my eyelids getting heavy. I’ll rest my eyes for just a few minutes, I think to myself …
Christine calls my name sharply, startling me awake.
“Time to move – tide’s coming in,” she says.
We pull our lounge chairs back about 10 feet. But the tide doesn’t get much higher.
The sun starts setting; we decide to freshen up for dinner.
It’s our first night, so we don’t venture too far. We eat dinner nearby, at a restaurant that has two signs with two different names on it, leaving me puzzled as to what the place is called.
Inside the restaurant, the bar and nearby dining area is bustling. Ex-pats, or frequent visitors? And locals. The dining room is empty, as is the patio, where we end up.
Ordering food’s a bit of a challenge … because they’re out of chicken and lobster. Huh.
We find other things to order, and then our server tells us why so much is missing from the menu: the restaurant’s closing, to make way for an Italian restaurant. And there’s already another restaurant, just feet away from this one. Double huh.
After dinner, while Christine and Jen nurse their wine, I feel my head bob and my eyelids lower and snap back open. I need sleep.
Back the apartment, I can’t fight the fatigue any longer. My next point of order: sleep like a champ.