Bahamas Vacation Update #3

Thursday, February 26, 2009
We went sea kayaking and snorkeling at Peterson Cay National Park with Grand Bahamas Nature Tours. Our guide, Chad, picked us up from the condo and we headed out to the put-in site on the beach. There were about 10 of us, all from different parts of the world. Two couples from Canada, one couple from New Hampshire, one couple from Oklahoma and the three of us from Oregon. One of the Canadian couples was celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary! It took about 15 minutes to kayak out to the park. Once we arrived, Chad gave us all of our gear, including wet suits, flippers and snorkeling gear. The wet suits were kind of unnecessary but added a little buoyancy, which I needed to feel more comfortable. We snorkeled for about an hour and saw lots of coral, fish, and some lobsters even! I have a special bag for my camera, so I was able to take some underwater pictures.

After snorkeling, we had a nice lunch on the beach. We kayaked back to the beach, loaded everything up and Chad dropped all of us off at our respective hotels and condos. It was a great day! We were exhausted though, and once home, we showered and took naps.

Friday, February 27, 2009
We were hoping to go sailing/snorkeling with Captain Tony this morning, but there were not enough people, so we were told to come back around 12:30 p.m. and we would go then. Since we had a few hours to kill, we took a bus into Freeport and wandered around there. Freeport is a much bigger city and is the main population center for the GBI. It was much busier and the shops were not all that interesting to us, so we headed back to Port Lucaya and wandered around the marketplace, doing some last minute shopping. You know, the important stuff: rum, cuban cigars and knick knacks!

We arrived at the Sand Dollar (it's a catamaran sailboat) on time and proceeded to wait almost two hours for the cruise ship group to arrive. All told, there were almost 30 of us on the boat, from all over the US. We powered out to the area we were going snorkeling and snorkeled for a bit. It was amazing! There were a lot more fish in the area and I got a bunch more pictures this time. I'm really enjoying snorkeling now. I can't wait to go again! After the snorkeling, the Bahama Mamas started flowing freely and we sailed for a bit before powering back to the marina.

We completed the last of our shopping before heading back to the condo to take showers and go out to Bikini Bottom for the evening. Katie had given me the name of a taxi driver that could take us to Bikini Bottom. Last year, Gina and I had some problems getting there due to the way the taxis are bonded here. Captain Bullfrog arrived and took us to Bikini Bottom for the evening. He is such a great guy! He hung out for a while and we told him we would give him a call for a ride home later on. We also arranged for him to take us to the airport the next day.

Bikini Bottom was great! Katie made us some strong drinks and we ordered some food to snack on. There was a DJ spinning regular music, along with a little rake n' scrape thrown in every once in a while. While there were not a lot of people there, we had a great time. The food was delicious, the rum drinks were tasty and strong, and the people we met were wonderful. They even played my song, "Mosquito Bite", and I danced like a fool to it! Lisa and Gretchen were being lame, though. They didn't come out to dance once. Oh well. We called it a night around 11 p.m. and like magic, Captain Bullfrog showed up, just as we were planning to call him! He took us home and we promptly went to bed since we had to leave the next morning around 10 a.m. and still had to pack and clean up the condo.

Saturday, February 28, 2009
Captain Bullfrog arrived at 10 a.m. to take us to the airport. We cleared customs with no problems and our flight took off on time. The flight was a little turbulent, but not too bad. The pilots did a great job and we landed on time in Philadelphia. I had a philly cheesesteak at the airport. It was good. Just enough meat and just enough bread. Gretchen was on a different flight than us, so she headed to her flight, while Lisa and I chilled out in the Philly airport. We arrived in Chicago, my least favorite airport of all times. The ramp agents didn't get us close enough to our gate, they lost my one bag of checked luggage, and we barely had enough time to get to our next flight. Amazingly enough, our flight left on time and we arrived in Portland on time. It felt so good to be home, even though I could have stayed on vacation for a while longer. :) I managed to read "Twilight", a 500 page young adult novel, on all of the flights we were on, finishing about an hour before we arrived in PDX. It kept my mind of the fact I hate flying and helped me not have to take Xanax to calm my nerves.

All in all, a great time. Next vacation is coming up in April, a mini-tour of Brandi Carlile shows.....Boise, Missoula and Spokane.