If you were watching Martha’s show after New Year’s, you got to hear all about her trip to Thailand. She showed the things she bought and photos of places she visited. I thought I would give you a Martha-esque post about our trip to the Bahamas.
We stayed at the Sheraton Beach Resort on Cable Beach on New Providence Island (outside of Nassau). I highly recommend this resort. It was outside of the insanity of Atlantis and Nassau and had a beautiful beach and three pools. The on-site restaurants were actually pretty good and the room was comfortable.
Two great things about the Bahamas: American money is on par and accepted everywhere, so you don’t need to exchange money when you get there. Secondly, when you come home, customs happens in the Bahamas airport, so you don’t have to go through the nonsense of retrieving your luggage, going through customs, and checking it again when you arrive in the U.S. This is a big plus!
Because it was cold, cloudy and windy, we didn’t spend a lot of time at the beach, unfortunately. We did spend a lot of time eating! One of the specialties of the Bahamas is conch (pronounced ‘conk’). Conch is often served as a tomato based chowder or “cracked”, which means it is pounded and then deep fried (which makes it very tender). It tastes very mild like a shrimp or scallop. We also ate lots and lots of fish. Grouper is served almost everywhere and is often fried. I also had some snapper, shrimp, lobster, and we had some crawfish, which was good, but a little tough. An island specialty is peas ‘n rice, essentially red beans and rice. The classic island dessert is guava duff, a roulade with guava inside it, served with a vanilla cream sauce. Fabulous!
On our last day, we hit upon the perfect lunch spot – Goodfellow Farms. This organic garden is run by a couple who quit their jobs, sailed off to the Bahamas and settled there. They serve lunch every day and all the produce is homegrown. It was amazing and I highly recommend it. The Poop Deck at Sandyport was our best dinner. I had the Snapper Sandyport and Mr. MarthaAndMe had a trio of lobster – deep fried, broiled, and shredded with a BBQ sauce. The kids enjoyed coconut shrimp and calamari. Heaven! We also dined at Humidor Churrascaria, a Brazilian BBQ. We are always eat at churrascarias wherever we can find them. If you’ve never been to one, it’s an experience you must have! You start by enjoying a lavish salad bar, which is much more than just salad. Then waiters come around with spears of roasted meat and they cut pieces off at the table for you.
We visited Ardastra Gardens, a zoo with a crazy flamingo show. A man marches the flamingos into a show area and shouts commands at them and they (sometimes) listen. Dude Martha got to go stand with the flamingos.
The gardens also has a parrot feeding exhibit. You go into a large cage, hold out a piece of apple in your hand, and parrots land on you and eat it while you hold it. I admit I screamed when one landed on my arm and one landed on
my head! We all got used to it quickly and for the first time I have to say I could understand why people like birds. Their feet were surprisingly soft and they ate rather politely from our hands.
We did spend a few hours at Atlantis, the huge mega-resort on Paradise Island. The prices there are ridiculous. If you want to come and use their pools for the day, it costs $500 for a family of 4. We took a self-guided tour which cost us
$130. We got to see all the aquariums, pools, and lobbies of the buildings, as well as access the shops within the resort. It is interesting and I’m glad I got to see it, but it all felt so artificial – similar to Disney. It’s too man-made and fabricated feeling to me. The food prices there are astronomical. We poked our heads in a cheesy little pizza place – $7 a slice or $38 for a cheese pizza. Considering a pizza is about $12 at home, that was insane. All the restaurant costs in the Bahamas are astronomical, but this one really bothered me. We walked out and found cheaper food elsewhere.
We found some Bahamians to be very friendly – particularly if they were trying to sell you something. Others we found to be downright rude, including the concierge at our hotel, who found our questions amusing and answered with one word responses only.
Although all the books say you don’t need a car, we found it essential. There was no traffic and parking was surprisingly easy. Bahamians drive on the left side of the road, but often have American made cars. We rented cars in Great Britain last summer and this was a little easier since you are at least sitting on the correct side of the car, even if you’re driving on the wrong side! A car gives you the freedom of seeing the entire island. One of our favorite drives was to the eastern end of the island where we gawked at the many mansion, including the one owned by Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond. The name of his mansion? 007.
The island is beautiful, with sandy beaches and aquamarine waters that take your breath away. Enjoy some of the scenery. Tomorrow I’ll share photos of what I bought and what shopping on the island is like.
Sounds like you had a great time! Sad it wasn’t warmer, but you probably got to see so much more than you would’ve otherwise.
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This holiday looks like so much fun. I was getting worried that you were sick as the blog hadn’t had comments authorised, but I am pleased to see that you were taking a family holiday. Now you will have me dreaming of holidays today! Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.
Thanks! Yes, I had posts set up to publish while I was away, but really did stay away from the computer to give myself a break.
Sounds like a wonderful place to visit “en famille.” You really had my mouth watering with your description of the food. I had no idea whatsoever on that score. And that aquarium tunnel looks like great fun for kids.
This was a beautiful review of the bahamas. Whenever your thinking about heading down again. send me a email ,and I’ll give you some downhome tips so you can experience some more bahamian culture.
Till next time,
Thank you BahamasDread! I would love to come back. We considered doing the people-to-people program, which sounded so interesting (for those of you who haven’t heard of it, you can sign up to be matched with a local who will spend a day with you, showing you around). I was also sad we weren’t there for the tea party held once a month for visitors. I would love to visit the other islands as well. It is such a beautiful place. Next time you’ve got to arrange for some sun for us though!
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Excellent review of the Bahamas. You covered all the bases.
Thanks Donna. That means a lot coming from you.
The guava duff sounds amazing! It sounds like you didn’t let the bad weather get in the way of a great vacation. Welcome home!
Okay, it was hard for me to read this as it sounds so fabulous and I haven’t been anywhere interesting in a very long time. (Translation: I’m jealous as hell of your trip!). I will keep this bookmarked, though, so that if I EVER (sob, weep) get to the Bahamas, I can use this as a cheat sheet. Glad you had such a good time!!!!
I didn’t go ANYWHERE until my kids were older. It was simply impossible.