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Exuma Bahamas II
We left for Georgetown, Exuma, one of the Family Islands of the Bahamas, on New Year's Eve. The flights were uneventful, and at 6:00 pm, we were picked up by Peter, the Canadian real estate agent working for the property. As we drove to our house, he proceeded to discuss the benefits of living in the Bahamas, and why someone should invest in Flamingo Bay.
Peter," I said, "we've already
bought the property." At this point,
I already knew he and I were not going to
get along. He continued to discuss
building projects in town, while Mum and I
tried to steer him toward a discussion of
what had been accomplished at Flamingo
Bay. We were not very successful.
Actually, after about fifteen minutes,
both Mum and I stopped asking questions
because we realized he was a total moron
and further attempts to get information
would prove fruitless.
Mum selected the same suite we'd had on our last visit, which had been completely redone due to the hurricane last year. Apparently, the windows had all blown out of both floors and everything had been decimated. New berber carpets had been installed and the new rattan furniture made the room look even more spacious than before. Three sides of the room had floor to ceiling jalousie windows giving us a breathtaking view of the harbour, Crab Cay, and our own marina harbour (soon to be built). The ocean was a deep aqua, the sky a deep azure blue. The wind had begun to pick up since we left Nassau, and now the wind was blowing at a furious rate. The palms were leaning nearly 20 degrees, from the constant pounding of the wind.
looks like rain, Mum," I said. We
quickly put away our luggage and raced
back out to the kitchen to catch up with
Neely, the handyman, and to begin the
cocktail hour. The house had been updated
a bit, but not much had changed. We met
Sara Chereskin, an independent television
producer, whose latest project was for
Dinner was at the Peace and Plenty Hotel was sublime. Although we waited forever for dinner (due to our companion, Peter, not the hotel), it was wonderful to be back at a familiar place that welcomed us with open arms; it was like reuniting with an old friend. Mum had the (cold) veal piccata, Will had shrimp scampi (absolutely fabulous), and I had the Bahamian Grouper (another big hit). Shelly kept getting up because Mum was smoking and sat in the lobby like a martyr. She told us she was allergic, but I proved later in the week that she was lying. Granted, I don't like people smoking in a restaurant, but if someone lights up, I don't make a spectacle out of myself. The conversation was rather dull due to Peter's babble and Shelly's prattling... I couldn't wait to get back to the house. I was tired and ready for bed. I had already read five magazines that day and had started on the book Mark had given me for Christmas. Once we got home, Will was definitely ready for bed as well. He crashed in seconds once his head hit the pillow.
New Year's Day, Will and I went straight down to the beach as soon as we got up. It was still frighteningly windy. We found coconuts everywhere on the beach. The waves were huge. There were conch shells stuck in the walls around our private beach. We picked up all of the empty ones and placed them on the terrace to dry out. The water felt cold at first, but when I remembered that the temperature at home was only 20 degrees, I could not help thinking I was a weeny for saying that the water felt cold. We went in up to our waists but with the wind, it was too much. We went back up to the house and spent most of our time reading, while Will played computer games. Sara told us she was extending her trip through the weekend, which made us very happy. I asked her to play scrabble as cocktail hour began, and while we played, the wind blew a window into the Terrace Room. It was loud, and I saw it coming before anyone...I had stood up as I saw the window bulge, but was not in time to save it. In the meantime, Peter and his wife prepared dinner...I will never again eat food prepared by a woman whose name of the week is Sky. I finished the book by the end of the evening.
2nd, we went down to the beach again in
the morning with Sara. I had told her
about the conch shells and we selected the
finest one for her to take home to New
York. She and Will picked up two coconuts
and asked the cook at the terrace if he
could open them up. He pulled out a huge,
very sharp machete and proceeded to whack
the crap out of them until they were
perfectly extracted. We went down onto the
beach and went swimming. At one point, I
watched Will put out his hand tentatively,
and as Sara took it, a smile beamed across
Later that afternoon, Pedro came by; we were so glad to see him again.
We went to the Peace and Plenty Beach Inn for dinner. Golf and his girlfriend Kathy met us there. Golf's sister, the cook, prepared a special steamed conch with green peas and rice for an appetizer (out of this world). Will and I had the Bahamian lobster, while Mum had the grouper. Everything, from the service to the quality of the food was superb. With good company, the dinner was a great experience.
January 3rd, Sara took Will down to the
tennis courts to squeegee all the water
off the surface. Will found snails and
other fauna among the grasses. He has
become enamoured with the idea of
searching for little animals since I found
a toad on the chairs out on the veranda
this morning while having our coffee.
Pedro picked us up and we took a drive
around the island. We visited the other
property Howard is working on, Oceania
Heights, and drove past the Lang's house,
a newly built, unimpressive,
Bermuda-roofed box. We also visited the
Shark Lady, Gloria Patience, a person both
Will and I found impressive.
When we got home (since it had been rainy and windy for three days, and Will needed TV) Pedro went upstairs in search of a working satellite box, which was in Peter's room (Peter told us none of them worked.). He fixed it up in the living room, which really pissed off Peter, "Sky", and Shelley. Hee, hee, hee...
Monday, the weather broke and we finally
managed to boat over to Stocking Island.
We showed up early, around 10:30 in the
morning, and no one was around. I
slathered Will with sunblock so he didn't
burn, but of course, I did. We built
sandcastles and ate ham and cheese
sandwiches, and Will found a palm frond
which he used as a broom.
He pretended to be a Tiger Shark in the water, and we couldn't talk him out of the sea. It was great fun. We left the island as the shuttle from the Peace and Plenty was arriving, with Peter, "Sky", and the Germans he was trying to sell property to...Good timing, I'd say. When we got home, Will collapsed onto his pillow. I made a valiant effort to read my other book, but I fell asleep in my chair. When I awoke, I took a long bath and dressed for dinner.
Pedro picked us up and we went to the Edgewater for dinner and "Rake and Scrape". Mum had turtle steak, while Will and I got the Grouper fingers...Pedro had the Jerk chicken that was so good, Mum and I got a second order later. As the band warmed up, Will was very interested in the drums. I told him it was okay to go over, but he hesitated. The drummer waved him over, and even then, it took him about five minutes of encouragement to walk all the way over. Finally, he sat down at the drum and tentatively touched it. The drummer did a little riff on it, then gave it him. Will played a few taps, then ran back to sit next to me. He was so proud of himself. I was so pleased that he was happy. Pedro introduced him to another child, Jumario. We bought Jumario a soda, then the two of them compared shirts and shoes, running around the place until Jumario had to go home. Randy Hart stopped by our table to introduce himself. The Harts are all very self-important because they're related to some singer named Cory Hart, that was a one-hit wonder in the 80's with a song called "Sunglasses At Night". We're not impressed. We gave him a very cold reception.
Tuesday, we went out on the boat again to go fishing. Golf is a good teacher, showing me me how to fish for lean snapper. I caught two, and Will reeled in two himself. He enjoyed it and so did I, but it ended too quickly. We then went over to Stocking Island for a couple of hours. In the evening, we decided to get a pizza ($68.00!) and had Neely pick it up for us.
On Wednesday morning, I woke up and looked over at Will. He was a bronze prince. He was all tanned and clean and muscular. He looked so handsome and self-assured. I am so proud of him...I am so proud to tell people I am his mother...He is the very best thing I ever did.
The next day, we packed up all our stuff to head for Nassau. We found out that Peter was not supposed to pick people up at the airport because it takes jobs away from the local taxicab drivers, so we decided to get him into trouble. We called for a cab -- the same guy we always used before -- and told him all about Peter picking people up. When we got to the airport, we sat down across the street at Kermit's Lounge and waited for Peter to show up. When he did ,we watched him drop off his client, then get escorted over to Immigration by a very large black man. When he came out, he was very upset. Mum and I clinked glasses to our excellent adventure in Exuma and looked forward to the next few days in Nassau.