Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm Baaaack!!

Hi, everyone!  My friend and I have returned home, and we had an absolutely awesome time!!  Every part of the cruise was of first-class caliber - the food, the luxurious decor of the ship (pics will appear in this post), the crew members' service and friendliness (Bahamains are super-friendly, too), the shore excursions, you name it. 

During our first full day of the cruise, which was the 13th, we took a wonderful shore excursion into Nassau, which is the capital of the Bahamas, and a beach, where I ate the yummiest conch fritters, which practically melted in my mouth, at a charming beachside restaurant with tropical decor.  The bus ride through the city and surrounding villages revealed the most colorful architecture I've ever seen, its colors reflecting the happiness of the people.  The guide was very informative, pointing out some sights along the way.  He spoke of the big difference in prices of houses separated from each other by a road - houses on the beach costing an average of $500,000 and houses on the other side selling for about $100,000.  If I had the money, guess where I'd be moving?  The Bahamian way of life is soooo relaxed and simple, so I can hardly think of a better place for a temporary escape from the rat race.

Wednesday marked a stop at another port of call, Half Moon Cay (pronounced "key"), which is jointly owned by Holland America and Carnival cruise lines.  It's the site of a lovely beach and some picturesque shops which sell local handicrafts: shell items, jewelry, and a Bahamian specialty, straw bags.  Touristy items such as magnets are sold there as well.

Our final shore excursion, which in this case was offshore, took place Friday.  We took a tender from the ship to a semi-submersible sub which descended five feet underwater.  The sub had, in front of each seat, a large porthole through which we had an excellent view of coral formations, marine vegetation and fish.  The highlight was a crew member diving into the water to blow large bubbles and "smoke rings" and to feed the fish.  What a gorgeous sight!  The only downside was the hot, humid atmosphere in the vessel.  We sure could've used A/C!

The deep turquoise of the Bahamian sea water near the horizon is not a product of retouching of travel photos; it really is that color!  The absence of air pollution probably accounts for the beautiful color.  The sand on the beaches is pure white.

I hated like anything to have to come home, but practicality reigned and my dog really missed her Pommie Mommie.  Was she glad to see me!  My next-door neighbor took care of her while I was gone.

No recipe this time, but isn't this an even better treat?  Next time I'll post a different twist on pancakes.

Here's my latest Etsy listing, a dazzling gold lame pawty dress with a butterfly sequin applique:

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