23.12.2016 - 03.01.2017
Spending Christmas in a cozy cabin has somehow become a tradition with me and Matt. It wasn’t intentional or deliberate, but is simply a habit that we have slipped into.
This year, we had a difference of opinion. Matt wanted to revisit the cozy cabin Christmas. I wanted to spend my holiday week at Bikini Hut on Guana Cay. After a weeklong Mexican Standoff, we reached a compromise: We would spend the weekend of Christmas at a cabin in north Georgia and then proceed south to Abaco where we would stay until New Year’s.
I found the perfect cabin nestled in the mountains near Blue Ridge, GA where we spent several days doing nothing more than sitting by the fire, drinking wine, opening presents, baking, and eating.
It was a glorious holiday.
After Christmas, we made our way to the land of sunshine and balmy seas for a week of post-holiday relaxation.
We arrived to brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s. Thoughts of winter, December, and Christmas faded as quickly as I could say, “I'll have a frozen grabber.”
We grabbed a lunch of fish tacos, lobster bites, and a cheesy lobster club before heading back to the house to unpack and settle in.
It had been a long travel day and I was grubby. Matt was busy getting the gas and water turned on when I heard him yell, “If you want a shower, get it FAST!”
We had a spectacular water leak spewing from our cistern pressure tank.
We realized quickly that the leak was too large to even have the water on at all. Our entire cistern would be drained in minutes.
We shut the water off and decided we’d figure out what to do in the morning. One night without water wouldn’t kill us.
Instead, we headed to Grabbers for sunset and dinner. My one complaint about Abaco in the winter is how early the sun sets. We had lobster salads as the sun sank into the sea.
Then we went home and went to bed dirty.
The next morning was beautiful. Perfect. Sunny. Warm. Calm.
It was the kind of morning that punched you in the face and said, “Don’t stay here and fix that tank, stupid. Let’s take the boat out. You can get a shower later.”
After a brief internal struggle….clean hair vs. a beautiful day on the boat…..I decided that we should seize the day. Sunshine trumps shampooed hair any day.
We agreed to spend ½ day on the boat and let Matt work on the cistern that afternoon. He was certain it would only take a couple of hours, so we’d have running water for that evening. No problem.
With our old favorite, Lubbers Landing, no longer in business, we headed to Cracker P’s. We found some lounge chairs in the sun, an endless supply of cold drinks, and their world famous smoked fish dip.
Cistern? What cistern?
The only thing Matt and I were worried about was who was going to have to get up off their chair to go get more drinks.
We wasted some additional time at Tahiti Beach before heading back so that Matt could devote some time to the cistern.
Of course, we got back to Guana much later than we originally intended. We only had about an hour until the famed Guana Cay Golf Cart Parade and Ugly Christmas Party at Nippers.
It was the kind of evening that pinched you on the arm and said, “Don’t be a chump. Get out and have fun. You can get a shower tomorrow.”
After a brief internal struggle….clean hair vs. a golf cart parade…..I decided that nothing tops a golf cart parade. Because….well….. GOLF CART PARADE!
We used our hour to decorate our cart and don some ugly Christmas outfits. Thankfully, mine had a hat, because the hair was going downhill fast. What I wouldn’t have given for a can of dry shampoo, but given that the Guana Grocery didn’t even have MILK that day, I was pretty sure I was going to be hard pressed to find any dry shampoo.
I pulled on my hat, we turned on our lights, and we headed to Guana Lumber to join the parade.
This was some spectacular stuff, guys. There were carts lined up all the way to the end of the road. Ugly Christmas sweaters, dogs in antlers, and Tervis tumblers filled with wine were stretched as far as the eye could see.
I wouldn’t have missed this for anything.
The only thing more fun than driving around Guana Cay in a golf cart is driving around Guana Cay in a golf cart that looks like a giant reindeer while dressed up like a deranged elf with a cocktail in your hand.
I love this little island.
The best part of the parade was that it stopped at each Guana Cay restaurant where free food was provided and drinks were at the ready for purchase.
As the night progressed, and the parade goers consumed more drinks, I realized that, while this concept was absolutely BRILLIANT, it was definitely not practical. Whose idea was it to line up 60 golf carts, drink a lot, and then drive them in unison really close together? I'd like to shake that person's hand.
However, despite one tiny mishap involving a tower of lights atop a cart roof and a power line, it went remarkably well.
First stop was Sunsetters at Orchid Bay. The sunset was beautiful and they had a nice buffet of sandwiches, conch fritters, and meatballs. Then it was on to Grabbers for wings. The last stop, and the grand finale, was the ugly Christmas party at Nippers. Nippers put out a spread of goodies and cranked up the music. I’d like to tell you what they had but all I remember is the mac n’cheese because it was AWESOME.
At this point, there was a lot of dancing, jingle belling, and merriment. We also learned that Matt has the same taste in shirts as the average teenage girl.
The night ended with a spectacular display of fireworks.
And then I went to bed with dirty hair. Again.
The following morning brought a soft and beautiful sunrise. And still no water.
We had now been on Guana for about 40 hours with no water. I had been using Milo’s secret stash of buckets that he hides behind my house to flush my toilet and had taken a spit bath using handi-wipes and a bowl of water warmed up in the microwave.
This situation was getting dire. No matter how beautiful the day was, we agreed that the cistern had to be the priority of the day.
Matt headed to Marsh Harbour to get parts and I worked around the house.
He arrived back on Guana with all of his parts only to discover that the new pump he had was missing a plug.
Matt was about to turn around and head back to Marsh Harbour when our sweet neighbor, Tina, drove by and told us she was on her way over there and offered to get the plug for us.
She is a LIFESAVER. Since she wouldn't be back until around 4:30, there wasn’t anything we could do but jump on the boat.
We headed to Man O’War Cay for lunch, where we saw this very disturbing fake dog.
Then we loaded up on burgers and bacon cheese fries. I love that they garnished the cheese fries with a lemon and sprig of rosemary, like that somehow negated the white-trashiness of a plate of fries covered with cheese and bacon.
We wasted the rest of our water-less afternoon walking on the beach with the pups and wondering if I could wear my santa hat to dinner.
The plug finally arrived in the late afternoon, but there was a beautiful sunset getting geared up. It was the kind of sunset that jabbed you in the eye and said, " You don't want to miss this! Come on! You can flush your toilet tomorrow!"
And that is how I ended up holding a flashlight while Matt crawled inside an absurdly small hole to finalize the cistern repair. It didn't matter how dark it was or how small that opening was, the cistern had to be fixed. We could not go another day without water. Who cared about bathing or flushing toilets….look at my hair!!!!
After three days without water, WE HAD WATER!
Sure, it was hinked together with bits of chewing gum and spare parts we were able to bum off the neighbors, but WE HAD WATER!!!!
A hot shower never felt so good.
I flushed the toilet 3 times. Just because I could.
We celebrated with dinner at Kidd’s Cove. I can’t get enough of Edmund’s tender lobster and spectacular potato salad.
And I finally went to bed clean.
New Year’s Eve dawned with a golden sunrise and crisp blue skies dotted with white clouds.
I was so glad we didn’t have to work on the cistern because it was a day to have fun and celebrate!
It was too windy for boating, so we decided to spend the day at Nippers doing nothing more than sipping bloody marys and working on our tans by the pool.
It was a quiet day, so we decided to take the girls to Nippers with us. This was their first time at Nippers and Rooby immediately established herself as the Head Dog in Charge.
After a few too many bloody marys, and maybe some nippers, we munched on some seared tuna, lobster bites, and burgers.
Then it was back to Bikini Hut for naps.
Yes, naps. Don’t act like you don’t take naps.
Everyone knows that people nearing 50 must take naps on NYE if they have any chance of staying awake past 10:00 p.m.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
And then it was officially New Year’s Eve! On Guana Cay!
We started our celebration at Grabbers with a bottle of champagne and sunset. Only on Guana Cay can you walk into a bar with your own drinks and, not only will they let you drink it, they’ll drink it with you!
Gotta’ love Guana.
After passing around glasses of bubbly to the staff, we were off to a friend’s house for an early evening potluck of snacks and cocktails with old and new friends.
Next up was our “fancy dinner” at Sunsetters. “Fancy dinner” on Guana Cay means no paper plates, real silverware, and no food that requires ketchup.
Last up was the NYE blowout at Nippers. As usual, it was a PARTY. Frozen nippers were flowing, glow sticks were waving, tables were rocking with tabletop dancers, music was thumping, and fireworks were booming.
Happy New Year, Y’all!!!!
By the time we dragged ourselves out of bed the next morning, it was getting close to lunchtime so we headed to Fish Tales where we found these delightful fried jalepenos and a lobster quesadilla.
It was Sunday Funday, it was New Year’s Day, and boats were literally POURING into Guana Harbour for the Nippers Sunday Pig Roast. Even on the 4th of July, I have never seen so many people walking down Front Street toward that colorful little bar.
I looked at Matt.
He looked at me.
Simultaneously, we shook our heads.
Not today. We’d been Nippered enough the night before to last a lifetime.
Instead, we packed up and headed to the peace and quiet of the lagoon.
Everyone was happier with this choice.
We ended New Year’s Day with a calm sunset and giant pizza at Orchid Bay.
Cut us some slack. Old people can only handle so many parties in one week, people.
Even though we woke up to another stunning day, Matt had some work to do around the house and I had been itching to paint something on the ugly cistern wall.
We agreed to spend the morning working before going out on the boat.
I had no idea what to paint. I had no plan to follow. I just sort of “went with it.” Somehow I ended up with this:
I never said I was an artist.
And I am pretty sure my mermaid is a drag queen. She has very heavy make-up, large pink hair, and no boobs. I might need to correct that ambiguous boob situation on our next trip.
It was VERY WINDY, so we agreed the only place we could possibly get to on the boat that wouldn’t beat us to death was the lagoon. We packed a picnic, loaded up the pups, and headed that way.
It was our last afternoon of sunshine and sea. I soaked in the palm trees, the blue sky, and the turquoise water….wrapping them up in my soul so that I could keep them with me until I was back.
There was nothing left to do but watch a final sunset, have a final Grabber, and get ready to head home.
Going home is always bittersweet. It’s good to be home, but Bikini Hut feels like home too. I think God knew my heart was heavy, so he gave us a spectacular “Welcome Home.”
This will do until I have a chance to "go home" again.