08.04.2016 - 11.04.2016
Now that we have our own little place on Guana Cay, we run down every chance we get. When we recently had an opportunity to head down for a long weekend with use of a free airplane, we jumped at the opportunity even though it was only a few short days.
Sure, we had only been back from Honduras for 7 days, but FREE AIRPLANE PEOPLE.
I wasn't going to let a little thing like "responsibilities" get in the way of a free ride.
Literally a hop, skip, and a jump (okay, more like a 4 hour flight….but STILL….so easy) and we were climbing off the plane at the Marsh Harbour airport.
Having our own boat on Marsh Harbour has made arrivals a little easier. I love grabbing a taxi and having it take us to our own boat rather than the ferry dock. This beats trying to coordinate my arrival with the Albury Ferry. Not that I don’t love the Albury Ferry, but not having to adhere to a particular arrival time is so liberating.
Instead of arriving to get to a ferry, wait for a ferry, and take a ferry to Scotland Cay for a stop before proceeding on to Guana Cay, we found ourselves tossing our luggage onto our boat and making a B-line for Lubbers Landing. There was plenty of time to get to Guana and unpack later. Right now, it was time for saltwater margaritas.
Although, if I am completely honest, this really set off my OCD alarm. I am a “get there, unpack, get organized before you do anything fun” kind of gal. Running off to have fun first was like eating dessert before dinner.
Although, with proper therapy, I think I can get used to it.
How can anyone possibly need this much luggage? We looked like we were moving to Cambodia for a year, not spending a weekend in Abaco. It’s amazing what not having to go through TSA or pay for baggage does to one’s packing.
“Do I need an unabridged copy of War and Peace? Maybe. Let’s throw it in. What about that box of live pigeons? Those might come in handy. I may need this ball gown. Better to be safe than sorry.”
Once we had our 19 bags stowed, we were on our way.
OCD alarm be damned. It was liberating to have the breeze blowing in my hair while holding a hastily made boat drink in my hand within minutes of landing.
It was Friday and our destination was Pizza Night at Lubbers Landing.
We had put in our required order the day before, because nothing is worse than showing up on Pizza Night without being expected only to discover that you have to let Austin know the day before so he can make the dough.
The pizza oven was already fired up and getting ready for the night’s festivities when we arrived. We ordered drinks and sank into the cushy sofa, letting the peace of Lubbers Landing sink into our bones. Austin and Amy have created an oasis of happy at Lubbers Landing and we have found no better way to kick-start our vacations in Abaco than with a cold drink at their breezy bar.
Sometimes, you need a lot of margaritas.
Before long, Austin was tossing our dough in the air with more skill than a Harlem Globetrotter handles a basketball. When he asked us what we wanted on our pizza, we wisely deferred to his expert judgment and found ourselves faced with an Austin Special: savory salami and pepperoni, red onions, rosemary, banana peppers, and just a hint of Lubber’s magic.
The pizza was so good that I found myself throwing up a “Mamma Mia” to the pepperoni gods and finding myself wanting to lead everyone in a rousing chorus of “That’s Amore.”
We made it to Guana Cay just as the sun was setting.
I couldn’t wait to get to Bikini Hut. (That’s not just the OCD talking)
I’m still adjusting to the difference in arriving to your own house vs. arriving to a vacation rental. Bikini Hut is my haven and I am so happy every time I walk inside. It is my perfect cozy nest and I couldn’t wait to settle in.
It was the same feeling I get when I have been away from home for a while and I return and the smell and feel of “my home” hits me square in the face. Bikini Hut changed everything.
I was able to get us unpacked before the heart palpitations started and marveled at how wonderful it was to drift off to sleep in my own bed.
We had agreed to get the boat out for this trip so that meant this trip was more about fun and less about work.
I started my morning off with a walk on the beach. We had left the dogs at home due to the “last minuteness” of the trip, and I had to admit that walking on the beach is simply not the same experience without those two bumbling furballs running into my ankles, digging stupid holes and getting sand up their noses, and running enthusiastically ahead of me, turning around every few seconds to make sure I was still coming.
Yeah, I missed them.
After my beach walk, I took a walk around the neighborhood. This meant I walked across the street and checked out the Island Flavors menu board, strolled out onto one of the many docks across the street to peek at the water, and nodded “good morning” to Milo at his fruit stand. The neighborhood walk took about 30 seconds.
I headed back to Bikini Hut.
Apparently, Bikini Hut was an actual bikini store at some point in its 100-year history and the house came with this old sign buried inside. We assumed it was probably the sign for the original bikini store and decided to keep it. Matt thought it would be cute to hang it up outside on the cistern building.
At the time, we did not realize this would have unintended consequences.
I was milling around the kitchen when a stranger walked through the front door and into the house.
It is important to note here that I am socially awkward. There is something about interacting with others that makes me feel itchy and hot and leaves me struggling for meaningful conversation while simultaneously scanning the room for the nearest exit. I have accepted this about myself after years of awkward mingling and tripping over nothing on sidewalks.
This moment would have been a difficult encounter for me if I had actually invited this woman to my house and knew who she was. Having a stranger in my house and having no idea why she was there was pushing me to my limits of mental stability. My hands instantly became clammy as I tried to figure out what to say.
However, she was a lovely lady, nicely dressed and very polite, so I wasn’t alarmed in a “fear of danger” way. Instead, my “social alarm” was pinging, thinking that I had invited someone over and had not only forgotten the invitation, but had forgotten who they were.
When she saw me she said, “Good morning. I just wanted to see the place.”
It is important to note here that I have corresponded with a number of people I have never actually met through the Abaco Forum and through this blog, so I simply assumed this was someone that had told me they’d love to stop by and see the changes to the house sometime and I had encouraged them to do so.
Despite my proclivity for social evasion, I am a Southern Woman. This creates an internal struggle when interacting with others. My “tell them to go away” battles with my “invite them in and give them a casserole.” We tell people to “Come on by anytime.” It’s what we are raised to do whether we mean it or not.
That is why I looked at this stranger standing in my house and said, “Feel free to look around.”
Which made things really weird.
It started to get strange when she started looking around more intently than I would expect, like she was looking for something.
The clammy hands were joined by a tight feeling in my chest. Something was off. I was trying to think of something reasonably appropriate to say. Obviously, shouting, “Who sent you??? What do you want with me???? Are they watching??” would make me look mentally unstable, so I just said nothing.
“Is this everything you have or is there more in the back?” she asked.
I wasn’t sure how to respond. Obviously, she was not as enthralled with my remodeling efforts as I was and felt I should have more things decorating the place.
Still thinking she must be here to see the Bikini Hut remodel because my mind simply could not come up with an alternative, I said, “Well, the kitchen and bedroom are back there. Feel free to take a peek.”
This just made things weirder.
She looked puzzled.
I looked puzzled.
She stared at me in silence.
I stared back.
We stood and stared at each other for a moment, both of us knowing something was amiss and trying politely to figure out what the hell was going on when she courteously asked, “Is this all you have for sale or are there swimsuits?”
Life is filled with awkward moments. This wasn’t Steve-Harvey-Crowning-the-Wrong-Miss-Universe-On-Television awkward, and it probably didn’t rank up there with the time one of my friends woke up naked in a stranger’s house only to find out that the man she accompanied there the night before didn’t live there, was gone, and had her clothes, but in my book, it was right up there with being in an elevator with a stranger who audibly farts or trying repeatedly to get in your car in a parking lot only to realize your car is the one 2 rows over.
Unfortunately, she was standing in my living room, so I couldn’t just pretend I didn’t notice her or casually run in the opposite direction. I found myself looking around for the hidden cameras, hoping this was just a huge prank.
I thought back to my mom and all those times she said not to let strangers in the house. So THIS was what she was talking about. I should have listened.
It was like being trapped in this recurring dream I have where I walk up to a yard sale and start nonchalantly looking at items only to discover it’s not a yard sale, it’s just a messy yard. Only in this dream, I was the yard sale.
I tried to figure out how to extricate myself from the situation without appearing rude or insane. Obviously, screaming and running out the back door was not an option. I considered crawling under my dining table and pretending it was a fort, because nothing bad ever happens in a fort, but that would not solve the problem because there would still be a stranger in my living room asking me for swimsuits.
I was going to have to deal with this very uncomfortable situation before she started looking through my dresser for some swimwear to take home.
It was then that I thought about the sign.
The Bikini Hut sign.
The one that said, “Swimsuits and More!”
She thought I was a retail store.
This certainly didn’t make the situation any less uncomfortable, because I knew once I responded, she would be embarrassed. Then I would be embarrassed because she was embarrassed. Then we would still be standing there, facing each other in a never ending spiral of embarrassment and misery, with no clear way to end the encounter unless a sinkhole suddenly opened up in the floor and swallowed us both.
I thought about quickly pretending my iPad was a credit card swiper and selling her something from my coffee table, but I knew I was just going to have to embrace the uneasiness of this moment in all its putrid glory because she still had not realized what was going on and was looking to me for clarification of where the retail racks could be found.
I bumbled through an awkward explanation about how this was my house, not a store, and how the sign was an old sign from when the house WAS a store……. after which she apologized, fled, and sprinted down the street.
I probably could have salvaged the encounter if I had normal human social skills instead of communicating like I was raised by a family of cats.
I cursed that sign and went about my morning. I put it out of my head.
It was a calm day without much wind and lots of sunshine, so we decided to take friends who were on island all the way to Pete’s Pub. The added stress of running a retail store on Front Street had made for a long morning, so we were all eager to get there and get our lunch on, so we made straight for Little Harbour.
The day was gorgeous as we “oooooed” and “aaaaahed” our way south.
The cherry on top of the trip was a double greeting by two spotted eagle rays as we pulled up to the dock.
I took this as a sign that all of the calamities of the day had passed and the rest of the day would be nothing but sunshine and unicorns.
Which is pretty much the same as sunshine and unicorns. Rum is just dream flavored water, I always say.
Pete’s Pub serves some of the best fish in the Abacos. We enjoyed some spectacular fish sandwiches with their always amazing peas & rice and walnut cole slaw before hitting the water to cool off.
I will say, though, I am puzzled by the paper towels at Pete's. Is it a paper towel? Is it a toilet paper roll? Under normal circumstances this would not be an issue, but after a few Blasters, it's creates quite the mental conundrum.
As we pulled out of Little Harbour, a pod of dolphins put on a spectacular display for us. This day really was sunshine and rainbows, wasn’t it?
We kept the good times going by stopping at one of the small uninhabited cays for beach drinks. It was a sun-filled, fun-filled afternoon.
And then we got the boat stuck on a sandbar in Tilloo Pond. No worries, the guys pushed us off and the fun continued.
We were on top of the world!
And then the boat quick working.
I have always heard that bad things come in threes. I guess we had our three.
The good news? We were right outside Orchid Bay marina, it wasn’t quite dark yet, and this meant our bad things were over for the trip! Right?
We limped the boat in, tied her off, and went to drown our sorrows with ribs and cheesecake at Sunsetters.
It was a beautiful morning on Guana Cay.
People were streaming onto the island for Sunday Funday. Arriving by boat, ferry, or crawling out of their villas, they were pouring down the street. It was going to be a lively day.
Matt went to cry on his boat for a while, so I kicked back at the house.
I came out of the bathroom to find a strange woman in my den looking at my Tommy Bahama candles.
I wish I was joking.
After I ran her off with a pool noodle I spent the rest of the morning painting over that sign.
With only 2 full days on the island, we had to use part of Sunday Funday as Boat Day. Unfortunately, our fuel pump was out, so our boat was FINISHED.
Thankfully, our friends had their boat, so we piled in and headed for the lagoon.
This spot never disappoints and the day was no exception. We pulled out the snacks, mixed up the drinks, and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
It was Sunday Funday at Nippers, however, so we couldn’t spend all day luxuriating in the sunshine in the peace and quiet. It is a condition of vacationing with Vicki that at least a portion of each Sunday be spent at Nippers.
I can’t help but love the colorful atmosphere, the amazing views, and the fun music.
Okay, I really love the Nippers. Who am I trying to fool?
Unfortunately, my alter ego, Bad Dancer Vicki, seems to come out every time I am at Nippers no matter how honorable my intentions are.
I’m afraid that I am the reason you can’t take your kids to Nippers after 3:00 p.m.
Nippers transforms me from this:
In time honored tradition, we moved the party from Nippers to Grabbers in the late afternoon for some sustenance. Despite the delicious pasta, buffalo wings, and pizza…..apparently, all I wanted were some Doritos.
Sometimes you just really need some Doritos.
Like a flash, it was over.
It no longer makes me sad when I leave, though.
I’ll be back before you can say, "Do you have any swimsuits for sale?"
Until next time, Bikini Hut!