A Quick Easter Break On My Favorite Little Island.
13.04.2017 - 15.05.2017
Now that we have our own place on Guana Cay, we try to get down there every chance we get. So when we had an opportunity to make a quick, last minute trip over Easter weekend, we jumped on the chance.
I was on Cloud 9…I was heading to Bikini Hut!
An early morning flight had us on sunny Abaco by 9:00 a.m. By 9:30 we were loading our bags onto the boat, and by 10:00 we were off and running. We headed straight for Firefly on Elbow Cay for an early “welcome home” lunch.
We enjoyed frosty cocktails in the warm sun, took a quick dip, and had a long and lazy lunch.
I love the food at Firefly. Most of the offerings you find on the Abaco culinary scene are fairly similar…..fish sandwich with fries…..burger with fries….conch with fries. While it’s no secret that I love some fried food, it’s nice to know there are a few restaurants where you can find some creative options. Firefly definitely stands out as one of the best. We enjoyed ginger-sesame crusted tuna tataki followed by crispy coconut fried lobster with fresh mixed greens and the blackened catch of the day with sweet potato fries.
Not a paper plate in sight!
After lunch, we hopped over to Hopetown, intending to visit the Reef Bar and do a little shopping before heading to Guana to settle in.
Hopetown was CRAZY! I have never seen that many people in town before. The Reef Bar was covered up. We realized it was spring break for a lot of families, so we downed one cocktail, took in the views, and jumped back on the boat in search of peace and quiet.
We didn't exactly find peace and quiet. We had friends on the island and we saw their boat in the shallow lagoon on the south end of Guana Cay. We decided to try to creep in despite the fact that it was low tide.
We proceeded to get stuck, had to have our friends pull us off the sand with their boat, and I blew out my favorite flip flop when Matt told me to "GET OFF THE BOAT AND PUSH!"
Once we were safely back out to sea, we limped back to Guana in shame.
Hopetown had been a bust and the Lagoon had been a bigger bust.
We were ready to get to our little island and call it a day. We hoped it would be quieter than we had found Elbow.
Our little island was wonderfully peaceful when we arrived.
We unpacked and settled in, cleaned up, and headed to Grabbers for that first glorious Guana Cay sunset.
Afterwards, we met friends at Kidd’s Cove for a feast. We celebrated their last night on the island and our first with my favorite potato salad, peas n’ rice, salads, and fresh caught snapper.
The next morning I woke up early to see the sunrise and realized I had lost my voice and a splitting headache. I couldn’t be getting sick. I was on vacation!
I had no time to think about being sick. I had packing to do. Sure, we had just arrived, but Matt had convinced me to try spending the night on the boat that night and I needed to rally. I took some Advil and got our stuff together for our overnight trip.
It’s amazing how much stuff I needed to spend one night on the boat.
We had never slept on the boat. It had a nice cabin and it was one of the reasons we decided on the boat we did. We felt like it was a good time to try it out, since this trip was just the two of us. It would be a good way to test run it and see what worked and what didn’t.
Let me just end the suspense….nothing worked.
We had decided to venture to Treasure Cay and spend a night in the marina. It would be great, Matt said. It’s a nice day, he said. We’ll have shore power, he said. We have a nice cabin with a nice bed, he said. We have a working bathroom, he said.
It didn’t start off too badly. The waves were a little bigger than normal, but just enough to elicit joyful shrieks and laughs. But as we picked up speed, the waves got bigger and the wind got stronger and the shrieks were no longer joyful.
The sea was angry that day, friends. Very angry. I was a acutely aware that as a very small woman with no means to secure myself to the boat, I was in a vulnerable position. I tightened my grip on the metal handle in front of me (for which I’m sure there’s some actual boat term but that I prefer to call the “Oh Shit” bar) and held on for dear life.
Our plan was to first go to Treasure Sands on the far end of the beach for lunch and lounging before making our way back to the marina for the night. We got all the way to Treasure Sands before realizing the water was far too rough to stop there.
This meant we had to go ALL THE WAY back to Don’t Rock. Against the wind and against the waves. That’s when the $hit really hit the fan. I knew I was in trouble when Matt told me to just go below, shut the door, and hold on.
The next 20 minutes were violent. The waves pounded the boat hard enough to knock me into the ceiling repeatedly and to cause the microwave to keep flying open and shooting the glass tray across the cabin. I feared I would be decapitated at any moment.
I spent the majority of the ride wedged in with pillows while using my arms as a brace against the ceiling to keep me from flying up and hitting my head. My teeth were banging together. I was pretty sure I was going to die from a head injury caused by an airborne flashlight that had worked its way out of its cubbyhole.
It would have probably been smarter to turn back, but we were committed.
I thought about grabbing the air horn to send Matt a distress signal, but I was pretty sure things were worse up top.
Thankfully, I am not prone to motion sickness.
When we finally pulled into Treasure Cay marina, Matt was grim faced and saltwater soaked from head to toe, and my arms felt like I had done 2 hours of push-ups.
So…sure….it wasn’t a great start.
But as we cruised into the marina, things immediately started looking up. It was calm, sunny, and beautiful.
I set out to explore while Matt tied the boat off and got us checked in at the marina office.
Treasure Cay is definitely the closest thing to a “resort” that I have seen on Abaco, but it wasn’t resorty by any means. It was still just good old Abaco.
“We have a small problem,” Matt said as I returned to the boat.
After the ride over, I really didn’t think any additional problems were acceptable.
“Our power cord isn’t long enough to reach the dock so we won’t have shore power.”
That meant no lights, no microwave, no toilet, no a/c.
Let me translate that into Vicki-speak: Darkness, mosquitoes, 15 minute walk to the bathroom, and no coffee.
This was dire.
“Well,” I said, “At least it’s a cool night and we have a comfy bed.”
“That was another thing I wanted to tell you….”
Apparently, the center cushion that turns two narrow, uncomfortable benches around the table into an actual bed was not on the boat.
What was supposed to be this:
Was, in fact, this:
And I was feeling worse by the minute. The headache that was ever present was now being joined by a horrible sore throat.
We were here now and there was no way in hell I was heading back out into the Sea of Doom for another boat ride.
Instead, we decided to make the best of it and grabbed a taxi to Treasure Sands. If we couldn’t have overnight luxury, we’d have afternoon luxury!
After the horror of the morning, Treasure Sands was pure bliss.
Treasure Sands was posh, uber hip, and an oasis of relaxation. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Poolside champagne made me forget that boat ride had ever happened, and made me temporarily forgot that we had an uncomfortable night in front of us.
Like Firefly, Treasure Sands is one of the better dining options in the Abacos. We enjoyed a decadent lunch. I opted for the open face hot fish – fresh hog snapper delicately fried “Nashville hot chicken” style and served with tangy pickles. Matt went for the always delicious lobster club. Both were served with their parmesan garlic fries.
We lounged late into the afternoon.
Mainly to avoid going back to face this:
But eventually, we made our way back to the marina where we grabbed showers and opened some wine to enjoy with the sunset before dinner.
For a moment, I forgot about the lack of power, the long midnight walk I’d be making to the bathroom, and the two tiny, hard sleeping spaces we had waiting for us below and I realized how much I could enjoy a night on the boat. It was a beautiful night.
We walked from the marina to Coco’s for their Friday Night Fish Fry and started the evening with a hard-earned Treasure Bomb Shot. It tasted like cough syrup and made me wish I had some. I was feeling worse by the minute.
I drowned my sorrows with a frozen blue margarita and then fed them some hot conch fritters.
For dinner, I went with traditional Abaco fare and got the blackened catch, cole slaw, and mac n’ cheese. Matt got daring and ordered the Fish Fry special.
I draw the line at eating things that still have eyes.
We returned for our night on the boat.
I’d love to say, “It wasn’t so bad.” I’d like to convince you that I am a good sport and made the best of a less than ideal situation.
I am not a good sport.
It was miserable.
It was a combination of my increasing congestion, a now incessant cough, and trying to sleep on a narrow sliver of hard vinyl.
It’s important to note that I am a finicky sleeper. I need everything to be exactly perfect for me to drift off: pitch black, cool, silent, with a firm pillow, a thick comforter, and a soft mattress. Matt has equated my sleep set up to being no less complex than launching the space shuttle.
The boat cabin was warm and small with light and sound from the marina flooding into every hatch that had to remain open lest we suffocate without the a/c. The “bed,” we’ll just call it that for fun because we all know that wasn’t a bed, was excessively small and ferociously hard. Because I only brought bedding for ONE bed, not 2 separate beds, we had to split the bedding, so it was completely insubstantial.
I’m not sure who was more miserable, me, who coughed all night long and woke myself up with a loud congested snort every time I managed to doze off, or Matt who had to lay awake and listen to me cough all night long and snore myself awake every 23 minutes.
Oh, and did I mention that it was a FULL MOON? A very huge, bright, shining in the hatch above my head FULL MOON?
Let’s not even talk about the long walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
It was a long night.
But we survived it. As the sun rose over Treasure Cay, I felt like I’d been hit with a sledgehammer.
We made our way to the small quick market and perused the laughable and awkward medicinal offerings. I found a $24 bottle of DayQuil and an $8 bottle of some unrecognizable nasal spray.
It would have to do.
It’s amazing what a little medicine can do. I felt 90% human and went in search of coffee, since we didn’t have any power.
I found myself at Florence’s and remembered reading about the legendary cinnamon rolls generated by this modest cafe. I popped in for coffee (heaven!), breakfast sandwiches, and ….mmmmm……..cinnamon rolls.
Obviously, whatever illness I had did nothing to my appetite.
After some coffee and sugar, I felt 99% human.
At least for the time being.
We made our way back to Guana and marveled at the beautiful day.
With no plans for the day, we headed to Mermaids on the Rocks for lunching and lounging.
If you recall, it opened just last month, about a week before our March visit.
I still really loved the place.
Tish, the bartender, mixed us up some fantastic cocktails that we enjoyed with their killer view.
We knew their dinner was good, so we wanted to try lunch. It was fantastic.
Oooey, gooey loaded nachos, a cheesy burger, and a panko coconut fish sandwich made for lunch perfection.
Their crystal clear pool made the perfect place for a post-lunch siesta.
We followed Mermaids with trip to Grabbers for a dip in the water.
My DayQuil was starting to wear off, so we headed home. I grabbed some Vicks and Advil at Guana Grocery to round out my vacation cocktail that I hoped would get me through the rest of the trip.
After some down time, we headed to Grabbers for sunset and drinks.
Do we get tired of going to the same places over and over?
We followed that with rib night at Orchid Bay.
The next morning was Easter Sunday. We hadn’t thought to bring church clothes, so we headed to the beach to have our own sunrise service.
As the sun rose higher into the sky, I was not only thankful for the gift of God’s son and my salvation, but for all the gifts he has blessed my life with.
What a beautiful reminder of what really matters.
Not interested in another bone jarring boat ride, we decided to keep ourselves parked on Guana for the day, as the wind hadn’t really subsided.
We spent a lazy morning at Grabbers doing a lot of nothing. Which was absolutely perfect.
I felt like death on a cracker, but was surviving on a steady diet of DayQuil and alcohol.
Nippers Sunday Funday and Easter went together about as well as cats and sweaters, so we took a pass. It just didn’t feel right.
We chose to end the trip with dinner at Mermaids – seared tuna for me and pasta carbonara for Matt.
Mermaids was still hitting home runs.
Our trip had come to an end, but that was probably for the best. I was quickly running out of $24 DayQuil and the closest thing Guana Cay had to a doctor was Troy, who owns the dive shop and also serves as the entire Fire Department and the island’s entire EMS division.
It was time to head home….and for once….I was okay with that.