A Travellerspoint blog

Bikini Hut: Before and After

Bikini Hut is about 115 years old and has served as everything from a home to 13 children (yes, at the same time) to an actual Bikini Store. The cottage had been recently renovated completely, so everything was in top notch shape when we bought it. We just needed to change out the decor and add our own touch to it (seriously....who says "I think the perfect furniture for our beach house would be some red leather sofas and a black leather theater chair"??? Don't even get me started on that PVC and plywood table.....).

Sands_Home.jpg

We only had 2 weeks to make it ours, but I loved every minute of it. I decided to keep the name the house came with, because it suits the house and it suits me. Here’s the before and after!

Before:

Exterior:

21912866782_3a4b1192b0.jpg

21912847892_9c0a068287.jpg

Living Area:

21736739578_5fc25cc120.jpg

21736752158_ef3a9c9de7.jpg

21736769468_8117a46d72.jpg

Bathroom:

21934381631_766f478f4c.jpg

21736608420_1f799e0a07.jpg

Kitchen:

21737813189_7c423f803c.jpg

21736636640_6340462111.jpg

21912714372_181f51bb0f.jpg

21898557876_e751f4e716.jpg

Dining Area (what is now the Murphy Bed Room):

21898469336_b594131b51.jpg

21736580760_905ca1bf26.jpg

Bedroom:

21898575696_b25574745c.jpg

21736672430_2d08e79f07.jpg

21303603853_34d1437a79.jpg

After:

Exterior:

21638293885_2b295b29cc.jpg

21017065543_ebf051e152.jpg

21647151801_c52fbcd3d6.jpg

21638245445_d1ef847227.jpg

Living/Dining Area:

21450139308_1c9cf2ef85.jpg

21450125298_978b8dd706.jpg

21646953981_084e5c2aa3.jpg

(There is actually a flipping millipede in the picture above! Damn millipedes!)

21611807976_24877dc2f3.jpg

21016888903_9e1b16bd11.jpg

21646984661_e70fbf000c.jpg

21611835286_4e32b2935d.jpg

21611859746_cf62ffe3ce.jpg

21451157679_f03c0e7ac5.jpg

21016957723_2524206e78.jpg

21647111971_6e9a3052ca.jpg

21638196275_e79473cab2.jpg

21611895826_1bfb4b27de.jpg

21450230528_77af03f49d.jpg

21611882366_dea6b24b34.jpg

21016949023_e442b03118.jpg

21450064430_2b7f2fb5e0.jpg

21450204880_ea20932a20.jpg

21612084706_3135b2fb4d.jpg

21450455028_4f41acfc9d.jpg

21450469558_12e1841705.jpg

Bathroom:

21449961248_f2e51a6371.jpg

21449746970_4fe19a148b.jpg

21646786531_89b3af5dda.jpg

Murphy Bed Room:

21449996938_955df6d7ff.jpg

21646810261_8b5e973539.jpg

21016700073_8675092f29.jpg

21611752556_ecfcdd9114.jpg

Kitchen:

21016712023_fff9257e84.jpg

21450042018_1daee32a46.jpg

21637934165_9f979de63f.jpg

21646868691_36f0837bdb.jpg

21626455572_c12a00fa3a.jpg

21450963569_717da4214e.jpg

21637981845_c123008290.jpg

Bedroom:

21611597786_3368dc16e4.jpg

21450568958_9044229551.jpg

21017239503_d4f0e21c9d.jpg

21450545108_e67a111762.jpg

21015548094_21f420e179.jpg

21647325161_4ab3546920.jpg

21450508278_52e3b9a3ca.jpg

21626871552_6dca2a5a76.jpg

21450249830_2dbac83df7.jpg

Want to stay at Bikini Hut???? We’re taking a limited number of reservations. Check us out on VRBO!

http://www.vrbo.com/762793

D6D2F2C00D144C2D41681B8D5F655FEC.jpg

Posted by vicki_h 05:50 Archived in Bahamas Tagged island caribbean tropical abaco elbow_cay guana_cay marsh_harbour treasure_cay lubbers_landing Comments (8)

Flip This House: Guana Cay Edition Part III

Monday, September 14:

10:00 a.m. Eleuthera was a sweet dream. What a fantastic weekend! But now we are back to Abaco to finish this place up! Before we head back to Guana, we’re going to try shopping in Marsh Harbour again. There are still a few things we need. This will be even worse than the last shopping experience. Not only will we undoubtedly be subject to the frustrations of high prices and limited selection, we will be doing it with two panting dogs.

10:15 a.m. We appear to be in the same faded out mini-van. Wait, this one is a different color. You mean there are two of these?

11:00 a.m. Shopping has not been easy. We can only go into the stores one at a time, because one of us has to stay outside with the dogs so we can keep the a/c in the mini-van on. This has not been efficient. It’s already hard enough trying to find anything in this place. And I'm not sure how much longer this mini-van can keep running.

11:30 a.m. Just left Furniture Plus and will not be back. You know you are being taken advantage of when all of the prices in the entire store are listed in terms of what it costs you per month. I wish I was joking.

12:00 p.m. The power is out at Bed, Bath, and Between but that didn’t stop them from selling me a mattress for $299. This was such a significant improvement over the $600 mattress at Furniture Plus that I bought it in the dark. I am assuming it’s okay…..?

12:30 p.m. Grabbing a quick lunch at Snappa’s before trying to get on the ferry with luggage, 2 dogs, a 6 foot bougainvillea, an anchor, and countless bags of crap. Maybe I should get another bushwacker.

21932489301_88481f33cc.jpg

21896590676_14da6b4667.jpg

21910726382_0626c64c51.jpg

21734887668_3ae195e28a.jpg

21299984854_4b2d9fae33.jpg

1:32 p.m. Almost got tossed off the ferry when the operator impaled himself on the bougainvillea, but all is well. Matt is keeping it from blowing off the back of the ferry. I am pretty sure it won’t have any leaves left by the time we get back.

3:00 p.m. It’s raining and the freight boat is about to show up with our mattress. Aaauugghhh!

3:15 p.m. Pretty image: a child playing in the rain without a care in the world. Ugly image: Matt and Vicki running through the rain from the ferry dock with a mattress on their heads.

21299912034_999d67b4f3.jpg

21299949114_0cda0bfd88.jpg

5:22 p.m. Matt went over to use the phone at Seaside and came home with new friends. They gave us leftover groceries and a bunch of lemons, so they are now my friends too! On an island where a box of cereal costs $9, the fastest way to my heart is with free groceries.

21896476056_2d7f8c795a.jpg

21734573260_2df6a59962.jpg

7:45 p.m. I love, love, love Kidd’s Cove. I love living next to Kidd’s Cove. Great drinks, great food, nice people. And I only have to take 3 steps to be back home. Or crawl. Whatever the case may be.

Tuesday, September 15

Millipede count: 3

7:25 a.m. A millipede just fell off the ceiling and landed on my head.

9:10 a.m. Rooby and Bella have declared Bikini Hut awesome. They have taken up permanent residence on the sofa that sits below the two windows that face out onto Front Street. They have barked at every resident of Guana this morning. Twice.

21910551502_65687203d8.jpg

21450395698_1e7a6ab53f.jpg

2:30 p.m. I don’t know what made me decide to paint the shutters today. It is so ludicrously hot and humid today it’s hard to even breathe outside, much less do any physical activity. I have sweat rolling into my pants. I didn’t even know that was possible. I might pass out. I don’t have a ladder so I am standing on a cooler. It's getting slippery because I think my feet are sweating. I think every resident of Guana has driven by just to see what I am doing. Twice.

21922553005_4a71d213b5.jpg

3:30 p.m. I thought painting in this heat was stupid. Matt is actually digging holes to plant the bougainvilleas. That’s definitely worse.

4:00 p.m. I love the new paint! Love, love, love, love!

21017065543_ebf051e152.jpg

21638245445_d1ef847227.jpg

21647151801_c52fbcd3d6.jpg

21015346524_869d7001f8.jpg

21638293885_2b295b29cc.jpg

4:30 p.m. Bikini Hut is official! She has her own sign!

21626801242_e76ea87992.jpg

7:14 p.m. Nothing left to do today but have a frozen grabber, watch the sunset, and head to Kidd’s Cove for some more lobster.

21735670389_e1878daa94.jpg

21299789204_0b615a8697.jpg

21735636469_6d6ea0b56a.jpg

21301394923_e3431dd63b.jpg

21932221641_dcc89256da.jpg

Wednesday, September 16

9:08 a.m. I can’t believe it. We almost have everything done. We will actually get finished today. That means we can actually get out on the boat tomorrow and have a proper vacation day! Whoop whoop!

11:02 a.m. Time to paint the Murphy bed!

21301356523_f92b7ddb9b.jpg

12:14 p.m. It’s time for lunch and I am covered in paint. I need to make something here and I have used up all the food that doesn’t need to be cooked because I have not figured out how to get the gas working on the stove.

12: 17 p.m. Googling “hot point 24” gas oven” right now.

12:31 p.m. Matt is recovering after coming inside to find me with my head stuck in the oven. I’m not sure what he thought was going on, but he now understands I was just lighting the elusive pilot light.

12:58 p.m. We have cooked our first actual meal in Bikini Hut!

21932196491_2694d0d034.jpg

3:32 p.m. I feel like I have been painting this Murphy bed forever.

4:42 p.m. The Murphy bed is painted and dry. All that is left is to affix this wall decal that looks like a headboard. Seriously, how cool is that????

headboard.jpg

4:44 p.m. Carefully peel the decal from the backing paper. Simply press to the wall and smooth with your hands.” Well that sounds easy enough.

4:48 p.m. That was easy! It looks amazing! Wait, it’s a little crooked.

5:02 p.m. Why, why, why did I peel it back off? I can’t believe it just stuck to itself and crumpled into a ball like that. I read several DIY blogs before I did this. They made it sound very easy. They are obviously liars. Or they possess DIY superpowers that I don’t have. For heaven’s sake! Every time I peel a piece away from itself it sticks to another piece. Is it possible that it is getting even more stuck the more I unstick it??????

5:14 p.m. After 24 minutes of trying to return my decal to a decal-like shape instead of a wadded-up-ball-of-sticky-paper like shape, I have walked away. I am going to do some angry cleaning (you do that too, don’t you?)

5:40 p.m. I am back at the decal. I will not be defeated by this.

5:43 p.m. Matt just walked in, started to say something, looked at my face, turned, and walked back out. He is a very smart man.

5:52 p.m. Time out for several minutes of angry crying.

6:04 p.m. Hot damn and hallelujah! Somehow, I got the decal to let go of itself and have managed to get it back on the wall.

Wait.......I think it’s a little crooked....

21016700073_8675092f29.jpg

6:15 p.m. Ta-da! The Murphy bed nearly killed us both, but it is complete.

21734614558_a3922b26f9.jpg

21299705984_e5b4994fba.jpg

21646810261_8b5e973539.jpg

7:40 p.m. I just made our first “real” meal (pita bread pizzas don’t count) in the Bikini Hut kitchen. Tacos with plantains and smashed potatoes, fresh guacamole, and chips and salsa. Sitting down to a real meal for the first time in “our beach house.” I think I just gave myself goosebumps.

21299681954_010d2b012b.jpg

21301279373_9499705d3f.jpg

Thursday, September 17

Millipede count: 5

bh_1.jpg

7:00 a.m. Today is the first day we don’t really have a lot to do! We are finally going to take that boat out today! Yee haw!

8:04 a.m. It’s raining. Like, really, really raining.

9:22 a.m. Raining.

10:16 a.m. Raining.

10:25 a.m. Used all those lemons to make lemonade.

21733937058_83a00b8db4.jpg

21299023944_b08e9f509d.jpg

11:17 a.m. Matt got bored and drank all the lemonade.

11:38 a.m. Raining.

11:49 a.m. Even the dogs are bored.

bh3.jpg

12:04 p.m. There is a brief break in the rain. We have been cooped up in here all morning, so we are going to run to Grabbers for some wings.

21299648304_e1029b243a.jpg

12:54 p.m. We can see the clouds, but the rain is still holding off. We’re going to see if we can grab lunch at Nippers.

1:33 p.m. Eating at the bar. Why? Because it’s raining.

21735509039_9875e87892.jpg

21734324670_bc1290da21.jpg

3:45 p.m. You guessed it. Raining. I did go out to find some driftwood when the rain slacked to a drizzle for about an hour. I saw this DIY driftwood fish on Pinterest:

D59D43F29FDEF1DE5DE294D8A402F34E.jpg

Is it just me or does mine look insane? It's like a crazy fish. It’s probably angry about the rain.

bh5.jpg

7:27 p.m. I don’t think we are getting out on the boat today.

Friday, September 18

Millipede count: 4.5 (Rooby must have gotten that one)

7:01 a.m. It’s BEAUTIFUL today! Boat day….here we come.

21734302120_f601743f91.jpg

21735463519_b2634bf6e0.jpg

21299580424_6d48f55d05.jpg

21301185283_e59b0be064.jpg

8:10 a.m. Matt just informed me that we have to have the boat at the boatyard on Marsh Harbour by noon today so that they can pull it out of the water for storage. They are closed tomorrow. “Boat Day” just became “Boat Hours.”

9:04 a.m. Cooler is packed with lunch and drinks, towels are in the beach bag, sunscreen is on. Let’s make the most of this boat day!

21910258392_3822741685.jpg

21910277952_13744f32b0.jpg

9:45 a.m. I can’t think of a better place to be.

21910245912_ce81224cae.jpg

21734202430_98a9276f54.jpg

21735335699_3e52a94552.jpg

21922160445_0a32b63941.jpg

21896059346_776457aa55.jpg

21895965756_1c69235785.jpg

21299450474_b04994e3db.jpg

21735274379_1fdd9e7ef7.jpg

21931835221_9a889e3c5f.jpg

11:00 a.m. Time for a boat drink! I have rum. I have limes. I have ice. I have pineapple juice. I have…..no cups.

11:05 a.m. It pays to be married to a boy scout.

21922174955_07e36ae878.jpg

12:10 p.m. Bye-bye boat. See you next time!

21922095115_47380778a7.jpg

12:45 p.m. We are at the nursery buying another giant plant. I am afraid the ferry operator is going to throw us off when he sees it after what happened with the bougainvillea.

1:15 p.m. Waiting at Snappa's for the ferry.

bh2.jpg

1:31 p.m. The ferry operator cringed when he saw us, but he said nothing. The plant is safely on the ferry.

2:24 p.m. I just paid Milo $25 dollars for 3 conch shells that I can get on the beach in front of Grabbers for free. Why? Because it’s Milo.

5:10 p.m. This is the most relaxing and wonderful day so far. The house is done, it’s clean, we are clean, and there are no tools sitting on my sofa. This is what it feels like to have a beach house. It feels good.

7:05 p.m. There is nothing better than a beach walk with Bella and Rooby.

21895841776_078ce607e0.jpg

21299246794_8f96f0cffb.jpg

21734132138_7e5320c090.jpg

21300837783_ecd50b70b8.jpg

21735070709_c5704de97d.jpg

21299188054_55c6be08a6.jpg

21921913385_932f78782a.jpg

21299169314_2f1b14c360.jpg

21909869682_53b9c22b91.jpg

7:45 p.m. We are at Kidd’s Cove again. Seriously, why not when it is THIS close to Bikini Hut?

21300939963_8ffb6940ea.jpg

21300962493_040b48b580.jpg

21300920023_0233c0585d.jpg

I am pretty sure it’s our new favorite. In addition to the best lobster and great drinks, they have Eddie G.

21300749913_91e6fc6d41.jpg

21300727893_5f6720ce2b.jpg

21909841572_a02c2f7319.jpg

21299093204_1577528f0a.jpg

21921812745_733c3286dc.jpg

21895640356_99abde76bc.jpg

Saturday, September 19

9:10 a.m. It’s already time to pack, clean, and get ready to go home. :-(

21301451973_dc2fcf7ba7.jpg

7:00 p.m. We spent an uneventful day packing everything, securing the house, doing laundry, and cleaning. Time for one last meal at Island Flavors.

21921701085_2d2c2200ec.jpg

21733651680_62d77203b1.jpg

21909674652_d8ff35e7f7.jpg

Sunday, September 20

21921716525_5cf49ccd34.jpg

21921738205_7604a36303.jpg

9:30 a.m. I can’t believe we are already flying home. It flew by. We have a lot less stuff than we had coming down.

bh6.jpg

21921663745_af8912e5d4.jpg

I can't wait to come back. Bikini Hut is now home.

bh7.jpg

Want to see the before and after? Click HERE!

Posted by vicki_h 05:43 Archived in Bahamas Tagged island caribbean tropical abaco elbow_cay guana_cay marsh_harbour treasure_cay lubbers_landing Comments (2)

Flip This House: Guana Cay Edition Part II

Taking a vacation from our vacation: A Weekend in Eleuthera!

Sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation. When the vacation has been spent painting, sweating, getting blisters, and picking up an endless army of millipedes, this is certainly the case.

We decided to treat ourselves for “getting over the hump” by flying over to North Eleuthera for the weekend. I was a little worried that this would stymie our momentum and that we’d return on Monday and never get finished before it was time to go home.

A weekend off turned out to be the best decision we could have made.

I picked Eleuthera because it was close. I picked North Eleuthera because, in true neurotic planning fashion, I knew it was off season, so I had emailed EVERY SINGLE RESTAURANT ON THE ISLAND to see what was open. Most of the places I found open were on the north end. So the decision was made.

I settled on Ocean Tally as a place to stay for several reasons: 1) The website was simply gorgeous; 2) the cliffside location and whitewashed buildings reminded me of Greece; and 3) She said Bella and Rooby could come.

Friday, September 11

The flight from Marsh Harbour to Eleuthera was short and uneventful. Within 30 minutes, we were flying over the north end of Eleuthera and landing at the North Eleuthera airport.

21692524210_c091aaa914.jpg

21880569815_3fd2838673.jpg

On Eleuthera, you don’t get online and reserve a rental car. You don’t even call a rental car agency. You call a “guy.” Our guy was Wendell and he had left an extremely sandy Ford Explorer at the airport. It even came with shiny beads and a broken stereo remote which, despite its non-working status, was displayed proudly and prominently on the dash with velcro. We paid cash and there was no paperwork. I was pretty sure this car did not come with roadside assistance.

21868623152_39200a094a.jpg

21692485550_b92271e906.jpg

21890190041_a9a7b95e80.jpg

For the bumpy, rough, dirt roads of Eleuthera, it was exactly what we needed.

We arrived a bit after lunch time and we were starving. Thankfully, the drive out to Whale Point was pretty quick.

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the owner, Annette, who quickly took us to our cottage, asked if we needed anything, and left us to get settled, directing us to just come up to the lighthouse bar/restaurant when we were ready.

21691794148_6b51b89f98.jpg

21880228655_70a32732e5.jpg

21259199033_300d171374.jpg

21692226180_a82beae665.jpg

21259254353_e0131bcd24.jpg

I knew that Ocean Tally was a fairly new place, but I had no idea we were the first overnight guests EVER. We were also the only guests. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Our cottage was perched right on the ocean and it was impeccably clean and bright.

21692128950_3709723c65.jpg

21692117940_f001d5a5be.jpg

21259088733_dd45dd93cf.jpg

21692470840_6f1cff1364.jpg

21693664109_83ec8e62fa.jpg

21880516535_b8952c61bf.jpg

21258875513_3220f2b61b.jpg

21692443420_b897a139e5.jpg

21880346775_cab71fcc77.jpg

21889983871_6469112254.jpg

21259239093_133f045019.jpg

21880303065_e40a5c4225.jpg

We dropped Rooby and Bella off in the cottage and walked up the short, sandy path to the lighthouse where the bar and restaurant were housed. It was stunning.

21854053396_2b7c782814.jpg

21890075311_ebfe92e4bc.jpg

21692354590_873cffa002.jpg

21693625709_331e7cfa6a.jpg

21880471245_a4757cd0b6.jpg

21692397800_9ee6b66077.jpg

They started us off with cocktails as we perused the lunch menu. The cocktails were a heavy pour.

21880478735_ea8212d6db.jpg

21692335770_e3b0f6fdc4.jpg

Vicki liked.

I expected the usual Bahamian lunch fare: fish sandwich, hamburger, cracked conch.

I did not expect delicate stuffed crab with pickled red cabbage and butter curry lobster.

21854244296_78302094a8.jpg

21259313053_94964bf51d.jpg

21868448592_94312c3bf6.jpg

Vicki loved.

The past week had been exhausting. Sure, we were on an exciting new island with new things to see, but all we really wanted to do was sleep. After our booze and lobster filled lunch, we crashed. We all slept for the rest of the afternoon.

bh10.jpg

We woke up feeling better than we had felt all week. The crisp, fresh linens were soft and cool and the views from the windows that wrapped around 3 sides of the cottage fed our senses.

We were so happy to be here.

We took Rooby and Bella for a walk around the grounds before dinner.

21692549198_c2e2dfc693.jpg

21854199196_075cca3d9d.jpg

21854286096_19128f0545.jpg

21692442288_28bef46b48.jpg

21692377828_7cb56a630a.jpg

Did you know that you can eat sea grapes? You can. They are mostly pit and taste pretty much like a tart, slightly astringent grape, but you can eat them. You know. If you want to.

(Of course I ate one)

21854087596_3066d5f0e6.jpg

21693371939_380162fa06.jpg

We were too tired to drive anywhere for dinner, so we decided to eat at Ocean Tally again. Our first meal was so spectacular, we couldn’t wait to try another. When the food and view are that amazing, why go anywhere else?

While we were the only overnight guests that weekend, there was a small and lively crowd at the lighthouse enjoying sunset cocktails and chatter.

21880155585_e33618c6e6.jpg

21692077910_fd01334347.jpg

21693262489_3672ed01e6.jpg

21692283248_55fbee5b1c.jpg

We started off with spicy shrimp with polenta cakes, followed by blackened grouper topped with fresh mango.

21691969060_a7671325bd.jpg

21258926253_821fb89e84.jpg

Dinner was absolutely as good as lunch. We agreed that Ocean Tally had the best food we have had in the Bahamas.

For dessert, I had the key lime pie, but for some reason, the photo was blurry. Probably because I was shoving it into my mouth as I tried to take the photo.

21257263144_b9f9fcddd7.jpg

Matt had the pastry wrapped banana with ice cream. It was delicious, but there is literally no way you can arrange those three items on a plate and it not look inappropriate…..

21693174149_5ac1a1aafe.jpg

21259018593_c4e64b8189.jpg

Saturday, September 12

21693117659_6f581ac575.jpg

21257243084_816f8ba97e.jpg

21868029562_f91359934c.jpg

Thanks to the hospitality of Annette, we were feeling rested and rejuvenated. We woke up early to watch the sunrise.

Annette showed up at our cottage with a wonderful breakfast tray each morning: cereal, milk, fresh squeezed OJ, fruit, yogurt, spread, and baked goods. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place to eat breakfast than the deck of our cottage.

21693080019_b29cf6950b.jpg

21693069899_29415b905c.jpg

21257192634_6a598de5a3.jpg

21691850300_cb7892a988.jpg

21693032489_335e26289e.jpg

21258809323_0ea38d3dd1.jpg

Ocean Tally is located on Whale Point, a finger of land that juts out with the ocean on one side and a calm bay on the other. The cottages are located on the rocky cliffs on the ocean side, but Annette has a little golf cart that guests can use to ride a short distance down the road to their beach.

21889504551_42aa7d46a3.jpg

We found the beach entrance easily enough.

There was no one on the entire beach but us. I spent at least an hour beachcombing because the beach had more beautiful shells and sea glass than any beach I had been on in a long time.

21853712396_c17b76663c.jpg

21258763273_35cfed1ae3.jpg

21879818935_290cdd0fb2.jpg

21258666773_b4cf71c7cd.jpg

21867872512_a83fc5935d.jpg

21256968194_784439acdb.jpg

21889373841_0a7c32ba73.jpg

21692850249_5d81358321.jpg

21691591560_5237a5ec90.jpg

Matt found himself some seats and took a load off. I’m not sure, but I think this means the crates are seats, so don’t steal them. Whatever it means, it gets my vote for best sign ever.

21256939404_4bae4a5bfd.jpg

When we felt like the dogs had their fill of beach running, we took them back to Ocean Tally, dusted them off, and sent them into the cottage for naps while we drove a short distance to The Cove resort for lunch.

21692742279_559115e117.jpg

21867662592_fae5e60ea1.jpg

21258497783_d1e4de918d.jpg

21691731078_8f45559e9f.jpg

Developed by New Orleans entrepreneur Sidney D. Torres, IV, the Cove is touted as one of the best resorts in the Bahamas. As we walked onto the grounds, I could see why. Tall palm trees, as lithe and elegant as runway models lined the walkway that led us through grass so green and lush it didn’t look real. Stylishly chic geometric cottages dotted the landscape, separated by clean walkways and beautiful outdoor spaces. A rocky cape separated 2 perfect coves with soft white sand beaches. The grounds were littered with driftwood benches, elegantly crocheted hammocks, and perfectly white sofas. It was white on white with a side of pink sand.

21691715668_b2906d3e5d.jpg

21853361136_ffb8c573ee.jpg

21256776244_571fd76ce4.jpg

21691431180_7b882c63fd.jpg

21258345473_7634519a70.jpg

21853055716_cf67735115.jpg

21691140610_a025ee1d85.jpg

21692319859_0cb60180df.jpg

21867242282_1134526413.jpg

21256426524_eaa9dc6e50.jpg

21852978046_1a653d5451.jpg

21852962696_96b4cb30cd.jpg

21258038463_9b17067600.jpg

21258025513_f30f63af4e.jpg

21256289484_ce59f42b1a.jpg

We made our way to the restaurant and bar where a cool blue infinity pool beckoned invitingly. We were immediately greeted and made to feel welcome, despite the fact that we were obviously NOT part of the jet set that frequents this place.

Along with lunch, we were able to pay $35 each for a day pass. This granted us access to all of the luxurious amenities the Cove had to offer. I once paid $50 for two crappy beach chairs and a slightly crooked umbrella pressed against 500 other beach goers in Seaside, FL. $70 seemed like a bargain.

21691649178_54e2de7253.jpg

21691346480_868e9bc89e.jpg

21256664724_61ddb1a152.jpg

21256646654_73f7c996c9.jpg

21691553578_40142be2d5.jpg

21692498609_6880f0b3cc.jpg

We started off with some cocktails while we decided what to do first: beach or pool?

Beach.

21692480739_d95929c660.jpg

21691408028_1295e46d4e.jpg

21888976381_df4cc85962.jpg

21691166260_e9b13b654f.jpg

Not being actual guests of the resort, we were surprised when the beach attendant came running over to open our umbrella, lay out clean, cool towels and bring us ice water before we even set our bags down.

When we wanted a drink from the bar, all we had to do was stick our little Cove flag in the sand and someone showed up instantly.

21258245943_a17debacfc.jpg

21853112616_dcdce1916a.jpg

21692442979_02c1d55d15.jpg

21867368622_97f915717b.jpg

21256518764_1c0f890998.jpg

21853124026_2a8d938315.jpg

21258190453_8d08624db5.jpg

This drink was champagne with a touch of kiwi puree. Seriously. That must be ½ a bottle of champagne.

21879254645_bac9bdafbe.jpg

21256273684_e111bb53c1.jpg

We did nothing more than soak in the sun and sip giant glasses of kiwi infused champagne until we were hungry for lunch. Lunch could be served on the beach, but I wanted a clean, cool, fly-free lunch experience.

The restaurant was as elegant as the rest of the property. The interior was decked out in white on white with the occasional dash of driftwood, with floor to ceiling walls of glass that let the beauty of the outside in. I felt transported to another place entirely. Like Ocean Tally, this was not your typical Bahamian dive-y, paper-plate happy, fried food establishment. There was no sand on the floor, no lizards in the bathroom, and no flies on my food.

21258008953_d876e048a9.jpg

21852912666_2053429840.jpg

21852900236_8efa11d2c8.jpg

21691208428_a33159bc5c.jpg

21257978903_006f8548fa.jpg

21691215438_b9fd6f4cd5.jpg

I dove enthusiastically into the bacon cheeseburger and fries while Matt watched his figure with a jerk chicken wrap.

We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in the infinity pool.

21692161099_43524ef919.jpg

21258387113_bdd66e30ae.jpg

21879449745_cd3cf2ecca.jpg

21258361143_97670eff80.jpg

21852827266_9405cb6930.jpg

We made a quick stop at Surfer’s Beach before heading back to Ocean Tally.

21867052982_1e7df98fea.jpg

21257893333_90829fd5f6.jpg

21256228064_063604e3fd.jpg

Ocean Tally was hosting a birthday party dinner that night, so we got to enjoy the festivities. They had live music and a fire pit on the ocean.

Because of the number of guests, dinner was a set menu: crab cake salad (AMAZING) and chicken piccata (AMAZING).

We agreed that, while the Cove had an outstanding setting, Ocean Tally’s food blew it away.

21691107368_d879eda66d.jpg

21690849160_9b8a01a476.jpg

21878900035_cf8fb04d41.jpg

21852727766_15fcc1ee5b.jpg

21866993522_8dfe4ed31e.jpg

Not only that, we thought Ocean Tally beat the Cove in all respects. Sure, the Cove had glitz and glamour, but Ocean Tally was intimate and special. It had a beautiful location, spectacular cottages with significantly more privacy, and, because of its smaller size, Ocean Tally was more personal and warm. It suited us perfectly.

21692024770_59543fdec1.jpg

Sunday, September 13:

We woke to another outstanding sunrise at Ocean Tally.

21888511791_af47cba219.jpg

21888504391_b2b4d05e2a.jpg

21691026368_afe122dc1b.jpg

21888479241_2e1110fb2a.jpg

21257772233_55917e8073.jpg

21256105374_c47883347d.jpg

21888450711_38c6934622.jpg

21866875932_5e97281d8b.jpg

We were also treated to another delightful breakfast on our deck.

21888410961_40804c1c30.jpg

21866833892_0eac4f0208.jpg

21690921298_c5cdf2b0d7.jpg

21256017924_3bb55fbf7d.jpg

Rooby believes breakfast should be a shared experience.

bh11.jpg

After breakfast, Matt and I decided to brave the rocks and walk down to the tide pool below the lighthouse. This was not an easy task in flip flops, but that was all we had, so we just walked very…..very…..carefully.

21257639013_709d1b2b25.jpg

21691865419_fbb196abda.jpg

21690905518_0f65d61420.jpg

After a soak in the pool, we walked the grounds and just took in the amazing details of the property. The Cove was like Ruth’s Cris, fancy and upscale, but not particularly unique. Ocean Tally was like that amazing little bistro that you have in your town where the desserts are all made by hand and original art hangs on the walls. There was so much time, effort, art, and love put into every inch of the place.

21878820995_d884d3ec41.jpg

21256069044_838923b8e8.jpg

21878780465_566b33f984.jpg

21852519706_961be2d26a.jpg

21257590833_9abef52bca.jpg

21690583080_817eb8dbab.jpg

21878617755_37f842b679.jpg

21255871994_8a0ea6906d.jpg

21852418676_8b3b3ded79.jpg

21691699059_9fc937cce5.jpg

21690492250_6e8d4d2da0.jpg

21866587612_4ebb32dac0.jpg

21690702538_7726d975d5.jpg

21690442290_b8b1286069.jpg

After taking the dogs for a walk, we loaded up in the car and set out to find Ben Bay beach. We had seen it when we were flying in and knew we had to go there.

21854415836_1569a3bb11.jpg

The only negative about Eleuthera is that the beaches are hard to find and hard to get to even if you have incredibly good directions. I had good directions, but they looked like this:

From the highway turn right, then left-right-left. And there you'll be, at a really pretty beach.

What the directions failed to mention was that, once you left the highway, the remaining 20 minutes of your journey would be on extraordinarily rough dirt roads that were approximately ¾ the width of your car and that you would scrape against every shrub, bush, and tree that grew beside the road, would come across multiple turns that you couldn’t clearly identify as a road or a driveway or a footpath (is that a turn?), and would encounter multiple spots where the road was submerged under a foot of muddy water. There are also no signs of ANY KIND. None.

We ended up at a dead end, had no room to turn around, and had to back down the road for about ¾ of a mile at one point.

As we scraped past one particularly large bush for the second time, I was suddenly very happy that we had paid cash for the rental car and had no paperwork. Clearly, this was more of an advantage to us than it was to the person that owned this car.

Somehow, we found it.

It was worth it.

21852308506_3b7878b94c.jpg

Ben Bay was a perfect cove. The water was shallow and clear, the sand soft and white, and no one else was there.

This, my friends, is the beauty of the Bahamas. Where else are you going to have a beach like this to yourselves?

21852294456_e745c66f8f.jpg

We spent several blissful hours on Ben Bay before we started to get hungry.

21690425470_06bc947a10.jpg

21690534868_97503c8617.jpg

21690613298_92d37d9096.jpg

21690554768_3d3f7d999e.jpg

21690369550_36ef93bd42.jpg

21255687674_d98aea0b5e.jpg

21255675174_23f4d8c511.jpg

21852152696_a5992f4d5c.jpg

21878359015_6d54454f0a.jpg

21690270500_d88f11a58a.jpg

21257218863_3843922e05.jpg

21866320482_e41a3dab85.jpg

21852106476_507b6ba631.jpg

21691432289_5602ba0724.jpg

21866330102_e0b13a92cd.jpg

Before we headed back, however, I convinced Matt we needed to find the “blue hole.” No, not the famous blue hole on Eleuthera, the other one. The one no one seems to know the location of and the one you can’t find directions to ANYWHERE.

I had used my clever interweb skills and had pieced together what I believed to be a reasonably close, albeit sketchy, set of directions. It was very close to where we already were, so Matt agreed.

God love him.

Leave it to me to bypass the tourist friendly, well mapped Ocean Hole of Eleuthera, a blue hole that has signs, a park, and picnic tables for guests and, instead, head straight for the “blue hole in north Eleuthera that is somewhere in the midst of the ganga fields…be careful that you don’t step into the wrong area.”

Sure, I wasn’t 100% certain where the blue hole was and there were an inordinate number of dirt tracks that all looked the same, but a gun battle with ganja farmers was not on my radar. I wanted to jump into that blue hole!

My directions proved to be spot on, thanks to a little help from a Google satellite image where I was pretty certain I had identified the hole. We found it easily enough.

All of my bravado instantly evaporated, however, when I actually stood at the edge of the hole. I found myself staring at a 25 foot jump into an endless chasm of cobalt water.

21852071586_8319e2d048.jpg

21690154690_d4107b5f4b.jpg

21866268582_5cd57b3ea9.jpg

How did I know there weren’t any rocks down there? How deep was it? How far was it really? How hard would I land? How would I get out?

It literally took every ounce of nerve I had to jump off that cliff. And it hurt like hell.

The difference between Matt and Vicki can be perfectly illustrated by our jump into the blue hole.

Matt: Jumps off with enthusiasm and confidence. Body is immediately symmetrical and straight as an arrow. Glides into water like an angel. Lands perfectly, feet first.

21866149902_1da6c5bfce.jpg

21690002630_4914b1aedb.jpg

21255322614_417af9f39c.jpg

21878058765_8c498a25f7.jpg

Vicki: Starts off badly and gets worse. Is she running? Awkwardly starts to slide sideways. Lands on ass.

21689990610_803f98aeaa.jpg

21878042615_f978bb37ab.jpg

21690204558_4f8fafc948.jpg

21851870746_dd89b06e94.jpg

That's going to leave a mark.

Luckily, there was a rope to help us get out, but it still wasn’t easy. Especially with a 6 inch bruise on my butt.

Fear and adrenaline made me hungry. We decided to drive to the ferry dock and take the 5 minute ferry ride over to Harbour Island.

‘Briland, as it is known to locals, is one of the poshest villages in the Bahamas and caters to the rich and famous with its 3 mile long pink sand beach. Water taxis make the 5 minute, $5 trip all day.

I knew that most establishments would be closed, but we had visited Eleuthera and Harbor island about 15 years earlier and I still remembered that pink sand beach. I had to see it again.

I had found one restaurant on Harbour Island that was supposed to be open, so we grabbed a golf cart at the ferry dock and set off to find Aquapazza, an Italian restaurant with a Bahamian flair.

21689828790_aa52e7c890.jpg

21878182145_a1bf598f12.jpg

21690333588_2fc3678d6b.jpg

21866216002_752d2d33df.jpg

Sure, it won our lunch business by default, but it turned out to be excellent. It was located on the water, and the views were breezy and beautiful.

I ordered their house cocktail made with Prosecco and Campari while Matt went Bahamian with a goombay smash.

21878151225_df69573b8e.jpg

21690043290_c30d0a50c3.jpg

For lunch, Matt ordered the spaghetti aglio with chili and conch and I had the marinated Spanish-style “pil-pil” salad. Both were perfect, and that wasn’t just because there was nowhere else to eat.

21878124825_5d38031622.jpg

21887745501_ce4308c837.jpg

As luck would have it, Acquapazza is located next to Harbour Island’s famous “haunted house.” Legend has it that the home was built for a wealthy family in 1945. The tale is that the entire family that lived there simply vanished one night, leaving the lavish dinner table set for the evening meal. They never returned. It sat empty until the 1960’s when a Greek shipping magnate purchased the beautiful mansion for his new bride. The wife left the house shortly after entering it and refused to step back inside. In the 1980’s, looters and fire claimed the beautiful house. What remains today are faded swirling pink walls that make it the perfect place for a post-lunch stroll… as long as you don’t mind the ghosts whispering in your ear.

21878095155_2c2e082ae0.jpg

21256954453_62f7746a70.jpg

21851848926_b90c77baa2.jpg

21256864883_3268750162.jpg

21877994045_6aa27e8998.jpg

21851813736_b547bacb1e.jpg

21691052649_d769842aa7.jpg

21887538041_1efb546f01.jpg

Back on our cart, we made our way to one of the many entrances to Harbour Island’s famous beach. I couldn’t remember….was it really pink?

21877606815_3213b6d522.jpg

21887507271_ff24bc872f.jpg

Yes, yes it was.

And because it was the off season, we had it completely to ourselves.

21254967054_5fd02c9135.jpg

21254979024_812fea6912.jpg

21690852599_c1fb22b4b2.jpg

21865808202_a2cc2a8e7f.jpg

21256677833_c305d454f3.jpg

21254887174_725b97021a.jpg

21256690363_1cdd5f1576.jpg

21865845632_8bba980b95.jpg

21877637835_bbc2fae9ba.jpg

21851626176_a6cabafdc6.jpg

21690946459_7ecee0a404.jpg

21877627195_30a28436d3.jpg

21255097874_fc7fb9aff4.jpg

21865912002_81b86fcecc.jpg

21851689516_c8c5d2c366.jpg

21254941664_02b80c61f2.jpg

21851498996_ca0f1d4fc8.jpg

We did a short golf cart tour of town before heading back to the water taxi. It was getting late and we had some hungry puppies back at Ocean Tally.

21865665702_2afa52f616.jpg

21887219771_ecb88f83c4.jpg

21690702889_226be52614.jpg

After showers had been taken, dogs had been walked, played with, and fed, and the giant bruise forming on my butt cheek had been inspected to ensure there was no permanent damage, we cleaned up for dinner.

Of course we ate at Ocean Tally again.

We had fully intended to spread our dining love around to the other open restaurants on the island, but we just couldn’t tear ourselves away.

21887185931_95becb73bb.jpg

21851377566_b8de762264.jpg

This white dress was exceptionally beautiful before I awkwardly spilled an entire glass of red wine on it. I looked like a scene from Carrie.

21256436823_3172e9cacc.jpg

After a quick change back at the cottage, I celebrated my new, clean dress with spicy prawns and pasta puttanesca. Matt loved the blackened grouper so much, he ordered it a second time.

21689667638_2dcdb0727c.jpg

21887118621_77051aabc6.jpg

21865545952_0662f183f3.jpg

A creature of habit (he likes what he likes!), Matt also re-ordered the banana dessert. Thankfully, someone had the sense to put two bananas on the dessert this time so that it didn’t offend my coconut tart.

21865533402_43c579c56d.jpg

21256378613_0aac35cd60.jpg

21865515392_d1ed3f7d74.jpg

Monday, September 14

It seemed like each sunrise at Ocean Tally was even more spectacular than the one before it.

21689597088_81585d1559.jpg

21254686594_f3394da840.jpg

21851231186_3afa713edc.jpg

21256307973_7dda13cc73.jpg

21256295303_7c4dc60d54.jpg

21689302020_e027e05385.jpg

21877342965_827e0c19b9.jpg

21877328975_fc8aa2c54f.jpg

21865383192_0bcd9bfd65.jpg

21877303155_7fd945b2ac.jpg

21851125026_f7cb4f3a82.jpg

Our time on Eleuthera was done. We enjoyed our final breakfast, bid a sweet farewell to Ocean Tally, and headed back to Abaco. The weekend was perfect. Ocean Tally was perfect. It had left us relaxed and refreshed. We were ready to get back to work.

21877281225_b9c7944911.jpg

Before we flew back to Abaco, however, Matt flew us over the glass window bridge. I really wanted to see it from the air. The narrowest point on the island, this strip used to be a natural arch that separated the calm, shallow Caribbean sea from the deep, blue, turbulent Atlantic Ocean. The natural bridge washed away in a hurricane and was replaced by a man-made bridge, but it was no less fantastic to view from the air.

21851063266_a1c3923967.jpg

21865284112_9460678dc2.jpg

21690333099_e8ea7ae60b.jpg

21256116953_2c093ab9fb.jpg

We also got a peek at Harbour Island and Ocean Tally from above. Bye-Bye, Ocean Tally! Bye-Bye delicious meals! Bye-Bye rest and relaxation!

21886874561_35bb64de1a.jpg

21689346068_74c7fc707c.jpg

It was time to get back to work.

Next up: Flip this house - Guana Cay Edition Part III!

Posted by vicki_h 06:11 Archived in Bahamas Tagged island caribbean tropical abaco elbow_cay guana_cay marsh_harbour treasure_cay lubbers_landing Comments (0)

Flip This House: Guana Cay Edition Part I

We never intended to buy a house in the Bahamas.

Really. We didn’t.

It was kind of like going into a puppy store. You never really MEAN to buy a puppy, but the next thing you know you are buying pee-pee pads and rope bones.

Of course we did the “what if” just like everyone else and imagined that ONE DAY we’d own a piece of paradise. We would never wear a proper pair of shoes again and would spend our golden years beachcombing and sipping rum.

But that was just IMAGINARY.

Wasn’t it?

On our very first visit to Guana Cay, some ten years ago, I took a photo of a charming little cottage in the settlement on Front Street. I have always had a soft spot for cozy, quaint, tiny, vintage houses. Put them on an island and they take on a special level of adorability.

Bikini_Hut_then.jpg

Throughout the years we have visited Guana, I have never stopped loving that little cottage, with its precious little pineapple cutouts on the porch railing and its tiny wooden shutters. I have taken many photos of it over the years.

When I saw the for sale sign on it recently…..I knew.

I just knew.

In my heart, it was already mine.

When I mentioned it to Matt, his response was not what I hoped for. I envisioned him looking deeply into my eyes and saying, “It’s perfect. Let’s buy it.”

Instead, he said, “It’s too small.” He also said, “It’s not on the ocean,” “It doesn’t have a dock,” “It doesn’t have a deck,” and “We can rent a house 3 times that size several times a year for less than it would cost to buy it.”

It was immediately obvious that he didn’t get it.

Yet.

In my head, I was already reading a beachy novel on my new linen sofa as the Guana Cay sunlight filtered in through gauzy white curtains. I was pretty sure I needed to start shopping for beach house furniture right away.

I had to figure out a way to make him see my vision.

I managed to do it with one simple sentence, “You know, if we bought a house, you’d have to get a boat.”

Next thing I knew, we were making a quick trip down to look at the house. Before the weekend was over, he saw my vision. Okay, maybe his vision had more boat and less house, but it was settled. We were buying a house on Guana Cay.

I was over the moon.

And scared shitless.

For those that are interested in the tedious details of the process because you might want to try this yourself someday – it wasn’t that bad. We worked with an on-island rental agent who helped us negotiate the purchase price. Both parties agreed to an attorney who coordinated the necessary paperwork. All we really had to do was get some initial information to the attorney, wire a deposit, sign a few things and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

It took WAY longer than it should, but what doesn’t in the Bahamas? Apparently, “island time” applies to everything.

About 90 days later, we signed some additional documents, wired the rest of the money and were home owners.

Buying it was the easy part.

The rest was a pain because there were just so many details to take care of and they all had to be done long distance. Thankfully, our on-island real estate agent became our on-island property caretaker and he made everything else as easy as possible. He did all of the leg work to get the utilities switched over, get the wi-fi set up, coordinate deliveries, he even cleaned up the golf cart.

The first thing we discovered was how much more everything cost than we thought. When you buy a house on an island, take what you think each thing will cost and triple it. Then add a little more money and a lot of frustration and you are probably in the ballpark. With this being our first venture into the world of Bahamian ownership, we were immediately glad we started small.

Before we knew it, it was time to head down for 2 weeks to make it our own – painting, redecorating, and getting anything the house didn’t already have.

Welcome to Flip This House: Guana Cay Edition!

flip.jpg

Friday, September 4:

7:00 a.m. I am pretty sure we are going to crash. Why did I buy so much stuff to take down? The house is furnished. Seriously….do I really need a seahorse shaped cutting board? I should have just packed a toothbrush.

21912869562_ec8d0e673d.jpg

21912867802_4f7ba3e4eb.jpg

10:30 a.m. We have landed in West Palm Beach for the night. Somehow, we did not crash. This is good, because we would have been buried under 620 lbs. of home goods and would never have been able to exit the plane before it caught on fire and burned us along with an enormous assortment of turquoise bedding and beach towels.

10:00 p.m. I do not know how we did not die of heat stroke or exhaustion in the last 12 hours. We have been to every hardware store, house ware store, golf cart supplier, and marina in West Palm Beach. It is at least 112 degrees in the shade. Now the plane will have 720 lbs. of crap on it. Also, the man delivering the boat from Bonita Springs was late and got here after dark, so instead of dinner, we spent all night preparing the boat for its trip from West Palm Beach to Guana Cay. That’s fine. I’m too hot to eat anyway.

10:30 p.m. Damn. I forgot to get a clean change of clothes off the plane. I have no clean clothes for tomorrow. That’s okay. Mine aren’t that dirty. Matt’s, however, are decimated. I would burn them but I am pretty sure they are too sweaty to catch on fire.

Saturday, September 5:

10:00 a.m. I am waiting outside the Tommy Bahama store in West Palm Beach so I can buy Matt some clean clothes. Why did the only store within walking distance of the hotel have to be Tommy Bahama? Where is the Wal-Mart? I wonder if Publix sells shorts.

10:10 a.m. I’m walking back to the hotel with 1 t-shirt, 1 pair of shorts, and 1 pair of boxers that cost me $189. I should have walked the 9 miles to Wal-Mart. Or let him go without underwear.

12:30 p.m. We have arrived in Marsh Harbour! Yay! I’m glad we didn’t crash because the life jackets were buried under a do-it-yourself Murphy bed, an ottoman coffee table, and 500 lbs. of “beach house things” I was certain I needed 2 days ago. Now, I just really want some clean underwear. We made it through customs with a lot of stuff. I think the agent took pity on us and decided to ignore the fact that 2 people had 10 extra-large duffel bags for a 2 week trip. She only made us pay duty on 2 items. Probably because we are really sweaty and I am wearing dirty clothes. I think she wanted us to get out of her office.

1:00 p.m. I am sitting at the ferry dock and am feeling much better thanks to the Bahama Mama in my hand. I don’t even care that I am wearing dirty clothes.

2:00 p.m. We just got off the ferry. Where is the golf cart? We have 720 lbs. of stuff and it is 900 degrees out here. I need a golf cart.

2:30 p.m. We have stolen a golf cart. We saw one left at the dock with our friends’ names on it so we took it. Okay, maybe we have only met them once, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t friends. It doesn’t matter. We know they aren’t arriving until later this afternoon. They’ll never know. That's what they get for telling internet strangers their last name.

2:40 p.m. Dammit. They will be here in 20 minutes and will wonder where their golf cart is. We still haven’t found ours.

2:50 p.m. Golf cart has been found. We have safely returned friends’ cart to dock. They will never know. Except that their cart is all sweaty now.

2:55 p.m. What the &^%%%#****??????

3:00 p.m. We almost died on the golf cart. Who knew our new golf cart has a sticking gas pedal? We almost didn’t figure this out until it was too late. Note to self: Never drive golf cart with sticking gas pedal onto ferry dock.

3:05 p.m. First time walking into Bikini Hut and it’s mine. I love it even though it looks like a condiment cart threw up in the living room. Man, I need a shower.

21912866782_3a4b1192b0.jpg

21912847892_9c0a068287.jpg

21736769468_8117a46d72.jpg

5:00 p.m. Everything is unloaded into the house. I think we just put 1050 square feet of stuff in a 950 square foot house. It’s all haphazardly tossed in, but I was able to find clean underwear. That’s good enough.

5:30 p.m. I really need a shower. Matt says something is wrong with the pump because only a trickle of water is coming out of the shower head. I don’t care. Okay, I am pointing the trickle of water straight down. This is like trying to shower in fog. Let me try pressing my body against the wall of the shower to capture the water I can. Okay, this is gross. But it's working. I hope the wall of this shower is clean. There is no way I can wash my sweaty hair.

6:00 p.m. Finally, we are relaxing at Grabbers with some frozen grabbers and a sunset. Surely the worst of it is behind us. “Moving Day” is over and we can start settling in. First order of business: FOOD. I haven’t had anything since my complimentary yogurt and banana at the Residence Inn West Palm Beach. Geez, I am starving. I knew I should have shoved all those little kids out of the waffle line.

21924824955_b7b87c2477.jpg

21924806635_2fe894432d.jpg

21736959538_8ee89f533b.jpg

21736924818_88b13d28c3.jpg

21303657123_118130de1e.jpg

21934503251_4f5ca52f13.jpg

6:10 p.m. What is with all the flies???? So many flies. Matt is eating his dinner walking around so they can’t catch his plate. I don’t care. I have given up. I am too tired to care. I’ll share with the flies as long as I don’t have to move. They can’t really eat that much, can they?

6:30 p.m. I think Rooby is dead.

21898593776_88bff18c6a.jpg

8:30 p.m. For the love of all that is holy, WHERE ARE THE FLIPPING SHEETS? I can’t find anything in here. It’s just a giant pile of mess. Yellow and red mess. With a lot of tools and tarps on top.

Sunday, September 6:

5:10 a.m. I am awake. This is what happens when you go to bed at 9:00. I may as well take Bella and Rooby for a walk on the beach. Is that a millipede?

6:00 a.m. I just remembered why I am doing all of this. I love it here. Bella and Rooby agree.

21737669129_2077345395.jpg

21303379183_8a7e37ede4.jpg

21303321803_d9dc9c68fe.jpg

21924436245_79e5348299.jpg

9:00 a.m. We just figured out that the water pump is fine. The shower is fine. The water was turned off. I am doing my best not to be mad that I was forced to shower in a trickle and go to bed with dirty hair. At least we now have awesome water pressure. Found a few more millipedes. What’s up with that?

12:00 p.m. We are waiting for Matt’s new boat to arrive from Florida, so we don’t really want to get into any heavy work. We’ll go to Nippers for lunch instead. Our new friends are supposed to be there.

21303296773_1f5d0717ba.jpg

21737536909_51bdc8e592.jpg

21737525069_a1bc4d230e.jpg

21924366885_8a499c13d2.jpg

21301578854_e726f1d2f9.jpg

12:15 p.m. Robert and Stacey keep talking about how their golf cart was really sweaty when they arrived. We say nothing.

12:30 p.m. We have work to do so I am just going to get lunch and have 1 Nipper. Definitely not more than one. Mmm….lobster salad sandwich goes so well with a Nipper.

21934144301_4a00ffe1f1.jpg

1:30 p.m. I’ll just have one more Nipper. Two should be fine.

21301619274_6aa06bf5df.jpg

2:30 p.m. The boat is here and I think I had more than 2 Nippers. Hello boat, I am going in for a nap.

21736283450_9209c30828.jpg

3:00 p.m. Apparently, I am not taking a nap. Matt has neurotically decided that the boat must be cleaned. Now. I am on my way to Guana Grocery to buy more paper towels and magic erasers.

6:00 p.m. The boat is finally clean. I am too tired to get cleaned up for dinner. I will just make something here at the house. Good thing I brought plenty of food.

6:30 p.m. Damn stove doesn’t work. Does anything work in here? Matt is certain the gas regulator is broken. I don’t care. I will make something in the microwave. Thank goodness we made that stop at Trader Joe’s. Pre-grilled chicken and microwave baked potatoes it is. I will eat anything I can eat in my pajamas.

Monday, September 7

21301532534_e41a7eb8d3.jpg

21301519584_a59e7afeb5.jpg

21933965671_3affd15c0d.jpg

21303089093_23d3e4334d.jpg

6:00 a.m. I just enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on the beach with the dogs. Today is the day we start “doing stuff.” I can’t wait. I’m ready to get started. This place looks like a dump. And I keep finding more millipedes.

21924203415_f6f2a204b1.jpg

7:00 a.m. Matt is going lobster diving with friends. Really? I suppose I will be working alone today. I think I can get painting supplies at Guana Hardware. Sure, it would be cheaper in Marsh Harbour, but I’d lose a day of work. How much more could it cost?

9:00 a.m. I did not know a gallon of white paint could cost $70. I am discouraged by my tiny pile of supplies that I just spent $200 on. Matt better come home with some lobster. A lot of it.

21912177572_581eb5494a.jpg

21737318179_786ec7bbb9.jpg

21736119040_b1b807fcc7.jpg

1:00 p.m. I am in paradise, and I am inside painting. Matt is fishing, and I am inside painting. The sun is shining, and I am inside painting.

21736316658_1b6000cced.jpg

2:00 p.m. I just figured out the difference between renting a beach house and owning one.

RENTING:

21303019233_31bd3195d6.jpg

OWNING:

21301412714_9276bc0c94.jpg

3:00 p.m. I just threw 4 more millipedes in the toilet.

3:30 p.m. I just learned that, despite the desire to conserve water, one should not put millipedes in the toilet and not flush, lest they crawl right back out. This is not ideal for the person sitting on the toilet unaware.

4:00 p.m. The painting is done! I would pat myself on the back, but I can no longer lift my arm.

6:00 p.m. Matt came home with 10 lobsters, so he is forgiven. A little.

7:00 p.m. God knew we were tired, so he treated us to an exceptional sunset. Wait a minute…. I am tired. Matt didn’t do anything but fish all day.

21737274229_00a8ff7a97.jpg

21737233249_35ceb32d39.jpg

21736229638_75019b8a0a.jpg

21301325604_210ebfc78c.jpg

21933762491_657b8a21e7.jpg

21737142239_f429817fa6.jpg

7:30 p.m. I am too tired to fend off the flies, so dinner is indoors at Nippers tonight. There is nothing better than a monochromatic plate filled with brown and white foods. This means there is nothing on the plate but fat and carbohydrates. There is nothing green on my plate unless you count the lime. Please don’t tell my mom. This is awesome.

21737129689_13b999bc68.jpg

Tuesday, September 8

Millipede count: 4

6:00 a.m. I think I will stain the dining table and paint some furniture today. I made my own stain a few days ago with vinegar, steel wool, and coffee. It’s supposed to look like driftwood.

21923980055_9a2194478d.jpg

6:30 a.m. Coffee, steel wool, and vinegar really do make wood look like driftwood. They also make it stink.

21737097029_0607992dd0.jpg

21736117198_b6372f1d62.jpg

8:00 a.m. I am determined to use this ugly ass piece of furniture. Sure, it’s made of plywood and has pencil marks all over it, but do you know how much furniture costs down here? My new mantra: Throw away NOTHING.

21737075619_36afbb5aaa.jpg

10:00 a.m. Matt declares he would like to take his new boat out. We have work to do, but he really wants to take our friends to Firefly before they leave and it’s closed on Wednesday. I really want to go to Firefly. I am tired of working and picking up millipedes. I agree.

10:10 a.m. Matt just left to spend the morning “getting the boat ready.” I suddenly realize that Matt has done nothing but clean his boat, play with his boat, consume grabbers and nippers, and go lobster fishing since we arrived. I have unpacked, organized, washed all of the laundry left by previous owners, painted the entire interior, stained the table, painted that ugly little nightstand, and made most of meals. Somehow, this does not feel equitable.

3:00 p.m. I LOVE THE NEW BOAT!

21737063169_ee228c01fb.jpg

21923913755_7fd1552fe8.jpg

4:00 p.m. I have to admit getting out on the boat was a good idea. I was getting cranky. I needed a day off. Boat drinks, a trip to the beach at Man-O-War Cay, and a stop at Austin and Amy’s is just what the doctor ordered. Lubbers Landing is still the BEST!

21911883232_9332eb7de3.jpg

21923877535_9d9180e725.jpg

21897663446_c8b77a414e.jpg

21933527401_b47c28d5be.jpg

21736873579_e8d1ba3956.jpg

21897547856_dc0129c168.jpg

21300933064_e1ae1fd00c.jpg

21911633702_b9d60e3996.jpg

21897464236_c661d87381.jpg

21736733799_2737c21931.jpg

21735732898_0f5687120b.jpg

21300820634_35bf1073e1.jpg

21911483262_9348d26b21.jpg

21897329976_ecc8afb734.jpg

5:00 p.m. Amy was right – Firefly has the best fried pickles EVER.

21736523699_294f30ec8e.jpg

21300709534_921c037872.jpg

21736550999_3d6a1728d0.jpg

21735567798_89c77495c7.jpg

21923376645_c4dfe6806e.jpg

7:30 p.m. We just made it back for sunset. Perfect timing. I wonder if there are any millipedes in the house? Yep.

21735296540_f69551b182.jpg

Wednesday, September 9

Millipede count: 5

8:30 a.m. I just ran to Gauna Grocery and found fresh made banana bread. It's the small things.

21302212183_4f102f736a.jpg

10:00 a.m. Apparently, the millipedes are an epidemic right now. I am not sure if I feel better knowing our house is not uniquely cursed with them or worse knowing it’s obviously not something I can do anything about right now. For now, I will just keep throwing them in the toilet each morning.

10:30 a.m. Finished staining the table. I like it.

21302197823_11a7f98da6.jpg

21736418799_9155699efc.jpg

11:00 a.m. I have been compiling a list of things we need to buy ever since we arrived. It is time to head to Marsh Harbour in our boat to see how much we can find. I am excited! My only experience with Marsh Harbour to date is the brief view outside my taxi window as we pass quickly from the airport to the ferry dock. Marsh Harbour, here we come! Yay, shopping!

21735202960_14d6af2b43.jpg

21302115733_123990419f.jpg

21923213845_eac54ab165.jpg

21923202305_e5dab0bb3c.jpg

21923187625_612dd73399.jpg

12:00 p.m. We are in Marsh Harbour and have a rental car. It is an old mini-van that has not been cleaned in a very long time. At least the a/c works. Sort of. Wow, it’s hot today.

12:30 p.m. We decided to stop for lunch. Most of the restaurants seem closed for the season. Except Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s in a strip mall. Something about that is weird. I saw an “Open” sign at this place – Oasis. We’ll give it a shot. I don’t want to eat at the Bahamian KFC in a strip mall.

21301962953_77d62de5f3.jpg

21735335388_f3800a8603.jpg

1:00 p.m. Oasis rocks. Sure, they are even slower than the average Bahamian restaurant, but that is probably because they are the only thing open. Unless you want a 2 piece meal with a biscuit.

21736291989_0bc9b5960a.jpg

21735287428_5593cedb3d.jpg

21932873941_dc4bb9ecdb.jpg

21300377084_81c2a39139.jpg

21301978103_911dc8eb10.jpg

2:30 p.m. Oasis gives an entirely new meaning to s-l-o-w. The food was great, but I think we just lost 2 hours of much needed shopping time. Maybe we should have gone for that chicken. How late do the stores stay open? So excited to finally go shopping!

3:30 p.m. Shopping here sucks. I can’t find anything here. When the Ace Hardware is the best store in town, you know you are in trouble. What I can find costs 9 times what it should. I just paid $9 for a cheap rubber plunger and $25 for a throwaway sponge mop. They don’t even have normal stores. There is no “Bed, Bath, and Beyond.” They have “Bed, Bath, and Between.” I understand “Beyond,” you’ve got lots of rooms beyond the bed and bath….the kitchen, the living area, the dining room….What the hell’s between the bed and the bath? The closet? That’s just stupid.

21735002510_bcdc5f10db.jpg

21735229288_db9cdc5e13.jpg

21932761351_a4c8bd09e5.jpg

4:00 p.m. ALL Mart? Seriously? Like Wal-Mart…except they have it ALL.

21911028482_474934c5c4.jpg

4:30 p.m. Shopping was not as fun as I thought it would be. Half the things on my list are still on my list because I refuse to pay for them. I am not paying $34 for a $7 hairdryer or $49 for a $10 iron. I will just have wet hair and wrinkled clothes. And $25 for a cheap curtain panel that looks like something Big Lots would have for $3.99? No thank you. I bought a glue gun and a pile of fabric instead. And forget about replacing those curtain rods the previous owner made out of PVC. They are just fine, thankyouverymuch. This was the best thing I found in Marsh Harbour and they wouldn’t let me buy him.

21736150699_4a8710c4b2.jpg

5:00 p.m. I thought we would never get all that stuff on the boat. And it was so hot. I have sweat running down my back. We look like a refugee boat. Did I mention that it is hot? I don’t feel like I will ever stop sweating. Thank heavens we found some frozen drinks nearby.

21736115929_5cde22388d.jpg

21896753346_85c60db426.jpg

21932683681_8c616f525f.jpg

21300205914_a77c3d4a93.jpg

21896771106_f7d23a1cdc.jpg

6:00 p.m. We were so hot we decided to stop at Mermaid Reef for a quick snorkel on the way back. Amazing. I saw my first lion fish.

21734867410_444b9206c9.jpg

8:30 p.m. Thank you, Kidds Cove for cooking Matt’s 10 lobster tails since my damn stove doesn't work. That might have been the best dinner ever. Can you guess which plate is mine and which is Matt’s? She who does all the painting alone gets the most lobster, I say.

21735053698_62e382bcc9.jpg

21300141314_3900b1fc32.jpg

21735015308_115d5f098b.jpg

21910823542_14f7fbc7eb.jpg

Thursday, September 10

Millipede count: 6

21922815925_78d716d072.jpg

8:00 a.m. My OCD is kicking in. Usually, when one moves into a new place, one immediately reorganizes and unpacks. We can’t unpack anything because we don’t have the modifications done. So far, all we can do is shuffle crap around. Move one pile to another pile. Put some junk on top of some different junk so that we can get to some other junk. There are no curtains on the windows. The initial excitement and newness has worn off. It has been replaced by frustration.

Stress, dirt, and chaos have become the defining aspects of my life.

I can’t take this.

If we can’t get over the hump today and get some of this stuff organized, I am certain I will die.

21896607216_b3ac8726e4.jpg

21735895749_f55aee777d.jpg

21736352288_225afcedba.jpg

21734845968_b24232faaa.jpg

10:30 a.m. We are kicking some major remodeling ass today. Matt is building the Murphy bed and I am repainting the cabinets. We are getting it DONE.

21735911919_b4eab7f048.jpg

21299951234_a6742a645c.jpg

12:00 p.m. Matt just got the Murphy bed completely put together on the floor and realized it’s too tall to stand up. The ceiling is too low. I am pretty sure Matt has reached his maximum frustration point with the Murphy bed.

Murphy Bed: 1
Matt: 0

21300059354_b1742fbe65.jpg

12:30 p.m. Nope. He was definitely able to get even more frustrated.

2:30 p.m. The Murphy bed has now been taken apart and reassembled on the wall. It’s up! I think Matt is dead on the inside, though.

21896645306_e17d4f5305.jpg

21735803849_baa00ed408.jpg

21734819438_056fc94daf.jpg

3:00 p.m. The cabinets are painted, the handles and doors are replaced, and I have an enormous blister on my hand. Why don’t we have an electric screwdriver? Oh yeah, because I needed 620 lbs. of beachy dishes and scented candles and it wouldn’t fit in the plane.

4:00 p.m. I am using a glue gun to make curtains and hang them on rods made out of PVC until I can go back to the states and get something better. Oh, dear God. I am making glue gun curtains and I have been eating a lot of instant food (because we still have not figured out the stove). I have reverted back to the 1989 college version of me. What’s next? Ramen noodles?

21734858168_9425d2048e.jpg

5:00 p.m. Rooby has given up on us.

21910749452_bbdc6ab040.jpg

6:00 p.m. It’s been a long work day, but the Murphy bed is up, the house and cabinets are painted, and we were able to put most of the stuff away. We have at least moved from “this place looks like hoarders live here” to “organized chaos.”

It’s starting to look like a beach house!

bh9.jpg

bh8.jpg

Next up - Part II: Taking a vacation from our vacation....Hello, Eleuthera!

Posted by vicki_h 09:11 Archived in Bahamas Tagged island caribbean tropical abaco elbow_cay guana_cay marsh_harbour treasure_cay lubbers_landing Comments (2)

By Popular Demand....What's Up Next????

a.k.a. The Neurotic Travel Planner's Sanity Guide

Are you a travel planner or are you more of a "wing it" type of person? I am definitely a planner.

I genuinely overdo everything. "Is today your birthday? Look! I made you a birthday cake with a fondant sculpture of your face." "It's girls night! I made a list of all the places we can go along with a precisely timed itinerary and a breakdown of prices and suggested tips. Isn't that FUN?" "Potluck dinner? I made a 19 layer salad with hand foraged mushrooms and dressing that I made from my own herbs. I also made special pottery bowls to serve it in. Surprise!"

I just HATE when things suck. So when I’m planning a trip, I spend a neurotic and unhealthy amount of time trying to prevent any sucky elements from disappointing me during my travels.

It works.

This means that I typically have a travel calendar planned nearly a year in advance. This keeps me sane.

I know, I know. This is unhealthy. I need to get a life.

In the meantime, enjoy taking a peek at what we have coming up!

(I apologize in advance for photos shamelessly pirated from the internet)

FLIP THIS HOUSE: GUANA CAY EDITION....tune in as Matt and Vicki try to turn a beach house into their own little piece of paradise....with a special bonus edition: a side trip to Eleuthera!

flip.jpg

Girls Trip to Asheville: 8 Women, 3 beds....it has to be interesting.

asheville.jpg

Getting our hiking fix at the hike-in only Charit Creek Lodge in Big South Fork: It's not Montana, but it'll do.

cherit_creek.jpg
charit.jpg
charit_2.jpg

Tortola, BVI: It's time for a trip to the Virgin Islands that doesn't include Mothers in Law.....

tortola.jpg

Honduras: Yes, I said Honduras. I know it's the murder capital of the world, but it also has this awesome deserted island where Matt and I will spend 3 days alone and either have the time of our lives or commit a murder/suicide out of boredom. That will be followed by 4 days in an awesome villa on Roatan to make us forget what it was like to live without electricity or ice cubes.

little_cay.jpg
roatan.jpg

Matt's Big 5-0 Blowout on Jost Van Dyke: 16 Friends on the barefoot island....how awesome is that?

50.jpg
D2CB9353FEC4B89ED2332320F0C52498.jpg

Plus a regular smattering of weekend trips just to keep things interesting. Stay tuned, friends, it's going to be a helluva good time!

Posted by vicki_h 16:47 Archived in USA Comments (6)

(Entries 71 - 75 of 246) « Page .. 10 11 12 13 14 [15] 16 17 18 19 20 .. »