Another mini-cation on Guana Cay
27.03.2014 - 31.03.2014
I don't have to tell you that Matt and I can’t go very long without the itch to get out of town. Unfortunately, our lives and jobs are demanding and don’t often allow us the luxury of a full week off, so we make do with lots of mini-cations.
Who says a 3 day jaunt can’t be a full-blown vacation? A mini-cation can recharge your batteries and provide some much needed downtime.
It was March and the world was just starting to thaw, but it still wasn’t warm enough to get outside. I want to speak to the person that decided that spring begins on March 20, because that person is just a LIAR. There was no spring outside my door.
I was pretty sure that if I had to spend one more weekend cooped up inside with Matt watching “Game of Thrones” in a marathon frenzy, my head would explode.
It was time for a getaway, and there is only one place I can go when I need to getaway but haven’t spent my requisite 9 months obsessively planning my vacation in such precise detail that I know exactly what time I will be brushing my teeth on Day Four.
Hello, Guana Cay!
Guana welcomed us with open arms, a beautiful sunset, and some darn good ribs.
Day One: Abaco is for Lovers Lubbers
We wanted to try something new. We had contacted Austin & Amy of Lubbers Landing about spending the night. I mean, if their tuna burger is that good, how awesome must the cabins be?
As we boated over to Lubbers Quarters, the water astonished us with light and color. It doesn’t matter how many times I see this water…it still amazes and delights me.
We made a pit stop in the small bay at the narrow point of Man-O-War Cay. The sand is soft, the water is shallow, and the beach is a gentle crescent. It’s one of the most perfects spots in the world.
If you walk onto the beach, you’ll see that all that separates the sea from the ocean is a road. Cross the road, and the raging Atlantic rushes at you in a mist of salty water. It’s simply a breathtaking spot with a 360 degree view to die for.
Getting pretty hungry, we decided it was time to move on.
we stopped at Firefly for lunch. The Firefly Sunset Resort is located near White Bay on the Sea of Abaco side of Elbow Cay. This upscale resort has some of the best dining in the Abacos.
We discovered they also have some of the best drinks!
Most restaurants in the Abacos have a menu that looks like this: Fish (fried, grilled); Ribs; Hamburger; Cheeseburger; Cracked Conch; Conch Fritters; all entrees served with french fries, baked mac n’cheese, and potato salad (aka, how to have a heart attack in 3 days).
Firefly had a menu so delightful that I literally became giddy and lightheaded. Or maybe that was the drink.
I had a hard time deciding between the Panko Crusted Fish Cakes with Fruit Salsa or the Stone Crab Quesadilla with Mango Pineapple Salsa and Chipotle Sour Cream. Wait, maybe I should get the Curry Lobster Salad tossed w/ Garam Marsala & Citrus Juices?
Too many choices. Too little stomach space.
At the very last minute, much like a squirrel that can’t decide which side of the road it wants to run to, I went for the Fish Taco. It came out with crispy romaine, sweet-hot Vidalia onions, & savory heirloom tomatoes wrapped in a chili dusted tortilla. It came with crispy sweet potato fries. We also tried the bacon wrapped lobster skewers with lemon garlic aioli.
Don’t worry. I still got my mac n’cheese. I’m not crazy, after all.
We made a quick hop over to Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay after lunch. It was low tide and I never get tired of seeing the sandbars that make their daily appearance in the shallow water.
We saw Austin from Lubbers Landing on his kiteboard. He was whizzing through the water and flipping through the air.
That’s when I remembered we hadn’t made a reservation for dinner.
Like many restaurants you find on the smaller cays in the Bahamas, you have to let Lubbers know you are coming to eat dinner by 3:00 p.m. and you have to order your food at that time. Otherwise, you won’t be eating. They don’t get enough foot traffic to simply have food out ready to prepare “in case” someone happens to come by.
It was 3:05.
I started to have heart palpitations.
There’s a saying around my house, “If Vicki’s hungry, ain’t nobody happy.”
My mind quickly went to the bag of chips we had leftover on the boat from earlier in the day. I thought about running back to the boat so that I could hide it in case I needed it later for emergency provisions. Maybe I could find an old granola bar stuffed in the bottom of my bag.
It was every man for himself.
Just before I made a mad watery dash back to the boat in an attempt to hide any food that was left in my tote bag, Austin came over.
“I have exactly 4 lobsters left,” he said. “You guys want them for dinner?”
God bless Austin.
We left the beach and headed in to the dock at Lubbers Landing. We were greeted by Austin & Amy, sunshine, and one gigantic saltwater margarita.
After drinks, Amy showed us our cabins.
Lubbers Landing has only 3 cabins, all nestled privately in the woods and connected by a maze of raised wooden walkways with rope railings. It is like the world’s best grown-up summer camp.
Each cabin is unique and is furnished beautifully with Amy’s eclectic and artistic touch.
They were rustic, yet luxurious, with soft bedding, air-conditioning, and high end furnishings. Special touches like seashells, handmade pillows, or Amy’s handpainted signs gave it a personal touch.
I was in heaven.
Our room even came with a Chihuahua.
I was trying to figure out how I could live here forever without Austin & Amy noticing, when Matt reminded me it was time for dinner.
Ecclectic stemware and soft lights greeted us as we sat down at a thatched umbrella table looking out at the Sea of Abaco.
The lobster was grilled and served with a fresh salad, house made dressing, and their signature home-cut fries.
Just when we thought adult summer camp couldn’t get any better, Austin built us a bonfire on the beach where we sat and sipped our wine, ate chocolate cookies, and listened to Bob Marley tunes.
Day Two: Time to DEVOUR!
Sunrise is beautiful on Lubbers Quarters. I thanked God for the beautiful sunrise and I thanked Austin & Amy for the most perfect place to watch it.
After some much needed coffee, which Amy makes early every morning and leaves out for guests, we decided to walk along the path behind the cabins. Austin said it would take us to a beach.
It took us to a pretty little beach with a swing and a makeshift bar. I can only imagine what that water would have looked like if the sun had been out.
Breakfast is a casual affair at Lubbers. When we were ready, Amy asked us what we wanted and cooked it up. Breakfast was a fried egg sandwich with peppers. Oh yum!
We lounged around all morning, but eventually, we had to get a move on. We hated to leave, but gave Austin & Amy a hug “goodbye” (Where else do you get a hug when you leave a hotel? I mean, really?), and headed for Green Turtle Cay.
We docked in New Plymouth, grabbed us a golf cart, and made a quick stop at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar for a Goombay Smash. Then it was off to the Green Turtle Club.
We had afternoon tickets to the Coco Beach Party that was part of the Devour Food and Film Festival that was taking place on Green Turtle Cay. Devour is an international festival celebrating cinema, food and wine culture that takes place in Nova Scotia and is in its fourth year.
This was their first year having a festival in the Bahamas. Called “Devour! The Beach,” the event included several days of food & wine events and film screenings. Our tickets were for the all-afternoon-rum-infused party at the Green Turtle Club where chefs would take turns grilling lobster, making fresh conch salad, and roasting wild boar.
Wait a minute. Abaco? Wild Boars? Whaaaaaaa? Was someone trying to say that there were wild boars on Abaco???? Don’t ask me why, but I had an irrational fear of wild boars as a child. It’s not like I lived in an area with wild boars. Nor had I ever actually seen a wild boar. It’s more likely that my older brother showed me a picture and told me that they were in the woods waiting to gore me to death, leaving me terrified every time I tried to walk through the woods alone, certain that a wild boar was hiding behind every tree. Do wild boars even live in Georgia?
It's just like the irrational fear I have now of snakes coming through the bathtub drain. It doesn't have to be possible in the real world to be scary. I mean, just think about MONSTERS. Okay?
My mind was now filled with images of me laying on the beach and being gored to death by a wild pig. Were there really wild boars on my beloved Abaco?
Apparently, yes. Like most things in the Bahamas, it all started with the settlers. They didn’t just show up with a bottle of rum and a desire to tame an island. They brought household goods, seeds and plants, and, you guessed it, livestock. That would include pigs. Combine that with the occasional shipwreck where it was every man, woman, and pig for himself, and you ended up with some loose pigs that eventually became the wild pigs that live on Abaco today. Thanks to a plentiful supply of fruit, sugarcane, and thick forests in which to hide, they continued to roam, forage, and have lots of babies.
I guess I was going to have to start carrying my pepper spray in my bikini.
When we arrived, we made straight for the rum punch table, because we are classy like that.
The first station had Abaco wild boar with Bahamian potato salad and cole slaw. I did not expect to like it. I’m not sure how I thought wild board would differ from farm pig. I guess I thought it would taste like something that had been eating tough coconut shells all it's life and running from dogs, but pig is pig. That was some fine pork.
There was fresh conch salad, grilled lobster tail with roasted garlic, tacos with goat cheese and charred poblano guacamole…oh, so much food.
I had a bit of a conundrum when I had been standing in the taco line for a good 20 minutes. It's important to note that I don't believe in waiting in line for food. The line was short and I was close by, AND I LOVE TACOS, and I was all jacked up on rum punch and goombay smashes, so I hopped in it. I reached that point, a good 15 minutes later, where I started to wrestle with the, "Do I get out of line?" question. You know, when you've already invested so much time that you can't make yourself quit, but you know that the longer you have to wait, the stupider you are going to feel. But I reasoned with myself (the way we do in these situations), "These must be AMAZING tacos if they take so long to make and so many people are waiting for them, right?" So I kept waiting. Like a dipshit. Another 10 minutes passed.
That's when I discovered I was in the LAMB taco line.
I don't eat lamb.
I generally try to avoid eating anything in its infancy.
Pisser. I had invested 25 minutes in this line. What was I supposed to do now?
So I ate them. And, yeah. They were good. But I'll never be able to listen to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" the same way again.
Drinks were flowing, music was playing, and a good time was had by all.
Well, except for those conch. I don’t think they were having a good day.
We ended the day back on Guana at Grabbers.
We had conch fritters, frozen grabbers, and a thick slice of mango cheesecake because there is no such thing as calories when you are on vacation.
Everyone knows that.
Day Three: How NOT to End Nippers Sunday Vomiting Off a Dock
Sunday morning greeted us with a beautiful sunrise.
It was much sunnier than the previous day, but it was SO WINDY. We decided to leave the boat docked and waste the morning in the sunshine at Grabbers.
There are worse ways to waste a day.
Around lunchtime, we wandered over to Nippers. It was a quiet day We ordered up lunch, and, since I had my fill of pig the day before, I declined the buffet (yes, hell just froze over) and got a cracked lobster sandwich.
And some fried buffalo lobster bites, because one fried lobster is never enough.
It just wasn’t a day for dancing, so we chose to walk down to High Rocks instead. This is the most beautiful stretch of beach that you can reach by land on Guana Cay.
We wrapped it up with a quite dinner and a beautiful sunset at Grabbers.
See….I can do a quiet, relaxing, respectable trip. I just don’t like to make a habit of it. ;-)
Next up: 6 adults on a sailboat for 7 days in the Exumas. We’ll either kill each other before it’s over or we’ll have the adventure of our lives! Stay tuned……