Nassau Bahamas and we are still here…

It’s Sunday morning and it’s been a long time since my last post.  So why is that Bob, you ask?

Well, it’s a long story of computer neglect and I won’t bore you with the details except to say that it’s all better now, mostly.   It seems that my computer, in spite of virus protection etc, had accumulated it’s share of problems over the last few years so I finally “bit the bullet” and took it to a repair place here in Nassau.  Yes I know, it doesn’t sound like a good idea to let someone “have their way” with my life in a country where the video stores openly sell pirated copies of first run movies for $5.00.  Oh well, I left my computer for a few days and magically, all seems to be better now.

So, we have been here since Wednesday I think (time seems to be a bit less well defined here when the water and air are in the low 80s) and we have been touring the area.

On Monday, we expect to head east to the Exuma islands, about 35 miles from here.  Our son Christopher is also due to join us tomorrow for ten days.  We are very excited.  His flight from Thailand, where he has been for the last month, takes him half way around the world and will take something like 75 travel hours, including layovers, some 12 hours long.  His itinerary takes him to these hotspots beginning in Chaing Mai then on to Bangkok, Taipei, Osaka, JFK NY,  Washington DC, Miami and finally here in Nassau where we will meet him in a rental car at the airport.  I wonder how jet lag feels after three days of travel? I hope I’ll never know.

Imagine what fun it is to sleep on planes and airport chairs or three days or more?  Oh, to be young…   I expect he will catch up on a bit of sleep when he’s aboard Pandora.

Nassau is a fun place to visit and we have enjoyed our time here.  Although it’s not, in my opinion, the “real Bahamas”.  For my money, to be out in the more rural islands is preferable to the bustle of the city, here in Nassau.   After a few days “on the hook” or anchor, we opted to come into a marina, where we have been for the last few days.  Amazingly, we ran into a few other couples that we have known for some time and met elsewhere.  It’s a small world.  

Nassau is a city of great contrast from the large poor local population to the constant stream of cruise ships and private yachts that come and go constantly.  However, if you are looking for a glitzy spot to visit there is nothing better than the Atlantis casino across the harbor from our marina.

Brenda and I took our dink over to Atlantis a few days ago to have lunch in one of their restaurants and and enjoyed our visit.  The places was mobbed with tourists from all walks of life and the casino floor was as gaudy and noisy as any I have been to over the years.  I have to say that to be walking through a huge hotel did remind me of my working days.  I can’t say that I miss it at all.

Anyway, it was fun to see something so different.  The outdoors area of the hotel is so polished that it was quite a sight.  This shot shows just how “over the top” the place is.  The huge yachts were a sight as well.  The market umbrellas really set the mood.Brenda and I also got a Bahamas cell phone yesterday although it took a pretty good walk to find the BATELCO store.  After what seemed like FOREVER we now have a working cell phone.  I plan on using it to call my mother.  It was ironic that the store was on Shirley Street as that’s my mom’s name.  Perhaps someone was trying to tell me something.  This sign make it clear to me.  “Bob, call your mom!”.  Will do.  I did.The other night Brenda and I had dinner with the son of the chef at the Essex Yacht Club.  Brent is in the Marines and is stationed at the American Embasy here in Nassau.  It was fun to hear about his life here and he also took us for a drive around Nassau and to see where he lives.  His post here will last a year and then he will transfer somewhere else.  It will be fun to stay in touch.    He’s a nice guy.    He even brought us “official” American embassy shirts?  Double nice guy. Yesterday Brenda and I went for a long walk, longer than we planned and WAY longer than Brenda planned, and visited a number of great spots.   Along the way we stopped at Greycliff hotel in Nassau.  It’s a beautiful historic hotel, supposedly some 200 years old.  We spent some time around the pool.  What a beautiful oasis in the bustling city. While we were there we met this very nice young women, from South Africa.  She had some time off from her job on one of the big cruise ships.  She had grown up on a farm in South Africa.  Very interesting.

We also visited a local distillery for a rum tasting and some lunch.   Yes, it was early in the day so we had just a small taste of their rums.  You must believe me…  What a beautiful spot.  I guess the rum business is going well.  Wonderful colorful buildings. And, yet another picture of me and Brenda.  I guess the above and this shot are sort of like “before and after”.  Now you see us. Above you don’t. The government buildings are pretty here.  Grand, actually. However, once you are out of the “down town” area, it gets really poor very quickly.  I understand that tourists have no business wandering out of town.  Not safe.  However, in town there is substantial police presence.  And, they are very natty.   Internet coverage is a bit challenging for us here.  I signed up for a service here in the harbor but it didn’t work well at all.  To get this posted, Brenda and I visited a local Starbucks (yes, they have them even here) and used their internet connection.   With a purchase, you get an hour of time on the internet. Quick, finish the post.  No time for distractions.  Actually, as I am finishing up I had to buy another coffee as my time had run out.  At least I can type faster with more caffeine.  Faster but with more mistakes. 

As you can imagine, they do a great business selling coffee so folks can check their e-mail. 

So mom, are you there?  We’re still here…

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