Friday, July 8, 2011

A Trip to Paradise - Day 3

On day 3, in the Bahamas, Darren and I really started missing our children immensely. We had many conversations about how unsatisfied people are in life, including us. When we're home, in Roanoke, with our kids, we want to be on the farthest island away from them, just enjoying each other, but when we are on Paradise Island, literally, we want to be home with our children. What the heck? Anyway, we invested in the 24 hour unlimited internet package, on day 3, and we downloaded skype so we could see and speak to our children. At first, I almost wished we hadn't done this. Jax was devastated and rather confused when he could see us on the computer but couldn't touch us. It was pitiful and broke my heart. Lilah was her sweet, bubbly self, all giggles. And TYSON was his typical self. He put both fingers in his nose and put his face right up to the camera. Then he put the fingers that were in his nose, directly in his mouth, and pulled his cheeks as far left and as far right as he could. The chaos we experienced from that "conversation" was more than enough for us to shut the computer off and just enjoy the peace, the quiet, the sun rays and each other.

On this day, we wanted to do something different from just sitting at the pool. We already got to enjoy the resort, so we stepped out of our bubble/comfort zone, grabbed a taxi, and headed to the downtown Bahamas area. Our goal was to visit and shop at the straw market. We did that on our honeymoon, 10 years ago, and it was a fun memory. The streets are lined with vendors of Bahamians who make/sell their items. The taxi cab driver told us NOT to pay the first price we're haggled to pay. The first booth I came to was hand woven straw pocket books. I found an elmo bag for Lilah and the vendor was asking $10.00. I paid it. When we walked off Darren said, "Why didn't you bargain like the taxi cab driver said?" I said, "I'm sorry, but I saw how long it took the lady to personalize the bag with Lilah's name on it and that alone was worth $10 to me, so I just couldn't bring myself to bargain with her. Plus I am drinking $4.50 diet cokes (non-alcoholic) and I cannot justify asking this poor woman to come down on her homemade item that took her 3 hours to make. Not to mention she sits in the HOT sun trying to sell it." He agreed.

The straw market is probably the most hysterical experience I have ever witnessed. It's a MUST DO if you ever go there. The vendors harass you up and down. They follow you. They guilt you into feeling bad or worse they say, "Come on, you be my first customer today!" When you know the straw market has been open for well over 4 hours already. They even go as far as to try and compete with the Bahamian vendor right next to them as you are pulling out your money to buy something from their neighbor. It's a hoot. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED seeing how many Bahamian vendors had their bibles out and open, reading them. Darren quizzed one Bahamian vendor on what her favorite bible verse was and I asked one vendor what book in the bible she was reading. "Romans", she replied. It was beautiful to witness. We learned that their biggest denomination there used to be Catholicism, but now it's Baptist. Whoot, whoot! Anyway, there were a ton of Christian souvenirs to buy as well as an abundance of Christian music to listen to. Some of the items they sold that were NOT homemade were boot leg movies, fake coach purses, and fake rolexes etc.... We bought all, but the boot leg movies. Now those were the items we bargained back and forth for. The most comical part of the straw market visit was when I found a Bahamian lady cutting her toe nails with a pair of scissors. I couldn't resist taking her picture. Darren couldn't believe I was actually going to do it. We were both concerned of what her reaction would be if she saw me. After she heard my camera click, she looked up and said, "Whatch you want to buy from me?" I thought, "Definitely NOT those scissors."

After the HOT visit to the straw market, we headed back to relax at the Mandara Spa. This was definitely the biggest moment I was waiting for on our trip. We booked a 90 minute couples massage months in advance. Darren had never had a massage before so he wasn't looking forward to it. He had no idea what to expect and thought it was weird to have a strange woman massaging him. When we arrived, we were greeted by a lady who asked us to go to our own gender's locker rooms and get undressed. She handed us white robes that were to replace our clothing. When I was reunited with Darren, I almost fell to the floor. It was beyond hysterical to see him in a white robe. He looked like a NY mobster. Our masseuses left the room and asked us to drop our robes and get into our beds. They went to start our massages and Darren's masseuse was like, "Why do you have your underwear on?" (add a Bahamian accent to that) I was dying and laughing so hard. He said, "It's just plain weird to be naked in front of you." She eventually convinced him to drop his drawers. If you could have been a fly on the wall, you would have peed your pants.

The massages lasted about 90 minutes. Afterwards, we were allowed to use the hot tub and a12 head shower. We were told we had 30 minutes alone to enjoy. That was more than enough time (wink wink). We were also given a yummy tray filled with dried fruit, hot tea, apple juice, bottled water etc. It was by far the MOST romantic thing we've ever done together. The best part about the end result is that Darren gave it 2 thumbs UP and would totally do it again.

When our spa treatment was over, we ruined it by walking the resort and going on another water slide. What the heck! DUMB. Then we headed inside to get ready for dinner.

We ate at the nicest possible restaurant that our meal plan offered. The Bahamian Club House. I had to take pictures of some of the prices on the menu. I felt very sick eating stuff that cost so much, but again, our meal plan paid for it. Our total bill was the highest of any bill we've had at a restaurant in all of 20 years we've been together. $252.00.

The night ended at the casino again. It was definitely the place to be, each night, even IF you didn't gamble (minus the ill dressed and wrongly behaved women).



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