10. Went to the Count Basie Town Square in Freeport, Bahamas and, under a full moon, watched people from all cultures and colors dance in sync to the “Cupid Shuffle.” Music truly is the international language. When in doubt, dance.
9. Sure, they had ESPN at our resort. But it showed mostly cricket (huh?) and tennis (hurray!). Not a mention of MLB or Deron Williams the whole week. But one night they did show the 2006 All-Star dunk contest. Weird.
8. Rented a moped one day and took Sybil on a little tour. Lesson learned: Driving on the left side of the road is harder than it looks.
7. The Grand Lucayan has it all. Grass, clay and hard tennis courts. Golf course. Massages on the beach. White sand. Kaleidoscopic water. Parasailing. Tubing. Jet skis. Snorkeling. Sharks. Women in bikinis. Natives in long-sleeved shirts. Swim-up bar. Vanishing edge pool. Volleyball. And, yep, any sort of drugs you want from Rastafarians on the beach ostensibly selling starfish. Yeah, right.
6. The official beer of Freeport: Sands. What the what is Sands beer? Tastes like diet beer-flavored light water.
5. If a guy offers you a fresh mango, eat it. Skin and all. Better than sex. Almost.
4. Sybil actually spent time in the international market haggling over trinkets. Lady wanted $8 for a coffee mug. Sybil offered $7. Lady said no. Sybil bolted. Over a $1!
3. Worst part of the trip: Hidden, horrible fees. On our bill – I kid you not – was a Bahamian Tax (10%), Resort Fee ($9), Facility Fee ($7.50), Service Fee ($7) and Energy Surcharge ($10). Every stinkin’ day. Add it up over our entire stay it was over $250. I asked for explanations. Facility fee? For using the pool, towels, etc. Service fee? Maids, staff. Energy fee? Lights. Swear, the lady behind the counter said “lights.” So basically you rent a dark room for $175, then charge up from there. Good news: Me loudly preceded the Communication Fee that I’m sure is on its way.
2. At the casino I sat at a table with two 50-something women. They were wearing Rangers’ gear, so we got to talking. Punch line: They claimed they sailed to The Bahamas from Florida in a yacht, and just refueled at the cost of a cool $10,000. Ten gees. For gas. We believing them?
1. Biggest transition is from real-time to Island time. In the states you want it done yesterday. In The Bahamas, it gets done whenever the “Yeah, mon” staffer decides to shuffle over and do it. Seriously, you have to ask for everything – water, refills, utensils, ketchup – twice. It’s at both times frustrating and a reminder at how we shouldn’t take good ol’ southern hospitality for granted.
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