We arrived Saturday evening and spent it with my parents at home. My Dad made cracked conch, bean & rice and conch fritters for dinner. It was delicious! That night after putting Stinky and Blinky to bed, the grownups wrapped presents to help Santa.
Christmas morning, the kids were up bright and early to see what Santa left! Based on their current interests, the grandparents splurged on a solar robot kit, motorized car kit and deluxe artist set for Stinky. Blinky received a perfume making kit, beaded jewelry & accessory kit and a tea party set. They were overjoyed!
The DH and I took the kids to the beach while my Dad (the cook) worked on a spread including, grilled lobster tails, baked ham, bean & rice, baked macaroni, and pumpkin cheesecake. Yum! Later that afternoon, we visited my paternal aunt who had the loveliest Christmas decorations!!! Unfortunately I didn't get any sans the kids, so these will have to do:
In addition to her beautifully adorned home, she also laid out a wonderful spread including lobster quiche, baked ham, fried wahoo, Bailey's cheesecake and guava duff. But most importantly, we had the opportunity to spend the evening with extended relatives we hadn't seen in a very long time.
Monday morning, my parents and brother joined us on Bay Street to catch the tail end of the Christmas Junkanoo parade. As usual, the colors and costumes are spectacular! Take a look for yourself:
After the parade, we explored Downtown Nassau. One of the most interesting stops to me was a former underutilized area rich in Bahamian history, that was transformed into Pompey Square. It is a prime piece of real estate linking Bay Street to Nassau Harbor and shopping areas. In the short time we were there, lots of visitors meandered through to take in the Christmas decorations and read about the brave slave named Pompey, for whom the site is named.
As we were leaving, we heard someone blowing a conch shell and headed over the Nassau Harbor. I've wanted a clean one for years to bring back to the states, and island accent strong, we negotiated the sale of a large queen conch shell for only $5. We suspected the lady was not licensed to sell these, but it was the day after Christmas and [ashamedly] the price was right.
Up for more adventure, we headed to Potter's Cay for conch salad. You may have seen videos of young, island guys chopping vegetables with a machete at an incredible pace. Ours was not one of those vendors. LOL! Our order took about 1.5 hours, in which time we were invited to play checkers with others waiting. Even the kids got to play. No worries though, the vendor is an old family friend and we allowed for this.
That's my Mom in the background. She'd been on the phone trying to arrange a meet with the art teacher at her school to make shell crafts with the kids. Mrs. M was on her way so conch salads in hand, we raced back home to meet her.
Using local shells and sea fans, we made animals and underwater scenes that we later gave away as souvenirs. How cute are these:
The rest of the evening was spent watching tv and eating leftovers.
On Tuesday, my Mom joined us as we headed back to Downtown Nassau to visit Pirates of Nassau, which was closed the day before for the parade. It is a museum chronicling the history of Pirating in the Bahamas. Mom and I visited the museum before, but it was a first for the DH and kids. They loved the ARRRRRR MATEY!!! pirate at the door to greet us. Blinky even got to hold his pistol.
Next we did a little souvenir shopping and loaded up on beach towels, Christmas ornaments and other household gifts. The kids had some Christmas money that was burning a hole in their pockets. Stinky scored a pirate ship that's more display than toy, but since he just stares at the intricacies of it, they're a perfect match. Blinky got a hat and sundress that scream vacation wear, which means she will wear it every chance she gets in our landlocked city.
Before heading home, we stopped at a beach to let the kids play in the sand. Even though they weren't dressed for a swim, they got thoroughly soaked and loved every minute!
We hung with my Dad and brother on Wednesday at Montague Beach while my Mom caught up with schoolwork. While there, we visit Fort Montague. It's one of the smallest forts but has sweeping views of Nassau and Paradise Island.
Wednesday evening the kids and I did a little grocery shopping with my Mom. Nassau prices are exorbitant to say the least! You pay to play in Paradise it seems.
Thursday Daddy and I had yard duty. My parents' landscaping is virtually non-existent after Hurricane Matthew devastated New Providence last October. So Daddy and I redid the front flower beds with oyster plants and Crown of Thorn plants. We planted mint in the side yard that my Mom rooted from plants at work. And we planted several young seagrape trees in the backyard that I may or may not have dug up from one of our beach trips. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures but truthfully, everything we planted was so young, our stories of working hard in the heat of the day would fall on deaf ears.
On Thursday night the DH and I went out for drinks with a few of my old friends and favorite cousin at Lukka Kairi. The company was great and the venue was spectacular! The restaurant overlooks Nassau Harbor and has several aquariums teeming with lobsters and conch ready to be ordered. Prices are on the higher end but worth it.
Friday was a mishmash of trying to squeeze everything in before we left. The DH and I were desperate to get lunch at The Pepper Pot downtown (my brother was treating us to lunch), even though there was literally no parking, traffic was bumper to bumper and preparations were already being made for the New Year's Junkanoo Parade. The DH ended up walking to the restaurant while the kids and I circled for what felt like forever. I did get to snap these shots while sitting in traffic though:
Since we were not able to eat in the restaurant, we decided to eat...at the beach! This is also where we met up with one of my former supervisors who I haven't seen in probably 10 years. It was really fun catching up! One ice cream pit stop later, we were back home trying to pack.
On Saturday morning, as we're getting ready to head to the airport, two of my former co-workers popped in to say goodbye. We literally had minutes, but I appreciated them coming over to see everyone. Next visit we'll have more time to spend together.
And just like that our week was over. We enjoyed spending the time we had with our family and friends, especially at Christmas. My parents are always so accommodating and extend the royal treatment. And like my Mom loves to remind me, her house is always home. Thanks Mom!