Ah, traveling. How good you are at supplying content for my blog.
My trip to the Bahamas began with an early ride to the airport from The Flying Crane, who really doesn’t like to drive and was doing it as a big favor to me. Over the past two weeks she has managed to experience more anxiety about a 40 minute drive to the airport than I thought was humanely possible. So I’m happy to report that the ride there was entirely uneventful, although I did start to get a bit sarcastic after she asked me “so I just keep driving straight?” for the fifth time. I haven’t heard how the return trip went, so I’m just going to assume everyone and everything made it back in one piece.
The flight itself went fine for me, especially since I met up with the parents and Dad let me sit with Mom while he took my seat up front. Given the fact that I yakked at maximum volume for two hours straight I’m sure the flight for all the people around us was less than fine. I can pretty much predict what they said to loved ones upon arrival:
“You wouldn’t believe the people I had to sit by. This girl would not SHUT UP! She’d stop for a minute and just as I thought it was finally over, she started talking again! And her voice! She was so loud I’m pretty sure the entire plane could hear her. What a nightmare.”
I had made all the arrangements to rent a condo from a local couple and the husband had even volunteered to pick us up at the airport. As we got off the plane, I started to wonder how we would meet up with him. I assumed it would involve him holding a sign with my name on it, which I have to admit I would have found very cool. Unfortunately this did not happen. We waited, as more and more taxi people tried to be helpful. We waited as I tried to find Internet so I could email him. We waited as someone tried him on the phone number he gave and it just rang and rang and rang.
Finally we got in a taxi, only to find out the driver had no idea where the place was. Nor were her fellow drivers able to offer any insight. So we started driving in the general direction of the address as we continued to call the number over and over and over until someone finally answered. Turns out the husband was on his way to the airport, but the wife did her best to give our cabbie directions as her three little boys shouted in the background. It was a long journey but eventually we made it to our truly fantastic condo, which the family had even decorated for Christmas.
Next obstacle: trying to figure out how to connect with my sister and her family, who were anchored in their sailboat somewhere near the island. She had said they would try to meet up with us at the condo, but after our epic journey just to find the place ourselves, I knew that was not going to happen. Without any way to call her (seriously, what did people do before cell phones????), I just sent her an email to meet us at the Poop Deck. That’s right, the Poop Deck. According to our new landlord, it was the perfect choice for local cuisine near Paradise Island where we thought my sister might possibly be.
Happily they strolled through the doors about 20 minutes after we arrived and I was able to give The Lady of the Sea a big hug! She definitely remembered her Aunt Megan and welcomed me with a big grin. After a delicious meal at the Poop Deck, we took the dinghy out to their boat just in time to see a lighted boat parade go by:
Afterwards we went back ashore right next to a popular bar and waited for a taxi to go by. And oh my did we get the special taxi driver. One look and my BL wished us good luck in one of those voices that says I really hope you survive the next 30 minutes. This guy was half blind and used to driving back and forth between the bars and nearby hotels – our directions to a place 15 minutes away confused him more than a little. Every time the road got too narrow or the lights got too bright he would slow down to about 10 mph and take his glasses off and on, off and on. We had told him we were near a certain grocery store, and all he kept saying was “We have to get off this road…we have to get off this road…we have to get off this road!” It took him 20 minutes to get off that road.
Then there was the tire in the back that kept making wobbly noises and sounding like it was going to fall off at any moment. When he suddenly pulled off to the side of the road and walked back behind the car, I thought he was checking it. So as he came back in, just to make conversation and ensure we weren’t all going to die, I asked “how does it look?” This part wasn’t actually that funny until my father later informed me that he had not been checking the tire, but instead had pulled over to take a leak on the side of the road. My question then took on a whole new and fairly disturbing dimension.
The rest of the night’s events paled in comparison to that moment.