We did finally make it off the boat and onto dry land. Let the adventure begin. We catch a cab to our hotel. (I’m going to interject here that I’m struggling finding the exact words to give you the full mental picture. I want you to have a true appreciation of what I’m trying to tell you.) Imagine for a moment the most gorgeous, luxurious hotel you’ve ever seen….and then imagine the TOTAL opposite. I’m not even kidding. Wish I were. Within moments of pulling up to the front we knew we were in for it. I’m not sure what gave it away first…. the hoards of screaming teens checking in at the lobby (Spring Break, remember?) or the large construction equipment parked all over the property outside.
We checked in and walked to our room, passing bulldozers and noisy kids all the way. We decided it was time to walk around and check out the sights. We head out, on foot, and try to avoid being killed by the crazy drivers in this place. It is a virtual game of “Frogger” as we’re trying to dart across the street, a.k.a. highway, which is outside our hotel. Bahamian drivers are much like the cab drivers I remember from visiting Chicago. In Chicago I can remember ducking down in the back seat of the cab and literally praying to God just to let me out of that steel deathtrap alive. Very quick stops and starts and lots of horn blowing. The difference now was that we were the ones having to avoid being plowed over by the speeding deathtraps. Stressful.
We venture around the town for a while and start noticing that while it is an okay area, it isn’t the beautiful, plush area we had imagined after looking through brochures. There are shops. There is a casino. Some restaurants. We strike up a conversation with a local shop owner. He explains to us that most people who come to visit the Bahamas on a honeymoon travel to Nassau and not Freeport, as we had. Okay, seriously. So we’ve discovered we are basically in the wrong part of the country in a bad hotel and we’ve gotten there by voyaging on the S.S. Gonna-Sink-Any-Minute. Have I mentioned that at the end of our trip we will be returning to the same ship to travel back to Florida?…. can’t WAIT!!!
At this point there isn’t much you can do but laugh. We have four days remaining in this place and that was that. We did schedule a snorkeling trip which was the highlight of the trip. If you’ve not been snorkeling I would strongly encourage you to do it. It’s as if you’ve entered into a quiet, private underwater world. The array of colors- oranges, reds, turquoise…. just lovely. We saw fish I’ve never seen and a gorgeous coral reef. You had to be careful, though because the coral was protected and we were not allowed to touch it. I guess people have tried to break some off and take it home in the past. I can’t even imagine trying though because that stuff will cut you if you accidentally so much as brush a foot over it. This was, without a doubt, the highlight of my experience in Freeport, Bahamas.
We finished our snorkeling trip and were relishing the fact that we’ve had a pleasant moment. He suggests we visit a local ice cream parlor and I’m thrilled! Ice cream is my FAVORITE snack in the world and the thought of having two consecutive good things happen to us was almost unthinkable! 🙂 We went in, ordered our ice cream cones and left. I got two scoops- one chocolate and one cookies and cream….yummy! It was stacked high on a sugar cone. We were just a few blocks from the “hotel” so we decided to walk back and watch a movie on the television. We’ve seen everything we needed to see in town by this time.
He and I walk to our room through the jackhammering and the cannonballs into the swimming pool and I sit on the bed. The husband is in a chair about 6 feet from me and he turns on the television. We find a movie we both like and continue eating our ice cream. It was delicious! You can’t really mess ice cream up, can you? Just fabulous. He and I are chatting throughout the movie. About 20 minutes in, as I’m on the very last licks of my ice cream, I am talking to him from the bed and looking at him over in the chair. As I’m talking I notice in my peripheral vision a slight movement….. huh? That shouldn’t be happening…… I glance down at my now-gone ice cream and see that in the bottom of my sugar cone is a cockroach- NO LIE- about 3 inches long….. black and disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s just walking around in there! In one fail swoop I throw my ice cream cone across the room, begin screaming like a murder victim, and leap off the bed about 10 feet. THAT IS IT!!!!!!!! GET ME OUTTA THIS GOD-FORSAKEN PLACE AND LET’S GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was over the ship, over the vomit, over the hotel and the 6 a.m. bulldozing/jackhammering wake up calls, sick of the kids, and definitely was NOT gonna be having roaches in my ice cream. I realize that I am blowing any shot I ever had at working for the Bahamian Chamber of Commerce or Tourism Department, but that was my experience. Truly. The Bahamas suck.