Sunshine and sand in November are foreign concepts to me. Living in the Pacific Northwest, my fall weather routine consists of bundling up my rain jacket and sipping on hot tea to chase the chill from my body.
Earlier in November, my husband and I were finally able to take our honeymoon – a whole six months after we said, “I do.” We both knew we wanted a mellow vacation – one where the most difficult decision we would make would be what cocktail to drink. After a lot of back and forth, we settled on a mini cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Carnival Liberty.
We awoke in our cabin the second morning, opened the door to our balcony, and were greeted by the turquoise water of the Caribbean. The warm air was absolutely divine, and I remember closing my eyes for a few seconds trying to capture everything in my memory: the heat of the morning sun on my face, the tang of salt in the air, the gulls crying overhead, the humidity on my skin.
We had booked a last minute excursion that morning for the unbelievable price of only $27/person. After packing a few things in a small backpack, Eric and I headed to Deck 0 to disembark for the day. Along with 12 other shipmates, we boarded a mini tour bus at the end of the pier and wound our way through Nassau to a private stretch of sand along Cable Beach.
We drove through the heart of Nassau as the tour guide chatted about points of interest. I craned my neck to try to get peek-a-boo shots of the water, but it wasn’t until we arrived at our destination for the day that I really saw.
This is not real life. These words looped over and over in my head as I stepped off the bus and onto the white sand. The Poopdeck at Sandypoint– a restaurant washed in pink paint stood just to the right and just beyond the deck was Cable Beach, a halfmoon beach with turquoise water as far as the eye could see.
The tour guides had lounge chairs all set up for us – the only items on this secluded beach. The water beaconed me, and I hustled to find a spot, fish my camera out of the backpack, and kick off my Tevas.
Call it muscle memory, but I’m always hesitant to jump right into any ocean. Perhaps it was all those years of attempting to swim in the freezing waters of Puget Sound or the Washington coast. I had practically danced across the sand to the lip of the water but paused for a few seconds to the let the waves wash over my feet. The warmth was heavenly.
I waded out until my feet could no longer feel the sand below and then did a slow swim to toward Eric. Just as I reached him, he pulled out our camera and snapped a picture of us bobbing in the Caribbean with one of the prettiest beaches as our backdrop.
I was so thankful in that moment – for being fortunate enough to travel to the Bahamas, for being able to spend time with my husband & best buddy, and for meeting a fantastic crew of people all here to unwind at Cable Beach that day.
We spent the afternoon splashing in the surf, playing games with our cruise mates, and making new friends. We even tried conch fritters – a mix of green pepper, celery, and conch all rolled up and fried into one yummy nugget of deliciousness.
The minutes ticked by all too quickly, as they so often do when you’re having fun. We didn’t want to leave, but we also didn’t want to blow our 5:30 pm curfew on the boat. I remember the bus ride back to the pier was a quiet one – not of discomfort or sheer exhaustion – but of pure contentment.
As we watched the Liberty sail away from Nassau, Eric and I chatted about making our way back to the Bahamas to spend more time and explore – to see some of the other 700 islands, to meet new people, swim in other coves, try new foods, and make new friends.
Until next time, Bahamas!