When I climbed down out of the puddle hopper — a tiny American Eagle airplane — in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island this afternoon, I could smell the salt from the ocean although it was slightly chilly and overcast. I was clearly on the only plane that had arrived from Miami in a while. The so-called airport — really two open rooms — was empty save for the few people checking passports.
“You traveling with family or friends?” the black official said me with a Bahamanian accent as he stamped my passport. “Nope. All by myself.”
I rode in a mini van on the British side of the road with a driver who promised me the cold front wouldn’t stay long. The ride from the airport to the Pelican Bay Resort was 10 minutes, and at one point we slowed down because there were four cars ahead of us on the island that is 96 miles long and 17 miles wide, according to my driver. “Your first Bohemian traffic jam,” he said, “Ya man.”
At the resort, I unloaded my backpack and put my shirts and skirts in the dresser drawers. It was about 6 p.m. I changed into my green flowing skirt and white cardigan sweatshirt and walked briskly on the boardwalk that was built along a small bay filled with sailboats. It was a mere three minutes to what’s called the Marketplace in Lucaya with restaurants and boutiques, but not somewhere I’m comfortable yet spending time alone. I saw about 30 college kids boarding a booze cruise and some local men hanging over the railing talking and smoking cigarettes.
I quickly made my way back to my resort and the Sabor Restaurant that’s about 30 steps from my garden room. The restaurant has only outdoor seating, and I sat near the railing overlooking the water as the sun set. I snapped a few photos of the orange sky above the sailboats and then propped my feet clad in flipflops on a chair, drank a glass of Pinot Noir and delved into my new book In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.
For dinner, I had ginger crusted salmon in an apricot glaze with polenta and squash followed by a homemade coconut sorbet that tasted more like fat-free creamy ice cream it was so smooth (and delicious, I’m already thinking about having more tomorrow). Despite the loud children running around, I’m starting to unwind. It’s too chilly for my taste, but it’s supposed to be a high of 73 degrees tomorrow and 78 degrees by Friday.
Back in my room, I’m under my covers in a king-sized bed drinking a decaf coffee and rubbing my feet together to warm them. Some drunk middle-age women are cackling outside and I’m trying not to be annoyed (I thought I was a loud laugher). It’s 9:45 p.m., and I may read and go to bed so I can rise early and head off in search of the beach.