Our Canadian friends from the cruise, Sarah and Craig, just sent us some pictures from our little vacation. Fortunately for all of us, Sarah is a professional photographer and has the ability to photo shop (this is a very good thing). Despite her ability to portray things in a better light than they may actually appear in reality (literally), I think these pictures remained pretty true to form and accurately captured some rather comical and fun moments.
The first one is of Craig, Jim and I snorkeling over a gorgeous coral reef in the Bahamas. While the reef was beautiful and filled with bunches of neon colored little fishies, it was hard to forget about the dilemma Craig had experienced just prior to jumping into the water. A bunch of life vests had been randomly passed out to everyone on the catamaran and as the bartender/captain had instructed us, we put the life vests on and snapped up all the buckles so that there would be no clips trailing behind for people to trip over. Unfortunately for Craig, his life vest had one extra belt to be clipped - a crotch strap. So while the rest of us looked moderately goofy, Craig looked more like he was somehow unstable or impaired as the crotch strap created a permanent slight wedgie - captain's orders. Further, while all the rest of our life vests were reasonably clean, Craig's had what appeared to be a large ketchup stain down the front. Craig felt certain that whoever the tool was that had used this life vest before him had been stumbling around the boat chowing down on a hot dog with lots of ketchup and had carelessly slopped it all over the life vest. It was a good visual to go with the extra special life vest. Just before Sarah snapped this photo, Craig requested that Sarah be careful to try not to get the ketchup stain in the photo - this as we're all looking more than a bit rough around the edges after snorkeling for a while in our antiquated snorkeling masks and life vests.
After returning from our snorkeling excursion back to Nassau, there was some discussion about just heading into Nassau to get a look around. I guess I was kind of the stick in the mud on this one because I sort of felt like I looked like I had just gotten out of the shower with only a towel on over my swimsuit. Fortunately, everyone obliged me and we headed back to the ship so I could collect myself a bit before exploring the island. This was a photo just before we got back on the ship which Sarah graciously took and brushed up for us.
Exploring the island was an adventure in and of itself. There was so much beauty, but also so much filth. Quite literally, there were just piles of garbage randomly placed here and there. . Not that that's where garbage pick up was, just that it must've seemed like a good spot. And Sarah and I both exchanged looks of confusion and then confirmation as we observed a man tightly holding a *cigarette* between two fingers as he lit it (we then noted how happy everyone on that beach seemed just then. . .). Despite some of it's downfalls, Nassau was still beautiful. One thing that made it beautiful was the Starbucks there (which unfortunately was closed by the time we got there). But beyond the commercial beauty, it was just plain nice to look at: white sandy beaches with clear sparkling water, buildings painted in vibrant beach colors, and gorgeous tropical plants.
All in all, visiting Nassau or just being on a cruise or laughing with friends, it was worth it. It was a wonderful vacation worth every dime spent and every kurmugdeon of planning - even if returning to normalcy can be a bit brutal. . .Thank you for all the photos, Sarah! Love 'em!