There Are Just Too Many Damn Islands.

Tobyjoe and I are in dyer need of a vacation. And it needs to happen soon. In the past we’ve confused the word “vacation” with “large move”. Instead of saving our money and flying someplace exotic and relaxing, we just pack everything up and move. While our drive across the U.S. of A. was a lovely one, it wasn’t exactly a vacation. We were on a tight schedule and had three screaming cats in the back seat, cats that really don’t like to poop or pee in a moving vehicle. I can’t say that I do, either.

Now, we went to Rhode Island last September and had a wonderful time. We went to Disney last March with the entire family. We also had a lovely time. Several years ago we took a trip down to Turks and Caicos. It was a 4-day yoga retreat where we snorkeled, ate healthy foods, kayaked along some of the most pristine waters in the world, and rode little motorcycles all over the underdeveloped island. Some of you might remember this:

I think I need some more photos like this one.

Lately, I have been having these “moments”. I call them moments because I’m not sure what other term to use. They’re happening more and more frequently, too. I’ll be someplace – anywhere—and suddenly, without even thinking about it, I’m at the end of my life looking back. The weirdest part is I can SEE myself, like I’m watching myself speak as one might watch a character in a movie. I know that I’m talking to someone, but it doesn’t matter whom, really, because they’re not the point. The point always resides on something in which I regret NOT having done or something I regret having done. The last “moment” took place the other night while on the treadmill. I was running and then I wasn’t. Instead, I was sitting somewhere telling someone about myself. I said, “I loved to travel but always hated flying. Looking back, I wish I had just dealt with it. I never got to see India, Thailand, China or Alaska.”

I hate flying. But I think I finally have a doctor here who can help me out with that. I’m willing to take an extreme form of therapy if need be. And by “extreme” I mean a swift punch in the face and a kick to the back of the head right before take-off.

So, yesterday, I started shopping around on the Bahamas Web site. Aside from the fact that the Web site seems to have several bugs in Firefox, I don’t even know WHERE to begin when it comes to all those damn islands. I love the logo, but I can’t pick one based on color, right? How many freaking islands do they need? What would we like? I have no idea. I could guess, but what if we end up on some fraternity-flooded island where people are sipping drinks out of test tubes? No, thank you.

I guess this really long post was created for one reason. I could have just asked and not have rambled, but oh well.

What freaking island do we stay at? Are the Bahamas overrated? Should we look elsewhere? Are there better times to go? I’m open to anything. I’ll even look elsewhere if, in fact, they are overrated. I’d like to stay in the same time zone, however.

Anyway, if you can help me, please do so. If you’re a hater of comments, feel free to email me at michele at this domain dot com. I need to get rid of some of these “moments

28 Comments

  1. I don’t know a thing about the Bahamams but I am personally curious about the US Virgin Islands. I know St. John is not super developed and it supposed to be amazing. You can only get there via a ferry. There are no real addresses for any of the places there and not internet cafes and the like. So if you really wanna get away I would suspect this would be a good place. Plus I used to know a girl who grew up there and she of course says it amazing there. And, I don’t think you even need a passport as they are part of the US…. Just a thought.

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  2. And a good thought! Especially since my passport expired. :]

    I think my parents went there. Or that was St Maartin. I dunno.

    I really liked Turks and Caicos but their airport scared the shit out of me as it was like 3 feet long and they landed and took off on the same runway. I guess I could get over that if I needed to, though. Hmmmm

    Down there, you could see the entire milky way as there wasn’t a city light for miles around. It was amazing. I have a feeling anywhere in the Bahamas wouldn’t have that.

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  3. not that i’ve ever been there, but supposedly Tortola (BVI) is really really nice. One lovely day, when we can save enough money, I think we’re going to take our honeymoon there. It’ll probably be 5 years after the actual wedding, but who cares!! Check this out… one word: treehouse
    http://www.surfsong.net/
    i think i might be able to actually do nothing here. and that’s not easily done.

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  4. Thank you, Aimee!

    Treehouse? I would love that. Truly.

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  5. Love islands. Here are some that either I have adored or have heard about from friends:

    St. Thomas – Very nice and clean. Megan’s Bay (gorgeous beach) is worth the trip alone. You can also take a trip to St. John’s from there.

    Aruba – pricey unless you have a timeshare or an all-inclusive, but my favorite island that I’ve ever visited.

    Barbados – my dad went there and he loved it. Said it is a lot of beautiful, lush greenery and a really nice place to visit.

    St. Lucia – My best friends went there on their honeymoon last year – it seems to be the next up and coming island. They really liked it, and the resort they stayed at was Sandals (all-inclusive) and they said it was very nice and they had a great time.

    Bahamas – I’ve been there 2 or 3 times by plane and twice as a stop on a cruise…I think it’s really overrated. I’ve been to Nassau and Paradise Island. I haven’t been in a while so it may have changed, but Nassau was nothing special really, and Paradise Island used to be my favorite until they wiped all of the less-expensive but nice hotels out and replaced it with that Atlantis monstrosity.

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  6. Maddie, how far is St Thomas? Barbados, too?

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  7. i’ve heard that there’s a cruise from jersey to the bahamas and back and it’s relatively in-expensive. but i’ve also heard that the bahamas are more expensive than anything down in the carribean. cleaner too, but, i’ve never been however.

    but i must agree with you about the skooter picture…..”everyone needs more pictures like that!”

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  8. St. Thomas, if I recall correctly, was about a 3 1/2 to 4 hour flight from Newark.

    I’ll ask my dad how far it is to Barbados. I’ll get back to ya.

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  9. Another good thing about St. Thomas – all the beaches are public and free, (except Megan’s Bay which has a small fee) so even if it’s a resort’s beach that you aren’t staying at, you can go.

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  10. You are all wonderful. Thank you!

    I am going to look into St. Thomas, actually. Seems more our style if we have one. :]

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  11. No all-inclusive crap, if possible. Those resorts are like gated communities for anyone with a tax return (bad accounting and one-click booking? Not the folks I’d like to be around).

    Besides, I almost got arrested for ‘trespassing’ while trying to rent scuba gear at one in Turks.

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  12. went to Vieques, an island off of Puerto Rico last year and loved it. It really is undevelpoed, refreshingly so. It took us all back to a time when we cared less about accomodations and more about just not looking at a clock, and kicking back. We stayed at Inn on the Blue Horizon…it is beautiful and laid back, and has the best open air breezy cabana bar/restaurant on the island.

    It’s an amzing experience.

    Good luck!

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  13. hez, thanks! This is why I made the post. I had no idea!

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  14. This is what my dad just sent me re: St. Thomas and Barbados:

    About St Thomas. You’re right, it was about 4 hours or so. Barbados is a bit longer, but endurable. Probably close to what it was to Aruba, maybe a little shorter. It’s way down at the end of the Caribbean chain. Not too bad a flight though. Barbados is way cool though. If I had the choice I’d go back there.

    Hope that helps, mihow! I don’t know about the hotels in St. Thomas because he has a timeshare there.

    I also went on a cruise to Cozumel and Costa Maya. Cozumel was beautiful, not too commercial for Mexico. Costa Maya was nice and not commericialized at all yet. Not sure they have places to stay there or not.

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  15. If you’re willing ot go far, you gotta go to Fiji. Otherwise, yeah, it’s a quick trip to the mayan riviera, where you can go as rustic or as pampered as you want..

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  16. Screw the Caribbean and GO TO THAILAND ALREADY!!! It is sooo easy to travel in Thailand, the food is the greatest, and though the ticket might be pricier, the experience is well worth it and you can travel and eat and buy dirt cheap there.

    We were just in the Caribbean and yes it’s sunny and beautiful but it is so catered to North American tourists that it’s nauseating. I think that you need a real adventure Mihow. Seriously.

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  17. i agree with parasol if you have the time to spend and the cash to get that far. if not, hawaii is amazing!!!!!

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  18. I would love to go to India. Thailand is cool, too. I actually had tickets to a wedding there. I was to fly out on December 13th, 2001. Needless to say, I threw the tickets out. I was too afraid to board the plane. can you freaking beleive that?

    Pathetic.

    I am the biggest coward around.

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  19. Mihow,
    You’re not a coward but seriously, get help so that you can board a plane and take a long trip. After the first seven hours of the flight, you’ll forget you’re on a plane.

    That said, I highly recommend Thailand before India. India is way, way, way, way, way more of an utter culture shock. Thailand has got to be the best place to travel that I know of. Or, go to India first if you’re going to do both. Then you can go to India and work through that and spend the remainder of your vacation having a great, more carefree time in Thailand.

    I didn’t hear you saying, at the end of your life, that you really wished you had gone to the Bahamas!! Save those trips for when you’re a senior and want to take it easy. You’re young and fun so take advantage of that!

    That’s my two cents. And I have a pocket full of pennies.

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  20. O.K. So Vu and I went to Tortola (BVI) for our honeymoon. It was fabulous.We went during low season though. It was soooo quite. We really did nothing. The us virgin islands looked a lot more comercial but we only saw the shopping strip during the wait for the ferry to the BVI. The food in general isn’t great but anything that can kill is cheap and abundant, cigarettes, booze, people driving without a seat belt. There were free roaming animals a plenty, gorgeaus beaches and getting to the smaller islands is easy. I have never been so relaxed in my life. On the morning of our flight home I noticed my shoulders up around my ears and thought “holy shit, I haven’t felt this for a week!” We stayed at a “resort” that includes a few dinners and a snorkeling trip and was totally odd in an enjoyable way. It is run by a woman from new jersey of all things! I recomend it and would expect a lot more sailors and people in the bars during high season

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  21. two things:

    a_ everyone i know that has been to st. martin loves it ( us virgin islands, i believe)

    b_ i’m also told that with a lot of the islands, you WANT the all inclusive crap. with the all inclusive stuff, you get a meal at the hotel or some partner restaurant. otherwise, you wind up trying to find a place that will take a reservation (because they’re all booked up from all inclusives) and when you get there it ends up being a $250 dinner.

    my advice is to check w/a travel agent or check w/the hotel about the meals and your options if you don’t do an all inclusive thing.

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  22. P.S. The place we stayed had a little kitchen so……

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  23. Love making and cooking! WOO!

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  24. Gotta run.
    I think the flight was kinda long. 6hrs? that would be a stab in the dark but they give you a drink as soon as you get off the plane. That might help!

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  25. I just talked to my brother, who went to St. Thomas in Jan, and he said he loved it. Also, he said he took a ferry to Road Town, Tortola from St. Thomas (only way to get to Tortola anyhow, apparently). So you could conceivably do both! Plus, I have to agree with Sian, who has actually been to Tortola, that it seems (at least in pictures) like the perfect place to relax with your favorite person…

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  26. Just got back from the Bahamas, Grand Bahama Island to be exact. It was ok. The food at the hotel (Westing) was overpriced & some of it not that good, but luckily there was a marketplace type joint across the way for which was not bad (but avoid the Dunkin Donuts and the greasy spoon place next door for coffee – blech. It was a struggle to find a decent cup of cofee there)

    Where we stayed was somewhat touristy, with all of the bonfire excursions and being in the same comples as the Sheraton, but we stayed at the far end (lighthouse pointe) where it was quiet, had a nice pool, empty beach, and right next to the free gym. We didn’t explore much of the island because there didn’t seem to be much there. Locals were a little off-putting, but I guess that’s the story down there.

    Now depending on the time of year you’re looking to go, I say try Bermuda. It’s closer than everywhere else (2 hr flight from DC), lots to check out than just hanging on th beach, mopeds/scooters are the preferred mode of transpo, and the people are crazily friendly everywhere. The drawback is that it can be somewhat pricey and if you want hot weather, hold off until April – Sept. I’ve been a few times, and we’re thinking of staying here next: http://www.9beaches.com/. Where it is on the island, you’re a quick ferry ride into downtown, St Georges (the other side of the island) and on a main bus route that’ll take you to the nicest beach I’ve ever been: Horshoe Bay.

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  27. Wow! Thanks, John. So you just got back? That’s incredible. Lucky dog.

    Don’t people die flying to Bermuda? heh

    Just kidding.

    Sort of.

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  28. Funny you say that – When I was a kid, I had the board game, called “Bermuda Triangle”, and the premise of the game was that you had to get from Bermuda to Miami to Havana (or maybe it was San Juan) to some port in South Carolina and pick up cargo like you were a freight ship (sugar, cotton, pineapples, etc.). But in the middle of this sea was this big storm that would move after every round. If for some reason on your die roll, you moved under the storm or the storm moved over your ship as it was enroute to one of the ports, the storm would suck it up! (i.e. there were magnets on the underside of the storm that would pull up the boats) That was my real life education to what the triangle was all about :)

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