So, what did we do for four full days and two half-days in the Bahamas? First, let me explain what we didn't do, which is at least as important.
We didn't do responsibilities, kids, pets, coupon clipping, snow shoveling, stress, guilt, diets, television, rainy days, doctors, lawyers, CEO’s (except that one we met in the Jacuzzi), grocery shopping, vacuuming, arguments, politics, stock markets, mortgages, bills, dentists (other than the one we met from Detroit), driving, changing printer cartridges, or blogging (a new Enjoying the Ride post came out on that Wednesday, but it was pre-loaded).
We didn't worry about death or taxes. We didn't vote (except on when to eat dinner), and we didn't attend any board meetings, workshops, or fundraisers. We barely used our credit cards or wallets, as this was an all-inclusive resort. We didn’t tip the wait staff, bartenders, room cleaners, or empty glass picker-uppers, not because their service was poor, but because this was a non-tipping resort. Perhaps most telling was that we didn't spend time engaged in that favorite activity of snowbound northerners- daydreaming that we are lying around on a tropical island somewhere.
Now, for a little bit about what we did do.
Activity #1: Eating, eating, and then eating some more
Our days revolved around food. There weren't a lot of snacks, but there didn't need to be, because the meals were so satisfying.
Let's start with breakfast. There were a couple of sitdown options with white tablecloths, and one impressive buffet. We generally didn't plan to meet for breakfast, although we sometimes bumped into one another. Over the five breakfasts, we had two sit downs and three buffets. I must have pushed the limits of how much bacon can be safely consumed in one week.
There were several sitdown lunch options, and the same buffet restaurant put together a very nice noontime spread. I think we did two sit downs and three buffets.
There was an open hearth pizzeria near the pool, which supplied any kind of pizza by the pie or by the slice. I don't remember how many slices I consumed. But, in my curious system of food accounting that week, I never considered those slices to offset any part of breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
There were three dinner restaurants that required reservations, and several others that did not. We enjoyed an authentic Italian restaurant one evening. They had an extensive antipasto salad bar and a variety of outstanding entrées. The wine flowed easily. One night we ate at a high-end French restaurant, which was très magnifique. On our last night at the resort we experienced a Japanese hibachi steakhouse and were thoroughly entertained by our personal chef.
The culinary highlight of the week was our comped dinner at Gordon's on the Pier, the exclusive $140 per couple restaurant. We asked for a wine list and noticed that there were prices beside the selections. Damn. I asked the waiter, a tall, and I suppose handsome, Bahamian named Shannon, if the wine wasn't complementary. He indicated that the house wines were included. These were just the special wines. Whew, close call. We ordered a complimentary bottle of champagne and then some house wine. After nibbling on bread we moved on to salads, appetizers, entrées (the most popular of which was filet mignon and lobster tail), and finally desserts. One member of our party, who shall remain nameless, even planted not one, but two kisses on the cheek of our waiter, Shannon. We all left a little drunk and very satisfied, some more than others (coughahemKarencough). Sorry, I was just clearing my throat.
Overall, I would rate the food at this resort as excellent. To Sandals credit, the wait staff was absolutely top notch. And you know, as good as the food and service was, one of the best things about dining at an all-inclusive resort is that as soon as we were finished with our meals we didn't have to wait for the check, figure out how to split the bill among three couples, calculate a tip, and then wait some more for our credit cards to be run. We could simply get up and leave. If I were to start a restaurant somewhere, I would do what I could to streamline that entire process.
Accommodations or adjustments for me:
There were not many accommodations necessary for my dining. Most of the restaurants were very accessible. There was one outdoor lunch spot that required me to negotiate three steps. We dined there twice, and just used the stairclimbing mode in the iBot to get into the restaurant. Gordon's on the Pier did not have a bathroom, and the nearest bathroom was not wheelchair accessible, so I avoided emptying my bladder even after consuming several glasses of wine. That was a little uncomfortable, but I managed.
Activity #2: Lounging around and doing nothing
This is an activity at which I excel.
We sat by the pool or the beach, read books (my Kindle was loaded with 3 new titles), talked, met new people, sipped on tropical concoctions (often comparing them to one another, "here, try this"), relaxed on our private patio, floated on mats in the pool, reached consensus on plans for the evening, debated about whether we were going to have our next cocktail here or over there, and listened to live music. I must confess that we also admired the beautiful people walking by without having our gazes detected due to our dark sunglasses. Is that creepy or just honest?
We met a large group of people from Minnesota who were there for a wedding. They were very friendly folks, and had the strongest accents, right out of the movie Fargo. Kim, who is not as adept at relaxing as the rest of us are, would occasionally venture over and play beach volleyball with the Minnesotans and other guests and staff.
Accommodations or adjustments for me:
There was no way for me to get in the pool, but that was okay. It's been a few years, and I was never a water lover anyway.
I didn't consume very much alcohol, because drinking is a double loser for me. First, it makes me have to pee, and peeing takes time and effort. Second, alcohol makes me weak, and I'm already weak when I wake up in the morning because of MS. But I still had a couple of drinks here and there, and it felt good.
As a person with MS, my body is sensitive to heat, so I endeavored to stay in the shade. There were plenty of large umbrellas. I just had to adjust my position every half hour or so to follow the shade as the sun cut across the sky. When that became problematic, one of my brothers would wrestle with the large, heavy umbrella stands, and reposition them for me.
I didn’t play beach volleyball. I felt that I would have had an unfair advantage with my iBot.
Click for next post: Bahamas 2012, #6: More Stuff We Did
Click for previous post: Bahamas 2012, #4: Settling in at Sandals