John & Anne Wiley

2013/03/31

Extreme Serenity

There’s something oddly extreme about these pix from our flight yesterday. The color spectrum for sure.

0933 Spectrum

0933 Extreme Spectrum

I don’t have a good pic of the spectrum, but that royal blue offshore deepens into a color just this side of black that’s a little insane. People in boats enjoy it of course, but there’s something deeply special about seeing it all in context from above.

0923 Deeper

0923 Deeper

Wading ankle deep in front of the hotel on our first day here I saw a black ray swim gracefully past, a hundred feet further out. When I was snorkeling out to return the conch shell the next day, Anne saw one very close and underwater. Yesterday I saw some from the air, and there was an extreme serenity to their slow rippled movement through dappled colors.

0948 Extreme Serenity

0948 Extreme Serenity

Above the smoke from countless fires on the islands and Florida, we got a taste of what this place would be like in really clear air.

0936 Cloud Brush

0936 Cloud Brush

Most of this second-most populous island in the Bahamas, is uninhabited. So we flew over long stretches of white coral sand with only rare sightings of people strolling a serene emptiness.

0937 Extreme Emptiness

0937 Extreme Emptiness

This is the vision many of us have of the Bahamas, and we’re greatly enjoying the range of experiences available here. A small city with a relaxed, diverse and fun-loving population in Freeport; plus all the other attractions we imagined and more. Anne commented yesterday on what a beautiful “honeymoon” this is. 🙂

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Up

This was an Up day. Not just another day when our mood was light and easy, with innumerable fun moments. Today we flew. It’s almost overwhelming looking at the pix, but I’ve quickly gone thru them to save space on our storage and backups so tomorrow morning I can share some picks. For now, here’s a nice shot of our two hotels in Lucaya (the first here on Grand Bahama Island was in downtown Freeport).

0912 Nice & Nicer

0912 Nice & Nicer

The square pink one at the top is the front building of Pelican Bay, where we had that great view of the marina. Our room now is in the Grand Lucayan complex, near the right end of the curvy building a couple of floors above the palm tree tops. Cool to see it from up here, and wonder what Tripp looked like purring past from down there. I’m excited to choose among the great shots I’ve just skimmed. 🙂

2013/03/30

Settling

Today we felt more settled. Woke late, made coffee in the room, organized stuff, oh and I went out on the balcony to get a better view shot for the Photo Page. Ever have that feeling someone is watching? Well I glanced up and the dove that has adopted us was peeking around the divider from the patio next door.

0860 Remember Me?

0860 Remember Me?

Anne pointed out that as it flew away yesterday after our encounter I told it to remember our room number. 🙂

0088 Muse

0088 Muse

After a light breakfast in the room of cereal we’d brought and milk bought yesterday, I received another welcome visitor. Sometimes when I meet a new piano or other instrument, or am moved by something else impactful, music emerges. Today it was the sketch of a song I might work on. It’s probably been several years since the Muse has visited in this way.

0089 Walk The Line

0089 Walk The Line

Then down to the water at last with goggles to check out the legendary Caribbean snorkeling. We passed this small wedding party on the line between grass and sea forming a geometry with the sky somehow mingled in my mind with the lines of couples stretching before and after across time.

0092 Safe House

0092 Safe House

We saw many fish, some sort of purple sea fans, a large ray, a little derelict sunken jet boat hull sheltering a large variety of fish, and this conch shell. After bringing it to the beach for this photo op, I put it back wondering what had breached the safety of that thick shell. No matter how we feel about danger, it eventually finds us all whether we’re out looking for it, hiding in a shell, or sometime somewhere between.

0865 Before Sunset

0865 Before Sunset

One of the romantic movies we like is Before Sunset with all its encounter and philosophy, and that magical street poet. There was a quiet touch of that as we waited for the elevator silently looking deeply into the eyes of destiny.

0870 Welsh Choir

0870 Welsh Choir

Over our affordable gourmet Italian dinner we talked about the diversity here. People from every imaginable corner of the planet seem to congregate here. I can understand those from cold climates enjoying a break here for Easter, but wondered what would bring those from the Southern Hemisphere and even Pacific Islanders (maybe the latter we’ve seen now live in the northeast and come here for a shorter trip to a breath of home?). After dinner we caught the end of this concert by a men’s choir from North Wales, singing to the diverse crowd that had gathered in the public square.

0875 Here & There

0875 Here & There

We seem to enjoy playing “Here and There.” Our first airline trip together was to Hawaii, and we liked to look down after takeoff and see where we’d been. After the trip, we’d see a jet contrail high in the blue and imagine ourselves up there, looking down. We like to visit a place on the ground and then fly over it, or discover something from Tripp and then go see it on the ground. Maybe there was some aspect of this in our enjoyment of finding our room in this tall wall of randomly lit cubicles. Each has a fascinating story, and ours seems enriched by glimpsing it from afar.

2013/03/29

Room With A View

Filed under: Happiness,Has Photos,Islander Adventure,Nature,Random — John @ 05:37

I was just writing to our new friend Claude, and realized we didn’t share any pix of our new room. Here’s what greeted us as we moved in.

0838 Hello!

0838 Hello!

Not just the lovely spacious room, nor just the relaxing view, but a gentle dove landed on the railing after seeing us inside.

0852 Feed Me?

0852 Feed Me?

I sat quietly feeding it bits of raisins and almonds for a few minutes in the gentle breeze, and felt quite refreshed pausing often to take in this view directly off our 5th floor balcony.

0842 Balcony Center

0842 Balcony Center

It’s far too wide a view for one pic, so I shot three in a panorama that doesn’t fit together. The view to the right is overexposed so I’ll probably shoot it again more carefully tomorrow. To the left is this view.

0841 Balcony Left

0841 Balcony Left

Over dinner we smiled at our little private joke. “Why did the couple cross the road?”

“To get this room.” 🙂

2013/03/28

Crossing

Filed under: Happiness,Has Photos,Islander Adventure,People,Random — John @ 18:23

We woke this morning planning to take an aerial tour of Grand Bahama Island and then make the short hop over to Abaco for a night or two at the Treasure Cay Resort. Some beautiful azure seas, snorkeling, beautiful beaches, and maybe a taste of elegance. All at a slightly more affordable hotel rate.

Freeport -> Treasure Cay

Freeport -> Treasure Cay

Pelican Bay hotel where we stayed last night offers each guest one free trip out the bay to a place where you can swim, but we just missed the boat we meant to take so we went for a walk to wait the hour until the next. We decided to cross the street and just see how exorbitant the Grand Lucayan Resort is. Looking past the lovely infinity pool to the azure seas I asked, “How much more would you pay for this?” After some discussion we settled on $200. Here’s what a small piece of the view looks like from the lobby.

0837 Why?

0837 Why?

This begs the question, “Even to save $200 why would we stay at Pelican Bay when this is across the street?” Next we discovered the 7 miles from airport to resort at Treasure Cay would cost at least $60. Would we pay $200 more to stay here with all the other attractions of Lucaya and Freeport an easy walk or $1 bus ride away? Well, the price difference for the location above compared with where we were last night was $5. Here vs. Treasure Cay might work out about the same or a little less. Yes, that’s a hotel pianist in the lobby, and no that’s not me in the hat enjoying the view. Yet. Guess where we’re staying tonite? We’ll take aerial tours of some other islands, but I have a feeling this might be our only Bahamian hotel. 🙂

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