The final stop to our five days cruise was Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas. This was the excursion we were all most looking forward to!
We woke that morning to sunshine and blue skies, excited for the day ahead.
After breakfast we disembarked and walked a few blocks to Senor Frogs, where we would be meeting our tour guide to catch a 30 minute boat ride to the island where our excursion was taking place.
Our walk through Nassau was stimulating, with the sights and smells of the island filling our senses as locals called out to passing tourists, hoping to hock their wares and services.
We arrived at Senior Frogs and settled in for a long wait as we became intimately acquainted with the concept of “island time.” 45 minutes later our guide strolled in, unconcerned by her tardiness, and we headed to the dock to load onto our transport boat.
It was filled to capacity and the rocking of the waves left us all wondering if this 3-hour-tour would turn into a life of coconut phones and Gilligan’s follies…
But we arrived at our destination no worse for wear, and with plenty of time to participate in our scheduled excursion.
Our plans for the day: Swimming with pigs!
Yes, you read that right. In the Bahamas you can swim with pigs, and that is just what we planned to do on our last day of vacation!
After signing safety waivers and being briefed on the guidelines of our interactions with the pigs, we were set free to love on some swimming swine.
We were given bags of apples to feed the pigs as we splashed in the water with them.
It was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that I was thrilled to share with my family. I mean, how many people have the opportunity to swim in the turquoise blue of the Caribbean with pink pigs coated in sunscreen.
It was just too cool!!
After our time with the pigs, we headed to the boat that would take us back to Nassau. There we had two hours to stroll through the streets before having to re-board our cruise ship.
Everyone was eager to check out the Straw Market,
A collection of local vendors all situated in a warehouse, selling their trinkets and treasures to tourists.
The kids quickly learned the art of negotiation as they bargained for the best deals, finding joy in the game of haggling. They were all wanting to get the best bang for their buck with the last of their souvenir money, and everyone walked away from the Straw Market with Bahamian treasures to remember the trip by.
Tyler opted to spend the last of his dough on a conch shell that had been turned into a horn with the removal of its tip.
It was just the sort of treasure that appeals to Tyler. Once Toby showed him how to make it “sing the song of the sea,” Tyler couldn’t be stopped.
He loved the noise he could create and we had to make a deal that he could play it until we boarded the ship but then it would be put away until we arrived home.
I was afraid that left unchecked, a fellow passenger might not be able to resist pushing Tyler and his shell overboard!
Nassau was a perfect ending to an amazing trip. It is hard to believe it was only a week-long vacation. It felt as though we had been gone from home for a month.
(I’m sure this extended retelling of the trip is making you all feel that way as well!)
But it was just what we needed. We returned home to find life escalated as we stepped into the fire of some particularly trying challenges unfolding on the horizon. It was a gift to be able to pull together as a family and fortify our walls before stepping into the fire. God knew just what he was doing when He prompted the plan for this year’s Christmas gifts, and I am forever grateful for the healing, connection, and fortification that time away from home offered our troops.
Thank you for tuning into to the most drawn-out recounting of a vacation, EVER!
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programing.