After a year of planning and waiting, we finally made it to Long Island, Bahamas and are back home. Thanks everyone for your help in planning this trip! Due to the huge amount of pictures we have I’m going to send this trip report in a few chunks over the course of this week. Here it goes...
Overall interesting info about Long Island:
-The island is about 80 miles long, and 5 miles wide at it’s widest point
-LI just got electricity in ‘92
-there are no street signs, only town signs
-we saw 2 paved roads on the entire island. The main road going north to south, and the road to Stella Maris airport
-it was hillier than I had thought it would be (more so than New Providence).
-there are currently about 5,000 people who live on the island (compared to 190,000 people who live on New Providence)
-everything (including gas stations) shuts down Sunday at 10am on the island (except for church services)
-there are no taxes on LI
-a dentist comes in once a month
-there is a clinic on the island, but if you’re having a baby they recommend you go to Nassau
-there are 4 banks on the island
-there’s 1 police station and no jail (there’s virtually no crime on the island)
Day 1: Monday, Feb 23 –getting there, Compass Point, Slipstream
We got up at 4am, loaded up the car and kids, and headed to PHL airport. Brooke (our 3 year old) was awake, excited, and incredibly good. Austin (our 7 month old) was also great-I carried him around the airport in our snuggly which he loves. We met up with my in-laws and our friends there. US Air flight was on time and we left at 7:45am and landed in Nassau at 10:30am.
Upon landing we checked our luggage in w/Southern Air and then headed to Compass Point for really good conch wraps and Kaliks to get our vaca started. Brooke enjoyed checking everything out and playing on the beach. Compass point was very cute and colorful-we really enjoyed it. It was literally about a 4 minute ride from the airport, so it was perfect to visit between flights. I highly recommend it. It also worked out well with loading up the car seats into the van-went very smoothly. We headed back to the airport then around 1 for our check-in. Southern Air was great, and everything went smoothly getting to Long Island on the 19 passenger puddle jumper.
We were met with a large taxi van which brought us to our villa rental, Slipstream. Www.escapetoslipstream.com. It was about 15 minutes from Stella Maris airport and we arrived around 4. We cracked open some Kaliks, unpacked and worked on unwinding with a nice sunset. Our villa reps met up with us and showed us around. We wanted to go to Chez Pierre for dinner, but it was closed due to Chez getting hurt. The guys went to the food store and stocked up with food for the week and dinner. They have pretty much everything we have back here at home-brand names too. I was really surprised. They had much more than Virgin Gorda had food wise, although milk was $10 a gallon and had a funky taste to it.
A cold front was coming through so it was very windy and chillier than we had anticipated (good news was it kept the bugs away-I didn’t get even 1 bite this trip! Although I had my first encounter with fire ants and 2 of the people we went with got sand fleas bites). Most of the week was chillier than anticipated, which was sort of a bummer. The water was still warm though. Still much warmer than back home! We enjoyed the first sunset, and Austin got to play in the sand for the first time-he loved it. It only took him about 1 minute to put a handful in his mouth! That night we were all pretty sure there was a hurricane or tornado outside it was so windy. That was probably the toughest thing -nights. We had Brooke in bed with us, and Austin in a pack’n’play next to us. The room was all concrete, including the floor (all the houses down there are concrete-I can see why with the strong winds) so when he woke up during the night his cries were really loud from the echoing. By the end of the trip we were up every other hour throughout the night with him, and he kept getting up earlier and earlier-he was up to getting up at 4:30am for the day by the end of the trip. Because of that we were ready to come home by the last day and get him back on schedule.
Day 2: Tues, Feb 24 –day at the villa
We spent the day unwinding at the villa. Our villa rep recommended Atlantic Fisheries to us to get fresh fish and lobster, so we headed there. It was a fisherman’s house and he had a bunch of coolers with fish he had caught, as well as fresh red snapper. It was pretty amazing. We got 8 lobster tails, a ton of grouper, a large bag of crab claws, and fresh filets of red snapper all for just $150. Needless to say we ate fish and lobster all week. Not bad! The beer and regular groceries evened it out though. Kalik was $47 a case (and we went through a lot of cases!).
The villa was nice and airy with large windows looking out to the ocean. It was very simple (aka not luxurious like the villas on Mahoe Bay in Virgin Gorda), but we were ready for that going in. Water is considered a luxury there so we had to be VERY careful with water usage. Also, they told us not to drink the water so we used bottled water all week. Maybe I can get my hubby to try Mexico now! That was always his concern about Mexico. We found a dead scorpion on the front porch which was a bit unsettling-I didn’t realize scorpions lived in those parts. Fortunately, we didn’t encounter any live ones during our stay. We did have a cute yellow bird that came in every morning and flew around the house. He was very smart and knew exactly how to get back out. We also had a frog that sat on our window every night. I guess they were checking out their visitors!
The beach we were on was about 2 miles long, with about 5 other villas on it very spread out. Ours included a 12’ whaler and minivan (which was our villa reps personal car), which was great. The beach out front was golden sand and a bit rocky, but once you walked out past the rocks it was sandy. We just wore our water shoes and it was no biggie. It was perfect for Brooke because it was shallow very far out so she could play. The 2 kayaks were great, and the house had sand toys, fishing rods and snorkel gear (although we brought our own down along w/floats). We only saw a few fish, but the guys fished all week anyway. The highlight of the day was seeing a stingray swim right off the waterline along the front of our villa-it was awesome! We also took the boat out for a short ride around out front. That night we had our first bonfire on the beach-they have a great little sitting area with fire pit out front. We did smores which Brooke loved, and no bugs was great.
Day 3: Wednesday, Cape Santa Maria
We were initially going to go out on a snorkel tour this day, but due to the wind (and us realizing we can do the same thing with our boat out front) we cancelled the trip. Instead we went to Cape Santa Maria for the day. It’s 1 of 2 “resorts” on the island. (there are a few others, but they’re very very small). It was about a 20 minute drive north from our villa, and is on a GORGEOUS powdery white sand beach with the clearest blue water you’ve ever seen. The staff was very friendly, and the food was great. We had lunch outside at the restaurant. The grouper fingers were amazing-one of the best foods out I had on this trip. The weather was perfect-it wasn’t as windy there as at our villa. I’m thinking that in general it’s not as windy there as where we stayed because we met 2 villa owners on the way home and they looked at us like we had 3 heads when we commented about all the wind during the week. We spent the afternoon swimming in the shallow water and playing in the sand. Unfortunately DH couldn’t go swimming since he got sun burn the day before. This was one of the nicest beaches I’ve ever been on. We also took a tour of two of the new villas. They were beautiful (and also are going for $1mil, up from $500k that they started at a few years ago). Very upscale and luxurious. Now if we could just hit the lottery. We headed back to another beautiful sunset at our villa and the guys made lobster for dinner. Mmm...
Link to the above day’s pictures (there are 188 pictures-it might take a minute to load):
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