Life in the Foreign Service is fairly unpredictable. Like the old saying goes, change is the only constant in life. And in the FS, that fact is ever more prominent. So here we are now, barely 10 months in to our posting in Nassau, and the winds of change have once again shifted. In less than a month we will pick up anchor and the dog, and sail for DC. This will be the first time in nearly 2 decades we have lived in the US and while some see it as “going home” it will be as foreign to us as anywhere they could send us. However that is a story for another time.
When you start a new posting, you think you have time to see and experience everything. In a place like Nassau, New Providence Island – an island only HALF the size of Tulsa OK! – you run the danger of exploring it all way too soon. There were many things on my to do list – one of them exploring Bonefish Pond by kayak or paddle board. Fortunately we did get to see what little you can by foot.
Bonefish Pond National Park, nestled in the middle of New Providence’s southern coast, is 1235 acres of coastal wetland.
Established in 2002, it acts as a buffer from dangerous storm surge for communities in the south and provides a safe habitat for young marine and bird life.
Bonefish Pond is one of the last remaining mangrove areas on the island and is home to several species of the plant.
The Bahamas National Trust conducts many programs with local schools and organizations to convey the importance of protecting native habitats such as this and encourage more to enjoy what the natural environment has to offer while safeguarding its future for subsequent generations.
Though it is off the beaten path for many of my peers, it is well worth a visit. Go stroll along the boardwalk, look for fish in the rising or receding tides, and do a bit of bird watching in hopes of catching a glimpse of the many birds listed on the informational boards.
Or you could just spend a little time sitting on the steps of the gazebo, with your feet dangling in the water and meditating on what you would like the world to look like when you return to real life.
Honestly just looking at the sky is reason enough to spend some time in Bonefish Pond National Park.
It’s a great place to take a breath when the winds of change suddenly uproot your newly planted life.
Hello again from sunny(ish) Nassau! We took a quick trip back to the US to see our oldest graduate university. This is the first time in nearly 20 years that I’ve been able to return to the US in the spring. When we arrived, the dogwoods in the Ozarks were in full bloom and flowers were bursting into color all over the place. You would have thought my first action would be to jump out of the car, camera in hand, and start capturing all the beauty around me. But it turns out I have a hang up when it comes to photographing flowering trees. I don’t know why but I can’t seem to produce a photo that I find interesting enough. I’m just not able to capture whatever emotion spring buds evoke in me and translate that through my photography, whether I’m trying to shoot pics of one beautiful tree or a whole orchard of flowering apple blossoms! I just haven’t figured it out yet! For awhile I have been a bit upset by this. But I decided on this trip back, that while soaking up all the experiences of being reunited with my children, I would also give myself a break and let myself just soak in all the beauty and joy that a short, springtime trip to my home brings me. I don’t have to catalogue everything!
So since I’ve been back I have started going back through photos of the places I’ve been and trying to flesh out my pages. It’s a slow, painstaking process while I try to find an organizational method that works for me and showcases my work, but it’s nice to finally go back through my old photos and find the gems that make me smile. Stay tuned for more posts that showcase my trips through France and The Netherlands, as well as long over due strolls through some of the towns in Oklahoma that shaped my childhood.
For now there are new photos on the New Zealand, African Adventures, Bahamas pages. Some I have linked to my sale site at Pixels.com where you can buy prints, wall art, and any number of cool products featuring my photos. Round Pineapple towel anyone? Should you see a photo you wish to purchase on my website that is not yet available at Pixels.com, please do contact me! I can get you set up with a new Arklahoma Muse print or product in a flash!
My husband found this gem on Greenwood Hollow Road (or County Road 301?) by accident the other day while exploring Eureka Springs. He said it was a quaint trickle at the time, but after the heavy rains last week it is now gushing quite nicely. I’m glad I caught it just as the trees were beginning to get dressed for warmer weather, as I’m sure the leaves will obscure much of the view of the waterfall later this summer.
A satellite map view shows a small lake (spring fed?) just above it. There are no signs, no names I can find. So maybe when I live here longer I can dig into the locals’ store of knowledge and find out if this lake and it’s waterfall has a name. If you are from Eureka Springs, reading this blog post, and you know this place, feel free to chime in with any information you might have!
Manuel the Mollusk that hangs around under the neighbor’s dock.
The baby pineapple that is growing just outside my front door.
Last weekend I had the most heavenly lunch in downtown Nassau! Eschewing the cruise ship crowds at the more touristy restaurants by the water, we opted for the Halcyon. My husband had eaten there before and knew that the building would appeal to my love of historic architectural charm. You could tell that the old home was quite something in its day and it was apparent that the current owner is working hard to bring that grandeur back to life inside those old walls.
At first glance I fell in love with the place with its old world terraces and balconies. It was tempting to choose a table outside, but my temperament that day took us inside where we were greeted warmly by the bartender and Stafford, our waiter. The dining room is simple, but cozy, and the walls are adorned with gorgeous paintings by local artists (for sale to those with big wallets!). There are plenty of tables without being crowded and a dining room and lounge on the second floor is available as well. The music from the bar was lively but the sound was just perfect to be able to enjoy it while still having a conversation with your dinner partner (a fact that informs most of our dining decisions more and more these days).
But the real highlight was, of course, the food. The everyday menu is short, but sweet, and my husband recommends the Alfredo pasta. But this time we chose to order off menu, and go with the specials listed off for us by Stafford. I chose the snapper with pineapple salsa, rice and coleslaw, while my significant other chose the beef ribs with mashed potatoes and sautéed veggies.
My husband also ordered the mac and cheese topped with pulled pork as an appetizer. My thought? Have fun with that. I hate mac and cheese – even your mom’s “gourmet” mac and cheese. So I put it out of my mind and went on one of my photo expeditions around the restaurant. When I got back my husband insisted I try it and I grudgingly agreed. After the first bite, I found myself braving burns from the container to shovel as much of it as I could onto my plate. OMG! I have never tasted such divine mac and cheese in my life. I’m planning to return just for beer and mac and cheese sometime in the near future.
Then our main dishes arrived… My snapper was expertly cooked with a little bit of kick from the spices coating the filet and all melded nicely with the pineapple salsa on top. The coleslaw was a nice cool and creamy accompaniment to the slightly spicy fish. Still on a rather spiritual high from my mac and cheese experience I dug in to my dish, focusing on each and every bite as mindfully as I could – my concentration broken only by my husband’s prompting to try his braised beef ribs. And those did not disappoint either! Everything was amazing from the ribs to the sides. At the end of the meal, we agreed that our meal was one of the few we’ve had in recent years that was well worth every penny.
And of course the care, kindness, and professionalism of our waiter, Stafford, added to our enjoyment of the afternoon, ensuring that the Halcyon is now on our list of restaurants to return to and to recommend to all our friends and colleagues. So please if you live in Nassau, or visit from abroad – choose the Halcyon for lunch or dinner!
The Halcyon is located on Charlotte Street – not too many steps from the main drag of East Bay Street. Look for Blanc de Noel (the seaside clothing store for skinny Europeans – you can’t miss it. Every item of clothing is sheer and white), and head up the hill towards the Halcyon instead of down towards the water to the Hard Rock!
“Halcyon is a ‘stage’ where Bahamian life plays out; a stage where art, food and music will ultimately merge to create the ideal environment, a ‘home away from home’ according to Bradley Watson Jr, operator of the newest entrant to Nassau’s food and dining scene.”
For your convenience, and for further information here is Halcyon’s Facebook Page.
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