Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Heights of Beauty and Friendship

No trip to this paradise is complete without a climbing of the Hopetown Lighthouse from which the views are spectacular and usually windy. On Dan and Carol's last night on the island we joined up with new found local friends; Jill and Chris Prewitt who own the Buttonwood Cottage in which we have stayed this week, and Bobbie and Ed Collins who know several of both Cindy and Jay's as well as Carol and Dan's friends in Michigan.

Fiddler on the Roof Sunrise Sunsets

The overwhelming beauty of Hopetown Harbor is highlighted by nature's sunrises and sunsets. Carol's boyfriend Dan became the official photographer of the former as Cindy and Jay mellowed even further into island time in the mornings with evenings featuring a 'Goombay Smash" at Jack's right across from the famous and frequently photographed Hopetown light (having recently been repainted and undergoing more renovation)

Elbow Cay North End Beaches

From our location just north of Hopetown we have enjoyed scenic biking in to town over rocky roads along the Abaco Bay side (the island is also divided into North and South ends, the latter being vehicle friendly while the north boat and golf cart oriented and there is even a gate dividing the two right in the center of Hopetown). Cindy and Carol enjoyed a girls' day in town ( a pentathalon of beach walking, biking, shopping, braiding, and lunching), featuring my favorite conchburger meal.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hopetown Elbow Cay arrival

On Friday the 13th Bahamasair safely delivered us to our favorite vacation spot - the Abacos Islands and beautiful Hopetown Harbor on Elbow Cay where we joined up with fellow Traverse Citian Carol Murray at our Buttonwood Hammock hideaway.

To Space and other Air flights

Our side trip to Kennedy Space Center was very informative and tremendously impressive, yet unfortunately our chance to finally view a shuttle launch on Feb. 12 was postponed by NASA, so we took in an exciting airboat ride on the St. John's River through some Cypress swamps with lots of gator sightings.

Back to West Palm and Titusville

We returned to the Atlantic side of this beautiful state to visit with Michigan friends Dean and Laura who were staying with cousin Phyllis and husband Brent at a terrific intercoastal waterway home in Jensen Beach.

Across Florida to the Gulf

Leaving little Balia in storage in West Palm we traveled Alligator Alley to Naples to visit our good friends the Romanovichs and the Gibsons, highlighted by a wonderful day on Geoff's Tiara to lunch at Cabbage Key and a stellar round of golf. Photos will follow in a later blog as the memory stick for that part of the trip was left in the truck when we left for the Abacos.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Captain Jay at the helm of the little Balia, and Cindy's capture by the spongeman

Eating in Key West is always an experience and one of our favorites was a Cuban restaurant right on Mallory Square for more rice and beans and conch soup with Key West roosters running about. After lunch it was on to Duval for a braiding.

After enduring numerous mechanical boat difficulties, and some frigid weather (that would be 50 degrees for those of you remaining in the true cold weather zones) we nevertheless enjoyed several windy adventures on the high Atlantic seas. Other days were filled with sight-seeing in Key West and Cindy's getting her hair braided.