Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wallaces' Mom's Car

In honor of our upcoming TWO WEEK vacation to "The Land Where Our Hearts Live", I've decided to enlighten you to the fabulousness which is Eleuthera.

Like zoo or birthday pictures, peoples beach and vacation pictures can be quite boring to look at if you were not directly involved in the trip. So I will try not to bore you by being creative about my presentation.

With that, I give you: "Our Bahamas, Part 1:

Wallaces' Mom's Car"

This is Wallace's Mom's car. It's a Chevrolet of unknown model and year. It has at least two-tone paint, maybe more as I don't have any pictures of the other side. It has four doors, seats six, and a trunk big enough to old a seventh, and unlucky, passenger.

Two years ago, when Phoebe was only 6 months old, we spent three weeks in The Bahamas as we "practiced" Out Island living.

Before our arrival, we called our friends at The Cove, and our friend Wallace, the bartender/local/hook-up man, agreed to find us a loaner car for our stay. As this part of the island is not very touristy, there are not many car rental companies, and the ones we knew of wanted WAY too much per day for their Jeeps, we thought we would do better by hiring locally.

When we arrived at the airport, there she was, Wallace's Mom's car!

We arrived in Governor's Harbor, it was late afternoon and we would have a 45 minute ride up to our house. Before leaving GH, we stopped at the local market to stock up on food and supplies. With our mountains of luggage already in the trunk of the car, we had to squeeze our purchases into any available nook or cranny we could find.

There were bags across the floorboards, 2 gallons of milk sat shotgun with me, bags across the back dash, and a few stuffed under the seats.

On the way out of town we passed a liquor store. Jerry ran inside to pick up some rum and other "essentials" before our drive North.

Jerry has never bought the appropriate amount of anything in his entire life.

Thirty minutes later (OMG I was so mad at him! I knew he was in there just flapping his lips with the locals), he finally came out with three brown paper bags overflowing with alcoholic purchases.

"What in the world did you buy so much for? We don't drink but a cocktail or two a week!?" I asked/yelled quietly at him. "Mandy and Wag are coming soon! I wanted to make sure we had enough!" he replied.

Somehow we managed to find MORE nooks and crannies for our hooch.

Until the local came out carrying our case of beer.

That's right. My husband who rarely if ever drinks beer, bought an entire case!!!

But since all of our nooks and crannies were full, where were we going to put it?

I tried to tell Jerry to just return it or come back for it another day, when the local came up with a brilliant solution:

"Here. Put it here. The boy can just sit on it."

Yep. In that picture above, the reason Josh is sitting so high is because he rode 45 minutes on dark and winding roads with no seat belt ATOP A CASE OF BEER!!!

(A lack of seat belt laws is one of the reasons we love the place. Those laws really get annoying! I know, I know, they're supposed to protect our children, yada yada. But I'll believe it when kids on school buses going 65 mph on the highway actually use seat belts, too.)

I wasn't thrilled with the situation, truth be told. I told Jerry, "If we get into an accident and my boy dies for a case of beer, I'm going to kill you. Kill you dead!"

But we didn't get into an accident, and wouldn't you believe it, by the time we left three weeks later all of the beer, and other "party makers" had been consumed.

(Jerry is very generous with his stuff and gave most of it away to new and old friends we had on the island.)

(At least that's my story. And I'm sticking to it!)

Many of the best beaches to visit, the empty ones that stretch for miles with nary a soul in sight, are not easy to get to.

First, you have to know where you're going. There is one main highway that runs the 112 mile length of the island, called the Queen's Highway. It is paved and mostly very well maintained. But to reach the hidden spots you have to leave the highway and drive, sometimes for miles, on unpaved, uneven, narrow, and sometimes scary dirt roads.

Most tourists would require a 4 wheel drive vehicle with high clearance to reach these magical spots. But not Jerry! He really is a wonder behind the wheel. With much grace, finesse, planning, luck, and mad skill, he was able to transverse the most difficult roads without scratching, bumping, or otherwise maiming poor Wallace's Mom's Car.

Sure, the car bumped up and down, and since we were mostly unstrapped, WE bumped up and down, often with a squeal and an, "EASY, WALLACE'S MOM'S CAR!!!!!!!"

We had so much dang fun riding around in that car!

The ride to Ben Bay beach was pretty flat and easy.

What a perfectly fantastic place that is!

The road to Surfer's Beach WASN'T easy. But worth every snail crawl, shimmy, and shake along the way.

No matter the location or destination however, at the end of the day, Wallace's Mom's Car got us home safe and sound.