I want to start at the beginning, which is not the above photos… but I didn’t want to start with the below photo:
Which is, of course, the real beginning: the reality of travel. On our way to the Bahamas (a place neither Andrew nor I had ever visited before, but our gracious friends Maggie & Alex had remembered and shared with us so fondly), we had to wake up all the kids extra early, drive, then shuttle, then airplane, then train it through the Atlanta airport, then hop onto another plane, then… just as the island came into view, turn back around and fly to Miami to wait out some dense cloud cover. The kids were so, so tired, but we found a spot in the airport and waited, as waiting is the only thing to do. We were relieved to get the flight right on the second try. We then took a quick boat ride over to Harbour Island, where we had a short walk up a little hill and down a sweet side street to the house we rented for the week, The Hatch.
The island is so small that there are no numbers for addresses; instead, each house is named and somehow everyone just knows where they are. But more on The Hatch later (it deserves its own post!). After quickly unpacking, we immediately walked the quick half mile to the pink sand beach, where the boys ran for the water, despite us telling them that they would be more comfortable for dinner dry… who can resist, though?!
We really were a rough, exhausted crowd that first night. There were five very whiney (and wet, and sandy) little boys sitting on one end of the table as we strategized for the next day.
We walked home in the dark and collapsed in a heap. That first day of travel always makes me so teary and emotional — but knowing that, I put myself to bed as early as possible and woke up with sunshine and rainbows pouring out of my ass the next day.
Andrew and I woke up earliest — the rooster living next door (and the one living next door to him, and the one who lived down the hill to the left, and so on, and so on) started in nice and early! We found a passionfruit on the stone walkway with no passionfruit tree in sight, a whole tree full of coconuts next to the pool, an assortment of lizards and geckos and large snails, and an abundance of really cool birds in the trees around us. It was lovely to read beside the pool before anyone woke up while listening to all the life around us.
And of course, once everyone was awake, we walked to get the essentials at the local Piggly Wiggly and headed directly to the beach, which was a vision in full daylight.
For most of our trip, the beaches were practically empty. And that slightly pink tint you see? It’s not photo enhancement — this is Pink Sand Beach. If you were to get down close and really look at the sand, it is speckled pink and white and feels like powder. There were hardly any shells and the sand was very clean.
Except when the horses pooped on it that one time…
The boys, big and small, jumped right in! And so did I, actually. The water was warm and crystal clear. It’s a reassuring thing to look down and see your feet in the vast ocean!
Emil wanted to know if there were any sharks.
Also, he only wore that vest for the first visit to the beach. From then on, he was a little fish, both in the pool and the ocean. Seeing how much all of our boys enjoyed the water brought back so many memories about my early childhood experiences with the ocean — it really is true that you relive parts of your childhood when you become a parent. The truest joy was watching them delight in the waves, search for little shells, dig in the sand, and ride the waves into shore. It was a wonderful way to start our trip!
I’ll share photos of the awesome house we stayed in tomorrow morning!