July 31, 2012

Freeport by Photos

We took another day to go out and explore Freeport - also known as enjoying the beach! I got to swim in the ocean for the first time, and we found a great little mexican restaurant. (It's no El Rodeo, but that's just a given!)

Matt and I are starting to get a little island color. This is good, so we don't stick out as newbies as much! One bus driver told us he knew we must be new students because we didn't have our color yet. So we're doing our best to catch up. Yes mom, I am still using sunscreen though.

We had an adventurous bus ride home, as the driver misunderstood us, so we took the long way around the island. But on the upside, we got to see downtown Freeport.

There is so much beauty surrounding us here, so instead of writing, I'll just show you a glimpse of our day. Don't worry, I left out the photos of all the men in speedos. You're welcome.


July 30, 2012

And Now We're Locals

As we are now all settled in, we took some time today to go out and explore as we are now 'locals.' It's funny to think that the majority of the people we see around the beaches and such are just on their vacation, and we get to say that we live here.

We had such a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. First thing this morning, Matt went in to get his computer configured and picked up a few additional grocery items. The grocery store (Soloman's) and campus is in the same area and about a five minute walk from Sunset. We tried our first Bahamian fresh fruit. Delicious! I can get used to this.

A Saturn or Donut Peach
Then, we had our first public bus experience! It was very easy. Basically, you go to the bus shack on the side of the road that's the direction you want to go and a bus (which is actually a van) will come by and pick you up. They don't have specific routes, so you just tell them where you're going and they'll take you. It's only about $1.25 per person for wherever you want to go. Very easy!

We took the bus to Port Lucaya. This is the main tourist area. All of the cruise ships port here as there is lots of shopping, a casino and beautiful beaches! The casino also has an ATM which is one of the best places to withdraw cash from what we've been told. We are typically using cash, as US dollars and Bahamian currency are accepted and treated near equal. For example, we purchased something with US dollars and received change mixed with both US dollars and Bahamian currency.

Port Lucaya

Since we are in the Bahamas, we felt it necessary to try the local flare. :) A true Bahama Mama. And it was tasty!

We ventured down to Port Lucaya Beach and enjoyed the beautiful water and views! The ocean water is about 82 degrees!

After the beach, we ventured into the Port Lucaya Marketplace to take a look around and grab a bite to eat. But look what I found first!

Mmm - Unsweetened Iced Green Tea. This is a Venti here which is closer to the Grande size at home. And it was about $3.25 to give you a bit of reference on the price difference.

This is the entrance to the Marketplace. They have several shops with local vendors. I could spend plenty of time in here!

So far, we are adjusting pretty well. Getting used to the heat is the biggest step. With the locals being so friendly and warm, it has been easy to feel welcome.

Some things I'm glad we packed!
  • All of the toiletries - body wash, shampoo, contact solution, etc. We have been able to find nearly everything we packed, but it is MUCH more expensive down here. Completely worth the trip to buy everything ahead of time and pack all we could fit.
  • Surge protectors - apparently the power goes out quite regularly. Good to have to protect computers, etc.
  • Along with the power outages, flashlights - will need the flashlights!
  • Filtered water bottles. It's amazing how much we are using these! I would recommend the CamelBak. We got them at Target.
  • Dry fit clothing.
  • Sunscreen. More specifically - sweatproof sunscreen
Overall, I think Matt and I did pretty well with the items we packed. It also helps I'll be going home in a few weeks so I can bring some more stuff down. :) One thing I will be sure to bring down are rolls of quarters so we can do laundry!

I'm sure there will be more things we will think of as we spend more time here. But that's all for now!

July 29, 2012

Welcome to Our Humble Abode

We are finally moved in and unpacked! We've had a bit of wait to get into our actual apartment since arriving in Freeport, but the landlord here at Sunset Lodge has been nothing but wonderful! 

Since our apartment wasn't ready, they put us in a spare apartment until we could move in. It was going to take a bit longer than planned to get into our original apartment, so they worked out it so we could switch apartments and move in to a different one. They even helped us move our luggage! Like I said, they have been nothing short of wonderful.

Since we didn't have a key and entrance to the security gate, we didn't get to do much sightseeing. We haven't even been to the beach yet! Needless to say, we are relieved to get all moved in and secured so we can get settled in and eventually venture out!

However, we did find a drug store, gas station and KFC all within walking distance. Woo! We tried the Bahama soda - Pretty good!

So this blog post will be mainly photos of our apartment for those of you who wish to see a brief tour.

Our Kitchen
Dining Room

Living Room
Don't let the couch fool you, it isn't near as comfortable as it looks.
Our balcony is off the living room!
 Second Bedroom/Office

Master Bedroom
Got to have our wedding photos up there!
And my sweet Emmy!
The other looks the same, so I didn't think you needed two photos. :)

Outside of Sunset

This was a random 'before' photo of the bedroom! Lots of clothes...

And here is our view.. Not too shabby!

Hope you enjoyed:) And hopefully we'll see you soon!

July 28, 2012


Editors note: I am exhausted and working on a bare minimum amount of sleep. So pardon this blog if there are types and times when it makes absolutely no sense. :) 

We are finally in Freeport! We left Shipshewana for Chicago O'Hare around 10 p.m. Shipshewana time after many tearful goodbyes, Emmy included. Our flight departed O'Hare and we arrived in Philadelphia around 9 a.m. From there, we flew out to Freeport and arrived around 12:30 p.m.

I handled the flights pretty well I must say. Plus, they were smooth flights, so that certainly helped (Thank you US Airways!).

Not to mention these amazing views from flying into Grand Bahama Island. Those turquoise waters are calling my name.

The Freeport airport is what you might except for a small island airport. Certainly very welcoming.

We even managed to get all of our luggage! So after an easy process going through customs, we had a very nice woman from Ross pick us up and take us to Sunset. Unfortunately, our apartment isn't ready yet, so they have put us in another empty apartment until its ready. We are hoping to be in there before noon tomorrow. We certainly need to unpack and get ready for everything to come.

So, after not having access to our apartment, and having no idea where to get food or groceries, we were feeling at quite a loss for what to do for dinner, plus we are just so exhausted, we don't really feel like going out anywhere to explore.

But, we did know that the grocery store is not too far from our apartment, so we asked our landlord how to get there. His response was such an answer to our prayers! He said simply and warmly, come with me. And led Matt and I to his car where he drove us to the grocery. He also showed Matt the way to get to campus. He dropped us off at the grocery and told us he would be back to pick us up in 25 minutes. How absolutely wonderful! He has offered to show us around a bit more tomorrow after we had a chance to rest. It is such a relief to be in a place where we can feel comfortable and have genuinely nice people here to welcome us to our new home for four months.

Plus - extra bonus! We get the NBC news station from Florida! You know what that means?! My inner news nerd can still watch the Today Show. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to that for sure.

I'll be sure and post more pictures of Freeport, and our actual apartment once we get in and unpacked.

A huge thank you is owed for all of the well-wishes, support, words of encouragement and prayers. They were certainly felt during our trip.

We miss you all already!
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