I first ventured to the Bahamas when I was thirteen years old.  When I returned at twenty-two, pleasantly, nothing much had changed.  Grand Bahama Island has been my island of exploration thus far and, might I add, it seems to be a bit sleepier and more rustic than the popular Nassau.  First things first, the islands performed a marketing face lift in the last few years, and they were completely out to impress.  Artists, enjoy this candy…
Isn’t this one of the best territory logos you have ever feasted your eyes on??!!
Now on to our first “Flashback Friday.”  Grand Bahama is quiet with a splash of something for everyone.  Luxury resort, beach cabanas, land and reef protection, hidden beaches, underground caves or a casino.  We have enjoyed smaller resorts with snorkeling excursions, garden walks, deserted beaches, and fantastic cuisine.  Here I am with my then boyfriend (now husband) enjoying a massive beach all to ourselves.
You will be hard pressed to find more pleasant beaches with powdery, pinkish white sand and sand bars that extend as far as the eye can see.  Our stroll above was at a deserted beach we hiked to from Garden of the Groves.
A place you must eat at on Grand Bahama is Pier One.  Pier One is a restaurant an old friend tells you about, which looks just rough enough to keep the piles of obnoxious tourists at bay.  Jump in a taxi and say “the shark restaurant” to the driver, and he or she will know right where to take you.  Pier One is perched on a cliff (fantastic real estate but I think storms have forced a remodel recently).  It is recommended to have a reservation because they are that busy, all of the time.  Locals and travelers alike mingle along the decks and gawk at the size of sharks swimming around just below waiting for the feeding bell.  You make a mental note of how far away from the restaurant the reef you were just snorkeling along is – maybe 2 Km …but wait these sharks are spanning at least seven feet in length.  Note the strategic order of events: snorkel at Paradise Cove and THEN eat at Pier One.  Most importantly, the food is amazing.  Fresh. Local. Simple. Yet you wonder how they might get the flavors to combine in such a unique way.  One of the best Thanksgivings ever.
This picture was taken in 2002.  The 2004 hurricane season forced a remodel, which gives the restaurant a modern updated look and construction.
The next time I return to the Bahamas archipelago will be on a boat, hopping around to all of the other gems and finding more places like Pier One to grab a great meal and a few refreshing drinks.