Island Holiday

The Next Family

By: Tanya Ward Goodman

After ten days on a nearly-deserted island, we arrived home to a crispy Christmas tree and piles of mail.

Nearly-deserted island?

It’s true.

This year, for the holidays, we packed up the fam and braved numerous (and increasingly smaller) airplanes, arriving finally on what is referred to as a “family island” in the Bahamas.

The island, just shy of 100 square miles, boasts a population of just under 200 people.  There was lots of white sand and even more blue water.  There were days when the only footprints on the beach belonged to my kids and me.

The people on the island said, “don’t tell anyone where you went.”  The people on the island said, “tell them there were lots of bugs.”  The people on the island took us out in their boats and invited us to wonderful banana pancake breakfasts.  The people on the island fried up piles of fish and conch and loaned us their cars and opened bottles of Kalik beer.  The people on the island were some of the nicest folks I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

We went to potlucks and picnics and bonfires.  We built a giant sandcastle that my daughter dubbed “Shellville.”  We snorkled with manta rays and parrot fish and once even a barracuda.  My son dove to the bottom of the sea to gather sand dollars and my daughter buried herself in sand the texture of baby powder.

We sat on the porch of our little cottage and watched the sun sink down into the sea.

We ate boiled eggs and packets of English biscuits that we bought at the small grocery store.  We drank lots of coconut water and learned how to tell the difference between a young conch and one old enough to be a fritter.

Our family members on the island were warm and welcoming and they introduced us to their friends who became our friends and we left feeling a little more connected to each other and a little more connected to the world.

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