Monday, March 8, 2010

There’s No Place Like Home

Photo via Flickr
A few weeks ago, when my hubby informed me he had to go to Bermuda on business, I thought it would be a nice little mini-vacation for me since I had never been. Of course it dawned on me much later that I had never bothered to renew my passport and now I had less than 3 weeks to do so – yikes! I happened to be speaking with a new blogging buddy – Colleen of Designing DNA – and she recommended that I use a passport service to expedite the new passport. I am happy to report that I did use one and the mission went exceedingly well. I had my new passport in my possession about a week before I departed.

Photo via Flickr
Our trip to Nassau was very smooth and uneventful (even though my new passport photo makes me look like an escapee from an asylum!). The water surrounding the Bahamas is a beautiful midnight blue color in the deeper water that quickly changes to a magnificent aqua blue shroud around the land masses. Just gorgeous!

Photo via Flickr
Unfortunately, the weather was unseasonably cold, stormy and blustery for the duration of our trip. It was a good opportunity for me to get caught up on some much needed rest since the only tourists brave enough to venture out to the water/pools were children and college students. The hot tub was occasionally populated with the more “mature guests” (who must have been from the northeast) and seemed to be oblivious to the wind chill that comes with 65 degrees and 35-40 MPH winds when stepping out of a heated pool! Brrrrr!

Straw Market - Photo via Flickr
During some of our free time, we ventured into town for shopping and a visit to the Straw Market. Shopping in Nassau really goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. There are tons of luxury shops that sell everything from perfume to watches and jewelry is a very popular item in many of these stores. If you are someone that likes to buy “brands” – this is you Mecca!

The Straw Market however, is another story! Apparently, there was a fire and it is currently housed under a huge tent while the locals create a more permanent home for the vendors. It is enormous – row after row of 10’tall stalls completely stuffed with all the flotsam and jetsam of a tourist shopper or a fashionista wannabe’s dreams! Isles are about 2’ – 3’ wide and every vendor is trying to engage the tourists into buying a memento or braiding their hair! Most of the articles are strangely enough made in China. One interesting observation – the older island inhabitants do embellish the straw baskets and fans with some type of decorative handiwork – but, the younger generation is simply trying to sell the tourists designer knock-off handbags. Ten minutes of this claustrophobic insanity is just about all I could endure.

Photo via Flickr
Photo via Flickr
Photo via Flickr
Photo via Flickr
Photo via Flickr
Our drives along the island on the way into town were very interesting to me as I had a chance to study some of the local architecture. Buildings and homes ranged from Palladian to Victorian to French – and everything in between! Quite a cacophony of colors and styles - sometimes all under one roof!

It was a lovely opportunity to get a quick education of the island, but I was certainly ready to get home to my own comfortable bed, my two darling Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a heated home (apparently the hotel does not seem to think they need to have a heating system in the hotel – how bizarre!). As we walked in the front door, my reoccurring grateful feeling of all the familiar comforts returned. It is always exciting to take small journeys to discover exotic places but, there is truly no place like home!

Back to my conversation with Colleen of Designing DNA. Most of us have never suffered the loss of our homes, but sadly there are still families that have lost all the comforts of their homes. I am delighted to be involved in Colleen’s project - Flea Market Round Up - to help raise funds for Samaritan’s Purse for families that are still recovering from the loss of their homes as a result of disasters. Some of the stories are heart-wrenching. I will be donating 100% of the proceeds of my Peacock Flower Necklace in addition to 20% of all sales during the week-end of March 20-21.

Colleen has gathered up an astonishing line up of vendors and items from the generous blogging community and this event should be more fun than a girl’s shopping weekend with the Housewives of New York and a Black AmEx! Please plan to join us and remember. . . flannel PJ’s and fuzzy slippers are acceptable dress code for this event!

For more information on this fun week-end - click here.


Karena said...

Karen I love all of these images, the seascapes, the jewelry designs, you are the best!! An admirable endeavor!

Karen Sugarman Designs said...

Hi Karena-

I'm sure Colleen would be delighted to have you join us in the Flea Market Round-Up for Samaritan's Purse. Your wonderful art would make an awesome addition to the event.