Have you ever been parasailing? Back in 2016, when Dan and I were on a cruise in the Bahamas, Dan wanted to go parasailing. I didn’t really want to go. Up so high. In a harness governed by laws in a country that wasn’t the United States. Yes, if anything bad happened, Carnival Cruise Lines would be held responsible. But, I’d wouldn’t be around for the payout, so what good was that? Even so, in the spirit of sacrificial love, I agreed.
However, the morning of the excursion, I looked out our cruise cabin balcony doors, and I saw the palm trees all bowing sideways with their top branches flapping in the wind. Right after that, the captain came on the ship’s speaker system and announced all parasailing excursions were cancelled. And who says prayers aren’t answered?
In any case, we still walked off the ship wondering what we would be doing with our day in Nassau. As we neared the end of the ship’s path to land, a man dressed very nicely, wearing a neatly ironed white shirt, approached us asking if we wanted to go on a local tour. He showed us a laminated card of all that we would see – maybe ten stops – and said he just needed to find one more couple to fill the van. The price was right, and he said he wouldn’t collect the money until the end of the tour when we were back at the port. Since we had nothing else planned for the day, we agreed.
We stood to the side of the main walkway. Then we watched as this man gathered three other couples. One by one, they were added to our group. Hmm. I guess he just had to find one more couple – three times. That’s okay. I guess I can kind of understand his method. Then the eight of us waited – for just a moment he said – while he went and got his van. The wait was a bit longer than we expected, but it didn’t really matter. We chatted with our new found shipmate friends with whom we would be spending the day.
Off we go, and our first stop was “The Queen’s Staircase.” We all got out, walked all around, and maybe thirty minutes later, we all boarded back into the van. However, outside the van, our driver was having a heated argument with another man. This other man boarded our van. He then told us our driver had stolen his customers, and if he would do that to his fellow countryman, what did we think he was gonna do to us! He then stormed off. Then our driver quickly got back on the van and told us we should just forget about that guy. Okay….
It turns out, one lady in our group had a friend who had recommended she take the Nassau tour with, oh I don’t remember the name, let’s say Frank. Because Frank was the best tour guide ever. When this couple was approached by our driver, she asked him if he was Frank. Of course, our driver wanting to get four couples, said yes. Only thing though, he wasn’t Frank.
Back in the van, the lady began crying because she didn’t want to be on this guy’s tour, she wanted to be on Frank’s tour. Her friend had told her how great Frank was, and she was missing out. This lady’s husband just sat there and had a look on his face that seemed to say, “Help me, O Lord.”
The tour continued. Another stop was a candy store where our driver told us there would be free samples. Loving chocolate as I do – and free things, probably even more, I paraded into the candy store with all the others. Once in the store, we asked about the free samples. The lady behind the counter simply stated, “We don’t have any free samples here.” Okay….
Another stop was at a distillery. Here, there were some free samples, along with options to purchase alcoholic beverages. Dan and I passed on this, but we did enjoy the tour and walking around the beautiful grounds. Before too long, we were back in the van. Somehow though, in a span of less than 45 minutes, one of the ladies had enjoyed enough of the adult beverages that she had gotten herself into the condition of not being able to climb back into the van. So, we all worked together as a team and pushed this lady’s derriere right into the van and landed her in the middle seat. Our group was really bonding.
While in the distillery though, Dan and I noticed something interesting written on one of the barrels. We had a question, and when our van driver walked by, we asked him about it. We pointed to the fact we wondered about. I noticed he didn’t look at that text, and he gave us some vague, general answer. My guess was this man couldn’t read.
Now there did happen to be a Bible laying on the front dashboard on the passenger side of the van. Maybe he read that Bible, or maybe it was for show. I don’t know, but this guy did ask Dan if I was his daughter because I looked like I could be. Okay, now we KNOW for sure, that our van driver stretches the truth. But who cares?! He’s found redemption in my book!
Our next stop was supposed to be a cigar factory. But all of us in the van voted “cigar factory” off the itinerary. Not sure why. Maybe we were all skeptical of more “free samples.”
So, now our van driver, had to think of something to fill our promised tour time. He happily announced he was going to take us to see Anna Nicole Smith’s grave! He seemed very happy with his idea. A short time later, we drove into a nicely manicured cemetery. Once he parked, he told us all to wait in the van. He got out, walked over to two grounds keepers. From the van we witnessed an animated discussion, but soon our friend walked back and escorted us over to Anna’s grave. I took a picture of the headstone. I don’t even know why. I guess it was the same reason that some climb Mt. Everest. Because it was there.
Our last stop was the Atlantis resort. Our driver dropped us off and promised to be back in about 45 minutes. However, he was late, but we all knew, he’d be back. No one had paid him yet. He did return, and he took us all back to our ship’s port as promised. We all paid him. I know Dan and some of the others tipped him as well.
Whatever we paid, it was worth it. The memories. The stories. The graveyard. I am sure that anything that could have happened on some ole parasailing adventure would have surely paled in comparison. At least, anything we lived to tell about.