Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What's Up Wednesday


Okay, so I know this is a horse blog, but the majority of my week was spent on the second half of my vacation. Last week we talked about seeing totality up in Vermont, and I got to ride quickly on Tuesday. This week was part two of the family vacation. So not much riding to cover, but lots of pretty vacation pics! (I will touch on the horses after though, promise!) 

I very briefly considered riding before we left Wednesday, but I had to pick the parentals up at nine and wanted to be showered by then too. Which meant I needed to be showered and in the car at 8:30. So I opted out. If I had less horses it would have been more doable. Anyway, we arrived at our destination around 4 and had just enough time to hit the water park before dinner. (Solid first day of vacation if you ask me!) Our plan for this trip was to fly into Nassau, Bahamas and spend the night at the Atlantis Marina on dad's boat. (Hence the water park.) 

One of the water slides passes through this shark tank

I've been to Atlantis a few times. We went twice when I was just out of college, and had lots of fun back then. I was a much younger, wilder human then, and enjoyed nights at the club and meeting yacht crew guys. I'm too old for yacht crew now. Lol! We also stayed at the Atlantis a few years back. It was my first post covid trip that time, and my brother and sister-in-law both tested positive before we left. Ha. Thankfully we did not repeat that part this time. 

This trip though, we didn't stay at Atlantis. Instead, we we out exploring. The first day, we headed out with the big boat to Highbourne Cay. It's a tiny island with only one permanent resident. I believe he owns the marina. And probably everything else there. It was BEAUTIFUL there! And very quiet. Once we were tied up, we spent a few minutes at the beach next to the dock while captain and the crew got everything settled. 

I know. These beaches, right? 

Then we headed out on the tender for some adventures. First up was supposed to be snorkeling at a pretty well known island... It formerly belonged to Pablo Escobar, and has a plane sunk just off shore that you can snorkel around. (This was also supposed to be the original site for Fyre Fest. We all know how that turned out...) But the current was too strong for snorkeling, so we just zipped around on the little boat. From there we headed to another island (I'm not sure which one this was) and fed the Iguanas grapes. They are clearly used to this because they all come out when they hear (smell?) the humans.

There were lots of them. After touring around all the islands and feeding the iguanas it was time to head back to dock, have dinner, and turn in for the night. 
Captain knows everyone at the marina (he's been at this a long time), so in the morning one of his buddies let us meet the baby goats on the island. They were adorable!

I got to hold this one. I also got a sunburn.

This cute parrot lived at the marina. I don't know his name. But I wish I did. Anyway, after playing with goats and taking photos of the parrot, it was time to head out. We didn't go directly to our next destination though. We had an important stop to make first. My favorite stop of the whole trip!

Piggy Beach!!!!

That's right. We got to swim with and feed the piggies!

They were much larger than I expected. And I loved them. They were adorable, and furry, and SO CUTE! After piggies we headed to our actual destination which was Compass Cay. Another sparsely populated island. It was BEAUTIFUL. Wait until you see the beach. But first, my niece had to swim with the sharks. She's much braver than I. They were nurse sharks though. Those kind don't have teeth which is significantly less terrifying. We sent Jason our deckhand in with her. He's also braver than I.

This is the dock we stayed at that night. You can find a piece of driftwood at the beach (or bring your own I guess) and put your boat's name up on the shack there. We did that before we left and all signed our sign. You'll see it below.
We also took some time out at the beach on Compass Cay. Now I know we weren't the only ones on the island because there were other boats at the dock. But at the beach? It was just us. Look at this place:

So beautiful. The water wasn't too cold either. We swam with the nieces for awhile and then went shell hunting. And then it was pretty much dinner time. (The trip from Highbourne to Compass is about three hours, so that ate up some of the day.) 

Dinner at sunset was pretty lovely. 

The next morning we were up early for some snorkeling. 

And then we took a tender tour of some of the nearby islands. There's a prince who owns one of the larger ones. He's built lots of infrastructure and his island has all the modern conveniences. We also saw Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's island. This one below belongs to Johnny Depp.

That signs says the island is private and there's cameras. So... he does't want visitors.
After our little tour, we headed back to dock, and hung our sign. 

Our boat is called Indulgence. M/Y stands for motor yacht
And the number is the length of the boat. Then we each signed it. 
If you ever visit Compass Cay, take a photo with it and send it to me!

After sign hanging it was time to head back to Atlantis for our last night. It was about a four hour ride back, so we had enough time once we were tied up to have a little more water park fun before dinner. For our last dinner, we had a pre-birthday celebration. My birthday is the 30th of this month, my younger niece is May 6th, my older niece AND my stepmom are May 7th. So lots of birthdays to acknowledge. Dinner was a feast and we had chocolate cake for dessert. Solid last night if you ask me.

Our Stew Abby does the best job with our table scapes. Much more creative than I!

Our flight wasn't until 2, but the boat had to leave the dock by 1, so we got picked up around 12:30 to head to the airport. Dad and stepmom stayed on the boat. They went with the boat to Chubb island for the night, and then back to Florida the next day. They'll stay in Florida until the end of May when they head up this way for the summer. The rest of us hopped on the plane. We had to stop in Wilmington, NC. It was kind of nice though. It split the flight more or less in half and allowed us a potty break in a real bathroom. It was quick too. No one else was there checking in. (This was a pretty secluded vacation other than the Atlantis parts.) 

Customs. View from our plane window. That one in the photo is not us.

We landed around five, but as I drove home it clouded up and eventually started raining. It was a quick shower though, and we were rewarded with this pretty rainbow for enduring the storm. I stopped home to drop my bags, then immediately went to pick up Rita at my mom's house. I missed that pup so much! I hadn't seen her since before the eclipse. I thought it seemed cruel of me to stop by and see her in between and not take her back with me. 

So that was my trip! Sorry to bore you with that. I know it's not horsey. But it was such an amazing trip and who knows if I'll ever get to do that again, so I really wanted to document it. 

The only bad part about coming back on Sunday evening is that I didn't get to see the horses until Tuesday. It was a little nice (I'll admit it) to have a day to get settled back in at home to unpack (and clean my filthy house) before jumping back into horsing. 

I really wasn't sure what to expect when I got to the barn Tuesday. Everyone is back from Florida, so I had some anxiety about that. It's easy to get used to the quiet mornings and well.... I'm just gonna say it, the lack of judgement from others during the winter months. And it's a little hard to readjust to the busy and the comments. But so far it's okay. I also wasn't sure what to expect from my horses. They mostly hadn't been ridden while I was away. Al did get exercise though. He did some free lunges and I spaced out a couple of rigs for him. So at least he shouldn't be TOO crazy. Shiny had a couple free lunges, and her summer kid was home for the weekend so she took a lesson on her. I don't normally let me horses jump after a day off, but I made an exception. I knew she wouldn't jump very high and Shiny knows how to take care of herself. The lesson went well and Shiny is no worse for the wear. Eros just had turnout everyday while I was gone. He was zero percent wild upon my return. So that was lovely. He's just so perfect. 

I've ridden them all twice this week so far, and everyone has been great. Yes I said that. Even Al. I'm sure it won't last... But maybe it will? I think Al appreciates a little break here and there, and that might be something for me to build into his schedule. Maybe all the work all the time doesn't allow him to thrive the same way as the others. I dunno. We'll have to experiment. 

Lessons are down to one a week now that barn owner is back. We are in her way Thursday mornings if we lesson, so those have been discontinued. It will just be Saturdays until we move home. I do have the option of lessoning later in the day during the week, but I really prefer to lesson earlier. Hopefully once my other trainer gets back we can back to more regular lessons. I am looking forward to getting Al jumping real jumps again. Eros is bumping up to ten minutes of trotting on Friday, and then 15 the Friday after that. Once we get a solid week at 15 minutes, if he's still sound we can start adding some canter. We'll have another check once we're cantering 15 minutes and that will determine if/when he can start jumping again. He's feeling pretty good, so fingers crossed! Shiny is feeling great too, so I'm excited to maybe do fun things with her this year. 

Now that everyone is home, I'm not getting any extra rides anymore, which is kind of a bummer. But I certainly have plenty of riding to do anyway. Somehow though, I don't seem to be getting finished any earlier... Where does the time go? 


  1. looks like an amazing trip!! and glad the return of the rest of the barn hasn't been too bumpy yet, hopefully it remains relatively drama free!! ain't nobody wanna deal with "comments," guys, c'mon lol....

    1. It was the best trip! Definitely much appreciated. It helped me empty the stress bottle, so I can refill it now with all the comments I need to pretend I'm not hearing... Ha!

  2. It really was! So peaceful and relaxing.