Traveling with Friends and Conch   

If you are lucky, you have a few good friends that you can do anything with, including going on vacation. My friend Laurie earned a trip with the Pampered Chef to Atlantis in the Bahamas and invited her girlfriends, me, Lynn and Janet, to go along with her. We had a great time and I ate my weight in conch while I was there. Traveling with friends is very different than traveling with family. Your family knows what you like to do on vacation, but perhaps your friends don’t.

My idea of a vacation is getting out and seeing EVERYTHING; trying the local cuisine, beer and cocktails and talking with the locals. I don’t sleep in and I stay up late, just like at home. I like to walk around and eat stuff I can’t get at home. That’s what I do when I vacation with John. Laurie likes to sit on the beach or at the pool. Lynn and Janet both go with the flow. I rarely sit on the beach or, heaven forbid, a public pool. This vacation was a combination of all of that. Atlantis has a huge water park and is close to Nassau so we toured, walked, swam, parasailed, rode the rapids and ate…and ate…and ate.

Fried Conch, Conch Fritters, Conch SandWISHes

Here in Vegas I can get nearly anything, but Bahamian cuisine and lovely fried conch is something that is not readily available. I can get scungilli salad, but fried conch, conch fritters, conch sandWISHes? Good luck! I ate all of that and more while I was away. If you have never had conch, it’s sweet in the way crab is, but toothsome the way calamari is. I prefer it fried, but I’ll eat it in scungilli salad too. One thing I re-learned about Nassau is that I don’t like their beer. At ALL. And we tried “Sky Juice” a bizarre concoction of gin, milk and sweetened condensed milk, that on the surface sounds gross, but somehow it works.

One of the oddest things we did was hire a cab to drive us all around Nassau and point out the interesting things about the city. We had a good driver, Alfred, who showed us the sights. Government buildings, Fort Charlotte, “The Fish Fry” and local flora were all included for the ride. I would highly recommend doing this in any foreign city to get the lay of the land and figure out what you want to visit.

One of the Highlights Was Eating at Oh Andros

For me, the highlights of the trip were parasailing (something I was able to check off my Bucket List) and eating at Oh Andros. Oh Andros is located in “The Fish Fry”, an outdoor mall of sorts, featuring restaurants, bars and shops that serve mostly locals, but tourists are welcome. If you plan to go, just know it’s all cash only, so be prepared. Oh Andros serves authentic Bahamian food and when we arrived the joint was packed with locals. The pics below do not do justice to the food for several reasons, mainly, I had my little camera and you can’t see how big the plates were for scale. Each entrée came with rice with pigeon peas and two other sides. The plate was a standard 10” round. Pile it up 5” high and you get the picture. Everything was properly seasoned and there was WAY too much. If you are in a hotel and not an apartment with ability to reheat leftovers, I recommend sharing a plate with a friend. We had NO IDEA we’d be getting that much food.

Fried Conch and pan fried pork chop.
Fried Conch and pan fried pork chops.
Spicy grilled grouper - there were FIVE filets on this one plate!
Spicy grilled grouper – there were FIVE filets on this one plate!
Slipper tail lobster, cracked and fried
Slipper tail lobster, cracked and fried. No joke, it was an entire lobster!
Fried conch and pan fried whole snapper
Fried conch and pan fried whole snapper. One of the pieces of conch was literally the size of my hand.