Ahhh, summertime in the South. It’s always hot and humid and here in Atlanta, it’s been pouring down rain for about 35 days in a row. And after a crazy couple of weeks (including back-to-back shows at the gallery and seven straight days of serious shopping for the holiday season at the store), Ann and I were ready to jump on a plane and head outta town.
With passports at the ready and bags packed, we stopped for a nano-second to think about that precious time off. It’s no secret that we’re all certified Francophiles around here. Sacre bleu, we’ll go through all kinds of hoops and obstacles for any chance to we get to immerse ourselves in the magic of Paris or Provence…or anywhere in France. The lifestyle, the culture and the sheer “frenchiness” of it gets our hearts racing with delight.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t love lots of other places too…and for this year’s little getaway, I had my eye on my favorite island-y getaway: the sunny, hot and ever-so-beautiful Bahamas. When Ann and I pulled vacay straws, I got lucky and scored the first bit of free time that was headed our way. Ann would stay and spend the week slogging through paperwork and budgets until I returned and she got her turn (we’ve very democratic in that sense.)
My little family and I have been going to the Bahamian Out Islands for more than 20 years – and each and every visit ends with promises to ourselves to return quickly.
Like France, there’s a lot to love but that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. In our favorite spots like Harbour Island, Eleuthera and the Abacos, you can feast your eyes on endless and ridiculously white sandy beaches that stretch for miles; bathwater temp waters that are impossibly turquoise; spectacular sunsets and fish, fowl and fauna beyond description.
Instead of fighting hoards of art-lovers at the Louvre, you might find yourself snorkeling in peaceful solitude over the reef at Sandy Cay and marveling at the sheer magnitude of life that lies beneath the water’s surface. And, if our uniform in Paris is a LBD and a chic scarf, it’s more like flipflops and a coverup in the Bahamas. Instead of finding your energy levels soaring at the sights of Notre Dame or a charming outdoor market in the Seventh, it takes a true commitment to yourself to relax when in the Bahamas. It took about 36 hours to unwind, but once I did, I devoured six books in seven days. Pure bliss!
So that laid back lifestyle definitely has its appeal to a workaholic…and I’d be lying if I didn’t confess to spending hours imagining what a little beach abode a la Huff Harrington Home would look like. And with all the island inspiration out there, it’s easy to visualize. White, blue, green and some more white. A splash of orange to jazz it up. An outdoor shower – and, while I’m being greedy, may I please have a pretty boat?
And we’d just have to hang something like this in our island house:
The Bahamas are part of the British Commonwealth and one of our favorite island icons is India Hicks. India is related in all sorts of ways to the royal family and was even a bridesmaid in Diana and Charles’ wedding. Today she’s a super successful businesswoman with all sorts of lifestyle lines to her name. She lives with her family on Harbour Island, a chic-y little strip of pink sand and turquoise water just off Eleuthera. Cote du Texas recently dished up these images of effortless island living:
So, seven days later, it was back to reality, purchase orders and rehanging art – and I couldn’t wait. My tropical respite left me amazingly recharged, full of energy and ready to take on the world. And as Ann left on her much-deserved holiday to Paris and Normandy, I had a funny little giggle: If vactions were a menu, what would you order?
Would you pick a croissant?
Or a conch?
Let us know! Either way, it’s all pretty fabulous. Spending lots of leisurely time with family and friends is a true gift and pleasure whether you’re oogling the Eiffel Tower or swimming through a school of fish.