Bahamas! (Part 1)

This past April I went to the Bahamas for a week with 4 close friends from DC and had such a great time!  All of us are in various states of transition and moving different places so we wanted a final girls trip together before we all leave.  We decided to go somewhere warm and tropical and found a great last minute deal to the Bahamas so off we went!
DC has really inexpensive flights to the Caribbean and the surrounding areas, so fortunately, even though we booked last minute, our tickets were just a little over 300 round-trip.  Not bad!  We carried on all of our luggage except for one checked bag which we shared.  We threw all of our liquids into that bag and split the cost which worked out great.  We flew into Nassau on the island of New Providence.  There are lots of islands in the Bahamas, but New Providence is the most populated.

It looked like we were looking at GoogleMaps as we were flying in - the scenery below totally didn't even seem real.
We stayed at the Sheraton on Cable Beach.  We booked our hotel through Hot Wire (or one of those sites), so we didn't know exactly where we'd be staying until after we purchased it, but it worked out great for us.  The hotel was nice - on the older side, but it was literally right on a beautiful beach and we got a room with a view.  Plus it was very affordable, especially split between the 5 of us.
The water was warm and so clear here at Cable Beach.  Just what we were hoping for.

We practically lived on the beach.  So much so, that for the first few days we hardly even ate because we didn't want to leave the beach.  Also, food at the hotel was ridiculously expensive.  $5 for a Snapple and $13 for a dinky, pre-made salad.  We ate out at restaurants occasionally and also stocked up at the local grocery story as well.  Even the restaurants could be pricey though - a simple spaghetti with meat sauce at one place was $18.  Basically, I think food is just expensive everywhere on the island.  It's a great weight-loss strategy! 
There were 5 of us on this trip, but often you'll only see 4 in pictures since one of us was the person behind the camera.  Also, Erika and Jenny came a day or two later than Karli, Haylee and I.  Below from left to right is Erika, Haylee, me and Karli.
We love the beach and pool!  
The hotel was in such a prime location.  The beach was perfect!

One of the coolest parts of the trip was getting to see Ludacris perform live and for free!  We were lying on the beach when we heard a loud bass booming further down the beach and people talking about MTV being there.  We were curious so we walked down and heard that Ludacris was about to perform - WHAT!!  We waited around to see and sure enough, it was him!  He was great live and we had so much FUN!  We forgot how many songs of his we knew and liked.  I think the majority of the people were there from a cruise and he was part of their entertainment.  How often do you get to say you did the Harlem Shake in the Bahamas while listening to Ludacris perform live?  We danced and sang along and couldn't believe how lucky we were to stumble upon this.  It was a highlight of the trip for sure!
To get around to different parts of the island we used the local bus system and it worked out great.  They ran all the time and would practically beg to pick us up.  It felt like a competition between them and the taxis. I wonder if the bus drivers get some sort of commission for the number of passengers they carry in a day because I'm used to bus drivers caring less about who gets on, but here they'd yell out the window and ask where we were going and if we wanted a ride etc.  It cost $1.25 each way which was a lot cheaper than a taxi and faster than walking so we used them often. 
Bus fun!  If the bus got really full there were middle seats that pulled down which was interesting.  

I didn't get a chance to go into a McDonalds and take a look at the menu like I usually do in foreign countries, so for this trip just a picture of a McDonald's will have to do.  As you can tell from the sign out front instead of having a Big Mac, they sell Chicken Macs.
One of the most popular places to eat and recommended by locals was an area called the Fish Fry.  We went there and found a cute restaurant to grab lunch at and while eating made friends with the guys at the table next to us who are sports newscasters in Canada.  Random.  But they were way nice.
15% gratuity is automatically added to meals here which makes things easy.
I don't love fish and so I ordered the cheaper, safer option - a hamburger.  It was about the most bland, forgettable hamburger I've ever had haha.  But the conch fritters were pretty decent appetizers.  They're a traditional Bahamian food - deep fried dough with chunks of conch and spices inside.
Karli ordered the snapper and then had quite the surprise when the waitress brought out the entire fish on a plate - eyes and all.  She was kind of freaked out at first, but ended up eating it anyway.  Erika is the bravest of us all and ate the eyeballs(!!!) after we begged her (we're such nice friends haha).  She lived in the Philippines for a year and a half though, so she's used to eating the abnormal.

Haylee and Karli are so great. They are so fun and down-to-earth.  
Since we had to be connected to wifi to get internet and the hotel's was slow we often went to Starbucks and grabbed some drinks and used their wifi.  As you can tell from the bottom left picture they drive on the opposite side of the road in the Bahamas just like the British.
We walked around the Nassau Straw Market and looked at all of the vendors' goods for a while.  There are tons of items for sale there, but often it's the same things over and over again.  Not a lot of variety.

A few of us bought a copy of this picture.  We bartered and I think I got mine for $15 (1 Bahamian dollar = 1 USD).  I love the colors, it's so pretty and not kitschy.  Mine actually got left behind at the hotel on accident and 2 months later they finally mailed it back to me, yay.

Shopping in a boutique downtown.  Haylee found this cute dress and adorable belt in different colors. 

I love trying unique drinks and food when I'm traveling. We tried Bahamas Goombay Punch drink.  It was very sweet and I liked it, but probably wouldn't get it again.  
I'm obsessed with peanut butter Oh Henry Bars.  They are so good!
One evening, we were walking on the sidewalk down a main road and I think we might have been the cause of a small car accident.  Some guys were driving past us and looking at us when the next thing we know they've run into the car in front of them.  Guess they were a little distracted!

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