HAPPY (BELATED) VALENTINE’S DAY!

Ola, amigos y amigettes, and before you ask, the answer is “yes,” I realize that today is Saturday, not Sunday.  However, since I just returned from a lengthy Caribbean voyage, I thought you might like to hear from me….. since you might be under the impression that I was quarantined aboard ship.  (No such luck!)  I don’t know about you, but as long as they didn’t run out of rum, I’d be happy to remain in my cozy suite.  (Assuming that my fellow passengers weren’t sick, which is no joke aboard ship.)  Anyways, we’re back safe and sound, but I do miss the conveniences of being treated like a king.  (Or in my case, the court jester!)

Many of my loyal blog followers have requested a blow by blow description of my recent voyage, but before we get into that, a word about Valentine’s Day…..   Did you know that Valentine’s Day has a rather dark but lovely origin?  Back in the 3rd Century A.D., Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage for soldiers because he felt married men made poor soldiers.  (The lads were always thinking about their wives and children.)  A priest (named Valentine) secretly performed marriages for soldiers, but when the Emperor discovered what he was up to, he was jailed and ultimately put to death.  Now for the romantic part ….. while he was behind bars, old Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, and just before he was executed,  on the 14th of February, he sent her a thank you note that said, “from your Valentine.”  And the rest, as they say, is history!

Well, let’s get back to the Caribbean, shall we?  Our latest 10-day voyage and tax deductible book tour was a HUGE success.  We met many wonderful people and gained a large number of new blog followers.  (and the ship library held a special book signing event in my honor!)  Before the book signing began, I circulated a rumor that my new mystery novel, CAPONE ISLAND, was also capable of being used as a life preserver in case of an emergency.  Some of the more gullible passengers fell for that lame routine and purchased a book for themselves and their spouse.  (Fortunately, the book cover was bright orange, the same color as a life preserver!)

After we left the port of Miami, we spent a day at sea, so I decided to go to the spa.  I signed up for a “couple’s massage,” which didn’t work out as I had hoped.  Apparently, you’re supposed to also bring your wife, which seemed a little odd to me.  The woman on the other massage bed was willing to let me stay, but she insisted on seeing my body before the session began.  I had just gotten out of a cold shower, so let’s just say that I did not make a memorable impression.  She wasn’t offended, but she ran out laughing, and then I heard her tell someone that it was “no big thing.”  (God, I hope she wasn’t referring to me!)

Anyway, our first port of call was Nassau, in the Bahamas.  I was just there in November, but someone had put my beach chair away, so I had to ask for another chair and umbrella.  (What’s up with that?)  We spent the entire day at a lovely resort called RIU Beach Club, which is on Paradise Island.  (Right next to the Atlantis Resort.)  The day pass included beach access, chairs and umbrellas, a wonderful buffet lunch, and all the alcohol concoctions you wished to consume.  I would highly recommend this place, which is only a seven dollar cab ride from the cruise ship port.

By the way, we dropped anchor on Wednesday, February 5th, and the temperature was a balmy 80 degrees.  (Some of you folks have been asking for specific details for your future trips, so here you are!)  The water temperature was good enough for a dip, but too cold for a long swim.  However, the water quality was superb.  So if you bring a wetsuit, like I did, you can stay in the water until you turn into a prune.  Or should I say, mango?

In all honesty, there ain’t much to do in Nassau but swim and drink.  (Luckily for me, I am adept at both!)  The food is somewhat interesting, and you should seek out some good conch (pronounced “konk”) which tastes wonderful when prepared raw with lime juice, or rolled into deep-fried conch fritters.  Either way, be sure to fritter away a few hours with a cold Bahamian beer, and if you’re feeling flush, order a rock lobster and a sweet guava dessert.

Do you realize that the meaning of “opaque” is unclear?

Where was I?  Oh yeah, Bahamian food and drink…  Have fun in Nassau, but remember that the place was once home to a large colony of pirates.  (Some of their descendants still operate tourists shops!)  If you take a stroll downtown, watch for pickpockets and purse-snatchers, and don’t buy any substance that looks like oregano.  One final piece of advice, do NOT eat any of their “famous” pirate soup, which is a combination of alphabet soup and a strong laxative.  (I don’t know what it’s called, but I call it, “Letter Rip!”)

Did you hear that someone stole the toilet from the Nassau Police Station?  (The cops are trying to find the culprit, but “they have nothing to go on!”)  All right, no more potty jokes!

They say that trying to eat your watch can be time consuming.

Well, I know you must be getting ill by now, so I shall say farewell.  The next blog post will be sent from St. Martin.  (No relation to St. Valentine)  Until we meet again, please keep smiling and keep those cards and letters coming.  I shall try to add some photos at the end of this comical endeavor…

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff