The first time I was fortunate enough to visit the Bahamas was when I orchestrated a spring break girls trip while at the University of Michigan (Go Blue). We were fortunate to pay only $492 for round trip airfare (Vista Count) was the airline, and I am not even sure it still exists. However we were fearless and had the most amazing week staying at the half moon hotel but going to the other major hotels and beaches to chill, hang out, find beaches and party. Fast forward with several cruises, family stays, and marketing jobs, Nassau has become a staple in our Caribbean.
Located on New Providence Island, Nassau has an attractive harbor a colorful blend of old world and colonial architecture, and a busy port. The tropical climate and natural beauty of the Bahamas have made Nassau a popular tourist destination.
Nassau developed directly behind the port area. New Providence provides 200 km² of relatively flat and low-lying land intersected by low ridges (none of which restricted settlement). In the center of the island there are several shallow lakes that are tidally connected.
The city’s proximity to the United States (290 km east-southeast of Miami, Florida) has contributed to its popularity as a holiday resort, especially after the United States imposed a ban on travel to Cuba in 1963. The Atlantis resort on nearby Paradise Island accounts for more tourist arrivals to the city than any other hotel property. The mega-resort employs over 6,000 Bahamians, and is the largest employer outside government.
When in the Bahamas you must try the local staple, Conch.Here is a variation of a conch salad recipe.
As mentioned in the previous post we have decided to take our land search to Lexington South Carolina, a suburban city of Columbia. We have chosen to move here for several reasons including the excellent school district, outdoor activity, close proximity to Lake Murray and access to the city of Columbia.
While we are so excited to head to this amazing area of the country we have to bid a fine farewell to Beautiful Boise ID!
Thank You Boise!!!
There are so many wonderful firsts that have occurred here in Boise that we will be forever grateful for. We completed our first year of school (kindergarten), ran a first, half & full marathon, started a life blog, started talking, completed first baseball season (love it) took our first major hike as a family of four as well as went river rafting & camping. Recovered from a major surgery, made new friends, learned to snowboard, climbed mountains, conceptualized the idea of our dream home estate and set the plans in motion and much more…
Boise Id, was such a beautiful, friendly, cool, hipster surprise. I will forever be grateful for the love and hospitality that we have experienced for the last year and look forward to returning to visit!
This Week’s Travel Spotlight***The Beautiful Florida Keys!
These wonderful and not well-known Islands south of Miami are a huge favorite for Colin and Myself. Colin proposed to me by surprising me with a week-long vacation starting in Key Largo then ending in Key West with a beautiful dinner at Pier House Resort & Spa and amazing proposal that I will never forget.
The Beauty and calmness of The Florida Keys make you forget that you are on Mainland USA. The people are extremely laid back and friendly and the brightness of the sun warms your soul. The Long Bridge that connects the keys gives you the most breathtaking and fulfilling views. Creating suspense and the promise of paradise this drive on down through the keys does not disappoint. It is easy to see why Ernest Hemingway fell in love and called the Key West home. It lends itself to relaxation, introspection and creativity.
Vibrant shops and bars sprinkle this charming town with life and character and offer an alternative to relaxing on the beach sipping pina colada’s.
The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the state’s southern tip, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. They’re known for their laid-back vibe and as a destination for fishing, boating and scuba diving. Key West is famous for Duval Street’s many bars, Mallory Square’s nightly Sunset Celebration and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Early history Of The Florida Keys
Florida Keys Early History
The Keys were originally inhabited by Calusa and Tequesta Native Americans. They were later found and charted by Juan Ponce de León in 1513. De León named the islands Los Martires (‘The Martyrs’) as they looked like suffering men from a distance. “Key” is derived from the Spanish Cayo, meaning small island. For many years, Key West was the largest town in Florida, and it grew prosperous on wrecking. The isolated outpost was well located for trade with Cuba, the Bahamas, and was on the main trade route from New Orleans. Improved navigation led to fewer shipwrecks, and Key West went into a decline in the late nineteenth century
Florida Keys Fast Facts
For Information on how to participate in Uncorked..The Islamorada & Key Largo Food and Wine Festival
Well what’s not to love about beautiful Maui, Hawaii? Absolutely nothing! Before settling down on the Big Island Colin, Ace & I had the most amazing year on this stunning Island. With so many activities for the young and old, adventurers and spa seekers, Maui is easily Hawaii’s Island that pleases most people looking for the traditional Hawaiian Ideal.
From Award winning golf courses, to White sandy beaches and colorful flowers, lush hiking trails and waterfalls abound it is truly a sight to behold! Colin’s Aunt & Uncle Marita and Randy and cousin Gillian have lived in Maui for over 25 years now and were so kind to welcome us along with all of the Hawaiians, introducing us to the Hawaiian culture.
One of my most fond memories of Maui is celebrating Thanksgiving on a beautiful beach overlooking the pacific. It was awesome giving thanks while taking in such earth shattering beauty of the beach and sunset. And what a place for my Parents to visit!! Yowza. It was such an honor to learn about this amazing culture and feel accepted and appreciated as well. From Local Legend and Folklore to Luaus’ and Hawaiian dance. There is such a rich history and tradition among Hawaiians that should be celebrated and embraced.
Keeping true to the Loft & Learn way here are some facts about Maui, the beautiful tropical paradise found on Wikipedia.com
Native Hawaiian tradition gives the origin of the island’s name in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa, the navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. According to that legend, Hawaiʻiloa named the island of Maui after his son, who in turn was named for the demigod Māui. The earlier name of Maui was ʻIhikapalaumaewa.
The Island of Maui is also called the “Valley Isle” for the large isthmus between its northwestern and southeastern volcanoes and the numerous large valleys carved into both mountains
Maui’s diverse landscapes are the result of a unique combination of geology, topography, and climate. Each volcanic cone in the chain of the Hawaiian Islands is built of dark, iron-rich/quartz-poor rocks, which poured out of thousands of vents as highly fluid lava, over a period of millions of years. Several of the volcanoes were close enough to each other that lava flows on their flanks overlapped one another, merging into a single island. Maui is such a “volcanic doublet,” formed from two shield volcanoes that overlapped one another to form an isthmus between them.
Polynesians, from Tahiti and the Marquesas, were the original people to populate Maui. The Tahitians introduced the kapu system, a strict social order that affected all aspects of life and became the core of Hawaiian culture. Modern Hawaiian history began in the mid-18th century. King Kamehameha I, king of Hawaii’s “Big Island,” invaded Maui in 1790 and fought the inconclusive Battle of Kepaniwai, but returned to Hawaii to battle a rival, finally subduing Maui a few years later.
On November 26, 1778, explorer Captain James Cook became the first European to see Maui. Cook never set foot on the island because he was unable to find a suitable landing. The first European to visit Maui was the French admiral Jean-François de La Pérouse, who landed on the shores of what is now known as La Perouse Bay on May 29, 1786. More Europeans followed: traders, whalers, loggers (e.g., of sandalwood) and missionaries. The latter began to arrive from New England in 1823, settling in Lahaina, which at that time was the capital. They clothed the natives, banned them from dancing hula, and greatly altered the culture. The missionaries taught reading and writing, created the 12-letter Hawaiian alphabet, started a printing press in Lahaina, and began writing the islands’ history, which until then was transmitted orally. Ironically, the missionaries both altered and preserved the native culture. The religious work altered the culture while the literacy efforts preserved native history and language. Missionaries started the first school in Lahaina, which still exists today: Lahainaluna Mission School, which opened in 1831.
The two major industries on Maui are agriculture and tourism. Government research groups and high technology companies have discovered that Maui has a business environment favorable for growth in those sectors as well. Agriculture value-added enterprises are growing rapidly.
Coffee, macadamia nuts, papaya, tropical flowers, sugar and fresh pineapple are just some of Hawaii’s premium exports and are a prime example of its diversified agriculture. Maui Land & Pineapple Companyand Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S, a subsidiary of Alexander and Baldwin Company) dominate agricultural activity. HC&S produces sugarcane on about 37,000 acres (150 km2) of the Maui central valley, the largest sugarcane operation remaining in Hawaii.
A controversial feature of Maui sugarcane production has been the harvesting method of controlled cane field fires for nine months of the year. Burns reduce the crop to bare canes just before harvesting. The fires produce smoke that towers above the Maui central valley most early mornings, and ash (locally referred to as “Maui snow”) that is carried downwind (often towards north Kīhei). In November 2009 Maui Land & Pineapple Company announced it was ceasing pineapple growing operations on Maui effective January 1, 2010.
Here is a menu from the Luau at the Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Resort
Appetizers & Salads
Surf and Turf Poke
(Pipikaula, Shrimp, Maui Onions, Phole Fe
rns, Kim Chee Base & Wasabi Vinaigrette)
Lomi-Lomi Salmon, Fresh Poi,
Green Papaya Salad, Potato Mac Salad,
Maui Grown Lettuce Bar, Cucumber Namasu,
Maui Gold Pineapple and Kula Strawberries
Sweet Bread Rolls with Macadamia Nut Butter
Maui Cattle Grilled Top Sirloin Steaks
Glazed with teriyaki sauce
Baked Molokai Sweet Potatoes
Guava syrup & mac nut butter
Fried Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi,
Light coconut & lime flavored sauce
Stir Fried Vegetables
Wok fried and seasoned with soy sauce ginger and garlic