What Happened to the Sun?

By alison - June 5, 2006 (Updated: November 29, 2014)

The Four Season’s beach at Emeral Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

When I woke up this morning and opened the window, the sun didn’t come blazing down at me from a clear blue sky, there was no rustle of palm leaves, no smell of salt water, and no calypso music playing softly across the lawn.

There was no one to make my huge fluffy bed, or refill my bottles of L’Occitane products in the bathroom.

Breakfast was yoghurt in my tiny kitchen rather than a buffet containing my favorite things in the world: bagels, smoked salmon, and cottage cheese. There was no freshly made mango and guava juice and no one poured my coffee.

After breakfast, I didn’t stroll down to the powder white sandy beach. I wasn’t guided to a deck chair and given fresh towels, ice water, a drink menu and an umbrella to block some of the gorgeous sun that had already heated the periwinkle green water to near bathtub like temperatures.

I must be home again.

As you can perhaps tell by the wistfulness of above, we had a fantastic time in Great Exuma. The weather, despite the predictions was fantastic and only rained for a few hours on one afternoon.

The flight was long but tolerable. We arrived in Georgetown to beautiful bright sun and heat. We stayed at a small inn called Peace and Plenty for our first two nights. The quiet a lack of things to do was bliss. No phone, no computers, no TV – Just pool and beach.

On Monday we moved to the Four Seasons. After witnessing some of the poverty on the island, it was difficult to reconcile the excess of the resort. It was stunning, no doubt about it, but I have to admit to an overwhelming feeling of guilt on our first walk around the property.

My guilt was assuaged somewhat when our first tour-guide explained that the resort had brought much needed employment and economic growth back to the island. Many islanders who had left to find jobs elsewhere were now able to return home. I suppose it’s the double-edged sword of tourism.

I can only describe the resort itself as a little slice of paradise. It sits in the middle of Emerald Bay – the water truly was the most stunning shade of blue-green that I have ever seen. There are 3 restaurants, 2 pools, a spa, a golf course and of course the glorious beach with every type of water-sport you can imagine.

We had two organized group excursions with Andrew’s work group. The first one took us to Stocking Island, home of the Chat ‘n Chill Bar and Grill where we swam, ate, drank and sampled the local specialty of conch salad. The second excursion was a glass bottom boat tour that unfortunately was on the only day that rained. The day was saved somewhat by the snorkeling which had us exploring some fascinating coral reefs full of brightly coloured fish.

Other than those two trips our biggest decisions of the day were beach or pool? Bahama Mama or Goombay Smash?

We had several meals on the company – one off site at Coco Plums restaurant on a private beach and the other an awards ceremony and buffet at the hotel. Both were delish and had plenty of drinks to go around.

Other than the gift bags put together by the trip organizers – the fantastic René and Renée we come back with only good memories, photos and sunburns. (Yes we did use the SPF 5000 everyday, multiple times but our lily-white Canadian skin has only been exposed to Belgium for the past year and was not used to this huge yellow ball of fire in the sky that the Bahamians call ‘The Sun.’)

Our flight home was a bit more harrowing but we made it on time (barely) and slept of our jet-lag.

Now we are waiting for Mike and Patricia to arrive from Canada (it seems their flight was delayed so we’re sure they will be exhausted by the time they get here.)

I’ll pass the time by beginning to scan the 29 rolls of slide film we picked up the day before we left – (From Ireland to Euro-Tour and back to Belgium) and I’ll drop off my tropical pics this week hopefully. To tempt you a little bit, check out Andrew’s digital shots of Great Exuma and join me in wishing I was there right now.

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Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
I loved my time in Riga, Latvia a few years ago and Adi's post takes me right back. It's a European travel... - 3 days ago


  1. Comment by Shannon

    Shannon June 5, 2006 at 15:58

    Well, I’m happy to hear that your trip was a splash! heh heh… I’m sure Andrew’s photos are only a tease to the photos you took! I can’t wait to see them = )
    Seeing these pictures has helped me to decide that our next big vacation will have to be in the islands. Honestly, wasn’t it so great to relax, and not trek all over every single day? Good for the soul = )

  2. Comment by Ame

    Ame June 5, 2006 at 18:09

    Welcome “home” guys! So glad to hear you had a wonderfully relaxing time, you deserve it!

  3. Comment by Di

    Di June 5, 2006 at 19:37

    The lack of all mentioned seems so much worse than the worst jetlag … we’ve had horrible weather.
    Welcome home.

  4. Comment by christina

    christina June 6, 2006 at 21:34

    So glad to hear you had a good time and that the weather came through after all. We had rain, rain and more rain. :-s

  5. Comment by dARK sIDE dAD

    dARK sIDE dAD June 7, 2006 at 01:29

    The islands are a very special part of the world … glad you had such wonderful time … I’m sure every line in your blog could spin off into a unique and captivating tale … makes you wonder why all those silly quizzes ask what you would take to a deserted island when the answer is so obvious – someone to share it with ’cause everything else is either already there or not necessary! I loved reading about your adventure, island style, and checking out the pictures … looking forward to more of those tales, colours and islandscapes when the slides are cooked.
    love to all,
    dARK sIDE dAD

  6. Comment by cheri

    cheri June 8, 2006 at 01:35

    Welcome back to reality! Glad it didn’t rain everyday…but if it did, I am sure it would feel like HOME!

  7. Comment by Kim H

    Kim H June 13, 2006 at 08:21

    Wow! Sounds like the perfect getaway!

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