I made a mistake the other day, I mentioned that we like to "get away" and I was wrong. We don't like to "get away" but rather we like to live for the day. And, as often as we can, we live the day away from our day to day.
This summer, like most, seemed to be slipping away with us entrenched at work as the sunny skies floated by. Ernie and I have a tradition of celebrating our engagement anniversary (blog post staycations-celebrating-the-little-things.html) but our scheduling conflicts at work have made more than one tradition this year a bit difficult to see through. About two weeks Ernie said, "just book something and we'll make it happen".
The GOALS for that "something":
At first we thought VEGAS BABY, since we had already missed going as planned for Ernie's 40th birthday, but the idea of baking in the dessert sun with only resort pools or adult pool parties as reprieve was off putting (not that I don't love a good pool party but I wanted more water than that) and the thought of losing so much in travel time when we only had 4 days was stressful which eliminated quite a few other options as well. The search was on! I went through cruise options, all inclusive resorts and even started considering forgoing one of the goals until it hit me. What about Bimini?!
I had avoided Bimini for so long because I rarely hit up places during a launch or craze. The idea of getting on a ferry and being schlepped to a place that didn't sound all too prepared for tourism while still forcing it into place was just not for me. So I did what I usual do when faced with only cliché options, I started my research. It was not looking good for Bimini during my sleepless 2am quests. It seemed our only options were the Hilton resort or a villa of some sort which all seemed quite costly for a 3 night stay plus a ferry ride. All options ranging from $350-$1000 per night. The Hilton includes transportation on the ferry but tacks on a $25 resort fee per night, offers no real beach front option and, as a hotel with traditional hotel rooms, quickly falls low on my list. The moment I came upon THE ONE alternative to the typical Bimini trip it was a done deal. I did what I rarely do and booked in that moment, even paying for the stay in advance.
Typically, we only book travel to and from a place and perhaps the first night's stay but Bimini is tricky and I still had much to learn about the tiny 7 mile long island. Having booked our stay I still had to figure out which way to get there and with very few options from which to choose I decided to go with www.frs-caribbean.com/ being that it was our first time and we don't mind boat rides (it also helped that I had found a promo code). I exhausted myself looking for rental cars and other on island transport options and Ernie said, "let's just wait till we get there and we'll figure it out". Now, we have a bit of experience with impromptu vacations and "winging it" but I don't recommend that sort of attitude when heading to Bimini. We got "lucky" or rather worked our usual travel tactics which aren't for the faint at heart but to avoid all that let me break it down for you, there are NO rental car companies on Bimini, only one scooter place that has a whole two scooters for rent and it's far from where they drop you off from any transport, there are barely any bikes and boats can't access all areas due to shallow waters and lack of dockage. So....you have two choices, okay three but barely, pray that you can get one of the 3 taxis on the island for hire (I saw people waiting hours for one), stay confined to resort shuttle which includes a tourist shopping strip, two beaches and the resort itself or....rent a golf cart. Rent the golf cart, trust me. They are costly, at $90/day as well as some additional fees and taxes (now 12% VAT which the Bahamian government recently increased from 7%). Some companies will drop off the golf cart at the resort for you and pick it up when you are done.
On Island TRANSPORTATION
Golf Cart options:
Elite Golf Cart Rentals elitegolfcartrental.com/rates/ they charge $30 for gas if you don't return refueled which is unlikely given that there is only on gas station on the entire island and it's pricing is not worth the trek so you'll just have to pay for the gas. They are available right at the Hilton Resort.
Sue and Joys 242-347-6082 are at Fisherman's Village which is part of the Resorts World and one of the ferry tram stops, seaplane arrival port and tourist shopping area within the gateway resort area.
We, however, went with Vincent who is a local and whose number I now need to track down. Our golf cart was cheap, two seats, no brakes and only one working light but...he refueled us when he drove by us once and didn't tag on any added fees. I'm using this guy again. How did I find him you may ask...it's shady business only reserved for the expert wing it traveler but I'll post his number here and you can call him for a legit transaction. ;)
As far as FOOD goes, that might have to be it's own post so I'll just highlight a few quick tips:
Bimini tips & highlights:
We almost accomplished all of our goals. The water's majesty took away all of our gambling interests as we trekked every inch of the island's beaches and ended up heading to bed way earlier than usual for us (11pm the latest during our 3 night stay). But being awakened by the soft morning sun through our bungalow's bedside view of the sunrise each morning. Feeling renewed and inspired by the little island of Bimini whose awe-inspiring colors have left us wanting for more. "There ain't no place like Bimini" that's for sure!
Multi-tasking over-thinker that is, as you can imagine, often running late.