Location: Great Exuma, Bahamas
Novel in my bag: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
Best of the trip: Sipping fruity drinks at Big D’s Conch Shack while overlooking the brilliant blue water and listening to locals laugh (and cry!) over the Fyre Festival.
Worst of the trip: Struggling to find an ATM and constant fear of puncturing a rental car tire on potholes.
Foodie Highlights: The conch fingers and lobster at Big D’s Conch Shack. If you’re staying at the other end of the island, Santana’s is also amazing.
We’re line-crossers. If there’s a clear and obvious place to go, we’re going to skirt around that path and crawl through poison ivy to find a new one. It’s how we ended up in a rickety rental car, driving on the wrong side of an Exuma highway with a stray dog in our backseat. We should have been at our all-inclusive resort, sunglasses on and a pina colada in hand. Then again, if we had, we never would have participated in a baby shower at Big D’s Conch Spot (which has the best conch on the island). We wouldn’t have discovered the hidden cave by Exuma Point Bar & Grill. And we certainly wouldn’t have met the dozens of hard-working and happy residents of the thirty-seven mile long island.
Great Exuma has less than 2,000 residents, which sparked the romance author in me to wonder how you find true love in such a small group of people. Do you grow up knowing who you are likely to marry? My intrigue was further amplified by a conversation with two local women when I mentioned a restaurant on the other end of the island, and they said that they’d never been to that side of the island before. What? I thought. What if your soul mate lives there—just thirty miles away! My husband had the good sense to point out that everyone’s love lives seemed to be doing just fine, without my meddling and opinions, so I swallowed all of my concerns and ordered another Bahama Mama.
If you make the trip to one of Exuma’s three-hundred islands, I’d strongly suggest staying on Great Exuma. There are several resorts, but also a great assortment of AirBnB or VRBO properties. Take a day and explore the island by car (don’t forget to drive on the left-side of the road) and book a half or full day pig tour. I recommend Coastline Adventures – we did a full day tour, and swam with sharks, visited the swimming pigs, ate fresh conch salad and visited the 007 grotto. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and worth every dollar.
It’s a mostly undeveloped island, so prepare yourself for breathtaking views and pothole-riddled roads. There are only a handful of ATMs on the island, so bring plenty of cash. Service at the resorts can be hit-or-miss but the locals are very friendly and welcoming and the island is extremely safe. It’s the perfect place for a quiet and relaxing vacation, so pack lots of reading material, sunscreen and bathing suits! One note – I wouldn’t bring young kids here. Most of the outdoor excursions, like the pig tour, are best for age fourteen+ and I fear that younger kids would bore easily, even in paradise.
Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, as well as guest-blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for Cosmopolitan.com.
In addition to writing, Alessandra is the creator of Alessandra Torre Ink, a website, community, and online school for aspiring authors.
It’s really hard to save a guy’s life when he keeps running from you.
You might be asking yourself why I’m waving an inflatable penis in the air and screaming at the top of my lungs. If I took time to explain, Declan Moss would get hit by a bus.
Let me back up. I didn’t ask for this. I was perfectly happy—and perfectly sane—before I was tasked with keeping Declan Moss alive. It was a thankless job until the moment that my panties dropped and his delicious smirk found his way in between my thighs.
Hello, toe-curling ecstasy. Goodbye, professional boundaries. And suddenly, there’s a new danger to avoid: the falling of my heart.