A Little France in the Bahamas.

Yesterday morning at 7:45 am like clock-work, the phone rang. Who was it? It was my grandfather. Since Aurelien and I know darn well that sleeping in is not an option, we were already starting our day by brushing our teeth and making the bed. 

"Grandpa calling from Villa Bella Vista, with whom am I speaking to?" he said painfully slow in his thick Italian accent. All week this has been his formal introduction after telephone contact has been established. He can call a few minutes later, and me knowing it's him, I'll pick up and say "Hi Grandpa" but he will still launch into the Villa Bella Vista bit, which is by the way, is the acquired name of the condo. The thing is that he doesn't even need to call or introduce himself because I can hear him perfectly fine through the door - since he is only calling from the living room.

On this fine morning, Grandpa was calling to ask us if we would like to go to Francia for the day. Thinking that he was joking, I said yes and without further explanation told Aurelien that we're going back to France, and to wear comfortable shoes. With my grandfather, I never really know, but what I do know is that comfortable walking attire is almost 95% required.

After a 30 minute walk in the sweltering heat we arrived at the uber-chic One and Only Ocean Club (it really says One and Only in italics on sign - it's not me being pretench) for 8 dollar iced-teas, a gorgeous and breezy ocean view and a walk through their manicured Versailles Garden. Ah, so there was some truth to his France remark, and I was so grateful that he didn't take us to some fake Eiffel Tower monstrosity that I was imagining would be up at the Vegas-style Atlantis hotel.

Instead, we went to a gorgeous garden adorned with rows of tropical flowers, fountains, and marble statues of Napoléon and Josephine, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hercules, and why not? Mephistopheles, that was modeled after the gardens in Versailles. And at the opposite end, facing the Harbor is the stone monastery built by Augustinian monks in France in the 13th century; the Cloisters. 

Grandpa had us read each plaque, then had made me uselessly translate it to Aurelien (who speaks and reads English), we talked about the history and then he filled us in on local gossip. Rumor has it, or rather per my grandfather, Cindy Crawford was married on the grounds several years ago, Martha Stewart enjoys her vacations here, and Michael Jordan has a suite here. FDR, Hercules, Augustinian French monks, Cindy learn something new everyday...

We've been enjoying our vacation in Paradise, even if it is raining today, and look forward to our last few days with my grandparents who truly know how to entertain. I can only hope that I am as vibrant and witty at 84 and 89.

Below are some pictures that we captured at one of Paradise Island's most breath-taking views. You'll also notice that several shots are of Aurelien. I have been torturing him on Facebook, posting photos of him taking photos, and have been threatening a vernissage in Paris called "Aurelien Hearts the Bahamas - A Young Man's Quest for Truth in the Carribean"

He's ready to murder me.

Bon week-end à tous!

The Vesailles Pool.
I'm saying this in my fancy voice which also can
sound like my drunk voice.
It's all in perfecting the slur when differentiating the two.

The Versailles Garden.
Not in my fancy voice.

Aurelien getting "fresh" with the fairy statue.
So French. 
They can't help themselves. 

Gazebo overlooking the Harbor at the Cloisters.

Said Cloisters.


  1. I've got to get one of those grandfathers.

    1. He's pretty awesome. He's been keeping us entertained this week. : )

  2. what gorgeous weather you're having! i'm so enjoying being with family right now. you're very lucky to have such vibrant grandparents - I know you appreciate every moment :) I love the morning wakeup call from the room next door. So funny. Enjoy the rest of your time down there! x

    1. It's been nothing but gorge! We've had some midnight rainstorms that you'd think would cool things off and lower the temperature a bit, but no. Tis island livin'! Hot, hot, hot!!

      We're enjoying our last day!! We so don't want to go!! You head back this weekend, right? Bon voyage!!

  3. I love your photos!! How beautiful! I'm pretty jealous. I think I need to go on a fun vacay.

    1. Thank you!!! It's been gorgeous! We're so lucky to have been invited by my family for such a lovely vacation.

      I hope you are able to get some vacation time before the summer ends!

      Thanks for commenting and welcome!! : )

  4. Gorgeous! I would never have guessed it's the Bahamas! X gwan

    1. Isn't it so pretty? We were pretty impressed too! My grandparents are pretty adventurous though, so I guess we shouldn't have been too surprised! They showed us such a good time. Love them.

  5. Love your photos! I especially love the one of the gazebo's (is what youd call that?) shadow. Perfect.

    1. Thank you!! This part of Paradise Island is so beautiful, quiet and not far. If you're ever here, definitely check out the Cloisters and splurge on a cocktail at The Dunes. So worth it!!

  6. So, has your young French man found truth (with a capitol T) in the Caribbean? I love that his back has made its official debut on your blog. People always feel sorry for Stephane when I yell at him to get out of the way when I'm taking photos.

    It's wonderful that you're making the most of your time with your grandparents and Seb - I'm sure that you'll forever treasure the memories of this trip and smile to yourself whenever you think of your grandfather calling you from the next room. He's incredible!

    1. Hahaha no, just that his girlfriend is a super nerd who likes to reenact scenes from 'The Little Mermaid', 'Little Miss Sunshine', 'My Blue Heaven' and Madonna's 'Cherish' video.

      This is our first beach vacation together. Hopefully not the!!

      He LOVES my grandparents. How could he not? But I'm so glad that he sees what I see!

  7. How did I miss you were in the Bahamas?! How fun and wow it looks beautiful!
    Okay now how do I put in the application to be adopted by your grandparents so I can join the trip next year? ;)