The day started like this:
Meanwhile, in New York City, it was 29F with 3.8 inches of snow on the way. (Yeah, I checked.)
My one complaint about Barbados, or at least about the beach where we’re staying, is that it’s teeming with hustlers. Here’s one of several people who approached us with a “special offer”:
This particular guy wanted to send us on an hourlong glass-bottom boat tour to see some turtles. Within the next 30 minutes, a scrawny, disheveled woman offered us foot massages, another man (who claimed to be trained in reflexology) offered a full-body massage, and another dude tried to get us to rent a Jet Ski.
We decided to take a walk on the beach instead. In the following photo, my mom is on the left, and my half-sister Martha is on the right:
We saw some lovely sights:
Sorry, couldn’t resist. Here’s some (partial) eye-candy to make up for it:
Ahh, Barbados.
Martha and my mom decided to turn back when we got here:
They thought the beach looked suspish and didn’t want to deal with the water and rocks.
I kept going and took lots more photos, starting with the rocks themselves. Check it out:
I’m not sure what to call the green stuff. Moss? Seaweed? Misplaced outfield grass? Regardless, it was beautiful. Look at the swirly patterns on this rock:
Here’s one more. Really. Last one. I promise. It’s a closeup:
Here’s what the beach looked li
ke after that:
I balanced my camera on a rock and used the 10-second timer to take a self-portrait:
I kept going and took this postcard-esque photograph:
Then the beach ended:
I walked along the rocks and discovered this staircase:
I considered the fact that it might be private property…and then kept going. Here’s what it looked like on the elevated walkway:
There was a house on the right:
Where WAS everyone?
I kept going…
…and at the end of the walkway, there was a clearing with some picnic tables and a bunch of people:
As you can see, I wasn’t encountering anything dangerous or exciting — just beautiful and unknown.
The clearing had a staircase that led down to the beach. I walked a bit more and then saw this:
I looked to the right and saw a semi-abandoned alley:
I probably could’ve kept going, but I didn’t have shoes or flip flops, and I was thirsty, and I didn’t have my wallet, and I’d already walked a couple miles, and I figured my mom was freaking out, so I headed back. She and Martha were floating in the ocean:
(I was chest-deep when I took the previous photo, and my camera isn’t waterproof.)
We all swam for a while and then headed inside. Check out the moat in the back of our condo:
We headed back out and poked our heads into some of the stores across the street. This one was my favorite:
It was a gourmet food store. We didn’t buy anything because it was rather pricy:
The price above is in Barbados dollars, which are half as valuable as US dollars, but still, that’s a crapload of money.
My mom brought a camera on this trip, but still hasn’t used it. (Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time she used it.) Martha has a camera on her iPhone, but wasn’t taking any pics of me. (Martha never takes pics of me.) I half-jokingly complained about it while sitting on some steps outside one of the stores. Martha responded by whipping out her phone and shouting, “Say cheese!” This was the result:
We entered a nearby mall…
…and made our way into a supermarket, where we stumbled upon a bunch of weird soft-drinks. This was my favorite:
We ended up buying some “Luv Tonic” along with several other unusual items. Here they are back at our condo:
From left to right, you’re looking at: 1) coconut soda, 2) ginger beer, 3) umm…, 4) a guarana-based drink, 5) pineapple soda, and 6) mauby syrup. I’d heard about mauby from a friend and had to try it. It’s sweet and has a bitter clove-like aftertaste. I did not, however, try any of the other drinks. They were all room-temperature, so I stuck ’em in the fridge and forgot about them when I saw this — a review of my new book in Library Journal:
If you want to see the review on the Library Journal website, click here and scroll halfway down the page. Obviously I’m thrilled with this review, but it just goes to show that reviews in general shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Last week Kirkus dissed my writing by saying that it wasn’t “literary.” Now Library Journal (which reviewed Watching Baseball Smarter in 2007) is praising my writing for being “articulate and accessible.” (AAAHHH!!!) But anyway, back to Barbados…

We went to dinner at a nice restaurant…


…and I photographed my amazing meal.

In the following four-part photo (starting on the top left and then going clockwise), you’re looking at 1) a caesar salad with bacon, parmesan, and garlic croutons, 2) bacon-wrapped chicken stuffed with feta…on top of “pesto mash” 3) an incredibly rich “chocolate lava cake” with vanilla ice cream, and 4) a toffee roulade with creme fraiche and butterscotch sauce:


For the record, I shared the desserts with the ladies. Thanks. Just wanted to let that be known. I might be a pig, but I’m not a PIG.



    First of all, the glass bottom boat salesman has AWESOME hair. (Admit it.) Secondly, thank goodness for eye candy. Glad to hear that you shared your desserts. (If only Mr. Sandcastle builder would share his desserts.)


  2. baseballexperiences

    I would be even more jealous right now if I weren’t leaving for aruba in a month, but that looks better than taking midterms. You have got to go jet skiing before you leave though, it may be the best thing to do in the caribbean while at the beach.

    btw, theres a good half foot of snow on the ground from the last storm still, it’s snowing, and my schools on a delay. show enjoy it while it lasts

  3. bloggingboutbaseball

    Wow, Zack. Cool pictures. Looking through them I think I might have gone to that same beach! My wife and I took a cruise in ’09 and one of the stops was Barbados–it was, by far, our favorite island to spend time on. See any sea turtles yet? Oh, and those hustlers were all over when we went there, too. Stay away! They’ll rob you, kidnap you, or you’ll get hurt on a Jet Ski and they won’t care! But beautiful beaches, right? And, FYI, pop star Rihanna is Barbadian so the folks on the island think of her as, like, a deity or something… and Tiger Woods and his now ex-wife got married on a private beach there.

  4. txfilmmkr

    Great pics. Be advised though, that Guarana drink is a beast. When I was in Brazil I had a few and they pack a heck of a punch, even more than some energy drinks. Make sure you don’t drink one after dark because it’ll keep you up all night.

    Donny in Houston

  5. zackhample

    MATT #1-
    I admit it. Funny about Mr. Sand Castle. You had me cracking up with that comment.

    I went jet-skiing today. Thanks for the suggestion, although I was thinking about doing it anyway. Have fun in Aruba. I’ve never been there.

    MATT #2-
    Martha went snorkeling today and saw a few turtles along with some other stuff. I think we’re all going snorkeling tomorrow where it’s supposed to be even better.

    Thanks for the heads-up. I still haven’t tried any of the soda. I knew that guarana is a natural stimulant, but I didn’t realize it was THAT powerful.

  6. Zack Hample

    My half-sister booked the whole trip, so I asked her, and this is what she said: “I’m not sure that the beach has a name per se but it’s the beach at Sandy Lane Bay in Holetown.” Hope that helps.

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