Freedom in Eleuthera, Bahamas

I recently went to the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. If I had to describe this lesser known tropical destination in a few words: amazing, authentic, natural.

Why those 3 words? Well, if you’re like me, you are planning on Googling how to pronounce Eleuthera at this very moment! Real quick, I’ll save you the time…

It’s ee-loo-thur-uh.

When I first found out about the trip I was going on (it was a church mission trip to this island), I thought, “Where???” I Googled it and YouTubed it just to try finding out how to say it, much less where it was or what I should expect when I was there! So because it’s pretty much still under the radar as far as vacation destinations go, it’s very natural and undisturbed by commercialism (for the most part!).

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one of my nieces on an early Bahamas morning

It’s authentic. The northern end and central Eleuthera is where people who are vacationing end up, but if you travel further south past Governor’s Harbour, you’ll quickly see that almost the entire island is made up of small communities, local schools and stores, a few churches, and that’s basically it. Oh, and lots of dogs! So when you meet folks there, they’re the real deal. Not looking to upsell you on necklaces, trinkets, braiding your hair, or other things you might encounter in the more touristy areas of the Bahamas. I will say this, though… a normal-sized package of adult diapers was around $64! I’m not going to tell you why or how I know that, let’s just move on 🙂


It’s quite natural. We went to beaches where people probably hadn’t been in months, if not years. It’s kind of crazy that such a beautiful place can still be like that. I have a feeling it won’t always be that way, a strong feeling — because of this. Yep, Disney will be cruising there in a few years.

For now, Eleuthera (which means “Freedom”) remains a beautifully and relatively undisturbed natural wonder you just gotta go see for yourself. From the caves to the blue water, giant spider-like trees to the kind people, colorful fish to colorful personalities, rugged terrains to pink sandy beaches…

It’s all amazing, authentic, and natural!

-Out of the Wilderness

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Game Night: Redux

chris ledouxNo, Redux isn’t the name of a game, a Subaru, or a country singer, I just figured since this is my second post about a game night, I’d label it as a part 2…like Scream 2, or Home Alone 2, or Hot Shots! Part Deux.*

My friend B hosted his monthly game night and it was a real scream! I have a feeling lots of inside jokes are going to spring up out of this one. Even when I’m home alone I’ll chuckle about things that happened or things that were said there. Aside from the games, B has four rabbits and makes a killer quesadilla (he’s a real hot shot!), so they (the rabbits) were entertaining and tasty (not the rabbits!!!). We started off with a game called Pit, then switched over to Werewolf, which is a lot like Mafia, if that rings any bells for you. Our next game was Heads-Up, the Ellen game where you have to guess what’s on your phone as everyone else describes it to you.


We finished the gaming with one called Nouns. Really fun as each person comes up with 16 nouns and puts them all in a hat. Then you form teams and draw the slips of paper out one by one in a matter of three rounds, trying to get your teammates to guess the correct noun…

round 1: describe the noun as best you can

round 2: describe the noun with only 1 word

round 3: act out the noun without any words

This one is great because it’s free, you can be creative/silly/saucy with the nouns you come up with, and it can get challenging.

After the games, B sat down at his keyboard and began playing his medley of Disney tunes. It was so good! For a few seconds I got lost in the magic 🙂 I guess we were all still feeling a bit competitive, though, so we tried to guess the song titles and what movie each one was from.  B then tried out another medley he’s working on, a mashup of Bruno Mars songs. I guessed, maybe 3 out of the 9 or 10 songs he played. Clearly, I need to brush up on my Bruno Mars catalog.

I’ve always liked game nights, and last night is a good reason why.

-Out of the Wilderness

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I receive a portion of any transactions completed through the links above.

A Nashville night to remember

One of the best nights of the year… is how the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, The Head and the Heart, described last night in Nashville. Although he was referring to the cool, low humidity of the evening, he was right in more ways than he knew. And he also didn’t know the memorable night actually began 4 hours earlier!

I invited one of my friends to go to this show with me and was so happy she said yes. I knew she’d be good company! The first band was scheduled to start at 7 so we went to dinner first. There were 3 choices (because anyone who knows me knows I can be slightly indecisive, or is it easy to please? I don’t know, I can’t decide…) so we drew the winner out of a hat.

We didn’t go to (A) Oishii Asian Restaurant or (C) Mellow Mushroom, the winner was (B) Rainforest Cafe in Opry Mills mall. I haven’t been there before but it reminded me a lot of Disney World with how well they paid attention to details. Plus they had tanks of some wild looking fish that were fun to look at. We even saw Dory. Or maybe it was Dhorie (as to avoid copyright infringement). 😉 We had fun talking about all sorts of things… the stars on the ceiling, a ghost cloud, the elephants and other wild animals, and of course, we ate dinner, too.

She got the Anaconda Pasta (yum) and I got the Rainforest Natural Burger (yum). Both were yum.

We macheted out of the jungle, hopped on the interstate and made it to downtown around 730. Ascend Amphitheater has a number of seating options (see below). We went with the assigned seats, a little more expensive than general admission, but when we got there I was very happy not to have to fight our way to a small spot on the crowded grassy lawn. The red box below shows our two seats.

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The first band we saw was Dr. Dog (we missed the band before them, oops!) and they were good. Any band that uses a harmonica pretty much gets an automatic thumbs up from me. Their last song was one you may have heard of (this super catchy tune) and somehow you could just tell it was destined to be a hit.

Then The Head and the Heart took the stage and it was amazing! They have so many great songs and their voices are so recognizable. I was thinking during the show that they have the kind of music that doesn’t need any help, know what I mean? Some shows you go to include complicated light moves, video screens, fire, dancers, etc. When I worked at CMT we’d call it a stunt. It’s like added embellishments, extra entertainment, that sort of thing. I often think to myself, “When you have great music, you don’t need anything else.” Now, I know that’s unfair because there are plenty of amazing performers who don’t need any help, and the things they add to the show do, in fact, enhance the live experience. But with a group like The Head and the Heart, the music and the lyrics draw you in and to have other “attractions” would just be “distractions.”

They finished about 1045 so we made our way back to the car and took our heads and our hearts back out of town. It was such a fun afternoon/night, from the very beginning to the very end. And I’m cirrus when I say, if you have a chance to see The Head and the Heart, just do it, come on!!!

-Out of the Wilderness

Wacky Wednesday: You Say I’m Crazy

It isn’t just Sam Smith that gets called “crazy.” He was in love with a woman that appareeennnnntly cheated on him, per the lyrics of his hit song “I’m Not the Only One.” She calls him crazy because she doesn’t know he knows what she did. But he does know, and he even wrote a song about it. But anyway, appareeennnnntly I’m crazy, too. Because whilst at Disney World last week, I ran with the notion that my nails should be colorfully designed by my young nieces.nailsI suppose if I was going to do that, Disney is one of the most acceptable places. The scary part for me is that I actually liked it! But don’t worry about me yet, until I start shaving my legs and posting stuff on Pinterest.

-Out of the Wilderness