Food Bloggers on Columbus Isle, the Bahamas

On my vacation, I loved posting updates about what I was doing, but I’m sure you can understand that I wasn’t all that keen on sitting in my room slouched over my laptop. Yes, I love and missed you all.

However every relationship has its limits. And there was something more important standing between you and I:

drinks

But on the 9+ hour plane ride home, I didn’t have much to do…especially since the in-flight entertainment was non-functional…so I gathered up my photos and wrote a lengthy wrap-up of the trip. And as soon as I got home, I published the story and pictures, only to check back a few minutes later and find that half the post was missing.

And no, not the part with the thong. You’re not getting off that easily. I’ll get to that later…

club med huts

Like the inhabitants of a tropical island on LOST, my post was equally without bearings, floating out there on the internet somewhere, adrift and listless, where no one could find it. So I cobbled it back together the best I could, republished it and poof!&mdashed;vanished again. Like the folks who follow that program, I’m sure I could start some sort of conspiracy theory about why it’s happening, but I think I should just move on and hope the third time’s a charm.

And if I keep comparing my blog to LOST, my part better not be played by the doctor-guy, because if it was, do you think I’d be rewriting my post? I’d be staring at myself in the mirror instead.

palmtrees

The note arrived in January, just as winter was wearing me down, an invitation to head with some of my favorite people to the Bahamas. In the history of Gmail, I don’t think anyone’s ever hit the ‘Reply‘ button so fast.

I know most of you probably think I lead the life of an international jet-setter, the reality is I spend more of my time trying to translate what a ‘stay-cation’ is to my French friends than actually getting out of town.

And although the lure of an invitation to a food blogger meet-up is a good enough reason to head to a warm tropical island (and, of course, the unlimited oceanside cocktails), seeing my friends Deb and Elise again, plus meeting for the very first time Jaden and Diane, were the crème au beurre on the rum-scented coconut cake.

However I did learned to steer clear of my next door neighbor, who could be a bit of a grouch if you caught him at the wrong time.

matt yelling

Yelling and hairy chests aside, I had the bestest neighbors that a guy could ask for during that whole week. Matt and Adam shared a porch with us, and the only thing missing was the convex mirrors to keep an eye on each other while in our respective chambres. We did overcome that little obstacle by using the island’s hi-tech communication system—shouting; although using it to chat with Deb and Alex a couple of doors down probably wouldn’t have gone over well with other guests in the ‘hood.

??

Matt, when he’s not rolling in the sand (there’s a story there, but that’s LOST, too. So I’ll let you come up with your own theories) and his partner Adam, who can invoke fear and consternation with just a gentle arch of an eyebrow, were my all-time favorite neighbors. Luckily I stayed on my best behavior the entire week and steered clear of any retribution. But a few times, let me tell you—I came perilously close.

We shared both a porch and a corkscrew: the only thing missing was convex mirrors to keep an eye on each other while in our respective chambres. We overcame that silly little obstacle by using the island’s hi-tech communication system—shouting; although using it to chat with Deb and Alex a couple of doors down probably wouldn’t have gone over well with other guests in the ‘hood.

cosmopolitan romain on beach club med boat red drinks

All things considered, with all the icy tropical cocktails on offer, including the hottest drink sensation to hit the tropics, the Lebovitz Isle, remarkably, we all managed to keep ourselves in line.

The fetching Jaden and Diane gladly posed for my top-secret other website, where they’ve been renamed Blushing Lotus Blossom and Not-So-Ancient Chinese Secret (just in case you’re trying to Google their names to find out where the site is) whose pictures I’m sure are going to fetch quite a price, believe you me.

And you’re getting a look at these babes for free! So don’t say I never did anything for you.

Lest anyone think there’s any hint of exploitation, if anyone who even thinks about taking advantage of those Asiatic Aphrodites is going to get what’s coming to them.

And then some.

I kept my bijoux de famille out of harm’s way. Them girls be fierce!

diane jaden

But should you think they were the only lascivious lovelies lollying on the sand, you’re sadly mistaken, as there’s nothing more fun that getting a bunch of blogging friends on the beach with their cameras for a late afternoon set of glamorous photos while the sun sets over the Caribbean.

sailboats elise small
elise & matt photing steve anna

I simply shouldn’t choose a favorite, but if there’s anyone more photogenic than Elise, I don’t know who it is. Captivated by her flowing locks, all our cameras were clicking away as the tide rolled in and the Caribbean breezes whipped her tresses alluringly around her sunny smile. But I should just skip trying to be poetic and just say that Elise is a total babe. And one who can make a mean batch of enchiladas, too. Which just proves that maybe you too, can meet the girl of your dreams at Club Med.

deb

Deb looked like a ravishing Italian moving star with her dark, wavy locks while husband Alex proved as handsome as a 50′s movie idol. The cutest couple in the Bahamas!

(Lucky for them Elise and I weren’t a couple…otherwise we might’ve given those lovely lovebirds a run for their money.)

tattoed boys

Colorful tattoos abounded and the blogger boy-o’-the-beach showed off his inked body parts with the guest chefs on the island, who invited us all out for a final evening visit to a local bar, but we all begged off since none of us could keep our eyes open past our pathetically bewitching hour 9:30pm. Although in our defense, the hotel dials the clock so you get an extra hour of daylight, which we took full advantage of.

dock

And take advantage of that extra hour we did!

I loved having breakfast overlooking the amazingly-blue water, where the copious buffet offered a mélange of French and American treats. I skipped the croissants and other Frenchie fare and dialed in right on the goods I was looking for: spoon-sized Shredded Wheat, a heated chafing dish piled with griddled bacon (where Romain was amazed at my ability to expertly fish out all the extra-crispy bits before the other guests got to them), and toasted poppy seed bagels with cream cheese and capers.

chef & fish

I later learned about the famous Club Med White Chocolate Bread, on the next-to-the-last day, when it was almost too late. But I quickly made up for lost time and gobbled down as much as I could. If you ever go, you can order a loaf or two, and bring it home with you, although it’s kind of dangerous stuff.

sandpiper tropical drink

I also learned that the magic word for the week, which wasn’t “mai-tai” but “Valérie.” Whenever I’m in a foreign city, if there’s a fish market, I always ask them where the best place to eat is. Fish folks insist on freshness and in all my years of traveling I’ve never been steered wrong.

beach umbrellas

Similarly, whenever I stay in a resort or spa…which, admittedly, isn’t often enough…I ask a trusted employee who the best masseuse is. And in this case, I asked the wife for the resort’s doctor for a recommendation, and she didn’t steer me wrong.

She refused to divulge secrets about any maladies floating around, although it was abundantly clear that Club Med’s days as a hedonistic free-for-all are long gone, in favor of sophistication and a more upscale vacation destination.

Except in rooms #315 and #316.

rum

So now I’m back home in Paris, sans sun and rum, and rewriting this has given me one more chance to experience this trip, which was like a week-long dream come true. I though it would take more than a Boeing 737-200 with a non-functioning entertainment system to pull me away from the Oreos at the ice cream bar, which chef Erik Peters admitted that he shared my affection for, curiously extra-tasty when softened by the tropical humidity. But unlike the white chocolate bread, I wouldn’t hold my breath for them to start marketing slightly-soggy Oreos.

nachos cheese

Still, we managed to eat everything from nachos to noshes that Diane smuggled in from Los Angeles. It wasn’t as if we were lacking for things to eat. But after a long day hanging around on the beach, those lovely sausages and tingly Spanish blue cheese got some envious looks from other beach-goers.

And…speaking of hung, I couldn’t leave you hanging without the last word on the thong, which one morning was found inexplicably on the floor of our neighbor’s room. I heard a loud shriek when it was discovered and somehow, the micro-mini that became our unofficial mascot for the week cross a few continents with a simple toss over a railing.

jaden

When Jaden heard we were going to do some beach shots with the aforementioned string…well, let’s just say the idea didn’t go over so well with her. So I let it drop, so to speak.

thong 1.jpg

And if you’re looking for something dangling, since the swimsuit finally went AWOL, that’s not going to happen. But I will give you one final shot of a cute little fesse that I caught on the beach one day, although I’m not at liberty to tell you who it belongs to, because Matt would kill me.

buttshot

I will say that waking up and finding a barely-there swimsuit on the floor deserves a bit of leniency. Although those who dare to vacation with me ain’t going to get it. Still, in spite of having me along, it was a magical week and thanks to those who shared it with me.

I previously wrote something special about everyone I went with, but in reviewing my notes and photos, I think right here Elise says it best…

elise & romain


And be sure to check out the sites and stories of the entire gang:

Jubulent Jaden of Steamy Kitchen

Enchanting Elise of Simply Recipes

Debonair Deb of Smitten Kitchen

Dashing Diane of White on Rice Couple

Matt of Matt Bites, the gluteus minimus himself, whose snapped the shot of me letting down my guard on the beach.

46 comments

  • Yes, how do I become famous to get on this list with free trips? Hehe.

  • where else can you see gorgeous deep blue water, spanish cheese and beach buns….er, bums all under one roof?
    :)

  • Free? It was work getting massaged by Jaden and Diane. And scraping Matt up off the beach wasn’t exactly a picnic either.

  • I told Elise yesterday that I’ve been buttering up the wrong bloggers, clearly! It looks like a total slice of paradise, and while I was meanwhile having a not-unenviable weekend getaway in Bodega Bay, it certainly doesn’t compare to Club Med.

  • Nicely written, David! Photos are beautiful and the memories are well shared! Thank you!

  • Wonderful summary, David. I love the photos. What a fun trip!!

    Welcome back!! And, thank you for your diligence in sharing this with us, despite your tech difficulties. You are, quite simply, the best!

    BTW… your hiney is just like my hunny’s – smooth, tiny and milky white, Too cute!!

    Pinch!!!!!!!!!!!!

    XOXOXOX,

    ~ Paula

  • If the other food bloggers start to visit you in Paris and nervously and say “we never should have left that island,” please ignore them so that I can keep having amusing posts to read…

  • *sigh*

    Google doesn’t give me any results, other than this page, of course, for Blushing Lotus Blossom and Not-So-Ancient Chinese Secret. You, sir, are an enigma.

    What a great wrap-up to what was surely a wonderful, relaxing vacation. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Totally awesome. All of it. Although, may I say, I especially love that you didn’t leave out the part where you went straight for the Shredded Wheat, and the nachos?! You really are my hero!

  • I emailed your post to myself, so if you lose it again, I have it!
    Great post! The pictures are fabulous. The Bahamas is very close to me, but I haven’t been in over a year. I clearly need to go again!

  • I’m so glad that I’m at least sitting here in the sunshine and not under a few feet of snow. Ca fait rever!

  • Glad you had a well deserved vacation David…I think I saw a photo towards “the end”, that should be submitted to tastespotting.com! Thanks for sharing your vacation follies with us!

  • Those photos are fantastic! I really love all the drink shots, I think the colors are so beautiful!

    NAOmni

  • Wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing your trip report with us, David, and welcome home!

    I will be enjoying this for hours and hours and hours. A double thanks for the links.

    :)

  • OMG

    I can’t believe my ass is on the internet for the entire world to see.

    Again, I mean.

  • J’ai beaucoup ri :)) Je crois que j’aurais aussi répondu à la vitesse de l’éclair :)

  • Hmmmm…… so which character on lost would you be??

  • Can I make a suggestion? Unless you wish to be descended on by a jealous, sun-starved angry mob, perhaps stop writing about this?

    Only kidding. Fantastic photos. Great read. As always.

  • Great story! I worked there as a G.O., and your account of Columbus Isle made me realize how much I miss it! When I was there, there was NO WAY people could order the chocolate bread – but it is good to know that it is just as tasty as I remember!

  • Martha Stewart was quite impressed with the bloggers vacation–I’m sure that if she had been invited, she would have been there in a heartbeat ( rolling cameras and all probably). But a “working trip” like that is fantastic–especially to a nice sunny beach locale–
    You might also want to try St. Martin ( and not the Dutch side either)–great beaches and the right mix of Caribbean and French food!! A little taste of Paris with swaying palm trees and aqua blue waters……………….

  • Martha Stewart was quite impressed with the bloggers vacation–I’m sure that if she had been invited, she would have been there in a heartbeat ( rolling cameras and all probably). But a “working trip” like that is fantastic–especially to a nice sunny beach locale–
    You might also want to try St. Martin ( and not the Dutch side either)–great beaches and the right mix of Caribbean and French food!! A little taste of Paris with swaying palm trees and aqua blue waters……………….

  • Martha Stewart was quite impressed with the bloggers vacation–I’m sure that if she had been invited, she would have been there in a heartbeat ( rolling cameras and all probably). But a “working trip” like that is fantastic–especially to a nice sunny beach locale–
    You might also want to try St. Martin ( and not the Dutch side either)–great beaches and the right mix of Caribbean and French food!! A little taste of Paris with swaying palm trees and aqua blue waters……………….

  • oh how i miss caressing your soft supple skin on the beach…i am feeling so sad, now that our love only temporarily separated by the blue sea.

  • Hi David, I am your new reader and because I was lucky to meet Jaden recently in Tampa and learnt about your trip. Fantastic trip and reading your posts are very entertaining : ) Greetings from cold Switzerland.

  • Arghhh…it is SO GREY outside now. You are killing me with these pics! But I have got to say that blue cheese on the beach is a stroke of genius.

  • Beautiful photos and such a great recap of what I’m sure was a wonderful trip. Now I’d love to know how to get on this list for next year! ;-)

  • Sounds like you had a lovely time. So jealous.

  • Your trip looks amazing and the photos are beautiful! The weather is so dreary in CT today that I WISH I were in the Bahamas… Thank you for sharing!

  • Very nice. So jealous. Ah well — all part of the masochism of reading well done food blogs, I suppose.

  • This post is just like eating dessert: an absolute treat! It was so fun to get an inside look at your awesome trip. Of course, I’m beaming in from decidedly un-sunny Seattle, so I would be lying if I didn’t cop to a soupcon of jalousie. (sp?)

  • I always come to your site when I take work breaks to refuel and smile and this was perfect! I laughed and laughed….Wonderful that you had such a great time and memories that’ll live on.

  • Je le savais qu’il finirait par y avoir de la fesse ici :)

  • Ah, we should all have David Lebovitz pimping for us.

    (Did I just say that?)

    Mwahh, I love you!

  • Romain is adorable, as is Matt’s butt.

    Neither of those are surprising facts, but it was nice to see them both. :D

  • Sounds like a great trip. The temperature was in the teens here last night, I think it’s high time I head the the Bahamas myself.

  • I just spent 20 minutes on the Club Med website and am trying to figure out when I can get away for a week. Club Med is one of the best inventions ever. Especially for those of us with kids!

    And thanks to you I am now hooked on Matt’s blog as well. You should not refer to other food bloggers bc now I don’t have as much time to spend on your site. Okay…I have way too much free time, but that is beside the point.

    Great tip about asking for a restaurant recommendation at a fish market. But you said you don’t eat fish? So what happens if you get there and all they have is fish?

    Thanks for sharing!

  • stephanie: I’m pretty sure at all the Club Med resorts, the main dining room offers buffet-style dining, like ours did, and there was plenty of non-fish items to choose from. (My favorite was the Japanese fried chicken with spicy mayo…yum!…) You could ask when you inquire but I think it’s pretty much the “Club Med” way.

    The Columbus Isle resort, where we were for the Food and Wine Festival, there were two reservation-style “restaurants” where the chef’s served the special meals and there were no choices due to the nature of the event.

    But there was no lack of food anywhere!

  • It was fun to follow you guys when you were down there. What a trip. Thanks for sharing.

  • great write up. I felt like I was there on the beach drinking cocktails, enjoying the scenery and eating great food (no thong for me though).

  • You know David, if you want a homemade Oreo fix where you can control the softness of the cookie, I blogged about some here.

    See, now by stating that, I am hoping you will pop over, love them, get inspired, and then take them to the next (caramely? peanut buttery? spice-laden? orange cream? raspberry? white chocolatey…?) level.

    Hey, a girl can dream. I mean, that would just thrill me so.

    Much more so than say, having you simulate the effect of the moist beach air by adding salty steam to a ziploc bag full of oreos and sealing them up for a couple days. Which you, of course, you could do, also. ; )

    XOXOXOX,

    ~ Paula

  • Hello there, David.

    This is sort of on the topic of your vacation… I have a question for you. Have you used coconut oil in baking? How did it work out? Two questions really.

    Best. -Carole

  • just reading this again (cuz u know, i miss last week so much) —

    and only you would have a can of fleur de sel on the BEACH!!!

  • My first time on your blog and I get to read this hilarious story! Very good.
    Sounds like an awesome trip and you are one lucky food blogger.
    Now I’m off to explore the rest of your blog! I have some butterscotch and chocolate chips that need some inspiration…

  • David

    Where does one sign up for a trip with the Food Blogger Superstars? I follow all of you guys religiously, you………a tad more than the others, and want to sign on for the next trip. Any top secret tips you want to share? Who do I have to butter up, and with what? Will duck fat help out here?

    Mark

  • The photo of drinks is sooo wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  • I landed up here on your blog from Elise’s post. Lovely photos David and it sure seems like you guys had loads of fun!!! :)

    Best,
    Siri