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Entries in sightseeing sundays (7)


* sightseeing sundays: the gorgeous williamsburg savings bank

Known today as "One Hanson Place", the iconic Brooklyn clock tower completed in 1929 for the Williamsburg Savings Bank has gone through many reinventions while maintaining it's historic charm. It was landmarked by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee in 1977. In pursuit of history and good food I visited the Brooklyn Flea held at One Handson Place.

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* sightseeing sundays: enjoying Bahama Mamas on Grand Bahama Island


I know it's a little belated but I've been on a bit of a hiatus during this crazy holiday season and just got back from b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l Grand Bahama Island. My family is definitely a beachy tropical bunch and we love to visit new islands for our annual Wright family trip. We stayed 20 minutes from Downtown Freeport in Taino Beach and it was pure paradise.

A few of my favs:

The Fish Fry at Smith's Point

We heard about this gem almost immediately upon arrival, the Bahamian customs agent told us we had to check it out. The fish fry is only on Wednesday nights and after the thrilling sunset cruise we made our away down the beach from our resort. There are numerous food vendors serving up fresh local seafood and island cuisine. To get a sense of the freshness, you literally watch them take the live fish, give it some Bahamian love, fry it and your dinner was ready. As the night went on the dance floor started up and people from all over the world were dancing under the stars! We met people from all over; Canada, California, Florida, Peru, Philadelphia, and many from Minnesota.

Pier One

Amazing restaurant right in the Port of Freeport perched on the water with amazing sunset and ocean views. We watched 2 cruise ships leave the port while we enjoyed a perfect sunset. The main outdoor dining area is on the 2nd floor and a popular claim to fame is the nightly shark feedings. While you enjoy your dinner they put fish and such right into the water below and sharks come to eat with you! I could not believe how big the sharks were!! Great food, atmosphere, and entertainment like I've never seen- perfect vacation dining experience.

Port Lucaya

Port Lucaya is a small village of restaurants, bars, stores, and a casino. Our hotel provided a water taxi every hour to and from the port ($5 round trip) which made getting around a breeze. Our favorite restaurants here were Agave and Cappuccino's. I also recommend Rum Runners for 2 for $5 coronas, great atmosphere! The people are friendly and everyone is in a Bahama state of mind.

To get in the island mood during this winter season you may want to shake up some Bahama Mama's, a cocktail we sure loved! Just mix together and serve over ice.

  • 1/2 fluid ounce rum
  • 1/2 fluid ounce coconut-flavored rum
  • 1/2 fluid ounce grenadine syrup
  • 1 fluid ounce orange juice
  • 1 fluid ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice

I would definitely recommend Grand Bahama Island for a laid back tropical experience! For our 2012 trip we are thinking about Aruba, St Kitts, and or St Thomas. Do you have a favorite tropical getaway?


* sightseeing sundays: all aboard the queen mary!

Introducing a new weekly post - Sightseeing Sundays!

The Sightseeing Sunday Series will highlight my visits to historical or genealogical landmarks sitting on my never ending to do list. A list of places to see (historical, genealogical, personal, out of the ordinary) is in the works and each week I will share the latest sightseeing experience.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Queen Mary permanently docked in Long Beach, CA. My cousin Bernice, a long time resident of Long Beach, had never been and suggested we make a visit. GREAT idea!!

A little history: The Queen Mary was originally designed for Cunard White Star luxury cruises from Europe to the United States in the 1930's; after the maiden voyage in 1936 she became the first class standard for ocean liner travel. During WW2 the country called on the Queen Mary and she was converted into a military transportation vessel for US troops. Currently The Queen Mary is a floating museum with daily themed tours, self guided tours, monthly special events, hotel with 314 original First Class Staterooms, and numerous restaurants and lounges. With the difficult economy and constant financial struggles for many preservation projects, The Queen Mary could definitely use some admirers! 

May 27, 1936- THE QUEEN MARY departs Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City.

June 1, 1936- Arrival at Pier 90 in New York City Crossing time: 5 days, 5 hours and 13 minutes.

August 1936- On her sixth round-trip voyage, THE QUEEN MARY wins the Blue Riband for the fastest North Atlantic crossings from the French Line's Normandie. The Normandie won the honor back in 1937.

March- May 1940- Painted gray and fitted as a troop ship.

May 1942-  First time more than 10,000 persons had traveled on any ship (9,880 troops, 875 crew)

My visit:

 I really loved this attraction!! A unique and interesting way to explore history. With our General Admissions Passport (Adult: $24.95, Senior (55+) & Military: $21.95, Child (5-11): $12.95) we were able to check out the Ghost and Legends Tour and a self guided tour of the ship.

You have to do the Ghost and Legends tour! The guide gives a cheeky comedic performance as the group is led through the most haunted spots on the ship. One stop was the first class pool located well below the main decks and Queen Mary haunted First Class Poolit wasn't long before the fog machine and sound effects were on full speed. At times it was a little cheesy but overall the tour was informative and definitely creepy!

If you are in the area I would definitely recommend visiting The Queen Mary!

Next Sunday I'll share a hometown gem from Saratoga, NY.


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