We continued wandering around Atlantis just admiring all of the art, decorations, and sheer beauty before stopping at Murray's Deli to buy drinks. I got a bottle of water and my mother got a Snapple ice tea...cost for both $10. Atlantis is a cashless hotel, so I had gotten a prepaid VISA at our local AAA office to use while we were on their property. We continued walking through Atlantis through the Crystal Court shops where we windowed shop on our way to Beach Towers and the Earth and Fire Pottery Studio. Since we were on a back to back I had found this paint your own pottery studio while researching Nassau and Atlantis. We would be able to paint a piece and have it fired while we cruised and pick it up later in the week when we came back again. We both had a good time doing this. For $45 my mother painted a sand dollar and I painted a starfish. There were lots of different price points for a variety of items that you could paint. This was a very enjoyable way for us to spend a couple of hours together. The pottery studio provides you with the paint, apron, supplies and an instructor for the cost of your ceramic piece. They fire the ceramic pieces overnight and you can return the following day to pick them up. In our case I told the sales clerk what day we would return as we were on a back to back cruise and he said no problem. After we finished painting, we cleaned ourselves up and walked back through Atlantis to the Crystal shops where my mom was tempted by a Gucci tote bag as well as a beautiful Versace handbag. My mom decided to wait until our return later in the week before making a purchase. We continued through to Marina Village. We stopped in Doongalik Studios which is a local artist studio with a variety of arts (paintings, prints, sculptures, etc.) all done by local artists. We had a ball in this small store looking at all of the different art work for sale. They have a variety of price points from $5 up to several thousand so there really is something for everyone. We did end up buying several small prints, bookmarks, note cards, and a Christmas ornament (my mom collects one from every trip she takes as a souvenir - her tree is a yearly remembrance to all of the trips she has taken). We had lunch at Bimini Road. This was absolutely delicious. My mom got the fresh fish of the day and I tried their flat iron steak sandwich. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here. It cost the two of us about $50 including tip to eat here for lunch but my mom said it was well worth it because the food was so good. We continued to wander through the other shops after lunch. The straw shop is crammed full of locally made straw items. My mom was thrilled with the quality and craftsmanship especially after see the straw market later that afternoon. I had been prepared for the straw market and I had tried to prepare my mother but she was very disappointed at the quality of the straw products...mostly made in China not locally and the overwhelming amount of knock off designer handbags as well as how aggressive the vendors were about trying to make a sale. We had taken a water taxi ($3 per person) back from Atlantis that stopped right in front of the straw market. We wandered down 3-4 rows before my mother had enough and wanted to leave. We probably would have left after the first row or so but got caught by a brief rain shower that we decided to wait out under the tent. We began heading back to the ship as it was beginning to look like a thunderstorm was moving in. We made it all the way around to the last covered area before it began lightning and pouring the rain. We ended up standing under the covered area for about 30 minutes before the rain finally let up to a light rain.
On our second return to Nassau we took a taxi over to Atlantis early to pick up our pottery pieces which turned out very beautiful. We did not linger here as my mom wanted to shop along Bay Street, so we quickly got taxi back into Nassau. Taxis cost $5 per person to and from Atlantis as you have to pay a $1 bridge toll. I had the driver to drop us off at Rawson and Parliament Square. We played tourist by doing part of the Frommer's walking tour with myself as the tour guide for my mother. I gave her the brief history of each of the squares as well as describing each of the buildings. We will do another portion of this tour the next time we are in Nassau. We then went into the Guicci store where my mother had planned to buy her new tote bag. Gucci got an ugly letter via email from my mother upon our return home and they won't be getting anymore of her business due to their lack of customer service. We were the only customers in the store for more than 30 minutes without anyone greeting us or offering to help us despite my mother making a point to talk to the sales clerks. This turned our to be our only sour note. We wandered through many stores on Bay St and picked up our free jewelry trinkets as well. We had a really good time just wandering around. When we got hungry we walked down to catch the local jitney #10. I have to thank Scubagirl on the Bahamas port of call board for her recommendation about Arawak Cay also known as Fish Fry. We had lunch at Twin Brothers and it was absolutely delicious. My mother is not known for being an adventurous eater in a foreign country but she gamely tried fried conch as well as conch fritters and declared both to be her new favorites. I wish I had a picture of her face when she was getting on and off the jitney as well. I always make her ride public transportation at least once when we travel because it grounds her in reality. The local jitney is a larger version of VW van with lots of seating...it is not a very big bus. We were some of the last people on so we rode on the jump seats that pull down in the middle of the aisle. Call out your stop to the driver and look both ways when crossing the road to get to Fish Fry. None of the local restaurants at Fish Fry have restrooms as a public restroom is located across the parking lot. It was very clean when we were there and had an attendant on duty just outside. We will definitely be eating here again the next time we are in Nassau.