A blog named BETTY

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bahama Mama Checks In

I have been on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It’s been 2 weeks since we’ve been home, and yet I have not blogged about it. Here is why: I’m overwhelmed. It’s just too big to encapsulate, YKWIM? So I’ve hoped that by waiting awhile, it’d distill down to a single blog post nugget. Well, it hasn’t. But I’m willing to try finally.

Our whole family went to the Bahamas over spring break. It was awesome. The End.

All sorts of people ask “How was your trip to trip to the Bahamas?” And I say it was awesome. That’s pretty much all you can say unless the person has an hour to kill. One of my friends asked that exact question, and then immediately said “That’s a stupid question. It’s like asking ‘Are cookies yummy?’ We all know the answer. No one says ‘The trip was awful.’” Exactly.

So let’s just review some photos. You have an hour to kill, right??
First, you need to know the setting. Here’s our hotel, Atlantis on Paradise Island. It’s on the island of Nassau, Bahamas (technically New Providence Island, but no one calls it that). Paradise Island is actually an island off of Nassau, connected by a bridge. Pretty much the whole island is taken up by the Atlantis Resort. That baby is H-U-G-E. Here is a pic from our first foray out onto the beach. In it, you can see just one of the six separate hotels that make up the resort.

You’ll also notice nary a cloud in the sky. Beyond perfect weather the whole time: low of 70, high of 84. Yummy.

I lost track of how many swimming pools there were, but this is the one closest to us. It was right off the beach, so we didn’t spend much time there. Why would you when you can be on the BEACH, afterall. But isn’t it pretty?

Attached to this swimming pool was the most gorgeous lazy river I’ve ever seen. I told Hubby--who has been pushing a backyard swimming pool since the beginning of time—that I would agree to that lazy river in our yard. But he’d have to recreate it EXACTLY as it is, including all the birds and tropical flowers.

Near that lazy river is a waterfall we passed every day, but then we passed hundreds of these every day--the whole resort is lush and groomed to the nth degree.

Right by that waterfall is a couple of ponds—one with giant sea turtles, and one with stingrays. At certain times on certain days, a little worker guy (he’s actually normal size, not little) comes out and feeds the aquatic creatures. He gives an awesome presentation about the species, and then he lets the kids actually feed them. Here’s the stingrays. And while I was taking this pic, Shnookie3 was on the other side letting one eat a fish out of her hand. I guess the cameraman can’t be everywhere at once, dangit!

Speaking of stingrays, all of the kids were quite taken with the sight of them. The main part of the resort has a huge underwater observatory where you can see every type of aquatic creature imaginable, and the kids loved it. Their favorite thing was the humongous stingrays, some of which were as big as our dining room. I got a cute pic of a small one, where you can see it’s little face. Isn’t it sweet??

The night life was a lot of fun—once we found it, lol. They had plenty of restaurants right at the resort, some of which didn’t cost a second mortgage. (It was astonishing how much everything cost. Our kids were always trying to order water and salads to save on money!) So we’d go down to this market village part of the resort every night, eat, and soak in the atmosphere. Here the kids are rockin out, Bahamian style.

And here’s a cute family pic in the village. I know my eyes are so small it’s hard to tell if they’re open on a good day, so I’ll just tell you that, yes, they are closed. And I could shoot myself, cuz everyone else looks so good! I’ll have to push my photoshop skills to the limit and see what I can do about that.

They have a giant waterslide park right there at the resort, which is free to all guests, and that was a huge hit! I didn’t get any photos, since I love my camera and do not want it at the bottom of a wild rapids ride. Just trust me that we took full advantage and had a great time. (And only a little bit of sunburn, miracles of miracles.)
After the water park, we found a snorkeling place, so went snorkeling with the two oldest shnookies. Man, do I love snorkeling!! And here’s the two shnookies AFTER the waterpark and snorkeling. I just can’t see this picture without cracking up. I think I see a little drool hanging from Shnook1’s lip. LOL We were all pretty tired that day!

On Easter, we decided to attend the local LDS branch, which turned out to be such a wonderful experience! The people were so friendly--met us at the sidewalk en masse even! The PA system didn’t work, so we hardly heard anything, but we felt a lot. It reminded Hubby and I of our missions and got Shnookie1 a little excited for his. Here we are at the local branch meeting house:

(I cropped this picture, since there was a lot of tree and sky above us; nevertheless, this is the best photo we had taken when a Bahamian was behind the camera. We learned quickly to ask a tourist to take our pictures, because centering is apparently NOT high on the locals’ skill set!)
And finally…the beach. Ahhhhh, there is nothing better. And here’s some of my favorites taken seaside:

We were in the Bahamas for six days, and I think we used our time well. I could’ve probably used one more day just to hang at the beach and pools, but whoever gets enough of paradise, right?? The trip was full of a lot of new experiences, wonder, laughs, adventures, and culture. But this is the best part:

It was full of a lot of the affection and care that makes a family what it is. And that is why we went. And that is what I’ll remember the most.


Stephanie said...

WOW! I'm glad you had a great time. I love all the pictures.

Mary B said...

What an amazing experience. Your kids will all always treasure those memories. Now I just have to convince my Lovah why Bahamian love is extra special, and we're THERE!

Alaina said...

I can't get over your pictures! Seriously awesome! And Tessa looks soooo much like you in these, how grown up!

Jen said...

What can I say about your post...it was awesome. (and yummy!) I'm feeling jealous now, so I'll stop while I'm being positive. :D

Tiffany said...

Holy cow I didn't even know you guys were going. I am sooooo jealous, I'd love a tropical vacation right about now.Looks like you all had a super time.Can't wait to see you all in June!

Taylor Clan said...

OOoh! My cousin went to medical school there! He's still there! He can't pass the exams in the U.S. Wait. That has nothing to do with you having a marvelous time.

Taylor Clan said...

Did Boozer feel badly you left him? My dog missed me when I was in St. George. It snowed on us. Did it snow on you at all?

Nisa said...

Hey! Sorry to blog stock you here but I was doing a search for the LDS branch in the Bahamas since we'll be moving there soon and wondered how small/big it was. I would love to hear all about Nassau you'd like to tell! We've never been there before. If you have a moment, email me at adelycea(at)hotmail.com

Thanks so much!