S: Atlantis Resort, Bahamas August 2011
FC: Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas August 2011
1: Welcome to Paradise! Well, Paradise Island in the Bahamas, to be exact! We arrived in the Bahamas just after lunch after our 5:15 am flight. A town car took us to the resort - it was so strange driving on the opposite side of the road! This was our first day in the Bahamas and we could not wait to have a look around. We dumped our luggage, got into our bathing suits, and off we went to explore! What a gorgeous spot!! The sun was shining, the heat felt marvelous, and we couldn't wait to try out all the fun water activities - and there was a LOT of them!!!
2: Our first order of business once we arrived at the resort was to swim in one of the many resort pools - there are 11 of them!! We were hot and sticky and just wanted to have fun after a long morning of travel! We stored our luggage with the concierge and off we went to explore and enjoy all that Atlantis had to offer! Our first activity was to jump in the pool to cool off! I am so glad that I bought a new waterproof camera for this trip - this was the ideal place to have it! When we first got to the resort we went for a swim in the first pool we came too! It was so refreshing and a great way to cool off after our long journey!
4: After cooling off we decided to go on what we thought was the Lazy River ride! What we actually rode was called the Current. It is located in the Aquaventure Water Park. We floated in our inner tubes along a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids and wave surges. So much fun! Just what we needed!
7: THE FALLS There is a part of the Current where you can go up a conveyor belt while sitting on your inner tube to the Power Tower. From there you go down one of the many slides. Karrie and I were pretty nervous but we tried it anyways and it turned out to be really fun! We went on The Falls and this ride dropped us 58 feet to ground level before propelling us up through a water roller coaster of twisting tubes. What a ball! The kids rode the slides over and over again!
9: Under The Sea There was so much to see everywhere we looked! The sea life was amazing!! There were sharks, turtles, jellyfish, manta rays, dolphins, sting rays, grouper, and lobster to name a few! Ugly fish, beautiful fish, big fish, and little fish - it was hard to know where to look first!
10: Swimming with the Dolphins! This trip came about after being granted a 'dream' from the Sunshine Foundation. Karrie's dream was to swim with the dolphins! She LOVED the dolphin excursion! Our dolphin's name was WeeTee. This will be a memorable event in her life and I am so happy we all got to share this time with her! We love you so much Karrie! xo
12: Dolphin Cay
13: We all got the opportunity to do the dolphin excursion as well. Of course, I loved it - I had done something very similar in Florida a couple of years ago but any chance to interact with the dolphins and I am all over it! LOL Dolphin Cay is an extraordinary environment. It is 14-acres and has 6.6 million gallons of crystal clear seawater. It's one of the largest and most sophisticated marine habitats and dolphin rescue-rehabilitation facilities anywhere in the world Our dolphin's name was WeeTee. He is the dolphin that is seen in all the advertisements for the Atlantis Resort. He is the alpha male in the dolphin pod and is the father of many of the dolphins there. One interesting fact that we learned is that the caplin the dolphins feed on actually come from Newfoundland. Greg and Jordan both really enjoyed the excursion too! It was so much fun. Thanks for the memories WeeTee!
14: Playing in the Ocean | I have to say that this was probably my favorite part of the trip...just relaxing in the ocean! The kids snorkeled and swam! The water breaking on the shore was really strong and the kids loved to roll around at the edge of the water! | What a fun time! I could have probably spent all my time here! It was so relaxing! I would love to go back and do it all again! This is my happy place! I hope the rest of my family enjoyed it as much as I did!
15: The sand was gorgeous - it was very powdery-fine and white!! | There were lots of beach vendors! Karrie and I bought a few trinkets! | The lounge chairs and umbrellas were all lined up all along the beach! | Greg enjoyed the ocean too! It was like bath water so he could just jump in rather than ease his way in like he usually does!! | A gorgeous view no matter where you looked! | Here are the kids rolling around in the water again! See the cruise ship? This is definitely a popular port of call!
16: Beauty Surrounded Us! No details were overlooked in the creation of this resort! It was just gorgeous and very ornate!
17: There were numerous stunning blown glass sculptures that were especially breathtaking! I really couldn't decide which one I liked best! I loved them all! There were also many other beautiful sculptures to be found all over the resort! I loved the dolphin water fountain (above) and the giant gilded throne of Neptune was HUGE - we all had to take our turns sitting in that one!!!
19: There were so many things to see and do. One day we got up and personal with the sharks. As we watched the sharks being fed they came right up to the water's edge just waiting for their food. They practically flap their gums - it is a pretty funny sound! There were lots of turtles too. The Hibiscus Lagoon is an incredible underwater world; a meandering home to Green sea turtles, Hawksbill turtles, Triggerfish, and Bermuda chubs. The kids also got to snorkel in the Paradise Lagoon located between the Coral Towers and the Royal Towers. Karrie found a real live conch shell here! Too bad we couldn't take it home!
21: The Sunken Ruins The DIG | There is only one place in the world where you can travel on a journey through the streets and tunnels of the lost city of Atlantis while looking at stunning marine life exhibits. Similar to the tunnels and thoroughfares of the lost continent; Paradise Island's The Dig features habitats for 100 venomous Indo-Pacific Ocean Lionfish, 500 piranhas, iridescent jellyfish and 6 foot Moray Eels. | There are special environments for nine species of enormous groupers. And in separate, smaller “Jewel Habitats,” multitudes of brilliantly colored tropical fish live. There is lots more to see including the seahorses, clownfish, lionfish, and lobster exhibits to name just a few! | The Dig is a series of aquariums that are located underneath the lobby of the Royal Towers. It is the world's largest open air marine habitat! It was great! | "The Lost City of Atlantis" | This is our watery view of the Royal Towers from underneath the Dig.
22: Who wants to go Shopping?? Me Please!
23: Of course there was a bit of shopping to be done! Inside the resort were a number of posh boutiques such as Versace and Cartier!! We didn't buy anything but we had fun browsing - or at least i did! LOL We also went to the Marina Village which was located on the resort. The kids loved the candy shop! There were restaurants, boutiques, open air stalls, and much more. | The best part of the shopping was at the Straw Market. We had to go off the resort for this one so we took a taxi over. | The kids were a little bit intimidated - some of the vendors were aggressive - so Greg soon took them back to the resort! I stayed had fun bartering with the locals. When I was finished I took a ferry back. It poured out of the heavens. I got a really great chance to hear a boat tour and see some celebrity homes. The picture to the left is Mick Jagger's summer home!
24: Paradise is a great place to celebrate our 14th anniversary! We dropped the kids off at the Atlantis Kids Adventure from 6:30-10:30 and we had a few hours to ourselves. It was a "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" theme night at AKA so we knew the kids would enjoy it and wouldn't miss us too much! First we went for dinner at NOBU. Nobu is a gourmet Japanese restaurant. Framed by a glowing green archway and located just off the casino floor Nobu's unique ambiance and intimate dining experience were lovely and relaxing. The restaurant's perennial popularity and devoted following are a tribute to the Chef putting his own spin on traditional Japanese fare. It was a fun experience! We felt a little out of our element but it was nice to spend quality time together! After dinner we went to the casino and played some games. To top off the night we walked around the resort for a little stroll! What a lovely evening! I love you Greg! xoxo
26: Just for Kids! | The Atlantis Resort is the coolest kids place in the Caribbean! There were many things that adults were not allowed to do! Karrie was thrilled to go to Club Rush without us. She said that there was music, games, computers, movies, Karaoke, and dancing! Jordan wasn't old enough to go to Club Rush so Jordan and Greg went to the Gamers Reef and the Atlantis Speedway instead. Of course they enjoyed that immensely. Both kids also went to the Atlantis Pals and made themselves a stuffed friend. Karrie also enjoyed the Earth and Fire Pottery Studio and painted a turtle dish to take home.
29: In the Great Hall of Waters, the main lobby area of the Royal Towers, are these beautiful and ornate Atlantean pillars and gleaming marble floors. When you look up in the domed ceiling there is a series of beautiful hand painted murals depicting the mythical history of the lost city. Eight giant murals are set into the rotunda and tell the story of Atlantis from creation to destruction. Just gorgeous! The murals were painted by artist Albino Gonzalez.
30: There were tons of water rides! The kids enjoyed Splashers - an elaborate Mayan-themed kids pool and water playground! | We could hear these guys playing from our room! Not sure where they were going but we enjoyed it! | This was the view from the front of the Royal Towers where we waited for our taxi before we went to the Straw Market. | Overlooking the Café Restaurant. We had a wonderful buffet supper here one night that included a lobster tail for everyone! | Every day was a different colored wristband - you had to have a wristband in order to go on the water rides! | Jordan and I in front of one of the many aquariums. This one was in the Royal Towers - at the Café Restaurant.
31: Challenger Slide - there are time clocks at the bottom to check and see who did it in the fastest time. | The kids loved it when the bucket dumped all the water on top of them! | Another gorgeous pool! This is the Ripples pool just outside the Royal Towers. | The kids and Greg did the lazy river - I was really lazy and relaxed on a lounge chair in the sun!! | Just after going down the CHALLENGER SLIDE! Greg was flying down this ride!! He did it in just over 5 seconds. | After going down the 5 story corkscrew Serpent Slide Karrie said, "Mom, that was 'sick'". Apparently this is a good thing! LOL
33: Just Hanging out! Here are a few pictures of us just hanging around in our hotel! It was a lovely room. We had queen size beds, lots of cushy pillows, and it was done up in the bright Caribbean styling and colors. And, of course, I loved all the teal blue! Honestly though we spent very little time there! Basically we only went to our rooms if we needed to get changed or to sleep!
34: Night Time Fun Even during the evenings there were always tons of things to do and see. Though the swimming pools were closed we found many other things to occupy our time. The kids loved to play in the sand and one night after it rained they spent an hour just digging in the sand - when they were finished they were covered head to toe!
36: Dinner and Dancing! After a wonderful buffet dinner (including lobster tail!) at the beautiful Café Restaurant in the Royal Towers we took a few minutes to listen to the talented piano player - it was quite lovely and totally relaxing! Of course, Daddy had to get his special girl up for a little dance too! So sweet!!
37: More photos!
38: These wonderful Caribbean fruit are delicious and juicy. I first tasted these on the boat ride back to the resort after going to the Straw Market. There was a little girl on the boat eating them and I asked her about them. She offered one to me and I loved it. So delicious! I knew the kids would like them but I didn't know where to get them. When we were going back to the airport I asked the driver about them and he offered to stop at a roadside stall for me to get some! $2 later we had a baggy full to share. I am so glad that the kids had a chance to try them - as expected, they LOVED them!
39: Guineps These are an intense sweet-tangy fruit found in the tropics. Also called honeyberries or spanish limes! You have to crack open the skin with your teeth and suck on the fruit inside till you are left only with the pit.
41: On our way to the Airport! These are some of the pictures that I took on the ride back to the airport after our Caribbean vacation was over. We were so sad to be leaving this wonderful place! The people were friendly and the weather was lovely! It was an excellent trip (not long enough though!) and I would definitely love to come back here again anytime!! "Yah mon!"