Friday, December 25, 2009

Family Bahamas Trip - Part 1, The Journey

Three years ago at Christmas, Cathie's parents announced to us that for the 40th anniversary, the whole family would be going to the Bahamas for a week! It seemed like it was forever coming, but it finally arrived two weeks ago. We got up at 3:30AM and headed to the airport. I later found out that for $95 you could stay right at the airport, the Wyndham with parking included.... Doesn't a leisurely stroll down to the gate for a 6:15am flight sound nice? We were on the road by 4:20am and made it to the airport.
I'd originally bought an 8am flight, but Delta was kind enough to change it up on me.  We got through security without a problem (Dana and Eli weren't with us) and I took Cathie and the kids into the Delta Sky Club to grab something to drink and hit the bathrooms before jumping on our flight. We connected
through Atlanta where Cathie jumped into first class, and the kids and I slummed it in coach.
Emily was either singing loudly or sleeping with Trunker, her 'ugly doll'.  The kids were all great, but there wasn't much sleeping going on.
We arrive din the Bahamas with the Caribbean bands playing in the airport.  We made it through customs without a problem and jumped in a cab.  The driver was kind enough to stop off at a liquor store, aptly named: "I need a... Liquor Store"
We drove through downtown Nassau and saw the Atlantis as we came around the corner.  The colored buildings in the lower left were the condos we stayed in, a part of Harborside Villas.

The Condo was a three bedroom on Paradise Island, part of the Atlantis resort.  The bridge between the two towers in the background is a 10 bedroom villa that goes for $25k/night, minimum 4 nights.  The place was beautiful, with two balconies right on the waterway, with this great view every morning.  We were about a ten minute walk over to the Atlantis.
We made it to the condo at 1pm and were met by Cathie's parents and her brother Ed and his wife Stacy and they took us over to the condo.  It was perfect for the nine of us.  It had two full kitchens and after a trip to the grocery store on Sunday morning, we were able to save a bundle by making our own meals (a loaf of bread at the local grocery store was $4 and a box of oreos was $9).
The area around the Atlantis was amazing.  We'd walk through a marina area that had $20M - $100M boats that were mind boggling.  I'm just amazed that there are that many people in the world that can afford these boats, the crew and maintenance.  Tiger Wood's boat (check this out) was in the Atlantis this week too.
The kids and I would make the walk to Jamba Juice each morning to get something to drink.  Nothing is cheap in the Bahamas and to top it off, they add 15% gratuity to everything.  I never thought I'd pay $45 for juice for my family.  Man those things are good...
Talk about six degrees of separation.  Some people play the 'Kevin Bacon' game, I play the Ken Buck game, and had an ecounter even in the Bahamas.  One morning while the kids and I were hanging out at Jamba Juice, we got to talking with some local people who'd just come in from a run.  It turns that one of the guys was a native Bhamaian and was there as a part of a missionary team, working to disciple teams of newly graduated  college students.  Not a bad gig.  Anyways, as I talked, it turns out he knew Ken Buck.  Amazing.

Emily and Maddie found an odd sleeping arrangement on the pull-out bed, with Emily sleeping on the chair and Maddie on the couch.  They seemed comfy enough.  I was amazed at how quickly at night the kids crashed, getting up around 8ish.  Must have been the Bahamian air.

I'm just getting through all of the pictures, and getting these all online.  I'll have them uploaded and blogged in the next few days.  Since it will take me a few days to get to the end, I'll say it now: Thank you so much Mom and Dad for the trip!  It was the most amazing family vacation we've ever had!  The only negative, is that the bar is now set so high for the kids for any future vacation, that short of taking them to the moon, I don't know how we'll ever match something like this again.

To be continued...
You can see all of the pictures in Picasa here and here.

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