The Junkanoo was something that you just have to see for yourself. It's a parade and marching band mixed into one, where the people really are the floats. They have these amazing costumes and play their instruments, drums, whistles and brass loudly as the people dance up and down the street.
The participants in the junkanoo would happily stop and take pictures with you as they played the music and danced through the streets.
The costumes were very cool. The guy on the left below is dressed as a lion fish. Don't ask me how I know this. I'm just that in with the Bahmaian culture. Or I can read.
This is the parade. It's loud. I'm pretty sure that my iPhone audio shut down at one point because it was so darn loud.
Stacy hung back with a tired Emily and we came back to find them both crashed. Cute.
The Seal Encounter
I'd looked into doing the Dolphin encounter in the Bahamas. It was looking like it would cost around a grand, and you didn't even get to take a dolphin home with you. I'd talked to people who'd done it, and they said it was good, but not unbelievable, and probably worth a grand. Ed shared with me that he'd signed Stacy up for the Sea Lion encounter and I piled on and surprised Emily with the same thing.
I love this picture on the left, because it looks like Stacy ahs a picture of Emily on her black t-shirt. They all loved it - Stacy (who had done the dolphin encounter) said it was even better than the dolphin swim.
Emily was in heaven. She came back with 1000 facts, including that this sea lion, who starred in my brother Jon's favorite movie: Andre.
They got to feed the sea lion, hug, swim - but not take a sea lion, or any clippings of the sea lion home.
The 40th Anniversary/Birthday Celebration
The main reason for the trip was to celebrate Mom and Dad's 40th anniversary. If you think about it, what an awesome thing it is in this day and age to stay together for 40 years. We went out to dinner, and the waiters came and did this great song for Mom and Dad.
At one point, Scuba diving was on my bucket list. About 12 years ago, I did it for the first time in the Bahamas. I'd gone scub diving out at the sunken bomber featured in James Bonds's Thunderball movie. Nate and I took Scuba Diving lessons in the Bahamas. We both passed, but Nate decided it wasn't for him. Probably has some of his dad's claustrophobic tendencies. I went diving in the cove area of the Atlantis. We saw all sorts of cool stuff, tiger fish, fed a zillion fish which I thought were going to maul me and my dive master found a pair of oakley sunglasses, which he didn't give to me.
The Mesa Grill
Ed & Stacy and Cathie and I took Cathie's Mom and Dad out for their anniversary, and to celebrate Cathie's Mom's 40th birthday (she had Cathie when she was very, very young). We went to famous chef's Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill and it was awesome.
The resturant was in a beautiful part of the resort, so we went around and took pictures.
including this sexy one of my wife:
Nate and Mom's Date
Nate has always been my sushi buddy, since his Mom and sisters want nothing to do with the stuff. The Atlantis features one of the best sushi chef's (Chef Nobu) restaurants in the world. He named it, humbly, Nobu. Nate loved doing this one on one with his Grandma. She let him order for the both of them and he was in heaven. They even brought me back a few pieces.
The Straw Market
If you've ever been to the Bahamas, you've probably been to the Straw Market, right off the cruise ship dock. It's some place to go, once. It's a giant market that sells every touristy "native" bahamian thing you can imagine, and they'll bargain with you on price
We took the water taxi over, and went right by the Oasis. It's the largest cruise ship in the world, 17 stories tall and holds 6000 people and 2500 crew. Huge.
We got to the straw market and split up. Nate went with me and the Mom took the girls. The girls soon figured out that if they stopped, looked or touched anything, they would immediately hear, "Pretty lady, would you like me to make you a deal on that
He's all of the stuff the kids ended up with...
Maddie and Nate were brave enough to go para-sailing. The same guy who was selling drugs on the beach was also the sales guy for the para-sailing rides. They cruised around 400ft in the air for about 20 minutes, having a great time. They had the conversation about how bad it would be if they got in a fight and un-hooked one-another from 400 feet. Good point.
Here's a video of them parasailing. No fear.
If you got to this post via facebook, click the link at the top to go to the actual post and see the videos. You can see all of the pictures in Picasa here and here.