Saturday, November 16, 2013

Vacation: Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas

Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to spend 4 days in the Bahamas with John, my sister and her boyfriend. 
It came right as I was starting to get over my cold and right when I needed a break from work and the ever worsening winter weather. 

We flew in to Nassau on the Thursday morning and quickly changed into bathing suits and hit the beach with some vacation beers.

We stayed at the Harbourside resorts for the first night before moving to the Coral Towers for the remaining two. 

Atlantis has several communities I suppose you could call them: Harbourside was where the insane multi-million dollar boats come to dock. We oohed and ahhed and wondered how the other half lived. Then I checked myself a realized how lucky I already was being able to afford to jet away to the surf and sand for a few days.

For dinner one night we hit up the highly recommended Fish Fry, a kind of plaza of restaurants over the bridge from Paradise Island on the main island.

The food was amazing and way better priced than the tourist stuff on Paradise Island. 
Plus the food was more traditional of the Bahamas and not the standard Western fare we found in Atlantis. 
I wanted chicken and fish (weird but true) and more local eats rather than Quiznos and Starbucks and Johnny Rockets.

I ordered the chicken with rice and peas, coleslaw and plantain.
Robin got lobster, Aaron got grouper, and John got red snapper.
I tried all three of their seafood options and can honestly say I would have ordered any of them had I gone back.
The red snapper was particularly delicious.

We spent most of our nights there wandering around the vast grounds, walking through the aquarium at night and taking in the views.

We were also lucky enough to get the 'Taste of Atlantis" package which included a free drink or food samples at many of the restaurants.
Continuing to surprise myself, I drank my margarita and really enjoyed it.
Note: In first year university I ruined tequila for myself and haven't been able to even smell it since.

Eating fish and drinking tequila. Big changes.
AND - I didn't get seasick on our catamaran trip!

We booked a 3 1/2 hour sail around the island, drinking up the sun (and rum punch) and snorkeling on a reef full of colourful fish.
This is where I got a bit seasick and had to return to the boat after about 30 mins of riding up and down the waves and getting mouthfuls of salt water.

That night we ventured to another string of restaurants under the bridge to get a highly recommended (by my sister and her boyfriend who had already been once) conch salad.
Had I known what conch looks like prior to this I probably would not have eaten it but I didn't, and I tried it, and it was better than I anticipated.
(I also had a mussel the night we went out to Cafe Matisse and spent most of our money on wine and Italian food.)

Basically I think seafood is slowly starting to catch on.

Behind the restaurant we saw where they were keeping the conch

so we asked if we could have a shell to bring home.
Our host kindly agreed and brought us two shells before we headed back (in the rain) to Atlantis.
We stayed up late talking and drinking proseco and when we began to pack up our stuff, Aaron commented how heavy our shells felt. 
Sure enough when we peaked in we discovered that our shells had only been cleaned superficially and the inhabitants were still very much alive inside of their shells.

Long story short, we didn't bring those shells home.
Being a collector of shells from most places I go, I was disappointed.
But the trip was so full of crazy adventures that in the end it didn't matter.

Things I don't have pictures of (yet): going down all of the fast and often very steep (the Leap of Faith is almost a complete vertical drop before you fly through the shark tank) water slides, spending hours floating down the not-so-lazy river (complete with rapids), and WALKING WITH REEF & NURSE SHARKS.

John has those pictures and video.
I'll share them as soon as I get them!

The Bahamas can be expensive but Atlantis is never boring. 
And it may be the place that finally convinced me that seafood ain't so bad.

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