Friday, May 11, 2012

The Bahama Mama

 Have you ever had a set of pictures that you just cannot look at enough?  That's this set for me.

We're baaaaaack!  Yes folks, we got back from our amazing vacation to the Bahamas on Monday night and  let's just say we both got b -i -you know what slapped back to reality when the plane hit the mainland, but even that reality check was well worth the trip!  5 days of sun, sand, and fun.  Woohoo!

B and I had started talking about a tropical vacation back in February and were originally shooting for a Carribean cruise.  I have never been on a cruise, nor to the Carribean, so we figured it would be perfect.  The problem we found was that the cruises all follow a certain pattern of days, and the way my custody agreement is worked out, the timeline just was not working as far as babysitting went.  So, we talked about it, and agreed on the Bahamas.

I am very much a budget traveler and B is very much NOT a budget traveler.  So I just go along with whatever he decides.  100% of the time it is way nicer than anything I have ever experienced so who am I to direct?!  Our accommodations in the Bahamas fell right into that pattern.  5 nights at The Cove at Atlantis.  Google it my friends... it was AMAZING.  (Amazingly expensive too but I'll get to that later!)  We also flew first class (again, this budget traveler was feeling VERY pampered and VERY out of her normal element!) and that was a HUGE treat!  The one bummer was that our flight out was a red-eye and although that worked perfectly for our busy schedules, we were definitely tired our first day on Paradise Island.

Basically B did a whole lot of this:
(and he looooved the fact that there were blackjack tables by the pool!)

And I did a whole lot of this:

And together we did a whole lot of this:

The first few days we were there it was crazy windy and slightly chilly when it was shaded.  I attempted to sunbathe that first afternoon but that didn't last long and the second day was a little better.  We found out from a few people that we got there JUST at the right time!  Apparently Sat/Sun/Mon were monsoon rains and it was FREEZING!!!  Let's be honest folks, had the weather been that way when we were there I would have been SO UPSET!  But thankfully, we just missed that.  And instead we got weather that just got better and better each day of the trip!

The resort was really cool.  There are 5 different towers, each with its own signature personality so to speak.  The Cove is the most exclusive because it is the newest and also adults only.  The pool is AWESOME, with a live DJ, beds IN THE POOL, and an awesome semi-private beach.  The pool was definitely the somewhat redeeming quality for the ridiculous price tag.

Day 3 we decided to head into downtown Nassau (the resort is over a bridge onto a stretch called Paradise Island and is very secluded) and participate in my favorite sport... jewelry shopping!  If there is one thing those Bahamians love it is diamonds!  All colors, shapes, sizes, etc.  I think there are probably 25 jewelry stores all in a row.  When we were driving in from the airport I was just all smiles seeing the signs for them!  I think B knew he was in trouble at that point! haha.  But, alas, he is a great sport and power jewelry shopped with me for somewhere around 4 hours.  Even I was starting to get sick of it!  

I learned a few things.  1. There are "blue diamonds", and they are very popular in the Bahamas!  They are cognac diamonds that are heated up to create a turquoise blue color and are gorgeous!  2. Bahamians totally love to negotiate, which is right up my alley.  and 3. Wear a big floppy hat, large sunglasses, and some tall shoes and people act like you're a movie star!  Seriously... I have never gotten so many compliments in my life.

When we started our shopping extravaganza I was just excited to try on all kinds of diamonds.  I figured if I found something I really liked I might get it, but there were SO SO SO many different colors and styles, etc. When we started getting to store 8. 9., 10 I decided that a blue diamond something or other would be a good idea.  Afterall it was sort of a Bahamian signature!  So I told B that a blue diamond would be a great "souvenir" and he laughed and just told me to pick out something I liked.  A gazillion stores later, we ended up at the 2nd store we had walked into because it was obvious that the quality of their jewelry was very good, and also the owner had negotiated a great price.  Ironically the piece that I went back for was NOT the one we ended up with!  I chose this one :)

 It is white gold and the sides are sort of a "cathedral" setting with a blue diamond in the center, white halo diamonds, and then two little "snake eye" diamonds on the sides.  The snake eyes are actually what made me choose it!  I had never really seen that before and I also like that the band is very thick and sturdy.  I had originally chosen one with a thinner band but it had little white diamonds going all the way up and down the cathedral sides.  If you're a woman who loves diamonds, you hopefully just understood that.  If not, I chose more gold less diamonds in simple terms.... oh and a more unique design :)

I also love that it is very dainty and that I can wear it to work every day to think about my honey and our awesome vacation!  What a guy, that handsome man!

Now on a different note, the Bahamas are certainly not the culinary capital of the world.  The resort luckily had some celebrity chef chains that were delicious such as Nobu and MESA Grill.  Those dinners were great.  We also had dinner at the One & Only Resort at their restaurant called the Dunes.  That was by far the most romantic meal of my life.  So gorgeous.  The food was incredible.  We had champagne... ugh just PERFECT!  But like all resorts, there was a buffet and for some reason I felt compelled to check it out.  We had dinner there one night and it was ok (I got sick for eating too quickly but chalked it up to me being STARVING and tired).  And on our second to last day there, I begged B to have breakfast with me there... we didn't have a formal breakfast our entire trip.  Since he likes to make me happy, he said ok.

Here were my selections on the first round:
This is what I managed to eat:
And this is the result!  Omg.  I was SOOOOO sick.  Too much food. Wayyyyyy too many carbs.  And me running to the bathroom 3x to go barf it all back up.  Sigh.  No more buffets for me.  I have indeed learned my lesson.

But not the entire trip was sunning myself and eating great food.  I managed to score a coupon for a swim with dolphins!  That is just one of those "bucket list" items that I have always wanted to experience so I was SUPER excited about it.  It turned out to be really fun and B was kind enough to photograph the whole thing for me.  Lucky me because 2 5x7 photographs were, get ready for it..... ready???... $70!!!! OMG.  Although I knew that B would probably just tell me to get them, I cannot fathom paying $70 for something that costs these people $.25.  Un freaking believable.  But that seemed to be the theme our entire trip... ridiculously expensive!  Anyway, here I am all suited up to swim with Hercules the dolphin!

 We had a fabulous trip.  There is a casino at the resort which we enjoyed thoroughly.  We loved the sunshine and hanging out by the pool.  But most of all we loved just getting to spend time together without being pulled in a zillion different directions.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we were locked off from civilization... no cell service!  And no internet in our hotel tower.  So it was 5 days without my cell phone and I did have to email my mom when we were in Nassau to tell her I was alive and where to call in case of emergency, but other than that, no computers.  Nothing.  Just us.  It was heavenly.

What did I learn on my trip?  If you are with the right person, spending that amount of time together is just plain easy.  When we got home I was so sad to kiss him goodbye (I act so dramatic... we saw each other 2 days later).  I am so grateful to have him and that he is just so darn sweet to me.

With that said, I got a surprise today at work:
 Just a little early Mother's Day cheer from him to me.  But the best part... he included both our kids' names (my two and his son) on the card.  So darn thoughtful!  I am a VERY lucky lady!

And to all the mamas out there, I hope you have an awesome Mother's Day!  Enjoy the weekend and get pampered! xoxo