When my mom called me about a year ago and mentioned planning a family vacation, I was excited. I mean, we all know how much I love a vacation! The problem is that there is a big difference between a vacation and a trip. You can take a trip, and it can be a complete chore. Maybe you have to take a trip for work. Or maybe you have to take a trip for other personal obligations. Just because you get to go somewhere cool, does not mean it is a vacation. Those of you who travel for work surely understand this.
So, upon second thought, when my mom mentioned a vacation, I was concerned this would end up being more of a trip. When I’m on vacation, I do not like to have a schedule. I do not like people telling me what I have to do, what I have to eat, or what I have to wear. I want to do what I want, when I want. That is what vacation is all about! My mom may say that’s because I’m a bitch. And, maybe that’s true. But it doesn’t change my opinion.
For our vacation, my parents chose Atlantis in the Bahamas. I thought this was a great suggestion as I’d never been to Atlantis, and I love going new places. But, as we started the planning, I realized how expensive Atlantis was! Four nights at Atlantis (not including food and drinks) cost more than the total cost of any trip the Man Child and I had taken in the past several years! Those of you who know me know that I love nice things, but I also like a good deal. I am always trying to figure out how I can travel for the cheapest amount possible (yet still take advantage of any and all available upgrades). I love taking advantage of travel clubs, rewards programs, and points. As an example, between points and a companion pass, the Man Child and I have not paid for a Southwest flight in over two years (and it looks like I’m about to qualify for a 2018 companion pass)…
But, back to Atlantis. The resort is expensive!! So, I was super skeptical. The Bahamas are absolutely beautiful, and, being close by, it is the perfect stop for a long weekend. However, there are so many great places that are reasonably priced. On top of that, as we got closer to leaving for Atlantis, my mom kept talking about the schedule and location of dinner each night. WHOA! WAIT! Is this a vacation or a trip? After a brief “disagreement” on the phone over where we wanted to eat, I decided just to “suck it up and get over it” (one of my mom’s favorite sayings)!
When the Man Child and I arrived at Atlantis, I was blown away by the size of the resort. The place is basically its own mini city. We stayed in the main tower, The Royal Towers. It was crowded, and the room was generic. We also had a nice view of the taxi stand. So far, not impressed. Bigger is not always better.
That first night we met my parents for dinner at one of the restaurants in The Cove (the luxury part of the resort. The food was fantastic! Though, my dad complained that it was quite expensive. No complaints from me as my dad picked up the bill (for every night we stayed at resort). Thanks, Dad!!! After dinner, we grabbed some drinks and spent some time touring (and losing money) in the casino. As we toured the resort, I began to see why Atlantis was so expensive. It’s a beautiful, themed resort with something for everyone. It is exactly like Disney. Those of you who read my previous post know how much I like Disney even though it is also overpriced. Ok. So, I can get behind Atlantis now!
Overall, Atlantis was a great place for a family vacation… and yes, I am calling it a vacation. I haven’t been that relaxed in a long time. I spent time floating through the river rapids, touring the aquariums, and reading a book by one of the many pools. There was something for everyone to do, so I didn’t have to worry about entertaining anyone. Even the Man Child found ways to keep himself busy. He did this mostly by losing our money in the casino and making friends with the bartenders. Either way, he was happy too.
Even though Atlantis had plenty to keep us busy, the Man Child and I wanted to explore the island and see some of the local culture. In particular, I wanted to find a local conch stand. On one of our morning runs, we ran over the bridge and found a series of local conch shacks down by the docks. Perfect. We stopped in a couple different places to try the conch. Each one of them was incredible! I had the best conch fritters I have ever had! The conch salad was delicious as well. Of course, I had to try the local concoction known as “Sky Juice.” It’s essentially gin and coconut water, and it is my new favorite drink! I can’t believe how good it tastes! On the last day of the trip, the Man Child even convinced my parents to join us for some local conch. My dad was skeptical and did not want to go. Begrudgingly, he joined us and cleaned his plate of fried fish! I think he’ll even admit that he enjoyed it. 🙂
And, just like that, our trip to Atlantis came to an end. We had a great time, and I am looking forward to the next family vacation! The Man Child and I flew back to Tampa that evening, and we had just enough time to unpack, re-pack, and get some sleep before our morning flight to Mexico. Up next, Puerto Vallarta!!!