August 21, 2010
We are sitting at Miami International Airport waiting for our delayed flight. When our plane finally pulls up, I nervously look at Jarvis who has also just spotted the small prop plane draw to a halt outside of the window. He has had a dislike for flying since I met him, and the small plane factor just induced a look of panic in his eyes. We walk out on the tarmac and up the fold out stairs onto the plane – surprisingly, the flight was probably the smoothest I had ever experienced, and the view of the crystal blue waters as we fly into the Caribbean is dazzling. Jarvis is thankful to be on land once again as we pull into the airport in Nassau. Immigration, customs, bags, and a bus ride later, we finally arrive on Paradise Island. We spent four nights at the Atlantis Beach Resort, and while the island is epically sweet, there is also a bit of sour that comes with it.
There are several swimming pools that maze around the property resort. They range in temperature, treatment, and atmosphere. I became a fan of the zero entry pools that gradually go from one inch to five plus feet – they remind me of walking into the ocean, plus they are treated with salt water. The fact that I like this pool may lend partially to the fact that it is the closest to the beach bar where Jarv and I liked to grab a happy hour beverage each afternoon. We both agree that the place to be is always the closest bar to the beach.
We spent hours floating around “The Current,” one of the more not-so-lazy lazy rivers on the property. There are wave machines, rapids and tube slides along the way that keep the ride wet and out of the ordinary. We buddy up on a two for one tube and hang out for the better part of the hot day. There are several different waterslides here, and even one that shoots you through a clear tube that is surrounded by swimming sharks…pretty flippin’ awesome.
On the property you will also find an underground aquarium called “The Dig” which gives you insane views of thousands of different tropical fish, marine snails, evil eels, sharks, and rays. This is one of my favorite attractions and I am awed by the beauty of the gracefully floating creatures.
The beaches here are also beautiful, and I have never seen such crystal blue colors. The water is warm and carries a slight sulfur aroma and soft white sands line the seashore. Downright magnificence. The Bahamas are truly a little slice of paradise and as we sit on our balcony and watch the sunset over the water, we toast our locally brewed Kaliks to how blessed we are to be here now in the company of one another.
Yes, with almost every sweet, there comes a sour, and in this case it was the insane markup on items that we Americans take for granted on a daily basis. For example…a one liter bottle of water at the Atlantis costs nine dollars and seventy-five cents. A slice of cheese pizza runs you seven dollars (we actually got a “family size” twelve inch cheese pizza for dinner one night that cost thirty-five dollars). I laugh out loud when we go scope the menu at the Chop Stix, the one Asian restaurant on Paradise, and see that an order of Pad Thai is thirty-three frigin’ dollars. A case of Coors Light, at the duty free store mind you, runs fifty bucks….even a case of the local beer goes for near seventy dollars as they charge three dollars a beer. Crazy. Jarvis and I took a cab to town so we could grab a few things from the grocery and avoid paying for some of our meals. We stocked up on Cup of Noodle, PopTarts, Potato Chips and Lunchables. The cab to and from the store, probably a five mile roundtrip journey runs us thirty-eight bucks. I understand that we are on an island in the middle of the Caribbean and all, but I know the locals aren’t paying these prices so I’m a bit discouraged that we are being price gouged.
The second part of the sour comes with the majority of people that choose to vacation here. Jersey Shores called and said they want their cast back!
All in all, we had a charming time on the island. My tan is living proof. We flew back to Miami and we were both a bit delighted to be back in the country and back in our home – the car. Yesterday Jarvis drove us up the entire East Coast of Florida and we checked into a motel in Fernandina Beach just a little jaunt south of Georgia. We had dinner at the tiki bar on the beach and then got drunk with some locals at The Seabreeze Sports Bar Next Door. We are both comforted to be back in the company of some middle class, hard working, shit talking Americans.