Where better to celebrate a birthday than on Paradise Island, The Bahamas? Jim’s mom decided she wanted a special birthday we’d all remember. Jim, his brother and three sisters, and all the spouses joined Catie for nine days in June across the bay from Nassau, The Bahamas.
Our direct flight from Charlotte was only a couple hours, a pretty short flight. We arrived at the modernized Lyndon Pindling International Airport, just as nice as the Charlotte-Douglas Airport we’d just left. And the adventure begins.
How do you get eight adults and lots of luggage from the airport to the hotel? We crammed all in a small minivan with fold-down jump seats and luggage piled to the ceiling. It was a good fit for the twenty minute trip to the hotel. We were early and couldn’t get into but one of our rooms so we stowed luggage in the one room.
The grounds of the Comfort Inn on Paradise Island were very pretty, typical of a lot of places on the island. The hotel is bigger than it looks but only seemed crowded at check-in. The pool-side bar and breakfast bar weren’t crowded, what else matters? The rooms were clean and spacious and furnished with a refrigerator, comfortable bed, a table and a small sofa.
Three qualities of the hotel are outstanding:
- 1. Free breakfast buffet daily in the open-air restaurant near the pool,
- 2. Happy hour from 4-6 daily at the pool-side bar,
- 3. Free run of The Atlantis Resort amenities.
Our group (eleven of us) informally met daily at breakfast, wandering in whenever we felt like it before heading for the beach or town. The buffet included eggs, sausage, bacon, bagels, cereal, fruit, yoghurt, juices, tea, coffee, and milk. And we met a little more formally each day for happy hour. The UNC Tarheels men’s baseball team were still in the College World Series so we watched a little of that, we discussed dinner plans for the evening, and we enjoyed Chrystal’s hospitality. She ran the pool-side bar most afternoons and was a lot of fun, besides being very very good bartender.
The Atlantis Resort amenity of interest for us is the 141 acre water park. Daily use fee is $110 per person unless bundled with your hotel stay. The Comfort Inn provided this for us without extra charge. So we spent every day somewhere in the water park. Five days we played doubles tennis on the clay courts and enjoyed free stroke clinics there as well.
The Atlantis Resort is awesome, amazing, incredible, huge, and extravagant. Six thousand Bahamians work at The Atlantis, a sprawling hundreds of acres campus of hotels (2,300 rooms) and recreational amenities. Here’s a summary we found online:
- More than 20 swimming areas, including family pools, children’s pools, Goombay Water Slide & Baths, and lazy river for tube rides.
- Paradise Lagoon, a seven-acre saltwater swimming and water-sports area with snorkeling gear, kayaks, and pedal boats available for rent.
- Three miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches flanking entrance to Paradise Lagoon.
- Five waterslides built into a six-story Mayan Temple, including the Leap of Faith, a 60-foot, nearly vertical plunge running through a clear acrylic tunnel submerged in a shark-filled lagoon; a 48-foot corkscrew slide transporting tube riders through the Temple’s dark core; and shorter, gentler children’s slides connecting cascading pools.
- Sports center with six lighted clay and hard-surface tennis courts (surcharges); 27-yard, four-lane lap pool; fitness facility (surcharges) with free weights, cardio and weight machines, steam rooms, and workout studio for aerobics, spinning, kickboxing, yoga, and Pilates (surcharges).
- Dolphin Cay Atlantis, a 14-acre dolphin habitat, is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Guests can share in the dolphins’ playful shallow water antics or experience their speed and agility first-hand in the deeper waters.
- Aquaventure, a 63-acre waterscape, contains over 20 million gallons of water and features water slides, a mile-long river ride with rapids and wave surges, and special effects. Guests in inner tubes are propelled along by water escalators, waves, and water surges. Unlike traditional water slides that require the participant to leave the water and climb back to the start, AQUAVENTURE guests never have to leave the water as they are propelled back up the slide tower via water conveyors.
We hope we haven’t lost you. This post is really about the birthday celebration for Catie, Jim’s mom. Let’s see: spend days in beautiful Bahamian island surrounded by her children; free breakfast prepared daily near the hotel room; lunch on our own; happy hour with very nice drinks pool side; dinner out in nice restaurants on the harbor. This was a pretty nice get-together for everyone, and we think Jim’s mom enjoyed it as well as any of us.
The trip was an incomparable chance for Jim and his siblings, all the spouses and Catie to spend nine days together in a beautiful and fun-filled setting. Thanks, Catie!
see also: Pictures from wikimedia commons
Jim and Debbie