Tag Archives: family

Bahamas Best Birthday Bash

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.

Paradise Island at top right of map

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.

Luggage and eight in a minivan

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.

What do you do with 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.

Our hotel's entrance

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 at Paradise Island

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.

How do I like my birthday in The Bahamas?

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 entire gang

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!

We loved our stay

see also: Pictures from wikimedia commons

and article on Nassau

Jim and Debbie

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©2007-2011 Dreamstreamr

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Dreamstreamers drop anchor

Hi there!  We’re in Kannapolis NC parked in Debbie’s parents’ yard.  Trailer is parked behind and a little below the house. This location is out of their way and a little out of sight, a good thing for our extended stay. Extended stay? The Dreamstreamers? Yep, we’re anchoring down for the spring and summer.

Our storage parking at the in-laws

Spring in NC is fantastic once you rinse the pollen from your eyelids and get over hay fever. Oh, and shovel the pollen off the truck EVERY day. Otherwise, there isn’t any prettier place as you can see from these pictures we took yesterday at my mom’s and at Debbie’s parent’s. Anything not blooming is getting ready to — the trees are gorgeous and the bushes and flowers are too.

flowers at Jim's mom's house

Beautiful flowers at Jim's mom's

We arrived in NC last week and had a wonderful homecoming. Our Chapel Hill airstream friends, Bea and Dave hosted us in their driveway a few days for frisbee, tennis, walking through the campus of our alma mater, fun dining, movies and NCAA basketball finals. then we moved a little south to Jordan Lake State Park for a well-attended airstream rally with our home unit, Carolinas Unit of NC.

Vista Point campground at Jordan Lake SP

Why are we settling down for the summer and not traveling? We had a guaranteed spot in a mid-summer caravan to Canada’s Maritime Provinces with our Airstream club. And we might well have bopped around New England afterward, following fall season changes down the continent back to NC. Sounds great, what’s wrong with all that?

We just couldn’t stand to miss all these great family events. Jim’s mom’s birthday, Deb’s niece’s wedding, Deb’s parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, our 10th wedding anniversary, and Jim’s 40th high school reunion all occur between May 14 and August 14. We canceled our caravan and travel plans and are looking forward to everything except summer weather in NC.

Summer is much more than 75 degrees many days in the greater Charlotte area. We’re not chasing 75 degrees for much of the next five months. It just makes sense to hang up the saddle and spurs and stay awhile, no matter what the weather. We like to think we’re fortunate, not stupid. We had the opportunity to make an important choice for family and will have to make the best of the weather.

What will the inveterate nomads do for five months? Other than Jim’s big maintenance plans (check out Thursday’s blog) for truck and trailer we have plenty to do. Not that we’re ever bored anyhow. Our biggest challenge persistently is how do we get to all the things we could do? Cool thing is, we have five months to fill and we’re looking forward to it.

We’ll visit with family and friends, attend a few local unit rallies, take a trip to see friends in Dayton OH (and attend Hamvention), attend WBCCI’s International Rally in DuQuoin, try to go to Helen GA in Georgia’s mountains for a few days, do a little sightseeing in mid-NC, work on our tennis game, and before we know it it’ll be time to hitch up and hit the road again.

Jim and Debbie

locate us here
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©2007-2011 Dreamstreamr

Holiday Surprises and Delights

This is the season for surprises and delights. Hopefully, the holiday is filled with delight and joy for all of us. We’re glad to be in North Carolina amongst our family during this season.

Monday we spent the day running errands in Charlotte. We had our semi-annual teeth cleaning and check-up, visited our financial advisor, picked up some needed items from a few local stores, and had a great lunch visit to Mr. K’s Soft Ice Cream and Drive-In. We didn’t get the ice cream — we always have a Mr. K burger with chili, slaw, and mustard, with some fries. Yum!

Tuesday we made a couple of holiday visits and spent a half-hour at our little storage unit. We dropped off a few things, like our backpacking gear and goose-down sleeping bags we won’t need in south Florida. We exchanged a few clothes (to freshen up our wardrobe), and picked up some things we’d been missing awhile like a few of our music CDs.

Our biggest surprise was to find things in our storage unit we didn’t remember storing. How did these things end up here? We spent a little longer than we expected as we peered into a couple of the boxes. Sometime in the next year or two we’re going to need an entire day to go through everything and thin it out.

Christmas visit with Chas

Christmas visit with Chas

Wednesday we had a short day trip to Asheville, NC, to visit Charles, Jim’s son. Asheville is 140 miles west of Kannapolis. Each mile westward we saw a little more snow and a little cooler temperatures so, by the time we arrived in Asheville, we found snow everywhere. Charles had a little time before going to work so we had a nice brunch and opened presents with him. It was great to see him again.

Snowy Western NC

Snowy Western NC

Western North Carolina received 12 – 18 inches of snow last Friday and we saw plenty of evidence of it during our drive. We thought you who may be in non-snowing climates might enjoy a couple of pictures. The pictures are probably a lot easier to manage than the roads, driveways, trees, gutters and other things subject to damage from snow and ice. Enjoy!

Christmas iHouse

Christmas iHouse

How can this keep happening? First we saw an iHouse in Everett, Washington. A few months later we were surprised and delighted to find an open model on display in Mesa, Arizona. We saw the iHouse on display in Austin, Texas, on our way across the states last week. And today we stumbled upon our fourth iHouse by Clayton Homes, on I-40 in Statesville, on our way home from Asheville to Kannapolis. This model unit hasn’t been announced or officially opened, but the nice folks at Clayton Homes in Statesville, NC, allowed us a long visit.

This visit we noticed one big difference — the North Carolina version of the iHouse has twelve inch, instead of no, roof overhangs on the long sides. Each time we visit one we figure out another thing about the house, and we find ourselves liking it even more. We could live in one of these. But we still know neither where we would want to put it, nor when.

The weather outside is frightful

The weather outside is frightful

The weather in Kannapolis is still cold. We are so ready to be in warm weather again. We miss playing tennis. We miss being warm (whoops, did we already say that?). But there’s a time and place for everything. There are things we need to do in this home territory, like our dental visit, a little truck service, banking, and the storage unit. And we’re glad we’re with family for Christmas.

We’ll see lots more family Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day, between Debbie’s family in Kannapolis and Jim’s family in Charlotte. We’re excited to see them all, it’s been many months since our last visit with many of them. The biggest surprises and delights are yet to come for us and for you. Be careful, be good, and be joyous. We’ll write again after Christmas, perhaps from sunny (and warm) south Florida.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you from both of us.

Jim and Debbie
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©2009 Dreamstreamr