Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Break From The Cold

We've been away.  Last week was spring break and we decided to flee the forty degree temperatures of our home state and head south to the Bahamas.  It was a short trip but worth it in every way. 

We had an amazing vacation but a completely dismal journey.  Every problem that a family can have while travelling, we had - and I'm not just talking about our trip down to the Caribbean.  We had just as horrid a time getting back home.  You couldn't pay Gordy and I to ever fly American Airlines ever again. 

Just put away that wallet, it's not going to happen. 

But our journey of calamities is a story for another post.  Right now, let's just dwell on these beautiful children and this beautiful locale.  You can almost feel the 86-degree-ness, can't you.

This is our family's second trip to the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas -  a Disney World-like place of water slides and aquariums.  Our first trip was three years ago and only Henry was tall enough to go on the water slides.  This time around, Georgia had finally reached that 48-inch mark and she happily tried every slide in the park.  Sadly, Josie was stuck on the mini-slides of the main pool and even though she tried to be a good sport about it, she found it hard watching her brother and sister have all the fun.

I compared Atlantis to Disney World for a reason.  Like it's mouse-eared cousin, Atlantis is REALLY crowded.  I took all these photos on one morning and the only reason why you don't see the thousands of people swimming around my children, is that I used my telephoto lens and cropped out the strangers. 

We didn't go to Atlantis during an official school vacation week the last time we went and going during the entire Eastern Seaboard's spring break this year made a noticeable difference in the crowds.  This was particularly obvious in the length of lines to get to the water slides.  Gordy, who loves slides as much as his children, took Henry and Georgia and patiently waited in the long lines for the inevitable quick trip down to the bottom.

But we had plenty of relaxing down time as well.  We got to the pools super early on our first full day and had a few moments of relative privacy before the crowds woke up and joined us in the pool.

Henry and Georgia (and Gordy) could only float peacefully for so long and the minute the big slides opened for business, they were back in line with the masses.  Josie and I did a lot of waiting at the bottom for the big kids and their dramatic splash.

Neither of us minded the waiting.  It's hard to be upset when it's sunny and hot.

This is a water slide that ends with a trip through a clear tube inside the shark tank:

Gordy and Georgia rode in a double tube:

Here they are from inside the shark tank:

Here is Henry, a few minutes later:

Henry and his friend the shark, that is.

Later on, we all rode the Rapid River ride.  We actually did this feature many times each day, as it is one of the only rides that Josie could do too.

If the above picture does not give you an accurate view of the massive crowds, the below photo might do a better job. 

Atlantis was obviously the go-to destination for all east coast spring breakers.  And most of the Midwestern and West Coast spring breakers as well.

Have I mentioned that it was very, very crowded?

Don't worry.  We didn't let the crowds get us down.  We were willing to share the sunshine with every body.   Plus, we figured  that they needed the warmth as much as we did.

Which brings us to this:

An almost vertical drop from a pyramid into a shark tank.  Sounds horrible, no? 

Well, not to Georgia or Gordy.  And eventually, not to Henry either.  It was terrifying to watch, but three of our five gave the Leap of Faith a try.

And two us stood at the bottom and watched.


And this is the exact moment that my camera lens stopped working. 

The rest of the photos from the trip - taken with my mini, point-and-shoot camera, I will show you later.  We need to spread the sunshine out a little.  After all, I am home now and it is 40 degrees and raining as I type this.  Remember when I said there was no spring in New England?  I wasn't joking.

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