Half the California group didn’t get to our hotel on Paradise Island until 11:30 pm. Daughter Gina and I felt sure her sisters would be up to greet us. No such luck. They did leave a care package, with a nice note, at the reception desk.
Our daily routine included eating our fill of the continental breakfast spread, then hopping into our bathing suits and walking to the lovely Atlantis resort.
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Although we were there for nearly a week, we still didn’t see all of it. It covers 140 acres. It took 6,000 workers just 11 months to build the amazing $850 million attraction.
We staked out a spot at one of the many beautiful Atlantis pools, and used it as our day time base for the duration of our stay.
The grandkids occasionally checked in with us when they were hungry, otherwise they were taking advantage of all the park amenities.
I was to learn on this trip that my children were not to be trusted. After the adults sampled many of the water park attractions they insisted I join them.
I opted for the “Lazy River” ride, floating along peacefully on large, transparent inner tubes with some gentle rapids thrown in.
The girls next suggested something “a little more exciting.” This was called “The Abyss.” I should have taken a clue from the name. Before taking the turn into “The Abyss” one laughingly asked if my “affairs were in order.” That made me uneasy and I tried to opt out. Daughter Gina then reminded me of the small plaque on my refrigerator which reads, “Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You!”
Shortly after that we were thrown into utter darkness while our inner tubes were being flung about. I hung on for dear life. Even lost my hat in the melee.
The world’s largest water-theme attraction intrigued all of us. The Power Tower, a favorite of our group, featured four waterslides guaranteed to get your pulse racing: the Abyss, the Drop, the Falls and the Surge.
Our group travels on its stomachs. After our first night in a pricey burger place, we ordered takeout from various restaurants. We used the hotel’s breakfast area to spread out our buffet. After we ate there the first time other families joined us. Nassau imports 85 percent of its food. Steak dinners start at $125.
Each day of the trip the kids had a surprise for me.
These included a bathing suit cover up, a guided tour of Nassau, a water taxi ride to visit the shops on Bay Street, a necklace and anklet made with local stones, and a family photo taken in the Atlantis throne room. Guess who was sitting on the throne?
Para-sailing on the last day was another treat. Gina and I just wished the ride had lasted longer. The view from on high was wonderful; so peaceful and quiet.
It was a delight to swim in the beautiful, clear aquamarine ocean. The warm water is saltier than our San Diego beaches, so we felt quite buoyant.
When I asked the family what surprised them about Nassau, I got these comments: The overall friendliness of the island folk.
All drivers stopping at crosswalks. The police not carrying guns.
I guess there aren’t too many places for felons to hide on an island just seven miles wide, and 26 miles long.
“What economic problems?” my son-in-law Phil asked as we discussed the opulence of the Atlantis. Oracle Corp., the software company, must be doing very well.
The company treated the top 2,300 salespeople and their families to a week at the resort.
We stayed at the nearby Comfort Suites, and had Atlantis privileges.
One of my daughters mentioned the lack of income tax, and sales tax on the island, “but they sock it to the tourists.” Our hotel room tax was 18 percent, with additional charges of $5 for each person in the room, per day, for housekeeping.
(To be continued next week.)