Personal Post: Vacation in Paradise

Eric and I are celebrating our 5-year wedding anniversary in June and planned an island getaway. June also happens to be a very busy work month (Hello, June brides!) and the rainy season in the Bahamas, so we decided to celebrate early.

We took a trip to the Atlantis with our families about seven years ago and loved it, so we decided it was time to go back. The Atlantis is an amazing hotel that includes beaches, a water park, lagoons, aquariums, fine dinning, a spa and casinos.

After the long cold winter we were both excited to spend some time on the beach. We arrived on the property around 4:00 and went straight out to admire the turquoise waters and watch the sunset.

I love this photo Eric took of me on the beach on our first day. The sky looks gorgeous and I am so happy to be on vacation!

The Atlantis is divided into Beach Towers, Coral Towers and Royal Towers, pictured below. The architecture and design really showcase the feeling of an underwater world.

Even though we planned to go during April when the average monthly rainfall is around two inches, instead of June which is around seven, we got stuck in some major storms. For four of the six days we were marooned indoors watching the rain fall and the palms tilt sideways in the wind.

It was depressing. We had new bathing suits, sunglasses, hats and sandals that were barely worn. At the hotel lobby a man told us, “It’s the saddest thing, sitting on my nightstand is a large bottle of sun screen, never opened.”

Eric and I made the most of our vacation with some amazing meals at Bobby Flay’s MESA (below), Virgil’s Barbecue, and Nobu.

We also enjoyed some truly delicious drinks, like this favorite, the Miami Vice, half piña colada and half strawberry daiquiri. Mmm… I could go for one right now!

A great way to spend a rainy day was exploring the Atlantis aquariums. As it says on their website, “the marine habitats and aquarium exhibits—lagoons, caves, coral formations and breathtaking underwater ruins showcase exotic marine life including sharks, rays, barracuda, piranha, eels and even the endangered alligator gar. Atlantis hosts the largest exhibit in the Caribbean and one of the largest in the world encompassing 14 lagoons, eight million gallons of salt water and more than 50,000 aquatic animals representing over 250 marine species.”

I don’t care for gambling, but I love walking through the casino to see some of the brilliant art on display. Dale Chihuly is one of my favorite living artists. His elaborate, massive glass sculptures are featured in gardens, museums and special exhibits all over the world. In the Atlantis casino he has two works titled the Sun and the Moon that burst out towards the ceiling.

On our last evening the rain let up and we were able to take a few rides through the Mayan Temple. Eric is much braver than me and shot down through the Leap of Faith, while I grabbed a tube and went down some less vertical drops. The slides around the Mayan Temple actually flow through a shark tank. It is awesome!

We were also able to take one last walk on the beach and spotted this little guy making his way through the sand and the crazy Laughing Gull below.

This bird makes a sound like, “ha ha ha” which gave it it’s name, the “laughing gull.”

Our plane ride back to NYC had a beautiful view out the window.

Despite the rain, we had a wonderful vacation. Next year? Europe!

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  1. Angela Pritchett

    May 9th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    WOW!!! These pics look great! I remember when my family went in 2002. We took a brief tour of Atlantis too! We were lucky enough to see a guy cleaning the fish tank and being surrounded by stingrays!

  2. jennie a

    May 10th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    looove the birds and hermit crab. so bummed i didn’t check out atlantis when i just visited — next time! and europe next year?! i’m sooo there!

    great post, jess!

  3. Jessica Schmitt Photography - Personal Post: Celebrating Five Years

    June 4th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    […] and hope that they feel the same way. We celebrated our five-year anniversary early by going to the Bahamas, but we also wanted to do something on June 2, the actual anniversary of the day we were married. […]

  4. Personal Post: Visit the Butterflies and Save the Monarchs - - Jessica Schmitt Photography Blog

    September 10th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    […] but every now and then I like to include a personal post. I’ve blogged about a trip to the Bahamas and the Pittsburgh Zoo, and now I’m excited to share some images from a trip to a butterfly […]

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