Nassau, Bahamas

New Providence Island
2 - 6 June, 2005

Commonwealth of the Bahamas national flag The Bahamas map

It was a spur-of-the-moment trip. Besides, we'd never been there before!
We'd also never stayed at an RIU resort, so we gave that a shot. It turned out
to be very okay (I'd give it 3 or 4 stars). Most of Nassau's tourist-oriented lodgings
seem to be situated on Paradise Island, a moderate-sized spit of real estate
accessed via a causeway from New Providence Island. In fact, our high rise hotel
was adjacent the opulent, behemoth Atlantis resort, in which we spent an afternoon
wandering about.

We left Denver International at 12:40 A.M. on the 2nd of June, and even with stops
in Atlanta and Orlando, we were on the beach by midafternoon that very same day.
We had flown over some of the western Bahamas on previous trips. This chain of cays,
islands and reefs, of which 30 are inhabited, has less land mass above water than the state
of Connecticut. They have over 2,000 miles of coastline altogether, a population of over 300,000
souls... and more warm weather than Wyoming!

Red-eyed & DRIVE ONNA LEFT!!!
Hire a taxi,
ya hay seed!
Ready for a public stroll!
Ben has a
unique fashion
sense, yo.
Still going after 20 hours awake!
2nd June:
'S go down
to the beach.

We always spent a portion of each day on the beach and by the pool,
but there were times when Alissa had an insatiable tourist agenda.
On our second day, we headed into a nearby cafe and she tried conch fritters, washed down
with the standard umbrella-covered fruit beverage. I didn't get to try the conch,
being highly allergic to shellfish. Alas, she couldn't even describe the taste for
me. We then wandered Atlantis, with its shops, its lagoon/aquarium...
Regrettably, we missed out on a sa-weet deal for a timeshare condo! Awww...

Aphrodisiacs: Conch & Rum
Fritters and
fruit beverages:
June 3rd lunch
'I wish... I wish I were a fish...'
Marine life
at Atlantis resort,
3 June, 2005
A little shaved off the top, eh?
Sharks are common
in the Bahamas
3 June, 2005

On our third morning (June 4th), we took a day trip to Stuart Cove. From there,
we were ferried to three different snorkeling sites. Two were close-in reefs, the last was
considerably different: treading water some 60 feet above a suspended chum bucket.
If we were afraid of running into sharks at the first two reefs, then this was an awe-inspiring
shock. The usual schools of fish churned at the bait, while the sharks would arc into the
melee, ripping away fleshy chunks. What really surprised me the most were the enormous
groupers. They looked like Kenworth semi's, going round and round, with headlight eyes
that seemed to stare at me. No souls in those bodies!

In the sprawling Atlantis lobby...
One of Chihuly's
glass sculptures.
Atlantis, 3 June.
These speed boats are all over the place. Salt Cay beyond.
Hired transport,
from the hotel.
3 June
Dressing like you're gay keeps the land sharks away!
Fire and Tar
on snorkel day
4 June, RIU

So, there we were, gently moving with the swell, our masked faces watching the frenzy below.
Uncharacteristically cold upwellings would surround us from time-to-time, and the surface of the usually-gentle
tropical sea rollicked more intensely as the day grew long. By the time we'd all climbed into the wildly-bobbing
dive boat, we were in a vicious squall, and we saw the approaching shoreline disappear behind a curtain
of rain. Later in the evening, true-to-form, a glasslike North Atlantic faded to black with nightfall.

Waiting for the bus to Stuart's Cove
Waiting for
a ride to the
Cove, RIU
Got legs. Got flippers, a mask & a snorkel too!
Heading out from
Stuarts Cove for
snorkeling, June 4
If the ocean's kickin', go with the flow!
Heavy surf,
Paradise Island,
5 June, RIU

The fourth morning of our stay dawned a bit windy, and we received an early phone call
from the concierge that our day trip to Exuma (via speedboat) had been canceled due to
heavy seas. The waves at Paradise island crashed ashore with a gleeful vengeance, to the delight
of the throngs of sunbathers. We took a little conciliatory hike toward the east along the seaside, terminating
at a huge, flat, black limestone slab. I am certain that both sets of our parents have stood here.
Alissa foraged for seashells, and I took pictures. This was our last full day here. She wasn't ready to go home yet.

Come ON! I am searching for the motherload of shells!
north shore of
Paradise, 5 June
Our parents may have stood here as well.
You can see
RIU & Atlantis,
Paradise Island
A mile from the resort
Limestone slab,
Paradise Island,
5 June

We spent a little time at pool side, then we headed back up to the room to "dress"
for dinner. The RIU lays out a huge buffet for each meal, so dining out is unnecessary.
Unlike our experiences at Sandals Resorts (which we love!), RIU was double casual.
We could have eaten meals in our pajamas if we wanted to.

Mrs. and Mr. Boykin
She looks good!
Him on the other
hand... 5 June
View from the beach staircase, Paradise Island
RIU Hotel,
formerly the
Is that the sign of the queen???
Dramatic sun
effect, Nassau
5 June

We packed up and waited for a taxi in the lobby the morning we left the Bahamas.
On the way home, a massive storm blew into Atlanta, grounding us there overnight.
Delta Airlines was kind enough to find us a hotel for the night,
which extended our vacation an extra day. Too bad we couldn't have
stayed on Paradise Island that night!

Gee-whiz, that was a quick holiday!
One last look
from the balcony.
6 June, RIU
One last authentic Bahama Mama, please...
Lobby Bar, RIU,
Paradise Island,
6 June
Alissa's fancy necklace...
One of Alissa's
good buddies,
6 June, RIU