Right before Christmas, my family and I made a trip to the Bahamas to Paradise Island. It wasn’t the most ideal time to go, but my daughter had a gymnastics meet there so off we went. I will tell you that it was quite stressful leading up to the trip just because things were hectic with the impending holidays. By the time the day to leave got here, I was just so ready to get it over with. We got up super early on Tuesday morning (the week before Christmas) and drove the long drive to South Carolina where we are from. We were flying to and from there so that we could spend Christmas with our families after our trip. We took two cars, one kid each, to accommodate luggage for 4 people for 2 weeks for two totally different climates and all of our Christmas gifts. We were loaded down! That drive is so long and miserable! Anyway, we got there sometime that evening, dropped our dog off with my father-in-law who was keeping her while we were away, and then we grabbed a bite to eat and went to my parents’ house to sleep. We had to get up super early again the next morning to get to the airport for our flight. By the time we got on the plane, we were all totally exhausted.
We arrived in the Bahamas around 11:00, but it was closer to 1:00 before we got to the resort. Traffic was really bad on the way there, and there were people all over the streets as there were 7 cruise ships in port. Our bus driver ended up taking us on a detour to try to avoid some of the traffic and congestion. We ended up in some really sketchy areas down these roads that were the size of one lane and one way traffic but were actually meant as 2 lane roads with 2 way traffic. Talk about some scary situations driving head on towards a car with nowhere to go! We learned that traffic signals and signs there are just a suggestion as we almost witnessed several accidents right in front of us. I was getting totally car sick with all of the stop and go and the fact that our driver took curves and turns at 90 mph. We also had not eaten, which didn’t help the situation. Needless to say our adventure began right away. On a positive note, our driver did give us a lot of information about the island and its history as we passed through different areas. We were so relieved to finally make it to the resort only to learn that our room wasn’t ready. The resort was totally jam packed the whole time we were there. Just the number of gymnasts there would make it crowded enough, but there were also 2 college football teams there for the Bahama Bowl. There were football players, band members, cheerleaders, and fans everywhere. There was even a pep rally one night in the lobby with the school mascots. It was crazy. Anyway, once we realized we couldn’t get into our room, we decided to grab some clothes out of our luggage so we could change out of the warm clothes we were wearing because we were now dying in the heat and humidity. We checked in our luggage with the front desk and headed outside to try to find some food.
Again, I was feeling sick, everyone was hot, we were all exhausted, and we were starving. To say we were all grumpy is an understatement. We finally found a place to eat that had something that my youngest could eat and got in the long line to order our food. I swear it took like an hour to get through the line just to order. I honestly thought I was going to pass out! Once we finally got some food in us, we started to feel so much better and our room was finally ready. We got changed into bathing suits and decided it was time to have some fun. We walked around outside exploring and eventually made it to the beach. I have to say that the view was gorgeous, and I finally started to feel like we on vacation. Of course the girls jumped right in even though the water was freezing. My husband and I made a spot in the sand and just enjoyed the view and laughing at the girls in the water. That was our one and only day the whole trip that we got to enjoy the warm sun. The rest of the days were overcast, rainy, incredibly windy, and cold. That really stunk, but we did our best to make the most of it, including freezing our tails off in the water park and pools the rest of the time. We also spent a lot of time inside and in our room thanks to the rain, but I think we all really needed that. We needed the time to just rest. I think I got more sleep in those few days than I have all year. It was so nice. Over all, though, despite the fiasco of the first day and the crummy weather, we had a great time. We had some great gymnastics, enjoyed some cultural experiences, ate a lot of ice cream, got tons of rest, and enjoyed time together as a family. I would say it was a great trip.
I do have to admit, though, that although we had a great time, I am not sure that we will ever plan to go back. My husband and I just aren’t beachy/island people. We really don’t enjoy the ocean or island life as much as most do. Meals were also a challenge for our family while we were there. None of us eat any kind of seafood, we are all a little picky, and with my youngest daughter’s eating issues, it was difficult to find food each day. Maybe if the weather had been better and it hadn’t been Christmas, I might feel a little better about going back, but I doubt it. It is just not for us. Don’t get me wrong. We had a great time and really enjoyed the views and our time together. It is just not our premier vacation destination. Of course, my girls would go back in a heartbeat because they love that kind of stuff. Who knows? Maybe we will change our minds and head back there one day. All I know for sure is that it was a great little unexpected vacation, and I am happy that we got to experience it.