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Bahamian Shenanigans

I already briefly touched on most of our shenanigans in the Bahamas in this post, but I have just a couple more things before we get to the food stuff.

We arrived last Monday around noon and after checking out our rooms, most of us headed down to that beautiful beach.

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We had a quick kick-off meeting that my CEO led at 3:30, which was in a boardroom inside but no one really minded. We just showed up in our bathing suits, drank the booze that was in the room, and then all headed back down to the beach afterwards.

After a group dinner we decided it would be fun if we all went to the Atlantis Paradise Island casino, so we all met in the piano bar beforehand.

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This ended up being my favourite bar on the resort. I loved the staff there.

Of course, no piano bar is complete without a piano man.

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And no piano man singalong is complete without Billy Joel’s Piano Man. So of course I requested it.

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I know I look like I am yelling at the piano man in the above photo, but I am just singing “SING US A SONG, YOU’RE THE PIANO MAN!!!” and I was pretty into it. So was he. So was everyone! Singing along with our group I think was one of my favourite memories of the trip. Someone has a video of it, so that will be hilarious to watch.

Anyway, drinks happened with new friends…

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And then we all piled into a couple of van cabs and made our way to Atlantis. It is not a short ride, just a heads up. It’s at least 20 minutes. But we got there.

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This is the only picture I have from Atlantis. We walked into the casino area and everyone lost everyone immediately. It was impossible to find anyone in there and no one’s phone was working so we couldn’t call anyone to track them down. Evan and I had a hard enough time keeping track of just each other. After wandering around for a bit I set up shop at a blackjack table. I am not a fan of slots because I feel like I just put all my money in there and it never comes back to me, but with blackjack I feel like I have more control. I ended up winning $50 in about an hour, so I more than doubled our money! Evan and I took our winnings and used it to get back to our resort. I was pretty happy with my $50, but I found out later that my coworker won $200 on the penny slots! Maybe I need to rethink the slots…

It is my DREAM, my absolute dream, to go to the Atlantis water park one day, it just looks ridiculous. So obviously we are going to have to go back. We only saw the casino, but it was still a fun time.

Day 2 was breakfast – beach – snorkeling adventure – lunch – Scents of love couples massage – pool

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Shower + get ready – romantic dinner for 2 (more on this when I talk food) – party time.

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We found everyone in the piano bar and brought them over to the English Pub (called Crickets and they had the best mozzarella sticks ever) where quite the limbo competition was going on. This guy was pretty impressive.

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He lost there with that hand on the floor, but still he was very limber.

It was a fun night with the coworkers and their friends and (not pictured) lovers.

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And our boss.

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I don’t want to name drop here or give you the wrong impression that I am important, but there were a few VIP’s (on the business front) on this trip with us and it was pretty interesting to see them letting loose in vacation mode.

Eventually we made it outside since it was gorgeous out. And you tell me this pool doesn’t look inviting.

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We wanted in there. We talked about going back to our rooms and getting into our bathing suits, but if I went back to my room I wasn’t coming back out… and the girls agreed. I brought up going in as we were, in our clothes…and surprisingly the girls were in. So, when in the Bahamas…

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Just like our midnight swim in Jamaica. Only this time we didn’t get kicked out of the pool. No one seemed to care at all. We actually played volleyball for a while. And just sat around shooting the you know.

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Quite a time. The funniest thing about these photos is our boss is taking them. 

Day 3 we rolled out of bed and into our bathing suits, and then over to the buffet. After breakfast we hit up the private island where we swam in that amazing ocean for hours and hours.

One of my coworkers was being a paparazzi.

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We were frolicking.

It was such a beautiful day.

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We ate lunch on the island, came back to shore and at lunch again in the snack bar and then hit up the pool for the rest of the afternoon.

Our last night was a big group dinner with everyone off the resort. And that about sums up the activities. More to come on food stuff!

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Sandals Royal Bahamian: Our Resort

As I mentioned, several times, we stayed at the beautiful Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas. I feel pretty lucky to have stayed there as I think a Sandals would typically be out of the ol’ price range over here.

Past resorts that I have stayed at and written about are the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton in Lucea, Jamaica, and also the Brisas Guardalavaca in Holguin, Cuba. I like to get detailed about the resort not only so that I can have a record of where I stayed, but also for other people who are thinking of staying there and are looking for info about it (a blog reader actually stayed at our resort in Jamaica after I wrote about it, and maybe she was humouring me but she did say it was because of my review).

Let me tell you I wish there was a blog post like this one when I was researching about the Royal Bahamian before we left. Sure, you can check out Trip Advisor, but I find the reviews on there are pretty hit or miss. You never know who the reviewer is, and some people just like to complain, ya know? I like to know what to expect.

Anyway, let’s get to it. It was pretty ridiculously beautiful. If you are into the whole sun, sand, and being pampered kind of thing.

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Which I am. And I feel like this is my climate.

This is apparently the oldest Sandals location and people in our group did say it was the most run down Sandals they had been to, and I also read that in some reviews. I am probably not the best person to ask about that because it looked friggin’ nice to me and I was impressed…but just keep in mind that it’s been around for a while. It seemed to me like they did a pretty good job with the upkeep, and most of it has been refurbished.

Our room was great.

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Just fabulous. I love a good four poster bed.

And I was quite a fan of this:

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This is my third all-inclusive and I have never had a bar in the room like this (in Jamaica there was beer in the fridge but that was about it). Evan saw this and was all “Whoa, we be gettin’ crunnnnnnked!” but in reality I think we had one glass of rum each. We barely spent any time in our room. Though I did have a few cans of beer from the fridge while I was getting ready for dinner activities in the evenings.

Here was the view from our balcony:

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So no complaints about that!

The resort had two main pools. The one our room looked onto, which we called the party pool because there always seemed to be a party happening in there…

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This picture was taken before 9am so the party pool wasn’t quite happening yet.

And the quiet pool.

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Pretty much the same as the party pool but…quieter.

Evan and I both preferred the quiet pool and spent two afternoons hanging around there with various coworkers of mine. Both pools had swim-up bars, which are very important in an all-inclusive resort pool (look at me talking like I’m a pro, about two years ago I had never even been away anywhere!)

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The service was great. All around, not just in the swim-up bars. The staff were fantastic.

Both pools had floating rafts which I actually had a little nap on one afternoon…

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And in the quiet pool area there was a waterfall and this angry god.

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Evan would be recreating this beautiful picture from Cuba…

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He likes to shower with random statues (who doesn’t).

We were in the Royal Windsor room complex, but some of the more private villas had private pools.

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For all the lovers, you know. And yes I felt like a supreme creeper in the bushes taking that photo…

But the most important part of any resort is the beach! The beach was very beautiful and the ocean was warm and lovely, but the beachfront was very small.

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The beach is separated by a big pier in the middle, and you can swim and leisure on either side, but it is still very small. Our resort was very contained and there were other resorts (one actually might have been a private residence) on either side of us.

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They do have all the fun water things you can rent, like kayaks, water trikes, sailboats, etc. We tried to rent a water trike one day (because they are hilarious and look like big tractors), but unfortunately it was too windy to take it out.

The other thing about the beach is sometimes when you were swimming in the water you could smell a strong sulphur scent. Evan had actually read about this before we left and was explaining the reason behind the sulphur smell…but still, even if there’s a good reason, sulphur smells like rotten eggs and it is not a dream scent while in paradise.

To make up for the small sulphur beach though, this resort has a private offshore island and a water taxi will take you there every hour (or you can rent a kayak). The private island has two insanely beautiful (and big) beaches. One that faces back to the resort…

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And one that looks out to the deep, blue sea of forever.

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This beach was my favourite. The water was so incredibly clear and the sand was nice and…sandy.

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Photobombed.

About 8 of us took the earliest water taxi over there on our last full day and spent hours there. It was a dream.

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In addition to the two beautiful beaches on the island, there was another pool with a swim-up bar and a seafood restaurant called Stew Fish (more on that in the food post).

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I didn’t go in this pool at all, but it looks pretty nice.

Evan and I also went snorkeling on our first full day. You can borrow masks, snorkels and fins from the main resort beach and they will take you in a boat about a kilometre off the island.

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Not THE BEST snorkeling, but not too shabby at all. We saw some pretty fishies, and that’s all that matters.

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The only annoying thing about the snorkelling was that you couldn’t borrow masks and snorkels from the offshore island, you had to get them from the main resort beach. But you also couldn’t borrow them and then take them over to the island by yourself, you had to go on the snorkel boat and do the snorkelling at a scheduled time (and our boat was full so my coworker friend and her husband weren’t able to come with us). I wish I had known this in advance because I honestly would have brought our own equipment. People who had their own equipment on the island saw an eel, a stringray, a lobster and a turtle just off the beach and I was jealous. I saw no such things.

Some other cool things around the resort… Many, many statues, and many fountains…

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And many gods…

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I originally thought that was Zeus, but since we’re near Atlantis Paradise Island I am going to say it is probably Poseidon. Either way, that statue was huge.

There were also little coal fires everywhere along the beach.

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Which were very nice at nighttime when they were lit and you could lounge around them.

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Tres romantique!

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That is actually a professional photo that a resort photographer took while we were chilling by the fire one night. They also offered to do a complimentary photoshoot with us around the resort, which was very nice, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work out for that. Apparently they offer it to all their guests, but no one in our group took them up on the offer.

The only thing about the Bahamas, or maybe just Nassau, the area we stayed, is that I don’t feel like I got an authentic island experience like I did in both Jamaica and Cuba. Off the resort is very Americanized. I’m sure it would still be fun to explore (we didn’t have much of a chance), but it’s difficult to picture the culture when just beyond the gates of your resort there is a Domino’s Pizza, a dentist and a Dairy Queen.

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I don’t feel like there was a ton to do at this resort aside from laying around on the beach, which don’t get me wrong, I enjoy…but I don’t think I could have done it for another day so we were there for the perfect amount of time. If I was going for a week I think I’d pick a different location so we could do some off resort adventuring and experience some culture.

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All in all though, it was very nice and we had a VERY fun time. I would definitely recommend the resort. It was very popular for young newlyweds, so if you didn’t just get married be prepared for everyone you meet to ask you if you are on your honeymoon.

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I know this is misleading but we are just on a trip with my coworkers.

And now you have a background of where we stayed and I can move onto the fun things 🙂

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Bahama Mamas

Ahoy ahoy! I am back! We arrived home from the Bahamas (or The Pajamas as Evan likes to say) on Thursday evening and I immediately showered and slept for nearly 12 hours. It was back to work yesterday for me so I wanted to make sure I was in tip-top condition for that. It’s a busy time of year and I had a ton to catch up on.

Our trip was really great. We were only gone for four days, and technically only had two full days there, so I knew going in that it was just going to fly by, and it did…but I found there was still ample time for adventuring.

I think I am going to keep with my standard vacation blogging protocol. I like to ease you into things with the highlights and then get into more detail on our resort, the food, the shenanigans, etc. It may have been a quick trip but I still have a ton to talk about. And yes I sure will milk it for blog content.

As I mentioned, I was vacationing with all my coworkers and their spouses/friends. Our entire trip was a Christmas present last year from my CEO to us.

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Because we look like the type of group who you’d want to give a very fun Christmas present to.

He must really like us all to want to hang out with us for four days straight (he is the one holding the wine bottles). We all became very close on this trip. My fellow coworker and turquoise twin in the front with me just started with us two weeks ago and we are already clutching hands. And before our trip I didn’t even know who this person is.

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But now she is my new bff. That is what happens when you take an all-inclusive vacation with your coworkers and their spouses/friends. Not to mention all the food and all the alcohol. You have much intensified bonding time. And EVERYTHING will be hilarious. Watching my boss with his two brothers who were also on the trip (they are very involved with our company and I have met them many times before) was like watching a comedy show. Actually, the one-liners from everyone in attendance were a’plenty. It was impressive. We were all comedians and I loved it.

At first I wondered what the protocol was for hanging out with your coworkers outside of work. Did they want to? Are we excited when we see each other at the airport, or do we try to avoid each other? I learned pretty quickly that yeah, we wanna hang out and get to know each other, because this is not work and we’re all pretty cool people and we might never again all be together in a place like this in this sort of situation, so we better take advantage. Or at least that is how I felt.

The trip is hands down the most extravagant gift I have ever received and believe me I know how lucky I am. I am not sure I can even put into words how grateful I am that this happened to me. I probably thanked my CEO a million times, and I doubt I am even close to being done with the thanking yet.

Anyway, let’s get to some details. We stayed at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas and it was as beautiful as you would expect a Sandals in the Bahamas to be.

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The photos look like professional resort photos, but that is from my phone. It is just that nice.

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Paradise and a half. But more on that later.

My boss also, as a surprise, got us all gift certificates to use at the spa while we were there. A Sandals spa, which I will probably never have the opportunity to visit again so I was pretty excited. And also apprehensive, since I have never actually been to a spa before (I am not really a spa person and to be honest I feel weird about strangers touching me)… Evan was in the same boat so we had a hard time deciding what to do. I knew I had to get something besides a pedicure though. Eventually we decided to go with the 60-minute “Scents of Love” couples massage because why not?

It was interesting. I felt weird at first and for the initial 10 minutes I wondered how I was going to last through another 50 of a stranger vigorously rubbing me. But I relaxed pretty quickly and actually at one point was enjoying it so much that I started drooling.

The most awkward thing was in the beginning before the massages started we were instructed to light candles and to “make promises to each other,” which may be the cheesiest thing I have ever been asked to do. But I promised that I wouldn’t laugh during the massage, and I kept that promise and did not even let out one tiny giggle when my masseuse was essentially tickling my feet (I am VERY ticklish).

And near the end of the massage our masseuses tried to get us to hold hands while we laid on our separate tables, but we were both blindfolded and they just started mashing our hands together and we didn’t know what was happening and I thought my masseuse was trying to get me to hold her hand so I was all stiff and awkward… And then they said “So we are putting your hands together right now…” Ohh, okay. We get it. We’ll hold hands.

Anyway, it was an experience, and we received those promise candles as keepsakes so we can “scent your bedroom” (direct masseuse quote) so I guess that’s a good thing. Who doesn’t enjoy a well-scented bedroom?

Um, what else.

We ate a lot.

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Enough for an entire post about food? YUP.

In four days we squeezed in a significant amount of beach time…

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Pool time…

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I may be a bad influence… and no we are not peeing, there is a yellow design on the bottom of the pool.

Social time…

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Evan and his new buds.

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Me and mine. Again I might be a bad influence.

And also alone timone.

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We had absolutely perfect weather, and I was never at any point the drunkest.

It was amazing and I feel like I love everything right now.

I will be back with some more deets on Monday, but in the meantime have a great weekend!!!

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