TRAVEL DATES : February 2016

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We took a break during the holidays to go home and see friends and family.  It was so fun getting a little taste of winter, but we were anxious to get back to our travels and some warm weather.  

Back in December, I made the bad decision to show Garrett an amazing picture of people diving with the Hammerhead sharks.  Next thing I new, Garrett was emailing back and forth with the tour operator, Amanda Cotton.  So, our first stop in The Bahamas was Bimini to dive with the hammerheads!  Those are some beautiful creatures!

Because a lot of our time in the Caribbean would be based around diving, we wanted to give the kiddos a little taste of it for themselves, so we thought Atlantis would be a great choice.  With all the aquariums and wildlife exhibits, we knew our kids would be in heaven.  By the end of our 2 days, Manilla can tell you what a fish, shark, “sting ring,” and turtle say.  Atlantis is an incredible place.  First off, it’s huge.  It’s like the Disneyland of the Caribbean.  Water slides, pools, restaurants, and activities galore!

The highlight for us was when we took Dorothy and Manilla to interact with the Dolphins at Atlantis’ Dolphin Cay.  We were able to get up close and personal with bottlenose dolphins.  Dorothy was so excited, mainly because she knew it was mom’s favorite.  They let us feed, dance, swim and kiss the dolphins.  

Our next stop in the Bahamas was to Grand Exuma Island where we stayed at the Grand Isle Resort.  WOW!  This place was amazing.  We stayed in a beautiful beachfront villa.  It had everything we love about a nice resort - a great restaurant, pool, gym, activities and staff.  But our villa also had a kitchen so it gave us the flexibility to be able to have some home cooked meals.  The property is beautiful as it sits right on the peninsula of Emerald Bay and the Emerald Bay Marina.  We had a golf cart to cruise around in and explore which the kids lovvvved.  

The day we arrived we were informed that the upcoming Monday an episode of The Bachelor would feature The Grand Isle.  Most people wouldn’t care...but for Garrett and I whose guilty pleasure is silly reality TV dating shows, we were STOKED.  The resort put on a beautiful event on Monday night for us to watch the episode.  They even gave out prizes for people who could answer Bachelor trivia.  Because Garrett and I were the only ones in the audience who even watch the show, we WON!  We won a few meals at their killer restaurant as well as some items from the gift shop!  So to my mother who told me I should stop watching such trashy television: It was worth it.  Never thought I’d cash out on it. ;)  

One day, Garrett and I were able to go out for a half-day excursion with Exuma Water Sports to go see The Swimming Pigs!  It was also featured on that episode of the Bachelor.  This tour took us to see the same sites that were featured on the show.  We saw the pigs, a small island owned by Nicholas Cage with a ton of lizards, a bunch of star fish, and Garrett's new favorite ocean spot.  Seriously, the water in Exumas is amazing - so crystal clear and nothing but sandy bottoms!  There was a spot that our guide, Ray, called Windex.  It was the color of Windex with rolling hills of sand 20-30 ft down.  It was an incredible day and such a great boat tour.  The Grand Isle helped us schedule a nanny for the day so that Garrett and I could have an adventure out alone, and she was incredible.  

Each day Garrett would take the kids to the pool while I used the gym.  He taught Dorothy how to dive!  (Diving means go under the water). In the afternoons, we would go to the beach and play in the sand.  The Grand Isle provided sand toys and also had paddle boards and kayaks to take out. The water while we were there was pristine and there were zero waves.  

Our days here were perfect.  Such a cozy homes, incredible staff and and we felt like we were home.  I'll always remember our stay here for 2 reasons - 1) Dorothy learned how dive  and 2) We watched my Broncos win Superbowl 50! :) 

We chartered a boat to take us about 2 hours north to Staniel Cay.   We stayed at Embrace Resort which is a small boutique resort.  Staniel Cay is very small and quaint.  It is a true island experience.  Most people use only golf carts to get around. If you go to Staniel Cay, make sure you rent a boat to take you out to the surrounding spots so you can fully enjoy the perfect waters of the Exumas!  

THANK YOU BAHAMAS.  We love your perfect waters.

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Happy travels! Sincerely, The Bucket List Family