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Archive for "Travel"

Departure Day

Posted on December 24, 2017 by under Travel.    

The last day at the resort is always the hardest because it means vacation time is over and it’s time to head back to reality. I really hate this part.

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Brian and I stopped by the cafe on the way out for one last frappucino for me.

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Here’s a pic of where the cafe is located. Goodbye, paradise!

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As we were waiting for our ride to the airport, we ran into two superheroes from the entertainment team. They were on their way out to one of the local schools to read to the kids. Apparently this trip happens every Friday morning. We missed it the last week because Friday was our arrival day and we didn’t get to the resort until almost one o’clock. We missed it again that day because it was time to leave.

I love reading aloud and I love doing volunteer work so this excursion would have been right up my alley. I’ve made a mental note for next time not to arrive or depart on Friday so we can participate. I love that they do this.

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Here’s our other butler Jackson seeing us off.

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Finally at the airport, I took a pic with the map on the wall depicting the island that we visited: Great Exuma. I never want to forget this place because this has probably the best vacation ever.

The island was beautiful. The resort was beautiful. The people were beautiful. Everything about this trip has been completely fabulous.

Here are a couple of video clips I took to remind me of the island.

This next one is a time-lapse video I created at the Atlanta airport.

The flight home was pretty uneventful. This has probably been our smoothest trip ever (besides flying first class to the Dominican Republic a few years ago). Brian gave us a long layover at the Atlanta airport because he was worried that customs would take forever but they have kiosks now and everything is automated. So even that part went really quick. I think the entire process — deplaning from our Bahamas flight to going through customs to arriving at our terminal — took less than an hour. We really didn’t need the long layover.

But, since we had it, we took advantage of the opportunity to grab some drinks and a bite to eat at Gordon Biersch. The thing that stood out to me the most is that my drink cost $13. I guess, that wasn’t really much of a surprise considering I’ve traveled a lot and I know that airport food and beverages are a rip off (they kind of have you hostage so what are you going to do, it’s not like you have a choice) but it was particularly shocking coming from a whole week of not having to pay for drinks at all. It was like, “Yep. We are officially back in the real world all right.”

This should be the final installment of my 40th birthday trip. It has been fun reminiscing about this amazing trip with you over the last couple of months. Our next big trip will be the Zumba cruise in April 2018. Until then, may each and every day of our lives be a wonderful adventure.

Links to all the trip recap posts below:

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Last Full Day at the Resort

Posted on December 23, 2017 by under Travel.    

Thursday, November 2, was our final full day at the resort. We decided to keep it laid back and just hang around at the resort. The morning started off with a visit from one of the resorts friendly feline residents.

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The cat and Brian look like they’re both giving each other a once over in this photo.

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Cat’s like, “Meh.”

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This is where the cats live. I was told not to call it a cathouse because that has a negative connotation. Don’t know what else to call it, though.

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Anyway, we passed by this house several times to and from the main pool and the cats are never home. They’re usually out roaming around the resort.

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Our final day was a good day to relax and just stay on property. We did go down to aquatics to take the hobie cat sailing again.

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Brian not only looked legit but he was so much more proficient this time around. We were zigzagging back and forth so we had to come about (turn) several times. No once did he whack his head.

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He was quite proud of himself too. LOL.

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We hung out at the main pool after sailing and had some fruit delivered to our cabana. Mostly for me. Brian doesn’t really like fruits.

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It was craft days so they brought some locals in to teach us a few things like basket-weaving and jewelry-making.

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This is Miss Jennifer. She helped me make jewelry for Jenni (my sister whose name is also Jennifer) which I gave to her for her birthday this year.

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Here’s a picture of us with our favorite butler Garth.

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For our final dinner at the resort, we wanted to do something unconventional so we asked for dinner to be delivered to our villa. We originally had it set up on our patio so we could enjoy the sunset and beach view but Mother Nature wasn’t having any of it. As you can see from the photo, it was super windy.

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We ended up relocating our dinner inside our room.

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I took pictures of our food but they didn’t make it to Flickr and I’ve deleted them from my phone. Ugh. Brian took one for the team that night. I wanted to have both the red snapper entree and lobster but I didn’t want to look like a glutton and order two entrees so Brian ordered the steak and lobster for dinner. He ate the steak and gave the lobster to me. I ordered the fish entree and had myself a surf and surf.

I had talked up the coconut creme pie so much that Brian decided to order one for himself too, despite the fact that he hates coconut. He doesn’t like the taste or texture. He doesn’t like any of it. He figured he would try it and, worst case scenario, wouldn’t like it and give it to me. He’s knows I will eat it so it wouldn’t go to waste. He didn’t hate it and actually ate the entire pie. That was perhaps the biggest surprise of all.

We had such a great time the entire week and our fabulous butlers took really good care of us, neither of us wanted to leave. Sadly, all good things must come to an end so the next post will be all about departure day.

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White Night Chocolate Party

Posted on December 23, 2017 by under Travel.    

A few select pictures from the White Night chocolate party on Wednesdays that Becca forgot to tell us about. Every Sandals resort has a special night each week designated as White Night. If you’re staying for a whole week, you might as well pack a white outfit because you’ll be there for it. Plus, it’s not to be missed.

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The party was fun but it wasn’t as cool as it could have been. They hired a fabulous singer as entertainment for the party but she couldn’t make it because of the whole broken fire truck situation at the airport.

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I took a selfie with the guys from the entertainment team who did their best to make the atmosphere fun and festive by playing tunes from the computer.

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Here’s a selfie of us with some Canadians we met. The funny thing about the airport debacle is that local flights and flights from Canada were still coming in and out of the airport. I guess it was just a US safety regulation that prohibits US flights from landing in airports with no working fire truck.

The Canadians were not impacted at all.

Oh, and I’m not sure whose clever idea it was to make the chocolate night a night where everyone dressed in white. It’s like they wanted to see how messy drunk people could get with their white clothes. LOL.

It seemed like everyone had a great time anyway, despite the lack of “real” entertainment. We all just entertained ourselves.

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Dinner at Soy and Kimonos

Posted on December 22, 2017 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

Because Brian and I were on a mission to try every single restaurant at the resort and were quickly running out of time, we decided to hit two restaurants in one night. The night of our reservation at Kimonos, we thought we could pre-game at Soy, the sushi restaurant next door. I mean, hibachi and sushi go together really well like peanut butter and jelly, right?

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I’m not really sure what we were thinking because the sushi rolls are quite filling by themselves but we thought the idea was brilliant at the time because we could just go from one restaurant to another.

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Here are a couple of pictures of the Soy menu. Lots of options. You could totally do dinner here and be completely satisfied. In fact, another couple we met on our trip (Nathan and Cassie) didn’t get a chance to check out any of the other restaurants on the property because they really liked Soy and ate there pretty much every night.

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Here’s a picture of the restaurant interior. Soy doesn’t require reservations, so it’s a safe bet, but the restaurant isn’t very big either. There wasn’t a wait when we went. However, I’m not sure if it makes a difference whether you’re there during high or low season. Late October is low season.

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I liked that the rolls came in fours because then we didn’t feel so bad for ordering a few. We wanted to try as many of them as we could without getting full.

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The sushi was delicious and so, predictably, we ate too much.

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Here’s a picture of the interior of Kimonos. It’s not a very big restaurant either. Kimonos requires dinner reservations and, since there are only four stations, it’s really hard to get in at times. For instance, we arrived at the resort on Friday and Wednesday was the soonest that we could get in.

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I can’t remember why I took a picture of my drink. Maybe because I thought it was delicious? The taste doesn’t come through in the pic, though. Who knows?

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I’m not sure why I took a picture of the hibachi either. Maybe I wanted a picture of our official Kimonos plates?

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As if the sushi wasn’t enough food already, we also got some appetizers at Kimonos. This is the shrimp and scallop starter.

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We also had to get some dumplings. Had to.

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The experience at Kimonos is totally interactive. It’s like dinner and entertainment rolled into one.

Here are a few videos just to give you an idea.

I didn’t get any more pictures of food because we were pretty much eating as the chef cooked. The interesting thing about Kimonos is that you get everything. You get the steak, chicken, shrimp, fish, etc. Instead of choosing from items on the menu, they cook everything and just ask you if you want some as they go.

It was fantastic but it also meant you were going to eat way too much if you don’t have any semblance of self-control, which is my biggest problem. I ended up overeating and had to waddle my way to the White Night chocolate party. Then when I got there and saw all the amazing desserts, I was so disappointed that I couldn’t eat any of it because there was no more room in my belly. Yikes!

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Sailing, Pool Time and Photo Shoot

Posted on December 17, 2017 by under Travel.    

It was a pretty laid back day. We spent some time at the beach and we went sailing, as you saw in the slideshow video that I posted yesterday.

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I’m not sure where Brian learned to sail but he actually did really well. I felt pretty comfortable that we weren’t going to get out too far and stall out in the middle of the sea. I didn’t have to know anything because Brian did all the work. He would just tell me when to move to the other side each time we had to turn. For those who are wanting to learn some hobie cat sailing basics, I found this helpful page.

Brian handled the hobie cat pretty skillfully except for the turns. He hadn’t quite mastered the timing so he would hit his head on the bottom of the sail each time. LOL. The second time we went out, we asked one of the water sports guys to go with us because Brian was tired of hitting his head.

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The photo above was actually taken by some new friends we made at the resort, Kathy and Brian Dunn. We first met them on the flight from Atlanta to Georgetown (where the airport is in Great Exuma). We spent the same number of days and so we all traveled out the same day as well.

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The funniest part is when we first learned their names I told Brian, “Don’t you have an aunt named Kathy Dunn? Have you met her? Do you know what she looks like?” I was being silly. Brian had met his Aunt Kathy before and knows what she looks like. It was just funny that we met someone by the exact same name.

We got to hang out with the Dunns a bit at the butler convoy and cocktail party and found out that we shared the same butlers, Jackson and Garth. We got to visit with them some more because the butlers would save us side by side cabanas at the main pool throughout the week. Brian and Kathy are both nice, fun-loving people. It was a pleasure visiting and getting to know them.

Anyway, these two picture were taken from Kathy’s phone and I had asked her to text them to me so I could have them.

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Speaking of the pool, here are some pictures we took at the pool later that day.

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The Dunns were in a cabana to our right and then there was a young German couple that always had the cabana to our left. She changed swimsuits for some reason and hung her original bikini up to dry. I thought this picture was funny because it made you wonder if someone was walking around naked. LOL.

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Later that day, Brian and I played lawn chess. It’s one of our favorite resort activities. We didn’t get to play as much this time, though because the chess board was on the opposite direction as our villa from the main pool. I don’t even think we realized it was there until later in our trip.

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We had to play at least one game though, because that’s kind of our thing. We did it when we were at the Couples resort in Jamaica and also when we were at Barcelo celebrating Brian’s 40th birthday week in the Dominican Republic.

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Here’s the winning shot of my checkmate move.

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In Brian’s defense, lawn chess is more challenging than regular chess because it’s difficult to see everything that is happening on the board. It’s a totally different perspective. It’s also hard after a few drinks. LOL.

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Even later that day, we went on a sunset photo shoot. We would have never scheduled one (because resort photos are so expensive) except that we won two free pictures at the manager’s cocktail party a couple of days prior. We had to get a photo shoot so we would have at least a few photos to choose from.

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The talented resort photographer took a ton of photos. These are a few of our favorites. At $15-$20 a photo, we obviously couldn’t buy them all. We had to carefully pick and choose.

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Smart marketing on their part, though. We would never have even thought of doing a photo shoot had it not been for the prize we won. So they gave us a picture frame and two free photos and in exchange we ended up spending a ton of money that we didn’t expect to spend at the Epix store.

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I think this photo is very similar to the print that we bought for grandma. We gave it to her in the nice wood Bahamas picture frame that we got from the resort.

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We loved this cool black and white one with just a hint of color from the sunset peeking in the corner.

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We opted for garden photos since we were going to dinner after and neither Brian nor I wanted to mess with sand in our shoes all night.

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We also took some photos with the golf course as the backdrop and kept a few of those. Though you can’t really tell from these photos.

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These next three are heavily stylized but they looked really cool so we kept them.

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We also ended up buying a few random photos that were taken by Epix photographers throughout our trip. This one is from the butler convoy on Sunday.

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We bought a second picture from the butler convoy in the form of a print so I don’t have a digital version of it. It was a group photo of me and Brian with Jay and Becca. We put it in a frame and gave it to Becca for her birthday.

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This one was a great candid shot of Brian that the photographer took during our ocean safari excursion on my birthday. Definitely a keeper!

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We also kept the one of us on our way to my birthday dinner at the Bombay Club. My dress just happened to perfectly match the Sandals sign in the background. LOL. Not planned but it turned out pretty cool.

Next, I’ll tell you about our dinner at Soy and Kimonos which was one of our favorite meals at the resort.

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