Monday, August 18, 2014

Nassau, Bahamas

Bahamas is a well known destination which needs no introduction.  We have taken family vacations to Nassau, Bahamas few times due to my impulsive purchase of a timeshare at Harborside Atlantis 8 years ago.   Is buying time share a good idea?  I always get that question, and my answer is: "NO!"  It is not a good option for vacationing if you want flexibility, and it is not a real estate investment, more likely than not, buyers take a lost when selling their timeshare.  So, if going to same place for vacation every year knowing the exact day of your travels each year is appareling to you, you can probably find a great deal on the secondary market, definitely do your research on pros and cons to see if it works for you.

With that said, we have wonderful family vacations when we do make it to Nassau, Bahamas!  Aiden claims Bahamas is his best vacation he ever had, and not the tour of Japan!

Where to Stay - when traveling with family, stay at the Atlantis, rent timeshare at Haborside, or a hotel with access to Atlantis resort usage.

What to do
First time at the Atlantis, we started at the Beach Tower with a regular lazy river and children's pool.  I actually really like the lazy river pool as it is relaxing with lots of shaded area, and I can swim in the water with the help of slight current.  Dine at the Lagoon Bar and Grill watching the sting rays swim next to you.  Then explore the marine life underneath the Lagoon Bar and Grill and walk over the rope bridge.  In the evening, walk the main path from Coral to Royal towers to check out the casinos, stores, the DIG aquarium (this used to be a paid feature, but now it is free to its guests).  The kids will enjoy this on the first day without knowing about the Aquaventure, so when they get to the Aquaventure, they will be even happier.  This plan is also a good alternative plan on n a day the resort is most crowded from Cruise visitors.

**This is also a good day to make your reservations for the special activities from the resort or Day Trip Bookings.
Day 2-3 we picked 2 different main pools each day with easy access to different parts of Aquaventure.  Tip:  Walk in through the Dig from Royal Tower to the pools, it is always nice to walk by the amazing marine life each day.
Day 4 - 5, you finally get to the beach, try out Jet Ski, Parasailing, or get a massage on the beach. There are 2 different beaches, one along side of Beach Tower to Royal Tower, and a Lagoon like beach by the Cove.

They have different activities through out the day for guests, this year the Adventure Time Obstacle Course was popular and require advance reservation.  This can be done in any of the pool or beach days.  I would recommend a beach day, as it is nice to do something different for 45 mins besides relaxing on the beach.
Day 6, you can check out the Dolphin Encounter or a day trip outside of Atlantis for snorkeling, or explore Nassau, or other beaches.  We have not tried the Dolphin Encounters as we feel it is better for my daughter when she is older when we can all go as family.  I highly recommend the Power Adventures for a day tour, book online before you go, or first few days of arrival as their bookings do get full multiple days prior.
 Where and What to Eat
There are plenty of food options inside Atlantis, and some are very good I am sure, but to me, they are mostly just over priced food for okay dining experience.  Advance reservations are required at most restaurants.

Cafe Matisse - Our favorite garden style restaurant in Nassau.  Food, Service, Ambiance are all the best you can find in Bahamas.
Fish Fry - True Bahemian dining experience!  The food you must try here are the Conch Salad and Scorch Conch.  Conch Salad has lots of vegetables in it, Scorch Conch is where you get lots of Conch mixed with just onions.  It may look scary, but it is delicious!  There is a part of Conch, looks like clear warm, it is said to enhance men's sexual performance.  The conch itself is said to enhance women's sexual erotica.  Now, will you try it?
Twin Brothers is the most popular restaurant in Fish Fry.
Poop Deck - Bahemian dining by the Marina
The huts under the bridge - Bahemians pick up food at huts, that's what they do.  Few years ago, we decided to walk over the bridge from Paradise Island to Nassau, just to see how long it will take, and we discovered all these huts and people selling exotic fruits, vegetables, and conch under the bridge.  There were no menu, people just sat around and ate, so we asked them to make us something, and it was most delicious lunch we ever had in Bahamas.  So, we took a taxi and picked up some food from these huts this time.

**BE Prepared for rudeness, expensive charges for below par value and services, just people everywhere trying to sell you items and services you may and may not need.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Strawberry Picking and Webb Mountain Discovery Zone

As I was looking for things to do in Connecticut during our stay at the 200 Year Old Mill, I stumbled upon this Mommy Poppins Post  which sounded really interesting.  I called Jones Family Farm, and they said the strawberries were ready for picking on father's day weekend and they are sweeter than ever!!
This came out to exactly 8 lbs!!!
Jones Family Farm also has a winery using both local and imported grapes.  So naturally we stopped in and brought home a case of wine!!!

Webb Mountain Discovery Zone is an outdoor learning center set on 173 acre of forest! There are 3 trails you can follow for an outdoor learning scavenger hunt.  What they wrote here is why I decided this is a definite stop on our trip.
Which animal do you think this foot print belong to??
We finally spotted a frog!!!!
We learned that this flower is the Connecticut flower, but sadly I already forgot the name.  I guess not much learning for mom here.
I think Nat had another good father's day even though we missed our friend's Taco Party!
We ended our trip with some yummy Spanish food at Brasitas in Stamford CT.