Back in February, we made plans for three holidays in March and April, and this babymoon to the Bahamas was the first!
It was such a relaxing holiday! We slept a lot, ate a lot, walked a lot, watched a lot of TV - all without the usual distraction of smart phones and emails and homework. It was bliss :)
We shared a sausage McMuffin and a hashbrown at the Chicago airport at 4 am. By the time we arrived at the Charlotte airport three or four hours later, my usual breakfast time, I was famished! Stuffed a burrito down my throat in record time before we went in search for our connecting flight.
And here's Sito, having Bojangles near our boarding gate. He couldn't finish the biscuit so we packed it for later, which was good cos by the time we got to our hotel, we were so hungry!
We arrived at Nassau at 1.30 pm. As we walked off the plane, we felt this warmth seeping through the gap between the plane and the gate :) And the sun was shining! Oh, it was going to be such a great holiday! :)
Well, that was what we thought until our suitcase didn't show up :(
We were forced to gate check our one and only carry-on suitcase at Chicago because "the flight was full and there was no more space for cabin luggage unless it could be stowed under the seat in front". But there were still more than 30 passengers waiting to board! Isn't each passenger supposed to bring only one large bag? So anyway, no choice, we had to gate check our one suitcase.
But when we got into the plane, we saw that the stupid passengers had put all kinds of small purses up in the overhead cabin! No wonder there was no space! And the flight attendants didn't say a thing to them but instead told the ground staff to gate check everyone outside! It was ridiculous!
And since ours wasn't a direct flight, the chance of losing our luggage was upped n times. And indeed, they lost our suitcase :(
Note to self: NEVER TAKE US AIRWAYS AGAIN!
This was taken while we were still hopeful and waiting for our suitcase to roll down the belt. This part of the airport is pretty old - decor is like our budget terminal - but they're going to renovate it; the boarding area and the departure hall have been nicely renovated.
After filing our lost luggage at the airport, we got ourselves a friendly female taxi driver who pointed out various sights along the way and found ourselves checked into a really nice room at the Atlantis! Atlantis is effectively an IR, with a casino, many restaurants, various family spots and a number of towers to suit different hotel budgets. We went for the cheapest Beach Tower. Although online reviews said that it was dated etc and recommended the next tier of rooms, we found our room very nice and comfortable. The decor was nothing to wow about but it was adequate. And we were lucky enough to get a room on the beach side of the tower - check out the view from our balcony!
The blue pool is for swimming. The green pool is full of stingrays! At night, we could still clearly see them float eerily around...
You know, I like to unpack everything on a holiday. But this time, there was nothing to unpack... Everything was in our suitcase - clothes, beach wear, sunglasses, chargers, and even my big puffy coat. In the following pictures taken over three days, you'll see us wearing the same clothes *.* I have to wash underwear every night *.* We decided not to replace our clothes cos our suitcase might show up the second day? Of course, it didn't.. In any case, these stuff are expensive over there. I managed to get a bikini for $25 but men's trunks were a different story - when we eventually found some, they cost $200!!!
Anyway, we decided not to let this sour our holiday mood - we'll just be happy 小臭臭! :p
And after munching on the leftover biscuit from Sito's breakfast, we headed downtown for a pretty late lunch. The hotel helped us get a taxi but it turned out to be a bus - we shared it with four other groups! But it was cheaper at $4 a person.
We walked around a little until we reach Señor Frog's, supposedly one of the hippest new joints in town. Well, it was quite happening in there! There were people like us, nicely seated, and there were people who were just wandering around the whole place. There was a host who led the patrons in karaoke and various stuff which we didn't pay attention to, not when we had food in front of us!
My blacked fish - I don't know what fish! - burger. Pretty yummy on its own but even better with plenty of ketchup and mustard..
Sito had fried grouper, which came with a whole potato spiral! That was fun! And the yard-length cocktail he had was very fun too! It was a lot of alcohol but heck, we wanted to carry it around town! :p
Check out the warning on the cocktail cup :p
This was taken outside the pub. There were three cruise ships in town that day - one of them is right behind me in the picture.
By then it was around 6 pm and many shops were closed or closing. Sito was also, um, "closing" after finishing half the cocktail.. We roamed the streets a little and got a bikini for me and a coke to wake Sito up before grabbing a cab back to the hotel, where we lazed around for a while until we thought we should get some dinner.
And dinner was at the Marina Village in the resort. We checked out Bimini Road which I had earlier marked out for a meal but found the prices to be rather steep for our half hungry stomachs. So we settled for Johnny Rockets, bleah.
We took a little walk to the middle of the resort where the casino was. It only admits those 18 and above but there was no one around to check. Anyway, that's the fastest way across the resort to the other side.
Atlantis has various sculptures and stuff lying around, so I must take photos!
Some strange horse thing, right outside the casino across from the throne.
I would have taken more silly pictures but I had no charger. Stupid US Airways!!
Anyway... That first night, after watching Shrek 2 for the nth time, I had a really good sleep with two pillows under my head and one wedged under tummy. I woke once at 5 am to find myself in the same position! And the best part? I fell asleep shortly after a trip to the toilet. My nose didn't complain at all. When I woke at 8 am, I felt sooo refreshed! :)
The buffet breakfast downstairs was $25 each but it wasn't spectacular. We were disappointed to find the usual food - we wanted local food! But it was nice to see the sunshine and pool through the glass windows. We just sat there and ate and chatted for two hours!
And then, we lounged in our room :)
But we were too full so we decided to walk around the resort. We were here last night but it looked nicer with the sunshine.
We sat in front of the blue bits for a while, looking at the fish. Some kids were snorkelling inside at some point.
I never like fish very much but it was actually quite fun to watch these fish. Some of them cute, some blur, some pretty, some fierce and plain ugly. Here's a video! :)
We were particularly taken with a group of four or five big fish which looked like they were the mafia! And of course this huge stingray!
The casino was less crowded in the day so we managed to take pictures at empty tables.
Oooh, tummy protruding here :p
We took a walk near Marina Village again, this time to see the yachts in daylight - there were so many big and beautiful yachts! We're inspired to rent one at some point just to relax and party :)
After a short rest back in our room watching Indiana Jones (!), we decided it was time to take to the waters!
I had my new bikini on but Sito could only take off his shirt and roll up his jeans. But just as well, we didn't get burnt!
And I think it's time to show off my new figure hoho! Tummy is definitely getting bigger...
Check out the super clear waters! It was pretty cold though.. Sito said last summer when he was at Miami for his internship sell weekend, the water was warm - not too good cos they could not cool down in the water!
It was tiring walking in the lovely white sand so we went to the pool and lounged for a while. The pool water was a little warm though.
Finally, the sun started to set. We took a walk along the beach but on the path above instead of on the sand :p The sun actually set further to the left of this picture but it was rather far for us to round the bend to get there... Well, still a pretty sight - this picture just doesn't do justice to it..
And as usual, we went back to nua in our room for a while. Watched National Treasure 2 for the nth time haha! Had to tear myself away for dinner. This time we decided to go to Bimini Road even though we were still not hungry cos it was the only place with local food.
The conch fritters reminded us of takoyaki :) The rice with peas was very simple and yummy. It was brown rice, which I like. The blackened grouper was nicer than the blackened fish I had the day before. In all, good meal :)
Thank goodness we didn't have a main dish each. We were bursting at the seams after all that food! I think at that time, breakfast was in my intestines and dinner was in my stomach *.* My whole torso was big and hard with all the food competing for limited space with baby!
We just had to take a walk after dinner! And we found this - tours of a club for very inquisitive parents! Haha! Cos the club is for teens aged 13-17 only - no parent allowed!
Now we were horrible people. After some walking helped settle our stomach, we decided to walk back to Marina Village for ice cream! That's a big scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream on a cookie, topped with four cookie halves and dollops of whipped cream!
As we sat down to eat, I heard a little voice inside of me, "How could you do this to me?!" Oops, stomach was complaining...
We went back to the hotel just in time to watch the first part of the Indiana Jones movie we watched a little of earlier in the day. I fell asleep at some point :p
And I was totally refreshed again the next morning! It must have been the air! My nose was so good those three days!
We checked out and brought our pathetic amount of belongings with us to brunch across the bridge.
Did I mention our resort was not in Nassau but on Paradise Island? It's a little island off Nassau connected by two bridges. We took the southbound exit bridge and reach Potter's Cay right under the bridge. Found this little eatery:
And we were asked to go straight to the back where there were the same benches as out front but facing the water - it seemed to the only eatery with such waterfront seating. No wonder it was featured on TV etc! Cos angmohs (and girls like me :p) like!
This is the northbound bridge into Paradise Island. The little blop in the water was a man in snorkelling gear - no idea what he was doing... What struck us was that even with all these eateries and fish stalls, the waters were still amazingly clean and clear!
I ordered a non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri - tiny and cute.
And conch fritters again! These were much cheaper and better than last night! Crispier, less like takoyaki, with visible vege bits inside.. I was so smitten with them..
Fried grouper again but better than what we had before - the batter was really nicely seasoned even though it was a very 家乡 flavour, something I would expect from say Grams :)
We didn't know where to get a cab after that so we walked back to the hotel! Ah well, exercise!
Leaving the Bahamas was another adventure altogether. Turned out that we would clear US customs at the Nassau airport! And Sito was lucky enough to be selected to for a pat-down. Oh, I got that in Chicago cos I couldn't do the X-ray machine. It was a super detailed pat-down... And it took a while.
When we got to the customs, there seemed to be some problem with the machines - all lines stopped moving. When things resumed, the line for non-US citizens was served by only one counter. They eventually got another guy in but we had 20 min left before departure time and there were many people in front of us!
That many in the line were on the same flight did not quell any fears that we would miss our flight. Not even when the usher at the lines told us that flights were usually not on time! Seeing that the line was moving slowly, we asked the family in front of us if they could let us go first and they kindly did. But that was as far as we went cos the next group were on the same flight.
While waiting, we saw something infuriating. A family of some eight people squeezed their way to the front of the queue without asking anyone. They managed to squeeze to right behind us and a girl even tried to cut between Sito and me! I retaliated. I put my right hand on Sito to prevent the girl from cutting through while my left hand held my bag in such a way to prevent this angmoh guy on my left from cutting us (that's another story but less rude), ha!
But that wasn't all. When we were at the counter, I heard the kind family in front of us telling the rude family off. And a girl from the family went, "blah blah blah blah..."! So rude!! If they had nicely asked, I'm sure the kind family would be nice to them but instead of being polite and asking for permission to cut the queue, they saw it their right to do so and were not even sorry!
Anyway, we eventually cleared customs at 2.45 pm - our departure time! The customs guy was very nice and thanked us for filling in our student details on the customs cards. He even told us that the flight was probably still waiting. Still, Sito ran ahead to the gate while I walked as fast as I could. Finally got to the plane and found Sito waving at me :)
But turned out that so many people on that flight were delayed at customs that the entire flight was delayed. We actually sat there for another 30 min or so before taking off.
Lucky for us, we still had an hour before our connecting flight in Houston so we managed to grab dinner at Wendy's :)
And for the first time, we were actually impressed with United Airlines. The flight attendants were so nice and attentive, rather unlike so many others who spoke like they were the customers. It was almost like taking an Asian airline!
Got a nice cab driver at the airport. We've had many immigrant cab drivers but this was an American. And he was so chatty and told us a lot about black food culture. He even gave us the website to this soul food restaurant near us!
And so that ended our little holiday on a good note. I woke up refreshed this morning after a good night's sleep - maybe I brought some of that good air back with me, along with good vibes :)
PS: I called the baggage call centre on Monday and was told that our suitcase had been located. But I think they are going to send it to Atlantis *.* There was no option in the call menu to tell them our home address *.* Sent them an email - hopefully we'll get our suitcase back before our next trip!
PS2: Got an email response from the airline on Tuesday that they've got our address! Now keeping our fingers crossed until our suitcase returns to us...
PS3: Right after PS2, I got a call from Nassau - they will send it back on the next flight tomorrow! Yeah! And since I'll be going to O'Hare on Thursday, I'll go pick it up to avoid any further mishaps on the road to Evanston.. Still keeping my fingers crossed that the contents are intact cos there is not lock...