Monday, January 11, 2016

A Bahamas Christmas Recap

Not everyone has the opportunity to spend Christmas week and especially Christmas day wearing a swimsuit on the beach in Nassau, Bahamas.
It was our privilege to do just that this year only because our grandson and the Western Michigan University football team played exceptionally well this year.  Thank you Broncos!

Hoping to not bore you beyond consciousness, I would love to share a bit of our trip with you.  And I acknowledge up front that this is a definite picture overload.  But, it's my blog, right?

Hubby and I drove to Chicago, meeting son and his family for an early morning flight out of O'Hare on Tuesday, December 22.
The girls and I are ready to begin our adventure.
  I wish I could have photoed the spectacular Christmas lighting along our shuttle route to the airport before daylight.  That would be the last we would see.
Most of the flight was cloud covered, and this was my view from the window most of the way,
so I was more than excited to get this view of the island on our approach.
It was so much fun to see this welcoming us in the airport.
Our first introduction to the Bahamas was a little less than spectacular, but quite interesting nonetheless.
Our taxi driver took us right downtown where preparations were being made for the huge annual all-night celebration eagerly anticipated by the islanders on Christmas night.  We saw no reason to explore that area again.
This was our first view of the Atlantis and hotel where we would be living the following four nights.
We stayed in the Atlantis Coral where the team was staying and not in the much more upscale and renowned towers.  However, our balcony gave us spectacular views of where the affluent stay.
Speaking of the affluent.
Would you like to guess what this bridge suite costs the rich and famous?
A mere $25,000 a night.

On Tuesday, Hubby and I chose to spend our day exploring and photographing the whole complex rather than joining our family on the beach.  As mentioned on the Hodgepodge last week, Hubby and I were stopped by a couple young reporters from the Kalamazoo, MI TV station and interviewed about our stay so far.  It was so much fun to do this and then actually see ourselves on TV.

Here are a few of the favorite scenes from that day.
We really enjoyed the two large aquariums.
 Such pretty architecture.
 Interesting light fixtures.
 On the most anticipated Christmas Eve and our reason for being there, we stepped outside the hotel to find a taxi to take us to the stadium, and there was "Sexy Mary" with a courtesy ride.  We fully believe the Lord sent her there at that moment in order for us to meet this interesting Christian lady and have about 30 minutes getting to be with her and hear her testimony.  God is so faithful to do that sort of thing, isn't he.
She knew all the back streets and what she called "giving a tour of the hood" in order to avoid the more heavily traveled streets.  It was so interesting to see this aspect of the island where the real islanders live.

She was happy to come back and get us afterward for which we were most grateful.  It did take us a while to get used to her being on the right side of the vehicle and driving on the left side of the road.
These are pictures of the stadium which was prepped for this the 2nd annual Popeye's Bahamas Bowl.
 This was a group of locals doing the "Na Na".
 Santa was even in attendance.
The game was so exciting as we were tied at 17 at the half, but by the end of the game, WMU had pulled ahead of the Middle Tennessee team and won 45 to 21.

Our big #65 played a great game and it was so exciting to watch him.
 I snapped this look and pointed finger to his dad after the winning touchdown and a particularly good block from our left guard.
 The offensive coach wanted a picture of his offensive line and the quarterback wanted to be part of the group who helped him look good.
 They were proud of being part of the school's first team to win a bowl game trophy.
 Grandson and one of his biggest supporters and fellow team member. Needless to say, this bunch is #65's biggest supporters.
As you can tell there was excitement on the field afterward as families greeted their worn-out boys and as they themselves reveled in their victory.
So you will know just how much this meant to the boys and their families, two years ago WMU was the worst college football team in the nation.  In two years, the program has been turned around and for the first time in school history, they played the #1 and #3 college teams (Ohio State and Michigan) early this season, defeated a top 25 team, and played in two consecutive bowl games, winning the second.  So, these young men and their families had good reason to celebrate.

Grandson was given special permission to stay over with us for a day after the game.  We started our Christmas morning by reading the Christmas story and just having a time of sharing in our pjs.  This was such a precious time with our kids.
  I do not necessarily recommend spending Christmas in the Bahamas because it is just not very "Christmasy," but we did enjoy this huge, beautiful tree in the hotel atrium.
Friday was spent together doing all the water rides and playing on the beach.  It was a great day and time for the family to enjoy being together. 
  Merry Christmas in the sand.
 
 And then this silly family on their last night.
I hope you have enjoyed taking this little trip with us.  We made memories that we will treasure for a very long time.

6 comments:

  1. Good morning! I enjoyed every minute of that! What a gorgeous place to stay....25,000 a night for those rich folks? wow! lol. I can just imagine how fun that was to be able to do something like this. Doesn't happen everyday that's for sure. Glad the guys pulled off a win and put the frosting on the cake. Yep, no doubt you made memories that will never be forgotten. Congrats to the team! Have a good week!

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  2. What a lovely trip!!! I enjoyed reading and looking at your photos...thanks for sharing, Elizabeth.

    Kalamazoo---my family still has a farm near there(Mattawan/Paw Paw)...what a treat to see the name posted. Many happy memories. Have a beautiful Monday, friend.

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  3. Looks like y'all had the most wonderful time in the sunshine. Yay for the win!

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  4. Great memories for sure and what a WIN!!! Looks like a beautiful place but like you, probably would prefer another time of year to be there. Happy week!

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  5. I stayed in the Atlantis years ago, when hubs was there for a business meeting. I have to tell you about my super scary cab ride BY MYSELF from the airport at night!! This was not well thought out by the work peeps. Originally another woman was supposed to be with me, but her flight was cancelled so she came the next day. Anyway, the driver stopped at a 'shady' looking small stand alone apartment building, pulled a paper bag from under the seat and told me he'd be right back. This was before the days of cell phones but I was not feeling great about the whole thing-ha! He went to the door, exchanged the 'bag' for some cash and did indeed come back and actually get me to the hotel. The Atlantis was nice though : ) So glad you had a fun family time!

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  6. Yes it is your blog and it is a family scrapbook for future generations to read! The Altantis is so beautiful, would love to see it in person someday. What a fabulous trip you had. Sounds like an experience of a lifetime. The pictures are all so awesome. What a great way to spend the Holiday's.....

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