Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Reef Atlantis -- Our Room and Beach

This year my husband and I were faced with a dilemma: should we attempt to stick with our tradition of going on a vacation in the fall, or skip it because of my pregnancy? (And I do realize this isn't really a true dilemma per se, but rather a really nice problem to have.)

As I alluded to in Monday's post, I haven't exactly had the easiest time with things, so I was really paranoid about being far away from my doctors in Chicago. Yet I also knew it was important to not let all of my fears about something going wrong overpower what should be a happy time, or deter us from experiencing something that a lot of "normal" pregnant couples take part in nowadays—a babymoon.

We eventually made the decision to go ahead with a trip, but I had a ton of criteria that our ultimate destination had to meet, the main points being: 1) We had to be able to get there by taking no more than two short (less than three-hour-long) flights, 2) There had to be a doctor on site, and 3) it had to count as a place we'd never been before on the Travelers' Century Club's List of Countries. (One of our ultimate goals in life is to become members of this club, and to do so you have to hit 100 places on their spreadsheet. I currently have 41 or so checked off.)

The Bahamas immediately became the obvious choice. It's the closest of the Caribbean islands from the US, it's one of the few places in that area I hadn't been to yet, and I knew that the Atlantis resort there was big enough to warrant an on-site medical team. We waited until the ultimate last minute to book the trip (they had an incredible "off-season" deal that expired at the end of August, good for travel during the fall), which did come into question briefly thanks to Hurricane Irene wreaking havoc across the region a few weeks before we were set to depart.

But we ended up going in the middle of September and had exactly the kind of vacation we were hoping for: relaxing days at the beach (with things for Dustin to do while I lounged) and nice dining options every night. We would typically never choose to stay at a monstrous resort like Atlantis, and we'd been prepared for the worst based on online reviews and some of our friends' experiences. In the end, however, we totally lucked out because not only were we there during the lowest point of the low season (there were probably even fewer people around than would've otherwise made it there had the recent hurricane not scared them off), but we'd also randomly chosen to stay at The Reef, which was by far the quietest of the towers on the property. It's the furthest away from the center of the complex and is mostly comprised of for-sale condos, so there just wasn't anyone around. And that's exactly what we were hoping for.

We had a small suite that was just the right size. I couldn't NOT share the picture of our bed with the ten bazillion extra pillows I'd requested to assist with my weird pregnant-chick sleeping positions. The cleaning staff must have thought we were freaks:

To give you an idea of just how secluded The Reef's beach was (our tower had its own private beach, far away from the main complex's beach), here's a picture of all of the empty rows of beach loungers (with our two pulled away from the pack—that's my husband on the left!):

And here's a picture looking the other way down the beach. You can see a cruise ship in the distance:

Can I also just say that the water was some of the warmest I've ever been in? I usually take—no exaggeration—about 30 full minutes to get into any body of water. But I was able to wade right in at The Reef. I swam every day!

More either tomorrow or at a later point about some of the restaurants at Atlantis, as well as its truly impressive water park. Kind of sad to wrap up this post and then look out the window at an utterly dreary Chicago afternoon, though. BOO.

- e


Torigurl said...

I am with you there on the dreary Chicago weather. This no-sun thing really gets to me! But, at least we're not freezing our butts off and buried under several feet of snow - that'll just come in another month or so. ;-)

Elisa Shostak said...


Sarah said...

So....any baby yet? You've been quite silent for awhile! Can't wait to hear your news.