Bahamas

Amanda and Nick went to the Bahamas in August of 2008 as a combination anniversary getaway and pre-first-baby vacation.  It was very relaxing.  While they went snorkeling at some reefs, shopping in downtown markets, and eating at great restaurants, they didn't bring their camera to those places for the sake of mobility and comfort, and to live it rather than capture it for others.  Here are some shots they did get.

Photos and commentary by Amanda and Nick Twentyfive


The Ardastra Zoo, Nassau
The Ardastra Gardens and Zoo is outside the city of Nassau.  It was opened to the public in 1937 by Hedley Vivian Edwards, a Jamaican horticulturalist.  It grew from a living exhibit of exotic island plants to a full garden of plants from around the world.  It is now also a small, interactive zoo that protects many endangered animals from the Bahamas and beyond.
Here a coconut palm is trying to hug Amanda.
Many birds wander freely in the zoo.  Here's a peacock.
"GOOD GRIEF!"
This spiky-headed bird is an East African crowned crane.  He was pretty amenable to having his picture taken at close quarters.
Ardastra is well known for its flamigoes.  A large group of them have called this place home for generations.  Edwards, a former Jamaican army officer, taught the flamingoes to march.  More realistically, it's a bunch of them staying in a flock and walking away from the guy shouting "commands" at them.
The trainer brought then into the circular marching grounds and let them pose in front of the people in the stands.  They kind of sound like chickens.  Funny but true.
Strike a pose, there's nothing to it.
They let a few people come out and stand among the flamingoes.  Amanda tries to blend in.
One flamingo in particular liked Amanda a lot and nudged her on her shoulder.
Flamingoes also fold up for easy storage.
And they have a self-cleaning cycle.
Ardastra also has a large enclosure that has lorys, a type of parrot.  Lorys eat nectar and fruit.  Lorys don't mind people.  Thus, a wedge of apple will make you very popular with the lorys.  Here, two rainbow lorys eat from Amanda's hand.
Closer lorys.  They're very pretty and friendly birds - who really love apples.
They even like Nick.  Whoa.
Here's a woman feeding a red lory.  The red ones were much more timid.
Heads are tables, if still long enough.
After the feeding, the lorys chill together in their enclosure.  "Y'all come back, now."  notice the red ones aren't here.  Apartheid, evidently.
Here's a cockatoo giving Amanda a kiss.  Birds like Amanda.
A macaw joins in.  Birds really like Amanda.
Apparently, they're just friendly, and like soft people to sit on.
Maybe not all birds like us.  We put this macaw to sleep.
This spider was found hanging out in some bushes.  It bit Nick, and now he can throw webs and walk up walls. 
Got any shiraz?
This is Michaelangelo and Raphael. Their weapons are off camera. They're really quite intimidating little beasts.
This is a caracal. It's a large African cat. It wanted to eat us.
The jaguar also wanted a turn at devouring us, but we're quick like bunnies and ran away, Amanda much more awkwardly than Nick. Stupid pregnancy.
Peahen and her peachicks. As we saw earlier, the peacock was much too busy struttin' his stuff to be bothered taking care of his babies. Men.
Pretty trees.
These guys were pretty entertaining, and very accommodating of our camera. Nice. They're ring-tailed lemurs. We like lemurs.

The Sheraton Cable Beach Resort and the Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino

We stayed at the Wyndham, but the Sheraton was right next door and a "sister hotel" to the Wyndham, so we got to enjoy their restaurants, beaches, water sports, etc. We took pictures of significant areas of both.

One of the many pools at the Sheraton. Those people are having a rockin' good time!
This is a view of the beach in front of the Sheraton. We preferred the beach at the Sheraton - it was nicely put-together. In the background of the picture you can see some of the equipment they rented out for FREE! Unfortunately, the water trikes were mostly broken, which bummed us out, but Nick took advantage of the snorkeling equipment and tooled around in the smaller seagrass beds near the shore.
This is another view of the beach. You could see a lot of water around us. It was cool.
These are some of the options for shade that the beach at the Sheraton offered. Amanda lounged there while Nick snorkeled.
Here we've moved to the Wyndham. You can see that the hotel itself is enormous - made up of several different towers. Unfortunately, we didn't get a waterfront view, but we couldn't complain, since we paid about 2/3 or less of what those people paid per night, and we could still see the water. Suckers.

The area you see in front is a little cove where you could splash around a bit when you got sick of the pool. People were constantly dragging lounge chairs into the water and getting yelled at for it.

Ahhhhh, a favorite spot! The sun in the Bahamas is, well, WARM. We could not stay out in it all day. Fortunately, the hotels recognize this and offer many shady spots where one can park themselves on a lounge chair or hammock and wile the day away. Amanda liked the hammock - Nick didn't, which was strange, considering how difficult it was for her to pull her big ole' belly out of the hammock.
Here's the view looking out toward the right from the Wyndham. In the background you can see the Breezes resort.
The view to the left. The island is a private island that the Sandals resort down the street from us owned. They cart you out there and you can do... well, we have no idea what they do.
Here's the main pool at the Wyndham. That thing you see in the middle ground is actually a small water slide. The kids loved it. Amanda and Nick did not partake of the "fun".
Riddle us this - how can you play pool or even ping pong when the tables get rained on all the time?
Life-sized checkers. It was amazing how many adults played with them.
This is the view right outside our room, which was on the top floor (11th) of our tower. It looks down West Bay Street in the opposite direction from Nassau. That's the Sheraton in the middle ground.
There was a silly courtyard in the middle of our tower. This is a pic of it taken from the elevator.


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