When I read Bob Goff’s “Love Does” several years ago, I decided to steal his idea of letting each child choose an adventure to take anywhere in the world upon turning 10 years old, but we decided to modify it a bit and let the other 4 of us tag along. So, in 2016, all 5 of us went to where Harry Potter was shot near London, and in 2018, we all saw the Godzilla statue in Tokyo. As 2010 approached, we didn’t have to ask where the youngest wanted to go.
Since she was old enough to request her own bedtime story, our littlest has loved pigs; “The 3 Little Pigs” was her favorite story for years and years, and she has it in multiple versions and variations. When she learned there is an island southeast of Florida that features swimming pigs? She declared that was her “must visit” place. A few months ago, I learned an organization to which I belong would hold its semi-annual conference in Nassau, so we booked 5 plane tickets and secured a boat to go to Exuma the day before the conference. We were excited.
When the Hidden Beaches tour company canceled a couple days before our trip to Exuma (due to high winds and excessive chop expected), we didn’t tell the children; we scrambled to work with the tour company to find a Plan B, which turned out to be getting on a smaller boat for Meeks Patch island, just a few hours after we landed in Nassau and sent our bags to Baha Mar. We had the boat and the island to ourselves. After nearly 80 kilometers across the water, we pulled up to a tiny island and were greeted by this:
The nearly-10-year-old was ecstatic.
There were large pigs and baby pigs, and most were totally fine being picked up, petted, or talked to by the 5 of us.
After an hour or so, our boat guide took us to nearby Spanish Wells, where we docked, grabbed some golf carts, and drove to The Shipyard for our meal by the sapphire water.
We headed back to Nassau as the sun set ahead of us, the driver blaring the radio, with the children dancing or singing along from the front of the boat. Once we returned to the hotel and changed, we had dinner at Carna, where the meat was great and the whisky plentiful. Our first day in the Bahamas had concluded; those that followed had a lot to live up to.
Thursday morning, we slept in, saw the beach behind the resort, visited the birds at the aviary, enjoyed Dean’s Blue Hole pool and grotto (complete with cliff jumping!), and enjoyed the touch tank nearby.
Children love touch tanks. I’m sure the occupants do, too.
After lunch, we boarded a boat run by Stuart Cove’s Dive for some snorkeling.
Our first stop was to explore an enormous underwater statue, and I took what I thought would be some really cool underwater photos of it, but they didn’t come out, so just trust that it was super cool and would have made for some great photography with my new iphone 11pro. Instead, here’s a picture of my bride in snorkel gear:
Here’s a picture someone else took of the statue:
Next, we visited a Cessna left during a James Bond film shoot at Jaws Beach. I don’t have good pictures of it, either.
Then we chummed some waters by a bunch of nurse sharks and went into the water while holding onto a rope and being really still and trusting these guides we’d just met in a foreign country with our lives. I didn’t bring my phone for this part, but I did shoot the sharks from the boat, right after we’d come back up from being in the water with them.
That night, we let the children order room service and watch a movie in their room while we hung out with lawyers from all over the South at Monkey Bar and Skybar (on the roof of the hotel) before dinner at Katsuya and some ill-advised gambling at the adjacent casino before hitting the nearby cigar bar. We went to bed after 1am.
Friday, I had my continuing legal education seminar while the family enjoyed the pools; I joined them afterward, and that night we had a repeat of the previous night’s activities, but we continued said activities until just before 4am, which was great, except for the pouring rain that hit us at Skybar sometime about 2:15am and the children’s waking up far earlier than we adults would have chosen Saturday morning.
Saturday about noon, our conference organizers reserved the afternoon at a nearby private island owned by the hotel (called Long Cay), and we had the whole thing to ourselves. They fed us and provided an open bar, and by the water, they had paddle boards, kayaks, and floats for the children. It was a great way to relax the day after a long day of learning the law.
I won whatever I’d lost the night before by picking Alabama to cover a 31.5-point spread against Arkansas, despite the Tide’s starting its backup quarterback, because I’m good at stuff like that (we covered by halftime). Also, I love watching college football at a sports book room, because there are more giant TVs showing college football than you can shake a stick at.
Sunday morning, we flew back to Atlanta to hand off the children and board another flight to Santa Barbara, California for another legal conference, because I struggle with moderation.
All in all, the Bahamas are a wonderful way to spend a few days with one’s family. I recommend it. Especially if it can be combined with a professional conference (making it tax deductible in part!). The locals want our tourism as the islands recover from Dorian, the hurricane that hit Abaco just a few weeks ago. Help them recover while you have fun; do good and do well. Take the trip.
I want to snorkel all the places now. Also: those pigs were almost as cute as Baby Yoda, and that’s a look that’s hard to top. ❤️