Saturday, July 31, 2010

Until Next Year...Dear Bahamas,

we miss you, we love you, we dream of you, we speak of you often & we are counting the days till we see you again.

The only thing I really had my heart set on doing while we were in the Bahamas was having our pictures taken professionally on the beach. I secured and hired a photographer 3 months prior to our departure, signed a contract, made a plan & we even had a back up plan. Well, it did not work out as planned and it was something we laughed about when all was said and done.

The photographer was scheduled to take our pictures the 2nd night we were in town and if the kiddos did not cooperate he planned to come back on the 3rd night. We were all dressed and waiting the 1st night and he called and cancelled due to weather and a storm blew in at the last minute on the 2nd night. I had to scratch that off my list and decide that I was not going to let it ruin our trip. You see, when I get my heart set on something I really get disappointed when it can't happen. We literally got dressed (in the same clothes) 4 nights attempting to take pictures. I kept thinking if the same people see us in the lobby they are going to think we own no other clothes. On the 3rd night we walked to the beach and took our own pictures, with a storm in the background. The 4th night would have been good, but both our kids were out of it.

These two were the best of friends on this trip and once again just made me realize that the best gift we could have ever given the other one is a sibling.

We decided to make the best of our camera and capture as many shots as we could to remember our trip.

Daddy with his little angel babies.

Blessed beyond measure. What more could a girl want or ask for? N-O-T-H-I-N-G!

One of my very favorite pictures from the entire trip. There is no love like Daddy's love and this little girl thinks he hung the moon.
I can never get enough of the way these two love me, hug me, kiss me & need me. There are so many thoughts that come to mind when I look at this. It moves me to tears without fail every time I see it.

The 4th night we tried to take pictures. These two were not waking up and believe me we tried everything, promised them more gummy teeth, but they literally could not open their eyes.

Mommy & Daddy loved Cove Beach but did not enjoy getting dressed to go there 4 different times.

the Frazier Four!
Needless to say, we made the best of our situation and attempted to get pictures. Once again, this was the best vacation ever and we look forward to the day we can return. As for now, pictures have been posted, clothes have been washed, luggage is back in the attic and we are thankful for the memories we brought home with us.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We heart the H2O ~ Bahamas

We spent our days going back and forth between the Beaches and the Pools. All of the pools are kid friendly with beach entries.

We spent alot of time at this pool that happened to be located very close to the sea turtles, cave aquariums, beach and the lazy river.

This entire section was devoted to smaller children that consisted of little slides, water falls and shallow pools.

Our kids loved this play area with the movable water feature that could be turned to pour water out in different ways.

It had everything you could dream of to keep kids engaged and happy for hours at a time. It was super hard to get pictures in the water and keep our eyes on our kids at the same time.

One of the only family pictures we got that was taken with our water camera. The beaches and ocean were beautiful and the kids really loved sitting on the beach and letting the waves hit us.

Emma fell in love with the Lazy River and preferred to swim it with her life jacket on and opt out of a tube. Gavin and I enjoyed the tube and he would hang off the side from time to time. Emma would try to get away from us and float it by herself several times. We got lots of video on our water camera of us riding the lazy river. They also have another river called The Current but it has rapids and some pretty rough spots.

Back on the beach with my two little beach bums. You can see part of the Atlantis in the background of this one, the view from the beach to the property was simply paradise. We are all looking forward to returning again and spending more time on the beach with our SPF 100 painted on us.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The best, why?

Since we have returned from the Bahamas, I have had several people ask me what made our vacation to the Atlantis the best? I quickly reply...

There is something so special about seeing a vacation through the eyes of your children. The joy in their hearts, the smiles on their faces, the love they share, the excitement of seeing new things and being able to spend so much uninterrupted time being part of the Frazier Four!

We are truly BLESSED
We don't take our BLESSINGS for granted!
I waited a long time for my life to be the way it is today and I am so proud of where we are as a family and super excited about where we are going.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Certified Aqua Tot ~ Estuary Lagoon

Our brave little girl got to participate in an adventure of a lifetime when we were on vacation in the Bahamas. The Atlantis chooses 5 kids randomly a week to go behind the scenes in an Estuary Lagoon that is located on property. It is a random drawing and if you are chosen they call your room and leave a message on your phone. Emma was chosen the day before we left to participate in a feeding of stingrays, star fish and conch. You were only eligible to participate if you were less than 48 inches & potty trained.

After going through orientation and learning how to do the sting ray shuffle the kids were invited to enter the water. Emma was the youngest of the four and was the first to enter the water. The other participants were 5 and 6 years old and my baby had just turned THREE!

When they opened the gate and asked the kids to come in, the older children started backing up and were very nervous about entering. Emma quickly said, "I will go first" and I must admit I was a little nervous.

Here are the kiddos getting their buckets filled with the food they fed the stingrays. When Emma first entered the water the stingrays started swarming her and brushing against her legs because they were excited and knew it was time to be fed.

Emma was so excited and I was taking pictures while Curtis videoed. At one point I asked Curtis, "Are you sure we should have let her do this? What if something happens?" I was especially nervous since they made us sign a waiver stating they were not responsible if something happened.

Once again, Emma's biggest fan just stared at her while she enjoyed her time in the Lagoon. He would not take his eyes off of her, so sweet.

At one point Emma got so excited and tried to throw the food really far and it landed on her head. I thought we would never get the smell out of her hair, YUCK!

Waving at us in between feedings and letting us know that she was having a great time.

These stingrays all had their barbs still attached, so that created alot of anxiety for me. I was very concerned that Emma did not comprehend how important it was to shuffle her feet when walking in because the stingrays will bury themselves in the sand and get you if they get frightened. I do not know what I was worried about because the "witty itty bitty" followed the instructions without an issue.

She was showing us she was out of food and asking if she could have some more.

They all got the opportunity to hold a starfish and Emma loved it. This was after she bought her starfish on the beach that she brought home.

This is a conch which happens to be one of the most popular foods in the Bahamas, they serve it many different ways and people love it. Emma was the only one that would touch it or even let the guy get it close to her, the others were like NO WAY!

First in the water and the first out. We were so proud of our big girl and I was in SHOCK that she got in and did this. When we finished they presented her with a certificate that certified her as an Aqua Tot at the Atlantis.
This was a great experience for Emma and one that she still talks about daily. She was super excited that she was chosen and so were we. You surprised us on this one Emma Caroline ~ you just might be the BRAVEST three year old I know and love!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Oh Sugar! Bahamas

Every night as we visited the Marina we would take the kids to the candy store or to Ben & Jerry's for a little treat to end the day. Both of these places were always jammed packed and had a line waiting out the door to get in each night.

Ben & Jerry's was the perfect way to end a hot day, but did not get visited as frequently as Oh Sugar!
Emma decided very quickly that she preferred the candy store over the ice cream and would smile from ear to ear when we went in and came out. The store was set up very similar to Dylan's Candy Bar where all the candy was in bins and you scooped it out and they charged by the pound. In the beginning we walked around and peeked into every bin and then Emma finally made a decision and chose the same thing every night.

Every single night she chose to get a bag of GUMMY TEETH. When we asked her why she wanted them she said, "because they are like my Grandma's teeth". We could not convince her to switch to anything else and she would eat every last one of them and get more when we returned day after day. It was HILARIOUS and she would tell everyone she saw, "I am getting these because they are like my Grandma's teeth and I love my Grandma." I just had to stick my camera down in the bin and get a picture of all the teeth.

We had so much fun with these teeth and played with them all week on vacation.

Daddy put his in one night at dinner and Emma thought it was hilarious.

All the rules in our family go out the window on vacation as far as sweets are concerned. Emma probably consumed more sugar in a week then she is allowed to consume in 6 months at home.
We even gave Little Man some dentures and he ate them up before we could get a picture of them in his mouth, look at those cheeks.
The night before we traveled home Emma decided she would switch to Jelly Belly's and leave the dentures for the next little tourist. I am quite confident they are probably not a top seller and the same ones might be sitting in the bin next year when we return.
My sweet boy would get super excited about his goodies everyday.

Just so happened that I celebrated a birthday while we were in the Bahamas. My family decided to surprise me with birthday cards and a birthday cake from Carmine's. This was a yellow/chocolate Strawberry Shortcake that was yummy. I had it for the first time 5 years ago and could not wait to eat one again.

We constantly got asked if these guys were twins when we were there and I thought it was crazy, until I saw this picture. Gavin, you need to slow down little boy! This Mommy is not ready to have a baby free home just yet. I guess 20 months does not make that big of a difference.

I would have to say that sharing a Whirly Pop with your sibling at the pool in the Bahamas is sure to add a little SWEETNESS to any vacation!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bahamas Kid Style

Looking in gift shops, shopping for the perfect souvenirs, ice cream, candy stores, late night scavenger hunts for milk, kid friendly meals and backpacks full of stuff were only a few ways our vacation looked different than our pre-kid days.
Our days no longer consisted of sleeping in, spending all day in the sun, late night dinners, cab rides to the outskirts of town, fruity cocktails with an umbrella poolside, enjoying the local parades and listening to the bands in the resorts lobby.

We quickly learned that we had to take breaks from the sun periodically to give our fair skinned, red headed kids a break. We found lots of things to do and looking at the sea life was one of the many things that occupied our time. Emma and I were attempting to get this little guy to come out and pay us a visit, eventually he did say hello to us.

Introducing my kiddos to Mr. Starfish, Emma was interested in knowing every detail about all the sea urchins and Gavin did not want to be touched by any of it.

While we were in Nassau they celebrated their Independance Day. This was the Junkanoo parade that passed through the Marina that scared my kids to death. It was super loud with tons of insturments and drums. Emma kept her fingers in her ears and told her Daddy to keep going.

Oh Sugar was the candy store that was located in the Marina at the Atlantis. Each night we took Emma there to pick out a treat and that just might be a post all by itself. It is HILARIOUS what she chose to pick out each night.

Nights consisted of visiting the Marina, eating dinner and visiting the candy store or ice cream parlor.

Our visit to predators lagoon and the rope bridge.

Daddy had a hard time getting that double stroller pushed across the rope bridge in the rain. Emma & Gavin were a little nervous, especially since there were sharks swimming below. The bridge got super narrow at all the green plates and Daddy had to work hard to walk the stroller through it. Of course, I was on the other side behind the lens.

This was the view from one side of our balcony. We had to be super careful and make sure we kept the door locked at all times so Little Man could not get between the rails. Our other view consisted of the beach and palm trees.

Emma & Daddy visiting the Sea Turtles, one of our very favorite places to hang out. We would always take a walk through the cave afterwards to look at all the fish.

One night it got super late and we did not get ready to eat dinner till about 9:30, so we decided to grab Pizza from the Marina to avoid the 2 hour wait at the restaurants. Obviously this guy did not get enough at dinner, so he decided to crawl inside the Pizza box and eat until he was full.
Creativity is required when you vacation with little ones, so one night we decided to jump on the beds (only in hotels) and have a marshmallow fight, some kind of fun. You are looking at the dividing line that the team members could not pass or they were out. It was boys against girls and I am proud to say that me and Emma were the CHAMPIONS. Sorry guys, maybe next year when Gavin knows not to sit down and EAT the ammo ya'll will have better luck.

The next day Curtis was walking through the room and this got stuck to the bottom of his foot and we both just laughed and agreed that life is much different traveling with kiddos.

This little girl was wondering where the sharks were one afternoon and of course she had a make believe story about what they were doing.

Well, I think your little brother found them Emma. We stood here for over an hour just watching them pass by and Gavin kept yelling, "FISH, FISH, FISH"!

One of the sweetest things this little boy did on our trip was get on this pillow and ride it like a horse (at least 100+ times). It was so funny and we would laugh until we were crying watching him. He would ride it, fall off and roll over on the bed a couple times before getting back on to ride again.

Although our vacation experience was lots of work, involved more bags, required a layover, cost more money and sent us on many scavenger hunts... it was by far the BEST vacation your Daddy and I have ever been on in all our life.
You guys fill our hearts and our days with a happiness that is indescribable. We look forward to seeing the world with both of you, one destination at a time.