Monday, November 23, 2009

Close to home, but still amazing travelling!

Not every trip has to be far away, or on an airplane.  We don't always have to go to exotic destinations for a vacation to be special or for it to be unique.  Some of my most memorable vacation memories growing up were family vacations to the beach.  Now we have continued that tradition with our children...we love to go to the beach, almost every year.  Even if it's just for a weekend....but most times, a weekend isn't enough - we try to go for a week at a time.  There's something about the beaches in New Jersey and also in Delaware.  No, the water isn't that crystal blue you see in the Carribean or even the beautiful beaches of South Florida.  But the waves are FUN!  The crashing of the ocean as you sit on your deck...The kids riding their boogie boards in the rough surf. 

In recent years, Sea Isle City, NJ has been the beach town of choice for us.   It's a great family beach.  There is enough to keep the kids busy, enough for the adults to do, yet is still a quiet town as well. 

There's always something to do, in and around Sea Isle City.....

Monday, November 16, 2009


At Atlantis one of the most popular activites is the Dolphin Encounter.  Our kids were so excited to get up close and personal with one of their favorite marine animals.  We decided to go ahead and do the Dolphin Encounter where you get to feed, pet, hug and get a kiss from the dophins.  I know there can be very mixed feelings about this kind of program, however the program we did was very educational and the dolphins were not kept in small pens.  They were in a large lagoon and only brought into a smaller area for the purpose of interaction.  I have always felt that this type of program can bring awareness to children and adults the beauty of marine life that they would not necessarily get otherwise.  Dolphins are amazing animals and one of my children's favorites in part due to this close encounter.

We had a great boat ride to the lagoon and after arriving had an educational program about the dolphins.  And then we learned about the program.  Afterwards we went out onto a platform and the dolphins swam up to us and we could pet them.  My kids were shocked at just how big they were!  At this time the kids were only three and five years old.  So the size and noise that the dolphins made was a bit surprising in comparison to the size of the kids!  The kids were tentative and a bit hesitant at first.  With some guidance and patience from the trainers, they finally did get to touch the dolphins.  And then when it was time to hug the dolphins, the size of them was just amazing.  They are such graceful and beautiful animals.

We then got to feed them.  They gently took the fish from our hands and swam by a few times. 

We were in the water with them, on a platform for about thirty minutes.  It's still something our kids have wonderful memories about, and talk about five years later....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And even more fish!

Atlantis has so many unique aquariums.  And some of them are floor to ceiling!  They are inside the buildings and outside on the pathways.  There are some that you walk through as if you are walking through caves.  These had some of the sharks and sting rays in them.  These were some of the most fascinating aquariums, especially for the kids!

In some of these aquariums, it was as if we were standing right there with the fish!

Around every corner was a new adventure, a new was great!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Dig!

Atlantis is more than just a resort, more than just a hotel.  It's an aquarium around every turn.  Everywhere you go, wherever you look there are fish to be seen!  Every night after dinner we'd walk through the Dig.  This is a beautiful underwater habitat that takes you through a journey that represents the lost world of Atlantis.  The aquariums are beautiful.  Our kids could spend hours just watching all of the fish.    Just floor to ceiling glass with all different kinds of fish swimming.  Different pathways, different was set up just like a lost city.....the city of Atlantis!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Journey to Atlantis!!!

In 2005 we took our kids on their first big, out of the country vacation.  We surprised them with a trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas.  They were just four and six years old at the time and this was quite an adventure! Once again, a long, holiday weekend called out to me to start looking for a travel journey so the planning began for Labor Day weekend.  It was my son's first week of First Grade and he'd have to miss one day of the first week of school, but certainly a trip to the Bahamas was more exciting and more educational than the first couple of days of school!  We went for five days and it was amazing.

We stayed at the Harborside Resort, which are the time share condos that are part of the Atlantis property.  At the time that we stayed there the prices to stay in the condos were less expensive than staying on the actual Atlantis property, yet we were able to use all of the perks of the Atlantis resort!  However instead of just a small hotel room, we had a kitchen, a bedroom and a separate living area with a sofa bed that the kids slept on.  Harborside has it's own pool if you care to use that as well.  It's located just across the harbor, a short walk from the main area of Atlantis.  

When we arrived the kids were amazed.  Just the size of the resort, the color of the ocean, there were so many pools, and best of all the aquariums just about everywhere you kept us all busy for the duration of our visit!  We had a lot to explore.....