While our actual anniversary is not until September 29, we decided (super last-minute, I might add) to take an early trip to celebrate. We literally booked it a week and a half before we left, which is NOTHING like me. I am pretty adamant when it comes to planning, so I was quite proud of myself. :) But we knew this would be the only time we could go, as I'm not able to take any vacation in August, Brent has VIPs in town the week of our actual anniversary, and in September, I already have two work trips planned, we have bachelor/bachelorette parties to attend, and Brent is in a wedding... plus, my boss was out of town all of July, so it was perfect!
We knew we wanted to go all-inclusive, since we've yet to go wrong with the other two we've been on. And being that we're certified scuba divers, we knew this was the way to go. We were hoping to go to St. Lucia; I have heard such amazing things about that island. Not only was it way too expensive, but we couldn't find a deal that worked with our travel schedule. We finally decided on Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas.
INCREDIBLE is the only word I have to describe it! Everything from the food to the cocktails to the pristine grounds to the fabulous people we met made this trip completely unforgettable. Well... that and the fact that we experienced our first Tropical Storm! We only had one bad weather day, but sadly, we weren't able to go diving even once due to winds and the strong current. :( We didn't let that spoil our fun, though! And at least we were able to put on the gear during our refresher course.
We took advantage of everything the resort had to offer. After the third day with the red flag waving, the water sports staff took us to another part of the island where the current and wind weren't so strong. While there, we went kayaking, drank some authentic Bahamian beer, went snorkeling, drank more beer, played beach volleyball, and drank some more beer. The next day, we took an amazing tour of the Emerald Reef Golf Club, which is featured on the Golf Channel's Big Break Sandals Resorts... The day after that, we met up with our friends Matthew and Margaret and played a round (well, the boys played and the girls drank champagne) on the most beautiful course I've ever seen. Crystal clear blue water stretching for miles and listening to the waves... I could've spent the rest of our vacation out there! We spent the week eating the most exquisite food I've ever tasted, drinking the most delicious cocktails ever made, and truly enjoying ourselves being surrounded by fun people.
On our last full day, we took a water taxi over to Stocking Island... Everyone we met told us this was a can't-miss while in the Exumas. And were they right!! We docked right at the entrance to Chat 'N' Chill, the most laid back, yet happening, bar I've ever been to. They were having a pig roast right on the deck, we watched boats and yachts of all sizes pull up and dock right on the beach, we swam with stingrays, and the fresh conch salad (which was made right in front of us)... uhhhhhh-mazing!
After a few hours of drinking, swinging on the rope, walking around and mingling with the locals, we met one of the coolest people in the world. His name was Patrick, and after about an hour of telling our life stories, we find out he's an undercover DEA agent. About five minutes later, we meet a boat-full of his "co-workers." They were awesome! Four hours and several mixed drinks later, the water taxi service had long-since stopped running, and our new best friends took us back to our island on their boat. They begged us to continue partying with them that night, but seeing as how neither of us could stand up for a long period of time and we were scheduled to leave the resort at 6 am, that didn't happen.
Needless to say, the trip was Heaven! That is, until the day we left... We were supposed to land in Memphis around 6 pm, but after a layover in Nassau (delayed an hour and a half) and another in Atlanta (delayed almost five hours... with us on the plane!), it was close to 1 am when we landed at good ol' Memphis International. We were absolutely exhausted, but the trip was so worth it! Can't wait to plan our four-year trip! :)