not knowing what to expect but hoping to end up at the nearby atlantis resort, we threw on bathing suits underneath our clothes and disembarked.
as we'd learned during the port shopping talk we'd attended, the major shopping areas were an easy walk away. although those were some pretty threatening clouds looming overhead, huh?
we'd spied señor frog's from our cabin as we pulled up to the dock. these are completely appropriate souvenir photos, right?
the hub remembered exactly how to get to the greycliff, which turned out to be a relatively short walk - but it was all uphill. we huffed and puffed in the heat and humidity, and then we turned a corner and all of a sudden we were there:
we took a walk through the grounds and the hub pointed out all of the spots he'd hung out with his buddies. the pool was eyed longingly by all of us as we walked past.
he was surprised to note that the rolling room and cigar shop had been relocated.
and it turned out that it had been displaced by the chocolate factory.
the ladies working inside were super friendly. they offered us free samples and told us about the two options we had for touring the factory - a 10-minute walking tour for $10 or the more extensive, 2-hour interactive tour for $40. but a look at their reservations log showed that the latter was fully booked for the afternoon, and so we settled for the quickie tour instead. too bad, too - it would have been fun to surprise our friends when they arrived for their tour. oh, well. we put our hairnets on and followed our guide as she gave us the lowdown on how chocolate is made.
the hub recognized every room in the building, especially the one with the 300-year old tiled floor. "this is where they rolled the cigars!"
i've already forgotten the process, but i think this machine separated the cacao beans from their shells, leaving cacao nibs that we got to sample. tasted like a bitter nut.
and this one tempered the chocolate, keeping it at the right temperature for dipping and rolling and whatnot.
the white chocolate was made here. of course, white chocolate isn't chocolate at all, but whatever.
and then we were back in the shop, where we got to choose from the wide selection of truffles for our free sample. i went with the milk chocolate bacon, which she said was one of their most popular flavors.
we headed out of there and back towards the entrance to the hotel, where the hub managed to get the clerk in the lobby to call a taxi to take us to the atlantis.
it started raining as we drove along, so our view of the famous pink parliament building looked like this:
the ride cost us $20, but dropped us off right at the entrance to the resort. we made our way down to the bottom floor where we attempted to buy tickets to get into the water park, or the beach, or wherever we could go to have some fun. except that the thunder and lightning that we'd experienced in the taxi on the way there had shut everything down. womp womp.
so we headed back out the way we came and found ourselves going through a little shopping village run by the resort. it was nice and quiet and STARBUCKS.
their selection of pastries at this location was very different from that we have at home. pistachio roulade? guava jelly roll? nope, you can't find that in glendora.
obviously, i was pretty excited to suck down a caramel macchiato:
...which had my kids mocking my addiction. thanks, girls.
the bean found fun spots to take a load off.
and we got a couple of shots with the atlantis as our backdrop.
but with nothing else to do, we opted not to take another taxi but instead followed the sign to take a ferry back to the ship.
during our 10-minute journey, we got to see the atlantis from yet another angle as we boated by. apparently the resort takes up a majority of this side of the island.
and this little shack was a movie prop from an old james bond movie that they just never tore down afterwards.
our ship was one of three docked at nassau that day, along with carnival and royal caribbean.
we were shuffled back through festival plaza as we made our way back towards the ship. i bought a magnet for a buck and shook my head at the multiple offers to braid my hair, or the bean's, or the old lady's.
and then we were back onboard.
the bean wanted to hit the pool with her buddy, and the hub headed back to the cabin to grab a quick nap. left to our own devices, the old lady and i decided to do a little exploring of the 18+ area upstairs.
meanwhile, the pool had been evacuated yet again due to lightning in the area.
we grabbed a quick lunch in cabanas again - a random assortment of asparagus soup, sushi and roast beef. all we were missing was some ice cream to make it look like anna of arendelle's dream wedding ("soup, roast and ice cream." no one? no one??).
and then we all met up again in our stateroom to watch the shoreline of nassau disappear as we sailed away again.
fun times. and going by way too fast. sigh.