greetings from atlantis

Our flight to Miami was about as pleasant as a red eye can be, with the notable exception of Baron von Kicksalot, who sat behind me, and guaranteed that I didn’t sleep for more than thirty minutes at a time. I have this foggy memory of spinning around and snarling at him somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico, after which the kicking stopped, but I could have dreamed the whole thing, so don’t hold me to it.

We had a brief moment of panic during our approach, when the pilot aborted just before touch down, and raced into the sky to circle the field. While everyone on the plane wondered if we were all doomed, he told us that the runway had become obscured by fog, there was nothing to worry about, and we’d just need to make a different approach to a safer runway. As we circled Miami, I kept telling Anne, "This looks just like Vice City!" That extra time, added to the 70 minute delay we had before we left LAX, made us miss our connection to Nassau. After another, less brief moment of panic, Anne and I made it onto the very next flight as standbys (and thank gods we did, because if we’d missed it, we’d have been stranded in Miami until at least that evening, and possibly until the following morning.)

The flight to the Bahamas was amazing and nearly-perfect: the skies were clear, the water was sparkling and various shades of blue and green, and I kept feeling like I was watching a giant game of Pirates, but I spared Anne any of the talk like a pirate day lingo I’m so fond of, in favor of whistling the song from Pirates of the Caribbean. Anne is fast earning the title, "dear and patient wife."

We landed, picked up our bags, and had one of the most terrifying taxi rides, ever. We drove through downtown Nassau, which is right near the port, and was swarming with tourists from four different cruise ships. There was terrible traffic, and I learned that taxi drivers here like to do this style of driving called "speed up until your passengers are certain they are going to die in a horrible crash, then slam on the breaks inches before you hit the car in front of you." There is another style of driving they have here called, "change lanes without signaling or looking and honk the horn, man!" Our driver was a master of both.

We arrived at the hotel thirty or so harrowing minutes later, and checked into our room, which was a few stories above and open stage, where a band played covers of songs like "Ladies Night," and "Electric Slide," and the ever-popular "It’s Raining Men." I quickly asked for and received a room change to a quieter side of the hotel.

After a quick nap, Anne and I set out to explore Atlantis. WOW. Everywhere you go here, there are aquariums, filled with the most amazing marine life you’ll ever see: countless sting rays and reef sharks, huge groupers, manta rays with fifteen-foot wing spans, and schools of tuna and barracuda. This place is huge, too. It takes twenty minutes just to walk from one side to the next, and that’s without stopping to stare open-mouthed at one of the aquariums, or to just look around and marvel at how lucky we are to be in such a beautiful place.

We ate dinner in this place called "The Cafe," which is in a huge atrium, with one wall formed by one of the largest aquariums in the resort. I nearly choked on my dinner more than once when a giant shark or manta ray glided through the water just past us.

Though there was much more to see and do after dinner, we made our way back to our room, collapsed into bed around ten, and slept with the windows open for fourteen hours.

More later . . .

39 thoughts on “greetings from atlantis”

  1. OK, I’m madly jealous (except for the flight delay and taxi ride parts). Atlantis sounds like a fabulous place. Be sure and say hello to Aquaman for me if you see him. Have a great time and keep the reports coming!

  2. Not on topic, but just wanted to say I finished Just A Geek: Teh Audiobook on Tuesday. If anyone hasn’t bought this yet, DO IT! NOW! STOP READING MY MESSAGE!
    I SAID STOP!
    The gag reel alone (which is the disc you actually pay for, the rest is free, j/k) is worth the investment. Wil’s Cosby impersonation is definitely teh funnay and the belch followed by a nice loud and clear MF had me rolling.
    Looking forward to DB: TA.

  3. Cabbies are nuts there. I was at Atlantis this summer (stop on a cruise). As the cab driver was speeding around like a lunatic he explained to us that driving in Nassau is nuts because drunk driving is legal. I never figured out if this was really true or not, but judging by what I saw I don’t doubt it.

  4. Yeah, what Dave said re: Aquaman.
    But, also keep an eye out for Patrick Duffy… The Man From Atlantis.
    Now, THAT was a winner of a show! [Webbed hands/feet, no less.]

  5. ” “There is another style of driving they have here called, “change lanes without signaling or looking and honk the horn, man!” Our driver was a master of both.””
    Sounds like Nicaragua. As we were transported in our little bus, most decided it was best to either sleep or look at the scenery. Not to catch up on sleep, but because on these little two lane roads speed limits werent observed all that much (or they were high. I was to tired to convert mph-kph). When cars passed each other, one did so quickly, as you maybe had a couple feet to spare before you hit the bus coming in the other direction. Bus. not car. 80% of the vehicles there are either old school buses and old full sized rigs. Yeesh.

  6. I’m super-jealous as well. Atlantis is last on the list of places I Really Wanna Go. Have a blast out there Wil, and best of luck to you in the tourney. Give Otis a hug for me!!

  7. When I was in Turkey, the taxi rides were routinely terrifying. There was one ride, in particular, that stands out. Imagine streets as hilly as those in San Francisco, but not nearly as straight and without any sort of rigid traffic regulations. Then imagine that the taxi driver keeps mistaking the passengers frightened exclamations for indications of enjoyment, causing him to *increase* his dangerous driving.
    Worst. Cab Ride. Ever.

  8. Damn, man. Be happy you didn’t have a long layover in Miami. That place is a PIT.
    I also love flying over the Caribbean in the morning. It’s so awesome to see all that beautiful water (not like here in LA)
    ~raises water bottle in toast to 14-hour sleep~
    …what? I’m at work! It’s the best I could do…

  9. We had a very similar taxi ride in Puerto Vallarta. I seriously thought that I was going to die.
    Our cabbie actually drove into a residental area far away from the tourist zone which is where we hired him and where we requested to be dropped off. He stopped the cab for a few, chatted with some people, and then drove over a sand dune in a VW Bug (the old ones) to get us to our destination.
    I do have to say that the rush was great, though!

  10. Wil, whatever you do…you need to go back to “The Cafe” and have the lobster mashed potatos…frankly they are the most heavenly concoction I have ever tasted. We went to Nassau for our honeymoon and stayed on the big island. Needless to say, we moved to the Sheraton next door to the Atlantis the next day and had a much better stay! Have fun and make sure you rent a jet ski at some point! While out on the water, look down and see the bottom. When you do, you will find yourself thinking you are going to fall to your death as if you were in the air with a dying plane, truly an amazing feeling!

  11. Nassau was a cruise stop for me as well. We took the ferry from the port to Paradise Island, with a captain who made us a bit nervous since he usually didn’t seem to be looking in the direction the boat was headed.
    My wife and I walked around as much as they let you do without a room key, but we found the whole place as awesome as Wil has described. My wife is a fan of glass bead making, so she really was floored by the artwork. A woman working in the casino said each sculpture cost about $1M.

  12. Sorry to hear about the flight troubles. I swear those come with the package, because I have stories about delays and missing flights. I know I’m not alone either. I have never used a taxi before and now I never want to!
    But I am glad you and Anne are there now and that you both made it in one piece.
    Wow. The Bahamas sound beautiful. Wish I were there!

  13. If you think the cabs are scary in Nassau, don’t try the buses. It’s okay, if you don’t mind passing other buses within mere centimeters and having your hearing blasted out by Jamaican music. Plus, it seems they stop every mile or so to refuel.
    Getting there is harrowing, but it’s worth it for the beaches, clear water and snorkeling.

  14. Sounds fabulous, Wil. I hope you guys continue to have a good time. We’d love to see some pictures, if you get a chance… Have fun and say hi to Anne for us!!
    Shauna

  15. You’re like uh… famous. Defamer has a listing for you in their latest Privacy Watch (celebrity sightings column).
    Have fun on your poker vacation.

  16. Pirates is an AWESOME game. I was recently introduced to it by Trevor, who could speak of nothing else until World Of Warcraft gain control of his mind again.
    Your sleep sounds peaceful. When we went to Hawai’i, we didn’t get to sleep of the jetlag. We had to eat, sight see, get married…you know. The usual tourist stuff.

  17. I got on a 12 hour flight to London (from LAX) and a kid behind me started kicking my seat. I asked him to stop a few times, but he didn’t.
    Finally, I turned to him, and said ‘look, I am not feeling well. I may puke. And if I do, I am going to throw up on you’.
    He didn’t move the entire trip. I feel kinda bad, but it was a 12 hour flight…

  18. Happy New Year! This sounds like a fantastic trip (except for that music you were forced to endure; must have been torture).
    Keep showing Anne a great time :)

  19. I just watched a documentary on that hotel the other day and I must say you have my complete and total envy. Enjoy yourselves and please post pics…

  20. I love that aquarium. I’ve eaten at that restaurant and have been too mesmerized to eat watching that big manta ray cruise by. And how about those lobsters? The first night I was there, I was walking under that glass ceiling and all of those lobsters reminded me of the movie Alien.
    When I was there, the water was too rough and no one could swim, but that hotel is so big with so many pools I hardly noticed.

  21. I was in Nassau the week before Thanksgiving. I didn’t get to Atlantis, but I was one of those pedestrians trying to avoid being hit by crazy drivers.
    We were on a cruise and didn’t spend much time on shore. I did buy a Chocolate Rum Cake for my mother from that last set of shops before you get back on the cruise ships. IT WAS FABULOUS!! If you like chocolate, I highly recommend picking up a chocolate rum cake.

  22. Hey Wil – met you at the partay and told you I’d send you a link for my poker blog…I wasn’t sure if your wilwheaton.net email worked since your site is on vacation so I’ll post it here instead. http://www.pokerjobber.com
    oh and here’s the picture I took with you to jog your memory…but I’m sure you remembered every word from our conversation since I was the only poker player you met during the week.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/btjones/82317261/
    I definately saw my life flashing through my eyes as our driver passed cars on the wrong side of the road and used every horse in that engine get back to the correct side of the road before smashing head first into oncoming traffic

  23. “As we circled Miami, I kept telling Anne, ‘This looks just like Vice City!’”
    ROFL! I’ve never been to Miami, but this sounds EXACTLY like what I’d say to my wife while flying in! And then she’d turn to me and say, “You are SUCH a geek. Why did I marry you again?”… but that’s beside the point.

  24. The Atlantis is awesome (and you don’t have to be rich to stay there… though it doesn’t hurt!). When we were there, our ol’ pal Larry Flynt was staying there.

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