Brooke and I met the rest of the group at an FBO near the Birmingham airport, and boarded the private jet (!) that we flew down in. We arrived in the Bahamas around noon, checked in at Customs, and split up into three limos and headed to the resort (with a stop-off at the liquor store).
(Sidebar: I could ramble on and on about what a beautiful place it is, how pretty the property is, how bright and beautiful the landscaping is, etc., but that's a given...on to the trip stories! Just don't think ANY of that was taken for granted at any point...I had a hard time not walking around, mouth gaping...)
Our first order of business once we got checked in: food! Most of us herded our way around to the Lagoon Bar and Grill (open air, birds flying around and landing at your feet, no doubt worse before this sign was posted) and had a lovely lunch, before going for our first 'service' at the Mandara Spa. I've never had any 'spa time' and I can totally see why people opt for 'spa vacations'...holy shmoly. (Brooke's and my first appointment was for facials, and while the facial stuff did their thing, the lady massaged my head and shoulders...oh my lawd). From there, we went to our room, took copious photos, called down to the bellman to request our stuff be brought up, and chilled until our luggage arrived. Then it was time to get ready for dinner!
Dinner the first night was at Nobu, an amazing Japanese restaurant (and that pic is only half the group). We ate 'family style', our waiter bringing out two plates of a different entrée every 10-15 minutes, and everyone got to try a little bit of everything. Conch, cod, tuna steak, shrimp, snapper, kalamari, and sushi rolls of some kind, just to name a few. Did I mention it was amazing?
Those who know Brooke know she is not a fan of seafood. But she was a trooper! She tried several of the dishes they brought out...and was happy to have ordered a steak. Our first night, we bebopped around the casino a bit, Brooke won something like $80 on her second spin on a quarter machine (yay Brookie!). We also went with a few others and roamed around the marina, ogling the yachts. Somewhere around 11 or so, we headed back to our room, A: for Brooke to order room service cuz she was hongry, and B: to go to bed at a decent time because we knew we wanted to get up earlier the next morning.