Saturday, December 07, 2002


        I'm back from paradise! Back from 80 degrees, snorkeling in
a lagoon fringed with coconut palms and evenings filled with fruity
tropical drinks to 15 degrees here in tense Boston. Joy.

        Seriously, it's great to be back... So here are a few random
observations about my trip.

        The Atlantis resort on the aptly named Paradise Island is fabulous beyond description.
Period. But there were problems with the rooms. My family struggles
to get three adjoining rooms during the stay. (I had my separate room
on another floor. Unplanned, but I wasn't complaining!) The staff
was incredibly friendly- or maybe the Bahamians are just very nice to
tourists (while separating us from our cash!)

        "Who Let the Dogs Out," seems to be the unofficial anthem, judging by
its ubiquity...

        Baccarat must be a more interesting game if Le Chiffre is sharing your
table. (1 point ref.)

        The trick to gambling is to know when to run away. The house will
always win given enough time.

        I won't play craps again until I actually get a clue.

        Blackjack can be incredibly frustrating! You get ten on your first
two cards, double down, get a picture cards- as the dealer shows six.
She turns the hole card over- it's a five. Then out comes a ten.

        I spent the snorkeling time in the resort's lagoon. I wish I could
have taken a boat to 'Stingray City' (or do some other things, like
sportfishing) but things did not work out. Still there was a lot to
see- including small barracuda, snapper, a stingray, starfish, upside
down jellyfish a sea cucumber, gorgeous tropical fish and sea
urchins... On the last- word to the wise... DO NOT TOUCH THE ONES

        As a snorkrler, I preferred the lagoon to the beach. It waves were
awfully rough and there was nothing really to see. (Nearly typed
'sea.') But the water was a gorgeous turquoise.

        Boy- down there night falls fast!

        The Bahamian coat of arms is really cool.

        The resort had a number of fish tanks and pools for denizens of the
deep. There was a manta swimming in a huge ocean tank along with what
seemed to be a hundred other fish, including a hammerhead. I could
also see another hammerhead in a pool visible from my balcony- he swam
with a bunch of stingrays. A number of tanks had sharks (some of whom
were captured after wandering into the lagoon), stingrays, spotted
eagle rays, sawfish, grouper (which tastes fine, but has an odd
texture), remoras, triggerfish, jacks, French grunts, yellowtail
snapper and sea turtles. Aside from hammerheads, there were nurse
sharks and blacktips. The nurse sharks looked lazy, but as a sign by
one of their pools read, 'These are wild animals with big teeth!'

        The water slides were a blast. Two of them went through clear tubes
that ran though a shark tank. That, to me, was cruel. The poor
sharks are constantly tantalized by an unreachable buffet!

        I could barely get a newspaper there and while the resort's library
had Internet access, it was 15 minutes a day. I was going through
info withdrawal!

        The flight home was reasonable (if a bit bumpy at the end). Had a
three hour layover in Charlotte. Nice airport. Love the rocking
chairs. My nephew was enthralled by the kinetic sculpture.

        Get out of the airplane into the corridor that leads to the terminal
at Logan and the breath is already clouding. 'Welcome Back' says New

        Anyhow, it's good to be back! Ya miss me?


        Feh. Might as well go back!