One day while sitting at home, I was playing around on Google Earth when my eyes kept getting drawn to the Bahamas. I couldn't help noticing that the color of the water in the area was very different than the color of water everywhere else. Instead of a deep blue, it had this otherworldly greenish-blue aqua color, seemingly glowing on the screen. I noticed it in pockets in shallow areas in other parts of the world too, but nowhere else was it so widespread across such a great distance. At that moment, I knew I needed to experience it for myself.
We had the opportunity to do so when visiting the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort located on the island of Great Exuma. Great Exuma is the largest island in the Exuma district, consisting of 360 islands in the middle of the Bahamas chain. Looking out the window of the airplane as we approached, I got so excited seeing the amazing green-blue colored water that I had been dreaming about all these years.
We arrived at the Sandals resort and we were greeted with a refreshing welcome drink. During check-in, we were introduced to Garth, one of our assigned butlers, who showed us around the resort while escorting us to our beachfront villa. For those that aren't familiar with Sandals, it is an all inclusive resort, meaning that everything, foods, drinks, water sports, even scuba diving are all included in the price. Garth told us we needed to focus on relaxing and enjoying our vacation and that if we needed anything at all to contact him and that they would take care of it. The villa was beautiful and we opened the doors to the sounds of gently crashing waves nearby.
Over the next 6 nights we had such an incredible and relaxing visit. From spending time on the beach, relaxing at the pool, or just hanging out in the villa, every bit of stress just melted away. There were 7 different restaurants offering different types of cuisine, but my favorite was the beachside, barefoot friendly seafood restaurant. It brought me back to my childhood in Indonesia eating Jimbaran style with tables and chairs placed in the sand, eating seafood caught fresh from the ocean. Their French and Italian restaurants were also top-notch, and I enjoyed getting daily treats at their Parisian style patisserie (pastry shop).
And the water...the name Emerald Bay was very accurate. The green-blue color was unlike anything I had seen before. We took some excursions including spending a day out for a water safari that included swimming with pigs, feeding iguanas grapes, and snorkeling in beautiful coral reefs. My husband enjoyed standup paddleboarding in the mornings when the water was most calm.
Eventually like all good things, it had to come to an end and our airport shuttle was arranged to take us back to our cold and snowy home. We tried to convince Garth to come back with us to Chicago, but were not offended when had made the obvious decision to remain living in tropical paradise, instead of our frozen tundra back home. We are already eagerly planning our next trip to return there next winter.
Here's the link to the resort's website if you would like to learn more.