Tapas-style starter: smoked salmon wrapped around a creamy, fluffy ranch filling, pressurized Parmesan cheese disk coated in a crusty crumb mixture and texturized tomato and watermelon infused mousse served cold. Welcome to Krystal, the Riu Palace's fusion gourmet restaurant and the hubs and I's first restaurant we ate at on our honeymoon. The dinnerware was phenomenal and showcased some of the most unique pieces I have ever seen.
I have a confession too. I adore fancy dinners. There is something about a little champagne bucket beside your table, fancy dinnerware and impeccable presentation that makes my heart skip a beat or two. Throw in a cute outfit and the best company around and you're guaranteed a perfect night. Our hotel had a funny policy of requiring dinner reservations to eat in their four speciality restaurants. The kicker was you had to make these reservations between 7:00 and 8:00 am every morning. Luckily my sweet Apb scored us a table for two at this amazing place above where we ate some pretty incredible food (he had a passion fruit jelly and I had the best coco lava cake eva for dessert. Nom nom nom.)
The next morning we spent the entire day laying on the sunshine-drenched beach. Well Apb did. This girl was found like noted above. Frolicking in the incredibly warm ocean. My sweet Nan and Grandpa use to travel to Cuba every year on vacation for as far back as I can remember. Nan loved going in the ocean so the salt water could soften her skin and the waves could lightly toss her back and forth. Oddly enough it was soothing for me to be in the water drifting back and forth, thinking of her doing the same thing. Huge schools of fish would sometimes come and swim around me when I was only metres from the shore. The hubs bought me a very leaky face mask too, which I actually managed to use and find some gorgeous shells with.
Similar to the beach vendors in Mexico, The Bahamas had a ton of people scrounging the beach looking for people interested in jet ski and parasail rides, and women who were selling wraps and jewelry to all the 'pretty ladies'. However, this one guy came around every so often and balanced on his head was this box filled to the brim with fresh coconuts, tropical mixed drinks and brightly-hued straws. I chatted with him about his 'business' and he filled me in on the daily palm tree climbs he makes to get the best coconuts along with how some days on the beach are slower than others. For five bucks he sliced open the top of my coconut, popped in a lime green straw and handed me my sweet treat. The sweet coconut water was divine. But pouring in a frothy pina colada drink and adding a scoop of ice was a recipe for pure yumminess.
After finishing my coconut drink and heading upstairs to get all the sand out of our suits, I washed off all of the shells I had found in the ocean. As cliche as it sounds to find shells on a tropical vacation, I actually am very proud of myself for finding the shells I did and think they are a beautiful memory of the hubs and I's time in The Bahamas. Currently, they are sitting snug in a metal clasp jar in my washroom and ironically will match perfectly the the plush soft pale blue towels we received as wedding gifts. Oh and those are our rings too. I thought I'd try my hand at my own kind of ring shot :)
Once we were ready to go, we walked over to Atlantis to check out the Casino, shops and aquarium and kill some time before our dinner reservation. We took a customary 'before the night starts photo' and I love how happy we both look. I never truly understood the happiness that comes along with being a newlywed but to me this picture represents an emotion between Andrew and I that is simply indescribable. And absolutely everything happy.
Chocolate Madness for Andrew and Peanut Butter Brittle Cream for myself. B & J's, you make my taste buds dance. Over at Atlantis they have a cute little shop area right next to the Marina. It's an outdoor shopping space complete with ice cream shops, Starbucks, Bahamian boutiques, restaurants and live entertainment. Besides the ice cream which was hands down delicious, our favourite shop was the Tortuga Rum Cake shop. No bigger than a tiny office cubicle the shop sells Bahamian rum, rum-infused fudge and the cutest little rum bundt cakes we have ever seen. Each day they would place samples out front of their shop and we went three days in a row before committing to buy a six pack of the cakes.
Here is the packaging for the cakes. They make six flavours, Key Lime, Banana, Coconut, Golden Original, Chocolate, and Pineapple. The chocolate was so very tasty but the Golden Original and Coconut were fantastic. We brought some cakes home for our families and we split a chocolate flavoured rum cake between the four of us as we shared our honeymoon stories. One of the best souvenirs we have ever invested in.
Here I am outside of the casino sporting a tropical flower in my hair. Behind me in the marina is where Andrew's dream boat sits. And behind those boats and yachts is the shopping area I mentioned above. We actually walked through the casino that same day, fascinated by the bright lights and overstimulated noises coming from all of the machines. Apb slipped me a dollar bill and said to pick a slot machine. I picked my machine, a glowing pink and purple hued unit. Must be good luck to be so happy and in love.