I’ve found it! A resort that offers bucket list activities for all generations from grandparents to grandchildren from mothers to daughters. With scheduled entertainment, a marine habitat, a water park, and extreme water adventures, my mother, my sister, my daughter, and I all crossed items off of our list while staying at Atlantis, Bahamas. Offering the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, a 63-acre Aquaventure waterpark, and the largest conference space in the Caribbean, Atlantis is a palace fit for a bucket list lifestyle.
My bucket list reads like Santa’s naughty and nice list. It’s endless with names of places and things that are beyond my wildest imagination. One item has been lingering for years, always being pushed further and further down the naughty list. I started to think maybe it was time I just took it off altogether. Swimming with sharks gave me such a paralyzing fear, that I thought I’d never actually be able to do it but while at Atlantis, I finally overcame my most crippling item. Using a state-of-the-art clear-glass helmet with Sea Trek, I was able walk on the bottom of the Shark Exhibit and get nose-to-nose with the guardians of the lost world of Atlantis.
My sister, Gabriella, is only 11 years old. She’s the youngest of six and the most timid one of us all. While she’s fun, caring, creative, and holds a vast imagination, her adventurous side is not as great as mine. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with age as well, but getting her to step outside of her adventure comfort zone can be a challenge. When she told me that she always wanted to ride a tube down a water slide, I was overjoyed that she was going to do it with me. We dove into The Current, a ride which propelled us through lush, tropical foliage along a mile-long river in an inner tube via water escalators, rolling waves, and extreme rapids powered by master blaster technology. As we were being pulled up the water escalator to ride the water slide through dark tunnels and drop 58 feet to ground level before being propelled up through a water roller coaster of twisting tubes, she had a smile on her face and I was the one bracing myself. Not only did she tick that one off of her list, but I’m sure it led to more thrilling ideas to add in the near future.
Even if Athena has a bucket list, I have no idea what it is. It’s not like she can convey it to me; she’s not even two after all. But when she laid down on the floor of The Dig, a journey through the streets and tunnels of the fabulous lost city of Atlantis with stunning marine life exhibits, I knew that it was a great adventure for her. She watched, wide-eyed, as lobsters, lionfish, grouper, clownfish, jellyfish, eels, piranha, and sharks darted around the tanks and playfully moved about their habitat. She said, “I love you sharky” and “awwww” as she hugged the tank. She may only be a toddler, but she’s taking after her mother already. Prepared for any adventure, she’s always looking to explore as much as possible.
My mother is now in her fifties, but if you tell a person’s age by their activity level or passion for life, she might be younger than me. She rode every ride that we wanted, chased Athena up and down the beach, rose early and went to bed late. She was willing to do everything and anything that we wanted during our Bahamas vacation. When she heard that Sherri Shepherd was performing live in the Atlantis Theatre, she asked for one bucket list experience for herself. She was like a kid asking her parents to go to Disneyland. She was sitting down and looked up at me, “Sherri Shepherd from The View is performing here tonight. I can’t believe it. If there was anyone that I could meet or see, it would be her. Can we go, please?” I would have gone regardless, but it was a pleasure to do something for my mother. She had done so much for me during the vacation, and my entire life, that it felt better to go with her than anything else I did while in Atlantis. (Maybe not walking with the sharks, but you get the idea.) We both laughed from start to finish. Both Sheri and Caroline Rhea were hilarious and my mother could easily relate to the punch line of most of the jokes. We laughed all the way back to our room after the show and as my mother drifted off to sleep, she said, “Thank you, Lesley. I haven’t had that much fun in… a can’t remember when.” I didn’t tell her, but I almost started to cry.
We experienced a bucket list getaway for the generations; one that brought us even closer as a family and as bucket list seekers. Being surrounded by family reminds me to live in the moment and enjoy every second of the day. From exploring the underground tunnels and marine habitats to walking with sharks, we found bucket list activities in every section of Atlantis.