As I gripped the rails that kept me from plummeting, my knuckles turned as white as the grains of sand on the pearly white beach. Then the light turned green signaling that it was my turn. Air flew underneath me as if I were a plane taking flight with my body’s momentum as the landing gears. Repeating the screams that echoed in the tunnel before me, I attempted to peel my eyes open to witness the experience, while simultaneously vying to catch a breath in between the frequent rushes of water propelling into my face.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
The name of the game was Leap of Faith; roughly a 60 foot vertical drop through a transparent tunnel with sharks on the other side of the glass. Set in the breathtaking Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, the water slide is one of many attractions the resort has to offer. Nestled on the appropriately named Paradise Island, Atlantis provided my family and I with just that: paradise.
Following a few days of exploring the aquatic adventures at the water park, we ventured to the Dolphin Cay to interact with the dolphins. Kissing a wet mammal that just swallowed a dead fish was not the highlight of the trip, I can tell you that. On the contrary, the feeling of the animal’s nose against my foot as it pushed me at soaring speeds to the other side of the lagoon was not just the highlight of the vacation, but an accented memory of my life. The firm, yet gentle touch of the calm creature mixed with the sensation of water splashing into my face created a memory that will forever be imprinted in my mind. Along with swimming with the dolphins, the Dolphin Cay also offers vacationers the chance to mingle with sea lions, snorkel the Atlantis ruins, and become a trainer for a day.
The resort has nightlife for both teens and adults, with a casino and a teen nightclub. The teen nightclub, Crush, is located inside one of the multiple hotel buildings. Similar to the majority of the attractions, however, Crush is an additional cost. Although many things are extra at the resort, the exceptionally accommodating staff at Atlantis makes the money appear to be well spent. With dancing lifeguards, employees that truly exhibit island hospitality, and a resort filled with as much adventure as the mystery of the Lost Empire, my family and I left with memories and mementos that encompassed a greater meaning than the legend itself.
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