Adventure Time with Cartoon Network at AtlantisMegan Jordan
Adventures are underrated. Adventures with our kids? Invaluable.
It’s time to make an adventure of your own. How does spontaneous international travel with one young traveler in need of a passport at the last minute sound?
Earlier this summer, my then-seven year old son, Quinn, and I went to the Atlantis resort at Paradise Island, Bahamas. Just the two of us. Invited on a press trip through Babble, we seized the rare opportunity for one of the kids to travel with me for work and swooned at the chance to experience the Cartoon Network Celebrates Summer at Atlantis, a limited engagement camp with Cartoon Network themes.
Talk about adventure time.
International Travel! You can do this.
Have you traveled internationally with your kids? I have not. The adventure began early as we had less than two weeks to secure a passport for Quinn and I had no idea where to start. So I took a deep breath, opened a browser with Atlantis.com open in one tab and the State Department in the other, alternating between the two for encouragement (water slides! beaches!) and information (printable forms! directions!).
Come to find out (and here I come, telling you because I wish someone could have told me) it is not difficult at all to get a passport on short notice. Thinking of a spontaneous trip to the Atlantis? You can so do it.
All you need is proof of travel within 14 days and a handful of other docs (like birth certificates), then march yourself and your child to the passport office. We picked up Quinn’s passport the day after we applied in person for it. And done! Where’s the plane?!
Quinn is my oldest child of three and it is rare to have one-on-one time with him. Having now taken this solo trip with him, I am committed to solo trips with all of my kids once a year. I learned so much about him and we had so much fun bonding time, something hard-won as he gets older and increasingly too cool for me.
I am so beyond in love with the Atlantis that I honestly can’t think beyond taking everyone back there every time we go anywhere. Ever. I devoutly hope that Cartoon Network returns for a summer camp again next summer because the dive-in theater alone is worth the trip. Picture skies full of stars, warm breezes, and your happy family floating in a gorgeously lit pool with the iconic Atlantis Royal Towers in the background, framing a movie screen showing Adventure Time with Finn and Jake to a crowd of tickled-to-death children.
Rather than write a novel on why the Atlantis is the ideal family vacation (during Cartoon Network Summer Camp or otherwise), I’m going to dive into the classic vacation slideshow because the photos tell awesome tales for themselves. And I rarely do slideshows.
Although our trip was a press trip (therefore expenses were paid), I had already begun booking our next trip by the time we returned home. I signed up for the Atlantis newsletter and those emails are some of the only ones I will stop what I’m doing and open just in case there is a special offer we could use. I need so little encouragement at this point, but every discount helps.
And seriously, the Atlantis offers specials like Jake does wiggly arms. (Adventure Time reference, holla! translation: all the time and well.)
If you book by September 24, they have some particularly amazing specials at all of their hotels on the property. (you’ll see in the slideshow that we stayed at the Reef and are now die-hard loyal to it, though visited each hotel, dug them all, and would sleep in a cabana if we had to… and sort of did, anyway, because hello cabana by the pool and ocean)
Enough of me trying to convince you to go on a spontaneous vacation with me. Let’s look at some photos of me in a bikini!
(maybe. you’ll have to look at all of them to see. oh! aaaand a fun video of us at the Cartoon Network character parade!)
His face says “Awesome!” 1 of 25This is the first slide and slideshows are like candy cookies, right? Keep clicking.
Bridge to Paradise Island 2 of 25That there is the Atlantis. You want to go.
This is the last informative slide. 3 of 25Our room at the Reef! The mirror image of our hotel is the Cove, which we took to referring to as "Our arch enemy." I'm sure they are nice there, too. We loved the Reef.
Poolside snack. aka Torture 4 of 25Also known as, "Mom, I will eat something but then can we PLEASE go swimming?!" We'd been at the Atlantis for 30 minutes and he was dying from non-swimming torture.
Swimming! 5 of 25This pool between the Reef (in the background) and the Cove was a zero-entry pool that you just walk into. Excellent for iffy swimmers.
Cabana lovin’, had me a blast. 6 of 25He is letting his guard down and I'm drunk on happy.
The Cove is nice. Whatever. 7 of 25We walked through the Cove to reach the rest of the property and... fine, they had nice details. Go, Reef!
Seriously, Mom, this way! 8 of 25Live action shot of Quinn losing patience with my lolly-gagging on the way to a Cartoon Network dinner.
Let the Cartoon Network immersion begin! 9 of 25
How to Tame Your 7-year Old 10 of 25He is having so much fun, he's actually posing. I can't even.
Every Mom’s favorite photo 11 of 25End of our first day. People, he asked to sleep in my bed with me JUST BECAUSE. You should probably book your trip to the Atlantis now. You can thank me later FOR ALL OF THE AWESOME.
Wherein Megan Geeks Out 12 of 25I slowed down our group every ten feet because "Ooh! Stingrays!" I'm sparing you my "Ooh! Turtles!" and "Ooh! Sharks!" photos. I have nine spajillion.
Atlantis Kids Adventure or AKA 13 of 25The kid care services (for when you want time on your own) were outstanding. I would write a whole post about all of the cool features at AKA but... I have shark photos!
Lego Room at AKA 14 of 25One of the coolest themed rooms at Atlantis Kids Adventure was the Lego room. Behind Quinn, you see a photo of the Atlantis under construction, against a wall of Lego base for building.
Attention to detail and you get me 15 of 25Since I'm not your grandma, I won't show you my dozens of shots of all of the architectural details at the resort. Except this one ceiling. Just... yeah, this is really cool.
Sharks! No? Fish tubes! 16 of 25The Atlantis property is expansive, yes, but you can easily move from one attraction to the next from any hotel and never get bored. This is the Atlantis version of a hallway. No big deal.
Yes, you can take your teens. No, really. 17 of 25Crush is the teen club at Atlantis. It's also where I may have lost the respect of the travel writers in our group because I was completely geeking out. This is a gaming tree, surrounded with gaming chairs and other things gamers would love. If they don't want to dance in the completely amazing dance club part of Crush. Introverts and extroverts unite!
The Dig 18 of 25Even during our downtime from the press-related work, we couldn't get enough of all the hidden spots at the Atlantis.
Indiana Jones Goes To the Aquarium 19 of 25The Dig is basically like walking through discovering the lost city of Atlantis. But with gigantic manta rays. I know.
Dolphin Experience and then I Died 20 of 25Many of the packages currently available at the Atlantis include the shallow water dolphin interaction. This was taken "backstage" looking out at the dolphin pools. I need to stop writing this and go back there.
Dolphins need fresh water. Who knew? 21 of 25I'll write about this on VelveteenMind.com soon but one of the coolest parts of the behind-the-scenes dolphin experience was talking to the trainers about caring for the dolphins. Our favorite detail? Many of the dolphins at the Atlantis come from our home in Gulfport, having lost their marine facility during Hurricane Katrina.
Old neighbors forgive fish breath 22 of 25Quinn met this old sea lion when Quinn was one year old in Gulfport. They both love his new home. Mwah!
Missing it before we’re even gone 23 of 25Our last morning. We're already melancholy over leaving. Look at this view. Good grief.
Lazy river for satisfied souls 24 of 25We spent the majority of our free time on the lazy river. Which was largely not lazy. Rapids, detours to water slides, and more fun than I can believe we fit into three days. These are happy faces. (bring waterproof mascara)
Spontaneity, For The Win 25 of 25Traveling with this guy made me so proud. We have to hit the road more often. We have to stop thinking we need to plan ahead so much. We need to just go!
Are you ready to dive in to your own adventure? You can do it this weekend. Next weekend. Now! You don’t need extravagant, complicated plans made months in advance to pull off an adventure of your own.
Our trip was short and we hardly had time to pack. It was perfect. Our spirit of spontaneity was reignited on this trip. Those three days are a treasure in our hearts. Do you feel stirrings of your own? Jump! No, don’t look. Jump!
Visit Atlantis.com for details and specials
Follow @AtlantisResort on twitter (they are on Instagram, too!)
Like Atlantis on Facebook (this is a great spot for notices of specials, too)
Check out the Atlantis app (I used this plenty and it was great)
More of Megan on Threadbare Theory:
Impress Your Kids Much? I Don’t. (on how writing Forrest Gump wouldn’t have helped)
Raising Psychopaths (on limiting exposure to violence for our kids)
Chasing the Ovation (on my love for packed movie theaters)
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