Sunday, September 19, 2010

Celebrating 10 years in the Maldives!

Last week we spent some quality family time together away from Doha by taking advantage of the local Islam holiday, Eid. Nick had 3 days off of work connected to the weekend. We planned this vacation mostly to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.

One of the most treasured blessings of being an expat is "location, location, location". Considering we aren't close to home our options for travel are more unique. I couldn't be more thankful for the abundant blessings I've been given over the last 10 years with Nick and I can't think of a better place to celebrate.
The Maldives...absolute paradise!

The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean between India and Africa. Its an island nation made up of over 1,000 tiny islands (actually the tops of a vast underwater mountain range). The islands are actually called Atolls, which is a geographical word for an island of coral which encircles a lagoon.

There are no words or pictures that can accurately describe the beauty, tranquility, or fun we had last week. I must say that at least 50% of the experience goes to our resort and the service. I've never experienced anything like it. The island is about 5 acres. The staff seemed to know all the personal details necessary and were so readily available. I wouldn't risk going anywhere else...Anantara was incredible! I highly recommend it. It was absolute paradise with kids but would also be a dream honeymoon. So without further are a too many photos.

View of one of the island/resorts from the plane

Leaving the airport by boat...headed to Anantara

Boat ride

Arriving at the resort...there was a drum player and ice cold towels when we stepped off the boat

Welcome Jetty Pic

Our home away from home

Outdoor bathroom, complete with and outdoor shower (and a regular shower)

View from our patio

On our way to dinner

First breakfast

Whatever you want!

Sugar Bowl getting strong and smiling at daddy

View of the beach down from our bungaloo
(Spa in the background over the water)

Seriously! A coconut washed up on shore.

Ordered lunch on the beach and they delivered the food along with a complete dining set!

The Kids Club...which the boys LOVED!
Maybe just b/c it was a "club"

Feeding the fish and SHARKS!

Harmless reef sharks

Nick wanted to find out how harmless!


Shower :)

Crazies before dinner.
Didn't get a decent picture of all 3.

Look-a-likes at dinner.

Amazing Thai restaurant

After dinner we walked down the beach to our little villa and found this...
Not a cheesy music show but a campfire with just a guy an his guitar, singing favorites for hanging out on the beach. We put our kids to bed, grabbed the baby monitor and walked outside to enjoy. Wish I could have bottled up the moment.

Georgia ready for a ride in the stroller to breakfast.

Off to the beach and pool

Some scenery pics....

Great view

Daddy and Georgie!

Brooks in the pool, loving every second!

Miss Georgia

Great sunset

Before heading to dinner

This sweet chinese lady wanted to record the sounds of the Bees playing on the beach. Her husband was holding the video camera.

Family shot

Mama and Georgia

one of too many pictures that need to be edited b/c of poor photography

Beach morning

More pool time

Hanging with Mr. Jerry
Our dear friends the Jackson's happen to pick the same resort we did. It was nice to see a familiar face, enjoy adult conversation and have some surrogate grandparents.

Dunking Georgia in the sand wash bucket

Nick enjoying some quiet time

One of the boys' many friends they collected


Hangin with Brooksie

This picture so accurately describes the feeling of the Maldives

Georgia modeling her kini

eatin' some sand

livin' it up in our robes

Of course Barrett's smiling!

Mrs. Dede and Mr. Jerry

Notice, no shoes. The entire island was all sand. This restaurant was actually upstairs above the water but they were still shoeless and not considered white trash :)

Dancing with Daddy...Barrett's not a fan.

After breakfast on what we thought was our last day. Turns out we had one more. Not sure how we missed that major detail but it was like finding a $100 in your pocket.

Swaddle baby!
She'll take it in a towel or a miracle blanket, just give her the swaddle!

Brooks and I swam to the hammock

Brooks and the crab were scared silly when they found each other.

Best sunset of the trip!


Last morning at breakfast with a light, quick rain

Boys went to the kids club but Barrett didn't want to leave.
He stayed to make a mask.

One last throw show...

Buzz and Barrett all pooped out and ready to head home.

Waiting for our transport boat

Looking back through the window at the incredible staff waiving good bye. The literally waived til we were out of sight!

Sad faces before departure!

We'll never forget it and always be thankful for God's blessing of a great vacation at one of his beauties!


Sybil K said...

OMG, I thought I was going to run through your pics real quickly, but had to slow down because I was so mesmerized! It's time you hang your "photographer" shingle. Beautiful shots of the family (and, of course, the beaches). You've convinced me that we need to visit the Maldives, ourselves! Thanks for sharing :-)

Reid said...

My wife, Emily, sent me this post. I think she's hinting that we need to take a trip to this same resort. I just need to comment to give your son a big thumbs up on that amazing breakfast he assembled.

Caryn said...

WOW that looks AMAZING!!! GREAT pictures! What an incredible trip with the family so glad you guys were able to get away together. Sighing a sigh of "I want to be there right now!" Looks heavenly. You look beautiful as do your precious boys and I can't believe how big Miss G is getting she is a doll!

Sabina said...

Lovely, Lovely, Lovely!!! Thanks for posting so many photos! I still can't get over how much Barrett has changed. He's really a big boy now :-( and Miss Georgia, my goodness, growing so quickly. Loved every moment, thanks for sharing.

Gayla Harris said...

Wendy, your pictures are amazing! One trip I wanted to take but never did. Maybe some day. What kind of camera do you have? Your pics look professional.

Duncans in Doha said...

AWESOME pics! Too many favorites to count. It looks like it was just amazing. Your family is so beautiful!!!

angie said...

that place doesn't even look real, it's SO beautiful!! What a fun family vacation, one you'll never forget. Wonderful pictures!!

amanda said...

good gracious, wen. looks amazing! so glad yall got to do that. love!

Katy said...

gah! i just typed this super long comment about everything i loooved, and for some reason it did not work. boo
but basically i was going on and on about how absolutely drop dead gORgEouS this place is! are you kidding me??? that was the trip of a lifetime! i'm so jealous! :)

so glad you had a beautiful trip with your precious family. man--what a full ten years.

photography---amazing. i wanted to jump right in. looove the hammock and brooksy sunset shots. you look amazing too, wj! cute duds!

lastly, georgia peach??? i will take her! yes ma'am! that kini???? too much!!!!!!

Emily said...

Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary!!! Your pictures are just amazing. I just added the Maldives to my "must travel to" list. A friend of ours went their for their honeymoon, but I never saw any pictures. What an amazing time for your precious family of 5. Big hugs!!!
(Love the outdoor shower pic!!)

Smith Family said...

Beautiful location, Beautiful family!!

Shannon said...

I have absolutely no words. UNBELIEVABLE would be the only one that even comes close to describing what those pictures were. That place is unreal and it makes me really really want to go get on a plane this very moment. And you, my friend, are a STUNNING mommy. You looked so beautiful in every picture you posted. I LOVED the one of Miss G in her kini on the beach. Hope that one has been blown up and framed! Seriously, I could go on and on, paradise and such a blessing to have this memory. I might just have to tell Brad that if he ever wants to surprise me with a get-a-way (you know, in like 20 years when we no longer have 3 kids under our roof!) that is the place I want go! WOW!

The Berridges said...

Sign me up! I'm ready to go right now! You are great advertisement! So gald y'all had a great time! What a way to celebrate 10 years together!

Jan said...

Sooo glad you had this time together--beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I've seen a lot of pictures of the Maldives, but never any quite so stunning as these. Must be the combination of the location, your photography and the beauty of your family shining through.... Fantastic way to celebrate 10 years! Congrats!

shannonmichaelis said...

Love reading all the comments! Kuddos for narrowing down from ALL those photos! Makes me just feel like I was there with ya'll...except cannot even fathom a place that pretty! Love love all the beauty of the place, how you captured it in your photos, and that in ten years you have produced 3 beautiful children!

Bonnie :) said...

Wendi, the photos were oh-so-awesome! What a fabulous 10th anniversary getaway! So happy you all had such a wonderful time!

Six Halls said...

What an amazing trip and your pics are beautiful. The girls loved looking at precious Georgia!

Leslie said...

What an amazing vacation!!!! You have such a beautiful family and all look so happy together. I know you are such an amazing and wife. Thanks for posting all these pics Wendi!!!

Leslie said...

meant to say amazing mom and wife!!!

Jackie said...

I just can't get over Georgia's smile! :) So, so sweet! Every single picture is beautiful! I'm so happy ya'll had fun! AND I LOVE all of your outfits!!! :)