Atlantis

A decade ago, Bhavna, Shaan, Kiran and I took a family vacation to Paradise Island, Bahamas. We stayed at the Atlantis Resort. It was our first family vacation, and I was nervous about messing it up. I wanted the family to have a comfortable flight, have no worries about getting from the airport to the resort, and have no concerns about what to do once we were at the resort.

It turned out better than I expected. Despite a very early start to our day - we had to arrive in Philadelphia two hours before the 6 AM flight to the Bahamas - we had no issues with our trip. The resort bus met us at the airport, and we enjoyed a relaxing scenic drive to the resort. Our suitcases were taken to the room. When I opened the window to look out, I was presented with this open vista.

We arrived just afternoon and had lunch at an American-style diner. In New Jersey, where almost every township1 has a restaurant, the experience is a more petite package and more of a neighbourhood gathering place. You get to know the owner, the staff, and the "regulars". The Atlantis version of a diner felt "off" to me, but we ordered and enjoyed our "diner" food.

Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas * Nikon D40 * AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6

After the first few days, the kids and I fell into a pattern. Get up, and eat breakfast of eggs, bacon, fruit, and pancakes. Then back to the hotel room to change into our swimsuits. We would spend an hour in the nearest swimming pool, then an hour on one of the water rides, back to the swimming pool for another hour, then have a poolside lunch, then back to one of the water rides, then to the beach, then back to water ride, etc. We were on vacation time. No work. No scheduled events. Just playtime all day.

By the later afternoon, we were exhausted, so we headed back to the hotel room for a shower and a nap. After napping, we dressed and went out to dinner. Atlantis has many choices. We had Chinese-American food one night, dined at a Bobby Flay's steakhouse another night, Johnny Rockets for burgers and fries another night, and Caribbean food another night. The resort is set up to make Americans feel rights at home.

Each night After dinner, we took long rambling walks on the beach before retiring for the day.

These photographs were taken on my Nikon D40, my first DSLR and Nikon's cheapest entry-level camera. I had had the camera for about three years and was still learning how to use it.

Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas * Nikon D40 * AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas * Nikon D40 * AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas * Nikon D40 * AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas * Nikon D40 * AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6

  1. As of 2022, New Jersey is divided into 21 counties and contains 564 municipalities consisting of five types: 253 boroughs, 52 cities, 15 towns, 241 townships, and three villages. The largest municipality by population in New Jersey is Newark, with 311,549 residents, whereas the smallest is Walpack Township, with seven residents. 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Indigenous Peoples' Day by Wikipedia

Indigenous Peoples' Day is a holiday that celebrates the Indigenous peoples of America. It is celebrated across the United States, and is an official city and state holiday in various localities around the country. It began as a counter-celebration held on the same day as the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors European explorer Christopher Columbus. Indigenous Peoples' Day is intended to celebrate Native Americans and commemorate their shared history and culture.

Monday is Indigenous Peoples’ Day. What are some ways that I can respectfully observe this US holiday?

Indigenous Peoples' Day by Wikipedia

Indigenous Peoples' Day is a holiday that celebrates the Indigenous peoples of America. It is celebrated across the United States, and is an official city and state holiday in various localities around the country. It began as a counter-celebration held on the same day as the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors European explorer Christopher Columbus. Indigenous Peoples' Day is intended to celebrate Native Americans and commemorate their shared history and culture.

This morning I looked at my calendar for the weekend saw that Monday we are off from work because of the Columbus Day holiday. Then I noted another entry for the same day, "Indigenous Peoples' Day". The entry appears as part of the macOS Calendar app feed for US Holidays. I don't recall seeing this in the past so I think it's a recent change; perhaps as part of the upgrade to macOS Mojave.

Given what I have learned about the history of European colonization of the Americas, I don't appreciate Columbus Day in the USA, especially in terms of how the holiday is framed as a "discovery". The assumptions seems to be that a place isn't a place, and a people and culture don't matter, unless white Europeans have "discovered" it. Ugh!

Now that the USA has become more of a multi-curtural and multi-ethnic1 country, I think it's important to revisit our history and re-frame the significance of historical events. We don't need Columbus Day.

What are some ways that I can respectfully observe this US holiday? I'm open for ideas.


  1. I acknowledge that much work remains to get us truly and fully there. But progress is being made. Slowly. 

Aayi Aayi Holi Re

In April I celebrated the Hindu festival of Holi with Bhavna's family.  We visited a Hindu temple in South Brunswick.  The kids who attend Hinduism classes there had out together a religiously inspired talent show.  After the show the kids assembled outside and were given a bag of coloured powder.