While in Africa we mingled with a group of people traveling through Tanzania, celebrating 'Tom'. A mix of professional and personal friends/family on a African safari for his 70th birthday. This is how we got the idea for Bill's 50th birthday boondoggle.
You may be asking yourself, 'how do they choose just twelve people'.... it started with a list of men playing a significant role in Bill's daily life. Brothers, friendships spanning 25+ years, the men we rely on to help us, guide us, challenge us. And their wives.
Where to host such an event?
After considering several US locations we shifted our search to a vacation destination. Reserving Fowl Cay A YEAR in advance.
Fowl Cay is a special place. A private island rental with six villas, plus amenities. Each villa had access to a boat for day trips, and we planned day/evening activities.
The team at Fowl Cay planned everything for us, day trips with lunch included, beverages and evening dining. Other than me wanting a daily theme and evening activities... they took care of everything!
Event Planning highlights:
- Coordinating 26 commercial flights, four chartered flights, and boat transfers. Villa assignments, meals, day outings, and more.
- Create a fun/relaxing week focused on simply having a good time.
- Five nights, five themes: Sixties/Woodstock, NFL Tailgate, Pirates and Maidens, a White Party, and Caribbean Karaoke.
- Imagine traveling from New Jersey to Nassau (Bahamas), taking a charter to a small island in the Exumas, and a boat ride to Fowl Cay with paper napkins, streamers, welcome gifts, a disco ball and so much more. I had a hockey equipment bag filled with party supplies!
A hurricane had passed over the region weeks before our arrival which added a little extra planning. What if we weren't able to leave the island during the day? I quickly planned a Beach Party, just in case.
Thank goodness I thought to bring a back up plan. I think everyone had a great time, whether playing games, playing water sports, or taking a day to relax.
- Pizza Picnic and Cups Tournament
- Slingshot golf
- Water balloon fight
- Flag Football
- Beach activities (water sports)
- There are too many stories to share in one post, I can tell you that we snorkeled, picnicked with iguana's, searched for starfish, swam with sharks, and fed swimming pigs. We were able to boat every day but one, avoided storms by snorkeling in caves, walked on sandbars to discover hidden natural pools filled with bubbles.
- The first night was a sixties themed happy hour/dinner, followed by a poker party for the men and the women played Cards Against Humanity. What a great ice breaker! Most of us were strangers landing on the island. By 10PM we were crying from laughter.
- Looking at these photos I hope you can't tell I'm afraid of water, petrified. Hyperventilating a times after working myself into a panic. I didn't want my fear to be a dark cloud over the trip and tried hard to think about relaxing evenings.
- The white party ended with a few jumping off our dock, into the ocean for a midnight swim.
- A mix of friends, family, and strangers who now are friends. Memories were made.
Below are a few fun moments from the week. We reflect on this amazing holiday often, thinking of ways to plan a reunion.
Reflecting on the week:
Months of planning paid off. We had a no stress holiday! Once you reach an island by water plane it's best to relax and enjoy.
My brother was up early every day to visit Grant (and team) to plan the day. Should we head north or south, picnic options, mapping out several places to explore by boat. Our friends kept mentioning how amazing each day was, asking me if the trip was 'exceeding my expectations.' The staff was amazing. The week turned out exactly as planned, five days filled surrounded by family and friends.