Anyone who knows Mariah knows she bleeds blue! A proud Middle Tennessee State University alum, her love for her team runs deep. More often that not, she's wearing blue. Step into her house, and you'll know you're in the home of an MTSU supporter! Her Christmas tree is silver and blue (and gorgeous).
But it isn't just the color, though she tells me that's part of the appeal. Nope, Mariah loved her time at MTSU, and takes every opportunity she can to support the school and team that gave her such wonderful memories. When MTSU was invited to play in the 2021 Bahamas Bowl in Nassau, Bahamas, it didn't surprise me in the least that she reached out to plan a trip.
Before she left, Mariah needed to receive a negative COVID-19 test and apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa. She wore a mask while traveling, and complied with mask requirements in the Bahamas. RIU Palace Paradise Island has robust protocols in place during the pandemic. Her temperature was checked, she needed to have dinner reservations (to limit occupancy in the restaurants), and she was asked to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.
As a solo traveler, I knew Mariah needed a stress-free, but enjoyable, experience. The number one priority was making everything as seamless as possible. The last thing I wanted was for her to feel rushed, stressed, or like she was alone! Her package included flights and transportation, and I recommended an all inclusive resort where she'd both feel safe and have everything she could need or want available to her.
Mariah flew from Knoxville to the Bahamas on Thursday, and checked into her suite at the RIU Palace Paradise Island, an all inclusive, adults only resort in Nassau. There aren't many all inclusive resorts in the Bahamas, and we chose RIU for the beach and the fact that it was adults only! At RIU, Mariah's meals and drinks were already included in her package, so she was able to dine at any of the resort's restaurants, enjoy room service, and sample as many poolside cocktails as she liked at no additional charge.
Her Junior Suite was packed with amenities, including a self-service selection of spirits. A separate sitting area meant she had plenty of space, and a huge bathroom with two showers offered plenty of opportunities for pampering. The only negative was the view, but with so much to do around the resort, it didn't detract from the experience.
Mariah told me the beach at RIU Palace Paradise Island was one of the most beautiful she's ever seen. She loved being able to enjoy a cocktail with a view! The sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean were soothing, and just what she needed. She spent every moment she could there.
When it came time for game day, Mariah got to experience something the Bahamas are known for: warm, friendly people. During her taxi ride to the stadium, she realized she'd left her wallet in her room back at the RIU. Rather than turn around, her taxi driver offered to let her stay to enjoy the game, and take her back to the resort afterwards. They exchanged phone numbers, and true to his word, he met her right outside the stadium. They were able to settle up for both rides when he dropped her off. During the trip, he told Mariah so many stories about life in the Bahamas, and about his family. She tells me it was one of the highlights of her trip, and she was incredibly thankful for his kindness. He even brought her to the airport for her return flight on Saturday!
MTSU played the University of Toledo in the 7th Bahamas Bowl on December 17th. They won the game with a score of 31 - 24. Started in 2014, the Bahamas Bowl is the longest-running international bowl game in college football. It was a great victory for MTSU, and the icing on the cake to a wonderful trip!
Thanks, Mariah, for trusting your travel to She's All Booked!
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