Turks and Caicos 2016 – Day 4

Another perfect, albeit hot, day at the beach. I started the day with an hour-long walk along Grace Bay. I love being up and out for sunrise even when I can’t actually see the sunrise. The beach is always so much quieter at that hour…

Pelican Beach
Pelican Beach

I had been planning today’s morning adventure for weeks. I stopped at Caicos Bakery (seriously the best baked goods on the island!) and picked up a custard-filled beignet before heading to Pelican Beach, at the far eastern end of the island. I visited Pelican Beach last year, and it is by far my favorite beach. It’s not built up at all, and there are very few people around. I think I saw maybe a dozen people the whole time I was there today. The water is an unbelievable shade of blue, and the beach is covered with conch shells. It was the perfect spot for a breakfast picnic! After breakfast, I walked to the far eastern end of Pelican Beach, where you can see across the Leeward Going Through channel over to Little Water Cay (home to the infamous rock iguanas).

Then it was back to The Sands for some beach time. The water was relatively calm today, so I took out one of the kayaks for a paddle. The kayak has a glass bottom, but alas, I didn’t see any marine life during my paddle. Since the humidity was bordering on oppressive today, I opted to head out for the afternoon.

Potcake Place is a non-profit organization that rescues potcake puppies from around the island and offers them for adoption, many going to families in the U.S. You can stop by and visit with the puppies at the shelter. It has become a frequent stop on my visits here. Today there were about 8 puppies out; most of whom were sleeping. They also took in a half dozen new puppies today. I’ll be back tomorrow to see if I can hold some of the newest arrivals! I browsed around a few of the gift/souvenir shops in “downtown” Provo and then grabbed an ice cream cone before heading back.

Grace Bay Sunset
Grace Bay Sunset

Dinner tonight was at Somewhere on the Beach, a local favorite for obvious reasons. I ate there last year and it was one of my favorite meals! I enjoyed a frozen mudslide and pulled pork quesadilla overlooking the Coral Gardens reef. After dinner, it was back to The Sands for another beach walk and beautiful sunset!

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Turks and Caicos 2016 – Day 2

Paradise isn’t quite as paradise-y when it’s windy and rainy.  Fortunately, while the wind was persistent all day, the rain was mostly showers off and on breaking up the “monotony” of the sunshine.  

Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach

But before we jump into today, let’s recap last night.  My room was 76 degrees when I got here yesterday afternoon, and hadn’t cooled down at all when I got back from dinner.  They sent over someone from maintenance who spent literally an hour doing something with the water tank in the bathroom.  He assured me I was all set and the room would cool down. It didn’t.  Instead, I spent the night tossing and turning in 76 degree heat.  Now, when it is cold at home, I love to be toasty warm.  I keep my heat set at 72 degrees all winter.  But when it’s hot out, I am a big believer of turning on the a/c and piling on the blankets.  Needless to say, sleep was a bit elusive last night.  

Nevertheless, I jumped out of bed at 7 this morning, got ready, and ironed all my clothes for the week.  I’m kind of obsessive about non-wrinkled clothing.  Then I went for a short walk on the beach before heading to Shay Cafe for breakfast.  I had read great reviews and was eager to try it for myself.  I opted for the strawberry crepes, which sound a lot better than they were.  As I saw other people’s egg sandwiches coming out, I was envious.  I should have gone healthy.  After breakfast, it was back to put on the sunscreen and hit the beach/pool.  

The Sands at Grace Bay
The Sands at Grace Bay

The weather kept me busy moving inside and out all day (luckily, an A/C tech was able to get the room cooled down this morning).  We’d have an hour of sun, followed by 15 minutes of showers, followed by a half hour of sun before another shower set in.  The wind was whipping all day and the waves were crashing.  I’m not a big salt water person, so I much prefer the chlorinated water of the pool anyway.  I managed to finish my first book of vacation this morning and start my second.  I love being able to read for hours at a time!

Dinner tonight was at The Caravel.  The Caravel is fairly new, and is well deserving of all of its great reviews!  The fish tacos were served in little pillow-shaped taco shells with a trio of dipping sauces – sour cream, a spicy ranch, and an even spicier salsa.  A sunset walk on the beach was the perfect ending to the day!

Sunset on Grace Bay
Sunset on Grace Bay

Turks and Caicos 2016 – Day 1

Paradise. That’s the only word that comes to mind to describe Turks and Caicos. Warm weather, sun, and sand. Exactly what this trip is all about. This is my third visit to TCI, and a week of relaxation, sun, and reading is just what I need. I have thought about visiting other islands (Grand Cayman was a top contender for this trip), but in the end, I love Grace Bay Beach (the main “resort” beach in Providenciales) and the familiarity of visiting a place I love.

Early morning flight out of Boston
Early morning flight out of Boston

But let’s rewind about 16 hours. My day started at 3AM. Yes, you read that right. After booking my flight back in September, American Airlines (in their infinite wisdom) decided to change my flights, leaving me with just a 45 minute connection between two terminals in Philadelphia. Thankfully, when I called them last week, I was able to switch to an earlier flight out of Boston, leaving at 5:30AM. So, all is well, right? As it turns out, we taxied out to the runway, only to return to the gate 15 minutes later due to a computer glitch. Fast forward an hour, and we finally took off at 7AM. The EXACT TIME my original flight was scheduled to leave.

So, now all is well, right? Not so fast. Board the flight in Philly, taxi to the runway, and… return to the gate. Again. This time for some mechanical paperwork that wasn’t done. Fast forward another hour and 15 minutes, and I was finally on my way to Providenciales. Where I picked the slowest immigration line. I started with about 100 people in line behind me and by the time I got through there were maybe 10 people left. Off to pick up the rental car (I had a surprisingly easy time adjusting to driving on the left this time), and by 4:15 I was happily in my room at The Sands drinking rum punch and Skyping with my family in Florida.

Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach

I quickly dipped my toes in Grace Bay before heading out to the Flamingo Cafe for dinner. I was really looking forward to a frozen drink, but alas, they had very limited flavors, and I was “forced” to make do with a rum and coke to accompany my jerk chicken wrap. I hadn’t been to Flamingo Cafe on my previous trips, but I always read good things about it. The setting was perfect – right on the water with views up and down Grace Bay Beach. Were it not for a line of clouds on the horizon tonight, it would have been a perfect sunset. After dinner, I stopped at the Graceway Gourmet IGA to pick up a few snacks to have on hand in my room. Prices here are at least double what you pay at home. I plan to eat out for most meals, but I do like a few snacks on hand for the mid-day and late-night munchies!

Dinner with a view at the Flamingo Cafe
Dinner with a view at the Flamingo Cafe

I’m pretty sure I’ll be calling it a night very soon. Turks and Caicos recently decided to observe Daylight Savings Time permanently, meaning they are on Atlantic Standard Time year-round. My body only thinks it is 7PM, but after a full day of traveling, I’m ready for some much-needed sleep!