Turks and Caicos

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We have been to Turks and Caicos twice. The first time was several years ago when my nine year old daughter was two years old. She was very into Elmo and loved Sesame Street. So I wanted to take her to the All Inclusive Beaches resort in Turks and Caicos. She loved it! The resort was not the nicest I’ve ever been to, and the food was awful. But we had suite with a Butler who was so nice. The main attraction and the reason we went was for the Sesame Street characters. We had breakfast with all of them, baked cookies with Cookie Monster, Heard stories with Elmo, went on scavenger hunts with Grover and had dance parties with Zoe. Kaitlyn was in heaven. My parents went with us and golfed most days, which they enjoyed a lot and I was able to sneak way one afternoon to go scuba diving. It was a fun vacation.

We went again last summer. But this time we rented a house (well two), but that’s a long story…the abbreviated version is we rented a beautiful home and because it really didn’t have a beach and was way high on a cliff with lots of steps down to the water, we searched the island for another home to rent and moved houses after two days. It’s kind of a running joke in our family because my mom tends to find flaws with the homes we rent and we’ve moved more than once. But this time it was for the better, the second house we rented was situated on the beach right by the famous and incredible Smith’s Reef. We could literally walk out our back door onto the beach and hop in the water. The reef was right behind the house. As an avid scuba diver, I was anxious to get in the water every day and see what I could find. The very best part was that my daughter learned to snorkel with me and loved it! What a place to learn! We saw so many colorful fish, coral, and sea life. I searched everyday for Sea Turtles and finally spotted one the last time I went out. Sea Turtles fascinate me and are by far my favorite sea animal.
I also went Scuba Diving. Because my mom has now had several foot surgeries, she isn’t comfortable going diving anymore so I have to go by myself. Luckily my husband goes along for the ride to make sure I come back up : )
The diving was amazing and a little intimidating. The boat was filled with some pretty experienced divers so we did some harder and deeper dives then I had done in awhile. We saw many sharks, some beautiful spotted rays, octopus, lobsters, grouper, and sea turtles. I did a two tank dive, the first one we went quite deep along a wall and it was a little eerie because off the wall you couldn’t see the bottom…it was much too deep. This is where we spotted a couple large sharks, they kept their distance and we kept ours. It’s always fun seeing them but can be nerve racking when they come too close! I enjoyed both dives very much and kind of wish I could have gone again that week. The dive company I went with was DiveProvo. They were very professional and helped me with my tank and weights.

We found a place https://www.provoponies.com/ not far up the beach from our house where the kids could horseback ride right on the beach and even into the water. They had such a good time and Camille the leader was so sweet and patient with the kids.

We did have quite a bit of rain when we were there and when it rains the streets flood…so that paired with the fact that they drive on the opposite side of the road and have these horribly confusing roundabouts, made driving an adventure.
But we did, we drove all over the island. One day my dad,husband and I searched the Island for a couple of houses we were considering renting when we were planning our move. This actually ended up being quite fun, and we were able to see a lot of Providenciales.
Several of the days the guys all went golfing, they said the course was really beautiful.
We also went to the Cassablanca Casino while we were there. It’s quite small, but there are tables so it was fun to go play craps and black jack a couple of nights, of course we didn’t win.

We really didn’t eat out too often on this trip.  We did a lot of cooking at the house.  But we did try a couple of really great restaurants and a couple that were just okay.

  • The Magnolia Wine Bar and Restaurant is located on a hill overlooking Turtle Cove and offers amazing sunset views.  The restaurant is very romantic and a great place to sit and enjoy cocktails while watching the sunset.  We took the whole crew, so it wasn’t extremely romantic, but still a beautiful sunset.  We all enjoyed the food!  The seasame crusted Ahi Tuna was a big hit.  I had the fresh catch of the day which was grouper, it was fresh and light.  Their desserts are very interesting.  We loved the Rum Butter Pecan Pie and my personal favorite is the homemade sorbet with vodka.  We enjoyed their extensive (yet over priced) wine list.  http://www.magnoliaprovo.com/default.htm  IMG_3280IMG_3278

Bay Bistro

http://www.sibonne.com/grace-bay-bistro/
Bay Bistro has prime location right on the beach.  It’s part of the Sibonne Beach Hotel We really loved this restaurant, the food was outstanding and the service was over the top. When we arrived we had a big table out on their patio, we were excited to sit outside and watch the sunset. However, it started raining. We ran for cover and the staff quickly moved us to a table inside. We are a group of 12 people so moving us is not a simple task. Once we were settled at our new table inside yet right by the windows so we still had a great view, the rain stopped. We wanted to go back outside, so the staff wiped down the table and chairs and quickly had us back outside. The manager and staff were so accommodating it truly made for a memorable experience. The menu is very fresh with a mixture of light and healthy dishes and some heavier items. The Conch Wontons were delicious and a must order! I had the grouper, which was very good. IMG_3481My dad enjoyed the bouillabaisse, said it was the best he’s ever had.  We all left stuffed and happy.

We enjoyed a couple of other small hole in the wall local spots as well.  The Banana Boat Caribbean Grill is a great little dive and you can sit and watch the boats in Turtle Cove.  We also tried Calico Jacks one day while doing a little shopping.  I think it has since closed and rebranded.

 

On our very last day at Turks and Caicos, we had to get out of our house well before we needed to be at the airport and the girls wanted to get their hair braided so we decided to head over to the big resort area and see if we could find someone braiding hair.  We discovered that the all inclusive Veranda Resort and Residences was picturesque and the water was calm and the most beautiful turquoise you’ve ever seen.  The hair braiding was WAY over priced we were quite sure they took advantage of the hillbillies strolling up from the parking lot looking for someone to braid their princesses hair.  IMG_3502 IMG_3509 IMG_3514

I believe that the Resort is now operating under new management, possibly even a Sandals resort.  Anyway, if you don’t want to rent a house with your family of 12 but want to go have a nice romantic getaway with someone, I’d stay at a place like this, the beach looked well attended by staff carrying drinks and refreshments to sunbathing guests, and there were many water activities going, we wanted to jump in!

We absolutely loved our vacation to Turks and Caicos and look forward to many more visits!

 

 

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