Jan 21st
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Turks & Caicos

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Turks & Caicos
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Turks & Caicos

    “On our next vacation Mom, I want to learn to snorkel,” exclaimed our eight-year-old daughter Lizzy as I picked her up at school. Her third grade class was studying about the Creatures of the Sea and some of her friends shared their snorkeling experiences with the class.
    That evening, my husband Eric announced, “I need a vacation!” as he came through the door.  So, I began combing through travel magazines and scanning the internet for a family-friendly beach resort. My husband wanted an all-inclusive resort with daily activities. I wanted a beautiful beach to walk at sunset, and our daughter wanted to swim in warm water and snorkel.
    One island was touted in a national travel magazine as having it all. Grace Bay Beach on the island of Providenciales in the British West Indies was described as one of the best beaches for diving and snorkeling in the world. On the internet, I found Beaches Resort and Spa at Turks and Caicos, a family oriented, all-inclusive Sandals resort located on Grace Bay. It offered land and water sports, children’s programs and a great location. So we booked a trip in February.                                                                                                                                
    Situated southeast of the Bahamas are about 40 islands and Cays, called Turks and Caicos. Some are inhabited, and others are barren. One is a sanctuary for over 1,000 rare rock iguanas. We booked a flight to Turks and Caicos, Providenciales, also known as Provo. This is part of the Caicos western island chain. Turks consists of the eastern islands separated from Caicos
by a 22-mile long passage. Provo is only a 65-minute flight from Miami. The weather is usually sunny with an average temperature of 83 F. English is the most common language.
    Gus, our cab driver, told us the island of Providenciales is crime-free and the islanders are fondly called belongers. Most are descendants of slav
Find plenty of beach play at Beaches Resort, Turks and brought to the islands during the Loyalist settlement of the Caicos Islands. Others came from Bermuda to work in the salt industry.
    After a few minutes on Provo, we knew the islands were friendly and laid back. It’s not St. Thomas, or Nassau. Provo is dry and rocky with scrub brush, yet the surrounding waters are a brilliant turquoise blue.
    Gus delivered us to our home for three nights at Sandal’s Beaches Resort and Spa on Grace Bay. It’s the largest resort property on the island catering to multi-generational families. Many grandparents, with their children and grandchildren, enjoy the pools, restaurants and Grace Bay’s white sand beach. All food, liquor, child- care, land, and sports activities are included in the lodging fee.
    At check-in we received a colorful bag filled with bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and shower gel. Our room in the newer French Village area of the resort offered garden and pool views. The large mahogany, four-poster, king-size bed was soft and elegant; however, our daughter’s sofa/bed was springy and uncomfortable.
    The nearby tennis courts offered complimentary lessons for all levels between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and a daily round robin tennis tournament at 4 p.m.
    Beaches Resort offers a choice of international dining options. For our first evening, we chose the continental-style, Schooner Restaurant overlooking Grace Bay Beach. We ordered delectable all-you-can-eat Alaskan King Crab Legs piled high on our plates.
    The following morning our breakfast at family-friendly Giuseppe’s featured a huge buffet of fresh fruit, breakfast rolls, made-to-order omelets, cereals, pancakes, and delicious scones. After breakfast we took a tour for an overview of the resort. We saw four pool areas with swim-up bars and the adults-only hot tub overlooking Grace Bay. Next we ventured to the Cuda Kids Club and met the nannies that baby sit newborns to five-year old guests. Beaches Resort has also partnered with Sesame Street.
    A nearby kid’s extravaganza, Pirate’s Island, caters to 6 years and older from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Inspired by the classic story “Robinson Crusoe” and situated around a huge wooden pirate ship, this area for youngsters offers waterfalls, caves, and two waterslides. Inside the ship is the 50’s diner Bobby D’s serving pizza, Mac n’ cheese and a soft-serve ice-cream sundae bar. There is also a game room with numerous interactive electronic games and a room with air-hockey, billiards, and foosball tables.
    The resort abounds with colorful butterflies fluttering near native hibiscus plants and small lizards sunning on warm rocks.


Where was Solomon born?

This is Solomon, a new born Humpback whale. He provided hours of entertainment for our group of whale watchers. Where was Solomon born? Click here to find out.

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