Hi blog followers! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, seeing as I got married and all – life’s been a little crazy! Jon and I got back from our honeymoon last Sunday evening, and I’m so glad for the sake of this post that I kept a little log of what we did each day!
Side note – I’ll definitely be posting about the wedding later on…there are so many different things I’d like to write about in detail for the sake of my memory and all the planning that went into it…it’s too overwhelming to start with that right now, so I’m starting with the honeymoon and going backward!
If you’re not familiar with the Turks & Caicos Islands, this map does a good job of showing how spread out they are:
We stayed on Providenciales, on the western side of the Caicos Islands. Grace Bay Beach is the 12-mile stretch on Providenciales where most tourists stay because there are tons of resorts there. My understanding is that North, Middle & East Caicos are much less populated, and mostly historical or nature preserves with the huge mansion (some celebrity’s homes!) here and there. Grand Turk, over in the Turks Islands, is the capital, so I’m sure there’s a lot more going on there. From what we saw, Providenciales is pretty much tourists and those working for the tourists, so not a whole lot of native island life going on there.
Fun facts about TCI:
- Natives of Turks & Caicos are called Belongers!
- Donna Karan has a house in Parrot Cay
- 83 degrees is the average annual temperature
- You drive on the left side of the road in TCI!
We arrived in Turks & Caicos around 2 or 3 p.m. on Monday afternoon. The water looked so clear and turquoise as soon as we could see it from the plane! There is only one small airport on Providenciales, so it was very crowded and slow-moving. Once we were finally through security, we were quickly directed to a van going to our resort, The Sands. While checking in we got our first taste of the slow service on the island, but they served us their specialty rum punch while we waited – yum!
We were excited to see how spacious our condo was when we got there! We had a full kitchen that was open to a large den, a big bedroom, one-and-a-half bathrooms and a big screened-in porch with chairs and chaise lounges. We went out to the beach for just a few minutes when we got there. There was a line of tiki huts along the beach behind the resort reserved for those staying at the Sands and lots of other moveable umbrellas and lounge chairs.
When we walked down the beach later that night we saw that it was the same way with every resort, which is so nice because no one has to worry about buying or bringing their own umbrella. There were always two guys working on the beach at our resort who would set up an umbrella for you if you wanted it somewhere else. The umbrellas, plus the fact that I made us wear 50+ SPF kept us from getting burnt that week!
Each resort on Grace Bay has at least one restaurant – always overlooking the beach – and pretty much all the nice restaurants on the island are at different resorts, so for dinner we usually went to other resorts’ restaurants. We had heard a lot of great things about our resort’s restaurant, Hemingway’s, so we knew we would eat dinner there at least once. We ended up going there Monday night because we didn’t know how far away everything else was yet. We weren’t blown away by Hemingway’s, but they did have one dish we both thought was really good – hot shrimp pasta (which wasn’t hot as in spicy at all – if it were I would’ve hated it!) Jon had the shrimp pasta on Monday night, and I got chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. The dinner prices everywhere were pretty outrageous, which we knew would be the case. But my sweet husband always told me to just not worry about it and get whatever I wanted because we’ll only have one honeymoon 🙂
After dinner on Monday we went on a long walk on the beach to explore what was to the left of the Sands and what might be within walking distance for the rest of the week.
Tuesday morning we went out to the beach, claimed a tiki hut and signed up to use the resort’s two SUPs (stand-up paddleboards). It was so great that the resort had equipment like that available for its residents to use at no charge. All you had to do was sign your name on a list, and when it was your turn, you got to use it for 45 minutes or so. Somehow we got far out in the water really quickly on the SUPs! I think we must have been paddling the same direction the wind was blowing. I didn’t feel like we were that far our, but when we started trying to paddle back in, it was so hard! We were going against the current and the wind, and I kept getting blown in the wrong direction I wanted to go. I couldn’t stay with Jon very well, and we were just thinking we had probably been using the boards for longer than 45 minutes when a guy that worked at the Sands came out on a hobie cat (kind-of like a mix between a sailboat and a wind surfboard) and asked us if we wanted a ride back in. My arms were so tired, so we gladly got on the hobie cat while he tied the boards to it. He took us down the beach away from the Sands at first, so we ended up getting a pretty long ride on the hobie cat without even asking!
We had a late lunch at Hemingway’s because we planned to eat a late dinner so that we could take use the taxi service organized by the resort to go to the grocery store at 6:30. 6:30 ended up being more like 6:50, but since we were the only people who went, we were able to leave as soon as we were done shopping. All the “taxis” were 12-passenger vans that I always thought were sketchy and our drive to the grocery store was by far the sketchiest! The driver constantly mumbled things and laughed to himself, but didn’t say anything to us! At the store we got just enough food for breakfast for the rest of the week, three lunches, and a couple extras like a bottle of wine, and it was over $70!! The food prices were crazy.
When we got back from the store we walked on the beach to the Alexandra to have dinner at its restaurant, Mango Reef. There was a couple from Canada doing very interesting covers of songs like “Need You Now” by Sugarland, “The Girl from Ipanewa,” and “Why Georgia” by John Mayer that all seemed very out of place but was extremely entertaining.
Wednesday morning we found a spot on the beach again, and oh by the way – I was very deep into reading the Hunger Games at this point. Jon finished the first and half of the second book earlier this summer, but I hadn’t read any of them. We bought the set of three books right before we left because I had nothing to read on the trip. I told Jon he should bring the third one because he would probably finish the second and would then have nothing to do, but he ignored my advice and of course finished on the second day! At least he didn’t mind staring at the ocean doing nothing all the time while I read…
We ate our lunch of turkey wraps, fruit and chips in our room, and then went back to the beach for the afternoon. For dinner we took a taxi to the Magnolia Restaurant & Wine Bar in Turtle Cove. I was hoping that the Turtle Cove area, because I had read it was “the soul of Provo,” would have somewhat of a plaza-type area where you could walk around and see things, but I was sadly mistaken. When our cab driver dropped us off, he told us to go up some steps to the restaurant, but we were about 45 minutes early for our reservations because we planned to walk around. We went up to the restaurant and asked if we could get to a place to walk around, but they said there wasn’t a way through the restaurant down to the cove. They seemed very confused and said we could walk down the street if we wanted. I was determined to do that, but there was no clear way to go and as we were standing on the street, sketchy cars drove by saying things to us and two big dogs appeared! So, I quickly changed my mind and we nixed that idea.
We walked up to the Miramar Resort that Magnolia Restaurant is part of, but it was closed and looked like nothing more than a little hostel! It was so strange because the restaurant was pretty nice. We decided to sit down for dinner early, which wasn’t a problem because there were probably only two tables taken. We had a great view of Turtle Cove, which we could then see would have been very hard to get to, and there wasn’t anything going on anyway, but it was really pretty!
We later found out summer is the off-season for TCI, and September is the most-dead month of all. One person told us all the resorts were closing the week after we were there for maintenance! I don’t think that’s completely true that they all close at once because some were closed while we were there, but it definitely seemed like some things were gearing down to close. It was nice in a lot of ways – the beaches weren’t crowded, it was never a problem getting a table anywhere or eating when we wanted to, etc., but it did seem strange at times how slow things were.
Jon had bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes & vegetables, which he loved, and I had a combination of two appetizers – goat cheese strudel and a caesar salad!
I’m going to stop here for tonight so you don’t get honeymoon overload! Come back soon for the rest of the week!