Turks and Caicos, Part II

Sunrise over Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos, as seen from a drone.

Sunrise in Turks and Caicos was absolutely beautiful. My husband, Steve, woke up early to fly one morning and captured these photos. Most of the time when I wasn’t participating in the conference, we were near the water. Whether it meant we were on a catamaran, at the beach, or by the pool it didn’t matter because everywhere was beautiful.

Our favorite pool was in the French Village because it was less busy than the others. I found out later that they are remodeling that section of the hotel, so that’s why it was less busy. If I hadn’t mentioned it to someone, I would have never known. It was so quiet and peaceful the whole time we were there, even during the day.

When we left Turks and Caicos, our flight was slightly delayed, which meant we arrived in Newark later than expected. With only an hour to make it through immigrations, customs, and back through security again, I’m so glad we only traveled with carry on bags. If we had to go get our luggage we may not have had time to make it through everything before our next flight. The water was a beautiful pastel gradient on our way out, I’m still in awe of how magical it looked.

I’m also so amazed (and quite proud) that Søren did so well during all of the air travel. It’s not often someone says that their 3-year old is a good traveler, but he is. After the travel stress we were happy to make it back home to San Francisco, and headed directly to bed after. It was one of those crash-in-your-clothes because you’re so tired nights.

Read More

Beaches Resort Villages and Spa in Turks and Caicos

Italian Pool at Beaches Resort Villages and Spa

While the resort is officially named Beaches Resort Villages and Spa I prefer to just call it Beaches Turks and Caicos, or as the kids say when they see any photos from it “There’s that fun place mama, I want to go back!“. We stayed here during our recent trip to Turks & Caicos for the Social Media on the Sand conference and had a wonderful time. It was our only all-inclusive experience, after our trip to Cabo San Lucas.

The vibe at the resort is very happy. It should be, because we’d regularly pass Sesame Street characters while walking around. One morning we even attended a Character Breakfast where the characters would come to your table while you ate. Søren didn’t eat much, but loved the characters. Aiden didn’t care for it but he’s a little beyond the demographic. The staff is amazingly helpful. A few times when we had a hard time finding our way around (it’s really large), the staff offered to personally walk us to our destination.

The grounds are immaculately kept, and every single plant is placed with intention. During a horticulture tour, I learned that all of the plants are imported, and then regrown from seed to populate the resort’s landscaping.

Being poolside is always one of our favorite things to do, and we found refuge in the French Village pool area. It was quiet and the pool area was beautifully done.

The resort boasts 21 restaurants scattered about the grounds. We only made reservations for one dinner, and the rest of the time we worked around our own schedule. We had everything from hamburgers at a retro-style diner, to a coursed meal at a nicer seafood place and it was all wonderful. The one thing that did surprise me was that the resort didn’t offer room service. You could, however, get food from any restaurant to bring back to your room on your own.

Aerial photos by my amazing husband, Steve Doll. This post is part of my snapshots series, a more intimate look at some of the places we’ve stayed during our travels.

What sorts of little details do you look out for in a place to stay? What do you like best? What turns you off completely?

Read More

Horticulture in Turks and Caicos

Horticulture in Turks and Caicos Islands

During our last trip, I was able to learn more about the horticulture in Turks and Caicos. Flowers and plants are something that have interested me, as the women in my family have always kept beautiful gardens. When Beaches Turks and Caicos invited me to learn more from their landscape manager, it was impossible to say no.

Tropical plants are something I especially love, with greenery beautiful enough to not need blooms. In my living room I keep a fiddle leaf fig, a snake plant, a white bird of paradise, and a few others. My husband might joke that I am not allowed to bring home more plant babies when I visit the home improvement stores (or anywhere with a garden, really).

Many of the plants from the tour were already familiar to me, and we were told that all of the plants on the island are imported. The property also propagates their own, using current plants to grow new ones. I saw a plant with fruit that resembled a sea grape, but was told that it was not a sea grape and was in fact, poisonous.

In the end of the tour we enjoyed some fresh young coconuts. My favorite part is eating the jelly after drinking the juice. I always find that odd because I’m not a huge fan of dried coconut.

The horticulture tour I experienced was provided by Beaches Resort Villages & Spa, Turks & Caicos. As always, all opinions, photos, and words are my own. Thank you for helping to support sponsors that make life here a little sweeter.

Read More

Iguana Island Catamaran Cruise

Turks and Caicos Catamaran Cruise

In the early afternoon we all loaded onto a 65 foot long Island Routes catamaran headed for Iguana Island, a.k.a. Little Water Cay. There were roughly 100 of us, and I honestly wasn’t sure that we’d fit. We fit with all of our belongings with some room to spare. It was smooth sailing when we remained in the reef, and the water remained an unbelievably beautiful shade of blue.

After a rough go with snorkeling outside of the reef, a few of us felt uneasy. I gladly shared some of my dramamine (motion sickness pills) with everyone who needed it, hoping it would help. After awhile it finally started to work for me and I was able to enjoy the trip a little more.

We parked at Iguana Island and my husband took off with Søren to fly while Aiden and I explored. We found the easiest way to find the iguanas was to follow their cute little tail and foot prints. We found quite a few as we scurried around the island barefoot.

Once we made it across the island, we found Steve flying and Søren playing in the sand. Aiden joined him for awhile until we heard our horn sound and it was time to leave. I think this island was my favorite place on our trip because it was so empty and wild.

Our final stop on the way home was just off the coast to swim in the ocean. The boat had a waterslide on the back that was really fun to go down. Aiden didn’t want to go and Søren wasn’t too happy when we took him with us. I think they were just tired after a few hours at sea and exploring.

Read More