Sep 17, 201202:50 PMTravel
The Best of the World Brought to You Courtesy of Jill Gleeson and Jason Holland
Turks and Who? Caicos.
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Recently we had the opportunity to visit Providenciales, one of just 8 inhabited islands of the 40 in the northern Caribbean known as Turks and Caicos. Having traveled to the Caribbean a few times before we were prepared for beautiful beaches, friendly people, good food and a relaxing experience. We were not prepared for conch diving, Dirty Monkeys, playing in flour, and all the new friends that we met along the way.
Provo is a short 3 1/2 hour flight from Philadelphia, PA.
So let's get this straight. We can either drive four hours to Ocean City, MD or go to Turks and Caicos and swim in the beautiful Caribbean waters?
"Umm, yes please."
Upon arrival at the Veranda, one of the few privately-owned all-inclusive resorts available, we love the fresh modern decor. The white on white with the warm accents of natural wood and big blue painting of the jellyfish is enough to capture my attention while they check us in to our studio room.
Our room seems larger than our house. The kitchen is certainly nicer and the bed envelopes you like a big cotton hug. However, we don't stay inside for very long.
The beach beckons so we grab the camera and head out for the first of a few days filled with excitement and beauty.
Our first step into the sands of 12 mile long Grace Bay Beach makes us drool a bit. The sand is not sand, or at least does not feel like it. It has more the consistency of flour. That gritty harshness that is so inconvenient when on a tropical vacation melts away with the feel of talcum powder between our toes.
A gentle breeze blows constantly cooling off the warm air and sticky salt-air humidity seems non existent: mid 70s to low 80s and perfect. What is this place and what did you do with my view of the tropics?
The next few days we spend lounging around in the sun, sipping Dirty Monkeys from the bar and talking together about how blessed we are to spend time in this, God's beautiful creation. We take a walk down the beach with our sandals off because the temperature does not hurt our feet and now I know that I love walking in flour.
For a few hours, we wade out into the water and snorkel just off shore while we make friends or at least acquaintances with a beautiful blue spotted flounder (Peacock Flounder?) and a young sea turtle.
For a bit of adventure, Sandy shows off her mad skills aboard one of the small sail boats and for the first time in my life I take the seas in my hand as I promptly get us stuck at sea even with a prominent wind blowing ever so haughtily.
Surely we can do better than this.
Enter Island Vibe tours and their contemporary black and white catamaran (I can't help but think Travel Simplicity got the color scheme right on this one - so classy). Tino, John, Jim, and Ramone show us around some of the other islands to the reggae beats blaring from the speakers as we enjoy the adult beverages. Free diving to 15 feet sounds a lot easier than actually doing it. But with John's help, Sandy and I conquer the seas and safely return to the boat with live conch ready to become our future salad.