Turks and Caicos Weekend.

Turks and Caicos

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 I had been in and out of the hospital for almost six months, survived a heart attack and a stroke so a much-needed break was in place. I had not been on an aircraft since March and I was itching to go somewhere. I had an appointment with my oncologist and had some scheduled labs. Everything checked out fine. I had not had a blood transfusion in three weeks and my body was doing well on its own.   My immune system was almost back to normal and was not high risk for a cold or any virus

I told Dr A about my plans for some Caribbean waters and she was in full support. She felt I needed the break and cautioned me not to travel too far away and to keep it short, maybe a weekend getaway.  I still had weekly appointments with the clinic so there were only a few days to play with.  I decided to select somewhere close because I was not going without Elijah.  I wanted to go somewhere I was familiar with and also somewhere with good healthcare (just in case).  Saint Lucia was out of the question for many reasons and not for a weekend.  I was not ready for Saint Lucia just yet.

I decided to visit one of my closest friends in Turks and Caicos. I mentioned to her that I was looking for a quick getaway and she was not having it any other way. She had baby sitters lined up and waiting, but I planned on going with a friend in any case, to help me during the trip. I was not strong enough to care or travel with Eli on my own and leaving him behind was not an option.

The flight on American Airlines from Atlanta to Miami was a breeze. Elijah was perfect, he slept throughout and that was great. We had a short layover and then boarded the flight to Turks and Caicos. He was a bit fussy and restless but he eventually fell asleep. This was his first flight since arriving five months ago.  I ensured that he was sucking on a bottle or a pacifier during takeoff and landing to avoid any discomfort with his ear. He was given water throughout the flight as well.  He is a healthy boy and we did not expect any issues but was prepared.

Happy Eli

Happy Eli

I have learnt so much about traveling with a baby but did not want to overdo it. I had enough food to feed a small army, clothes and diapers for one month.  Medicines in case anything happens, insect repellant sunscreen and the works. Elijah was ready for the tropics. I was so over prepared but I learnt my lesson and the next trip would be easier.

Less than two hours later, the pilot announced that we were about to land and I was so very excited.  Elijah woke up just then and fretted a little. He then puked all over my grey maxi dress.  I was so relieved that I did not wear that beautiful white sundress that I had intended to. Second lesson, never travel in white with small children.  While filling out the immigration forms and was looking for a place to include Eli, however there was none. I went up to the immigration officer and he told me that Elijah needs his own form. Really? Why can’t kids under five be added to their parent’s form?  I need to start a petition. I had to go at the back of the room to find a form and fill it out for Elijah.  After immigration we picked up our luggage and waited for the stroller.  After a ten minutes wait I asked about the stroller. I was told that the strollers are sent out last. Really? What kind of system is this? The stroller was taken at plane side but is sent in last with the luggage. All the passengers were just standing there waiting for over half hour. Petition number two!  Strollers should be sent out first.  Strollers arrived and we picked up ours and ready to hit customs. The line was ridiculously long as we wasted so much time waiting for the stroller.  We had nothing to declare so did everyone else. Petition number three. There should be a separate line for passengers with small children.

We finally got through and ready to hit the beach. Beth was outside waiting for us and I was so excited to be out and about. No blood transfusions, no clinics, no lumbar punctures. Just Elijah, the beach lots of seafood and me. We were ready to just chillax.

TCI as it is called is a beautiful chain of islands just a few miles from the Bahamas. Providenciales the capital and the most populated island is approximately 38 square miles.

This was not my first time to the island and I have been drawn by the beautiful beaches in Turks. Grand Turk, Middle and North Caicos are two smaller islands not as developed as Providenciales but definitely uniquely beautiful.

Our first stop was Boogaloos! Great restaurant right on the beach. First Beth took Eli out to the clear blue beautiful water that Turks is well known for.  That was his introduction to the beautiful ocean. The water was so warm, I wanted to jump in but we just allowed Eli to get his feet wet. We were here for a few days and would have more time for the beach, it was now time to indulge in the scrumptious seafood on the beautiful island of Turks and Caicos.  Boogaloos is well known for serving fresh seafood. They serve the tastiest conch salad, so fresh that you can watch your conch come from the ocean and eventually on your plate. Did I mention that the Turks and Caicos is home to the world’s only conch farm.  After lunch it was time for a nap, we had an early morning flight and were all tired from the long day.

Eli testing the water

Eli testing the water

The nap lasted till the next morning. Yes, we were tired.  We started the day with an awesome breakfast from Casa De Beth, sitting on the patio, watching the beautiful ocean. Breakfast lasted about three hours then it was time to hit the beautiful expanse of Grace Bay Beach.  Grace Bay beach by far is one of the most stunning in the Caribbean.  Clear blue, perfect temperature water. We have friends at the Seven Starts Resort so this was our base for the day. Absolutely beautiful resort and highly recommended if your budget can afford. It is also a great place for family travel.

Ready for the beach

Ready for the beach

Lunch was Kalokee’s, another awesome restaurant with mouthwatering food.  Garry the great waiter served the signature drink “Happy”. I had the grilled snapper with roast corn and plantains with rice and peas.  The baby back ribs are also a lip-smacking choice, overall everything on the menu was excellent. I had an abundance of fruity drinks that Eli enjoyed as well.

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Usually when I travel, my aim is to “eat like a local” I tend to visit the local restaurants and try to stay out of the hotels unless there is a highly recommended restaurant.  Typically, visiting an island, it’s about your ability to interact with the people, learning of their history, these islands are as rich in culture as they are in beauty. And the food is to die for. You can always guarantee that the seafood is fresh as the catch of the day is normally delivered by the local fisherman.

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The trip was short but well deserved and I will definitely do it again.  If you love the beach, want to be at one with nature then Turks and Caicos is a great place to visit. The Belongers are very hospitable and welcoming and the seafood, hmmm…. is flavorful and great!!!!

Thanks for reading and see you on my next adventure.

 

 

Turks and Caicos

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