Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Turks & Caicos Islands

December 20, 2014 to January 3, 2015

What a fabulous trip!  We spent a week on Providenciales "Provo" first, and then a week on Middle Caicos.

Provo is more densely populated, with high-end resorts, luxury villas, high-end shopping and fine dining. We had a rental car the entire week.  We managed to get stuck in the sand on the very first day.  Ha ha!  What an adventure. 

We made the rounds to most all of the beaches on the island.  We visited Chalk Sound, and spent an afternoon at Taylor Bay.  We drove to Leeward and checked out Long Bay Beach.  Very beautiful and very remote. 

We ate at several great restaurants - Mango Reef, Seven, Via Veneto, and Le Bouchon.  Every meal was delicious and worth every calorie. 

We tried the local beer "Turks Head" and it was horrid.  We managed to gag it down with limes and then moved on to Corona after that.  Prices are ridiculously high on beer and wine.  Everything is imported, so I totally get it, but still got sticker shock every time. 

Middle Caicos is more remote, more down to earth and un-developed.  You have to want to get there.  It is the place to get to know the locals and live like they do for a while. 

Middle Caicos was my favorite part of the trip, although I did thoroughly enjoy the fine dining on Provo. We had a rental here for three days.  Now this isn't your typical rental car.  It was "borrowed" from a friend of one of the resort managers.  It was an old beat up SUV, dirty inside and it took two people to roll up the windows.  But it was awesome, none the less!  We had no contract, we didn't have to keep it clean, and we took it down every dirt road we wanted to go down.  Fun!

We did some snorkeling, some kayaking, and a lot of sitting on the beach, staring at the beautiful water. 

I'd highly recommend a trip here, but bring a fat wallet!!

Slide show of some of the highlights of our two weeks:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jamaica, July 2014

One of our favorite places to visit is the Couples brand Resorts in Jamaica.  We did a split trip this year, spending 5 days at Couples Tower Isle and then a week at Couples Sans Souci.

Tower Isle has more of a South Beach/Hotel feel, whereas Sans Souci has a move spa/luxury resort environment.  Both places have excellent staff and incredible food, and it's always hard to choose between them! 

If I had to choose a favorite, it would be Sans Souci.  I find it much more peaceful and serene than Tower Isle.

This year, for the first time, we left the resort to visit Scotchies, a local eatery with great jerk chicken and sausage.  Didn't care for their pork.  It was way too dry.

Pix from this year's trip:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jost Van Dyke, 2013/14

Ah, back to paradise! We headed out the day after Christmas to escape the cold. The trip was uneventful, travel went smoothly and before we knew it we were in the steamy afternoon heat of St. Thomas.

Deep breath and off to dinner in Frenchtown. After a restful night at the Windward Passage, we headed out to catch a water taxi and make our way to Jost for the duration.

We met up with many friends we've met here over the years, and even made a few new ones, as usual.

 It was great to see Jay, DuWayne, Winsome, Mic and many others. Our friends Bill and Tammy (who we met in Jamaica) joined us after a few days. We had a blast showing them the island, introducing them to several of the locals we have grown to love, and enjoyed some great lifetime memories on the beach.

I always hate leaving Jost. Part of my heart is there. I hope to be back soon!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jamaica, 2013

This was our 6th trip to Jamaica and our 7th stay at a Couples resort - we have done a split trip between Sans Souci and Tower Isle previously. We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on this trip, with a romantic private dinner overlooking the Caribbean. Our friends Kristin and Brian from Nebraska joined us half way through the trip. It was great to see them! We made some new friends from California, Bill & Tammy and look forward to visiting with them again soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Swimming with Turtles

On the third day of our sailing adventure we anchored at Tobago Cays for beach time and snorkeling.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was this particular day, when we got to swim/snorkel with sea turtles. They are so beautiful and peaceful.

The water was churned up that day, because of the ridiculously high winds we encountered all week long.  I had almost given up on seeing a turtle at all, when I ran into about four of them! I followed this one for a while until he got tired of being followed and ditched me!


Monday, January 14, 2013



I have so many pictures to share from our recent trip to Grenada, I figured, "why not start another blog?", since the two I already have are apparently not consuming enough of my time.

Grenada is beautiful. The Grenadines, where we went sailing, are incredible. So many beaches, so little time. The Caribbean has so much to offer - I could stay there for the rest of my life if I could only afford it! (They'd have to import some good beer, but that's another blog.)

As for the island of Grenada itself, we found it to be a welcoming, beautiful island.  Like most Caribbean countries, there is much poverty, but we did see many very nice homes.  As far as tourism is concerned, they need a better marketing strategy to compete with more popular places.  Would we return?  Perhaps.  Would I recommend it?   Yes, we had a great time.

We loved the various islands in the Grenadines, on the sailing portion of the trip.  My favorite was Mayreau, just because Saltwhistle Bay is a perfect beach. I could have stayed there for days.  The sailing trip was both good and bad.  Weather played a factor in that, as well as having shipmates we had never met, living in cramped quarters and dealing with personalities.  We did pretty well, but I would think twice before doing this specific sail again.  (I'll do a blog post with a trip review in a couple of days.) 

Now, on to the pictures!!

The first slide show is from our first few days, land-based on Grenada. 
The second slide show is the sailing trip and then the remaining two days on land.

A bit of background for when you get to the "Fort Matthew Pictures":  

The Fort was built from 1779 – 91, as a siege fort to withstand an invading army for a period of 6 months. In the 1970's through 1987 it was used as "lunatic asylum". Now there is a small bar that operates there. Had a kind of eerie feel to it, especially when bats started flying at night!!

And in the second video at the end, we attended "Fish Friday" in the fishing village of Goyuave - home of Kirani James, Olympic Gold Medalist.  The town sets up a small street festival every Friday night with music and every kind of fish you can imagine.  It was one of my favorite parts of the trip.