Monday, September 23, 2013

Turks & Caicos: Getting There & Where We Stayed

We left for our little family vacation to Turks & Caicos on September 7th, Saturday, in the morning. We went from Saturday to Saturday for this trip, and were super excited to just go and relax. We flew from Tulsa to Miami and Miami to T+C on American because we had some miles from British Airways flights long ago that we had never used. Cole was pretty excited to fly and to go to the beach on "bacatation" as he says.
Cole likes to take a peak at the pilots to see if he'll get the invite to come check out the cockpit. He was lucky enough to get the ok on this flight.
Cole is an expert flyer now. He did great on both flights and on our layover in Miami. We landed in T+C around 1:30 pm and got our rental car from Avis. Rental cars were kind of pricey for the week, but it was worth it to be able to check out different beaches and restaurants on the island.

We stayed in the Grace Bay Area of T+C which is where most of the resorts are. The place we stayed at was called Villa del Mar and wasn't right on the beach, but was just a short walk across the street and through the Grace Bay Resort. We rented a one bedroom with a den. The den was its own separate room with a pull out bed which was perfect for setting up Cole's blow up bed. Kitchen and laundry were a must have for us too.
The pool was perfect for us too! Plenty of chairs, much of it was shaded, and it had a great shallow end. They also had a second pool and hot tub. There was a small work out room and elevators to the condos. They also had a bar in the pool area were you could get drinks throughout the day. They also served breakfast (cereal, breads, fruit, coffee, juice) in the morning.
The beach at Grace Bay was beautiful! White sand and super clear water. It was also pretty calm and nice for swimming. Our resort had a stand where you could get beach towels and had umbrellas and lounge chairs already set up for guests. We could also use the shower right at the beach entrance to de-sand ourselves.

The location of Villa del Mar was very nice. It was a short drive to the grocery store and many restaurants. You really could walk if you wanted to. There were a lot of condos in the area, but with it being such a slow season, it was never crowded at the pool or at the beach.

Tony had read online about the nightmare that the Turks and Caicos airport can be in Saturdays...that lines were outside the airport, super slow, and not many places to sit. So we decided to pay for the "VIP" service and private lounge. Well, it wasn't really necessary because we didn't realize how slow the travel to the island would really be. We were the only ones in the lounge, but we took advantage of some snacks, drinks, and Wifi. I could see how it would get really backed up during the busy season though.
Our travel home was a little bit more of a process! We had to go through customs in Miami, which is one of the worst customs places we've been to. We were in the passport line for an hour and a half and by the time we got to baggage claim, our bags were not even there yet! They started coming off the carousel and we got three of the four, then thought the fourth just didn't make it. Well, after walking around trying to find someone to help us, Tony saw the bag sitting on a luggage cart where someone had taken it off the carousel without us seeing it somehow. It was annoying that we waited and waited all that extra time and the line to exit customs just got longer and longer. Then we had to do the bag drop-off and security scan again. Luckily with the stroller, we got a shorter line there. Our three hour layover left us with about 45 extra minutes to grab something to eat. We were so glad that was over! We didn't get back to Tulsa until 10:30 pm, so we were really ready to get back at that point. The travel home is never as exciting, is it??!!

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