Monday, January 07, 2008

Turks and Caicos Adventure

Miami is a fabulous place to live, but sometimes it's nice (nay, necessary) to get away. And for a travel bug like meself, having nearby Caribbean treasures a quick jaunt away is one of the bonuses of living in South Florida. The Turks and Caicos, only an hour and a half from MIA, provided the perfect escape. The country is a series of 40 islands (only eight are inhabited) in the British West Indies. Tourism development is a sleeping beast that has just recently been awakened by a slew of new projects aimed at an upscale clientèle. But despite the new development the island is tranquil, life moves at a leisurely pace, and there's plenty of natural beauty still preserved. I stayed at the Regent Palms Resort, a classy property with tasteful Old Caribbean decor, a gracious staff, and a spa that I wish I could bring back home. My massive suite rivaled most one-bedroom apartments I've lived in and even had its own washer/dryer and stainless steel kitchen with - be still my Epicurean heart - a Viking range. I could have held a dinner party in the bathroom itself (which, considering the presence of a spacious jacuzzi would not have been a bad idea). The photo above is from the palatial balcony. The view of the sparkling ocean is probably something everyone should wake up to at least once in their lives. The nice thing about the ocean in Turks is that an offshore reef breaks the waves so the beaches are blessedly placid with glassy surfaces and clear views to the depths below.

The almighty conch is king in Turks and Caicos. The discarded shells lay in haphazard formations along the beachside restaurants.

A view of "Da Conch Shack," an island institution. More on that experience in an upcoming post.

Schoolgirls walking home. You got to love a place that insists on kids wearing school uniforms where eating barefoot at a Tikki hut is the norm.

A view of the entrance lobby at the hotel. Love how it straddles the indoor/outdoor divide. Basically it is both.

A sunset cruise complete with "island punch" proffered by the easy going captain. I opted for a can of Turks Head lager, the local brew. It was pretty good.

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