Friday, June 12, 2009

Turks & Caicos: May 31st - June 5th

YAY!!...not only did I make it through a ROUGH, week long vacation :-). But I also made it through the week following that vacation. (I HATE vacation laundry!)

Thank you all for your patience.

Long post...Long post...Long Post

Ok, now where do I begin? I have SO much to share. First of all, let me just start this thing off and say, Turks & Caicos is a TERRIBLE place to vacation. But I suggest you try and go anyway. Cuz how will you EVER get use to it if you don't give it a chance? :-)

I mean, who wants to have to choose which of 8 pools to sit by all day and drink a pretty (virgin) drink? ;)
Who wants to lounge on a gorgeous beach looking out over the tourquoise Caribbean Sea?
Who, in their right mind wants to have to choose which of 16 restaurants they want to dine at?
WHY, on earth, would someone want to do ANY of these things? KNOWING full well that it's ALL INCLUSIVE! Tell me! WHO?
I don't know either! LOL
But I did what I had to do for my family.
Let's begin, shall we?

Day 1: Heading to Turks & Caicos, Providenciales
~Got to airport at 7:15am (for 9:45am flight)
~New kiosks didn't recognize our Delta confirmation number. Got sent to the "international" ticket place on the other side of the airport. Only to get in a line even longer than the domestic line.
~Tried using our shiny new United States Passports to "check-in" and it worked! Got out of line, checked 2 bags and bolted through security.
~Made it to our gate and waited a mere 10 minutes before boarding. Whew! That was close!
~This was Jayla's first plane ride. She was plastered to the window almost the entire flight. TOTALLY enjoyed it.
~There's a lot of turbulance between here (Atl) and Providenciales (Provo)...FYI!
~Landed in Provo, made it through immigration and security.
~Thought it might be a problem when the ONE & ONLY baggage conveyer belt stopped revolving and we were still light one suitcase! GREAT!!!
~Did paperwork for "misplaced" luggage and got the promise that it would be delivered to us as SOON as it shows up...tomorrow!
NOTE: this is the bag with our shoes and toiletries in it. Fabulous!!
~Took the 15 minute shuttle ride to the resort and were greeted with a cool towel and an even cooler beverage. (It was H.O.T. in Provo!)
~We got to the resort before the official "check in" time, so we had to wait for our room to get ready. No problem...we took this opportunity to take in some sites at the resort. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! This place is BREATHTAKING!!
~Mr. & Mrs. Bibbs...Your room is now ready! SWEET!
~Naptime :-)
~After our naps, we went to Guiseppies for an Italian buffet. YUMMY!!!
~After dinner, we walked down to the beach, and finished our evening with a movie by the pool.

Day 2:
~BEAUTIFUL day! (DUH!) ;)
~Had to go buy toothbrushes (3), toothpaste (1) and deoderant (1) at the the tune of $25.95. (Uh, hello, may I speak with Mr. Delta Airlines please? Yes, thank you, I'll hold.)
~Had a DEElicious breakfast at Reflections, one of the 16 restaurants, conveniently located in our hotel.
~Located 4 more swimming pools and took a walk on the beach.
~Back to the room to change into swimming gear, headed to OUR pool, played water volleyball (Mister M. did...I had to take pictures, lol) and bingo by the pool (I took care of this part, lol)
UPDATE ON LUGGAGE: As of 1:15pm, still nothing
~Headed to lunch at Bobby D's (50's style restaurant by the kids waterpark)
~More swimming in one of the other pools
UPDATE ON LUGGAGE: As of 5:30pm, still no luggage.
~Dinner at Schooners Seafood restaurant and sunset photos on the beach.
UPDATE ON LUGGAGE: 8:15pm, IT's HERE!!! Yay!!! Come to find out, the bag never even left Atlanta with us. And both of our bags were checked at the exact same time.
~Let me just say, thank GOD for ziploc storage bags! An entire bottle of shampoo and an entire bottle of conditioner and lotion spilled in the bag. Fortunately, the shampoo, conditioner and lotion did not completely leak out through the small holes that are now present in the bags. ARGH! Nothing like walking in your squishy shoes and bubbles are forming around your toes. Good times!!
~Went to a Reggae party at the "main stage" and Mister M. came in 2nd in the dance contest he was tricked into being in (not by me, mind you...really!)

Day 3:
~Slept in pretty late this morning. Must've been all the drinking we were doing yesterday ;).
~Jayla joined in the Cha-Cha slide and the "Cents-Dollar" dance by OUR pool.
~Viewed the sunset photos we were "tricked" into taking last night. :-) They were awesome! $129 worth of awesome! :D
~BUNCHES OF SWIMMING and drinking at the swim up bars.
~Lunch at Guissepies and ice cream cones from the resort dessert shop, Le Petite Chatteau Desserts.
~ISOLATED SHOWERS (for about 30 minutes)...perfect time for a nap (Jayla made the nap suggestion. Poor thing was exhausted from all that swimming, dancing and drinking :-D).
~Rained again about 3 hours later, hopefully the Elmo & Friends Parade won't be cancelled.
~Went to dinner at Reflections. YUMMY!!
~THE PARADE!!! Oh My GOSH!!! This parade was NOTHING like we thought it would be. When you say "Elmo & Friends" Parade, one can't help but think it's gonna be real "kiddy like", right? HARDLY!!! These islanders were JAMMIN'!!! We had THE best time with this parade. And the volume of it...HOLY CRAP!!! Talk about LOUD! The parade traveled through the grounds of the resort and ended up at the main stage with yet, another performance. There were people coming out of their villas and hotel rooms to see the parade. People were dancing and taking pictures. It was AMAZING!!! And LOUD!!! ;)
~After the stage show, we walked on the beach and then headed back to our hotel to watch a movie in the main/atrium lobby.

Day 4:
~After breakfast, we went to the Italian Village for a day of swimming.
~Had lunch at the Mario's Kids Pizzeria.
~Did a little shopping in the resort boutiques.
~2pm, Jayla had an appointment to bake cookies with The Cookie Monster :). Too cute!
~Just as we got back to our side of the resort, the skies opened POURED down raining. So Jayla and daddy shot a little pool.
~After dinner, we went to the Sesame Street show at the main stage, where Jayla got on stage and danced with the characters. Then we all went to have ice cream.
~Watched another stage show then back to our hotel for a movie.

~After breakfast, we walked around the resort and found, yet another pool. Then saw the last part of a wedding. So pretty!
~Back to the room to change for a day of swimming. (we changed clothes a LOT)
~Mister M. & Jayla got talked into participating in the Beaches Olympic Games. (I had to take pictures, lol) It was SO hot outside!
~After the Olympics, Jayla was invited to participate in a fashion show that would be held that evening.
~Went to Arizona's for a Jerk Chicken snack. DEElish!
~More swimming.
~Had a light lunch at the pizzeria followed by ice cream.
~Jayla was invited to a "Walk about with Abby Cadabby". She was the only one and got to spend 30 minutes alone with Abby walking around the grounds of the resort.
~Jayla and I went to the boutique to pick out some outfits for her fashion show (a casual outfit, a swimsuit and "evening" wear) :-) And anything that she modeled that we wanted to purchase, we got 25% off of. No thank you! The 6 swimsuits she has are enough.
~Back to the room for a short nap and to take out Jayla's braids. In Jayla's words, she had to "WORK IT!" the hair HAD to be done, LOL.
~6:30pm, back to the main stage to see the Elmo & Abby show then to get ready for the fashion show. I must say, my baby was ADORABLE and she WORKED IT...just like she said she would. The crowd got a real kick out of her sashaying across the stage, throwing up peace signs and blowing kisses. She's a mess! And she did great! No stage fright from this little girl...
~"Celebration dinner" at Mario's Italian Restaurant.
~Back to the room to pack up for tomorrows departure :(.

Day 6: Heading back to Atlanta
~Luggage picked up from room at 8am.
~Shuttle leaves the resort at 11:30am for our 2:04pm flight
~Last yummy breakfast at Reflections.
~Last walk around the resort and on the beach for those last minute photos...(300 was an odd number to stop at. So we took about 50 more, lol)
~Headed to the "Departure Lounge" to verify our luggage and hop in the shuttle back to the airport.
~Get to the airport, check in, check bags, go through security then chill out for a couple hours until our flight leaves.

Paging passenger, Dawn Bibbs! Dawn Bibbs, please report to security.

Huh? Nah...they didn't just say MY name?!?!

PAGING passenger, DAWN BIBBS on flight 510 to Atlanta. Please report to security!


~Yep, they paged me to security in the Turks & Caicos/Provo airport.! So I go back through the security/immigration check point and over to the place where we checked in. I tell the lady that I just got paged to security. She QUICKLY hurries me through the crowd and takes me to this GIANT black woman with rubber gloves on. Uh OH!!! Who then asks me if I had anything in my suitcase that would not be able to be read by the scanner. Looking totally perplexed and caught off guard, I start thinking. Then respond, "Uh, no..." So she ushers me deeper into the bowels of this tiny little airport, (which is actually not that "deep" at all) where there are about 5 more GIANT black women all standing around my bag. Uh OH!!! So they ask me again what's in my bag and if they can search it. SURE!, I said...what have I got to hide? Anyway, she searches my bag only to find out that it was my other camera that I'd packed. WHEW!!

~I go back to my waiting family, who's asking me "What HAPPENED?!? WHAT HAPPENED???" What did you do? :-) I tell 'em and we head back to our seats in the HOT waiting area that would remind you of the county health department. NEXT!!! Next in line PLEASE!!!
~Jayla and I go into the little souvenier shop to see if we can find some last minute parting gifts. $50 later, I've got 2 tote bags. Told you, this place is expensive. But no sales taxes though.
~As I stated, it's HOT! So Mister M. goes back to the little store to buy something for us to drink. He has ZERO cash on him so he has to use the credit card. BUT...he has to spend a minimum of $15! So he buys 3 GIANT bottles of water, each to the tune of $4! A bottle of Gatorade for Jayla and a Snicker bar for us to share. We're working out a payment plan as we speak! ;) lol
~He gives Jayla her Gatorade, me a bottle of water, keeps a bottle of water for himself and hands the extra water to me to keep in my carry-on bag.
~Finally, our flight is called and we're headed back to the Atl.
~We make it safely back to Atlanta, safely through customs, and safely through the first 2 security checkpoints.

Paging passenger, Dawn Bibbs!

~Not really! :-) Well, not exactly. I didn't actually get "paged" this time. We're being ushered through security like a hurd of cattle. Trying to quickly take off our shoes, remove laptops from bags, lay carry-on bags on the belt, you know, stuff like that. When a GIANT black security woman goes over to talk another, not as giant, security woman and points at me. Of course, I turn and look behind me...only to see no one :-). The not so giant woman pulls me aside and tells me that there's something in my bag that the security camera doesn't like. Immediately I think...THE EXTRA BOTTLE of $4 water! Yep, that's what it was. So she takes it out, throws it into the tub with the other hundreds of bottles of unauthorized liquid and sends us on our way.

I'm such a trouble maker! I have terrorist written all over my face, don't I? lol

Well, that's our trip in a HUGE nutshell. It is now 2 hours later from when this post began and I'm tired and there's a storm a brewin. Therefore, I will do the photo portion of this post tomorrow. Sorry, you'll have to wait one more day for the pictures of that HORRIBLE place :-). Good night for now...


Lynilu said...

Now, THAT is an ADVENTURE!! You really are a trouble maker, Dawn. It's a good thing we love you, 'cause you just made it harder for us on our next trip with all the security you pushed! LOL!

What a wonderful trip. I'm glad you got to go. :)

Jude said...

I don;t know what would make me sadder... losing the shampoo, or the $4 bottle of water! :)

Cheryl Wray said...

I LOVED reading this!!!

Sounds like you had such a terrible time...but you are such a sacrificial person, to give this island vacation to your family. :-)

I want pictures!!!!!!!!

Brown English Muffin said...

OMG...I sat glued to the screen reading the entire adventure...WOW!! Just WOW!!!

I love that you really had a relaxing time around the 16 pools...but all those security alerts had to be nerve racking especially if you haven't flown in such a long time.

So are you ready for your next vacation or are you going to take a break from vacationing abroad!!! LOL

I can't wait to scroll up to see the pics!!! This reading things late is really working out for me!!! :0)