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A Few Days (Plus 1, Thanks Dies) in Paradise

Last Friday, Diesel and I got on a plane headed to paradise. When planning our beach vacation, we randomly picked Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean.

Turks and Caicos is actually an archipelago of eight small islands directly north of Haiti, which, like many of the little islands around it, is a British colony–the Brits having their fingers in everything and everywhere, it seems.

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The plans for the next four days were simple: basting in the sun, frolicking in the blue waters of the Caribbean, snorkeling, eating, sleeping, reading. The setting couldn’t have been more idyllic: perfect 80+ degree weather with a gentle breeze, and beautiful white sand bathed by the scintillating blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Sounds too perfect? Maybe. The truth is that the weather was perfect and the beach was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Though surrounded by resorts around its whole perimeter, the Providenciales (the island we stayed on) were private, with few tourists. We also loved our hotel (The Alexandria on Grace Bay) and had some fun times watching cricket with our bartender. The Providenciales is a very chill island that has some nice restaurants, perfect for a relaxing vacation, which is why a lot of older couples choose it. For those with partying and shopping in mind, beware that this is not the place.

On the downside, prices are high (the grocery store in particular was charging more than NY stores!) and despite English being the official language, miscommunication and spotty service is common. Never mind that your server asked you if you’d like the conch fritters before your meal; it’ll still come out after the main course. Or, you may find yourself waiting for 30 min before your waitress finally decides to tell you that they are out of whatever you order. Better yet, it’ll be 30 min before she reveals to you that not only did she not put your order in, she actually forgot what you ordered.

But, by being aware of the so-called “island time” and “island ways,” your trip will be fun and relaxing. And fun and relaxing it was, until we got to the airport to catch our flight back to NY. At the US Air counter, not a single soul to be seen. Diesel pulled out his laptop to check on the flight time again, and when he looked up, I saw his contrite expression: our flight had actually left three hours earlier. I guess we HAD to stay, which was fine. Never mind that I just started my new job and had already missed two days. Diesel said I passed the marriage test of being understanding. But that’s just how I am. An understanding, wonderful wife. Plus, being stuck on Turks and Caicos is not such a bad thing, no?

All in all, I really loved the place and would definitely go back. I have, however, gotten more sun than I should have, convincing myself of the invincibility of my Brazilian skin. Now all I’m left with is itchy, red skin and the illusion that I could tan for hours. I sure hope that the price for my vanity and greediness is not skin cancer down the line…

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