Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Turks & Caicos - Day 1

When I told fans I was going to the Turks & Caicos, the most frequent questions I received was, “What and where are the Turks & Caicos?” The Turks & Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. The islands are located 550 miles southeast of Miami, just south of the Bahamas, east of Cuba and north of Haiti. Technically, the Turks & Caicos are located in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean Sea. The islands are home to about 30,000 full time residents, and welcome more than 200,000 tourists annually. The islands are well known for their love of shellfish, particularly conch, which is available in abundance to this day, thanks to the work of the Caicos Conch farm, the only commercial conch farm in the world.

Turks & Caicos is a British Crown colony; however, it was not until the early 1980s when the islands started to become a viable tourist destination. Since then, increasingly more development has taken shape, and the small, salt raking island country of Turks & Caicos has grown into what is quickly becoming recognized as one of the world’s premier beach destinations.

After a 75 minute plane ride from Miami, I arrived in Providenciales (or known as Provo) and was transported by van (thank you Tina) to Ocean Club West Resort (http://www.oceanclubresorts.com/), which was just a 15 ride away. Upon arriving at Ocean Club, I checked in to my King One-Bedroom Suite complete with a lovely balcony overlooking the pool and ocean, full kitchen, dining room and comfortable living area. I made my way down to the Seaside Café and ordered their award-winning Conch Burger, which was every bit as good as it sounds. After re-fueling at the Café, it was time to check out the beautiful Grace Bay beach and get some R&R under one of the resort’s signature pink umbrellas.

Dinner that night was at the resort’s second property, Ocean Club, where they treated us like kings at their fine dining restaurant, Opus. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, from steaks to lamb to seafood, there was something for everyone. I opted for the Whole Roasted Red Snapper with Lemon Caper Butter and got a lesson on how to eat a fish when it is served head, skin and all.
Stay tuned!!
PHOTO: Beach at Ocean Club West.

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