Archive for May, 2015

15th Anniversary Vacation!

We decided to try a new spot to celebrate our 15th anniversary! We decided on the Turks and Caicos Islands, and stayed on the main island of Providenciales. It was a gorgeous 8 night stay!

Our flight left at 6:50 AM on Friday, May 1st. We had a connection through Charlotte, NC then landed in Providenciales about 3 PM. We got through customs and immigration and made our way to our hotel which was The Sands at Grace Bay. Oh, and we had booked first class flights round trip! It was nice to get off the planes quickly and the meals & drinks weren’t half bad either! :)

Enjoying First Class flight and rooting for the Wild!

Enjoying First Class flight and rooting for the Wild!

Our hotel reservation was for a studio ocean front room so would have a kitchenette, sitting area, bathroom, and sleeping area. Upon check in, we were happy to learn we received a complimentary upgrade to a 1 bedroom ocean front suite! So we had a full kitchen, full living room, and 2 bathrooms!

View off our patio

View off our patio

Standing in entry looking over living room and kitchen

Standing in entry looking over living room and kitchen

Standing by patio looking over living room and kitchen

Standing by patio looking over living room and kitchen

Some of the seating on the patio

Some of the seating on the patio

We were able to spend a couple hours on the beautiful beach after we checked in. We made a trip to the grocery store before dinner to stock up on essentials…beer, water, milk, cereal, limes, and a few snacks! Danny Buoy’s was where we had our first meal. We had a late dinner and watched the Wild take on the Blackhawks in the first game of the second round of playoffs. They lost. But we had fun!

Watching Wild game 1.

Watching Wild game 1.

Saturday and Sunday we sat on the beach all day. We went for long walks on the beach in both directions from the hotel. It’s a beautiful place! Saturday night we had dinner at Mr. Grouper’s and Sunday morning we tried the brunch next door at Bay Bistro. We headed back to Danny Buoy’s for more hockey Sunday night after we had dinner at Big Al’s. (I know most of you don’t care at all about our restaurants, but I’m writing them down for our own memory.;) )

Brian's snapper at Mr. Grouper's

Brian’s snapper at Mr. Grouper’s

Our breakfast view at Bay Bistro

Our breakfast view at Bay Bistro

Monday morning we went horseback riding! It was very cool! I was nervous cuz, well, it’s a horse. And they’re big. But the staff at Caicos Corral paired me with a very sweet, calm horse named Ike. Brian was paired with Ike’s BFF, Turtle. We road along the road, then down a trail onto the beach. We walked along the beach for a while, then went into the water with the horses.

Brian on Turtle and Me on Ike. Super cool experience!

Brian on Turtle and Me on Ike. Super cool experience!

Monday’s dinner was at Mango Reef. We were able to sit at a table right on the beach. It was so awesome to have dinner with our toes in the sand and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Our dinner was delicious!

Our first dinner at Mango Reef

Our first dinner at Mango Reef

Our first Mango Reef sunset

Our first Mango Reef sunset

There was a reef about a half hour walk down the beach that we could go snorkeling at. Tuesday morning we walked there and checked it out. It was great! We saw a ton of fish! Brian even saw a lobster. We had lunch on the beach from the on site restaurant, Hemingway’s. There was a manager’s reception by the pool that evening, so we had some appetizers and drinks there. Then back to Danny Buoy’s to watch the Wild lose game 3. There was also karaoke that night. We participated. It wasn’t pretty. I also won a round of musical chairs!

Wednesday morning we walked to the reef again to snorkel. We had met a sweet couple at our hotel from Charlotte and they’re getting close to retiring. We snorkeled with them. We sat in our beach chairs the rest of the day. We had lunch in our lounge chairs from Hemingway’s. For dinner, we had made a reservation ahead of time for a private dinner on the beach at Bay Bistro. Brian had a steak and I had almond pecan crusted grouper. Another delicious meal! We considered this our ‘fancy’ anniversary dinner and had a toast at sunset to 15 years!

Our Bay Bistro meals

Our Bay Bistro meals

Fancy at Bay Bistro

Fancy at Bay Bistro

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Cheers to 15 years!

Cheers to 15 years!

Drinks, lantern, tiki torch, and sunset.  Beautiful night at Bay Bistro

Drinks, lantern, tiki torch, and sunset.
Beautiful night at Bay Bistro

Thursday morning we went on a half day snorkel tour. We were taken out to the reef (deeper water than the shore reef we had been to) and snorkeled along there for 45 minutes or so. Our guide dove down and collected a couple of conchs, then we went to Iguana island where he cracked the conchs open and used the meat to make us fresh ceviche. We were able to wander the island and look for iguanas as well as look at the beautiful beach. After we left the island, we made another stop and could dive off a diving board on top of the boat or slide down a slide. I was too chicken, but Brian had a blast! Brian and I rode back to the hotel with our Charlotte friends on top of the boat! It was SO awesome up there! Once back to the hotel we hung out on the beach. For dinner, we tried Bella Luna which is an Italian place. I had a yummy sausage penne pasta dish and Brian had a seafood trio. Mine was better. :) Back to Danny Buoy’s for the 4th loss for the Wild.

Our guide cracking open the conch

Our guide cracking open the conch

One of the iguanas we saw on Iguana Island

One of the iguanas we saw on Iguana Island

Stunning beach on Iguana Island

Stunning beach on Iguana Island

Selfie on Iguana Island. So beautiful!

Selfie on Iguana Island. So beautiful!

Friday breakfast we tried Shay Cafe in the shopping/restaurant area. It was pretty tasty! We did some souvenir shopping, then headed for the beach for our last full day of relaxation. We made our way to Somewhere Cafe for lunch. This restaurant overlooks the snorkeling reef. We had way good banana rum punch and lunch. We returned to Mango Reef for another beach dinner for our last dinner. Brian had seafood pasta and I had Jerk Chicken. Delicious once again! We got to see a beautiful sunset. We lounged on our patio for our last evening.

Somewhere Cafe

Somewhere Cafe

View over the reef from Somewhere Cafe

View over the reef from Somewhere Cafe

Our last Mango Reef dinner and sunset

Our last Mango Reef dinner and sunset

Our last sunset at Mango Reef

Our last sunset at Mango Reef

Saturday was our day to leave. We had breakfast at Hemingway’s at the hotel, then hit the beach! We checked out of our room at 11, but stayed on the beach until about 12:45. We showered, then hopped in the taxi back to the airport. We had a tight connection in Charlotte, but we made it! We got home and found handwritten notes from Adam on our pillows.

Charming airport. No jetways!

Charming airport. No jetways!

Good bye, Paradise!

Good bye, Paradise!

Adam's note

Adam’s note

We crawled into bed, happy to be home. I couldn’t wait to see the kids in the morning….on Mother’s Day!

Thank you thank you thank you to the grandparents for staying at our house with the kids! Adam had so many activities to get to! They had so much fun with you!

A few more randoms:

Our hotel, The Sands, from the water

Our hotel, The Sands, from the water

Such a beautiful beach at the hotel!

Such a beautiful beach at the hotel!

Gorgeous, clear water

Gorgeous, clear water

In the Caribbean

In the Caribbean

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Happy Mother’s Day!!

We returned home from our beautiful vacation (more on that later!) in time to celebrate Mother’s Day! Before we left I had made a reservation for brunch with my parents, Brian’s mom & Fred, and Brian’s sister, Crystal and her family. We went to Jimmy’s Food and Cocktails and it was very yummy!

I was so happy to be with the kids! I had missed them! It was nice to just hang out and hear about their time with their grandparents while we were gone. Late in the afternoon, Adam had his last session of his swimming lesson and he passed level 4! So proud of him! Throughout the day, I had been tackling the huge mound of laundry. In the evening, Brian and I caught up on some DVR shows. It was a great Mother’s Day!!

My bloody Mary with my brunch!

My bloody Mary with my brunch!

Happy Mama!

Happy Mama!

My card and gifts from Adam that he made!

My card and gifts from Adam that he made!

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

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Allison made this for me at daycare!

Allison made this for me at daycare!

It was a great day! Thanks, family!

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