Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Turks and Caicos

What an awesome vacation. Anyone looking for a relaxing place to go with amazing food - I highly recommend T&C. Joe and I stayed at the Villa Renaissance which wasn't the swankiest place on the island but it was nice and clean and in a fantastic location. We were smack dab in the middle of Grace Bay which meant that every restaurant was about a 15 minute walk away, and we were right across the street from the new IGA (the T&C grocery store chain) which made it really easy to stock up on breakfast and lunch supplies and saved us a lot of money in the long run.

If we had it to do over again, I definitely would have stayed at Point Grace instead which was only 3 resorts down from Villa Renaissance, but was not as family friendly and the swank factor was quite a bit higher. Or I would have thrown caution (and my wallet) to the wind and stayed on Parrot Cay at the Parrot Cay. But in all honesty we decided to go on three vacations a year instead of two which means that we get to do more and see more each year, but we have to cut back on our high maintenance factor.

By staying at VR we were able to buy enough sundries to last us for 5 days for only $113 and then we were free to dine at night all over town. The restaurants in Provo are ridiculously good, but the average dinner runs about $175. So in the end I was happy with our decision.

The best meals by far we had were at Coco Bistro and Coyaba. At Coco Bistro Joe had conch served two ways - sweet and sour and ceviche - as an appetizer and it was delicious. I really couldn't believe how amazing it was. I had mahi mahi and he had a conch and shrimp stuffed ravioli for dinner and the preparation and presentation was sinful. Joe's dish was definitely better than mine, but mine was delicious so I couldn't complain. Plus, there's a wild cat appropriately named Coco, that roams the restaurant and I got to share some of my fish with her. Coco Bistro also had THE best service of any restaurant we ate at on the island.

My dinner at Coyaba was better than Joe's but both were excellent. I started off with an iceberg lettuce salad that was swathed in bleu cheese (something my calorie restricted self would never eat in real life) and I loved every bite of it. Joe had braised short ribs that literally melted in your mouth. For dinner he ordered blackened snapper and I ordered mahi mahi and both were excellent, but mine was definitely better than his.

We ate at Da Conch Shack (which is literally a shack that serves conch fresh from the ocean) for lunch and I'm glad we didn't go there for dinner. It wasn't in the best part of town and the food was good, but better for lunch.

Places not worth going to if you head to Provo are O'Soliel at The Somerset (it was the worst and most expensive meal we had on the island) and Lemon Cafe (the food was good, but it had no local flavor and the music was enough to send me over the edge).

Lastly, if you visit you must rent a car and explore the island. We were able to find several beaches where we were the only people for miles. The sand is like sugar and the water is the most unbelievable shade of turquoise. It was like a second honeymoon.

But, now we're back home and back to the grind. And I'm off to the gym before putting in my 8 hours in a cube. I'm already counting down to Nantucket and researching for our next big vacation. I really wasn't made for the working life :)

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