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My wife, daughter, mother in law and I had a very nice, restful vacation in Turks and Caicos last month. Here are some of our details.

We flew American Airlines from Orlando connecting in Miami without a problem. There was plenty of time between flights, so I read the newspaper and sipped coffee at Don Shula’s restaurant, while the ladies shopped at the terminal. No running through the airport to catch a flight like I normally do when working.

Immigration and customs in Turks were fast and easy. Grace Bay Car Rental was there to meet us after we cleared customs. I forget if it was a Nissan or Toyota, but the trunk space was just enough for our luggage, which was all that mattered. The car was a later model than rental cars at home, but fine for us.

Since our reservation included two free car rental days, I wasn’t sure how rental car billing would be handled. But, Turks and Caicos Reservations had already contacted the car rental company, so I was charged the week’s rate, minus two days. Very simple. We decided to keep the car all week, which turned out to be a good choice.

Le Vele Resort was great for us. The condo where we stayed was very large, and had a tremendous view of the beach and ocean. My mother in law liked the modern kitchen. The pool was mostly our own that week, along with the beach. Plenty of beach chairs and towels. August is considered off-season, but I never expected so few people. It seems like Le Vele is usually a quiet resort, but off-season is almost like having your own private place to stay. Their covered parking is also nice to use under the hot sun. Since our lives are so hectic, we enjoyed the peace and quiet!

We ate most breakfasts (they deliver Continental breakfast each morning) and lunches at the condo or on the beach, and then went out for dinner each night. My wife and I had dinner on our own a couple of nights, which worked out for all of us. On those nights, my MIL and daughter picked up dinner from the prepared foods section of the Gourmet grocery store. Nice grocery store, and close by.

All of us had dinners together at The Conch Shack (fun place on the other side of the island), Tiki Hut (very good ribs and conch fritters), Hemingway’s (good food and beachfront), Seaside Café (second time there and still very good), BACI (very good Italian-style. MIL is part Sicilian, and she also loved it).

My wife and I had “date nights” at Coco Bistro (remains our favorite), and Grace’s Cottage at Point Grace Resort (nice, romantic dining, and only had to walk down the beach to the restaurant).

Weather was mostly sunshine and hot, but no hotter than Orlando. We had one off / on rainy day, but spent that time shopping and relaxing at the condo. While shopping at The Salt Plaza, we saw the offices of Turks and Caicos Reservations. It was fun to finally meet some of the people who’ve helped us plan our last two vacations. The manager’s name is Val, and I was surprised that he knew exactly who we are. He also took the time to answer a lot of questions, and gave some great local tips. These people are very friendly, and I can highly recommend using them, as we’ve done twice. www.turksandcaicosreservations.tc

We took one side-trip to the other islands on Caicos Dream Tours, as Val suggested. That was probably the most memorable part of our trip. I’ve forgotten the boat captain’s name, but he grew up in the Turks, and told great tales of the islands. MIL and our daughter stayed on board while my wife and I dove for conch, and snorkeled. We tied up on a deserted island, while the captain made conch salad from the conch we brought up. It was one of the best vacation experiences we’ve ever had.

Second time there, and we’ve fallen in love with Turks. I told Val that he shouldn’t be surprised if he gets a call from us again, very soon. The flight home went smoothly, although the Provo Airport was busier than last time. Lucky us, a flight left just as we entered the terminal, so seats became available.

I’m glad to answer questions, as best I can.

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