by MARIAH THOMPSON Staff Writer
Over the summer of 2012, I traveled around the islands of Turks and Caicos with my family and friends while soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches.
The islands of Turks and Caicos are located southeast of the Bahamas and are made up of eight main islands surrounded by 299 smaller islands. The tropical climate creates an average year-round temperature of 84 degrees. It is a territory of the United Kingdom, so most of the locals speak English.
I arrived at Turks and right away and was blasted with the relaxing heat from the sun. After a short drive from the airport, I arrived at my resort, The West Indies. There, I was greeted with tropical drinks.
After eating lunch at a restaurant in my resort, my family and I took to the beach. Turks is known for their beautiful beaches and it lived up to its hype. The water was crystal clear and went on for miles and miles. The white sand was clean, but burning hot when I walked on it with no shoes.
Freshman Sam Cacella said, “I loved the beaches at Turks and Caicos. The water was always so refreshing and beautiful.”
Our resort was beautiful and kept clean by the employees. The rooms were spacey and came with a fully equipped kitchen. My family and I were able to cook quick breakfasts in our room, and enjoy it on the little patio outside of it.
There were many activities to do, such as kayaking and riding a hobie, which is a boat for up to four people. There was sometimes music playing for people to dance or relax to. I enjoyed lounging by the pool and sipping a frozen virgin daiquiri from the bar.
The resort had bars and one restaurant, which had a barbeque night for its guests and cooked our meal right in front of us. There was music for us to enjoy while feasting on the delicious food.
Throughout our stay, we went to many other restaurants outside our resort, including Anacaona located at the Grace Bay Club. The menus had lights in them, enabling you to read it in the dark. It was a little pricey, but its food, including the rib-eye steak, was delicious.
My family and I also ate at an Italian restaurant called Bella Luna Ristorante. We were seated on the open second floor of the restaurant and cooled off by the wide open windows.
We had heard a lot about a dive called Da Conch Shack, so we decided to eat there for a night. We all shared conch fritters, which did not meet our expectations.
We were able to walk to a majority of the restaurants we visited due to the breezy weather at night. Unlike most islands, Turks was not humid at night, but rather cool, making it easy to relax and remain outside.
The fun weather made my friends and family want to do more fun activities to explore the island. Many people told us to do a snorkeling expedition, so we decided to do that first. For our expedition, we went on a huge boat and our tour guides drove us out to the middle of the ocean. There, we jumped out and snorkeled, seeing all of the colorful fish swimming around us. Our tour guides caught conch fish, a familiar fish in their culture.
The tour guides then drove us to Iguana Island, which is named that due to the numerous iguanas living on the island. We spotted many and it was my first time being a few feet from a wild iguana.
After leaving that island, we docked at an island where the Victoria Secret angels have had their photo shoot before. While docked, the tour guides created a delectable conch salad from the conch they caught earlier.
When the trip was winding down, my family and I wanted to do something exciting again, so we decided to rent dune buggies and scooters to travel around the island.
On our last day, we rented those vehicles from Bayside Car Rentals and toured the island. We stopped at restuarants and spoke to the locals. The people of Turks are the sweetest people I have met on vacation. They were willing to help when we were lost, and show us good places to eat.
Freshman Jenna Cutrone said, “The people there are very friendly, unlike other places I’ve been to.”
The Turks and Caicos airport was not as great as the rest of the trip, however. It was small and cramped with all the people waiting for flights. The hot weather and mediocre air conditioning did not help.
Although the trip back home was a little rough, I was ready to plan a trip to return.