Ok so Day 3. Day 3 of our March 2021 trip to Beaches Turks & Caicos was our first taste of real disappointment.
I mean, on the trip. Not in real-life. I’ve known disappointment before. I mean, I saw Spider-Man 3.
Yeah, the Tobey Maguire one.
In the movies.
On opening night.
Yeah. I felt the opposite of that gif.
So. Disappointment is not a new feeling to me.
But what I meant to say was – this was our first taste of real disappointment on this trip.
Because when we woke up on Day 3, we had a red flag. Which essentially meant it was too windy out on the water. And this, in turn, meant no snorkeling, no kayaking, no Hobie cat. No watersports of any kind in the ocean. Not even Marco Polo.
And while this would be disappointing on its own, it was doubly disappointing because we had a private charter booked with Caicos Catalyst and due to the conditions, it couldn’t happen today. We ended up having to reschedule it for Friday.
The question for you, dear reader, remains – do we end making it on Friday? Or does the weather preclude us from getting out on the ocean? You guys will just have to keep reading these posts to find out.
But yeah, red flag. And the worst part? This was only the beginning. After Day 3, every day ended up being a red flag for the rest of the trip. Which meant we could never get back out on the ocean again. Which was a…
Oh, crap. I just spoiled the whole “do we make it out on Friday” suspense-type thing, didn’t I? I am not good. At the writing. I’ll try to do better next time.
But let’s get on with Day 3. Do we end up moving past this initial disappointment and have a good time anyways? Read on the find out.
Get ready. Day 3 was A LOT of fun.
Beaches Turks & Caicos 2021 trip: Day 3!
Day 3 started, once again, pretty early. I was up and out of bed by 6:45AM or so to get another run in. And this time? I wasn’t alone. My brother, Jeff, was joining me. And we decided to head to the Red Lane spa in the Caribbean Village to do a few miles on the treadmill.
And that picture above is the best one I have of this whole experience. The outside of the gym. I dunno. I feel weird taking pictures inside a gym while people are working out. I know I wouldn’t want my picture taken. On account of I sweat so much, I look like Ted Striker trying to land a plane.
Surely, you don’t want to see any pictures like that.
And besides, even if it didn’t look like my face was melting off my skull, the pictures wouldn’t be all that exciting. I can’t imagine you came to this blog looking for pictures of me watching the 90s X-Men cartoon on the treadmill while trying to not die.
If you did, though, I am sorry to disappoint. Also, the authorities have been called and you are officially on some sort of list. Weirdo.
I ended up doing between 3.5 and 4 miles on the treadmill, which made me feel pretty good.
Also, Wolverine was having a bit of an internal crisis so he left the mansion and went to Japan to try and find peace but learned that he was meant to help people after he helped defend the village against the Silver Samurai. So that made him feel pretty good.
It was a pretty eventful 40 minutes or so.
After the run, Jeff and I walked over to the Café de Paris to grab some coffees and cookies for Nickie, Sheila, and the boys. And I grabbed a croissant for myself.
And when I got back to the room? Look, guys! A rainbow.
Which TOTALLY explained why they weren’t letting anyone in the water.
Unless that was one of those Reading Rainbows. In which case, the red flag was for a completely different but equally dangerous reason.
Either way, everyone got showered up and ready and we headed out to breakfast at around 9:00AM. Breakfast today was at Bayside.
Located in the Key West Village, Bayside was the site of so many important happenings in the 1990s.
Like the time all the kids had to act like married couples but Lisa was allergic to Screech so she became Slater and Jessie’s daughter and Screech became Kelly and Zack’s son.
Or the time they found oil under the football field and there was a spill in the pond behind the school.
Or when the school put on a “rap” version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Zack and Jessie kissed, making them question their feelings for one another. Or the time when…
TIME OUT, this is another Bayside? Lametown.
Though Beaches, you are missing an insane opportunity here. You have a restaurant named Bayside and you don’t host Saved by the Bell-themed meals?
But yeah, all of us made it to breakfast today. All 13 of us. Even the Siggins woke up for it! Which is a pretty big deal. I hope they weren’t expecting to see Mr. Belding too.
Bayside is totally open-air with a pretty awesome view.
I also should mention during normal non-COVID times, Bayside is a buffet breakfast, with the rooftop restaurant upstairs (Sky) normally serving the sit-down breakfast. With Sky being open only for dinner at the moment, the sit-down breakfast is now being served at Bayside.
Of course, breakfast started with Bloody Marys…
Look how happy Tony is. He sure loves vodka.
I went double-entrée for breakfast today, getting both the Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict…
…and the Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
Both were tasty. But I mean, gun to my head? I’d go with the Pulled Pork Benny. I think this may have been my favorite breakfast entrée of the trip. Wait. Do Bloody Marys count as an entrée? No? OK, then yeah. This was my favorite.
Nickie also doubled up on her entrees, ordering both the Banana Bread French Toast…
And the All-American (eggs, sausage, bacon, home fries.)
I always wonder if I should be offended that breakfasts with names like “All-American” are always just sort of a “here is everything, now shove it in your face-hole” kind of plate.
This was something I contemplated as I ate my Eggs Benedict with a side of pancakes.
I also snapped a picture of Larissa’s Salmon Omelet, because it was real pretty.
And those were all the food pictures I took at breakfast. I know. I must have been feeling shyer than usual. It sometimes takes a lot to ask someone if you can take a picture of their food. Especially in the morning. People are unpredictable at the breakfast table. I know a guy who lost his pinky finger doing just that.
Also, most people at the table got some sort of version of the dishes I just described. So that would be totally repetitive. Because most people at the table got some sort of version of the dishes I just described.
Well, except for Artie. He got some sort of salami breakfast sandwich with gruyere cheese. And while it was offered with eggs, he opted to go without. So he essentially went full lunch. Which I mean, no judgement here. I have been known to eat a full Chinese dinner, cold, for breakfast.
But he did talk at length about how it was one of the best things he ate this week. And he talked it up so much, that a few of us ended up getting It later in the week. So, technically, I do have a picture of it (with eggs.)
Just know you will be seeing that picture again, later in this series of posts.
Did I enjoy it? Well, you’ll just have to read on to…
It was very good.
Gah. I am literally the worst.
All in all, a very good breakfast at Bayside. Like I said, Bayside is usually a buffet so we weren’t sure what to expect from it being a sit-down. It definitely delivered.
Well, it didn’t deliver. We had to actually go to the restaurant to eat it.
After breakfast, we walked over to try and grab some chairs at the Italian Pool. And erm, there weren’t any. I mean, there were chairs. But they were pretty much all taken. By towels. Not people, mind you. I mean, there weren’t even that many people in the pool to have accounted for all those chairs being taken.
I know. It was confusing to me too. How could all these towels have succeeded in getting chairs for themselves? Towels can’t even move, let alone secure valuable poolside seating.
Well, folks, it’s due to the hard work of a lot of brave souls. Men and women getting up at the crack of dawn, while the rest of us lie comfortably in our beds, only dreaming of a world where towels would be able to one day secure their own pool chairs. These brave souls free these towels from their poolside prisons and lay them across pool chairs, fighting the “system” that for so long has given human beings an inherent right to poolside relaxation while relegating our fabric-based friends to simply drying us off or being crushed under our weight while we enjoy the sunshine.
Often, these modern-day Mother Theresas can be seen from one’s balcony in the wee hours of the morning laying one towel across one chair, but other true heroes are laying them across multiple chairs – really giving these towels the space they deserve. It’s truly inspiring, especially given these freedom fighters are nowhere to be found during peak pool time. They obviously do not seek glory or recognition.
This can be the only explanation, right? I mean, the only other thing I can think of is that these people are self-centered crap-hats that think they are entitled to not only pool chairs whether they are sitting in them or not but also are fine using up all the towels. Like, they think they are somehow beating the system by getting up early and securing pool chairs for themselves but in reality, they simply show a complete disregard for their fellow human beings and the vacations they would also like to enjoy.
No. It’s definitely the “hero to all towels” thing.
So we ended up having to set up our stuff at a chair and table set-up kind of outside the main pool area.
As you may have noticed, the kids are holding some plain white Beaches t-shirts in the picture above. And you were probably thinking to yourself, “wow, those are some boring souvenirs. You guys are terrible parents.”
Well first off, judgy much?
But secondly, nope. It was time to make some tie-dye t-shirts. According to our activities schedule, the Beaches crew were making tie-dye tees at the Italian pool today at 11AM. So we bought some plain white shirts in the resort shop ($20 a piece) for the kids to create their masterpieces.
Also me. We also bought me a plain white t-shirt.
At 11AM, we saw them setting up down near the pool bar and walked over. I should note they also had white t-shirts for sale where they were set up as well. Not sure if they always do, but they did here.
Now, we have done tie dye on vacation before and, usually, it’s a bit of a mess. The kids (and me) inevitably end up with dye on their hands and while the end result is still something the kids (and me) like, it never looks exactly like it was supposed to.
But of course, at Beaches, things are better.
At Beaches, the employees prepare your shirt, ask you what kind of design you want, and then MAKE THAT DESIGN.
Talk about luxury.
Though I will say the dude running the table did shame me a little bit for first asking for a heart on my shirt. He seemed to think this wasn’t manly enough.
I really wanted to get into it and tell him how I’ve seen Britney Spears, Ke$ha, and the Jonas Brothers (twice) in concert before so, like, being manly isn’t priority numero uno. But instead I bowed my head sheepishly and asked him to give me a more macho design.
He, unfortunately, said it would be impossible to tie dye a deer carcass throwing a football to a beer can. He did say he could do a yin-yang situation though.
And the shirts came out amazing.
Seriously. The people that work at Beaches are infinitely talented. When they were all done, we were instructed to let our shirts completely dry on the grass before wearing them.
So you know what that meant. Time to grab a drink. I couldn’t decide what I was in the mood for. Rum? Vodka? Tequila? Gin?
I ended up going with…all. The Long Island Iced Tea. The one drink that contains it all. The KFC Bowl of the alcohol world.
Know what goes well with a Long Island Iced Tea? A hot tub.
Jeff, what are you doing out there? Get in this hot tub!
We hung out in the hot tub for a little while and eventually started to make our way over to the Italian pool bar, stopping to pick up some strays along the way.
Ah, the pool bar. Pools are great. Bars are great. It just makes sense.
When we got to the bar, one of our favorite bartenders, Bishop, was making up some drinks. I asked him the most innocent of questions – “Hey Bishop, is it shot o’ clock yet?”
To which he answered….
In case you don’t know, now you know – Bishop is awesome. His answer to most of your questions will be “Why not?” And honestly, that’s probably the best answer to like most questions. Not like, ALL questions. But most. Some where this may not be the best answer:
- Is murder ok if you’re like really, really angry?
- I’m 44 years old. Should I try to learn how to skateboard?
- Should I give Spider-Man 3 with Tobey Maguire another shot? I mean, there is no way it can be as bad as I remember.
There are others, but these are definitely ones where you can feel comfortable answering an emphatic, “No.”
Hey, speaking of Bishop. He has a signature drink at Beaches called The Crazy Bishop.
When in Rome.
I asked him what actually was in the Crazy Bishop and he answered with, “You put the lime in the coconut….” So I mean. Lime, maybe? Coconut, perhaps?
Regardless, its very good. Some in our party found it a little too sweet. But that phrase like…never computes. Too sweet? What does that even mean?
Can a sunset be too beautiful?
Can a baby be too precious?
Can Empire Strikes Back be too awesome?
Too sweet. Pfft.
After we downed our Crazy Bishops in the pool, we made the plan to grab a snack at the Caribbean Pool and then find lunch somewhere. And do you know WHY we wanted to grab a snack at the Caribbean Pool?
Because TACO TIME!!
On select days, outside Arizona’s (the steakhouse at the Cascades Pool in the Caribbean Village), they set up this whole taco/barbecue situation.
There are a few different manned stations under that little hut where you can grab some custom-made tacos, grilled meats, cheeseburgers, hot dogs…all kinds of good stuff.
Quick COVID heads-up though – while before, you could just sort of walk right up and grab whatever you wanted, you now have to check in at Arizona’s and get a table before you can get anything to eat. This served to change our plans a little bit. Since we were seated at a table now, we decided to just stay here for lunch instead of making this our lunch appetizer.
I however, would not be completely deterred. I decided to STILL have my lunch appetizer. I paid for this vacation explicitly so I could have lunch appetizers.
My first pass through the stations, I got the pork tacos loaded with…I don’t know. Stuff?
And once I finished with my tacos, I went back up for a cheeseburger and fries.
Both dishes were good. The pork was definitely spicy and I don’t remember the dressing I put on top of my taco, but it helped to balance out that spiciness well. Like I said, though, I don’t remember what that dressing was. I know. Super helpful.
That burger though. I don’t know if I was just hungry or what, but that burger tasted RULL good. Everyone was talking those burgers up, too. So it wasn’t just me and my propensity for exaggeration. They all said it was LITERALLY THE BEST BURGER THEY HAVE EVER HAD.
OK, fine. I maybe exaggerated there a little bit. Maybe.
While we ate, a bunch of us were fixated on watching these birds try their damndest to eat a soft tortilla. I kept expecting one of them to take it in the air and be caught by the wind, which would then send them flying off as they yelled, “Remember meeeeeee!”
That never happened. Instead, they eventually finished the tortilla. The end.
At this point, it was around 2PM so we were thinking we would take a dip in the Cascades Pool.
However, as you might have guessed by the absence of any sort of crowd in those pictures, the water had a bit of a chill to it. I know this because Jeff pushed me in.
The kids wanted to go off and play some basketball annnyways, so we decided to head over to the Adults-only hot tub, also in the Caribbean Village.
But before she met up with the rest of the kids, Mia made me super jealous and met up with some old homies from ‘tha street.
But yeah, while the kids shot some ball…
…we headed to the hot tub.
I mean, we obviously grabbed drinks first. We aren’t savages. A Tito’s and soda for me, a Mai Tai for Nickie.
And of course, we weren’t alone. Look. Other “adults!” In fact, if I recall, Tony and Jeff were having a very grown-up conversation. About finances. Or cars, maybe? I don’t know. It was one of those conversations where I just nod until someone brings up cartoons.
Being that we hadn’t eaten in like 30 minutes, we also put in an order for some pizzas at Bella Napoli over by the Iguana Pool – a cheese, meat lovers, and a barbecue chicken.
Quick note on those. Pizzas tend to take longer than you would expect at Bella Napoli. We ordered these at like 2:30 or so and they were ready a little after 3:00. Not really a complaint or anything, just keep that in mind when ordering from there. Our party got pizzas from there a few times and 30-40 minutes seemed kind of the norm. But the pizzas are pretty good there.
The Adult Jacuzzi is pretty great though. It’s like right on the beach. And I think I have expressed how I feel about being in man-made water areas next to the ocean. It’s like spitting in the face of Mother Nature. Like, “oh, I see your water over there. But I don’t NEED it. Look at me, I am man. I am master of all elements. I AM ETERNAL!”
But I mean, everyone feels like that right?
And with the wind that day, we saw A TON of kite surfers out there. Which was cool. I mean, obviously not cool enough for me to take any pictures of I guess. Why am I SO BAD at blogging?
Also, according to my photo timestamps, we spent over two hours there. In the hot tub.
It’s a good thing I already have reached my desired amount of children. One!
Oh no…wait, two. I have two children. Bonus!
At around 5ish, we rounded up the kids and headed back to the room to get ready for the night. And as we were all getting ready, we noticed this.
And while yeah, sunset=pretty, Nickie wanted to try and get some sunset pictures on the beach. And you know what that means?
Time to race the sun!
Down to the beach we went. Did I mention it was windy?
On your mark.
Damn, we lost.
I mean, we didn’t really lose. Who can consider themselves losers with these three?
Also, I am pretty sure Mia is in a gang with those signs she’s throwing out there. South shore in the hizzy.
Do kids still say that? Hizzy? Whatever. I still think it’s pretty phat.
The rest of us also took part in the absence of a sunset.
So pretty. It probably was.
For dinner, the kids all went out to The Cricketer’s for a pint.
A pint-sized meal. You know, because they’re kids.
And they did not manage one single picture. It’s like they don’t even care about this blog. Well, they’ll be sorry when they read this post and see there were no pictures of their dinner.
Hm? What? Oh…they don’t read this? Blogs aren’t cool anymore? I’m literally talking to no one right now? My children think I am a complete joke?
The adults, meanwhile, were heading to Le Petit Chateau, the French restaurant in the French Village. Interestingly, while this restaurant is typically adult-only, they are currently allowing kids in. But our kids, specifically, wanted to do their own thing. Which meant we were following up our Adult Hot Tub time with Adult Restaurant time. So much adult.
Speaking of being an adult…
Yeah, full on Sesame Street going on outside the restaurant. And like, while our dinner was kind of starting after the show ended and it was inside, there were couples outside trying to have a romantic dinner while Elmo was teaching them about sharing.
So yeah, another pro tip. If you want to have a romantic dinner at Le Petit Chateau, maybe schedule it for after Oscar heads back into his trash can.
We were a little early for our reservation so we went to wait at the bar for our table to be ready. I ordered up a Tito’s martini. And Nickie ordered a Cosmopolitan.
We were seated shortly after…
…in legit the middle of the restaurant. Which would be fine, of course. For people that speak at a normal volume. That, to the chagrin, of many of those sitting around us, is not us.
This kind of thing doesn’t help.
Larissa and Nickie also decided to order a bottle of The Prisoner for the table to start with. And yes, you’re right. We were staying at an all-inclusive and wine was included in that. And yep, right again. This bottle was an additional fee. But in their defense, it was The Prisoner. It’s hard to pass it up when it’s on the menu. We have been Prisoner fans for far too long to not order it.
Sorry, did I say A bottle? I meant two bottles. And this continued at other dinners as well. We have wine problems.
To start my meal, I ordered the Ragout d’Escargots en Vol-Au-Vent (escargot in a puff pastry with mushrooms, leeks, and herbs de provence)…
…and the Soupe a l’Oignon (French Onion Soup with melted gruyere cheese toast.)
Both were…ok. I honestly was expecting more from both of these dishes. I am a big escargot fan, but I had never had it prepared this way and I feel like these didn’t have a ton of flavor to them. They tasted fresh enough, but I prefer my escargot served more traditionally with garlic butter I think.
And the French Onion Soup was a bit too brown sugary for my taste. Still good and preferred to the escargot, but it definitely had a sweetness I wasn’t expecting. I know, I know. Earlier I was making fun of thinking things were too sweet. But I mean, that was a frozen drink. This is French Onion Soup. And also – I am wildly inconsistent.
We also got some plates of Coquilles (pan-seared scallops, cauliflower puree, apple wood smoked bacon, caramelized fennel, sun-dried tomato pesto) for the table.
I thought these were delicious. Really fresh, great texture, and the accompaniments, like the bacon, added some good flavor. I really really REALLY love scallops. I mean, I know it’s just like fish jello or whatever, but something about the texture of scallops to me makes eating them such a pleasurable experience, especially when they are really good scallops. And yeah, I thought these were really good.
For my entrée, I opted for the Magret de Canard a l’Orange (Duck a l’Orange with pumpkin puree, pommes William, and a Grand Marnier sauce.)
This duck was quack-tastic. Super tender and fatty (in a good way), tons of flavor to the duck itself, and the Grand Marnier sauce complemented it perfectly. Seriously, a really good dish. I would get it again.
I also snapped a pic of Sheila’s entrée – the Poulet Cordon Bleu (ham and cheese stuffed chicken breast, rice-peas pilaf, seasonal vegetables, lingonberry relish.)
Which Jeff is obviously a big fan of.
OK, so dessert. If you have been reading the other posts in this series, you would know that the desserts for the most part were lacking at Beaches. But…this was definitely an exception. The Moelleux au Chocolat (molten chocolate cake, iced rum mousseline, stewed berries, red wine jus) was sooooo good. I think it may have been my favorite dessert of the trip.
All in all, it was a really good dinner. I mean, there were some minor misses but I really did like most of what I ate. And like I said, we definitely had some seriously lively conversation going on. I am pretty sure I saw at least one person say “Well, I never” while fanning themselves and clutching their pearls after something Artie said.
So you know we had a good time.
After dinner, we walked back to the Italian Village and met up with the kids outside The Cricketer’s and we all went up to our rooms, got our suits on, and went for a nighttime soak in the hot tub. And this was the best picture I could muster.
Looks like I put some sort of “90s rave” filter on there or something. I think. I never really went to a rave in the 90s. I was more of a “eat Dunkaroos and watch TGIF on ABC” kind of 90s kid. And yes, I am aware I went to college in the 90s. Whatever, man. Uncle Jessie was cool. As were The Rippers.
Hrm, a good amount of 90s TV mentions in this post. Not a great amount. But a good amount. Hey, remember Party of Five?
Now it’s a great amount.
Annnnnywhat. That was Day 3. Stay tuned for Day 4. When we have breakfast with puppets AND I have what might be my favorite dish of the trip.