THE MARCH 2021 “YES, WE ACTUALLY WENT TO” BEACHES TURKS & CAICOS TRIP REPORT: DAY 4!!

Ohey everyone. Welcome to Day 4.

And at this point, we officially say we are over the halfway point of the trip. After you’re done with this post, there will be less trip left than we have covered. Almost over. Almost done. No more vacation.

Because JOEL. Because this is what I do. Even at the start of a trip, I can often be heard saying, “now that the trip has started, that means it’s almost over.”

I am a real treat.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a ton of coolness left. I mean, just today we have breakfast with a vampire, I have what is probably my best meal of the trip, and I get completely naked on the beach.

You don’t want to miss…well, eh…

…maybe you do want to miss it. I don’t know. Read at your own risk.

Beaches Turks & Caicos 2021 trip: Day 4!

Day 4, once again, started earrrrly. Well, for me and Jeff at least. We met up at around 6:30am to head out for a run. And this time, we opted to run outside instead of on the treadmill. Before we left for the trip, I saw on a YouTube video that said there was an actual one mile running trail and there was a sign showing the route somewhere on property. 

So we headed out in search of this elusive sign, with a plan to run until we could find it and then (hopefully) run that trail a couple times. Spoiler alert – we didn’t end up finding it. As we were running, we asked a few employees here and there if they knew where it was, but they all kept pointing us back to one of the gyms.

I mean. That’s A sign. It’s not THE sign.

And like, for the rest of the trip, Jeff and I had our eyes out for this elusive sign. It was nowhere to be found.

Until.

Until the very last day, when Jeff spotted it somewhere in the Italian Village.

At least that’s what he claims. I never actually saw it so I feel like he found a picture of the sign online and this is just part of some sort of elaborate sign-based prank. You know the ones. Like, I bet him and Sheila are telling all their friends down in Florida what a big idiot I am for believing he found this sign. They’re probably even calling me “Old Stupid Sign-y” and every time they drive by a sign, they just laugh and laugh at my gullibility.

Yeah. Sometimes my head is a dark, dark place to live.

But the run ended up being nice. We ran down the boardwalk for a little bit and then sort of wound through the villages until we ended up back in the French Village. Because that’s where coffee and pastries are.

And every runner knows a successful run always ends with coffee and pastries. Jeff and I picked up some for the peeps back at our rooms as well.

Because we are amazing people. Surprised you haven’t figured that out yet.

Unbeknownst to us until literally right now as I am going through these pictures, Nickie took one of us coming in.

Hail the conquering heroes.

At this point it was 7:30 and we had 8:00 breakfast plans with the Falzones so I had to quickly shower and get ready.

Obligatory balcony shot!

So yeah, 8:00AM breakfast reservations. At a resort where you don’t need reservations for breakfast. What could we possibly be doing?

Oh, right.

SESAME STREET BREAKFAST!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

It was very exciting, obviously.

Yeah, erm…I mean. Well, Mia was excited. Not me. I’m a grown man. Pfft. That would be strange.

Right? It would be strange?

Yeah, you’re right. Super strange. Which is why I wasn’t exci…

HOLY CRUD IT’S JULIA!!!!

…is what Mia was probably saying. Not me. I’m all man. I like action movies and sporting games.

Wait, ok. Let me back up. So like I said, our breakfast reservation was at 8am. These reservations need to be made before the trip, which is what Tony did for us. This breakfast is outside the all-inclusive situation, so it does cost extra and currently the prices are:

  • $12 per adult
  • $15 per child (2 and under are free)
  • $49.99 for a family package, which includes 2 adults and 2 children
  • $99.99 for deluxe family package, which includes the family package plus one color 8×10 family photograph and 2 Sesame Street plush dolls

When we did this breakfast on our last trip, it was held at Le Petit Chateau in the French Village. But this time around, it was being held in a conference room in the Caribbean Village. This was concerning, initially. While we loved the breakfast our first time around, we were a little worried about some of the magic being lost in the new setting.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. The idea of a boardroom meeting with Sesame Street, hashing out the intricacies of a puppet-human urban existence. Like the constant attempts by Wal-Mart and Amazon at a corporate takeover of the Fix-It Shop. Or the ever-growing monster overpopulation problem. Or the fact that a frikkin’ vampire just roams the streets freely and everyone seems total ok with that.

But yeah, our fears were completely unfounded. The place looked so cute. All kinds of sunny days. Sweeping the clouds away.

Oh, and looking at that picture above, I bet you’re thinking Owen wore that Oscar the Grouch shirt specifically for this breakfast. Nope. I am pretty sure he wore that thing 5 out of the 7 days we were there.

He really wanted to achieve that authentic Oscar smell, I guess.

Last time we did this breakfast, we were all sort of dumbfounded they didn’t have any Sesame Street merch for sale. We figured they would make a killing on that sort of thing. Well, they fixed that this time around.

And these things weren’t cheap. While the breakfast itself was cheaper than a Disney breakfast, these stuffed animal prices kind of put Disney prices to shame. Or at least they gave Disney some stiff competition. One’s life would have to be pretty plush to afford one.

So yeah, of course we bought one. But it wasn’t for us. It was for my niece and nephew’s daughter, Sophia. So shut it.

After we were seated, Julia came in for a visit.

In terms of food, we were started off with some plates of fresh fruit and pastries for the table.

And then? The rest of The Breakfast Club showed up.

A Brain.

An…Athlete?

A Basket Case.

A Princess.

A Criminal.

And of course, a Vampire.

I won’t. Forget about them. I won’t, won’t, won’t, won’t.

I think the rotation changes with each breakfast since we had a different line-up last time, but yeah this time we had Bert, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Zoe, Oscar, and Count Von Count joining us for breakfast today.

The thing that didn’t change from the last time? These dudes had some serious moves. Check these savages out.

Man. I wish I could move it like Bert.

I don’t know if you could tell from the pictures above, but the place was pretty empty. Just a few tables scattered here and there and even those weren’t fully occupied. So not only did we feel safe COVID-wise, but we got a lot of time with the characters at our table.

Oh right, there was also food. For our entrees, we had a choice of a breakfast platter or a breakfast sandwich. I went with the platter. Which is so unlike me.

Since I hate utensils so much.

Pretty standard stuff, but good nonetheless. Again with those awesome hash browns.

After we ate, the characters all did some Letter of the Day and Number of the Day dances and then they invited everyone up to join in a conga line.

Bert seriously has stepped up his dance game since “Doin’ the Pigeon” back in the day.

The kids were also given coloring pages to pass the time. And all three of them took advantage.

And I wasn’t jealous at all that I didn’t receive a coloring page. I am a Principal Researcher, man. Do you know how many coloring pages I could buy? I mean, at least three for sure.

They also gave the kids each a souvenir cup and let them take the balloons that adorned their chairs.

Yeah, the kids. I was never offered a balloon. But I’m not bitter.

Please, I buy and sell balloons EVERYDAY.

I don’t know what that means, but I obviously don’t care about the balloon. Is that I am saying.

So, that was the Sesame breakfast. And I am sure you’re wondering – was it worth it? With breakfast included, is it worth it to do the Sesame Street breakfast. I mean, it’s pretty awesome. The food is…fine. Gets the job done but its nothing over-the-top spectacular. But the characters and the whole setup is super fun. Compared to the prices we are used to paying for a character meal at Disney, this is seriously small change. And if your kids are into Sesame Street, these characters all spent A LOT of time interacting with our table.

Plus, I mean. The dancing is worth price of admission alone.

After breakfast, we went up to get changed and us and the Falzones met up with Jeff and Sheila at the French Pool.

And being that it was 10:30.

Which is almost 11:00.

Which is kind of close to noon.

Nickie and Larissa headed to the bar.

And to be fair, they WERE ordering for all of us. And we DID get breakfast drinks.

So that’s gotta account for something, right?

Throughout the morning, Owen, Mia, and I were discussing how much we all wanted some cotton candy so I took them over to Bobby Dee’s.

Look how cute it is inside Bobby Dee’s.

We stepped up to order and they said they’d meet us in back where the cotton candy machine is.

She whipped up three cotton candies – one for me, one for Owen….

…and one for Mia, who I believe has never had cotton candy before?

Which like, um. I don’t even know what to say about such things. It’s a good thing Owen and I are here to show her the ways of the world. Tony and Larissa are obviously great parents that have shown Mia how to be a good person and know right from wrong and all that nonsense, but I mean. This borders on neglect.

The cotton candy was btw DELICIOUS. Highly recommend. Much better than actual cotton.

When we got back to the pool? Hot tub time.

Nickie and Larissa were already well ahead of us and while it wasn’t noon just yet, it appears they had already moved from morning mimosas to morning beers. Which is a great GREAT move. Morning beers are only bested by shower beers in their greatness.

And look at me and my hot wife. Rawr.

If we weren’t already married, I’d use the old “you know, if you weren’t in here it would just be a normal tub” line.

Then I’d follow up with, “You know, because it’s a hot tub.”

And then I’d say something like, “And you’re hot.”

I’d most likely continue, “So like you make this a hot tub. Because you’re hot. And therefore, you make it hot. But if you weren’t here, then it would just be a normal tub. You see, it’s like a play on words. I mean, obviously this would be a hot tub no matter what, but I was just trying to say you’re pretty.”

Then, I’d notice she had already left.

I know. It’s a mystery I ever got married in the first place. Pity is a powerful thing.

The French Pool ended up being one of my favorite pools of the week. The water was the most comfortable here and it was always pretty empty.

For lunch, Jeff and Sheila and the kids wanted to hit the mac and cheese truck, while we and the Falzones wanted to go to Neptune’s over in Key West. Well, to be honest, Tony also went to the mac and cheese truck to get something to eat on the way to Neptune’s.

On account of Tony is my hero.

But yeah…Neptune’s.

We got there a little bit before they were opening at 12:30, but they still seated us and took our drink orders.  But eh, I wasn’t really in the mood for a drink.

Pfft, I’m just playing. I got a Mai Tai. I can’t believe you feel for the old “I didn’t get a drink” line.

Whose Tai? MY Tai!

To start off, Nickie, Tony, and I ordered Fattoush salads (Lebanese style salad with romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radishes, crispy pita bread, lemon dressing) with grilled chicken.

Which were actually pretty good. I mean, I know. You don’t win friends with salad and all…

…but this was a really good salad. And needed. Since my vegetable intake was dangerously low.

Larissa, though, went ALL in and started with the Shrimp Bruschetta (Toasted garlic bread, tomatoes, shrimp, oregano, arugula, pesto oil).

For my entrée (and Tony ordered the same), I got…are you guys ready…what could possibly have been my favorite dish of the entire trip. Behold….the Saffron Fish Basket (Fried white fish in saffron batter, lemon tzatziki).

I know. It simply looks like some fish and chips. But this thing was GOOD. Tony even said when I took my first bite, I made some kind of a very excited face. I don’t know if it was the saffron or the freshness of the fish or a combination of both, but I really REALLY liked this dish.

Tony and I also split a burger and Nickie ordered one as her main entrée.

And the “really good burger” trend continued at Beaches. Which may be the best trend ever. I mean, I guess Fidget Spinners were cool too.

The awesomeness of this lunch didn’t stop at the entrée either. For dessert, I ordered this bad boy.

This right here is the Sugared Doughnut with strawberry jam, vanilla syrup, and whipped cream. And while as I have noted, the desserts in large part were lacking at Beaches, this was my favorite dessert of the week. This thing was like some sort of dream I once had. All warm and sugary and donutty.

Tony ordered the Churros with Chocolate Sauce.

And while he said these were good, he said the doughnut was the preferred dessert here. He also said though, the best move was to order both so you could dip the doughnut in the chocolate sauce.

Again, Tony is a true hero of our time.

Immediately following lunch, Nickie and I made our way over to the Red Lane Spa in the Caribbean Village…

…as we had something pretty fantastic planned for the next hour or so.

A little bit of background. When we booked our trip, there was a promotion going on that (in addition to a few other benefits) included a free 30-minute massage. We upgraded to 60-minutes for a fee and asked for it beachside.

To start, we were first asked to check in outside and fill out some forms denoting what kind of massage we would like, any medical conditions or concerns, etc.

Then we were brought inside and shown to our separate shower areas (booooo!) And since I hadn’t had a massage in, like, over 20 years I felt super awkward at every turn. I mean, more awkward than I usually feel.

When I was shown to the shower, the first girl that I met told me to shower and throw on the provided robe. Which I took to mean, you know, “be naked.” So I did that and waited in another room for someone to tell me what to do next.

Another woman came in and asked if I was wearing anything underneath and said that I should probably on some underwear since we would be walking over to the beach and being arrested for indecent exposure would have put a kink in our dinner plans.

So I put my bathing suit back on underneath and met up with Nickie and one of our masseuses for the walk to the beach.

When we arrived, there was another masseuse waiting there for us. She told us to lay down and instructed me to NOW take the bathing suit off under the sheet. If I was comfortable with it. So, off it went. And I was officially naked at the beach. At a family resort.

But no worries. These ladies knew how to handle a sheet. They had them all kinds of configured so I didn’t accidentally flash any resort guests on their way to lunch or, you know, Camp Sesame.

And the massage was lovely. She worked out some serious knots I had in my shoulders (again, it’s been 20 years).

After our massage was over, we walked back to the spa and ran into Tony and Larissa, who were getting their massages after us.

Jeff and Sheila were also getting massages today. But while us and Tony and Larissa were getting our massages on the beach, Jeff and Sheila were having theirs inside. They were originally supposed to be getting theirs at the Red Lane spa in the Key West Village, but the plans changed and they were moved to the one in the Caribbean Village.

So they had to quickly make their way back to the Caribbean Village. The resort sent over a golf cart to bring them, which required them to use the secret squirrel underground tunnel that stretches from one end of the resort to the other.

I should also mention the Siggins were kind of off doing their own thang today. While I am not 100% on what that whole thang was, I know Suzanne was spending most of the day relaxing and reading in one of the gazebos by the beach.

While Tony and Larissa were off getting touched by strangers, we got to hang out with Mia in our room. She had just finished building a new friend at the Build-A-Bear (or the “Polar Bear,” as Mia put it) on-site.

World, meet Candy heart the Kitten.

We mainly spent our time relaxing in the room, watching cartoons.

Some of which were entirely in Spanish. Which Mia seemed to have no issue with whatsoever. Could it be that Mia understands conversational Spanish and she has been keeping this skill from us? Maybe she’s a spy.

Tony and Larissa finished at around 5:30, at which point they came and retrieved their potentially espionage-inclined daughter.

While the rest of us got ready for dinner, the Siggins had a photoshoot on the beach. And, according to reports, it was a lot of shenanigans. Word has it there were karate poses and raised voices. But I mean, they looked good.

Dinner tonight was at what was our favorite dinner spot last trip – Schooner’s over in the Caribbean Village. Let’s see how it compares this time around.

Dinner started with some bread and butter (both plain and herbed).

And I ordered up a martini, dirty. And this thing was nice and filthy. Finally. Most of my dirty martinis this week were rather clean.

Nickie and Larissa continued their trend of finding ways to spend money at an all-inclusive and ordered up a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.

Soon enough, my martini glass was empty. So I switched to a browner, scotchier option.

 We started with some appetizers for the table. Some Steamed Mussels…

…and the controversial Pan-Seared Scallops.

These were served on top of cornbread and pulled pork with a dab of anchovy mayonnaise on top. And while some at the table weren’t fans, I personally loved them. They were for sure different from traditional scallops, but I didn’t see that as a bad thing. The fresh scallop sandwiched between the contrasting flavors of the pulled pork and mayonnaise really created a unique situation.

The mussels, meanwhile, were a bit of a letdown. Last time we were at Schooner’s, I loved the mussels there. But these…eh, the garlic was a little too overpowering for me here. I like a little bit of a seawater taste with my mussels and here, the garlic beat the living crap out of any seawater taste.

We also ordered up a pasta course to share – the Shrimp Alfredo.

Yeah, a pasta course. This has become pretty common whenever we go out to eat with Tony and Larissa. While we all like pasta, it’s hard to waste an entrée on it. So this way? There is no choosing. We get some pasta to share in between the apps and the entrée and we can still order something a little more exciting for a main.

Go out and get yourself a pasta course. It’s improved my life and it can improve yours, too. You’re welcome.

Okay, time for some Blogger Confessions. For some strange reason, I only got a picture of one meal – Larissa’s Pan-Seared Swordfish Steak (with grilled vegetables, whipped potatoes, olive-onion-tomato chutney.)

I know I ended up getting the Sesame Crusted Tuna but I really don’t remember what anyone else got. I remember really liking the tuna (got it rare) but I have legit no idea why I didn’t snap a picture of it. Oh, and I know Owen got steak. On account of Owen always gets steak.

So was dinner as good as we remembered at Schooner’s? Erm.

I mean, it was definitely good. Don’t get me wrong. But it didn’t end up being our favorite dinner of the trip. Plus, it suffered from coming after what was an incredible lunch at Neptune’s.

After dinner, the Falzones went to bed and the boys went to play some night basketball. The rest of us hit the pool room at The Cricketer’s.

We played a couple games. First up was me and Nickie vs. Artie and Suzanne.

But middle of the game, Jeff took over for Nickie. Jeff and I were ahead when I left to go to the bathroom. And when I got back, I saw the tables had turned drastically. Not only were we behind at this point, but Artie and Suzanne had somehow transformed into two young men from Kentucky that were good at playing pool.

Yeah, COMPLETE 360.

They pretty much didn’t miss and by the time I got back to the table, they were sinking the 8-ball.

But…they challenged Jeff and I to another game. And this time the Young Male versions of Artie and Suzanne found more of a challenge in us. We were stripes, they were solids. And we both ended up making it to the 8-ball. No other ball, solid nor stripe, was left. Jeff took a shot. They took a shot. Both misses. Then it was my turn to line one up, certain that a miss would result in a loss for us. I pointed to the right corner, took my shot, and…miss.

The game was pretty much over. If the other team sinks it, we lose. So our opponent chalked up, took their shot. And….

Scratch.

We won. Despite neither Jeff nor I being actually good at pool, we won. This was our moment. That taste of victory was sweet. We were pretty proud of ourselves. As we high-fived and celebrated our victory, I swear I could hear Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time” playing somewhere off in the background.

While we were playing, Nickie brought over some surprise drinks for us! I mean, it wasn’t a surprise she was getting drinks. If you’ve been paying attention to the past few posts, I would assume this wouldn’t be a surprise for you either.

But the surprise was that they were Toasted Almonds!

!!!

No? Not excited?

Well, allow me to explain. As you may or may not know, my father (“Goody”) passed away 18 years ago. He was a great guy – he wasn’t just my dad, he was one of my best friends. And we used to golf a lot – him, me, and my brothers. Anyways, one day we were out golfing and at the 9th hole, we went into the clubhouse to get some drinks for the back 9. My brothers and I got some beers and a coke while my Dad ordered a…toasted almond.

An odd choice, for sure. We all exchanged quizzical looks and gave him some crap about it but he grabbed it proudly off the bar and we all walked towards the next hole. As we were walking, my dad must have tripped over a rock or stumbled into a small hole or something because all of a sudden he started fumbling with his drink and..

SPLASH!

…Toasted Almond all over his golf shirt.

And yeah, ever since then, Toasted Almonds have been a drink we have to remember the awesome that was my dad. Love you, Goody.

And my wife is the best, no? Thanks love for bringing a little Goody to Turks & Caicos for me.

At around 10:00, it was karaoke time. So we walked into the bar and I mean…of course I sang. I ended up singing “No Diggity” and then was having trouble picking a second song so the girl running the karaoke, Lauree, suggested I give Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” a try.

So I did. And I mean. I think I did pretty good but it was EXHAUSTING. I don’t know how Run did it all those times. OR DMC for that matter.

And of course I sang “Purple Rain.” That’s my go-to. My jam.

At around 11PM or so, we met up with the kids and headed back up to the room. I think. It’s all a bit blurry at this point.

ANNNNYWAYS. That was Day 4. Thanks for coming along. See you on Day 5!

Last post – Day 3
Next post – Day 5

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