Carolyn and I have just returned from our annual mid-winter break. The destination this year was Club Med Turquoise located on Providenciales, one of the islands of Turks and Caicos. And where is Turks and Caicos, you ask? Well, it’s north of the Dominican Republic and west of Puerto Rico. In other words, it offers all the sparkling water, warm breezes and sunshine that the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands are famous for without as many of those pesky tourists lurking about!
Club Med is the original all inclusive resort. Once you arrive, all your earthly needs are taken care of – food, beverages, sports equipment, beach chairs and entertainment are all provided. We chose this Club because it is the only one in North America reserved for adults. Now, don’t misunderstand. We love the grandkids. In fact, they are spending next weekend with us. But there are times when it is nice to get away just the two of us and socialize with other adults.
The amazing thing about Club Med is the extent and variety of activities that are available for guests. There is a fleet of Hobie Cats, wind surfers, kayaks and stand up paddle boards waiting for you at the edge of the ocean. If you don’t know how to use them, the staff are happy to teach you. Do you prefer tennis, snorkeling, soccer, volleyball, water aerobics, water polo, volleyball or the trampoline? Those are also available along with free instruction if you so desire.
On Tuesday, we participated in the weekly regatta. Club Med rules always emphasize fun first and so the races started from the beach. The surf was high that day, which made getting the boat into the water and underway a challenge. We came in third, which was good enough to earn us an official Club Med medal. It was Carolyn’s first experience with competitive sailing and judging by her big grin every time we passed yet another boat, she thoroughly enjoyed it!
Later in the week, we went out on one of the bigger Hobie Cats with a much larger mainsail and a jib. I have sailed a time or two and raced high performance boats for a number of years, but I have never traveled faster on the water than we did in that big catamaran. We took another couple along with us who were novice sailors and they had a grand time as we lofted the windward hull into the air and let the leeward hull burrow through the rollers, drenching us all with geysers of warm ocean water. Such fun!
Most mornings, we played tennis or went for a long walk on the beach before breakfast. Grace Bay on Providenciales is rated one of the 10 best beaches in the world. With its pure white sand and warm ocean waters, it’s easy to see why it is so highly regarded.
We had started dieting on New Year’s Day to slim down enough to fit into our bathing suits, but when we got to Club Med Turquoise we were suddenly adrift in a sea of culinary delights. The food was tasty and plentiful and the desserts extraordinary. I became inordinately fond of fresh baked white chocolate bread and Napoleons. The scale says I gained 10 pounds during the week, even though I was far more physically active than usual. It’s hard to watch your weight when you are offered bountiful buffets three times a day.
During the week, we made friends with many other guests. There was a large contingent from Canada looking to escape winter’s icy blasts. On our last night at the village, we shared a table at dinner with a family from Geneva. We struggled with our high school French and they struggled with their English, but we managed to carry on an enjoyable conversation anyway.
When the week was over, we had to agree this was one of our best vacations ever. We met several people who have visited this particular Club Med multiple times. Now that we are home again and the temperature outside is in the single digits, we can’t wait to go back again ourselves.