So I’m back from Turks & Caicos.
I’m not happy about it.
For the past four days, I spent every morning following a very strict routine — gym, breakfast buffet, beach, beach, nap, beach, strawberry daiquiris — and I’m less than thrilled to be deviating from that plan today.
Returning to reality after a killer trip is never easy, but thank you, New York City, for blessing me with a 50-degree day today. I guess if I have to leave the beach, I’ll settle for springtime conditions in January.
As for the trip: It was incredible. Any expectations I had about the island, the resort and the people (Turks & Caicos natives are called “belongers,” which I think sounds nice) were completely surpassed.
I’ll be honest with you here: When people, like somewhat strangers or coworkers I’m not super close with, return from vacation I’m always like, “Ugh, now I have to sit here while this person recaps the entire awesome vacation that I wasn’t on, and I have to look at a million photos. Big sarcastic yay!”
In case you feel similarly, which I support, I will write one post about my little getaway, in list form, so it’s organized, and then regular running-related blogging will continue tomorrow. Deal? OK then.
1. I have flown first class and now I never want to fly coach again. It’s a spoiled statement to make. I realize that. But it’s true and I have no shame in admitting it.
I think I flew first class once when I was little because I was traveling with family friends who got an upgrade and let my brother and I sit in their fancy seats. We felt so cool.
But this time, I got to actually appreciate it.
Keep in mind, these flights were on someone else’s dime. I don’t get to fly first class, because my bank account only supports smaller purchases, like packs of gum and chap stick.
But because this trip was part of a prize package, I got to be all VIP and stuff.
First class flying — only on the way there, not on the way back — was a treat. And if you fly first class all the time and this isn’t news to you, I’m sorry. To me, it was the best thing ever. We got champagne before we even took off (breakfast of champions on a 7 am flight), were served a legitimate breakfast and got to recline our seats into beds. I wanted to sleep but I was too excited.
First class, man. That is the way to go.
2. The Gansevoort Hotel is the nicest place I have ever stayed. It’s so classy, so modern and, though I hate using this word, it’s so chic.
The staff there was ridiculously friendly and attentive, and we got delicious drinks when we checked in.
I definitely recommend staying here if you can. I get the impression that it’s not cheap. But if you win a trip and they ask you where you want to go and stay, this is your place.
3. Few things in life are better or more relaxing than falling asleep with your door open while listening to the ocean. Last night I fell asleep to the sounds of horns honking on the Upper East Side. Not the same. Not the same at all.
4. If the hotel says, “You can reserve a bed on the beach if you’d like. You also get a fruit platter, bottles of water and a bottle of wine,” you say “YES.” Don’t think about it. Just agree. And enjoy taking naps all day long on your beach bed.
5. You don’t have to be a little kid to think banana boating is fun and hilarious. Brian and I took a spin on the big inflatable banana boat and screamed and laughed the entire time. Yes, we had to wait for all the kids to finish their rides first, but once they were done, we had a blast.
6. Massages in real life are great. Massages on vacation are even better. I don’t really have much else to say about that.
7. The water in Turks & Caicos is the clearest, most incredible-looking water I have ever seen. You can see all the way to the bottom of the ocean, even when you’re miles away from the shore. It’s mind blowing.
8. Jet skiing will make you sore. Brian and I had a 2:40 pm flight off the island yesterday. So instead of waking up, laying low and packing, we decided to mentally delay our departure by going jet skiing.
Brian drove. I did not.
Brian drove fast. I held on for dear friggin’ life.
He was all about the sharp little turns and flying over the waves and “getting air,” and I was all about not going blind from the salt water spraying directly into my eyeballs. I screamed and laughed and thought I was going to die, and then I was sad as soon as we were done.
We took a guided jet ski tour, so we got to see a ton of the island. Our guide took us past a conch farm (conch is the “big thing” in Turks & Caicos, and it’s delicious), showed us where Prince’s house is on the island, showed us where the former prime minister lives and took us to the spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Very cool. Very pretty.
This morning I attempted at 6-mile run. It could have gone great, since yesterday was technically a “rest day.” But between a totally bloated post-vacation stomach and wildly sore jet ski legs, it wasn’t my fastest or greatest run. Worth it? Absolutely.
9. Vacation is best when you unplug and actually relax. For four days, I didn’t read emails, I didn’t go on Facebook and I didn’t check Twitter. I didn’t read a single blog and I didn’t really care about cramming in a long run while I was away. I ran twice — five miles both times — and did some lifting and boring things in the gym.
This was the first time I went away and actually felt completely relaxed the entire time. Nothing stressed me out. Nothing made me worry — probably because all the cool guys at the resort kept saying “no worries,” and so I actually believed it.
I got tons of sleep, took many deep breaths and had the best time ever.
10. If you fly first class to your vacation destination, you will be depressed about flying “regular class” back home. But maybe Ann Curry will be on your flight. She was on mine, and she was one of the few people who got “randomly selected” for a security frisking before boarding the plane. Oh Ann. You’re so crazy.
That was painless, right? Now I’m done talking about vacation, and tomorrow we can talk about running and stuff!
BECAUSE I’VE MISSED YOU: Please give me an update. How was your weekend? What did you do? What’s new in your life?