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?
So I realize I’m 2 years late to this post, but I’m headed to T&C in a few weeks, and I am more excited after reading your post!
looks like an absolutely excellent vacation spot, I am glad both of you had a wonderful time.
Awesome recap and i am so freakin jealous! I am glad you had fun and i am totally flying first class to that fancy resort of yours some day in the (very distant) future! Good to have you back and we missed your posts too 🙂
This trip looks amazing! That crystal clear water is insane! I’m pretty sure I just added Turks & Caicos tn my never ending list of travel destinations.
I haven’t been on a trip like that since my honeymoon, before kids! I think I’ll put T&C on the agenda for my first trip sans the little monsters! It looks amazing! p.s. Love your striped cool racerback!
holy SHIT! Ann Curry was on your flight?!?!? She is the number one person I want to meet ever. I won’t go into my background and strange love of Ann (first name basis) but if you are curious I can go into more detail : )
I went to 16 Handles tonight on the UWS and I thought of you and hoped that there’d be a blog post for me to read when I got home – and yay! There was! Glad the trip was great 🙂
Ali, I worked on some Fellertron while you were gone. I hope that’s ok. Your Friend in Fighting Crohn’s, Jan.
I discovered Dance Moms and now am obsessed with the show. I mean, half the time, I’m like “ok, the faster I go to the gym and cross train, the faster I get to watch dance moms.” True story.
Ummm… AMAZING! It sounds like you had a really fantastic vacation! I’ve gotten to fly a few times in First Class on upgrades, and twice it has been overseas! It’s SUPER nice and makes flying in coach a bit more difficult and painful! I’m glad you had a great time:)
Oh, that looks amazing! I want to go on vacation now. I get to go to Las Vegas for work training in a week and a half, but Las Vegas doesn’t look like THAT. I’m glad you had so much fun and relaxation!
So absolutely jealous – was in T&C last year this time and am crying at the thought of it. Literally, it hurts my heart. The water is so gorgeous and the weather so wonderful – okay crying again. So glad you had a wonderful time! The Gansevoort looks amazing!
Wow!! What an amazing looking vacation! I am super jealous 🙂
Ahhhhh, beautiful!!! Makes me wanna go a plane RIGHT NOW 🙂
Umm, Turks and Caicos looks absolutely beautiful! YAY for happy, relaxing, sun-filled trips! I hope your week is a gentle entrance into real life again!
Where’s the banana boat picture?
Your trip looked amazing. I looked into that hotel and you were so right – it is NOT cheap!! Glad you had a relaxing time!
Chocolate & Wine
Wow I am incredibly jealous. haha. You have pretty much convinced me that i have to take my next vacation here lol.
My friend works for Gansevoort and will be stoked to see your post. My weekend: oh, let’s see. I tried out the wheelie carts at Walmart, Target and Martin’s (grocery store). Surprisingly Walmart was the best on all fronts. And I crutched 1/2 mile…today 3/4 mile!!!
Maryland was a soggy, icy mess this weekend. I dealt with it, but I think I would have enjoyed T&C beaches a little more. Wonk wonkkkk.
Oh I definitely want to go to Turks & Caicos! I’ve been to about a dozen Caribbean islands, but never there! I’m glad you had a great trip!
And a word of advice: Always rent your own jetski. Riding shotgun is painful and not fun. Being in control and going at your own pace is way more funer (definitely a word in this case!). I’ve been a passenger and a driver; the driver always wins.
Your trip looks amazing!
I actually very much love reading about vacations, especially a sunny, beachy one like yours because I try to live vicariously through you for a minute. Not much new in my life except I ran in some snow and ice this weekend. Twas fun but I’d rather be screaming on a banana boat.
this trip sounds beyond amazing! how did you win it??
T&C looks wonderful – glad you had a great trip!! I’m a huge Caribbean freak – while my heart is always with Aruba – I may have to visit T&C! Looks freakin amazing! Good luck this week getting back to normal life – it’s always SO hard!
AHHH SO JEALOUS!!!! That vacation looks and sounds like a dream come true! Happy for you that you got to do it, Ali!
Your trip looks awesome. I’ve never commented before but I look forward to reading your blog every morning. I love your positive attitude about everything. I hope I am a fraction of how positive you are!!! Keep up the good work!
so THAT’s why ann curry wasn’t at work on Monday! She was in T&C.
I went to Provo last March and stayed right down the street from the Gansevoort. What a gorgeous resort, so glad you enjoyed it!
Um, I want that beach bed for my apartment. I’ll paint a beach on the wall and light an ocean candle or something. I hope my roommate approves…
Ali, you live a rough, rough life. I don’t know how you do it.
Yay! Unplug vacations are the best! We had a sort of forced vacation due to crazy snow in Seattle. http://themeghamix.blogspot.com/2012/01/snowpocalypse-snow-day-fitness.html
BTW, I was at a Crossfit competition a few weeks ago and I saw an I Heart Sweat shirt! I grabbed my husband’s arm and was pointint wildly and shouting, “Look! Look!” He thinks I’m such a keeper.
Pretty jealous of your trip 🙂 I think the husband and I are going to try to take a cruise in the next couple of years. I need something tropical, stat!
My weekend was the usual, BUT I had a fabulous run last night. I felt GOOOOOOOOD. So, win on all fronts.
That looks AMAZING! Good for you, for actually unplugging and relaxing.
Officially jealous. A beach bed? Such a thing exists?! The whole trip looks amazing; glad you had such a good time. 🙂
Oh my goodness I need a vacation like that! Your pictures are amazing!
I had the opportunity to do something similar in Fiji and it was the most relaxing trip of my life. This weekend I was supposed to be a pacer (2.10 pace) for a local half marathon and at the race we couldn’t find our time sticks to pace. My REALLY easy half marathon that I wore myself out by running the previous 4 days turned into an actual race for me and I couldn’t refrain from trying to find out what I’m currently made of… the answer is ice cream and red wine, but that’s a different story. Joke was on me since I was complaining about having to be on the course for over 2 hours and I tired myself out in hopes of being a tad more patient race morning. Nope, tired legs had to run hard! Glad you REALLY relaxed this past weekend & thank you NYC for having spring weather – holy cow that’s awesome!
What a wonderful recap of what was obviously a wonderful vacation! 🙂 You guys look so happy and relaxed! Welcome home – you missed exactly nothing. 🙂
OMG!!!! I’ve been on one tropical trip (VI) and the water blew me away!!!! I LOVE that beach bed too, I am definitely putting that on my endless list of trips to take 🙂 Now if my pocketbook would just get with the program I’d be all set, lol!!!
Awesome trip report!!
First and foremost, this post just got me WICKED EXCITED about my honeymoon to St. Lucia in 4 months. OMG I want to be there right now after looking at your photos!!!!!!!
Other than being incredibly jealous, I had a 15 mile run on Sunday, which is the furthest I’ve ever run without having to walk due to an injury. That gave me major runner’s high :).
Glad you had fun on your vacation…I’m pretty sure I’ll be 100% unproductive at work until mine…seriously 4 months from now. Oops!
I have been to the Bahamas once but it doesn’t even compare to Turks & Caicos. I just applied for a passport yesterday though so I am ready to put that baby to good use!
Same…broken ankle bones…no running…unhappy:(
I never heard of a beach bed and now I need to go on one. WOW to the blue of the sky and the water. I’ve never been anywhere tropical and never seen anything like it! I am so jealous, your trip looks perfect. Also, while the Core Fusion studio looks awesome, no need to apologize because I am ALL about Refine these days! Haven’t actually taken CF since . . . August?
I’m actually a bit jealous that you unplugged. I think, for our upcoming Montreal trip, I may unplug totally so I can enjoy every minute of the vacation with Bo.
I will definitely reach out to you in the near future as we’re planning a New Year’s Eve trip down to Turks and Caicos for December.
This sounds ammmmaazzinnggg. And look at those first class beds! Maybe someday I’ll fly first class too?! Did you snorkel or see any sea life? Being back to the real world sucks, doesn’t it?!
OMG a beach bed! That is amazing. As is a completely stress free long weekend in the tropics. I haz a jealous. Also, what was Ann doing in Turks & Caicos? She had to leave early the other day because she was “on assignment” but were they lying?? I must know. Was she awkward when the frisked her? Because sometimes she is so awkward it pains me. But I still love her. Also, I probably care way too much about this.
yayyy for a run date on Thursday!
Welcome home!! Glad you had a wonderful trip!! So jealous you went banana boating! Remember when we went in Aruba? Haha good times. Also, John drives jet skis the same crazy way and I hate it!
My weekend update: Pats are going to the Super Bowl (wohoo!!!!) AND we booked our honeymoon! St. Lucia here we come! Your vacation recap just made me even more excited for our trip! Miss you!
OH GOD I AM SO JEALOUS. You know it snowed and iced here this weekend, right??
But I’m glad you had a good time and that you’re back! 🙂
I need to fly first class at some point. I always hear stories of people simply asking to upgrade and getting it-how does this happen? It’s on my life list though so it obviously has to happen eventually.
Also I hate you.
This was a wonderful recap. I very much enjoyed it! And wish I was there too! Welcome home!
Sounds like a blast. I’m leaving for vaca today! But to Iceland… so no beaches or sun. Not even a little sun. It will be dark all day the entire week. But it will still be awesome and I wont have to have my work cell on me at all times, so that’s a thumbs up.
As for my weekend, I ran the Manhattan Half… my first half! So yes, I’m bragging and exciting. Lets add to the fun and note that yes I ran it with 4 inches of snow on the ground and a constant stream of snow through all 2 hours and 27 minutes of my run. It was awesome.
Have a good week back!
wow, looks absolutely beautiful! my girls and i are looking to unplug and head out for a few days on a vaca – and your post is making me want to go away NOW! amazing, so glad you had a great time.
Wow you look like you had such a great vacay, I could use one of those!!
So jealous now! I really need to get away and get some sun!
Wahoooo, so happy you had such a great vacation. T&C is on my list of places to go at some point in my life, preferably while flying 1st class & staying at the Gansevoort on Spike TV’s dime. Lucky lady, you. Great job at unplugging and relaxing, you deserve it. Highlight of my morning was seeing you for .5 seconds in CP!
I went to Turks in Caicos in ’09 and I thought my trip was amazing and I rave about how great the island was. Your trip sounds even better, I want to go back. Jet ski tour? How did I not do that when I was there?
Ah, awesome! We just went the Dominican Republic over the weekend and have a lot of similar pictures, but I have yet to post about it. I thought this time of year was the perfect time to get away to the awesome warm Carribean! Glad you guys had a great time!
Wow, Ali, that sounds incredible!!! I love your recap, and Turks & Caicos is HIGH on my life os places to go! I am jealous, but so so happy for you, much deserved!!
I personally love vacation recaps and hearing about places I’ve never been! I would tell you about my weekend but it doesn’t compare to yours. At ALL. I’m booking a trip to Turks and Caicos ASAP! And by ASAP, I mean that I probably need at least a year to save up. Boo.
Happy you had such a great trip! But really glad you’re back because I missed your blogging! My weekend was somewhat colder, but ran in the snow on Saturday and then headed to Philly for a night, which was a pretty good time.
I love the pictures!
Ugh. I hate you, but you deserved the trip and I loved the recap. It was almost like I went with you and Brian except I did not…
Maybe next time?
Looks amazing, I envy all of those who get to go on vacation while it was snowing in Boston, but it gives me new places I want to visit! Now I just need to save money….hm
WOW! your trip looks like it was so relaxing and fun.
I am opposite of you though, I love hearing about other people’s vacations, so please, recap away!!