Monday, April 21, 2014

{TCI} Day 1 - Pack your patience!

You're going on island time.

Even though we have the benefit of living between two major airports, we almost always choose Providence over Boston.  There's less traffic, parking is more convenient and lines are shorter.  It's just easier.  For this trip, our first flight was scheduled to take off from Providence at 8:00 am.  We determined that if we left the house before 5:30, we'd be okay.  I ended up in Allie's room with her around 1:00 in the morning.  I woke up at what seemed like a short time later and decided to get up to use the bathroom.  It was almost 4:45 which was the time Rich had set the alarm to go off.

We left the house on time and as predicted, traffic was a breeze.  A minute after we parked in the PreFlight lot, the shuttle was right behind our car, ready for us.  There were no lines to print out our boarding passes and no line for security.  It was a very easy airport experience.  Because we were only staying for four nights, we went the 'carry on only' route.  We each had a small suitcase on wheels and I brought my Jo Totes camera bag as my "personal item."  Limiting our liquids and gels was slightly challenging but we managed.

We grabbed breakfast (blueberry muffin for me) from a nearby Dunkin Donuts kiosk and waited to board.  As a non-coffee drinker, my caffeine comes from soda, preferably cherry diet pepsi.  I couldn't figure out a way to smuggle any in so I was stuck drinking diet coke.  Ack!  Our flight boarded and took off on time.  Yay!


I wanted to bring a really good book that I wouldn't be able to finish while on vacation and this book fit the bill.  I have now finished it and I have to recommend it to everyone - it's a fantastic read.  Grammy was turned off at first because when she hears "Stephen King," she thinks horror but I've assured her that this book is anything but.

Our plane landed in Charlotte as scheduled and our layover gave us just enough time, without being rushed, to use the bathroom and grab an egg and cheese bagel sandwich to share.  The sandwich was from a bakery in the area of our gate (D11, I believe) and it was probably the best egg and cheese bagel sandwich I've ever had.

Our next flight was going to be longer, about two and a half hours in the air, so we settled in with our books.  I couldn't wait to feel the hot sun on my face and before we knew it, we were flying over the Bahamas.


When we had walked into the airport that morning, my ears had been clogged.  I did okay on the first flight and managed to pop my ears after we took off on the second flight but as we made our descent into Provo, pressure began building in my right ear.  At one point, I said to Rich, "This is turning into a situation here."  (You have to say it like George Costanza would.)  I kept blowing my nose (my apologies to the other passengers) until finally it popped.  



After arriving in Provo, we waited in line for Immigration for about 20-30 minutes, which wasn't too bad.  And then we began our wait in the Customs line.  We lucked out with that one.  An airport employee, who was standing by an opening in the wall, took our paperwork and told us to go through the opening.  It was the exit!  From what I understand, resorts are not allowed to offer complimentary shuttle service so when you exit the airport, you are dumped into the taxi line.  Based on the advice of others, we had prearranged a cab with a rate of $14 per person so we didn't have to wait in the taxi line.  I liked this cab driver and his commentary.  He gave us some history and information about the island.  It's a British Territory so you drive on the "wrong" side of the road.  The island of Provo was described as slightly underdeveloped.  There are no traffic lights and some stop signs are discretionary.  Let's just say that I'm glad we didn't rent a car.

We arrived at the resort after 3:00, which I believed to be the check-in time.  There was no line at the desk but it took forever for them to check us in.  I went to the bathroom.  I walked around.  I hung out.  Still checking in.


Rich needed a water break so I took over.  Finally, I was told that she just needed to check to see if our room was clean.  Yes, it's clean now.  What's funny is that when we arrived at our room, Housekeeping was still in there and seemed slightly annoyed (not at us) that we had been told that the room was ready.  My previous trips to Hawaii have taught me that life operates differently on the islands (and I'm sure many other places) and an impatient Bostonian is not be appreciated.  We had booked and paid for a studio garden view room but once I saw that we had been upgraded to an ocean view, I kept my mouth shut.  No complaints from this Bostonian.  We threw our suitcases in the room and asked if a half hour would be enough time.  We finally took over the room a bit after 4:00.


Because I didn't have my wide angle lens, this is the best I could do for room pictures.  When you walked into the room, immediately to your right, was a spacious bathroom with a washing machine and dryer.  Built into the wall after the bathroom, was the kitchenette with a microwave, sink and small refrigerator.  The balcony was, by far, my most favorite part.  It was screened in so we left the sliding doors opened for fresh air all the time.  Even though it was hot in the sun, with the breeze, we didn't need to run the air conditioner in the room.


We quickly changed out of our jeans and headed to the beach.  The beautiful beach with sand as soft as powder and crystal clear water.  Grace Bay Beach is noted as one of the best beaches in the world.



I think "refreshing" is the best word to describe the water.  It wasn't exactly as warm as I thought it would be but it didn't take long to get used to the temperature.  It also looks like it's shallow but it drops off fairly quickly.


After a little more than an hour at the beach, we headed back to our room to shower and dress for dinner.  We were starving!




Emily said...

I love reading your vacation posts. You paint such a clear picture and all the details are great for a nosy reader like me.

Farah said...

I love the vacation posts too! You'd make a great travel agent or someone who has their own show and travels around, reviewing resorts :-D This place looks dreamy. I can't wait to read the rest of the recaps.

TaraRhode said...

Wow- what a gorgeous location and your pictures are amazing!!! I totally understand flying from PVD vs Boston, we do that whenever we can as well! (Although it makes me crazy that it is called Providence when it is actually in Warwick.) I wish I could be in that beautiful tropical paradise right now! And isn't it great when the book you choose fits perfectly?!

Sarah said...

Thank you!! Emily, I'm super nosy too and it drives me crazy when bloggers go on vacation to some beautiful location (like Hawaii) and post 10 pictures and say "this was our vacation."

Farah - I told Rich that I would love to have a travel blog. He told me that I would actually have to travel in order for that to happen - haha

Tara - Sometimes it's cheaper to fly out of Boston but what a hassle getting there.

Eunice K. said...

saw your link on tripadvisor - thank you for such a thorough visual post! i'm going to t&C in a few weeks and your post is making me excited!