Monday, May 12, 2014

Cruise Part 4 - Grand Turk

Happy Cinco De Mayo Bleeps...well a week later,

So yes, the girl who loves Mexican food and hasn't had any since getting sick a month ago was on a cruise ship for Cinco De Mayo. So how did she do? Well lets find out.

Sunrise at Grand Turk was at 6:12am. Ugh. But, I got up and made it. It was worth it.

I saw horses on the beach and some seriously blue water. I was feeling particularly motivated. Our excursion didn't start until 11am. So I got 6 miles in.

Then I met Aunt Carol for breakfast. Once againI had eggs, ham, hash browns, melon, cantaloupe, and 2 bananas. One for breakfast and one for before my morning workout tomorrow.

Since this was our first excursion of the trip and my first time outside of the U.S. I made my list of everything to take with me. I made sure to take my passport and a bottle of water. I was wearing sneakers, but made sure to take some flip flops. We would be getting some beach time.

Grand Turk was a short day. Our excursion was from 11-1:30 and we needed to be back on the ship by 2 so I didn't wear a bathing suit. I did bring my suntan lotion though.

While we were waiting for our tour to start I took the most amazing pictures:

Our excursion was the Grand Turk Experience: taste of Grand Turk. When I was googling Grand Turk before the trip what kept coming up was that it was the most beautiful island that is a little behind the modern world. So I wasn't sure what to expect. Spoiler Alert: I am in LOVE with Grand Turk.

There was a US Military base there back in the day. It is where John Glenn landed and was debriefed after his historic space mission. He even got a road named after him. The island is only 6 square miles so it's not a very big road.  6 square miles helps when the gas is $6.50/gallon.

Grand Turk is part of Turks and Caicos. It's 40 islands, but only 8 are inhibited. Currently there are 4000 residents on Grand Turk. Previously there were 6000. When they were hit with Hurricane Ike in 2008 it took it's toll. They endured 14 hours of hell. Luckily no lives were lost. As we rode around we saw homes that still didn't have a roof.

Crime is not a problem and the cops don't even carry guns. Don't get too excited. They are just now working on a waste management system.

Grand Turk lost a lost of revenue when the Military pulled out.  But, they have been receiving Ships at the port for 8 years. They receive almost $4 for every passenger regardless of whether or not the get off of the ship. If you ever get the opportunity I urge you to go there.

The main export is Salt. They used to be the provider of 40% of the world's salt. However, with the modern invention of refrigeration they weren't needed. Luckily bath salt and sea salt for cooking are making a comeback.

One of the strangest things to see were the wild horses, mules and donkeys wandering around.

Our first stop was at the museum for the Salinas, where they make the salt. It was interesting and full of handmade gifts.

After we toured a little more we stopped for lunch to taste the local cuisine. Since I am allergic to seafood I was limited to the chicken, rice, and plantain. Everyone else got to try the conch fritters. Happily we also got a bottle of water.

After we were able to do a little shopping and enjoy the beaches. We were not near the populated beaches so we sort of got them to ourselves. Heaven!

Soon we were returned to the Port and had to say good bye to our awesome tour guide John. Loved him!

Before we got back on to the ship we took a stop to Margaritaville. We could either get a drink or hit the gift shop. We got shirts.

When we got back on the ship we dropped everything in the cabin and went up for food. I know I had some lunch, but my chicken was small. I was starving. Instead of going to the grill we hit the deli. It was a long wait, but we got turkey wraps....and because I'm not perfect I hit up the ice cream machine. I wish I had taken a picture because it was the smallest cone ever. haha.

We had a little time before dinner so I found my quiet reading spot...ahh. And soon it was time to change. It was Cinco De Mayo. I was expecting big things for dinner.

I was a little surprised at the lack of Mexican food on the menu, but they were having a Mexican buffett at 11:30...hahahaha Like I could stay up that late. 

My starter was heart healthy: Fantasy of fresh tropical fruit and berries on a mango sauce.

My entree was the heart healthy option from the every night menu: Grilled chicken and seasonal vegetables. It was YUMMY.

For dessert I got the sugar-free coconut cake. It was coconut sponge cake with low-calorie creme. I also got a side of sugar free vanilla ice cream.

The best part of the night was when the servers got up on the stands between the tables and dance to Flo Rida's "Low"...oh HELLO

What a fun day. And I was beat. There really wasn't any event that I wanted to go to that night so I called in an evening and got some much needed sleep.

The next day would bring Half Moon Cay...and some unbelievable clear water.

Have a Blessed Evening

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

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