Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sunny days...sweeping the clouds away!

“Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, 
sunlight turn to fog; but you’re never friendless ever, if you have a dog.”

I love this quote, it has been so applicable to my life over the past 7 months.  Things here on the Island haven't always been as exotic and exciting as I make out on the blog! and one thing's for sure Sunny has made my days brighter regardless of everything that's been going on, and it's hard for me to imagine life without him going forward (cue the 8th time I have cried today!)

On Monday night we went for our last sunset walk on the beach together at our local beach. 

Look at those cute little paw prints!

and here's my footsteps along with his.

When we first got Sunny he hated the car and never wanted to go in it.  He would run a mile if he thought you wanted him to get in.  The times when he needed to go to the vet, we would have to coax him in with pieces of ham and even then he wasn't happy! In the past month or so all that has changed and he hops in the car as soon as you open the door, even if you weren't necessarily planning on taking him! Last night I had to run some last minute errands and he of course wanted to come, I managed to snap this pic of us quick.

I had decided I wanted to make one last visit to my favourite beach on the Island, Taylor Bay.  We passed this street sign, and I've always wanted to take a picture of it with the lovely turquoise hues of Chalk Sound in the background, Picturesque Lane is certainly apt! 

We arrived at Taylor Bay and Sunny headed straight for the water, it had been a pretty warm car ride... 

 and as soon as he's out of the water his favourite thing to do is roll in the sand, I don't think he likes to feel wet! 

This afternoon we took our final walk on the beach and then we headed home to hand him over to his new family.

It was incredibly hard to say goodbye to him, I know he will be well loved - the two little boys he will be living with just adore him and have been so excited all week about being able to come and take him to their home....

but that still doesn't make it any less sad.  He has been a part of our family and he will certainly be missed, but we know we helped to save his life and that we were able to give him lots of love whilst in our care and we hope he will always remember us :) maybe one day in the future we will even return and get to pay him a visit! 

It was very sad to return to an empty house tonight, after having a delicious conch curry at the Behlmaier's!, and to not have Sunny's happy face and wagging tail there to greet me but I know Eden (above) will be taking good care of him for us and I know that we have made enough memories with him to last a lifetime! 

Monday, 28 March 2011

The final days...

So our time in TCI is very quickly coming to an end.  We had a farewell dinner with our friends, The Behlmaier's, consisting of some awesome burgers and of course cupcakes! and some apples to apples (a U.S board game).  We are sure going to miss our games nights with them! 

On the day Cam and Kevin left they had their last snorkel of their Smith's Reef.  Somewhere Byron has been wanting to go for ages and now wishes he had found sooner, as they saw alot of good stuff there! 

Check out this lionfish! If only they'd had a spear on hand (they are trying to kill as many as possible here in TCI as they are doing some serious damage to the local fish population)

Here's Kevin and By enjoying their time down on the reef.

 On Saturday By went for his very last scuba dive, sad times! Although exciting too, because this last dive meant he has now completed his advanced open water course.  He had to do two types of dive: the first, a he is with his underwater compass:

His 2nd type of dive was in underwater apt! and the sea life were certainly ready to pose! this nurse shark circled By for a while and eventually settled down on the ocean bed for a snooze right in front of By!

This is a Parrotfish, my favourite kind of fish to see here...

and By's fave is the Queen Angel Fish

There was alot of different coloured coral to see, and I think By got some awesome shots...

 like this bubble pic!

Another one of By's fave things to see under the water is a sea cucumber, and this one was especially large! 

and here is some rather originally named 'brain coral'! 

On Friday night we had a lovely homemade pizza feast at our Branch President's home, and on Saturday night we got treated to delicious meal at Caicos Cafe by some of our Canadian friends from the branch. We wanted to try and eat somewhere we'd never eaten before on By's last night, and it certainly didn't disappoint! We got some amazing ribs...yes I'm now a rib convert! and one thing we're defo going to miss is the good food here in Provo! 

We've also just been spending as much time with this little guy as we can (he's keeping me company until I'm reunited with By!)

This was By's last shot with Sunny :(

and this is Byron's 'I don't want to go home' face as we waited in the check in queue at the airport.  When we arrived they checked in two people at the front of the queue, and then the two check in desk workers went to get some dinner in the cafe within view of us, so the queue of 40 or so people watched and waited until the staff finished their dinner before they checked the rest of the flight in! One of the things we won't be missing about living on the Island! 

He is back home in the U.K now, and I have 3 more sleeps to go! until then it's corn dogs and root beer for dinner - oh yeah! 

Thursday, 24 March 2011

A 'Heavenly' night at Coyaba

Coyaba has been on my 'must visit' list since we arrived here on the Island.  I had heard and read great things about it, and in particular I had been swayed by the fact that they apparently had an amazing dessert menu - which as we all know appeals to me greatly! 

So it pleased me very much that when I handed the dining guide to my father in law when he arrived, and asked him where he wanted to eat, that Coyaba was the place he chose! The reason for his choice was because they served one of his favourite dishes - Lobster Thermidor.  I suggested we saved eating there until the night before they left because I had a feeling all the other places we were planning to eat at would pale in comparison...I was right! and what a way to spend their last night in Turks and Caicos!

It was a lovely setting with vines and a tropical garden winding around the whole restaurant, intertwined with fairy lights! and we started off with my fave drink here on the island - fruit punch! We also had some amazing warm bread to start with the yummiest coconut dip...I knew we were off to a good start!

You know it's a fancy restaurant when the 'appetizer' costs more than our mains usually would! By and Cam went for the guava tamarind ribs with Haitian fire slaw! Pretty exotic hey! I'm not a ribs fan but even I enjoyed a little taste of them too! and they were goooood! 

Check the little shot of tomato juice too which we were meant to drink at the start of the meal too...fancy fancy!

Kevin had a lettuce wedge stuffed with all kinds of crazy stuff like blue cheese...

and we cleansed our palates with some yummy lemon sorbet!

Then it came time for Kevin to finally be reunited with Lobster Thermidor! he had been waiting the whole 2 weeks since he arrived to try it so there were some high expectations at stake.

It didn't disappoint! and even Cam and By decided to get in on the lobster action.  Lobster season ends on March 31st, you can no longer serve it after that date and so the boys thought they'd be adventurous and get some too.

I think Cam's excited face says it all! It was his first time trying Lobster, By had it before on our honeymoon in Mauritius and everyone was suitably impressed.

I even decided to have a go at the whole being adventurous thing! and ordered the grilled Mahi Mahi (a local fish here in Turks and Caicos...bear in mind the extent of my fish eating back in the U.K was fish fingers!) it came with a coconut curry and jasmine rice and mango salsa! Totally tropical...and completely delicious!

Then came the most exciting part of the evening...dessert! You know you're in for a treat when the dessert menu arrives and it's just as big as the dinner menu! We even got this complimentary little shot of strawberry mousse while we waited, it was delish!

Cam and Kevin went for the banana caramel xango - a banana and caramel cheesecake in a deep friend cinnamon tortilla! and I love the way they served the strawberry! 

By went for the flourless chocolate cake, which he's smelling in the picture, because the cocoa smell was amazing! 

and oh my oh my, this was my key lime pie! and it was the best, most delicious key lime pie I have ever tasted in my life! it was served with a mango and raspberry coulis and I could quite happily have eaten 10 more of these, they were that good! My mom is a HUGE key lime pie lover and I would consider bringing her back to Turks and Caicos just to try this pie! no jokes! 

I am so glad we got to try out this fantastic restaurant before we left! Sad that we didn't try it sooner, but we probably wouldn't have been rich enough to eat there twice anyways (or once even, thanks Dad!) Our time on the Island is coming to an end very quickly, and we are just enjoying each moment...and meal the best we can! 

Monday, 21 March 2011

Steak, Starfish, Scuba, Shakes and Sunset S'mores!

It's been a busy few days! and the boys have been growing tired with my constant need to photograph EVERYthing! so instead of a nice posed shot of Steak Night at Tiki Hut on Friday you have one of them attacking each other with their knives instead! What can I say...I tried! 

I stuck to a burger instead, being the non steak lover I am...but I think the steak was pretty well received all round.  Why is 'Steak Night' so special? well we found out once we got there you get a free bottle of wine with your steak! so we indulged in some fruit punch instead!

On Saturday we headed to Pirate's Cove, and stopped at By's fave spot on the beach to skim stones! The water was amazingly calm...perfect skimming condition!

We have decided to rename Bonefish Point 'Starfish Point', we saw at least 15 different starfish while we were there, and they were all pretty big ones like in the picture above!

After that we headed to Turtle Cove where Cam and Kevin took to the pool to undergo their scuba training! Here they are getting suited up! 

It took a little getting used to at first but afterwards they were swimming underwater like pro's ready for their day out at sea.

We made a quick stop at JoJo's on the way home, the thoughts of freshly baked cookies and shakes worked in my favour and the boys were actually willing to pose for a shot!

By got a chocolate shake, made with chocolate unlike last time! Check out the awesome glass sided pool behind can watch people as they swim by but somehow their heads above water don't link up with their bodies underneath the surface - it's a weird optical illusion! Unfortunately with it being a bit breezy none of us were up for a swim which By was greatly disappointed about! 

On Sunday we headed to Emerald Beach for a BBQ (or Braai as the South Africans would say) i

Sausages and steaks all round, and the conch shells on the beach made handy holders for our grill!

We got to watch a pretty cool sunset, although it was slightly hidden by some humungous clouds!

and then the boys started up the bonfire.

Then it was time to enjoy some s'mores, it was Cam and Kevin's first time trying them and they got thumbs up all round! Who knows the next time we will all find ourselves toasting s'mores on the beach, so we made the most of it!

A shot where, for once, I'm on the other side of the camera!

By got arty with the reflecting flames in Cam's shades!

This morning Cam and Kevin got to put their skills in to practice and went out on a dive excursion with the company By has been working for.  

By also got to dive with them, and managed to take lots of awesome shots down under!

Here's Cam as he starts to explore around...

and an awesome shot of the air bubbles

Everyone gathered around to take a closer look at...

two sharks swimming right past each other! As By snapped this he was told to turn around where he caught this shark headed straight for him! 

Here's Kevin happily posing for Byron! 

 They saw alot of cool stuff today including this Southern Sting Ray....

and a ton of yellow tail snappers, these were the ones hitting By in the face last time around!

Check out the electric blue on that Striped Grunt! 

and just to prove Byron was under there too! Today was his 16th dive, and after doing two more at the end of this week he will have completed his advanced open water certification...just in time to head back to the U.K, and believe it or not Bangor Uni even has a diving club which he can join when we head there in September.

and what do hungry divers in the Turks and Caicos eat for dinner?
Conch of Da Conch Shack

The wind was blowing like crazy again this evening, so we actually ate inside 'the shack' for once! and I thought this little window was cute with the palm leaves blowing outside.

We also took the opportunity to buy some amazing conch shells from the sellers on the beach right outside.  From Left to Right: Regular conch, Queen conch, King Conch, Baby conch.  These are going to make great little souvenirs back in England!

Loaded plates! didn't stay loaded for long! and for once I was actually asked to take this document the conch fest!

I can't believe we only have 4 days left with By's family, the time has flown by! By only has 6 more days on the Island and I only have 10! The countdown is on!