Monday, May 11, 2015

Turks & Caicos- Our first family trip!

Ahhhh.... what a week a had in Turks & Caicos! That place was like a dream. The water was crystal clear, the sand was soft and white, the weather was warm with just the right amount of breeze. It was a slice of heaven. But the best part was being there together- our first vacation as a family of three!

Ryan did so well the entire trip- even on the plane ride there and back (whew!). He loved the pool, loved waving to everyone at the resort, was quite intrigued by the sand, the seagulls, and the ocean water, and was super pumped about the breakfast buffet each morning. ;)

Since getting home, we've been wishing we could go back. It was such a great first trip for the three of us!

Waiting to board the plane and then taking a couple of selfies to send to our family to let them know we were about to take off.

Here goes!

Things were going exactly how I had envisioned them- I nursed Ryan right as we were taking off to help keep his little ears from popping and then he fell asleep in my arms right as the plane got into the air. Matt and I were giving each other the big-eyed look and mouthing, "This is AWESOME!!"

And then 20 minutes later, he woke up. HA! At which point we gave each other the big-eyed look that said, "Uh-oh."

We had 2 hours to go and I knew the chances of him falling back asleep were slim to none. But for all that initial worry, he did GREAT!

We read...

made friends...

made faces...

looked at baby faces on the iPad...

and looked at the view from our seats

And before we knew it, somehow the 2 hours had gone by without a single fuss and we had arrived!

I really liked the T&C airport. It felt very clean, customs was quick, our bags were piled on the floor right past customs, and a shuttle was waiting for us right outside the door. All in all, it was probably 25 minutes from the time the plan landed to when we were on the shuttle- which was a short 10-minute drive to our resort.

We stayed at the Gansevoort and absolutely loved it. The pictures from the website were exactly what we saw when we arrived- in fact the grounds and rooms in real life might have been even nicer than the pictures!

We loved our room. We requested the ground floor facing the ocean so that we didn't have to fuss with stairs or the elevator when Ryan was in his stroller. We also hoped that we would be able to go out to the beach while Ryan napped and be able to get back to him quickly when he woke up from a nap. We knew the walk was a short one based on pictures and our conversations with the front desk before we arrived, but didn't know how short and if our plan would actually work.

The tub separated the bathroom from the bedroom/living area, which worked out great because Ryan could play in the tub while we cleaned things up or got ready ourselves before heading to dinner, and we could always have an eye on him while he played.

Our first day there, Ryan's only nap was that 20 minute one on the plane. I tried to put him down when we arrived but he was way too excited to explore the resort to make time for a nap. So we all put on our swimsuits and headed out to the beach and the pool.

That day I thought as much as I've had moments of wishing he would nap longer or more often when we're in our day-to-day routine, I'm so thankful he loves to be around people and is happy whether he naps or not. 

The pool had the best setup for him. Either side had a large area that had just a few inches of water and then gradually sloped down to the main pool area. Ryan loved crawling through the water and splashing with all of his toys (or my shoes) ;)

He loved pulling up and walking around the chairs and wooden base that had more lounge chairs in the center of the pool.

This was his first time in a pool and he was super impressed. ;)

The next morning, we were the first ones at breakfast- which would prove to be a theme of our trip ;) The first at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the first ones to turn in for the night. 

If Ryan could talk, he would tell you that the breakfast buffet was a close second to his first experience on a beach and in a pool. This boy got so excited when we brought out the plate(s) of food each morning.

Each morning, we would wake up, screen up, head to breakfast, and then either go down to the beach and then to the pool, or head straight to the pool. 

Examining the sand...

...and eating the sand. :)

After a couple of hours of playing, we would go back to the room, put Ryan down for a nap, and then Matt and I would either head out to our beach bed or read on our patio. Let me tell you, that first day when we tested the monitor and realized it reached to the beach, we were PUMPED! 

We had our beach bed pulled all the way back to the to the end of the walking path, where the dunes met the sand, and this is where we would hang for the length of Ryan's nap. Most days, this would last about an hour- but one day, it lasted for 2.5 hours!

Our patio- Ryan's crib was right inside that glass door, and the black-out curtains allowed the room to be extra dark for his naps.

This was our view from our patio. That little path to the left is where we would walk to go to our beach bed. And then when we would hear Ryan wake up, we could come straight back and be to him in less than a minute. It worked out so well!

Ready to head back out to the beach and the pool!

We met couples and families from Greece, New Zealand, and all along the eastern coast of the US- and Ryan made friends with two Italian kids from Rome who taught him how to "Dammi cinque!" (give me five) and wave "Ciao!" They were so sweet with him. The little girl even let him play with the beads in her hair. :) Hanging around them made us want to go back to Italy for sure!

Because Ryan was the only baby during our stay, we tried to stay out of the way of the the couples who were enjoying their babymoons or trips away from their kids. It wasn't hard to do, and honestly, no one made us feel like we had to, we just wanted to be respectful of everyone else's getaways while we enjoyed ours. Unless people started conversations with us, we tried to hang low and would move to different parts of the pool if Ryan got really excited or extra splashy. ;) 

At one point, Matt and I cracked up to ourselves as we looked around the pool and saw three other couples (the only other people out there at the time aside from us) "sharing moments" (if you will) while we spun Ryan in his pool float and quietly repeated over and over, "One, two, three- SPIIIN!" haha. You could say our trip looked a little different than theirs.

One night we walked down the beach to a restaurant that was recommended to us. The walk was a good bit longer than we thought (the couple who told us about didn't have an extra 22 pound baby with them so I think  it seemed shorter to them! ha!), but it was a pretty one! And the view from restaurant was beautiful and the food was delicious, so we were glad we made the trek.

Ryan chowed on shrimp and scallops along with some banana bread and fruit I brought and people watched throughout our meal.

Giving daddy five while we waited for the check

Getting ready to walk back to our resort!

Rise and shine! Most days Ryan got up between 6:15-6:45. But one morning, he got a little over eager and decided to start the day at 5:15. Hello!

I decided I would let Matt keep sleeping and Ryan and I took a stroll around the resort and went out to the beach to watch the sunrise. Although I had not planned to start my day that early, I was glad we got to see the sunrise one morning!

After his 5:15 start to the day, Ryan was ready for bed early that night. So Matt and I ordered room service and enjoyed dinner on our patio while we watched a wedding on the beach! 

The next mooring, we explored the rocks along the path to the beach. Definitely something I never pictured myself doing at a resort! ha!

whoops- here were are building up immunities ;)

That night, Matt had the idea to take a family picture by the pool, but Ryan couldn't keep his eyes open for the pic! haha... sweet buddy had had himself too much fun!
Even his waving hand is drooping- sweet boo.

On our flight back, a not-so-nice lady sat down next us and when we told he that Ryan had a great flight over and that we'd do our best to make it a good flight for her, she gave a nasty look and said, "Hmmm. I'll see if I can move." HA! And move she did- thank goodness! So thanks not-so-nice lady for giving us a whole row and an extra seat for our flight back!

Other memories from our trip:
Ryan saying, "mama" for the first time
-at dinner one night, our server kept trying to get Ryan to say, "dada" so Matt and I started saying, "Ryan, can you say dada?" Then when we said, "Ryan, can you say Mama?" he looked right at us and said, "Mama" - ha! He kept saying it throughout the whole meal and has been saying it since!

Ryan figured out that his voice echoed in the covered area outside of our room, so every time we walked back to our room, he would start babbling loudly and kicking his legs. :)

Him holding two toys and spinning in cirlces on his bottom in the shallow part of the pool while he opened his mouth wide smiling and splashed his toys in the water.

That's all from our trip!

I hope you're planning to join me and Elizabeth this Friday the 15th for:

See you then!



  1. Wow! It was so beautiful! How awesome that he did amazing on the flight, what a great family vacation :)

  2. This looks amazing! How fun for your little family! Can I ask, how did you choose this resort in Turks & Caicos? Was it worth going to a resort that wasn't all inclusive?

  3. What a beautiful place! And the trip looked like you all had a blast! I loved the comment under the pic of Ryan "eating" a rock...haha too cute.

  4. Looks like an amazing trip, what beautiful photos!

  5. This trip looks so perfect! What an amazing first vacation with your family of three and what a beautiful place to travel to!!

  6. What a great trip! I love Ryan's airplane outfit.

  7. This is amazing. Beautiful memories! I am with Aileen, and would love to know your thoughts on how you picked this place and your thoughts on it not being all inclusive!