If you're dreaming of a posh Caribbean vacation right about now, you're in excellent company. The Real Housewives of Dallas' Cary Deuber just returned from a Turks and Caicos trip in high style (naturally). And it wasn't an ordinary vacation: This one celebrated her 40th birthday with family — and also returned to the scene of her marriage proposal! We'll let Cary fill you in on the rest of the glam travel details...
We had been talking for 10 minutes with some new friends we just made on a sand bar 100 yards off shore when Mark pulls me aside to urgently tell me something. “Your lips are showing," he said. "Well, one of them. Your new bikini is not covering your…stuff.” I guess that’s how you make new friends on Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos Islands! We are closing out my 10-day birthday celebration, and that moment had to be one of the highlights! Or low points, you might say.
Our big travel day was a Saturday. A four-hour flight from Dallas direct to Providenciales, interminable line through passport control (don’t you always pick the line with the slowest agent!?!), a 25-minute van ride to Parrot Cay’s private dock, 35-minute boat trip, and 10 more minutes in a golf cart. Finally at 6 p.m., we arrived in the lobby of the Parrot Cay by Como Hotels resort.
It’s our third time staying here. But this time, in addition to Mark, we have our daughter, Zuri, my step daughter, Lara (who turned 16 during our stay), my parents, and several friends in tow. Four other friends have already arrived to help celebrate my 40th birthday.
Parrot Cay is a spectacular resort. Buildings housing four to six individual rooms are throughout the gardens of the main property; larger multiple bedroom beach villas are ocean front. There are also a number of large private homes. Bruce Willis, Donna Karan, and Keith Richards are all rumored to own property here.
The long beach gently slopes to water that is impossibly clear, 80 degrees and in some areas shallow out to hundreds of yards. It’s a giant lukewarm bathtub! And there never seem to be more than a third of the available beach chairs occupied. Grab a kayak, a paddle board, or a Hobie catamaran... whenever you want. There’s almost never a wait.
The hotel miraculously caters to both couples wanting a romantic idyllic escape and to families wanting to keep their kids entertained. Normally I find these two types of guests don’t mix well at beach resorts, but, here somehow its not a problem.
Theres a great Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, and an Asian-inspired one. Both places offer a “Como-Shambala” menu which is basically a very healthful Asian/spa inspired cuisine alternative.
We spent the first five days of our vacation here with family and friends, a total of 12 of us in the group. Mornings congregating at breakfast, midday at the beach, afternoons at the pool with great cocktails (jalapeno skinny margarita was my personal favorite) and group dinners in the evening. There was some spa time (which was out-of-this world amazing, and I am picky) and a few of us even made it to afternoon tea. The yoga is the best resort yoga I’ve ever experienced.
Several friends peeled off to head home after three days, and on day five, the rest of us headed back to Provo to drop family off at the airport before Mark and I headed on to the private, completely grown up part of my birthday trip.
It was off to... Amanyara!
This is where Mark actually asked me to marry him back more than seven years ago. It was on one of the giant day beds at the main resort pool. It was so matter of fact and so romantic at the same time. Well, needless to say, I have been so excited to return here!
Last time we were at Amanyara, the only complaint I had was that the ocean here was so much rougher than at the other resorts we have visited in Turks and Caicos Islands. But that was in a February.
Now, here in June, the ocean is so calm and warm and clear. Again, it’s a lukewarm bathtub. I absolutely love the water. I love to paddle board and to snorkel. And to my surprise, the water around Amanyara is teeming with tropical fish, something I have not experienced immediately off shore at Parrot Cay (there is the rare fish or stingray you see, but thats about it). In fact, one morning, Mark and I were snorkeling just off shore and ran into a fully grown barracuda (which freaked us out a little... but the beach staff assured us in such clear water they are completely harmless).
I don’t know what’s more amazing about Amanyara: the architecture, the food, the pool, the beach, or the service. It’s all incredible!
All of the rooms here are individual private Balinese-style huts with all glass walls on three sides and king size beds in the center. Each one is located down a private path completely shielded from the surrounding ones and the property paths by lush tall privacy vegetation. Our hut was ocean view with another private path leading to a little beach carved in the rocks with a little private ocean cove. It was so amazing. We could snorkel right there away from the rest of the property and it was also teaming with fish.
I cannot say enough how amazing Amanyara is and how special this trip has been. We actually met a great couple on their honeymoon that we immediately hit it off with. He was actually a plastic surgeon justing finishing his training and getting ready to go into practice. And his new wife had worked in the entertainment industry. They reminded us so much of earlier versions of ourselves. We had so much in common and so much fun with them!
Several late-night stints at the bar did lead to some later and more sluggish mornings than I like. But, it was so worth it to make new friends on this trip. We even all loaded up on a catamaran together… after about 45 minutes of going back and forth, captain Mark got us all safely to shore! They headed home to Manhattan one day before us. That gave us one day to detox before we had to head home.
It was such a great trip! I can’t wait till next year to relive as much of it as we can.
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