We finally made it to the beach with Red. Sure, it was a long time coming, but being in the beach-scarce (unless you’re on the south side) state of Georgia, it’s quite the trip to any real beach-side destination. Fortunately, when Mom and I went to Beaches Turks and Caicos with #BeachesMoms last year, I won the Instagram scavenger hunt contest. (And I don’t win anything… this was the most awesome surprise, EVER!). The grand prize was a 3 night stay at any of the Beaches all-inclusive resorts for up to 4 people in my family. Being a small party of three (for now), it was an easy decision to haul my boys back to Turks and Caicos to see everything the amazing, family friendly, picturesque luxury had to offer.
When we arrived at the resort, Red was fast asleep from the 3+ hour travel time, and we went straight for a late lunch at one of the all inclusive lunch buffets. The Bayside Restaurant in the Key West village sits on the oceanfront, so Red’s very first glimpse of the turquoise water was from our table. He was surprised to see it in person, and claimed he could see a whale right away (this was not the case 🙂).
Once we finished our meal and settled in, we went for a walk on the beach, seeking shells, and to stick our feet in the warm Caribbean waves.
Red squealed when the water touched his feet, never having experienced sand, surf or seaweed in real life. Despite being a marine enthusiast (creatures, plant life, ocean zones) he’d never experienced anything other than the Georgia Aquarium, so this was a mind-blowing treat.
The next day was a little cooler (after all, it was February and a storm in the Bahamas was stirring up some drizzle and wind), so we tackled the waterslides and waterpark areas (slides for EVERY age group, splash-pads, lazy river, etc.). Despite the resort being at 98% full capacity, there were always chairs, towels and elbow room. I was shocked that we never felt crowded out or waited in line for a slide for more than a few minutes. Very impressive, Beaches.
We made sure to grab more beach time and sandcastle building on the sunnier of our days, slathering on the sunscreen and really enjoying ourselves. Chase was a hit in the water, Red only wanted Daddy to take him deep in the waves and jump over the little fish that swam in the surf.
We even met Super Grover on the beach! Beaches is known for it’s involvement with Sesame Street, and the characters not only frequent the kids camp, but walk along the pools, beachside and sometimes breakfast joints (character breakfasts, we found out were extra, but if you are out and about, you will see characters for free and take all the photos you like). Red was shocked to see him on the beach and happily smiled for a picture… and then talked about it all. Day. Long.
And how could I not take advantage of the free sitting for family photos? We made an appointment, cleaned ourselves up and spent over an hour with a photographer on all parts of the resort, snapping posed and candid photos. He was fabulous with Red, making jokes and silly noises and made everyone feel comfortable. We bought a bunch of photos because I simply had to have record of my little family’s milestone before we grew by one!