After a week at headquarters in Normal, Illinois, where the weather didn’t get much higher than single digits…I’m glad to be back in Nashville. On the way home, Kait and I cheered and laughed—the further we headed south the more the temperature would rise. It’s strange, I’m from Valparaiso, Indiana (near Chicago); but the thought of those winter days make me want to hole up in my house in Nashville, Tennessee, and never come back north. We do get cold temps in Nashville, but not to the extent some of the country will see tomorrow, as it will be -60 in Chicago, with the windchill. ALL THIS TO SAY, I’m dreaming of white sands. I’m dreaming of the clear water, and endless pool drinks. So, why not write a blog on my favorite vacation spots, so we can all escape the humdrum awfulness of the cold!?
My love for vacations began in my early childhood. Our Nussbaum family would go every year to a new and fun spot, which looking back on it, was such a privilege. We traveled all over. We would drive, fly, look at the sites, and annoy restaurants when we’d make a reservation around thirty people haha. I wouldn’t say that I’m very cultured in heading to anything besides beach resorts or dude ranches, but I have a deep love for anything low-key and beautiful, to boot. I’ve been lucky to have traveled to the coasts of California, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, and many places in between. But, I’m going to focus on only on my utterly (in my mind) perfect getaways: Turks and Caicos and Cabo San Lucas.
When my sister and I were 18, we chose Beaches by Sandals in Turks and Caicos, Providenciales, for our graduation trip. We flew from Chicago to Miami in a large plane and then headed from Miami to Providenciales in a small, puddle jumper plane (not ideal). When we landed, there were maybe 4 people at the tiny airport. We drove nearly thirty minutes to our resort, Beaches. The roads and houses looked impoverished. Our shuttle driver and various people at the resort warned us to not leave, as it wasn’t safe outside the gates.
I’ll never forget the allure that made up our exotic ocean view: quiet, white powder sand beach, turquoise-see through waters, sandbars as far as you could see, and so.many.pools. The view was spectacular! The resort had several unique and international themed restaurants and it had so much nightlife. Sesame Street characters would walk around to entertain the younger ones, BUT, they also have swim-up bars for the adults. It was truly fun for all ages. And, did I mention that it’s an all inclusive!?
Fast forward to 2016, when my family went with me. It held the same captivating beauty that it had from years prior…only this time with MORE amenities, MORE restaurants AND extras. My family couldn’t get enough! I would say hands down, Turks and Caicos is my favorite place on earth, to date! I’m certain I don’t have enough adverbs and time to even put it into words….so I’ll let you do your research.
My second favorite place to date, is Cabo San Lucas. We have a time share at the
Sheraton - Hacienda del Mar, and we go every other year. In fact, we are gearing up to head out in about three weeks. Cabo San Lucas is another beautiful place and you can’t beat the weather or service. Although Turks and Caicos may be my favorite sites to see, the staff at Hacienda del Mar won’t let you lift a finger. The hospitality is the best I’ve ever seen—because the staff goes above and beyond to ensure you have a great stay. There are two sides to the Sheraton- Hacienda del Mar. One side is for guests and the other for time share holders. However, you can use any pool or frequent any restaurant on the premises.
The part that my family loves about Cabo is that we can get out and around through the city. Several nights during our stay, we will take a cab and head to local restaurants and malls to do a little shopping. We love to hit The Office, restaurant - which is a fun place right on the beach, where can watch the cruise ships dock for the day and behold the hot weather. We found a little Italian place last time we were there called, Romeo + Julieta— which has a romantic vibe, but also, delicious food. Sometimes, to break up the beach and pool days, we like to get out and do four wheeler excursions on the beach.
Turks and Caicos and Cabo San Lucas have a common theme for me: beauty and relaxation. You’ll find me either sitting by the pool or beach, drinking a piña colada or beer margarita as I get bronzed by the sun. My family vacations are incredibly precious to me as I get to swim around with my nephew, and now (new) niece, and be able to laugh and make memories with the people I love the most—memories I’ll keep forever close to my heart. Forever, will I dream of the sand between my toes, the sunlight so warm it’s like a blanket, naps, piano music in my headphones, and most importantly laughter from my family. If you’re thinking of getting out of the cold weather for a little bit, do your homework and check out my two favorite destinations… and if you do, share them with us!