On the second day of our national conference, there was a general session with some vendor presentations. Unfortunately, it was scheduled to happen while we were in port. Our parent company hadn’t released the schedule before we left, and because of that – we had booked a shore excursion, so we had to miss that general session.
We were looking forward to Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos islands – because we hadn’t been there before. That, and our excursion was a horseback riding tour, where at one point you are essentially riding bareback and the horses go for a swim, and then time at a beach. We ended up going to the beach first, which was walking distance from the pier. The water was absolutely beautiful and crystal clear – even more so than any of the other Caribbean islands I’ve been to. I swam out to about 8-9 feet of water, and could still see all the way to the bottom. Curacao is also known for sea glass (essentially fragments of broken bottles that have been worn down by the surf so that they look like clear, colored rocks) and we found a bunch of it on the beach.
After about an hour, the bus came and picked us up to take us to the horses. The way we read the description of the excursion – we thought that we were going to be on a tour. We actually just rode for about 30 minutes from one side of the island to the other and back. The island is only about a mile and a half wide, so we didn’t really see much – but riding the horses was fun. Once we got back to our starting point, they swapped out the saddles for small pads and then we rode the horses into the water. I had to rein my horse in, because he wanted to run. It was awesome, although I now know why man invented saddles. My horse had a very bony spine – and I was a little sore afterwards.
After that, we headed back to the ship. We stopped off at a lighthouse that had some historical information (Admiral Lord Nelson drove the French out of Grand Turk), and they also had donkey’s. We then stopped by the airport where there’s a replica of Freedom 7. Apparently, this is where John Glenn splashed down after he was in orbit in the early days of the space program. The last stop before getting back onboard was at the port facility shops to pick up some t-shirts and magnets. We ran into some other franchise owners and they tried to tell me that I won a river cruise during the general session, only I wasn’t there to claim it – so it went to someone else. Nice try. He was a retired Marine as well, so we did chat for a little bit about our former lives. Once we got onboard the ship, we tried the skyride (essentially a recumbent bike suspended above the ship. It was pretty fun. Then we headed to Guy’s Burger Joint to get an incredible hamburger.
We finished up the evening by going to another comedy show (my wife came this time), and the Lip Sync Battle promo, then met some other owners for dinner. All in all, a pretty good day. Tomorrow – the Dominican Republic and Monkeyland!