A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Parrot Cay

December 24th, 2003

Need a vacation? How about relaxing on a warm, gorgeous beach and letting the sun wash away the winter blues? Parrot Cay is a wonderful little piece of paradise on a small island off Turks & Caicos. If you are looking for jet skis, a crowded pool or a disco, then this is not your place. Parrot Cay is all about tranquility.

As you fly into Providenciales on Turks & Caicos, a van meets you and takes you to a marina at the eastern end of the island. You take a 35 minute launch ride away from the crowds. Parrot Cay is a private 1,000 acre island. The resort stretches along the beach behind the sand dunes. The buildings are tastefully scattered among the island landscape of gardens and majestic palms. It has 60 rooms, each decorated in a simple but elegant style. With white washed walls, sheer curtains and four-poster beds, the rooms exude a relaxed island feeling. The main rooms have terraces that look through the palm trees out toward either the ocean or over the gardens. There are also ocean suites and villas with plunge pools and up to 3 bedrooms.

The main focus of the resort is the beach and pool, and both are exquisite. The long stretch of beach is pure white, and the sand is as soft as flour. The water is spectacular; it is a glistening shade of turquoise, and is so clear you can see your toes. This water is the perfect antidote for the blazing afternoon sun. The pool, which is an infinity style, overlooks the beach. Chairs are set up around the pool in a horseshoe, all facing the beach. As you lounge by the pool you are brought cool washcloths to freshen up, and in the afternoon an ice popÂ…truly decadent. Behind the pool is an outdoor restaurant that serves lunch. This restaurant is also open for an informal dinner. The main restaurant is up the hill with a pretty view of the grounds that are covered with palm trees swaying in the wind. The food is good, but not outstanding. Food, however, is rarely the reason to travel to the Caribbean.

The beach and pool make Parrot Cay a lovely getaway, however there are a few other features to make it a true oasis of tranquility. The Shambhala Spa offers massages, facials and a full menu of other treatments. There are also Yoga classes every day, and the occasional visiting Yoga guru. The Spa also offers Pilates classes. There is also a full gym with weights, treadmills and bikes. For the more adventuresome, you can book snorkeling, sailing or bone fishing expeditions. So whether you want to just read a book, walk the beach or be pampered in a spa, Parrot Cay can help you escape the winter bluesÂ…for a few days at least.

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