Hi to all my TA friends...we made it T+C yesterday...barely! Our flight out of Chicago sat on the runway for 1 1/2 hours to de-ice and we literally made our connection in Atlanta as they were closing the doors! Phew!
Someone on TA advised me to rent a car from Avis on Gracebay (vs the airport) b/c it will save you $25. The thought was to take a cab to Avis and then on to the hotel. I'd suggest to other travelers not to attempt this...at least not on a Saturday in Feb. The aiport was INSANE!! You share a huge taxi with other travelers and the drivers are not inclined to make a stop at Avis. At least ours was not. He was not happy at all. It all worked out fine, but it was definetly going against the grain. If you plan to get a car rent it at the airport b/c you can avoid the insanity of trying to get a taxi with literally thousands of other travelers. Again this was on a Sat in Feb so it may be different at other times.
We are staying at the Villa del Mar in a studio. It is gorgeous! Our room looks like a high end luxury condo. The furnishings are beautiful with a huge four poster bed, lush bedding, plush couches, great kitchenette, huge balcony with lounger and table with chairs. It's perfect. There are three buildings - A, B, and C. A is closest to the main pool and to the walk-way for the beach. C overlooks the smaller pool. It makes absolutely no difference if you are in A,B, or C b/c it's a 2 second walk between the buildings.
We were given rum punch at check in and escorted to our room. After settling in we drove over to the IGA and stocked up on some lunch meat, cheese, veggies and beer. From home I brought coffee, apples, oranges, bread, chips, cookies, trail mix, peanut butter, and pretzels. The prices are probably 1 1/2 to 2 times more than what we see in Chicago.
For dinner we went to Sharkbite in Turtle Cove. We had the almond crusted grouper and it was incredible! Rum punch knocked me on my butt! :) We saw why this place is called Sharkbite as we saw a shark circling in the shallow waters right below our table at the marina! It was lively, not crowded and it was perfect start for our trip. More to come....stay tuned. :)