Hey Ya’ll

Hi friends!

I’ve been making some changes to the site recently that I haven’t published yet…I’m waiting for it to be 100% done! But I’ve been M.I.A. recently because well, junior year is KICKING MY BUTT…but I’m kicking it right back.

HOPEFULLY I will have some progress soon…but we all know how life goes.

Stay tuned in with Kenzie’s Corner on Tranquility Vacation Rentals for a Grand Turk review, Da Conch Shack review, and who knows what else?!?!?!

Until then, I’ll just be drinkin’ coffee in my new apartment 🙂

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BLUE

My alarm went off around 6:45 am on a Thursday morning in Provo to the smell of brewing coffee and I could hear my father packing up towels, snorkels and the GoPro. This could only mean one thing. In about an hour, we were going to be headed to Big Blue Unlimited for an all day snorkel tour to the edge of the banks.

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I sipped coffee at our dining room table while googling pictures of the edge of the banks, a spot where the ocean floor drops from about 40 feet to about 7000 feet in the matter of seconds. I was already in awe of what I was about to experience. We met our friends Matt and Aimee at the marina. Greeted with eager smiles, the Big Blue staff made me feel comfortable immediately. Our captain Ben and his assistant Rupert made the perfect combination of informative and humorous. After about a 30-minute boat ride and getting to know the other passengers, we geared up for our first snorkel spot at Northwest Point.

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We hopped into the water and followed Ben’s lead. The world we just jumped into was mesmerizing. We floated atop the water while we spotted Caribbean lobsters, barracudas, angelfish, and a million more. Matt and I even caught a glimpse of a reef shark, but it swam away before we could get the other’s attention. We knew that we were just warming up for the real event of the tour: The Wall.

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The next two snorkel stops fascinated me more than the first. I found myself just gazing at the miles and miles of coral reef that surrounded me. I weaved myself through each piece while watching a juvenile Yellowtail Damselfish with electric blue spots swim through the coral. We kept on cruising to West Caicos, but we all had worked up an appetite. Snorkeling is hard work! We devoured turkey and ham sandwiches made by the crew and learned that Rupert, an 18-year-old London native is on his gap year. When we asked him what he’s doing here, he responded with “I’m just living in Provo and looking at really cool fish.” Cheers to that, Rupert!

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After a few laughs, it was time to jump back into the water. This spot was about 40 feet deep and felt emptier than the spots prior. I mistakenly thought that meant we wouldn’t see a lot because within seconds my dad and I saw a barracuda hanging out by the sea floor. Then, things got interesting. I was swimming closer to the boat when a long, skinny silver fish joined me. It looked like an upside down shark. Ruper informed me that it was a Remora, or better known as a “suckerfish” and they liked to suction themselves to larger animals. I swam even faster after learning this; it felt as if I was going to be this Remora’s next victim.

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Loud shrieks echoed from the other side of the boat. A reef shark was on the prowl! Matt and Aimee followed the shark, but the sight of a shark sent a passenger flying back to the boat. She was out of breath and paralyzed with fear, telling us how big and ferocious the shark was. I sympathized with her, remembering the first time I saw a shark I didn’t know if it was going to eat me or just wanted to see what’s up. Now, it was time to head to the Wall. From the boat we could see the water change from a clear turquoise color to a deep dark blue. As we talked, I could feel pure excitement fill my body mixed with some serious jitters. But, I swallowed the fear and dove into the blue.

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I felt so alive. My heart raced as I swam further away from the boat. I had just plunged into a world that we don’t know much about and had no idea what I would see next. With my head underwater, I continued swimming into the blue. I observed the life as I noticed the ocean floor getting deeper and deeper. All of the sudden, I looked up to find my dad, but all I saw was blue. I couldn’t see anything in front of me, I couldn’t see anything below me, and I couldn’t see anything behind me. All I could hear was the quiet sounds of the underwater world.

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Floating still atop this world, I realized how incredible it was. For a moment, I panicked, and I remember imagining swimming head first into a smiling Great White Shark. But, I swallowed the fear, and embraced the reality I was in. I kept swimming into the unknown, realizing that the moment I had just lived is exactly what makes me love the ocean.

On my journey back to the boat, I followed a school of Horse-eye Jacks and even found my dad while we snapped pictures of a spotted nurse shark about 40 feet down. After everyone made it to the boat, we started our trek back to Provo. I sat on the bow of the boat with Matt with the wind and sun in our face. “What a day,’ said Matt. “I think it’s time for a drink.”

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Yep, I thought to myself. He was right.

North & Middle Caicos

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

Or should I say, Dad, we aren’t in Provo anymore. That is exactly how I felt after the half hour ferry ride to North Caicos, piling into a island Land Rover, and riding down rickety dirt roads with about a quarter tank of gas. It’s all about the experience, right?

My mom, dad, brother and I decided to embark on a day trip to North and Middle Caicos last week. My brother and dad had been, but it was completely new to my mom and I. New and exciting…

SILVER PALMS RESTUARANT BLOG

We started with breakfast at Silver Palms Restaurant. With a couple of wrong turns, an almost popped tire, and a long narrow rocky road, we finally found it. We passed few signs that said “Silver Palms! Worth the drive!” so we knew were headed in the somewhat right direction, but still…lost. But, the signs were right. It was probably the best breakfast I’ve had in a while; my college diet of granola bars and oatmeal was impressed. The owner Karen was an absolute treat and provided us with incredible hospitality. She whipped up fresh toast with butter and jam, crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, and two refreshing pomegranates for us. Being the coffee addict that I am, I gulped down two cups of her hot french press coffee faster than my tongue could handle. The atmosphere was very warm and peaceful, with inside and outside seating available, flowers and conch shells on the tables, and quiet music playing in the background. When it was finally time to continue our journey, I didn’t want to leave!

But I did, and we were back on the dirt road to explore North Caicos. I remember thinking to myself (and out loud) “Really? Is this it?” My mom did not seem impressed either as we drove for about 20 minutes and I swear all I saw was bushes and trees. I’m sure my brother Taylor was tuning my complaints ouLAST CHANCE BOTTLE CREEKt until at one point he said “Mackenzie, look!” and I turned my head to spot the sharpest, clearest, bluest water I have ever witnessed. We looked for a place to stop until stumbling upon Last Chance Bar and Grill at Bottle Creek, North Caicos. This little bar was a hoot; run by a man named Howard who my family took quite a liking to. My family ordered rum punches while I tried to capture the electric blue water with my Nikon, only to realize it is definitely something you have to see in person. Howard, a bartender, chef, architect and boat builder, had a million stories to tell. We probably could’ve sat out on the back deck sipping on his rum punches all day.

VIEW FROM MUDJIN HARBOR

But again, we didn’t. We kept on moving. More food, more drinks. More pictures to take. Our next stop was Mudjin Harbor in Middle Caicos. We reached the causeway, or another long rickety road. Luckily my brother was driving who drives a Jeep back home in the states!

Mudjin Harbor…This is one of those things that if you’ve never seen it, you either need to hop on a ferry right now and go see it or take my word for it. People describe things as breathtaking all the time, but I’m telling ya, you don’t know breathtaking until MUDJIN HARBOR VIEW 3you step onto this cliff in Middle Caicos. The first thing I saw was the ocean, which was beautiful in itself, but once I saw steps leading upwards to the cliff, my smile grew even bigger. I followed my brothers lead to the top of the cliff and when I got to the top, I was astonished. I felt as if I could see the whole entire world from that very point. But, standing on that cliff also made me feel smaller than I ever have. I was just this one tiny spec on top of a cliff, with this incredibly beautiful world we live in laying in front of me.

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I remember I kept saying to my dad “Dude, have you ever seen something so crazy? This is crazy! Isn’t this crazy, dad?” I was blown away…but It didn’t stop there.

STAIRCASE CAVE MUDJIN HARBOR

Next, we kept walking along the cliff until we got to this very narrow tunnel. I was very confused, especially because my mom and brother seemed to have…disappeared. But again, I followed my dads lead and dove down into the cave by walking down these narrow stairs. After a few flights, and me saying “where am I? What is this? Am I in a cave?” Once I finally reached the bottom, I walked out onto what my brother and dad called “a private beach.” I could explain it to you, but Kenny Chesney said it best…”It’s good for the soul when theres not a soul in sight.”

DANIELS CAFE BLOG

After I had finished up snapping my last pictures, we made our way to find Daniels Cafe to meet the famous Devon. We were greeted with big, cheery grins and ice cold beers the second we walked in. Devon, who was quite the riot, took our order right after he enlightened us about his music (MC One), his views on the world, and his family. His father, Daniel, filled us with even more laughs during our meal. Devon was in the kitchen singing and dancing and Daniel cracked jokes throughout our whole meal.The atmosphere was laid back, and island-y, and somehow, made me feel at home somewhere VERY different than home.

FAMILY AT PUMPKIN BLUFF

Then we headed back to North Caicos to check out one last incredible view at our friends property at Pumpkin Bluff that probably took us 30 minutes on another dirt road to find, but like my brother said, isn’t anyone up for some adventure? After I snapped some more pictures, we made our way to Barracuda Beach Bar. This bar is hidden, almost tucked away, but sits directly on the beach and is a little tiki hut- the perfect place to drink a beer and watch the sun move across the sky.

BARRACUDA BEACH BAR

I think I saw most of the island through the lens of my Nikon, but it was fun being a tourist for the day with my family. I think we hit every bar on both islands that day and it was quite the adventure. We got back to Provo just in time for a light dinner and a sunset and we were all asleep by 9:30. And that’s island life!”

Here’s To You, Tewks

My older brother Taylor recently just packed up the basement into the back of his Jeep Laredo and embarked on his adventure to Colorado-and by the looks of his snapchat, I don’t think he is ever going to come back. And let’s be real…I wouldn’t either. Well, maybe if it was 50 degrees warmer and surrounded by water, then I wouldn’t come back. But either way, Taylor, I hope you’re having the time of your life out there, and I can’t wait to visit, although that may only happen in the summertime. Here’s to you, Tewks.

So, I’m dedicating this post to my older, wiser, cooler brother. Thanks for teaching me the ways of life over the years. Here’s a few reasons why I’ll miss you…taylor blog

1.Eating crabs; whether on our back deck or on a dock on the Chesapeake Bay. Taylor always showed me the best way how to do it; and laughed at me when I had no idea what I was doing.
2.Drinking rum and cokes at the bar in Turks and Caicos.
3.The weird-bluegrass-banjo-music that I hear blaring from the basement door everyday.
4.His friends…Although I only have ONE older brother, growing up, it sure as hell felt like I had about 15. I’ll miss the non-official brother visits I had.
5.The nights we got home at the same time and hung out in the basement.
6.The nights I got home before him and locked him out.
7.The nights he got home before me and locked me out.
8.Splitting grouper & conch in Turks and Caicos.
9.The times he told me I was an idiot and deserve better.
10.The times he stood up for me when assholes at school were making fun of me. “Only I can make fun of her…” I think is what he said.taylor blog 5

Growing up with Taylor as an older brother was…well…not always a walk in the park. I’m sure he would say that growing up with me as a younger sister was probably similar to hell. But the truth is, I didn’t leave him alone because deep down I thought he was the coolest person to walk this planet. All I wanted to do as a kid was hang out with him and his cool friends. Looking back, I guess I can’t blame a bunch of 9 year old boys for not wanting to hang out with a very shy and annoying 6 year old girl.

I remember when I was entering my freshman year at Dulaney High School, I thought I was the coolest because I had an awesome, older, senior-in-high-school brother. And since I knew all of Taylors friends, it was like I had 15 awesome, older, senior-in-high-school brothers. Taylor and I drove to school together every morning and I got to park in the SENIOR PARKING LOT…how cool, right? Looking back, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but because I thought Taylor was the bees knees, I thought it was.taylor blog 4

Don’t get me wrong, though, I still think Taylor is the bee’s knees. It’s pretty much impossible for me to go somewhere and not talk about how awesome I think my brother is. He’s just so damn smart; and he’s taught me so much about life over the years…like how it’s okay to not shower for a few days if you’re out listening to some good ass music, or how to take a shot of tequila like a champion at 12 am on your 22nd birthday.

The other thing about growing up with Taylor as an older brother is that EVERYONE KNOWS HIM. Not only that, EVERYONE LOVES HIM. It’s like I can’t go anywhere without getting “Dude, you’re tewks’ younger sister? He’s dope!!!” It’s almost as if he’s created this awesome reputation for the Tewksbury name and everyone who comes after him must be equally as cool. So, I thank you for that, Taylor.taylor blog 3

But, Taylor has also given me more than just a bar to live up to and some facts about the festival life. He’s someone I’ve looked up to for 19 years. He’s someone who will tell you exactly like it is when you need to hear it the most. When everyone else is sugarcoating things, he’ll tell you what you need to hear. He’s someone who cares for his friends and family. He’s someone who’s ALWAYS up for an adventure. He’s someone who loves to have fun. He’s someone who loves to do what he loves. He’s someone who will KICK ASS IN COLORADO doing whatever he chooses.

And most of all, he’s someone who is my friend. Although being annoying comes with the little sister territory (as with the older brother…), I know I can always call him my friend and someone who will be there for me, whether it’s 3 am or 1pm.

taylor blog 6I know you’re having A BLAST in Colorado (and following around The Grateful Dead), but I miss laughing with you and sharing music with you. I can’t wait to see you again, but until then, thanks for the parking spot in the garage :).

I Got Everythin’ I Need

Happy Mothers Day to all of the beautiful mothers out there – but I got some bad news. I know the best mother of all time…and she’s all mine. Mom, I know you’ll probably be the first one to read this, so THANK YOU. I owe you all of my love and thanks today-and everyday. With a daughter like me, I’m pretty sure you’re allowed to have tmom blog 7hree mental breakdowns PER day…But for some reason, even after all I do (and don’t do), you still love me even more than the day before. And for that, I don’t think I can thank you enough. But heres hoping. I hope when you are feeling sad or down in the dumps you remember that I think you are the most beautiful, loving, and indestructible woman I have ever known. I hope you remember that all that I am today is because of you. I also hope that if you are feeling down, you can at least feel down…..way down there with your toes in the sand.mom blog 4 I need to thank you for letting me make my own decisions. Yea, you gave me your two cents, but I learned something very important. We see what we want to see when we want to see it.  And I am sure you wanted me to see some things way before I did, but I see them now. And what you said makes perfect sense. What you say normally makes sense…even if I realize it years later. So thank you for telling me what you think; but letting me realize things on my own. In the long run; I should listen to you. Always. You always seem to be right. Like when you say I shouldn’t eat that many m&ms, or I should kill pemom blog 9ople with kindness, or I should put more sunscreen on. But I’m telling you now that I probably will eat too many m&ms, I’ll forget to kill people with kindness, and I won’t put any sunscreen on. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It just means I’ll be sunburnt. I also need to thank you for being my best friend. You always used to say that I used the word best friend too much. That everyone was my “best friend”, or I had a new “best friend” too often. But when I really think about it, you are the o nly person who could qualify as my BEST FRIEND for all of my 19 years. I can try to hide my feelings from you, but let’s be real, you can see right through me. It’s almost as you can see right inside to my heart. You’re the only person who is undoubtedly there for me, regardless if it’s 3 in the morning, regardless if you have a 102 fever, regardless if you’re with your friends. I could name any situation and you would drop everything to help me. If I was crying at 3 in the morning, you were right next to me. If I needed to go to the store, you were in the car right away. I’m not sure why, but you do, so thank you. But most of the time, my life doesn’t involve crying at 3am, unless maybe from laughter. Which brings me to my next point. You literally crack me up. Not a day goes by that we don’t share a good hard laughmom blog 2 together. I think laughter holds relationships together. After all, Jimmy Buffett did say “If we couldn’t laugh we’d all go insane.” So, thanks for keeping us sane, mom! I do want to thank you for EVERYTHING you’ve done for me, like giving up part of your life to take care of me and Taylor and driving us to sporting events and driving us to friends houses and letting me have slumber parties and buying us pizza and doing my hair (still do) and making me lunch and picking out my outfits and watching me play sports even though I sucked at every single one of them. I don’t know how you decided to give up your entire life just to listen to me scream “TAAAAYYYLORRRR” at the top of my lungs every single day, but you did…so again, thank you. But most of all, thank you for turning me into the person I am today. I strive to be more and more like you everyday. Your love for others, your kindness, and your heart. It’s beautiful. I know you make fun of me for being a “hippie”, but all that I am is because of you. You’ve taught me so much in this life. You’ve shown me that it’s okay to be vulnerable, you have to stick up for yourself, and to not care what others think. You’ve taught me to love others umom blog 6nconditionally and to never settle for a boy who doesn’t love me. Oh, you might’ve also taught me that it’s always 5:00 in Margaritaville. But that’s a story for another time.
I almost cannot believe that I am writing this as a 19 year old JUNIOR IN COLLEGE, and I’m sure you are wishing you read that wrong. But don’t worry, deep down inside I’m still that girl who put on “hey hey we’re the monkeys” and danced around in the new dress Dad got me for my birthday. So Happy Mothers Day mom, I am probably putting my hand in the ice machine at Snoasis right now, but I can’t wait to devour some crabs with ya soon.

A Little Teaser

As many of you may know, I am going to be an active writer for Tranquility Vacation Rentals blog!  It’s run by an pretty amazing woman named Basia that I am so lucky to be working with. She cracks me up! Not to mention that she’s one of the hardest workers I have ever met.

Check out Kenzie’s Corner! http://www.turkscaicosluxuryvillas.com/blog/kenzies-corner-a-fresh-perspective/

Now, I really want to post more about this, but I am literally in the middle of final exams and my stress level right now is…through the roof. I just took one of my hardest finals this afternoon and have my second hardest tomorrow. Wish me luck. Then it’s back to Baltimore for a few…making snowballs, of course. Then guess where I am going? I bet you can’t…

So, here is a little teaser about what I am up to (other than finals).

More to come!
And Basia…I promise I’m not forgetting about you. Give me a few days!