Monthly Archives: June 2010

Jackie and Shawns Wedding at the Grace Bay Club

Photos by Pepper Key Stacie
Bouquet by Environmental Arts, cupcakes by Diane Guess

This was not your average destination wedding.  Firstly, there was the ceremony officiation by famed mixologist Toby Maloney.  How often do you see a bride and groom enjoying a cocktail as part of their “I-do’s?” This was not your average cocktail either, we are talking about a concoction of lavender and cucumber infused Hendrick’s gin (my favorite and oh so difficult to find on the island), bitters, mint, and the dab of genius Toby is famous for.  Needless to say the ceremony set the tone for the rest of the day and this group was all about the party.  As a matter of fact, when it came time to exit the cocktail hour at The Lounge and head to Grill Rouge for dinner, the group clearly desired to linger longer.  When wedding planner Teresa Brunner of Tropical Destination Management Company, finally had escorted the entire party of 70 in small groups of a reluctant five or seven, the meal was served in a jiff so this couple could get on with their evening.  The beautiful  and spunky bride Jackie wowed the entire Grace Bay Club with her serenade to her new husband.  The waitstaff stopped and huddled in pairs, the nearby anacaona restaurant patrons adjusted their chairs to turn her direction, and even the infiniti bar fell silent.  Turns out our bride Jackie is a professional singer.  After a huge wave of applause the fun loving couple went on with their first dances, their fun, and (rumor has it) a toss in the pool!  Congratulations to Jackie and Shawn!

  Images by Pepper Key Stacie
Centerpieces by tropicaldmc

June Events

Photos by Lise Gula via facebook
Saturday June 19th was a fantastically windy day, perfect for the 20th annual fool’s regatta.  The event commenced at noon and soon after the three classes of racing were under way;  Hobie Cats, local sloops, and the always entertaining, raft race!  The turnout this year was fantastic, even the US Coast Guard made an appearance in a dramatic demonstration.  The history of this tradition was begun on April 1, 1990 with a multi hull sailing race from Sopadilla Bay to Pine Cay for a drink pit-stop, then a return jaunt back to Sopadilla Bay.  What started as “foolish fun” ten years later took a more noble cause when the event began to act as a fundraiser.  To date the regatta has put more than $300,000 back into the community on behalf of chosen charities.  Traditions of locally built sloops, Big Boats, and home made rafts have gained momentum over the years, as has the Tug-O-War competition.  Kids and adults alike are invited to participate in this great beach party; spectators will have plenty to eat, drink, and do regardless of if they are intent on boarding any of the above vessels.  The organizer, David Douglas of the good ship Atebeyra, was quoted this year in the Weekly News, “To be in it’s 20th year is an amazing achievement and what this event does so well is bring together people from all corners of the community for a fantastic family day in the sun.”  I couldn’t agree more, in the sun AND in the sea, that’s what you call a great day in the Turks and Caicos Islands!
Another annual summer event is the T.C.S.P.C.A Dog Show.  This year marked it’s sixth year of friendly canine competition, welcoming dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds.  This community event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for this amazing organization, who this year will raise funds to extend the outreach programs to provide much needed vet care on the outer islands. 
 The categories include Best Trick, Best Looking Female, Best Looking Male, Most Original Potcake, Looks Most Like Owner, Cutest Tail, Best Time in the Obstacle Course, and Best in Show. This hugely popular fundraiser not only has warm and fuzzy entertainment appeal, but plenty of fun for all ages including face painting, raffle, craft sale, and a surprise appearance.  If you were unable to attend but would like to contribute to the cause, you may make a donation online here.

JoJo and The Cove

If you have ever read into the Turks and Caicos Islands, surely you have read a thing or two about JoJo.  I remember my initial flight over being given some reading material about the extremely rare solitary dolphin who voluntarily interacts with humans.    JoJo was declared a national treasure in 1989, but just a short two years previous was almost deemed a tourist liability and placed in captivity.  Thanks to Dean Bernal,  a Californian who met JoJo in 1984 and went on to share many adventures, an awareness campaign was created that protects JoJo to this very day. 
  I have had the fortune of meeting JoJo face to face on many occasions.  Every experience has been fascinating and remarkable, but witnessing him light up in the presence of Pepper has been thus far incomparable.  JoJo seems to have a real curiosity about dogs, and luckily our potcake loves to jump ship and make chase of JoJo on the surface.  With us occasionally he can seem sleepy, one might even say bored, but as soon as Pepper joins us in the water it is all chatter and chase, twists and turns, fun and frolick. These experiences, as well as research into the intelligence of the species, leaves no doubt in my mind that they should ALL be treasured and protected.
Above photo by Shayna Bigazzi
Unfortunately, in some parts of the world they are not.  I had heard about The Cove, the Oscar Award winning best documentary feature film, quite awhile back but it took some serious self pep talk for me to actually watch it.  Though it was even more painful than I possibly imagined, it accomplished with me exactly what it’s objective continues to be- spread the word.  I would encourage everyone to see this brave film about the slaughter of 20,000 plus dolphins a year in Japan.   The production team and all involved took gigantic risks in exposing this very dark secret.  Please see the film, or if you can’t muster up the courage, please visit the website and take part in halting this atrocity.  To learn more about sustainable fishing please click here to discover which fish are the safest to enjoy, that have the lowest amounts of mercury.  Then download the Seafood Watch Guide, to discover the best options for sustainable fishing in the area in which you live or will be traveling.

Framing Grace Gallery

Image by Pepper Key Stacie
Hands holding blossom painting by Jen Maude, monstera leaf duo by Pepper Key Stacie
Framing Grace is the Turks and Caicos Islands newest gallery, a delicious little haven set in the fringe of the shopping district on Providenciales, just opposite Sunshine Nursery in the lovely Grace Bay Court.  Upon a browse inside one would find a sprinkling of antiques and handcrafted jewelry, as well as an impressive selection of paintings, photography, and prints from local and international artists.  But Framing Grace isn’t just a gallery; beyond the interior wooden arched door lies the framing workshop, the bones of the business.  If you are a home, condominium, or resort owner in the islands desiring to embellish your space, Framing Grace is the place to select the art that suits it best, and then custom design the way in which you choose to present it on your walls.   The adorable proprietor, Joelle Behlmaier, took a few minutes to chat with me
PKS:Where are you from?
JB:Annapolis, Maryland, US

PKS: How did you first become introduced to the Turks and Caicos Islands?
JB: Summer of 1992, School for Field Studies, South Caicos

PKS: Wow!  What was that experience like and what was the lasting impression?
JB: Spent the summer marine mapping for the fisheries department.  Diving the pristine waters completely spoiled all future diving experiences, creating a yearning to return to such an amazingly beautiful paradise.  I am super excited to start diving again, this time with my 15 year old daughter who will be certified next week.

PKS: What or who influenced your move to the TCI?
JB: I am an island girl at heart!

PKS: Has your career always included the arts?
JB: Always! I love making things beautiful whether it be a piece of paper, canvas, furniture, a room, or an entire home…

PKS: Who is your favorite artist or favorite artist of the moment?
JB: Stacie Steensland Gaudet of course, I am patiently waiting for her latest to enter the gallery.

PKS: Awesome answer but which artist would you dream about having a piece of work hanging in the gallery or in your home, in an ideal world?
JB: I would love to have “Almond Blossom” by Van Gogh, painted to welcome the birth of his nephew, hanging over a soaking tub in my master bath.

Vincent van Gogh’s Almond Blossom (oil on canvas,29×36-1/4 inches) hangs in Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum.  Image from

PKS: What is your favorite medium?
JB: Oils, I love texture

PKS: What do you like best about the Framing Grace business?
JB: I love to see the finished product, especially a piece of child’s art beautifully matted and framed into a piece that anyone, not just the parent, would adorn.

PKS: What aspect do you appreciate the most about living in the Turks and Caicos Islands?
JB: The ease of living allows for much more time to spend with my children.

I encourage everyone to visit the gallery and have their own chat with Joelle!  Summer Hours Monday Friday 12-2pm or by appointment 649.333.1339