Today is a very sad day. I’m leaving the Caymans and headed back home to the States:(
BUT I will still be on vacation!! I’ll be spending the rest of the week with a very special person to end my vacation:)
This has been an absolutely incredible trip. I’m SO thankful for the hospitality of my friend Michelle and her husband Jonathan, and the opportunity I had to visit them! I’ve had a super relaxing and very enjoyable time here on Grand Cayman Island. I definitely want to come back!
Here’s a few things I learned while I was here:
1.) In the Cayman Islands, they drive on the left hand side of the road. I rented a car, so I was constantly saying to myself, “Stay to the left. Stay to the left.”
That's a left hand turn lane to my left
2.) The other cars on the road probably know that I am chanting this to myself, because my license plate is white. Rental cars have white license plates, locals have orange, buses have blue.
3.) There are wild chickens all over the island. I’ve seen roosters, hens, and little chicks. I haven’t really been able to get a good picture of them, since they seem to run away whenever I got close! The joke, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” now has new meaning for me.
4.) There’s a place on the island called, “Hell.” I have been to Hell and back;-)
Basically, Hell is just a limestone formation. My Fodor’s Guide said it was one of the most over-rated attractions. I would agree, but you go just so you can say that you have.
5.) Cemeteries are on the beach.
Reminds me a little of the above ground cemeteries in New Orleans. But I don’t think they always were above ground like this. According to this site, it made sense when people first settled on the island to build them in the sand becuase the heat on the island made it necessary for a quick burial, and they didn’t have the tools to dig in the limestone that makes up a large part of the island. Since the technology has become available, the burials are still on the beach, but now they are usually in vaults.
6.) The island is shaped like a wrench, and the U-shaped part faces up, and the handle is to the right. In the middle of the U, there is a large sandbar, where I went yesterday. A 30-minute boat ride from shore, and I was at Stingray City, where I was able to pet, hold, kiss, feed, and get a back massage from some friendly stingrays!
It’s crazy! The boats (mostly tour groups) just come up and set anchor. Then, these HUGE stingrays swim up to you. They were probably about 3 feet at their widest, some maybe even 4 feet! They bumped into your legs, swam at the surface skimming their fins against your belly, and let the tour guides hold them for a long time. I took my underwater camera with me, but of course I have to wait to get that developed (Developed, what? People still do that?). It was definitely an unforgettable experience.
7.) Fresh conch tastes a little like salty raw coconut meat. It’s actually quite tasty.
We may or may not have found the conch on a boat tour. It was as fresh as fresh can get. (I’ll leave it at that, since I’m not exactly sure it was supposed to be taken from its home.)
8.) You can drive around the island in only a few hours (I did it yesterday). Along the way, you will see the Facebook Cayman Shoe Tree. It’s a little off the beaten path, but its covered in shoes! I took some pics and found them on Facebook. The only info they have about it is: “See how many shoes you can find on Cayman’s not so popular beaches… YOU WILL BE SURPRISED !!!!!!!”
Those are some of the random things I saw here. But here’s a little weekend recap (sorry there’s not a lot of food pics!)
Friday: 4 mile run. Read on the beach. Photograph Michelle Kite Surfing!
Watch the sun set from their backyard.
Eat dinner on the deck. Visit with friends.
Saturday: Read on the beach. All. Day. Long.
Snorkel for a little, and dinner at this place. Sorry I didn’t get any food pictures, but since we were eating outside after the sun had set, the lighting wasn’t that great. The menus even had a little light inside of them so you could read the selections! Michelle and I were eyeing the same two dishes on the menu, so we decided to each order one and share. I love that I have friends who like to split things! I ordered the grouper: “Pan Sauteed Grouper, Marinated in Teriyaki and Sesame Oil with and Ortanique Orane Liquer and Bacardi Limon Sauce topped with steamed seasoned Chayote and carrots on a citrus sweet plantain-Boniato Mash.” Michelle had one of the night’s specials, Crispy Sea Bass. It had an equally as enticing description that I didn’t write down (sorry!) so I won’t even attempt to do it justice. Let’s just say it was DELISH!
Sunday: 3 mile run. It was really hot and I got really sweaty.
Swim with dolphins.
Kayak in the mangroves.
the mangroves are off to the right, not in the picture
Read on the beach. Made this recipe. Then enjoyed church with friends.
And now its time to say goodbye. It’s been real Grand Cayman. I had a blast here in Paradise. So long for now. I will be back.