Saturday, August 8, 2020

Mosaic Monday #92: Shakin' It Up

I am in a rut with my blog topics.  Gardening, hiking, animal adventures, food pictures, crafts.  I felt the itch for new material.  I scanned a few previous posts, praying that inspiration would strike like a bolt of proverbial lightning.  As I arrived at the 
April 5, 2020 post, a kernel of an idea began to sprout.  In that post, I referenced an old travel journal that had been languishing in my bedside table.  So far, I have written three posts from it (Belize,  Virgin Corda and Road Trip).  The next entry?  Buckle your seatbelts, folks, 'cause you have won an all-expenses-paid voyage to Grand Cayman!  Ride with me as I re-visit the family's first-ever trip to this little slice of paradise in December 2012/January 2013.

December 29, 2012: 7:10 a.m. flight to Charlotte and connecting flight to Grand Cayman.  It was snowing heavily when we left Cleveland! Since the condo was not ready when we arrived, we had lunch at Ortanique in Camana Bay, and then walked around the shops briefly.  When we got to Unit #38 at the Discovery Point Club, cleaning was still underway.  We went to beach on the back side of the Club.  While snorkeling, #1 Daughter had trouble with her snorkel.

December 30, 2012: 7:15 a.m.  Left condo for first day of diving.  Met dive company "Living the Dream Divers" at West Bay Dock.  Carl and Scott were on the boat, plus four other divers.  You may recall from my post about Belize (our first time diving after certification), that we learned what we DID NOT want in a dive company.  Spousal Unit had investigated Cayman dive outfits carefully, and we quickly discovered that his sleuthing talents had paid off - diving with this crew on its large boats with a limited number of divers and all from an anchored position, was heaven compared to our previous experience.
After diving, returned to condo.  We all went our ways - naps, swimming.  After a while, Spousal Unit, #1 Daughter and I went snorkeling.  Most notable were the reef squid.  Had dinner at Al Fresco (6 out of 10 rating from the family).  A little chilly at dinner.

New Year's Eve, 2012: Went to Cayman Turtle Farm.  The touch tanks were awesome!! We also got see a staff member named Amy feeding the fish and small turtles.  The sharks wouldn't eat because it was too cold - they were "hibernating".  Spousal Unit and the kids swam with fish and turtles in the lagoon.

Since that tour of the farm, I have often wondered about the underlying conditions at the facility, especially since we heard sarcastic comments from locals about "turtle hell".  We certainly did not see anything of concern while we were there, but you can find animal advocates on the web that are quite critical of the treatment of the turtles.
BBQ buffet at Macabuca.  All the food was really good, especially the ribs and the grouper in yellow curry sauce (10 out of 10 rating from the family).  Macabuca Punch was YUMMY!

Watched fireworks from the condo and Club swimming pool.  They were all over but especially on either side of the condo.  #1 Son swam in the pool with the glowsticks.

January 1, 2013: Second day of diving.

Played Clue and I won!  While #1 Son took a nap, the rest of us went to the beach.  Snorkeling at Cemetery Beach was average.  Went for a run after dinner.  HOT!!!

January 2, 2013: Beautiful Botanic Park.  The Color Garden was the best ... Saw Grand Cayman's national bird - the Bananaquit.  (I looked on the web for more information about this bird, and discovered that the national bird is actually the Cayman Parrot.  Hmmmm.)  The Park is famous for Blue Iguanas.  We saw 8 of them!
Drove around east end of island.  Stopped for picnic lunch at a beach.  Went snorkeling at Smith's Cove.  2 puffer fish.  Juvenile angelfish.  Octopus.  1 Great Barracuda.  Houndfish.  Dinner at Sunshine Grill.  (My journal does not give a rating for this but I seem to remember that it was a long wait and the food did not justify it.)
Both of the pictures above are the same green iguana - can you believe how long it is?  Unfortunately, these lizards are not native to Grand Cayman; they arrived on the island about 25 years ago as pets and have managed to overrun the island in that short period of time.  They defecate on cars, chomp up crops and gardens, eat the eggs of wild birds and short-circuit electricity transformers (they are very agile climbers).  Without any natural predators on Grand Cayman, the population had grown to 1.3 million by 2018 (more than 2,300 per square mile).  The government began a bounty program in the same year; I wonder if we will see any the next time we return.
January 3, 2013:  Lie in until 9.30 - glorious!  Beach .... rented a paddleboard - went out with Spousal Unit, a snorkel and a mask.  Saw a Spotted Eagle Ray and a Southern Ray plus dozens of reef squid.

2 more games of Clue - #1 Daughter 1, Mom 1.

January 4, 2013: Another great day of diving - saw great schools of fish.  Bought Living the Dream gear.  Went shopping in George Town.  Had dinner (with sunset) at Sunset House (7 or 8 out of 10).  

Saw three cruise ships departing the harbor.  Across the street was this awesome light display!

(They were handing out these cards at the entrance to the property; you could stroll around the display - maybe this will give you a sense of the SIZE.)
I hope you enjoyed this step back in time.  I sure did.  The diversion was just what the doctor ordered.  ALMOST as good as being there!

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Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
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As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by. 
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully. 
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

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  1. That was such a fun read, thanks for sharing. I'll be back tomorrow to link up. Have a great week :)

  2. Looking back, Angie is here a great adventure. What a stunning travel, I believe. With the snorkels under water viewing the fishes and so on must be fantastisc. Yes, I enjoyed reading.

    Stay healthy and well.
    Happy MosaicMonday

  3. What a trip, thanks for taking me along. Snorkeling is my idea of hell but I'm glad you all loved it!
    Fab photos, makes me want to go there if only for the food.

  4. Wow … with those lights, it looks like enchantment around every corner. Haha … snorkeling at Cemetery Beach would never be “average” to me as it sounds like a great adventure I’ll likely never have.

  5. Great post, it was wonderful to read and see where you have been, your holiday sounded really good.

  6. Yes, I certainly did enjoy this this step back in time with you :)

    All the best Jan

  7. That was so fun to see! The Mom and Dad here have been there quite a few times and always enjoyed it. The turtle farm is amazing as is the diving. Thanks for sharing your trip, we loved it!

  8. wow, you had a great time :) I love it. I have been snorkling a few times and loved it. So much fun. And it is a beautiful place. I hope it is taken better care of these days.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. We saw those huge green lizards at a preserve in Huatulco Mexico, where they were working hard to keep them alive and well! I guess that is where they belong, not far up the other side of our same Panama Canal Cruise in Grand Cayman. I very much enjoyed this virtual visit to GrandCayman, a place where we definitely didn’t spend enough time. I think just about everybody feels like they’re either in a rut or blogging memories ....fortunately you have wonderful memories to share *and* your other posts from around your beautiful home have never yet bored me even for a second! Thanks for sharing them all and for hosting.

  10. Your Grand Cayman memories are wonderful, Angie! It looked like a fun and relaxing time. I've never snorkeled and I wish I had taken the opportunity to try that, but at the time I wore contact lenses and couldn't trust wearing goggles underwater. Loved those colorful cruise ship lights!

  11. Wow what an incredible adventure. Whast fun you all had and remembering sometimes makes it even better. Thanks for the Grand (heehee) Tour.

  12. Hello, Angie
    Wonderful photos and memories of your Grand Cayman trip. The snorkeling and diving are wonderful there. My hubby thinks so too. We have been there and stayed at a condo on the Seven mile beach. Hubby snorkeled every morning right from the beach. The iguanas are long, they are neat to see. I loved seeing the Bananaquit, it is a cute bird. The sunset is gorgeous and I love the lights at night. Great post. Thanks for hosting MM. Have a happy day and a great week!

  13. It's difficult sometimes to find inspiration. But you have made a great choice taking us to revisit this trip with you. Happy reminiscing, stay safe, and thank you again for the link up.

  14. ...what nice rut to be in. Thanks for hosting.

  15. What a fabulous sounding trip. Thank you for taking me along. I needed a pick me up this morning.
    I will visit ask the links when I get back home. Currently out of state. My post explains it all.
    Thank you for hosting!
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  16. Holidays are such a special time to vacation in exotic places. It's fun to see the decorations and enjoy the mild climate at the same time. Love your photos...happy faces, well except for the very tired faces! What fun! I've enjoyed my getaway today! Happy MM!

  17. Happy Monday Angie. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories


  18. Lovely post, Angie. I've had plenty of occasion lately to go back and raid the archives... Those were the good old days!

  19. That trip was amazing for so many wonderful reasons. I enjoyed reading your post very much and thanks for sharing the photos too. My SIL's parents lived and worked there for three years and enjoyed their time very much.

  20. The way we do vacations is hard work too. No lazy beach days for us. Lots of beach, just not lazy beach!

  21. Those were the days! How nice that you have that travel journal to remember all the adventures you had. Glad you clarified on the head in sink photo. :) A beautiful spot to travel to and enjoy. Hope your week has started well.

  22. Great shots! So interesting about the iguanas.

  23. Great trip!! Hot down here and hubby is loving it! Me? I hide indoors and read. Or putter about the house and garden. Been a great summer. 😊 Kit

  24. What a fun trip, packed full with activities. I've been reading over my travel journals lately, too. They are a great way to travel virtually, and are so much more economical! :)

  25. That was a fun vacation, Angie. I enjoyed reading about it and seeing the photos. My gosh, that iguana! Swimming and snorkeling in bath-tub warm water is my kind of zen. Thanks for the extra day to link up, Angie. :-)

  26. Song Thrush, Tree Pipit, McCowns Longspur, Lesser Redpoll
    No, he’s definitely throwing up. “That’s what you get for going to the foreign countries and eating foreign muck like garlic bread and snails.” My old ma said that .

    Don’t mind me. I’m just jealous that I’ve never been to the Caymans. Apart of course to deposit large sums of greenbacks in my off-shore account, just like the Clintons, Obumma, the Virginous One? And all the other leeches that like to tell us how to live our lives and all that we should believe.

    You gather that I did get my drink tonight? Enjoy your week Angie. I’m just joking.

  27. Sorry Angie. Copy and pasted from my Word blogging.

  28. Boa tarde. Fiquei impressionado com a paisagem do seu país e com vontade de ver as belas imagens pessoalmente. Muito lindas.

  29. Angie, Great to revisit good times! Thanks for sharing and hosting. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  30. This is great. A vacation!! What is that in this day and time? I love your vicariously.
    It's hard sometimes getting inspiration for a post, you met the challenge well.

  31. Wow! Such beautiful photos and wonderful memories to treasure of your lovely journey ~ ^_^

    Live each moment with love,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  32. What a wonderful adventure and beautifu photos. Thanks for sharing!

  33. i like the way he diagnose the snorkel problem..what a nice holidays

  34. oh this was so fun...and "a lot of hard work"!!! gorgeous pictures and i really LOVED the light show, that is right up my alley!!!

    i was sure the man was puking, but i'm sure that is a great way to test a snorkel!!!

    many thanks for your kind words on my recent post. i keep thinking that perhaps i was sleeping. that i will wake to find it was just a bad dream....but so far, it is our reality. i am feeling better, your kindness helped!!!

  35. and i really smiled at the first picture of you!!!

  36. Being a chair traveller with you is always a most fabulous thing. Why, Angie you take me to places which I never will experience. Grand Cayman does look paradisiacal!


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