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!
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!
Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
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