Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finger Lickin' Vacation

The last couple of weeks have been bone chilling here lately. Overnight lows reach twenty below or lower and daytime highs don't even reach zero. It has been so cold that school has been cancelled for two of those days. That is why Lady Di and I thought it would be a good time visit a warmer clime.

Last week we took our first vacation without the kids. We went to Grand Cayman for some thawing out.

We walked off the plane and the first thing I noticed, besides how overdressed I was, was the smell of green, growing plants. We usually don't get to see or smell green in Minnesota from November to April. So we were off to a good start.

We then found a place to rent a car. They had a Dodge Charger that would have been real cool if it didn't require a $2000 deposit. So we opted for the deposit-less Daihatsu.
This wasn't it but I was willing to trade up for it.

We stuffed our multiple bags and suitcases in our car until it resembled a clown car from the circus. We had just enough room to squeeze in ourselves and take off down the wrong side of the street. Since Cayman is owned by Britain, we had to drive on the left side of the road. We went with another couple, so we split up the driving. Another odd aspect of Caymanian roadwork is something they call roundabouts. These are circles placed at random intersections around town which you must orbit on the left even if you are continuing straight on your own street. As enjoyable as these carosels were, we got even more enjoyment from the yield signs posted at each one.

Apparently, you must always 'Give Way' to the car on your right. It seems we also had to shout out "Give Way!" each time we spun through one of these intersections. We were honked at a few times and the Caymanians were very patient with us.

We stayed at a two bedroom, two bath pink cottage on the beach. It was perfect because just outside our back patio were multiple reefs with lots of fish, so we could snorkel right out our back door. Which is what we mostly did. We snorkeled in the morning, then the wives would comb the beach for shells while the husbands napped. You are supposed to do things on vacation that you don't have a chance to do at home. So I got in a lot of reading and a lot of napping.

The Cayman Islands were first named Tortuga after the abundance of turtles in the area. We found none. Then the Islands were named after the caiman alligators which also were numerous. We found even less of them. What we did find for wildlife was chickens. Apparently, chickens have no serious predators on the island because they run wild. Actually, they walk through your yard wild. Every morning a few roosters and hens would show up to fight over our leftover pop tarts and Cap'n Crunch. What they didn't get the tiny iguanas would snatch up. We probably had some of the fattest iguanas on the island. Here's proof that the chickens here are pretty much fearless. Creative Type Dad would probably like the Caymans. In the evening, we would usually go out to eat. And since we were eating on an island, most of the menus featured seafood. I tried just about every fish they had to offer and it was all delicious. But after a week, I was fished out and just wanted a burger. Which is good because Cayman also has a Margaritaville and they serve Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger in Paradise. And pretty good margaritas too.

And speaking of drink, Cayman even has their own beer called Caybrew. It was pretty good too. But we certainly didn't spend all of our time drinking. We actually spent most of our days snorkeling. Besides viewing the tropical fish in our back yard, we went on a Captain Marvin's conch dive and trip to Stingray City. We even got to kiss the stingray for seven years good luck. No one got stung, so lucky us.

It's difficult to squeeze our whole vacation into one post. Perhaps later, I will post about the supper in Roland's back yard, or about our friend getting on the wrong snorkeling boat and almost leaving us, or about the nice couple from Wisconsin in the cottage next to us.

It was hard to say good bye to the Caymans. We met some very nice people there and will hopefully keep in touch with them through emails. It was pretty difficult for some in our party to say good bye to the duty free shop too. A few bottles of rum and some rum cakes made it back with us also. It's too bad we couldn't have brought some of the Cayman's weather with us. We went from 80's and sunny to teens and snowing in one day.

At least we have our pictures, memories and fifteen pounds of shells to remind us of our time there.


AppleSauce said...

15 lbs. of shells....that's awesome!!! looks like it was a blast! and that picture of you kissing the stingray is SO awesome!!! i am most certainly jealous! i guess i'll just have to photoshop me kissing a stingray so i can be half as cool as you! :P thanks for posting pictures of your trip! i love pictures!!! >_<

Duane565 said...

Warm weather sounds nice. We don't have all the really cold weather in WV, but we've been in the teens and twenties for a few weeks here. 80's sounds so much better. 41 days 'till spring; keep a warm thought and hang in there...

Russell said...

Wow!! I'm impressed! I have always wanted to go to the Cayman Islands! So, GOOD FOR YOU! to make it!!

I hope you do some more posts about your great trip!

Take care.

creative-type dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
creative-type dad said...

That's one brave chicken.

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.