Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Escape 2012

Well, we are freshly sun-kissed and home from our vacation in Grand Cayman.  For those people who have zero clue where the Cayman Islands are, mainly because a lot of people have asked where it is, here is a map! It is the tiny group of islands SW of Cuba.
It is a tiny island, only 20-ish miles long and a few miles wide. We LOVED our time there! Everyone we met was super friendly, I never got propositioned to buy drugs, and always felt very safe. John & I went with my brother and his wife, Kathy. The 2 couples definitely have very different ideas of what "vacation" includes. For John & I it means waking up at 7 (our inner alarm clocks unfortunately) plenty of beach/pool time, but having that equaled out by plenty of exploring and excursions to stay busy. For David & Kathy it means sleeping in and oodles of beach/pool relaxing time, with other outings sprinkled in. We had a solid dose of both though for our vaca together! Many of our planned outings got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy making its way through the Caribbean to our east, which made the water super choppy and the weather very windy/sporadically rainy. But it was fun watching it rain sideways :) And the government there has the ability to close all on-the-water activities that include any tourists. BUT that made for those days to be spent reading on the beach and enjoying drinks by the pool bar!

So Sunday was our first full day there and we spent it 100% relaxing and figuring out what we would do with our week. David & John figured out they weren't going to be playing "good" volleyball all week, which was a tad hilarious to watch. Me & Kathy started our tans (well, my burn). We explored the ocean in front of our resort, which was very rocky but also cool because it was coral all over and we saw tons of fish just standing in knee-deep water!

Monday was our snorkel day! We all caught on fairly quickly and made our way from the pool to the dock right in front of the resort. We swam in schools of these big blue/silverish fish, saw tarpon, a starfish, and tons of other fish I couldn't even try to name. We then made our way to a place called Rum Point and snorkeled around their pier, which was my favorite spot. There were lots of rocks and coral and we saw tons of different colorful fish all over. Our final place was called Starfish Beach, which wasn't that great for snorkeling except for a couple spots, but we saw these tiny, clear jellyfish that freaked me out at first until one of the locals said they were harmless. We saw 4 starfish while there; John & David picked a couple up. They feel like a rock! We ate at a delicious beach-side restaurant for lunch and then made our way back to enjoy the pool for a few hours before the resort party. After the resort-party we made our own drinks in our room.... and photo-taking ensued.

Tuesday we went to the Botanical Gardens and saw tons of cool plants and 7 Blue Iguanas! Tried a failed attempt at 7 Mile Beach.... We ended up walking through tons of "private beach" area while on our search for the public beaches, ate at a tasty restaurant (but really... everywhere was tasty; I didn't eat a single thing that wasn't beyond delicious on this trip), and finally drove up to the public beach. By this point, however, it was pouring... So we just drove back to the resort where it wasn't raining and hung out on the beach.

The rest of the week was spent mostly on the beach & by the pool as well because literally every outing was cancelled, but the weather was stunning! We made most of our breakfasts and 1 dinner to save some money. Read a ton. Ate more delectable food. Best dinner was for sure at this place called Tukka about 5 mins from the resort. I had the 2nd best steak I've ever had (nothing beats Ruth's Chris) and John had a tuna steak, which he said was equally amazing. We spent 1 morning/early afternoon shopping in Georgetown and finally at 7 Mile Beach. Also, found out that island time is a very real thing... everything was super laid back and fairly "slow". I loved it... John was going a tad crazy from it :)

John drove on the wrong side of the car & rode... That was terrifying! Especially when David was in charge of the map ;)

All in all it was an amazing trip! HUGE thanks to Meghan & Trevor for letting us rent out their timeshare! If the kids had been with, solid chance I may have stayed!

Book series suggestion from the week: The Circles Series by Ted Dekker. So good!

AND exciting news that happened the day before we left, John got a job! He is going to be a personal banker at Wells Fargo and starts next week! PTL. Now we're off to hopefully get some cute costume pics of the kids... and definitely using a friend's technique of bribing with candy for cuteness!

Happy Halloween everyone!

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