Friday, May 4, 2018

Grand Cayman Vacation Photo Journal

I mentioned taking a little break in my last post, and we just returned a week ago from our favorite destination, Grand Cayman, BWI. This post is a photo journal of our week-long stay on the island, which is nearly 450 miles south of Miami, 100 miles south of Cuba. 
Here was the comparative forecast for the days we left Charleston to what we were expecting in George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands.
We flew via a Charlotte connection on a pre-dawn flight out of Charleston.
We arrived on island around 12:30 pm Cayman time (they are in the Eastern time zone as we are, but do not observe daylight savings time). Our adult kids (two daughters, 2 sons-in-law) traveled with us. One son-in-law was brave enough to rent a van and drive us all on the "wrong" side, navigating the newest, four-lane highway completed in recent years. "Give Way" (Yield) on the roundabouts felt like a roller coaster ride to us all!
After arrival and lunch, the kids went to the grocery store once we checked in to our condo. Sundays are closed for shopping in Grand Cayman, and that's important to know when traveling there!
We stayed in a 3 bedroom, 3 bath condo that was perfectly accommodating for all, with a ground floor walk out at the near center of Seven Mile Beach. The view above was our daytime view for the week, the view below was our evening view for Cayman sunsets. The days and nights are nearly equal at 12 hours each in Grand Cayman, and darkness settles in around 7pm each night.
A panoramic shot of the property on which we stayed.
We lazed and we snorkeled in the Caribbean sea waters just in front of our condo. We enjoyed seeing sea life such as sea turtles, barracuda, scorpion fish, spotted eel, flounder, and many more common species on small coral structures just within 200 yards of the shore in front of us.
Five of six of us are PADI scuba certified, and diving was the main reason for going back to Grand Cayman. Even though I've been diving since 1999 (Mr. P. even longer), we took a refresher course since we hadn't dived in four years. The day before flying, we had Chinese take-out, and my fortune cookie had this message:
My fortune was appropriate, as I have a healthy respect and fear of scuba diving and the physics involved. However, we enjoyed each underwater trip without issues, exploring everything from the sheer wall drop of the island's volcanic topography, to a shipwreck on the sand floor, its coral structures, and the variety of aquatic life. The sea temperature was approximately 82°, cool enough to feel refreshing when getting in, but warm enough not to be chilled when underwater for nearly 50 minutes at a time when scuba diving (although I still wear a 3mm wetsuit). A highlight for us was spotting a huge, spotted eagle ray along with many other Caribbean sea life and coral structures while diving.
Two-tank morning dives (one to nearly 100' deep, the second a shallow dive to no more than 60-65' deep) left afternoons for logging dive notes, rinsing equipment, and lazing away the time. It's a life I could get used to!
The guys settled right in to the Caribbean lifestyle of relaxing.
Even my daughter, who is the Executive Director of the city's FestivALL, changed hats and became the INactivity Director after a few days of email and work exchanges.
We had a late afternoon rain shower for about twenty minutes on one day, but the resulting clouds that evening were quite showy. We spotted a camel in the sky. 😉
Every day's a holiday and every night's a Saturday night while on vacation, and there's no better place to have 5 o'clock somewhere than Grand Cayman. We enjoyed dinners in and out, both together and separately as couples. Our last night was dinner together at Camana Bay's Brooklyn restaurant.
Each morning, Mr. P. & I walked Seven Mile Beach, either northward.....
...or southward, and sometimes we'd walk both ways.
On our last day, we left the condo around 10am, but not before a last walk on the beach.
We left Charleston at 35°, and pretty much arrived home to same temperature a week later, at 38°, leaving the consistent tropical weather behind. It has warmed up here - finally - and now we are under the pollen blankets that much of the deeper South has recently experienced.
Is it any wonder why I made this my screensaver on both my phone and desktop? Sigh.........
Until our next trip........

Rita C. at Panoply

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