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Summer Getaway: 5 Days on Grand Cayman

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It’s taken me a while to get this post completed. I wanted to wait until I was ready to launch this website.

It just took longer than I thought… LOL

I am so late posting this that summer is over now!

Our 5-Day Adventure on Grand Cayman Island

Each year for the past few years, my husband and I have been fortunate enough to be able to go on a free trip to some warm beach location during the summer. Last year: Bermuda. This year, the trip was to Grand Cayman. We hadn’t been there before.

Have any of you visited?

Grand Cayman is a great place to relax. If you are trying to party, party, party while you are on vacation, it might not be the best place to pick – there is nightlife but it’s not the main focus of the island. However, if you want to eat well, engage in water activities, and sit on beautiful beaches, Grand Cayman is definitely a great option!

First Things First: Getting to Grand Cayman

Since we live in Southern Texas, there were several choices for a nonstop flight to the island.  Thomas took a direct flight from Dallas, and I took one from Houston.

When flying alone, I tend to get to airports well ahead of my flight time, so I bought a few books to read while I waited and for on the plane.  I love to read so the flight went by quickly. Fortunately, I also had a window seat with an open middle seat. I was especially comfortable during the 3-hour flight.

Once we got there, the fun began!

Arrival: Seafire Resort & Spa

Thomas and the Seafire Sign

This resort is almost one-year-old and is located on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. Multiple resorts are located up and down this strip of world-renowned beach. The white sands are absolutely stunning and once you see them, you can’t wait to get on the beach.

Seafire Resort

Seafire has 3 restaurants (Ave, Avecita, and Coccoloba) and a café (The Pantry at Seafire) with prepared grab-and-go items, smoothies, and hot drinks. The Pantry came in handy during the trip!

There is a lovely pool area with poolside food service with cabanas and a poolside bar.

The Pool

The resort also contains a fitness center and a luxury spa. There are yoga classes – on the lawn as well as on paddleboards — as well as BoxFit, and BeachFit sessions. Kids even have activities through a club called Camp Seafire. For a fee, you can get access to water toys like kayaks, snorkeling gear, paddleboards, sailboards, floating rafts, and more.

If you are looking to buy in the Caymans, you can buy an apartment in the Seafire resort as well. Don’t we all wish?

Day 1: Friday Grand Cayman Reception

After checking into our room, we attended a team reception.

There were snacks and drinks, so we weren’t really all that hungry by the time dusk rolled around.

At the Reception

By the time we decided to eat, we ended up at the bar at Avecita – the other people on our team had made plans to go out or were waiting for a table at Ave or Avecita. Most of the people in our group decided to go eat at the same time – it was crowded!

Avecita has a tapas menu which was perfect for dinner that night. We were pretty tired: I had a salad and my husband ate something from the sea (oysters).

Day 2: All About Water

Who really wants to get up early in the morning on vacation?

We must have because we scheduled a 1-hour couples massage at 9 AM at The Spa at Seafire. It was well worth it! One hour later, we were so relaxed, it was almost difficult to get moving for the rest of the day!

We spent much of the afternoon by the pool at a Pool party thrown by our team. After some socializing and lunch, we then moved down to the beach where I watched the ocean and relaxed. My husband tried several of the water toys available with varying levels of success.

Dinner at Agua

Saturday night, we (with several other group members) went to a restaurant called Agua in the Shops at Camana Bay shopping area – one of the more highly-rated shopping centers in the area. This restaurant describes itself as “a seafood restaurant rooted in Italian tradition and inspired by Peruvian culture.” Sounded intriguing even if I am allergic to seafood!

The coolest thing about going to a restaurant with a large group is that everyone orders something different from the menu. The opportunity to sample something that looked interesting on the menu is there if you ask your colleague nicely!

I ordered two sides (vegetables alla griglia and rosemary potatoes – the servings were HUGE!). Most of our friends ordered different seafood dishes. Octopus, mahi, and the catch of the day were common picks. There were several dessert options, but the panna cottas were the most popular.

Off to bed because Sunday was our big day trip.

Day 3: Stingray City and Rum Point

Sunday was the day trip to Stingray City and Rum Point.

Stingray City is one of the most popular attractions in Grand Cayman. This is a group of sandbars about 25 miles away from Grand Cayman itself. You can get out of your boat and stand on the sandbars – the water is around 3 feet deep or so there – and get up and close and personal with stingrays.

You can feed them and hold them. If you grab them the wrong way, they may get angry!  Otherwise, the stingrays are very friendly. There are also baby stingrays swimming around too.

We traveled to Stingray City on a chartered catamaran. The crew of the catamaran was from all over the world. One guy was from Cuba, another was from New Zealand, and the lone woman was from South Africa. That seems like a cool job – my husband suggested that we buy a catamaran one day and do that during our retirement. Maybe…

There are several charter companies that take people to the area. When we arrived, there were already more than 10 other boats in the area with folks holding stingrays and taking pictures.

Sunday Morning at Stingray City

With my seafood allergy, I was not that interested in getting into the ocean to touch stingrays. It might have been ok but who wants to take that chance?

However, Thomas was all in!

We stayed at Sting Ray City for about 90 minutes. For those of us remaining on the boat, it was long enough! But everyone in the walked seemed to have fun!

Rum Point

The next part of the day trip was Rum Point.

This is a popular beach on the north side of the island. It has shallow water (see the shallow water and seaweed in the water behind me in the second picture!) and is great for snorkeling and swimming. There are also hammocks, food, drinks, volleyball nets, and picnic tables for family outings. And of course, a souvenir shop where I bought several shirts.

After spending the morning in the ocean with the stingrays, not many people were interested in getting in the water right away. And our group had organized a picnic.

After such a busy day with the stingrays AND after eating burgers with all the fixins’ AND with the hot hot sun and gentle waves, most of us found somewhere to rest for the afternoon.

We found a hammock to nap in

I think I also napped on the catamaran on the way back to the hotel too!

Decker’s Caribbean Inspired Grille

Sunday night, Thomas had made reservations at a restaurant that he was really excited to visit called Decker’s Caribbean Inspired Grille. This restaurant has all you can eat lobster nights on Tuesday and Saturday nights! My husband was so thrilled to learn that but then disappointment set in when he realized we had plans for Saturday night (at Agua).

However, the people at Decker’s were really cool. They let him have the lobster special on Sunday. He was excited again!

I ordered Mango-glazed BBQ ribs.  They were quite good.

For dessert, I had the trio of crème brûlées. The flavors were vanilla bean, Bailey’s Irish Crème, and Grand Marnier. Oh, there were really good!

Stuffed, we went back to the hotel.

Day 4: Golf Courses and Beautiful Sunsets

Monday, our group had a golf outing. Thomas went along with his friends although he doesn’t play that often. Bravery, I say1

While he was gone, I stayed at the hotel and did nothing of importance. My favorite pastime while I am at the beach. I spent some time in the room and by the pool.

Thomas came back after his fun but not-so-great round and met me poolside. We probably would have stayed there all day, but we already had plans to take a sunset ferry back out to Rum Point.

Sunsets and Mosquitos

The sunsets on the way to Rum Point were described to us as beautiful – and they were as advertised.

One of the guys on the crew of the ferry was one of the guys from the catamaran the day before. I had forgotten how small the island was!

There was a cool pole with multiple signs representing multiple countries when you arrive. I didn’t notice it when we visited the day before.

The people who work at Rum Point have interesting senses of humor. This was the cute sign on the side of one of the buildings. I guess it was all of the weird questions they have to answer from tourists.

Our dinner on Monday night was a barbeque. The food was good, but honestly, I don’t remember much about it. Dinner was overtaken by some Caymanian residents that I had not met before…

Attack of the Grand Cayman Mosquitos

We were unaware of the number and ferocity of the mosquitos in the area. When we were at Rum Point on Sunday, there weren’t any mosquitos. Hanging outside on the first night, there were no mosquitos. I was not aware!

Those annoying creatures must have been waiting for us to come back to Rum Point. As soon as dusk hit, they came out in force. I totally forgot what the food tasted like because I was trying to survive!

It wasn’t just me. There were other families trying to enjoy the picnic, but it became a cacophony of slapping – everyone was swatting the mass of mosquitos.

Sadly, we couldn’t just run away from the site of the attack. The gift shop was closed so we couldn’t take shelter or buy some bug repellent. We had to wait until the ferry was scheduled to leave. Which wasn’t for another hour or so!

I will know next time!

At least there was an NBA championship game to watch at the hotel while we nursed our wounds.

Day 5: Turtles and Fireworks

Thomas had a group meeting in the morning – it is the one day that included some work while we were on the trip.

Not for me! I decided to visit the shopping mall at Camana Bay. I had been told that it was the best place to shop in Grand Cayman, so I had to check it out.

We had been there before to eat at Agua on Saturday but it was night and the restaurant was located on the other side of the mall. I hadn’t seen any of the stores. There are other types of activities that happen at this mall all year round – I guess I will have to come back to check it out one day.

Once, I got there, it appeared to be a great place to spend a few hours — until it started raining halfway during my visit!

The Waterfront

But the day started out beautifully. As it was early and not many stores were open before 10 AM, I decided to eat breakfast. I found a restaurant that had tables on the Waterfront – ironically called The Waterfront – and ordered.

When I am actively trying to avoid sweets (waffles – yum!) during breakfast, bagels and cream cheese are my typical next choice!  Of course, the restaurant added jam to my plate which defeated the point of avoiding a super sugary breakfast.

Sitting in Camana Bay was peaceful with a nice view of the Harbour. I could have stayed there for a while, but I know the waiter wanted his table! LOL

Strolling around the mall, I realized that it was a lot larger than I first thought.

Obviously, there were quite a few stores that sold bathing suits and other summer attire, but there were also several jewelry stores, houseware stores, and finally, a big bookstore (Books & Books). I think I spent more time there than anywhere else.

I probably would have stayed longer, but it started raining pretty hard. With nowhere to hide, I called a taxi and traveled back to the hotel.

The Turtle Centre

When I returned to the hotel, Thomas had finished his meeting and was anxious to go to one more attraction — the Turtle Centre. It’s the largest land-based attraction in Grand Cayman.  It’s home to Green Sea Turtles with places for them to mate.

I was somewhat resistant because I had heard that the center also used to breed turtles for food – and still does (albeit to a lesser extent now). I cited some research with some mixed reviews. Thomas really wanted to swim with the turtles (do you see a theme with him and animals in the sea?) so we went to see what was what.

Since it was cloudy with intermittent rain, the center canceled the “swim with the turtles” opportunity. Oh well.

The center also houses also other animals like alligators, nurse sharks, and different types of birds. We couldn’t see all of the animals, but we could hear the birds throughout the park. There is also a nature trail and a butterfly park.

We didn’t have enough time to tour the entire park. so we headed back. I don’t know how I feel about the Turtle Centre but I am glad I went.

Final Fireworks

The last nights of our trips are always big blowout dinners with fireworks and music. We had some time before it started so we went back to the pool. I got in this time…but still worrying about my scars. But it got better…

Then, Thomas joined a fairly competitive volleyball game with some of our colleagues. Drinks were on the line!

Thomas was on the winning team!

Busy day! We got cleaned up and went to the Final Dinner.

After showing out at Rum Point the night before, the mosquitos were truly on the loose. I think the rainstorms riled them up because the first few nights were mosquito-free. However, there were out during dinner. Fortunately, the event planners had spray bottles of bug repellent all around the dinner venue. Better preparation there!

After a tasty buffet dinner, some dancing, and a big fireworks show, we called it a night.

Departure

Wednesday. Vacation is over. Travel day.

Adios, Grand Cayman!

We really enjoyed our trip to the Caymans. The house was a zoo (not really!). But it always feels like that upon returning home. The children had their stories that they wanted to update me on immediately. My sister-in-law had things to tell me as well — especially since she was flying out the next morning. And I had to catch up with what was going on with my father and the aide who was helping care for him while I was away.

Back to the real world! If you get a chance to visit the Grand Cayman, do it! It’s always fun!

Loving Life — The Reboot!

Dominique

Summer Getaway: 5 Days on Grand Cayman

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