I want to tell you about Tuesday, Day 2, but as they say, leave the best for last...so I'll tell you later.
Day 3, Wednesday, May 2nd:
It proved to be a great time. We were picked up by our tour guide & went on the Cayman Safari. It was cool to be driven around the entire island in a Jeep! Our first stop was the Botanic Park, where we walked the gardens. There I saw the most BEAUTIFUL Birds of Paradise - they were HUGE & so incredibly vivid in colors I didn't even think existed! Our tour guide, Shirley, had phenomenal knowledge of all the plant life, flowers & living animals...and then we enountered the Blue Iguana - indigineous to the Cayman Islands & also an endangered animal. Then it was on to lunch, where a Caymanian 70 year old woman cooked a homemade lunch for us. I lounged on a hammock & tasted a pepper so spicy that everyone laughed at my reaction...truth be told, I could taste the heat from that pepper for almost an hour!! In the evening, we dined at Calypso Grill, where the Quiet One & I had a sweet & romantic time. And for my entree, I ordered Shrimp and Lobster Champagne - Oh, yeah baby!! It tasted even better than it sounds! Actually, I cleaned the entire plate...nope, I am not ashamed!! And for dessert? Aha! Yes, I had Sticky Toffee pudding AGAIN! Dinner was soo good, we wobbled out of there - with no regrets!
Day 4, Thursday, May 3rd:
First thing in the morning, we prepared for the airport, where a flight had been booked for us to go to Little Cayman, famous for its deep-sea diving & remote beaches. It was about a 40 minute flight in one of those small planes with little propellers on the sides...a bit intimidating for me, but a gorgeous panoramic view! When we landed we were driven to the Southern Cross Club. It is a resort consisting of only 12 ocean view bungalows, including private outdoor showers!! LOL..I'd never seen that before, but it was cool to imagine showering & looking at the beach at the same time.
We were introduced to Mike, who gave us snorkeling equipment - who also casually mentioned that we may encounter sharks while we were out there. Que que?? Huh? Our itinerary had read that we were going snorkeling "unaccompanied." Hm, don't know what that means. Well, it means EXACTLY what it said, lol. We were driven to a separate remote beach...and dropped off, being told "...be back to pick you up by noon!" Immediately we could tell this beach was so different - it was SO not commercialized - it felt like a "wild" beach. It was a HOT day for sure. As we walked into the water and looked around, we realized it. We. Were. Alone. No one in sight, except for a diving boat that had just begun to set sail again. When in life can you say you could be alone on a beach with the one you love??? Probably - never.
The Quiet One & I decided to begin snorkeling. We were told that about 100-200 yards out there was a buoy & once we reached that mark, there would be a huge drop & from there we would witness the BEST coral reefs & marine life. We couldn't wait.
There was so much Coral around...just beautiful. The Quiet One pointed here & there to show me fish and he even picked up a couple of conchs (the BIG sea-shells with the snaily things inside). We got about half way & I noticed the current was a bit stronger compared to Grand Cayman...and I'm not the best swimmer...and I only had a floatee. I know how to doggie-paddle, float & otherwise keep myself straight up in the water...but swim to save my life? Nah. So may fish, coral...colors..it truly was the best I'd ever seen & I've snorkeled a lot. And then...The Quiet One was poking my arm with enthusiasm. What? What? And then I saw it...a barracuda! I remember our tour guide had told us that if she had a choice to swim with a shark or barracuda, she would pick the shark every time. How did we sense this was a differnt type of fish? Every single fish we saw didn't care that we were there. They just swam about their business being fish. But the barracuda saw us...and never took its eyes off of us. In fact, it got a little closer..and is it got closer so did its teeth...ugly fish, that barracuda. Well, that was all I needed. To me I took it as a sign. And although he didn't say it, I believe the Quiet One felt that way too. I'm all for adventure, but I want to be safe. There was no one around & if anything had happened to him, who, how, where do I go to get help?? So the Quiet One & I sat on the beach & made out, er um, I mean, kissed like bandits..and we also forgot to reapply our sunblock. When we returned to Southern Cross Club, we toured the Honeymoon Bungalow (hint hint, lol), swam in the pool, went kyaking & ended the day on hammocks...and then we realized we were sunburnt.
In the evening, it was off to dinner at Blue Cilantro. Talk about fancy. For the record, I call fancy things "shi (shee) Shi - Foo Foo. Thank God, we dressed up...it actually felt sensual to be in a dress & heels! This place was seriously shi-shi foo-foo. GORGEOUS! The ambience was inviting, hues & hints of blue all around. (Truth be told, I wanted to steal the plates, lol.) The menu was so exotic - I KNOW we had question marks on our faces..but fake it 'til you make it, right? The manager welcomed us. And the fine dining began...we were served something on these large, white ceramic spoons...on it were these orange circle thingies. The Quiet One looked at me like the kid in the old Life commercial "I'm not gonna try it...you try it. Hey, let Mikey try..." So, I felt it was impolite not to at least taste it. I lifted it & counted to three. The second it hit my upper palate (roof of my mouth), it burst. LOL..It was a surprise..and it was good. The Quiet One followed suit & he had the same expression I did. We laughed & I have to say the food was EXCELLENT! Before we left, we were greeted by Chef Shetty, who's been a chef for 28 years & has worked at the most prestigious restaurants, including the ones in NYC! He was a wonderful & delightful man, whose passion is obviously cooking. The night was so perfect, we walked back to our hotel. It was then I asked the Quiet One: "Hey, babe...aren't you tired?" I slept GREAT every single night at the Westin.
Day 5, Friday, May 4th:
The Quiet One & I had breakfast at our favorite little spot we discovered called "Eats Cafe." It had a 50's diner feel to it, and each morning the food was so tasty! There was a spoon there...silly, I know, but I was in love with this spoon. I didn't want to steal, so I asked the waitress if I could have it as a momento. The Quiet One told me not to ask: "She's gonna say no, Judy. How much you wanna bet?" I told him, "If I ask, she'll say yes...at least I'm being honest." The waitress' answer? No, I am sorry. AWWW I HATE losing bets! Darn. I love that spoon - it had a cute little design on it, and ironically at home I have a tablespoon with the same design. I just wanted to have the teaspoon. Okay, that's trivial stuff...
We went to the Turtle Farm where we learned all about turtles: we learned how they mate, how they lay eggs. We learned that the sex of the turtle is determined by the temperature of the room, not genetics. If it's hot, it's a girl...if it's cold, it's a male...go figure! I held a turtle for the first time...and even met the oldest, meanest turtle there named Lucifer. Need I say more? There was an alligator there appropriately named Smiley. It is a wonderful place & you can even snorkel with turtles there too. They had an aviary, where I saw parrots, and I even held one that pooped the second it got on my hand. Good luck, yes? I saw ibis & more. We ate lunch at the Cracked Conch & drank the best frozen drinks! And then it was off to the Glass Bottom Boat Tour - it's perfect for anyone who wants to see the fish & coral in the water but doesn't want to actually go in the water. Our tour guide was funny, entertaining & he had an Australian accent. I admit - when we returned, I was truly wiped out. I met Ruth Myles of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, and discovered she was a fan. She truly spoiled us & gave us a wonderful gift....Little does she know she gave me a gift of memories that will last me a lifetime. I couldn't help but cry as I was overhwlemed with gratitude, when I thanked her. Before retiring to bed, The Quiet One & I walked around the hotel and discovered a couple having their wedding rehearsal dinner right on the beach! They were even having a bon fire...very sweet & fun. We watched from afar, but it made me wonder if we'll get married. When we got back to the room, we went onto the balcony - it was a full moon & I couldn't help but feel, I was there with the right man. The Quiet One has been a blessing to me: wise, romantic, affectionate, considerate, non-dramatic, loving & faithful.
Day 6, Saturday, May 5th:
Most of our day was free...so we went onto the beach one more time & saw schools of fish, and families; parents teaching their children how to swim...it was all so sweet. Made me wonder if I've missed out on the "having children" thing...I guess I may never know. What is meant to be, shall be, I guess.
The afternoon we went to the Cayman Carnival - Batabano!! It is their annual parade that includes stilt walkers, limbo dancers, masqueraders, floats, costumes. What I loved most was the music. The Caribbean, Cayman music was so lively, so festive, so...sooo...happy!! I loved every second of it! There were soca bands, singers...and lots & lots of food! You can drink coconut milk right out of the coconut, plantains, rice & beans...and even for the exotic & adventurous - a Cayman specialty - turtle! How could I eat turtle when I held one just the day before. I will never know what it tastes like...but I understand it's pretty good. Whew, I need a vacation from the vacation! www.caymanislands.ky