Hot, Hot, Hot...
Caribbean sunset from our hotel room balcony
The week before Christmas
is a good week for a vacation for a lot of reasons. No
one in their right mind really wants to be shopping, the
kids are out of school and very few people are traveling
for business or pleasure. This combination has meant a
trip in each of the past three years for us.
Mary Lou's requirement is
that wherever we go is hot and doesn't involve huge
amounts of time on airplanes to get there. In 2000, we
went to Grand Cayman, part of the British West Indies in
the Caribbean. It is located just south of Cuba and just
west of Jamaica.
Monday December 18th
We got to our hotel just in time
for a look around. We had a room on the
2nd floor above the pool 40 feet from the ocean.
Our first full day was also the
hottest - over 90 and very humid. We chose that day for a long
walk into town. We discovered shops and restaurants along the
way and had a late lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. We started to
acquire a taste for good rum cake that followed us the rest of
the trip. On the way back, we stopped to take a shot of the
sun setting behind an old shipwreck (first picture below). The
kids took a late night swim in the pool just below our balcony
(second picture below).
Mary Lou and I in tropical gear on our balcony
Wednesday December 20th
This was our day to rent a car and see the sites across the
island. The reason that was a big deal is that on Grand Cayman
they drive on the left side of the road. Undaunted, I rented a
right hand drive car (third picture above) and off we went. I
never heard my family repeat the words "left side" so many
times as on that day. Our first stop was the Turtle
Farm. This a farm that both protects and farms green sea
turtles (fourth picture above). From there we drove to a city called Hell. The
landscape inspired the name, which they now use for a theme
with tourists (first two pictures below).
From Hell, we drove across the island to an old pirate
treasure hiding spot made up of natural caves (third picture
below). We continued
the trip to some blow holes at the beach at the far end of the
island. From there we made a quick stop at the Botanical
Gardens (fourth picture below), but the mosquitoes were causing us a lot of grief by
then. We finished the day seeking some Caribbean
entertainment, but settled for a good dinner just a short walk
up the road (first picture 2 rows down).
Thursday December 21st
On Thursday we hung around the hotel to relax and did some
walking along the beach.
Friday December 22nd
We headed back into town on Friday to try to take a
submarine ride out to the shipwrecks. Because of the storm
that had been hovering in the Caribbean all week, the water
was too cloudy to see anything. We did some shopping around,
then bussed back to the hotel for some swimming and
relaxation. That evening we did a pirates dinner at the hotel
with Caribbean entertainment that proved to be a real
highlight of the trip (second through fourth pictures below).
Saturday December 23rd
Our last day turned out to be the best beach day of all.
The storm off-shore had passed and the water was crystal
clear. We spent the morning in the ocean and pool (three
pictures below, scanned from prints) and then headed out
to the airport for the trip home.
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