December 2008

I had the opportunity today to do something I had wanted to do for a while. I doubt many locals actually do this : walk the whole 7-mile beach from one end to the other.

This morning, along with Julie & my in-laws, we started just north of George Town, near Treasure Island condo’s where the beach starts all the way to West Bay public beach. We were armed with plenty of water and sunscreen lotion.

Below is what we walked ; from the lower point to the one near the top.


Most of the beach is pristine sand, simply a gorgeous beach. Near West Bay it gets rocky sometimes.  Its actually quite pretty if you ask me.  Beware though, its slippery! My years of playing ice hockey came in handy on one particularly slippery bit.


I definitely liked this place and the “staircase to the beach”!


Reminders of Hurricane Ivan and its destructive forces.


The end! West Bay public beach. Very pretty place.


It took us 2h45 minutes from one end to the other walking a “medium” pace with two short stops for swims to cool off and to drink water. Very easy to get dehydrated in this climate.  At a brisk pace and with plenty of water it could probably be done in +-2h, but what’s the rush … such a pretty beach.

One final picture I took in West Bay … an orange Iguana. I had never seen anything like this one and quite frankly though it was fake/plastic when I saw it at first.  Somewhat camera shy, it only allowed me one picture and darted into the bushes.


Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope that you are all enjoying time with family and friends as we are here in Cayman.  What a great place to be at this time of year.  Nice & breezy, not too hot, no hurricanes, etc.  There are lots of Christmas lights on homes and businesses, so people are in the festive mood. I even wore my amazing Christmas tie to work and saw someone with antlers on their head.  Speaking of antlers, here is Aipa with hers …

Christmas eve dinner was amazing and something you cant do back in Canada.  Sunset supper at the beach.  My mom in-law was taking the picture so is not in it, but as you can see it was pretty neat to dine like that at Spotts beach!

Later that evening we went to Crightons place on Shamrock St.  Very popular this time of year for the lights & all.  Its open to all and free admission.  Regular readers will remember pictures of this from last year.  Its so nice, that it deserves a second posting! 🙂


Here you can seen a general overview from the other side of the street and the traffic in the area due to many people stopping and parking their cars along the side of the street.

His house amongst the decorations.

One of the many very pretty theme displays.  The picture does not do them justice. They are hand crafted and have mechanical movement.  Very impressive.

More lights!

The path in/out of the property.

A final note.  While we were leaving the lights show, I saw a guy and he said “Thats Micho”. I had no idea what that meant or who he was!  Then, the guy and his wife introduced themselves as Damian & Traci, two of my blog readers who just recently moved to Cayman and who used my blog for some help. We had also exchanged some emails a few months ago!  How cool is that! 🙂 

It was great to meet you both and thanks for introducing yourselves to us!  My wife still cant believe that because of the blog you “picked” me out of a crowd!  Looking forward to seeing you again for drinks/dinner sometime in the new year!

Part of living in Cayman is wanting, from time to time, get off the island.  Its great to be able to drive at highway speeds, shop at Walmart/Macys/JCPenney/Bestbuy/etc and of course eat at McDonald’s!  Dont get me wrong, Cayman is great, but a trip abroad like this is nice.

First stop, the Everglades. We made two stops there. One for a (some what disappointing) walk and then to a place for a  “fan boat” ride and gator show/information session which was really interesting.

Here Julie was picked by the host to play with the baby crocs.

I got to hold an older one. We really enjoyed seeing/touching them. Beautiful creatures!

Here is the “fan boat”.  Goes quite fast and makes lots of noise.  Highly recommended 🙂

Crocs in a pond along the Tamiami trail that crosses the state (and everglades) from Miami to Naples on the gulf coast. There was one right near the side of the street that scared the $%^& out of us when s/he dove into the pond when we got close.

Our ride for the road trip ; a Chevy Impala. I was not thrilled when we got it, but it was a great highway cruiser and very comfortable.

Now in Naples. This place is very special to me. When I was a kid, my parents used to take my sister & I here for Christmas vacations. I remember fishing from the pier and have many great memories from this city. The picture below was from that pier ; we were lucky to see a family of dolphins the morning we were there.

Going North … now near Orlando. No, we did not go to Disney. We went … Orange picking! haha  In Canada, Julie & I and with our families would always go apple picking.  So we though that orange picking would be lots of fun.  Guess, what? I was great.  We even picked some limes, lemons and grapefruits.   Here we are in this lovely orange grove filling our large bag. We had so many that we had to make juice in the mornings at the hotels so not to waste any.

We even made a discovery : Kumquats!  They are like mini-oranges. The skin is sweet and the inside somewhat sour, but totally addictive. I had never even heard of these.

Now further up north, Atlanta! First stop, the Georgia aquarium. Built in 2005 with a 250$M donation by the founder of Home Depot, its the largest sea aquarium in the world.  It was amazing.  To give you an idea of how big the tanks are, look below.  There are some people sitting down in front of the 2ft thick acrylic window. Whale sharks (huge!!!), belugas and so many other fish, it was very impressive.

After the aquarium, off to the world of Coca-Cola. Very interesting for anyone (like myself …) who likes the stuff.  At the end of the tour and as seen below, there are 64 fountains of all the different coca-cola products around the world.  I sampled all of them of course. Some were great, but some were not even potable in my book!

Now to “The situation room”! The CNN tour is great for CNN junkies like myself. You get to see the studies and some behind the scenes stuff.  No pictures could be taken inside though. It was quite cold in Atlanta so we had to dress up.

One of our final stops on our way back to Miami : Daytona beach. I remembered that we could drive on the beach and Julie wanted to try it. It was high tide and no other cars were on the beach … its a rental car, so why not! 🙂   It was lots of fun. Probably get arrested for driving this on seven mile beach in Cayman.

In total 1654 miles (2661 km) and a great time!  Next post, the “massive” Christmas lights are up as they were last year.  Ill get some different pics and put them here probably this week-end.

In the last week or so, Christmas lights have been showing up all over the place.  Notably some of the roundabouts in the main roads.

Here is the main roundabout on the island.

A smaller one, yet very colorful!

Christmas trees at our local warehouse store ; a sort of Costco!

Note the price.  Ouch!  40$CI = +-49$US = 63$CAN

Not Christmas related, although I have been asked about this a few times recently.  Here are pictures of the masses of wild bush chickens that we see every time we go for a walk in our neighborhood.  They are island wide, so if ever you come to the Cayman Islands, expect to see them a lot.

Here they are just roaming around from property to property looking for food & whatnot.

More Christmas pictures in the coming weeks as more shows up!  Have seen some light on palm trees … will try to get some of those 🙂