As is the tradition, in early December many people bring out the Christmas lights, many Christmas lights!
In recent years, some of the “Roundabouts” have really stepped up their game. The roundabouts in Cayman are mostly sponsored. We have the “Butterfield Roundabout”, “Cayman National Roundabout”, “Island Heritage Roundabout” and the list goes on. As you can see, its a corporate thing.
There is also the house in South Sound that always puts on an impressive show as you can see in the 3 pictures below. By far the most lights at a residence on the island although the Creighton property towards the east also outs on a good show.
Here are two of the Roundabouts I was talking about.
Another new addition are the “falling snow” or stars lights. Very pretty. For this, I had to make some videos to show. Anyway, I hope you will like the videos, they should give you a much better feel for this festival of lights.
In closing, Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to everyone reading this!
How time flies. It seems like yesterday I decided to run in the Cayman Islands Half-Marathon after starting to run only a few months earlier. That was in 2011! So this is the 6th time I run it and its always a great event.
In the days before the race, we were expecting rain so I had prepared accordingly. A garbage bag to use as a jacket pre-race (to stay dry as long as possible), a baseball cap so I can see if it comes down hard and also Vaseline for areas subject to chafing if wet. Thankfully it did not rain which is great – it was however quite humid. In recent days, I had I noted +-22 degrees while driving to work. This morning it was already 27 degrees at 3:30am. The race starts at 5AM – hence the early morning temperature read.
So the race started at 5AM exactly, as always. Its fabulous running in the dark for the first +-1h15 or so. The pictures below were all taken by me after I had finished my run, went back to my office to shower and made my way back to the start/finish line area.
The RCIPS (Royal Cayman Islands Police Service) was out in force, making sure motorists stayed off the route as much as possible. I saw many of them throughout the morning. Great to have them around as well as the many volunteers.
The water stops are all very animated. Lots of them have motivational music going (think “Eye of the Tiger”) and often people are dressed up like at this Pokemon themed one.
I stood around the start/finish line for a while. I enjoy seeing people finishing and the satisfaction on their faces of having completed their run.
The entire post-race area becomes alive with people discussing their races, what went well, what was tough – everyone congratulating each other. Lets face it; whatever time a person got, they were out running at 5AM on a Sunday while most people were asleep in their beds.
The fresh fruit, granola bars and water/Gatorade are very popular after a long run.
I was quite privileged. The main sponsor of the event, Intertrust, had a “VIP” breakfast for their staff and various guests such as business partners. Lucky for me I am in that second group. I was treated to a lovely breakfast, fruits, coffee, etc. They even had mimosas’ and the likes for those that wanted some. The bacon really hit the spot after a long run!
So how did I do? Not bad at all. Results below. 26th out of almost around 750 runners. 5th in the men’s 40-49 y/o category. Considering my training did not go really well over the summer, it’s a very good result. The winner, a local guy, got his 1st win. From what I heard, he is only 17 years old. I guess he may win quite a few of these in years to come!
This is the medal all the finishers got. The middle part spins and the outer rim is like a million little diamonds; nicely done.
The rest of the day I took it really easy. I also enjoyed the swimming pool of a close friend. This 6ft high waterfall is awesome. The volume of water that falls is such that its “heavy” and provides a pretty good shoulder massage.
So that’s it till next years Half-Marathon. Another year for the history books – as always a superbly organized event. Thanks again to all the volunteers who are there to give us water, keep us safe and cheer us on.
In November, the latest and greatest of Hotels in Grand Cayman opened.
For those of you who have been coming to Cayman for a long time, this new property, called the Kimpton Seafire, is located on the spot of the old Courtyard Marriott (called Holiday Inn before that in the 1990’s). That is adjacent to the Public beach section of Seven Mile beach. This new hotel has been in construction for around 2-years now. From what I can see, the hotel part (below picture – right) is completed. The residences/condos (below picture -left) I think are “almost” ready but not sure. It looked to me as if they were still outfitting the inside parts. Outside looked done. The hotel part is in an “L” shape going towards the beach. The condo building is a rectangle.
Anyway, here is the place. Its big – definitely the biggest structures in the Cayman Islands. This is the view from the road – beach is other side of the buildings.
Of course walked around – all is very nicely done. The landscaping is very pretty and everything (obviously) feels very new.
Apart from the main buildings, here are the “Beachfront Bungalows” – very nice, intimate and super close to the beach.
And of course the beach. West Bay road was moved east a few years ago to make this possible. Where I am standing here, used to be a busy road. Much better now 🙂
Pretty neat little “mini cabanas” for beach-goers.
Clearly very recent – note the stilts on the palms. Since they were only planted a few weeks/months ago, they need to be propped up until they can form proper roots.
I looked down and noted that the paving stones were somewhat different. I looks like the builders decided to add broken glass to the them. Assuming they were made in Cayman, this is awesome since there is currently very little local recycling of glass. It makes for pretty blocks and probably reflect some light at night.
A final view back toward the hotel from the beach.
We are having our office Christmas party here next, so will be nice to see this in the evening! Very much looking forward to it.
Cayman Islands Marathon is tomorrow – Race review coming soon of course 🙂