A Travellerspoint blog

January 2021

Grand Cayman Day 1: Travel Day

Mike and I have been traveling together every year for a few years but this year, we decided to invite our long-time friend, Vi, along. When I asked Vi where she'd like to go to most in the world, she said....an island. So for her 60th birthday, we invited her to Grand Cayman with us for 10 days.

She came over the night before and spent the night and we all headed to the airport about 10am. Travel day is usually pretty unexciting but this particular day, there was a suspicious package found in the airport. They shut the terminal down until about 11:45am. There was a lot of waiting around and lack of information.
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We barely made it through security in time for our flight so we had no chance to eat or visit the duty free shop. This turned out to not be an issue as they served us free rum punch and Cuban sandwiches on our Cayman Airways flight.
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We arrived early to Grand Cayman and picked up our Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV. It was about a 30 minute drive to our villa on the East End so we stopped at Blackbeard's Liquor Store on the way. We arrived in the dark about 7:30pm and there was no electricity. I called the owner who told me that the power company had shut off the electricity even though he paid the bill. Of course, I was suspicious about this but he assured me that it would be back on ASAP.

Because it was dark and there was no power, I failed to take pictures of the villa upon arrival (and apparently the entire 10 days). It was a huge and beautiful house, right on the water. There were four stories and three of those had decks. The first floor was an open living room, dining room, and kitchen area with a half bath and balcony overlooking the ocean. The second floor had a master bedroom and bathroom as well as two extra bedrooms and a shared bathroom. Since Vi was the birthday girl, we let her have the master suite and private balcony. We took one of the extra bedrooms and used the other for luggage. On this floor, there was an iron, spiral staircase going up to one more bedroom on the fourth floor. The basement had a futon, a couple of additional beds, full bathroom, and laundry room. It opened up onto an outdoor deck so it was perfect for storing our wet dive and snorkel gear.

To pass the time until the power came on, we decided to grab some dinner just down the road at Eagle Ray's.
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I had the lionfish tacos.
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Mike had lobster spring rolls.
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Vi had coconut shrimp.
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There were pina coladas all around. After dinner, we made our way home to find....no power. Fortunately, it came on a little after 10pm. We were finally able to cool down and relax. We ended the evening with a night walk on our rocky beach and then collapsed in bed.

Posted by zihuatcat 21:53 Archived in Cayman Islands Tagged cayman mike vi Comments (0)

Santa Fe: Work Made Fun

I don't travel much for work but occasionally I travel somewhere for a conference and this was just such a trip. I thought I'd invite my friend, Brenda, to tag along because I knew she could amuse herself and it would make my free time much more fun. We decided to go a day early and stay a day late. Brenda battled torrential rains to fly from Houston to Dallas where we met at the gate for our flight to Santa Fe. After some breakfast, we boarded our very empty flight and took off.

Once landing in Santa Fe, we picked up the rental car then made our way to Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument for a little hiking. This park is known for its cone-shaped formations made by volcanic eruption some six or seven million years ago. We did a relatively easy three mile hike thru the slot canyons, enjoying the scenery along the way.

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We left there and drove the short drive to Santa Fe, checking into the El Dorado Hotel. It was quite cold and windy but we braved the weather to walk across the way to Casa Chimayo for dinner. We started with sangria and a delicious guacamole with sweet corn relish. For dinner, we had the red chile stacked enchiladas which were very good.

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After dinner, we went back to the hotel and crashed, tired after a long day of traveling and hiking.
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The next couple of days I had to attend my conference all day long. Brenda entertained herself by going shopping and visiting the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. On Thursday, we had a terrible dinner at Wine Bistro where I ate burned crab cakes and Brenda had a not-so-good shrimp salad. We ended the evening in the hotel hot tub. That evening we got a light snow.

On Friday, I met Brenda for lunch at Santa Fe Bite where we split a green chile cheeseburger and onion rings. After my conference was over, we walked around the plaza, looking thru the shops that were still open. Most were closed because it was the end of the day and not high tourist season. We had dinner reservations at Eloisa, a restaurant in the sad-looking Drury Inn. It had great recommendations, however, so we gave it a shot.

We sat at the Chef's counter which was fun to watch them prepare the food before it went out. We started with a hamache crudo.
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I had the blue corn crusted elk with local cookies and ice cream for dessert.
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Brenda had the scallops in a curry sauce and a chocolate dessert.
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We wandered back to the hotel and stayed up late talking, laughing, and drinking Strongbow.

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We had a little time before our flight left on Saturday afternoon so we decided to explore Canyon Road which is the arts district of Santa Fe. We had red chile breakfast burritos at Gecko Cafe before exploring the various art galleries and installations.

A greyhound made of metal.
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We made our way to the airport where security was a mess and the flight was overbooked. They were bumping people from the small plane due to weight restrictions. While there, I ran into one of Mike's doctors from Dallas who was also on our flight. Luckily, we were not bumped and we made the flight home.

Posted by zihuatcat 23:45 Archived in USA Tagged santa fe brenda Comments (0)

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