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Grand Cayman Days 8-10: Shop, Eat, Repeat

The next morning, we dropped Mike off for his last day of diving with Ocean Frontiers.
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Vi and I then drove to Boddentown to shop at Beach Bubbles where we both bought homemade soaps and body lotions. We made our way down the road to White Dog Art Studio where we saw the obligatory white dog. I bought a starfish print now hanging in my guest bathroom and Vi bought a bamboo sign.
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We then made our way to Wreck View Art Gallery where we bought caymanite jewelry for ourselves and for gifts to take home. By now we were getting hungry so we stopped in at Tukka for a snack and some waterfront drinks.
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Lobster spring rolls, coconut shrimp, conch and crocodile fritters
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Afterwards, I dropped Vi off at the house and went to pick up Mike. The dive boat was about an hour late getting back and Mike and I decided to stay for a pina colada at Eagle Ray's before heading back to the house to get ready for dinner.

Dinner tonight was at Eric Ripert's Blue at the Ritz Carlton.
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We didn't take pictures of the food unfortunately but we did enjoy a long, multi-course meal. It started with an amuse-bouche of snapper sashimi, tuna tartare with fennel, and sunchoke foam with crab.

First course - Vi and I had scallops poached with shitake mushrooms. Mike had salmon sashimi with beets and salmon roe
Second course - Vi skipped. Mike had the scallops we had in the first course. I had grilled and braised octopus.
Third course - Mike and Vi had poached lobster with wine sauce. I had crusted snapper with saffron.
Dessert - Mike had chocolate, Vi had coconut, and I had peach.
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Exhausted and stuffed, we went home to crash.
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The next day we all slept in a bit. Mike was having a flare up so Vi and I went shopping in Georgetown and left him at the house to rest. There were 2 Carnival cruise ships in town so we had a difficult time finding parking but eventually did.
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We stopped off at Guy Harvey's for a drink and some crab cakes.
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Then spent the afternoon shopping and walking around town.
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Mike was feeling a little better by dinner so we drove down the road to Eagle Ray's where he had some conch fritters and Vi and I had twin lobster tails with potatoes and veggies. We did some late night stargazing with pina coladas and Mike capped off the evening with a night snorkel in front of the house.
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It was our last full day on the island and we were planning to take it easy. Tink Tink got some tuna for breakfast. We stuck to bacon and eggs.
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We had a lot of leftover beer so we drove down to the dive shop to give it to the dive guides there. They deserved it.
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We made a quick stop at Wreck View to get some more caymanite jewelry then wandered down to the blowholes for some pictures.
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We spent the rest of the afternoon lazing on the back deck and cleaning/packing things up.
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Dinner that night was at Tukka. I had fish.
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Mike had the twin lobster tails.
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Vi had grilled shrimp.
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After dinner, it was early to bed for the long travel day home tomorrow and the sad goodbye to Tink Tink who I hope is still charming guests at the house today.

Posted by zihuatcat 01:46 Archived in Cayman Islands Tagged cayman mike vi Comments (0)

Grand Cayman Day 7: Happy Birthday Horseback Riding

Happy 60th birthday to Vi!
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We had a lazy morning relaxing around the condo and after lunch, drove to Pappagallo for horseback riding in the ocean. We met the van and followed it down the road to the horse trailer. Then we walked a path to get to the beach where we'd be riding.
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Vi was on a black horse named Cayman Time. Mike was a on a brown/white horse named Cinnamon and I was on a brown/white horse named Lady. Cinnamon and Lady had some obvious animosity towards each other and kept snickering back and forth. We had to keep them a bit separated.
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We rode along the waterline for a ways then tied up, removed the saddles and our dry clothing, and got ready for the ocean ride.
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We rode the horses into the ocean bareback, squeezing our legs together in order to stay atop. It was more difficult than I thought it would be. We went deeper and deeper until the horses were swimming. When they swam, they made a strange breathing noise. It was like a guttural, labored breathing. Mike and I loved this but Vi was terrified and honestly, I'm not sure how much the horses enjoyed it either. The swim lasted about 15 minutes and then we returned to shore and saddled up again to finish the ride.
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For Vi's birthday dinner, we had reservations at a restaurant called Aqua in Georgetown.
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We started with an appetizer of beef carpaccio to share.
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Vi had the grilled lobster and shrimp.
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Mike had the ceviche sampler of classic, baja, and cayman ceviche.
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I had a medley of octopus with olive and avocado, tuna, and classic ceviche along with grilled tiger shrimp.
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Of course, we had to sing Happy Birthday to Vi and she enjoyed a dessert of chocolate cake and ice cream.
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After dinner, we went to Havana Club where Mike had a Cuban cigar and entertained us with karaoke (Wonderwall and Hey Jude). We stayed there a couple of hours, enjoying the drinks and the music before moving on to the Attic to play pool with the locals. We closed the place down and then made our way home to crash.

Posted by zihuatcat 00:52 Archived in Cayman Islands Tagged cayman mike vi Comments (0)

Grand Cayman Day 6: Fish On!

Very early morning start at 5a today because we were going fishing! Vi made breakfast tacos and we drove down to Kaibo to meet the boat by 7a. We were on "True at First Light" with Captain Jonathan and First Mate Perry. The 46' boat was really nice with an upstairs deck and air conditioning in the cabin.

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We started marlin fishing about 15-20 minutes out since we were already in deep water.
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Vi and I were ready!
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We got a marlin on the line fairly quickly. All three of us took turns reeling him in, which took about 20 minutes.
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He finally made it to the boat on Vi's next turn.
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Marlins are catch and release in the Caymans so Jonathan and Perry pulled the 100lb guy up to the boat so we could take some quick pictures and then let him go on his way.
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This was an exciting start to the trip! We decided to switch to fishing for something that we could keep and eat. This took a little longer but Vi heard the reel spin and got to the rod first. She reeled in a 15lb mahi mahi and we were set for dinner.

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We all moved to the top deck of the boat where it was much cooler to wait for fish. The captain let Mike drive and play with the electronics.
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Not too much longer and we heard the reel go again. Mike made it downstairs to the chair first where he caught a 10lb blackfin tuna. A real world record catch! He was still proud though and we could still eat it.
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The next fish would be mine but it was a long and hot afternoon until that happened. We ate our lunch and tried to stay cool. Vi took a nap in the air conditioned cabin. Finally, just before the end of the day we heard the infamous "Fish On" cry. I jumped in the chair and reeled as hard as I could. I didn't know what was on the line but it was heavy. Turned out to be a 50lb barracuda.
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Unfortunately, due to ciguatera poisoning, barracuda aren't good to eat. Perry said his neighbors eat it anyway and are used to it so we gave it to him to pass on. We also gave them half the mahi and kept half for ourselves as well as the tuna. Perry cleaned and packaged it all for us.
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On the way back to the condo, we stopped off at the grocery store to get stuff to cook with the fish for dinner. Vi cooked the mahi in butter and lemon with a baked potato on the side.
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It had been a long day that started early so both Mike and Vi crashed by 9p or so. I stayed up about an hour later blowing up balloons and decorating for Vi's birthday the following day. I wanted her to wake up to the decorations.

Posted by zihuatcat 19:00 Archived in Cayman Islands Tagged cayman mike vi Comments (0)

Grand Cayman Day 5: USS Kittiwake

After another one of Vi's homemade breakfasts of potato and egg tacos, we drove over to the northwestern point of the island to Divetech for more diving and snorkeling. Mike was to dive the USS Kittiwake while we snorkeled at the dock. This area of the island is all ironshore which usually makes for good snorkeling.

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We sent Mike off on the dive boat and got suited up to snorkel.

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Unfortunately, we had a rough time. My snorkel kept flooding so I was getting mouthfuls of water and couldn't figure out why. The water was rough and choppy so Vi was pretty uncomfortable. We snorkeled around the docks for a while but didn't see anything spectacular. After a short while, we gave up and thought we'd drive down the road to see what we found. This area of the island was very residential so all we found were lots of iguanas on the road.

There was a little bar on the pier called Macabuca just down from Divetech so we had some banana drinks and an appetizer of conch fritters, cracked conch, and conch ceviche while we waited for Mike.

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We passed the time watching the shore divers at Macabuca and before long we saw the dive boat pull into Divetech. We drove over to pick up Mike who wasn't feeling well. He had been able to dive the Kittiwake but hadn't dived the other dives afterwards. He was excited about what he did see though.

The USS Kittiwake was a US Navy submarine rescue ship that was deployed to assist submarine divers in training and exercises. It was in service 1946-1994. The ship was sunk off Grand Cayman in 2011 as an artificial reef.

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By the time we got back to the house, Mike still wasn't feeling well so Vi and I got cleaned up to head out to dinner ourselves at the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is a beautiful, pier restaurant where you can watch the waves roll in as you eat.

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I had the sirloin and Madagascar giant prawns.
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Vi had lobster with goat cheese ravioli.
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It was another early night as we needed to be well-rested to reel in some fish the next day.

Posted by zihuatcat 22:00 Archived in Cayman Islands Tagged cayman mike vi Comments (0)

Grand Cayman Day 4: Zipping Along the Shore

We had nothing scheduled this morning so Vi and I made a morning trip to the grocery store to pick up supplies. She made a late morning breakfast of potato and egg tacos and then we drove into Georgetown to Grand Cayman Beach Suites. Today, Mike and Vi were going parasailing. I've been parasailing before in Mexico and decided to take a pass so they could go tandem together. The beach where we met our boat was a beautiful one.

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The parasail guys suited Mike and Vi up then sent them up just offshore.

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I took a few pics from the boat to get both perspectives.

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Mike and Vi went higher and higher until they could see almost the entire coastline.

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After about 15 minutes, it was time to start bringing them back to the boat.

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We left from there and drove a few miles up the road to Calico Jack's, a beach bar, where we would spend the rest of the afternoon having drinks and swimming in the water.

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Toward late afternoon, we'd had enough of the sun and drove back to Georgetown for a little shopping and dinner but we weren't able to find many stores open. We stopped in at Rackam's, a pier restaurant in town, to have some dinner and drinks.

Mike had the red conch chowder.
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Vi had the snapper fish tacos.
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I had the whole snapper escovitch, a local dish.
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Tired from a long day in the sun, we spent some time on our deck at the house then called it a night.

Posted by zihuatcat 19:19 Archived in Cayman Islands Tagged cayman mike vi Comments (0)

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