A Random Rocky Beach Near East End
Here are some of the high(/low)lights:
A word to the wise--don't choose seats in the middle of the aircraft. They let people off from the front and rear of the plane in Grand Cayman. We were the last people to deplane (darn you, recently expired elite status!) and almost the last people through customs.
Grand Cayman is a British overseas territory, which means the island is heavily influenced by the British, who, as everyone knows, drive on the "wrong" side of the road. We survived the roundabouts, and John was proud to have the cleanest windshield on the island--every time he tried to use the turn signal, he hit the windshield wipers instead.
We also discovered that $1 US was equal to $ 0.80 Cayman Island (CI). Awesome. Not only are we going to pay tourist prices, we're going to pay "your-dollar-is-worth-less-here" tourist prices. If Her Majesty had been visiting the island while we were there, we might have discussed infrastructure and finances over tea.
John found a day trip adventure for us on Trip Advisor:
Joe Tourist Cave Tour.
We loved it, and I would highly recommend this half-day trip for anyone seeking adventure and local cuisine. After a short hike, Gilbert aka Joe led our group of six through many of the caves on the island. We saw stalactites, stalagmites, bats, a lizard, and other un-named creepy crawlies--it was awesome! We enjoyed dinner at Over the Edge and watched the sun set at a remote point near Savannah.
Showing Off My Amazing Spelunking Skills
Outside a Ground-level Cave
Sunset at Savannah
Before we left the island, we also visited Gilbert's store in George Town to check out his iguanas and to buy locally made souvenirs.
Unrelated to the cave tour/store visit, but equally as exciting, was the bird at our hotel. Unlike John's mom's bird, Harold, this one doesn't bite.
We didn't see any incredible coral at Grand Cayman, but there were some neat fish. The most exciting thing about seeing the marine wildlife is that we did it while scuba diving! This was my first time diving. I totally hyperventilated during the training session in the pool, but I quickly recovered and made my dive that afternoon. We accidentally left the camera at the hotel, so I don't have any sexy pics of John in a wetsuit. You'll have to use your imagination.
When we weren't out seeking adventure, we relaxed on the beach. I think we both would have been happy with eight solid days of pina colada/beer drinking, reading, and beach napping.
Ristorante Pappagallo - Delicious Italian. Local fish. Pricey but worth it. Great setting. 4.5 stars.
Edoardo's - More delicious Italian. Great service. Hidden jewel on the 7-mile strip. 4.5 stars.
Over the Edge - BEST local food - conch, turtle, and mahi mahi. Great setting on the water. 4 stars.
Yoshi Sushi - Good sushi. Great atmosphere. Hostess gave us helpful recommendations for our visit to the island. 4 stars.
Coconut Joe's - Good "bar" food. Fast service. Our go-to place, which was reasonably priced and walking distance from the hotel. 3.5 stars.
Casanova's by the Sea - Salad, pasta, and veal were subpar, but the setting on the water was beautiful. 2.5 stars.
Eats Cafe - I can make better sandwiches in my kitchen. 2 stars.
Vivien's - There's a reason this home-kitchen-converted-to-a-restaurant is not on Trip Advisor. The mahi mahi was terrible, and the tuna salad came from a can. No stars for you, Miss Vivien.
Dinner at Casanova's
Our visit to Grand Cayman was well-worth the short flight from Houston, but I need to win the lottery before I can visit again--either that, or the Queen and I need to have the heart-to-heart I mentioned earlier.