Friday, October 11

Caribbean Queens - Jamie and had a wonderful but all-too-short vacation in the Cayman Islands last weekend. The trip came together after US Airways propitiously offered discounted frequent flyer awards to the Caribbean, including Grand Cayman where my uncle's girlfriend Missy has been working since February. She had been urging the family to come visit, and we called her bluff. It turns out she knows everyone on the island, so she totally set us up with discounts on dinner cruises, scuba diving, and stingray snorkling. Best of all, through a friend of hers we were offered a three-bedroom oceanfront condo at 7 Mile Beach -- all to ourselves for just $125 per night. You just don't turn that sort of thing down.

We enjoyed uncrowded Airbus 321 service to and from the islands, and immediately after settling down into our spacious resort digs, took a walk down the beach to the Westin where Missy had arranged a sunset dinner cruise through her friends Red Sail Sports. The next morning we drove down to George Town for a resort course instruction on scuba diving. Jamie had never been diving before, but I knew from prior Cayman experience he would love it. After some brief training, we did a harbor swim from the beach out to the Wreck of the Callie then on to an awesome reef complex - 3,000 years old and 30 plus feet high off the bottom. Jamie didn't hesitate when asked if he wanted to go on the afternoon dive as well. This time we took a short boatride out to the Lobster Pot reef, which excellent swim-throughs and overhangs sheltering massive tarpons and other tropical fish.

Monday we made the hour's drive out to Rum Point, a great relaxing spot to get a frozen blended beverage and then head out on a glass-bottom boat to Cayman's famous Stingray City. (My big encounter there was with a green moray eel that mistook my camera for a tasty morsel.) Tuesday, the day of our return, we went for our last snorkling off the beach at Coral Stone Club. We again saw some great sealife, but the highlight by far was when Jamie spotted the young sea turtle.

All in all, it was a great trip producing some wonderful memories. Can't believe how quickly it was over.

P.S. Yes, they actually play Billy Ocean on the radio there.