house guests.3

Our third set of house guests arrived in time for Christmas, and we've been celebrating every since. NS' parents and sisters came to the island!

We've had a nice time showing them the island life, getting to do a few things new for both them and us.

One night we had dinner at Alfresco - a small, reasonably-priced restaurant right on the water in West Bay. Dining on the water adds a level of fancy to even the most casual meal.

As a menacing yet beautiful storm rolled in, we bid adieu to a cruise ship on the horizon.

It was a chilly evening (winter weather in Cayman!), so I got to enjoy a Christmas present from my brother - this beautiful sweater!

Of course we had to visit Sunshine Grill to show off where we lived for the first five weeks of our island lives.

"Burgers as big as your head"
Quesadillas and (my favorite) Island Fish Tacos
Animals love AS about as much as she loves them - Paco found a new friend
We also did some cooking at home:

Homemade granola bars, a wonderful recipe from KK

NS grilled for us one night, using the shiny, over-sized community grill
I have no picture, but Mom S also helped me make homemade laundry detergent - any way to save Cayman pennies is a good one!

One of our favorite touristy activities was everyone's first visit to the Turtle Farm. Honestly, any place that is, in essence, a petting zoo, seems like a worthwhile activity to me.

Besides, it was cool to see where the turtles that eventually get released in the wild start their watery lives.

All of these tanks are open, so you can reach in to pet, or retrieve, a turtle.

Can I just say this is my favorite picture of the day? I've had more than one opportunity to imitate this ambitious creature since our visit.
We got in on the action, as NS and his family adore animals of all shapes and sizes.

In the bottom picture below, you can see where AS is starting to get slapped by the poor captive's fins.

The secret to calming them down, apparently, is stroking their little necks.

Calm and drowsy
Not to let all the little ones steal the show, there is a whole pond of the breeding green sea turtles. They swim around, waiting for food, coming up for noisy breaths every few minutes.

I just love their mosaic faces
 I just want to say I have two disappointments relating to turtles on this island: 1) I'm not allowed to keep a Turtle Farm turtle; and 2) the Turtle Farm sells Turtle Stew. I'm not an animal rights activist or a vegetarian or anything like that, but if you're willing to let me eat the animal, can't I have one as a pet instead?

A guide brought this lovely lug out on the tank sill. Here he's waving good-bye.

Rotate, Aim, Ker-splash!
The rest of the park wasn't as good (I mean, nothing is much better than a turtle), but we still liked the fierce-looking sharks, the grumpy-looking barracuda, the yummy-looking tuna, and the sleepy-looking "catfish of the sea" - the nurse sharks.

The following Friday, we waved goodbye to Dad S, who had to return to Pennsylvania to resume sensible, grown-up duties, like work. Mom and AS stayed around for more Caribbean fun and sun - future post to document those adventures to come!


  1. 1) What a great job Daniel did picking out a sweater for you!
    2) Oh my gosh, I thought, "Did Amanda bring Whiskers with her?" at first! Lol!
    3) Nate looks like he's grilling in the middle of the jungle! Haha
    4) And I think you should be able to take a turtle home!

  2. I need my turtle named "Duck"!

  3. Lovely post! The picture of the cruise ship from Alfresco is beautiful. That was smart to go at sunset - the two times we've been there it was too dark to see the water! I also love the shark profile pic from the turtle farm. Did you take these using that fancy manual mode??