house guests.4

Our last guests in 2010 were a fun trio: DH and her daughters CH and MH. Who wouldn't want to arrive home after work and see these smiling faces in her couch?

The lovely ladies arrived just in time for New Year's Day, which marked my third major holiday (that I cooked for!) on the island. Yep, I put on my new apron and got to work on a Latin-inspired Orange and Cumin Pork Loin and the trimmings.

We liked the roasted broccoli so much that later in the week it showed up on homemade pizza:

These roasted apples were like applesauce rediscovered:

We froze and skewered globe grapes ("seeded", which apparently is not the same as "pitted"; why ever not?!)  to swizzle in our glasses:

Then for dessert, thanks to this golden girl...

...we had peanut butter cup brownie parfaits.

It was a good start to the new year.

But enough about the food. We had other important things to do. Like our nails. And toes. On multiple occasions.

I know I'm going to be written out of the proverbial will for posting DH in her glasses, but really, when does she not look like a doll?!
In case you weren't counting, this last series of guests (coupled with two of Nate's family members) won the record for number of guests (so far) at our Cayman residence (or bed and breakfast, as it were.) Our grand total for the week was five guests (all girls - woot!) and the two of us.

That meant any time our group wanted to carpool, we had this situation going on:

Poor AS and MH. Every time we went around a roundabout "on the wrong side of the road" they almost lost their cookies.
And in case you still weren't counting, NS was the lone man of the house that week. He did just fine, I'm pleased to report.

I was truly amazed at how well five extra women in the house dealt with the bathroom/shower/mirror situation. NS' mom made a brilliant suggestion and bought me over-the-door shoe organizers for the guest bedroom and bathroom so that all the ladies could stash their accessories in an easily accessible spot. No one complained about the sleeping situation either, as we had the three young ones in the living room on an air mattress and the couch. I do realize that living in paradise can give you rose-colored glasses, but I didn't think they would last a whole week.

The unfortunate reality for most of our guests is that their visits will almost always clash with our work schedules. Although Grand Cayman is plenty generous with their public holidays, we still work most of the time, and guests are left to entertain themselves. I wish I had pictures of some of the fun things these girls did: horseback riding, dolphin swimming, stingray tour, turtle farm... Apparently we had some animal lovers in our group, since all the activities involved some kind of creature! And believe me, the pictures that Dolphin Discovery took of the three amigos were calendar-worthy. But then, these three never take a bad photo:

One night, the whole group met up with B&K at The Wharf for dinner. 

Although we enjoyed eating on the water...

A cruise ship leaving port
...and eating a freshly caught dinner...

...I think the evening's highlight was the daily 9:00 p.m. tarpon feeding session.

During dinner, the fish circled below the dock, waiting for their moment.

So at 9:00, they literally ring a dinner bell, and one of the staff comes out with a bucket of food (dead fish I'm guessing) and feed the tarpon, like so.

Yes, that is a wild-eyed tarpon leaping out of the water for his (/her) dinner.
These things are massive - much bigger than the school that swims near Macabuca, where we got our PADI certifications. It's not surprising, considering this school's nightly ritual.

To my surprise, the crowd got in on the act. Here's where a young kid, held back by his concerned mom, tries out the feeding frenzy:

This guy fed quite a few, and you can see in the photo how big the fish really are:

Not to be outdone, AS volunteered and risked her tiny little arm to feed the ravenous crowd.

She waited, and waited, and hung on that rope, even posing for my camera. When a fish finally leaped up to snag its meal, she may have gotten a tad surprised and pulled her arm back pretty fast.

Entertaining, to say the least.

We had such a nice time with our guests who traveled all the way from PA just to work on their tans at our place.

I love how dark Mom S got during her stay, and she never looks better than when flanked by her favorite people.
And we won't talk about DH's tan. She's imported.

These girls are some of the best ever created. Forever sweet, knee-slappingly funny, and fiercely loyal to each other.

photo credit: CH

We meant it when we told them that they are welcome back any time.  (But maybe in shifts, for NS' sake.)


  1. great post! that roasted broccoli looks so yummy. what did you put on it, and what temp/how long did it cook?

  2. hooray! love this! although TECHNICALLY you already had five guests at once. see you are already shirking auntie love responsibilities with this little man! ha ha. miss you both terribly....

  3. KK: the recipe is something like broccoli + oil + garlic + salt + pepper on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. ish. :)

    MOD: guest #5 was the most well-behaved yet! but wait, did we have six??? ;)