house guests.7: the adults

When I named this multi-part post, I asked myself, Why am I becoming unable to post on a topic in a single post? The answer: I have been taking a LOT of photos. I feel like using my camera/writing this blog is my creative outlet in my otherwise accounting-esque lifestyle. There are benefits to being a CPA. Like, you don't get dirt under your fingernails at work, and people assume you can do advanced math in your head, and you get an unofficial holiday on April 16th (in the U.S.) But I'll quickly admit that it's not the most creative profession in the world. So I get a bit shutter-happy, and apparently my Canon then throws up all over my blog. So be it.

House guests.7 were of a new kind: This was our first set of visitors that included (outside-the-womb) littles! So this post is devoted to the parents - our amazing friends J&B.

At Sunshine Grill: J&B, lovely inside and out

JM and NS were thick as thieves in high school, and as one of our two best men, it was only natural that J should bring his sweet wife and visit our new island home. 

Secret revealed: This is actually two photos pasted together. Picasa tricks.

One of our first group activities involved our always-keeps-us-on-our-toes watercraft. We dock the Dalyan II right outside J&S' place, so after the Royal Wedding Breakfast, the boys jumped on board to test her starting skills. Sure enough, she started up on the first try, and soon N, J, and little T were cruising around the canals.

JM wouldn't let NS rest until he had committed to taking all of us out for a boat trip. Full of disclaimers, NS agreed, and the next day we were out on the North Sound before lunch.

                 Nervous? This guy?? Nah.

                    Every boy is happy on a boat.                              Some are just happy-in-training.

 No trip to Grand Cayman is complete without an encounter with our famous stringrays. Visitors are always surprised that Stingray City isn't some kind of closed off park that you have to pay to get into. But it's true - it's just a sand bar in the middle of the North Sound that any boat (reliable or not) is welcome to approach, especially if that boat is carrying plenty of tasty squid.

J&B got into the water without too much encouragement, which is more than I can say for every guest (or resident, for that matter!)

Soon they were happy to let the stingrays approach.

B wouldn't get out of the water until she had held a stingray. Well done!!

   photo credit: JM

Once girls and kids were back on the Dalyan, the feeding frenzy began.

Come and get it...
 More stingrays were held. These rays are so tolerant.

By this time, both the kids were asleep on board. While they were shielded from the sun under the bimini top, B and I took our rightful place at the bow and soaked up every bit of vitamin D the day would afford.

This is the look of a captain who is estimating his chances of arriving home without getting a long rope involved...

Good news! We made it back. My faith was restored. I'm a boater again.

When half of your guests are under the age of three, the whole dynamic of the vacation (and even the household) changes. Instead of The Office, we watched The Jetsons. Instead of reading my books on photography, Little T and I read Sesame Street board books. And instead of sand volleyball, we played with sand toys. I loved the slower pace we assumed. It was just the sort of long weekend that I needed - more time at home as compared with our normal running around; lounging by the pool while the boys took naps. [Except for one day, when T decided nap time wasn't happening, and tried for half an hour to get my attention with, "Aunt J, get me outta here!!" I've never laughed so hard at a kid's expense. For the record, I did rescue him. That's what vacations (and faux-aunties) are all about.]

One thing that didn't change was the food. Grand Cayman has plenty of delicious places to eat, and it seems like we're always trying some place new. This time we went to Grand Old House's pasta night. Held every Thursday night, for $10, you have access to a design-your-own pasta bar, where you choose the veggies, meat, pasta, and sauce, and they prepare your meal before your eyes.

You can also see our live entertainment in the background - pianist and soloist.

So delicious and cheap? We've already gone a second time!

Grand Old House is right on the water along Seven Mile Beach, and it's only the second place (along with The Wharf) where I've witnessed a school of tarpon hovering outside the restaurant.

No feeding bell here, but still an interesting sight to see.

Then one night, J&B combined forces and treated us to a homemade dinner at home. B made her mom's famous dinner rolls which are so distractingly good that it's hard to focus on anything else on your plate.

But the rest of the meal - a Pittsburgh-style salad - was delicious as well.

Serving me feta cheese and steak fries always wins points.
For their final meal, the six of us headed to Hemingways at Grand Cayman Beach Suites.  It was our first time, and on a Wednesday night, we had the restaurant to ourselves.

A little salmon sampling - compliments of the chef.
The menu, as the name suggests, has elements of Ernest Hemingway's favorite dishes in all his favorite seaports. We each ordered a meal that appealed, and there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. BUT. I will add, by way of a tiny little restaurant review, that the service was mediocre (by Grand Cayman standards), and the food was overpriced.

NS ordered Paella Valencia - so colorful!

This is my Kalamata Chicken (although it was handed to B - oops)

There's her actual meal - Maple Duck Breast
You can see in the lighting in the photo above that our dinner hour revolved around the sunset. This is when my camera gets lots of use, as every second the sun looks different, and I try to capture each fleeting moment.

We've made many new friends since moving to the island, which is such a blessing, considering we're a good distance from home and can't just drop in on our family any old time. But I think it's true that your small group of core friends - the ones you consider to be family - don't change over time. Distance isn't a factor. Time apart doesn't make a difference. The people that love you the most always will. These two are part of our core.

This adventure only gets better: J&B are incredible parents to two precious little boys who kept my camera clicking the whole week.

Another post is on the way... be excited! T's face below will show you how!


  1. I think B's hair is the prettiest I've ever seen

  2. ugh, how bout it! it pays to be a pro. :)

  3. WOW, what a GREAT post! Love the pics! All of the pics are great! Beth looks BEAUtiful! Looks like a great time was had by all! And um, is Nate growing his hair out? It's sticking out from under his cap....:)

  4. PS - I love your intro on this post :)

  5. yesss growing his hair out is his full-time hobby at the moment.