the art of saying goodbye.1

As the school year ends and busy season winds down within the next week, it's inevitable--

Hold on a minute. Did you just read those words? Do you understand their meaning to me and 98% of my island friends?

The SCHOOL YEAR ENDS and BUSY SEASON WINDS DOWN within the next week. 

Victory dance! Victory chant! Victory gang symbols! 

Oh. Getting ahead of myself. That comes later in the post.

Anyway, as the first half of the year finally draws to a close, it's inevitable that there will be a mass exodus from Grand Cayman. Many of the teachers make plans to be off island for the majority of the summer, and accountants come to the end of their work contracts. Since nearly everyone in our small group from church is either a teacher or an accountant, we began to realize that we had little time left to be together as a full group. So plans were made to spend a Sunday afternoon in East End, sampling brunch at Tukka and catching some rays at Morritt's

Tukka offers "a taste of Australia with a Caribbean twist." It's an intriguing concept, and I've heard nothing but good reports about this unique restaurant. The first thing I noticed upon entering Tukka and sitting at our group's table was the casual Caribbean vibe that the entire place exuded. Even on a hot June day, I think we all enjoyed the outdoor porch setting.

So before I get into the food portion of the post (because really, that's what brunching is all about), sitting right next to NS were two people whom we are going to have to say goodbye to for an indefinite period of time: K&B.

They've been such a key part of our circle of friends, and specifically, of our small group, so it was only fitting for all of us to be together before some of the "early leavers" (specifically, J&S) skipped town in mid-June.

So, onto the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Tukka did a great job of incorporating Caribbean elements (like the tiny Cayman flag atop fresh sushi) with Australian elements [like kangaroo sushi. (Cool? Weird? You decide.)]

The decorations also ranged from aboriginal...

Instagram shot. I heart Instagram.
Follow the feed: @offshorecpa testudinal.

(Yes, that is the Latin word for turtle, per Google.)

Like with any brunch, making decisions among all the tempting choices is the hardest part of one's day. Ah, "First World problems". Gotta love 'em.

Basically, the trick is to take your time, go back for rounds 2 and 3, and enjoy the company.

Golden girl SS: Has since left the island for the summer. Come back soon!

Golden girl CN.
Another permanent leaver is CN, above. Now Memphis-bound, she's been a great friend and an important member of our worship team, sharing her incredible violin skills with the Sunrise crowd. We love you and miss you already, C!

In other news, I was busy munching away on the likes of this...

In Grand Cayman, brunch is about so much more than the breakfast food (as per my plate above), but when it comes down to it, breakfast foods are some of my favorite things to eat. Tukka's eggs Benedict could have won an award.

And we all know that at least one plate should be reserved for the sweet stuff.

Lots of cakes, cookies, and a rum-soaked bread pudding to choose from!

As far as a verdict on brunch: I loved the Cayman feel (eating outdoors on a wooden porch), and the buffet was well-stocked with delicious food without being overwhelming. The price ($29.50 without bubbles; $49 with) was much better than some of the brunches along Seven Mile Beach (where there isn't usually a "no-bubbles" option.) Did the food selection compare with our first brunch at Luca? No. But it ticked all the boxes for me, and the laid-back atmosphere worked well for our group.

An experience unique to Tukka (so far as I know) is the daily feeding of the frigates. These birds literally look like dinosaurs, and they flock to the water's edge where the staff hand out scraps.

NS can't bear to see any kind of animal interaction without getting involved, so he obtained some fish scraps and placed himself very strategically in the feeding zone.

But the birds didn't like the look of his outstretched arm... he resorted to tossing the tasty morsels. Some of the frigates caught the scraps mid-air, while others battled over the ones floating on the water.

My apologies if you're one of those people who hates birds. The bird portion of the post is now over.

Finally, since this was one of our last full-participation small group events, we had to get a group photo.

Despite the dappled lighting, I really like this shot!

    photo credit: RA

Then someone yelled, "Duck face!" [We had just been talking about how we really detest those Facebook albums where every single photo is of some teenage girl taking a self-portrait in the bathroom mirror with some weird pucker face. Okay maybe that's just me. But I really hate it. Get over yourself. Or at least get out of the bathroom. (Did I just rant? That was fun.)]

So anyway, this group of 20-somethings decided to do our best attempts at duck faces, just to prove to the high school world how ridiculous it really looks.

  photo credit: RA

Right center: WH is very confused about what ducks look like.

You can see my reaction below to WH's first attempt at a duck face, which looked more like a big lower lip than a pucker.

photo credit: RA
Back left: BK starts in on the victory signs, combined with a duck face. Always in character, that one!
Then it just got silly. I don't think we realized that RA was still snapping away, which is how he got these:

     photo credit: RA
Gang symbols!

More gang symbols!

    photo credit: RA

 And just to make sure RA (and lovely B) made it into a shot...

Try not to get cross-eyed by the lattice shadows on B's striped top!
A photographer's nightmare... but she still looks amazing.
R&B are headed to a new home in London later this summer. They're a fun, creative, smart couple full of laughter and wisdom, and we'll be sad to bid them adieu later this year!

After filling ourselves to the brim, we finished the afternoon with a swim in Morritt's luxurious infinity pool, a photo of which you can see in KK's related blog postFor a full set of the Tukka photos, check out my Google+ album.

Ugh. I hate goodbyes.


  1. I love the rant. And the dappled sunlight.


  2. Caribbean and Australian flare - love it! Your adventures keep getting better and better :)

  3. I am totally with you on teenage-girls'-FB-self-portraits-in-the-bathroom albums. And Nate is so funny about his animal interactions - love it! :)