Morritt's Staycation

Our seasonal shifts in the Cayman Islands are very subtle. To the outsider, we have our hot season, and we have our sweltering season. But for those of us who live here, I'd say we have at least three seasons: Hurricane season, windy season, and peak season.

Hurricane season is basically in the summer (running June through November.) Very hot. Very sunny. Little relief from the heat. But the seas are calm and make for great diving and boating, as long as we don't have a storm front coming through. Since hurricane season coincides with our non-busy season at work, we take most of our vacations during this period.

Peak season is when the tourists visit: Generally, January through April. While the weather is frigid and miserable in much of the U.S. and UK, visitors look for a way of escape here in Cayman. It's common to see four or more cruise ships docked at the George Town waterfront this time of year, and during the week, the beaches are flooded with visitors.

But just recently, we entered windy season. Although hurricane season technically doesn't end until November 30th, I've found for three straight Novembers in Cayman, the island chills down, develops a steady breeze, and becomes an all-around perfect place to live this time of year. Fortunately for kitesurfers, the wind should be here to stay for the next six months.

But right now, I need to take you back to our sweltering season again - rewinding to the time of year when we take most of our vacations. And although you'll notice I tagged the "vacation" label on this post, I did not tag "travel". Ahhh, the beauty of a staycation. No passport required.

NS flew back into Cayman from his two-week work trip in Bermuda just in time for me to whisk him away to East End.

I know what you're thinking. I've thought it before, too.

"You live in paradise. You live on a beach, for crying out loud. Every day must be a vacation. And now you're telling me you went away on the island you live on for a staycation? Who does that??"

I hear ya. Life is pretty grand in Grand Cayman. I couldn't fathom needing to "get away from it all" when I first moved here. But now two years into our Cayman experience, I will point out that no matter where you live, whether it's on the beach or in a high rise, it takes getting out of your regular space and your daily routine to really spend more than just a few minutes enjoying your surroundings. So it was perfect timing to take N from the work environment in Bermuda to a quiet part of our island for some relaxation.

Although I don't know if "quiet" is what the Morritt's staff had in mind.

Friendliest swim-up bar staff around. Dance moves are free.
 We actually stayed at Morritt's for free. They had a deal going on this summer where residents could come for a 2-night stay on the weekend or a 4-night stay during the week for free in exchange for listening to their time share presentation.

Big hat and long legs.

We did listen. Sounded like a great deal. For someone else. Maybe someday!

Now despite the fact that this weekend was supposed to be an opportunity to unwind from work demands, N's not one to sit still. If there is a loose ball to be found, he'll attach himself to it.

Oh look. We're both doing what we love. Bliss.

Living on an island is funny. Your whole world shrinks. The hour's drive between us and the end of the island is a huge deterrent that prevents us from leaving our safe little 7-mile strip, which is a bummer, because there are some terrific restaurants in East End.

Beautiful mural adorning Tukka's dining room.

We'd been to Tukka for brunch with the Sunrise crew, but dinner is always a very different experience, and we were lured in by consistent rave reviews.

Tukka is one of those restaurants that offers locally-caught lionfish, as well as other warm-water fish that can be found in Caribbean waters. But since Tukka is an Australian food establishment, they also serve kangaroo filet mignon. N had to take it for a test drive.

His take: Not bad, but had a "gamey" flavor and was pretty drenched in sauce.

The next day, we had a nice, slow start to our Saturday, enjoying Morritt's' beach chairs, trying to talk ourselves into going on a dive, but just too comfortable on the loungers to be bothered. So the first big activity of the day was lunch.

On our way to lunch, we stopped at The Wreck of the Ten Sails, marking the site where ten merchant vessels ran aground, and Cayman inhabitants helped all persons to safety. The site is marked with a landing that yields stunning views of the sea and surrounding iron shore.

Lunch was at Vivine's Kitchen - a restaurant run out of Miss Vivine's house in East End, overlooking the water. It's a favorite among Caymanians, featuring traditional island dishes using local ingredients. I do believe in local!

Picnic tables and hammocks make for a relaxed, casual atmosphere.
Nothing fancy about this place! Come in your sandals and beachwear. 

Waiting for our food to cook was a relaxing experience with views of the water from the shade of sea grape trees.

The lunch portions were more than generous, and we chose freshly-squeezed juices to accompany our meals. So summer-y!

Later that afternoon, we hung out by the pool with other friends who had booked a staycation at Morritt's for the same reasons we did. It's hard to go anywhere in Cayman without recognizing someone. That's something N and I love about living here. Small-town paradise.

Giving my skin a rest from the sun. The summertime rays drive even me to wear a hat!

All of us headed to Rum Point for dinner, again with the thought of trying a restaurant that we wouldn't normally frequent. Although Rum Point is a favorite weekend hangout for many on the island, most stick to the beach bar/grill during the day. But Rum Point Restaurant also features a terrific dinner menu.

View of the open kitchen inside. As you can see, August is not a busy time of year.
Here's our group, enjoying dinner on the porch, which we nearly had to ourselves.

We checked out of Morritt's on Sunday, but not before a short visit to that pristine beach.

Stunning beach and coastline. And sunshine galore!
Those little clouds offered nothing in the way of UVA/B protection.
And on our way home, we decided to try lunch at yet another East End establishment that we'd never before visited: Kurt's Corner.

Located on Frank's Sound Road, Kurt's features an affordable menu popular with locals and tourists alike. I had a filling seafood wrap, while N and some of the others had conch steak. Trying something unique makes for a more memorable experience!

We loved our weekend in East End, and I think it was a great way for N to get back into the Cayman lifestyle after being away. 

Stay local! Staycation!


  1. Hi, I found your blog quite some time ago and have been enjoying reading it on Cayman life because I have been back and forth about making the move. I thought I'd see if I could ask for your advice as you look like you've done great settling in. My boyfriend's been working and coming here for the past 10+ years and I've been coming down the past 6, definitely more so in the last few years. Despite that, I've met very few people perhaps due to the places we've lived in the past being more resort/short-term places during the longer stretches of our stay. He moved here permanently a year ago and one of the biggest things I'm worried about if I move down here is isolation. He's definitely got his work buddies who I am happy to hang out with but I seem to have trouble figuring out how to connect with female friends. Do you find that it's harder for girls to move down than guys? Any suggestions?

    1. Hi May,
      Glad you reached out. To be honest, if you commit to living in Cayman (and get away from the resorts/short-term places, as you've noted), I think you'll find that the Cayman expat community is one of the friendliest in the world ( I don't consider myself to be a very extroverted person, and I had no trouble finding friends at work, through sports (there are tons of corporate leagues on island covering most North American and UK sports), and at church. I think it's a matter of plugging into a group, whether it be a charity or a sports league or some other interest, and you'll find people are generally very accepting. We have to be, since even after just two years, I've seen friends complete their work contracts and cycle off the island, leaving me looking for new friends! I wish you the best in whatever place you decide is appropriate, and don't feel bashful about getting out there and meeting new faces. People expect it!

    2. Thanks so much for the response. I feel more confident about this now. And I really enjoy the food part of your blog. It's nearly impossible to find any cayman restaurant 'guides' with actual photos of the places. Your posts makes me want to make the trekk out to Tukka and Viviennes and maybe even the kite surfing....maybe...still looks freaky

    3. Put them all on your list! The island has a lot to offer, if you just give it a chance!

  2. oh how i miss those blue seas and that yummy food!

  3. That looks amazing. It's taking all of my willpower not to switch over to Orbitz right now and check on flights to the Caymans. If only...

  4. I liked the photographs, they give meaningful touch to your post. I enjoyed a 5-day trip with my friends there. We enjoyed a lot, such as the Cayman bars, restaurants, food, events, within five days our world was changed.