house guest.19

Jump in the time machine! We're headed off to pre-Christmas!

Right on the cusp of this past Christmas, I had the distinct pleasure of hosting one of my dearest friends from my childhood: LEK.

A bit of background for you: This is the girl that agreed to become my very first pen-pal, although we lived something like a mile apart. (Writing letters several times a month was my precursor to BBM and WhatsApp.) This is the girl that convinced 10-year-old me that stamp collecting was the best way to spend my weekends. (And weeknights.) This is the girl who helped me muster up the bravado to join a basketball team in high school [based on my ability (?) to do a left-side layup] , and then joined me as team co-captain for a couple years.  Those were the days.

Once upon a time we were super young, and we took basically the exact same photos.
But with a slightly different backdrop.

In summary, LEK and I go way back and share lots of history. In our present lives, we are about as different as they come, but she is a rock of a friend and a permanent fixture in my life.

Post-dinner tea & cookies at R&T's house - in our very own neighborhood!

In more recent history, LEK obtained her PhD, and is now a full-time professor. I am ridiculously proud of her, and am also grateful she's no longer on a student's budget, which allowed her to make the trip to Cayman. Bonus time for me!

December is get-ready-for-the-craziness month at work, so LEK had to self-entertain most days, which she accomplished quite well - driving herself around the island, taking in the sun, scenery, and even the culture. I was impressed (although not surprised) that she visited the National Gallery - a relatively new venue featuring the work of local artists and other Caribbean-inspired art.

                            photo credit: LEK

She also took note of the details of our local surroundings, like the cemeteries (always by sea)...

 photo credit: LEK

...and the prevalence of short retaining walls around many of the stand-alone homes here. I never noticed?!

 photo credit: LEK

One evening, we met up with friends for drinks and apps on the rooftop at the Ritz.

What a view!

Really, the Ritz looks good from any angle.

I'm not much of an age-discriminator when it comes to my friends, and little JW is one of my youngest ones:

She's just so predictably funny and cute!

Sunset is my favorite time of the day. The air cools off, the pace slows down, and everyone gets a little reflective.

Even a partly-cloudy sunset is serene.

Cayman really doesn't have many tall buildings, so along with the Ritz, I had to introduce LEK to Camana Bay's observation tower for the views of the North Sound...

...and of course, another sunset.

Can't you honestly hear the angels singing the Hallelujah chorus in this one? I mean, seriously...

One facet of having house guests in is that I get a concentrated visit with just one or two (or sometimes more) persons, which ends up being really high quality time spent together. During this visit, I really enjoyed our chats on the balcony, comparing notes on matters of friendship, family, food, and love. Over the past ten years or so, LEK and I have often been separated by many miles with hectic schedules that only left room for infrequent Skype chats. But I really love this sort of friend - the kind who is close in spirit, despite the distance and time lapse. So much has changed over the past decade, but the connection we have in our friendship has not. 

"A bosom friend--an intimate friend, you know--a really kindred spirit
to whom I can confide my inmost soul."  - Anne Shirley

One last note: The next time LEK visits Cayman, she won't be alone, nor will she have the same initials to her name. This one managed to get herself a very special sparkly Christmas gift this year.  (!!!!)

Our tickets for the big event in July are all but booked! And just in case it matters, I can verify that July is a fabulous time of year for a wedding. More celebrations (and photographic evidence) await.


  1. What a wonderful blog post! What great memories! I loved waking up to this on Sunday morning. And I _love_ the Anne Shirley quote!

    But you didn't mention Miss Lassie, my great Cayman find--I bought an autographed copy of her book:)


  2. so sweet! the rooftop evening at the ritz looked awesome. i miss this place (and you!)

  3. Aw love it! I was just thinking about LEK and wondering how she was doing!

  4. I love when I do activities with you or just hang out with you 'cos you help document our life experiences here on island! xxxx
    Was great to meet one of your dearest childhood friends!

    1. I'm a true auditor: Not documented = not done! :)