house guests.21

This blogging hiatus may give the impression that nothing has been happening on the island. I'll get some photos around and post a summary of what we've been up to over the past few weeks (excluding the work activities, of course). But in the meantime, let's revisit the photos from our first set of visitors in 2013.

Believe it or not, we had house guests back in January. Lest you think they snuck on and off the island completely unnoticed, let me (finally) share with you a sampling of the photos from our visit from A&D and H&A.

Shortly after fetching them from the George Town airport, our first stop was to introduce them to Cayman folks at a friend's birthday pizza party at Governor's Beach.

While the newbies sunk their toes in Cayman's white Seven Mile Beach sand, I snapped an adorable photo series of little JW discovering that her pizza dinner involved a sweet cupcake ending.

Smiling, because that's just what she does best.

Catching her first glimpse of a discreetly-placed after-dinner cupcake from her dad.

The lightbulb moment.

Ohhhhhhh boy.

Tonight's gonna be a good, good night.

The girl and her beloved.

Meanwhile, DS, a seasoned photographer, was busy using his Canon to capture the ever-changing Cayman sunset.

Sometimes people ask me if I get sick of having people stay with us. Here are a few things I've learned about house guests:

1. If you have nice friends, you'll have nice house guests.

2. Even if your guests aren't your closest friends, hosting people for a week in your home is a great way to finally get to know them.

3. I still hate to call them "rules", but our guest guidelines have saved us from a load of awkward conversations regarding expectations and etiquette.

4. When I myself am a visitor in a friend's home, I'm happy to fend for myself when it comes to meal prep, arranging our activities, cleaning up, etc.  I treat my guests the same way. It's like renting a beach house; just because the house doesn't come with 24-hour room service doesn't mean you won't enjoy your vacation. 

In case it's not clear, that's NS on the right going horizontal in a game of paddleboard.

5. Quite often, we direct our guests to Camana Bay for self-entertainment. When we're stuck in the office, Camana Bay is a great pseudo-host with lots of options for eating and entertainment.

That behind said, our preference is to make it out of the office in time for a sunset session (like this one) with our visitors.

6. No matter who visits us, we always end up having a unique experience. This time, it was a power-outage-turned-fireworks-display-turned-trick-photography session. Observe:

A windstorm knocked the power out just as we were finishing a family-style dinner at home.

It was so dark that NS had to dig out the hurricane oil lamp for the first time, and I lit several candles.

We quickly decided there was nothing to do inside in the dark. Nothing.

But we had a bunch of fireworks leftover from New Years that were sitting uselessly in the corner. Out of our dark houe and onto the beach we went!

It's crazy what kinds of fireworks you can find in Cayman. What's legally sold here would never, ever be found at the famous "South of the Border" stores up in the States. Thus, when we started with a relatively small rocket that yielded no more than this...

...the ever-excitable AS jumped and clapped her hands and squealed, "Oh this is so much fun!!!!"

This description is not an exaggeration in the least. I have several witnesses.

But we were just getting started.

The problem is that these rockets tend to make me mega-nervous, so instead of taking loads of photos, I'm usually biting my fingernails waiting for it to be over. Fortunately for me (and the safety of the surrounding buildings), we switched to sparklers, which lowered my heart rate and loosened my shutter finger.

The classic crazy-lined approach above was simply a warm-up.  Next up: Basic shapes.

Then came the blazing humans, naturally.

Muscle man

Running man

and...The Hulk.

The crew wanted to write something Cayman-specific. This was the first attempt...

There we go!

The one and only airport in Grand Cayman: GCM

A few weeks away from Valentine's Day, every couple wanted their initials written into the night sky. Ours came out pretty well, I'd say!

And lastly: A bit of trick photography, where NS actually fought with himself.

This involved a long exposure and a single flash fired twice.
NS moved between firings.
DS figured it all out. I just pushed the shutter button.

The story's moral: You just never know what a weekend in Cayman will bring. What looked like a recipe for disaster (power outage and windy conditions) was actually just the beginning of a memorable evening. This crew had just the right amount of imagination to turn a dark night into a bright experience. Never underestimate the power of a few vacationers.

And that's how we kicked off our 2013 visitor season.

More 2013 updates to come. I just have to sort through about 1,000 photos from our latest trip to the States, which involved Busy-Season-Family-Wedding No. 2!


  1. I love it! I laughed out loud when I saw the worlds smallest fire work! Thanks again for having us!!!

  2. i love the sparkler pictures! so cool!