houseguests.24 // Pirates Week 2013

In my opinion, the kickoff to the holiday season here in Cayman is Pirates Week. Hosted annually in November as a national festival on the island, there really is a lot to celebrate: The end of hurricane season, the beginning of windy season, and a valid excuse to dress up like pirates. We honestly look forward to it as one of the best weeks of the year.

The Cayman Islands Pirates Week Administration puts together a packed celebration schedule that covers every district on all three islands. We've always turned up for the fireworks, and we've also enjoyed the parade, the 5k race, and the turtle release, but for the first time this year, we checked out the steel pan event on Thursday night.

I can't believe I missed this the last three years! Steel pans always remind me of sunshine and cruise ships and vacation music. It's one of my favorite sounds of the Caribbean.

And that was just the start. We talked up Pirates Week so much that it convinced two of our best pals to check it out for themselves. There was very little arm twisting involved when we informed them they'd have to come dressed as pirates.

NS, me, A, and P. Just in case you didn't recognize us.
(ps. over 50% of us are wearing makeup.)

Actually, this was the first year that we put effort into our costumes. I have to admit, I took to the swashbuckling matey character very well!

Careful buddy. I've got pirate game face!
Once again, we enjoyed the fireworks display on the waterfront on Friday night, and AJD and I found the best local street food I've ever had on the island. Our strategy? Find a stand with a long line of locals.

The curry chicken and all the fixin's were worth the wait.

(Meanwhile, the boys scorched their mouths with bacon wrapped whole jalepenos. Bleh.)

Over the weekend, we took P&A to the 2013 NACRA Sevens - an international rugby tournament hosted by the Cayman Islands, featuring teams from all over North America and the Caribbean (including the USA!)

We were lucky enough to show up for the Cayman / U.S. mens match. Since the Cayman team were the underdogs, along with the fact that we had good friends on the team (RL and CP), I cheered for my local countrymen.

CP on the left on defense.

RL on the left in the huddle.

MO focusing on the Cayman team on the field.

RL helping out on offense.

RL tearing down the field with the ball!

Admittedly, none of us know much about rugby, but we did lend our cheers to the Cayman rugby boys. So proud of their efforts in the Caribbean heat!

To deal with the heat ourselves, we spent the afternoon lounging at the Ritz - on the beach or in the water cabanas. My ideal Saturday includes views like this...

So, just a little background on this couple: You've met them before. Last time, they came with their firstborn - our goddaughter, Baby R. Little RD is now three (!!!) and she now has a baby brother (!!!).  A&P's combined families were gracious enough to give them a long weekend away from the kids in New Jersey while they visited us in Cayman. We took full advantage, jam-packing their days and nights with sun, fun, and food.

Sundowners at SIDEbar with J&S turned into a little sunset watching...

...which turned into sand creations with Little J and her parents, whom we caught on an evening beach walk.

I love introducing old friends to new ones. And it's so easy to have lots of new ones in Cayman! This might be the friendliest place on earth.

Little J, whose birthday is just a couple weeks before Little R's, was a perfect 3-year-old addition to our sunset hour, chatting away with AJD and digging in the sand with SS.

After a post-sunset dinner at Decker's, we rounded out our evening at Camana Bay, climbing the tower, lounging in the outdoor spaces, and catching up without the tug of responsibilities or families or obligations or bedtimes.

To have P&A all to ourselves was like traveling back in time, when the four of us would spend the day at the beach or in Philly or New York, eating, shopping, visiting museums, dancing, taking in the sights, and laughing. Always laughing.

Oh, and by the way, this very beautiful friend of mine turns 30 today!

AJD, your gentle spirit and giving nature continually inspire me. The example you set as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and child of God are a gift to those who know you. I can't say thank you enough for the years of your devoted friendship I've experienced for nearly three decades. May your birthday celebrations be full of delicious food, warm hugs, fond memories, a dose of Anglophilia, and laughter. Always laughter. xoxo


  1. Little J, when did you get so big?! Goodness, that's craziness. This post made me REALLY want to come visit. I miss Cayman and all my lovelies there so much!

    1. We all miss you!!! And still talk about you all the time. Visit any time!