Page 4 of mecllap Travel Blog Posts

12/28/08, Sunday - At leisure in Grand Cayman. The resort has an intro program on Sunday morning at 9:30, with refreshments and activity vendors visiting. No cereal or muffins this year, just juice and coffee. There is more staff here than at the first place we stayed. There’s a lobby with a desk that is staffed until 11 p.m., some groundskeepers working throughout the day, an activities director, a restaurant and bar. The host this morning said he is the new manager, named Mike. Vendors included the on-site dive shop/tour arrangers, Pampered Ponies (horse rides), waverunner/kayak concession out by the water, and our favorite, Gilbert “Big Joe” who always brings along a couple of iguanas and tells us about his shop and services. DGS got to hold the large iguana for a long time, and also ... read more
View from my balcony
Going out to snorkel
Comfy floating in the Caribbean

12/27/08 - Saturday, moving day - Okay, I’m a lush! I’ve decided that besides not having my cats here, my only complaint is the high price of liquor/beer/wine (North Carolina is not cheap for alcohol and this is worse). I’ve had to resort to what is “on sale” right now for Amsterdam beer at 99 cents CI 330 ml cans of beer that is worse than PBR. I miss my box of red wine (not available here) that’s 12.99 US or so for 5 liters. And there’s no “generic” hard alcohol either, and very little amber/dark beer. A 6-pack of pale lager is about $10.00 US - other than that, I could deal with the higher cost of food, and settle in for most of the year. Altho, when it’s normally windy here, I’m not sure ... read more
Yacht in the distance
Fish upper left

12/26/08 Friday: Iguanas and Blowholes on Grand Cayman Leisurely start to the day; DD and DGS had some pool and ray time while she was doing a load of laundry and I did some tidying in the kitchen (can’t get away from housework completely) and made lunch to take along for the afternoon. We headed to the East District again, and went to the Mastic Trail. It goes into what is still a scrubby natural area on the Island. The northside trailhead was a little tricky to spot - it’s right beside a house that has a front wall marked Beware of Dogs; I had thought it was at the end of Further Road, east of Old Man Bay, but it’s at a right-hand turn a little over half-way in. It starts out in a tall, ... read more
Butterfly on large poinsettia shrub
Along the Mastic Trail
Iguana Number One in the Botanic Park

December 25, 2008 Wonderful leisurely day at the resort today. We did a few presents in the morning that I had brought along. DD (dear daughter) started cooking turkey dinner, then we went down the beach and did a holiday photo. DGS (dear grandson) and I did some snorkeling -- it's fairly rocky along this part of the beach, so there are a quite a few different kinds of fish about. Had lunch and relaxed, then DGS and I went down to the pool while DD continued working on the conch shell project. They are pretty heavy, not sure how many we’ll be able to take home. I brought a pool float that is kind of like a chair with a cup holder very comfy and fun for floating about. DGS played a while with a ... read more
Fish near shore
Happy Holidays from 7MB

Wednesday, 12/24/08 - Christmas Eve DD and DGS went to the pool for early morning rays after bkfst; I posted some photos, etc. Then we went did a little shopping, mostly for a few extra things to get through the coming two holidays. Had lunch at the condo. Then drove through town to head to east side. Six enormous cruise ships in town - an expected 17,000+ people; it was elbow-to-elbow along the sidewalks in the shopping district in town. The smallest of the ships is the Disney Magic, that DD and DGS got to cruise on with DD’s grandmother as a college graduation present - they enjoyed seeing it in port. We stopped at the National Trust office at Dart Park again to walk out to take photos of the ships and the Park. We ... read more
Kite-boarder at Collier's Beach East End
Beachcombing at Ivory Kai

Tuesday 12/23/08 -- $30.00 for a bottle of rum liqueur! (guess I need to add some more scenic photos along the way as well) Weather kind of stormy today, very windy, pretty cloudy, cooler and some sprinkles. After bkfst, DD and DGS did an early morning basking session in what rays were available - before 10 (they got up way too early!). I am realizing that my blog about this trip is not very exciting for other readers. We don’t dive or party in the evening, so may not be much useful info for other folks. But maybe for families visiting for a week - just not the footloose and fancy-free younger set. We pretty much had a driving around day, since the weather was blustery. Got to several places that I wanted to check out ... read more
West Bay ramp
Horses along Conch Point beach
Detail of conch shell house

Dec. 21, Sunday - Moving on down 7 Mile Beach - This is the Life! We went to Eats Café for breakfast, using the Cayman activity guide coupon - had two books, so got two CI$3.99 one egg bkfsts, and one blueberry fluffycake bkfst to share with DGS and among us. No coffee or juice so came out at about CI$16-17.00 with tip. (That’s really inexpensive here, but we just had water to drink, and ordered carefully to see if we could get by doing that). Pretty good, with good service. It’s straight across the street from the Westin and traffic wasn’t too bad on Sunday morning to run across (no crosswalk). Were able to spend about an hour on the beach before we had to pack up to move. The water seemed a little cooler ... read more
Some of 7MB by the Westin
And looking out to the water
View from our balcony at SMBR

“Plan on extra fees and increased costs everywhere” We left on Friday and spent the first night in Charlotte, to skip the hassle of getting up early in the morning, dropping off and parking at the airport. The Wingate Inn at the airport has a Park ‘n Fly option, which worked really well for getting to the airport. A decent/pleasant room, the usual marginal lobby breakfast and a shuttle to the drop-off near the check-in location. Saturday: Check-in went fine, lots of people, but lots of desks open; security went fairly quickly. It’s right after the check-in now at the Charlotte airport, so there’s access to all the shops and eateries. Our gate was close to the main lobby with the rocking chairs, which I’ve always enjoyed - they were all full. Lots of flights had ... read more
View from our balcony at the Westin
The pool at Westin

Next up is our holiday trip back to Grand Cayman. We fly out from Charlotte this year on Friday, 12/20 -- should be much less stressful than last year's experience with the Atlanta airport. I'll also be doing a trip report on the Cayman activity guide site, but I hope to be able to add more details here. Why, you may ask, do people who do no scuba diving want to keep going back to Cayman? After all, the Cayman Islands are known most for their spectacular diving. Well, we do a little bit of snorkeling -- even though we don't venture very far from shore, there are still fish to see. If you look at the weather map of the U.S. right now, you'll see that most of the county, including our little bit of ... read more
A view from our balcony at Grand Caymanian Resort 2006
A view of our resort coming back from Stingray sandbar 2006

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London September 25th 2008

Sept 22, Monday, heading home - boring details about the transfer to the airport, and what Gatwick is like. No luck sending email at the airport, put a pound in a coin-operated computer station for 10 minutes of time - but email wouldn't send. Someone helped me find the @ sign on the keyboard, but that didn't work either (it hadn't gone thru using my address book). At least it didn't appear to. Guess I need to Google “how to use the Internet internationally” to try to find all the different sites to sign up with, and how to pay for them, and other keyboard conventions that might be needed. Hotels and airports seem to have many different systems - there were several different companies, and I don't know if you buy time with one, if ... read more
One of the final sights in London!

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