Cayman Islands 2016 - Day One

Published: March 10th 2016
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Everyone slept really well and didn’t get up too early. We were all up at ready by 8:30 to go down to the beach. The waves were pretty big but not too strong so the kids had a blast boogie boarding and getting tossed by the waves. The water was so warm I even went in. The ocean has a beautiful turquoise blue color to it and it is fairly clear. There are big chunks of white coral that wash up on shore and sometime scrape you up. The coral is really neat, so many of them look like bits of brain, but it doesn't feel too good when you scrape your feet on them. After playing in the waves the kids took to the pool for a bit. The hot tub wasn't working but since the kids found a dead frog in the water they still enjoyed it. Jake and I went back up to the condo before everyone else to rinsed off all the coral that had settled into his bathing suit. Jake, Mickey, and Izzy all wanted a little down time so Jeff, Suzanne, and Jack went to buy some fireworks while I stayed back at the condo
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I've always wanted to swim with the dolphins as a little girls. It was quite the experience.
with the kids. Once they got back it was time to get ready to swim with the dolphins.

This time I got to drive, it wasn’t so bad. The hardest part was trying to back up because I’m so used to looking over my right shoulder to see behind me, that and always turning on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal. We got to the dolphin adventures a little early and since the sea turtle interactive exhibition was included and right across the street we went to check it out.

The turtle area wasn’t very big there was one large lagoon when you first walked in that had several large sea turtles swimming around, then a few more ponds with the more “aggressive don’t touch” types of turtles. There was even one display of a crocodile. In the way back is a larger pool with several baby turtles that you can touch and even wade and pick them up. The turtles were really cute. You’d pick them up and they’d flap around. I do wonder how healthy it is for them though being handled like that every day by thousands of tourist.

The turtle area didn’t take very long to walk through, maybe 15 minutes. We went over to the dolphin area next to get a locker and life jackets. Suzanne’s family and my family decided to be one group and we told them we were a family of 7. We got fitted into our life jackets and the trainer gave us instructions on how to interact with the dolphin. There were several large pools with about 12 dolphins total at the location. We went into the pool and lined up against the wall. The trainer gave us a few more instructions and then introduced us to Alma the dolphin. She just had a baby that was also in the pool but was not trained yet. The trainer had Alma swim past us and we were able to “pet” her, then she swam by on her back and we were able to feel her stomach.

One by one each of us got to kiss Alma on the lips, then the cheek, smile with her, and “dance” with her. She pushed our feet across the pool while we held onto a boogie board and then we held onto her fins while she carried us across the pool. I had a hard time with the boogie board and kept falling off. The kids took to it easily and I loved seeing the smiles on their faces. Overall it was an amazing experience. It was something I always dreamed about doing as a little girl. I guess wishes do come true, sometimes you just have to wait a while for it.

After the experience we went to the picture viewing area. A woman came over and explained the pricing to us, because we were a “family” of 7, if we wanted to keep all of the pictures they took it was going to cost us $500!!! We talked to her about just keeping the pictures of the three kids and she said she could do that for $210. We agreed but not happy, then when she was clicking through the photos she wouldn’t take any of the pictures of the kids if there was even a portion of an adult in the picture. When I asked her about it she said why don’t you just get all of the pictures for $250? Um, ok now I’m really confused! Oh well we agreed even though I think
Cabana Bay FireworksCabana Bay FireworksCabana Bay Fireworks

First firework display. Getting ready to celebrate the big 1-0
I’m getting ripped off. Over all the experience was great but if you want pictures to keep, be prepared to shell out an additional wad of cash. In retrospect we probably should have said we were two separate families.

After the dolphins everyone was starving and we went to lunch at the Sunshine Grill located in a small boutique hotel with a pool. We sat inside because there were no seats left at the pool.The food was fabulous, I had three tacos, fish, shrimp, and chicken. I wasn’t able to eat the chicken one because I was too full but the other two were delicious. The kids and Jeff really enjoyed their meal as well. After lunch they gave us these small blackberry ice cream cones. Izzy and I loved them but Jake wasn't too impressed.

After lunch we went back to the condo for some down time and enjoying the sun and sand. Time slipped by and before we knew it was time to head off to Cabana Bay for the 7 PM fireworks. Jack stayed back and made dinner while we were away. We got to Cabana Bay and grabbed some drinks at the ice cream
Cabana Bay NYECabana Bay NYECabana Bay NYE

let me see you whip
shop and just as we were leaving the shop the fireworks were setting off. We didn’t get the best view because of all the palm trees but it was still fun. After the fireworks there was a DJ in front of a large stage and a dance floor. We were able to get the kids to dance for a few minutes. Izzy loved it but the boys were being all grown up. They did start dancing when the WHIP song came on though. I really thought the kids would want to stay longer than they did.

After fireworks and dancing, Suzanne took us to this house that was all decorated for Christmas. There were thousands of light displays. You had to get out of your car and walk around the property. It was probably the best Christmas display I saw all season. Then we went back to the condo for dinner and fireworks at the beach. Jack had an amazing spread for dinner, meatball subs, garlic bread, and wine. After dinner and a clean up we headed down to the beach to set off some fireworks. Jeff and Jack set off several mad dogs, roman candles, and even the
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lighting the lotus flower
tank, but the most laughs came from the lanterns we tried to set off. We tried Izzy’s first but it never took flight and crashed into the ocean. Of course this set off a wave of tears and how her wish will never come true now. Then Micky’s, his went off without a hitch and went sailing into the night. We thought we had the hang of it but when it came time to set off Jake’s, again it went crashing into the ocean. Overall we had so many laughs, but the most fun came from the birthday firework Jeff and Suzanne bought. It was one of the lotus flower candles that was supposed to sing happy birthday after we lit it. We either did not read the directions correctly or we had a dud of a firework because it was pretty much a ball of melting wax that quietly dinged out happy birthday. We all sat around it like a kumbaya fire pit and laughing hysterically, it was very fun. Izzy was getting tired so I brought her to bed while the rest of the gang went inside and watch the TV networks counting down to New Years. As
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fireworks on seven mile beach at midnight
soon as 2016 entered we all sang happy birthday to Jake and ran down to the beach. Wow is all I can say. Massive fireworks displays were being set off all down 7 mile beach in both directions. Lanterns were being sent out to sea. It was so magical. One of the best things I’ve ever seen.

Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 27


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Seven mile beach

not a bad place to spend New Years Eve
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swimming with the dolphin

Not as easy as it looks

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