By Karen Jurgens
Pearl-white sands … azure skies … crystal blue waters … tropical breezes … a golden-hot sun. Welcome to the Cayman Islands.
Upon arrival at our Seven-Mile Beach hotel, an Islander dressed in uniform offered guests pink lemonade in champagne glasses. Through the lobby reggae music danced, its drums beating out Caribbean tunes, leading straight out to the pools and the beach beyond an avenue of palm trees. Just about anything we could wish for was at our fingertips—from thatched huts housing beach towels and beach rental equipment to food and drinks for guests to enjoy on their lounges under umbrellas or shaded lanais. We enjoyed floating peacefully on rafts, swimming in the calm, aqua waters and taking long walks on the seashore. Laying aside stress and worries for an entire week guaranteed a peaceful and relaxing vacation for my daughter Cait and me.
Most people love to go on parasailing excursions, flying high above the water under colorful sails. Others enjoy submarine expeditions to view the huge turtles in the underwater world for which the island is famous.(I couldn’t bring myself to try the turtle soup, however.) Those who enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving can examine coral, exotic fish and more turtles.
Georgetown, the capital city, offers shopping for island clothing and mementos. Rambling in the shops also turns up rum at Tortuga’s, famous in the Caymans. Rum-soaked candy and rum-flavored coffee are among some of its most popular souvenirs.
Since our hotel’s gourmet restaurant happened to be closed for renovations, we explored the island for other dining experiences. One of our favorites was at the hotel next door, the Ritz-Carlton. The first night there we feasted on fresh seafood at Five.
One of their outdoor restaurants was a pizzeria named Andiamo. The sauce was so delicious with tomatoes, spices, and garlic–I can still taste those amazing flavors.
Another night we hopped in a cab and ventured out to an eaterie called The Wharf which juts over the water. Our table gave us a front row seat to a magnificent sunset with bubbling clouds playing hide-and-seek with the setting sun.
And an Italian steakhouse, Eduardo’s, came highly recommended. The steak smothered in a pepper sauce made its appearance looking like a lobster on my plate.
The best food we had on the island was our last night at The Calypso Bar and Grill. We sat outside next to a dock with rows of yachts and enjoyed the sunset along with their fantastic crab cakes. These literally melted in your mouth.
The snapper with cream sauce was divine, and the toffee pudding we had been in search of (apparently an island specialty) didn’t disappoint.
That meal was a wonderful conclusion to our lovely vacation in the Cayman Islands.
Please enjoy a snapper recipe from the Caymans!
Writing Prompt: Describe an island vacation. What were your favorite things to do? Where did you dine? Can you share a recipe?