We're almost mad with ourselves that we've only this year discovered Grand Cayman. Hell - to think of all the years during which we could have been visiting; especially since landing in Canada. Yup, it's only three and a half hours from Toronto to Grand Cayman which makes it an astoundinglly easy trip. Hey ho - at least now we know...
Yesterday we changed venue, in fact island, mid holiday. Grand Cayman is a bon viveurs dream but we'd heard that there exists, on Little Cayman, a different vibe altogether. For starters there are only 150 permanent residents on the miniscule island although that number admittedly swells thanks to tourism.
And so it came to pass that, excited to experience something a little different, we hopped on a cute wee twin prop puddle jumper and made the thirty five minute journey to an island that's known as 'divers paradise'. Had we a little more time we'd have joined the teams of outdoor types who sink to low levels (!) to experience the fascinating marine life that surrounds the island.
With only one day and one night, however, we opted to stay land bound and hooked up with THE most fascinating guy called Mike, our representative from Pirates Point, and a guy who really knows the island. Originally from Florida, Mike is a qualified dive instructor but also works as a tour guide and protector of Iguanas, creatures which roam freely around the beautiful landscape. His passion for his job is utterly contagious, and, as we parted company, we'd learned much about the lush, tiny world he's grown to love.
During our whistle stop overnight trip we stayed at The Little Cayman Beach Resort and Club. Compact and perfectly formed, it has a real 'boutique' feel and nestles discreetly at the side of the gently lapping ocean. Although most of that which we witnessed on Little Cayman is rustic and 'uncomplicated,' this developmentr caters for the discerning, modern traveller and is luxurisouly appointed in the style of larger 5 star hotels. Our only grumble? That we couldn't stay for longer than one night. Hell, we could have hung around for weeks! Checking in we could feel our stresses checking out... not that we were even remotely stressed after a few days in Little Cayman's bigger brother! But we've had a hugely busy year so any extra de stressing we can get our hands on is a good thing...
Somewhat fatigued by wandering the island, we had dinner in the cutest wee place called The Hungry Iguana, a wood clad and atmospheric resto' that looks for all the world like Merlottes from 'True Blood'. Okay, so the fooderies on GC are emminently grander, but this simple wee tavern is a breath of fresh air with a menu that's lovingly prepared by a team who understand their typcial 'diver' customers; folk who need substaining unfussy choices to keep them in fine fettle ahead of their 'big dips'.
After dinner we headed back to Little Cayman Beach resort where we hit the bar with our pals Mark and Laura, and it was there we got stuck into the bar. Hey; it's holiday time - we're not big drinkers but as we chatted to the locals (and a lovely Scottish girl called Kim who's the resort manager) we broke our habit and enjoyed all manner of local Rum as well as a Slippery Nipple cocktail and a glass or two of Champagne. As our motto proclaims; 'A day without Champagne is like a day without sunshine.' It would be rude not to...
After a good night's sleep, we jumbed a plane back to Grand Cayman where we lazed around the Ritz Carlton pool before heading off to look at a stunning home that's owned by a Camanian and his Canadian wife. We won't say too much about that for now (as we'll be featuring the home soon in our Toronto Star column) suffice to say that the owners - and their breathtakingly beautiful abode - blew us away. Wow. Wow. Wow, These guys are the proud owners of a home we consider to be one of the finest we have ever seen.
Back now, at The Ritz Carlton, we're catching up on a spot of work before heading out into the night. We're dashing off to take a peek at some of the places where 'The Firm' was filmed. We read the John Grisham book years ago (and saw the film when it was released) so we're excited to see the very backdrop that provided us with our ambition to visit Grand Cayman in the first place.
Anyway - gotta dash for now. Work to be done, X Factor to be watched and cocktails to be consumed. Hope our musings find you all well, hale and hearty. We'll report more soon.
Cheers for now, Colin and Justin xx