After arriving to Grand Cayman Island on Jan 28 we've settled in nicely at Courtney & Brian's condo on the beach. We've had some great times already and look forward to all that the island has to offer us.
One of our goals on this visit is to explore the epic underwater world that the Cayman Islands are famous for. We purchased our snorkeling equipment and began the process of finding a scuba dive shop to take us out to some of the hidden gems. Although Nicole has completed her PADI Open Water Certification, I still need to complete my final 2 open water dives so the plan was to find a company that could do both.
While walking along famous 7 Mile Beach we stumbled into a dive shop that coincidentally had a dive instructor from Vancouver (she was actually originally certified by the same company that we used in Vancouver!). The plan is to take a refresher course with a confined pool dive to brush up on our skills, and then head out to the open water for two boat dives of approx 25-50 feet depth. Our backpacker mindset has us looking for any kind of deal we can find, so on that notion we agreed to attend a 45 minute timeshare presentation to get a discount on the course/equipment rental/dive instruction. After attending the low pressure presentation we were able to score $180 off the scuba diving fees!!
On the eve of the NFL Superbowl the island hosts a 'Soup-er Bowl'. This was definitely a unique event, especially given that I've spent many years cooking a variety of soups with the infamous Soup Meister. There were over 40 local restaurants showcasing their savory recipes, with each bringing their own twist to traditional soups. There was everything from Spicy Red Conch Chowder to Caribbean Pepper Pot to Turtle Soup to Alligator & Chicken Soup. My favorite soup was the Lobster Bisque with fresh lobster meat as the garnish, while Nicole's was a Lobster, Corn and Coconut Milk soup. I've picked up some great ideas and variations that will definitely be shared with the Soup Meister upon our return!
Last night we went out for drinks with Courney and Brian and their friends, many of them are expats from the UK. We tried our first "Beergarita", a margarita served in a beer pitcher with a bottle of Corona flipped upside down in it allowing the Corona beer to blend with the margarita mix slowly. Not my fav but Nicole seemed to really enjoy it! We later ventured in the more "local" area Grand Cayman to an outdoor bar/club that was serving buckets of Jamaican Red Stripe beer. This was also the location where I experienced my first taste of original Caribbean jerk chicken, grilled and smoked in large steel drums... delicious!
Tomorrow is the Superbowl which will undoubtedly lead to excessive drinking and over eating... we'll update this blog one more time later next week before we head off to Equador and the Galapagos Islands.