Apr 30, 2007

grand cayman

I took the wife and kid down to Grand Cayman a few weeks back. The Cayman Islands are located just south of Cuba. I won't bore you with a family slideshow because we didn't do much. Quite frankly there isn't much to do in a Caribbean island other than relax which is the whole point of going. Couple of interesting notes however.

The whole terminology of the Caribbean escaped me before I took a peek on Wikipedia. Being a West coaster or Midwesterner for most of my life, the Caribbean was a journey less traveled. It was just a little too far away for a quickie vacation. From NY it's damn close and very convenient to get to with lots of direct flights. Anyway back to the geography (see map above).

Caribbean (named after the dominant Amerindian population, the Carib) = West Indies (from the concept that Columbus landed in the Indies) = Antilles (Spanish term)

Antilles = Greater Antilles (the big islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic & Puerto Rico) + Lesser Antilles (the smaller islands of Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Barbados, etc.) + Bahamas

Second, while I didn't get to dive (wife is very pregnant and would have to look after a maniacal 2 year old girl on her own if I went diving) we did hit a stingray spot called Stingray City. It was very similar to Shark-Ray Alley in Belize. It's so popular that even Google Maps has a shot of boats lined up in the area. I guess I had a certain amount of trepidation that my kid was going to get Steve Irwined but hanging out with sting rays is pretty damn cool. Basically they are so used to being fed by the tour boats that they gather around when they hear the whir of a propeller. We were luckily the first on the scene. After about 15 seconds of hitting the flats something like 100 stingrays were swarming the boat, flying in from all directions. It was like something out of a horror show. The kid was a little freaked out but pretty excited too. Lots of fun. Highly recommended.

And finally in a hat tip to an outstanding marketing ploy for a Grand Cayman rum. I give you Big Black Dick rum. Perfect for that next family event or church picnic.

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