Country Living...Island Dreaming

April 23, 2017

Why Do Vacations Have to End? - Beautiful Grand Cayman

Besides dealing with laundry and school routines, I have spent the week reminiscing about our wonderful time spent on the island of Grand Cayman the previous week!  Sometimes it's so hard to get back to reality, isn't it?

This was our 6th time back to the island (5th time with the kids) and each time I find it harder and harder to leave.  I literally had tears in my eyes while driving back to the airport.
Grand Cayman Pool and Beach

What keeps bringing us back to Grand Cayman year after year?  There are just so many things but I would say the beaches are the number one reason we keep returning!

Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach

Seriously, how amazing is that water?

Beach Umbrella on Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman

And on this trip, even more than previous years, it was all about the water!

Stingray City Grand Cayman

We spent our first full day on a sailboat trip to the famous "Stingray City"!  

Snorkeling Rum Point

After playing with the stingrays, we had a few hours to spend at the lovely Rum Point.  The shallow water at that beach was a perfect area for the boys to snorkel.  We were pleasantly surprised with the number of fish we spotted!

Red Sail Sports Rum Point

We had lunch, rented kayaks and spent the day in the sun.

Kayaking Rum Point

We rented a double kayak to share with my 10 year old and a single for my 13 year old.  He picked it up right away and even had a race with my husband.  Seriously, how do I have a teenager?!!...

Rum Point Sign

And a trip to Rum Point isn't complete without taking our traditional photo on the pier...

Rum Point Pier

As you can see, my boys were much more cooperative in the early years...How sweet they were when they were little.  Now...not as much!

Cayman Sunset

A couple days later we headed back to the Rum Point side of the island for dinner at the Kaibo Beach Barbeque.  Taking the ferry to dinner was a new adventure for us and being able to watch the sunset while on a boat made it extra special!

Kaibo Beach Barbecue Grand Cayman

We spent the evening enjoying a barbecue buffet with live Caribbean music and dancing under the stars.

Full Moon over water

The full moon shining on the water that night made the trip back feel magical!

The next day we were back on a boat for a snorkeling trip.  Instead of traveling all the way to Rum Point this time, we only had to head over to the Westin a few doors down for sailing and snorkeling.  The trip was called "Swimmin, Chillin and Grillin" and ended up being my favorite excursion for the week!  A great time with a fun international crew who made us feel so welcome.  There is just something so charming about an Australian bartender who asks, "What can I get you, love?"...Ahhh vacations...

Red Sail Sports

We sailed south on Seven Mile Beach and snorkeled off the coast of Georgetown.  This was the first snorkeling trip for my boys (besides the shallow water snorkeling they did on the beaches.) I will never forget how fascinated my 10 year old looked when we got into the water and told him to look down.  If you have ever snorkeled you can understand.  Putting your face mask in the water for the first time and seeing a whole other world below you is just amazing!

Red Sail Sports Catamaran

After the snorkeling portion of the trip, we sailed back up the coast, lunched on a delicious barbecue buffet and listened to live reggae music performed by the crew.  Yes, all this while stretching out in the sun drinking a rum punch.  I seriously did not want the afternoon to end!

In fact, we all loved the snorkeling trip so much that we booked another trip the very next day.  No lunch or live music on that trip but we did get to visit two different snorkeling sights.  The first stop was the USS Kittiwake Wreck which you could imagine, was so exciting for the boys!  This submarine rescue ship was sunk off the coast of Seven Mile Beach just a few years ago as a planned snorkeling/diving site.  You can read more about the fascinating history of the wreck - HERE.  After exploring the exciting shipwreck we sailed over to another beautiful reef and swam with even more fish.  Another memorable afternoon for us all!

When we weren't off on sailing excursions, we spent most of our time swimming at the beach in front of the condo.  
Cayman Beach

These cheap $5.00 rafts kept the boys busy horsing around for hours!

Condo Pool Grand Cayman

We would just walk back and forth from the beach to the pool all day.  Definitely a relaxing week for us all!

Beach Reading

I also had plenty of time to read on vacation.  I can't think of a better place to finish a wonderful novel! 

Please note that this post contains affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

I will write a full review on Kristy Woodson Harvey's 3rd book, Slightly South of Simple this week but I can tell you now that you need to add this one to your summer reading list!  The release date is this Tuesday, April 25th but you can pre-order the book now!

Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman

The nine days we spent in Grand Cayman blew by but were were left with lasting memories of a wonderful family vacation!

Grand Cayman Sunset on Seven Mile Beach

Of course, we were jolted back into reality as we lined up in the tiny, Cayman terminal to board our return flight. The cramped room was filled with not one, but two plane loads of people heading back to the New York area.  We were booked on the United flight to Newark, NJ and the other group was heading to New York on Jet Blue.  In a flash, I went from having Australian guys calling me, "Love" to having the loud New Yorker behind me yelling, "If everybody would just stay in line, we could get outta here!"

Yeah, the vacation was over...I guess all good things must come to an end!

I will need to write a whole other post just for restaurant recommendations because we ate in some fabulous places!

In the meantime, if you would like to see some previous Grand Cayman trip reports, feel free to click on any of the links below...

Grand Cayman 2013
Grand Cayman Restaurants
Island Shopping
Grand Cayman with Kids

What vacation was your most memorable?
I would love for you follow along so you don't miss a post!

Grand Cayman Family Activities

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April 6, 2017

Take Me Away Link Party - April 2017

Hello Travelers!  It's time for another Take Me Away Travel Link Party!  We can't wait to see where you have been...

Take Me Away Travel Link Party

Let's get started with this month's party!

  • Please link up to 3 travel posts you have written (new or old - as long as you haven't shared them at the Take Me Away Party before)
  • Please include a link back do my blog.
  • Please don't link ads or giveaways.
  • By joining the party, you give me permission to feature your photo/post on any of my social media networks and this blog.
  • Please Pin from the source of the photo, not from this page.
  • Please visit and comment on as many links as you can...after all, it's a party!
Once again, we are off!  Take Me Away!


April 4, 2017

Take Me Away - March Recap

Here in the northeast, March went out like a lion this year!  We ended the month with flooding rains and cold temperatures.  But now it's April - hooray!  With the flip of the calendar, the weather has made a change in New Jersey as well!  I am sure many of you are planning spring and summer vacations.  I know I cannot wait to hit the beach this summer!

Martha's Vineyard

As I mentioned recently, my friends and I are heading to Martha's Vineyard in May.  I couldn't be more excited!  Once again, if you have any Martha's Vineyard tips, please feel free to share!

In the meantime, here is a recap of the travel posts you linked up for March...

Carole from - From My Carolina Home took us along to the "Designed for Drama Event" at the Biltmore Mansion...
Biltmore House - From My Carolina Home

What a beautiful collection of costumes worn in movies based on George Vanderbilt's favorite books!  I think you will love the selection she shared with us and if you want to see more, the exhibit continues into July.  Be sure to check out the links she provided for more information.

Carole always manages to find the most interesting exhibits...
Quilt Garden - From My Carolina Home

Apparently, if you are visiting the NC Arboretum, you must see the Quilt Garden!  This grid of planting squares surrounded by concrete strips changes every year.  As you can see above, the flowers were planted to look like butterflies!  Swing by her blog to see more of these beautiful gardens!

Tanya from The Other Side of the Road shared details of her fabulous trip to Florence, Italy...
Florence, Italy - The Other Side of the Road

The afternoon golden glow she mentions is so beautifully captured in the photo above.  Truly a magical place!

While we are talking about Italy, let's pop over to Venice with Bonnie from Living with Thanksgiving...
Venice Italy - Living with Thanksgiving

A canal cruise followed by a Bellini, while listening to a live orchestra in St. Mark's Square...yes, that sounds like the perfect anniversary present to me!  Be sure to also visit the rest of Bonnie's Italy tour.  You won't be disappointed!

Now, if you have never thought about traveling to Croatia, Pam from Everyday Living will introduce you to a region of the world that you will want to put on your list...
Croatia - Everyday Living

What a stunning place with a rich history and I can't get over the beautiful water!  No wonder Dubrovnik is called the "Pearl of the Adriatic"!

Thank you to everyone who stops by each month!  Whether you are here to link up your own posts or to read others, we always enjoy having you!

Please remember to stop by 
this Friday, April 7th 
for the next Take Me Away Link Party!
(The party officially opens Thursday at 7:00 p.m. EST 
so get your travel posts ready!)
Take Me Away Travel Link Party on the 1st Friday of the month

Looking forward to seeing you then!
I'd love for you to follow along so you don't miss a post!

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