Greetings from Grand Cayman!
More specifically, from George Town, and even more specifically from the Sunshine Suites off of Esterly Tibbetts Highway.
Upon awakening this morning at 0500, I promptly got dressed, went downstairs to my parents living room and laid right back down on the couch for a nap. I was up late last night chatting with my Dad. I knew that I was going to have to be up early as Mom and I were planning on being on the road at 0630 for my 0900 flight. It was a price I was willing to pay. After some coffee and giving my Dad a hug, we were off to the airport.
As we traveled down the road, I managed to maintain my composure while mom and I chatted. As soon as we turned onto the road to the airport, I started crying. I should come with a warning label “Will burst into tears if made to say goodbye”. I think I need a shirt that has that on the front and it shall become my official travel shirt. And it should have pockets for tissues for crying. Mom knew it was coming, it’s not the first time she’s experienced my tearful farewell. I made the decision to just be dropped off at the departure curb for American Airlines rather than have Mom come in with me. I figured I’d be able to regain composure more quickly that way. Thankfully, she was much more together this morning than I was, because I almost left my computer and camera bag in the car. After a few more hugs and retrieving my backpack, I went to check in.
I made this trip with four suitcases. We managed to get all of them under the 50 lb. weight to avoid excess weight baggage fees. The first two bags together equaled $65. My third suitcase was $150 and the fourth was $200. Ridiculous. But… Now I know. It’s just something I wish I would have known beforehand. Oh well. The way I see it is that there are some things I brought with me that can’t be replaced. They had to come. And it is cheaper to bring them down than to buy them here.
Thankfully both of my flights went as scheduled. For the first flight, I managed to get an exit row seat and on my second flight, I was pretty lucky because the middle seat was unoccupied in our row of three seats. I slept the majority of both flights. The first flight had a bit of turbulence at landing, but nothing awful. I was very blessed with my traveling today.
Upon arriving in Grand Cayman, it was hot and humid. Just what I expected. So, future visitors, when you come to see me, there is a pretty lengthy line for our small airport but thankfully the process hasn’t taken too long either time I’ve come to the island. This time, however, I checked in and got my two year resident stamp. Now I get to use the resident line when I go back and forth, and both times I’ve seen it, it’s been much much shorter than any of the other lines. I then collected my luggage, went through customs and ventured off to find my chariot to take me to my temporary home.
Hotels here do not have shuttles to transport you to and from the airport. There is a flat rate of $23 USD from the airport to the various hotels in Seven Mile Beach. I met a lovely Caymanian lady named Ellie. When she looked at my luggage she said “Oh you must be here for a wedding?” I replied that I was relocating to the island, and she proceeded to give me a hug and welcome me. She is both a taxi driver and a school bus driver, so she was able to impart words of wisdom regarding traversing the roads on the island. “Be patient and don’t count on people to use their indicators”.
I checked in to the hotel without any problem and was assisted to my room by one of the hotel porters. Alphonso made sure I was satisfied with my accommodations and then left. Shortly after, I received a call from the front desk to inquire if everything was to my satisfaction. At that point, I had not been able to connect my phone to the hotel wifi and mentioned that issue to her. I was, however, able to get online on my computer, which would be fine. However, the IT person showed up at my door about three minutes later to attempt to fix my problem. I guess the wifi gods like him because as soon as he showed up, I was able to connect with both my phone and computer. He kept apologizing profusely though, despite my assurances that it was okay and I had only been concerned because I needed to let my loved ones at home know I had arrived. As he walked out, still apologizing, he turned and gave me a huge smile and said “Welcome Home to Cayman!”. As I was closing the door, I heard something hitting one of the windows of my room and realized that a downpour had started. I chatted briefly with a few folks at home and then opted for a nap.
After waking up and feeling the great urge to brush my teeth, I remembered that I had to toss my toothpaste when going through airport security in Jax. Luckily, there is a minimart right around the corner, so I headed there for a few necessities. I then treated myself to what will probably be my most expensive meal until I return home. The hotel has a pretty good restaurant called the Sunshine Grill and they make amazing fish tacos. I also treated myself to their specialty drink – The Painkiller. It was ridiculously overpriced, but after everything I’ve gone through over the past month, I deserved it.
The rest of the evening has brought rain off and on. I finally got in touch with Candy, the other girl starting with me, and we’re catching a cab to the centre tomorrow. Then we’ll pick up Roberta’s SUV and have our own set of wheels. And then we’ll commence with my driving lessons! HAHAHA!
I’ve felt like a kid getting ready for the first day of school this afternoon. I have my work bag ready with pens, pencils and notebooks. I have my clothes set out and ready for tomorrow. I just hope I’m able to sleep well tonight.