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3 posts from May 2011

05/29/2011

Destination Wedding? Try Grand Cayman

When considering a destination wedding, there is no better place than Grand Cayman. After experiencing one first hand during an island visit a couple weeks ago, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a destination wedding.

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Having a wedding in Grand Cayman turns one of the most stressful days of your life into one of the most relaxing days of your life. Forget the tuxes and dress shoes. Trade them in for button up island shirts and bare feet. The wedding I witnessed was on the beautifully restored beach in front of Treasure Island Condominiums. The bride and groom planned the entire wedding from Oklahoma, without a single visit to discuss particulars. 

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The wedding was in good hands, with Sherril from Heart of Cayman handling the floral arrangements, minister, photographer, and set-up and take-down. All the bride and groom had to worry about was showing up. There is no better backdrop for a wedding than the newly created cove at Treasure Island Condos with the stunning Cayman sunset dropping  to the horizon. Sherril was willing to work within their budget to make it as extravagant or modest as they wanted.

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Heart of Cayman Website

Casanova's By the Sea handled the reception and did a truly amazing job with a specially designed menu catered to their desires and budget. They allowed the wedding party to provide their own music in a reserved private room on the second level over-looking the Caribbean Sea, with the dinner portion of the evening on the outdoor patio, before they danced the night away inside the air conditioned banquet room.

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Casanova's By the Sea Website

 

Music was provided by the truly talented harpist, Eugenio Leon, both at the ceremony and the reception. The wedding party was truly amazed at his ability to play elegant wedding music during the ceremony and than rock out to La Bamba and the Macarena unlike any harpist they'd ever seen. He spiced up the entire evening and provided an energy to the reception that people will remember forever.

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Watch---VIDEO: Eugenio Performance

 

Eugenio Leon Website

So when considering a destination wedding, call Sherril at Heart of Cayman, Tony at Casanova's, and Eugenio for your music, and you will have a beautiful wedding to remember for the rest of your lives.

 

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05/15/2011

Batabano Festival

If you ever make it down to Grand Cayman during early May, you might want to check out the Batabano Festival. In 1983 the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman launched a festival, which is a salute to Cayman's turtling heritage. The word batabano actually refers to the tracks in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest. The legend says that finding these tracks is a reason to celebrate. 

This carnival is a celebration unlike any other seen on the island. It includes a wide range of music, dance and pageantry, all while showing off colorful and extravagant costumes.

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While on the island last week, I took in the parade on May 7th. I was blown away by what I saw. People lined the streets for miles from Camana Bay all the way through downtown Georgetown. The parade included hundreds of wild masqueraders dancing for the crowd along West Bay Road. The music was loud! The costumes were scandalous! The actions were not suitable for children. This was a parade unlike any I had ever seen before. 

The parade started promptly at 3:00 PM (ok ok....who are we kidding? This is Cayman time-it was more like 3:09) and included stilt walkers, extravagant costumes, and people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds to flaunt their bodies and throw away their worries for an hour. 

CLICK HERE FOR: Batabano Parade Video #1

CLICK HERE FOR: Batabano Parade Video #2

If you happen to be on the island during this festival, I recommend checking out the parade, but you better hide the children. If they want to take part, there is a children's parade one week later to conclude Batabano that would be more suitable for their eyes. 

05/01/2011

Ladies? Shop ‘til you drop in downtown Georgetown

Grand Cayman is known for it's amazing beach, wonderful restaurants, and Stingray City. However, the duty-free shopping downtown is a great way to escape the scorching Cayman sun for a few  hours. What girl doesn't love to shop? The shops in Grand Cayman offer some amazing jewelry, sun glasses, designer clothes, and local arts and crafts. You don't have to go too far to go from shop to shop because they are located in a very compact region downtown. 

The fact that Cayman is a duty-free destination, allows great savings on jewelry, crafts, and even perfume. Some of these items can be marked as much as 30% below US prices so it's definitely worth taking a look. 

The Cayman shops offer a great variety of items to browse over and you will receive tremendous help from the friendly locals, who go above and beyond to ensure you enjoy your shopping experience. 

Over the years, I have bought several pairs of great sunglasses in downtown Georgetown, including Oakleys, Maui Jims, and Ray-Bans. I also purchased the engagement ring for my wife, and eventually a matching wedding band. My favorite stops are "Da Sunglass Man" for sunglasses and "Diamonds Forever" for jewelry. 

My biggest word of advice when shopping in Grand Cayman is to look up the cruise schedule and absolutely plan around the cruise ships. You will not want to be shopping on a day there are cruise ships in town. First of all, they jack up a lot of the prices for the cruise tourists and secondly, it makes each store extremely crowded and can ruin the shopping experience. 

I would not recommend more than one trip to visit the shops during a trip, but it is definitely something I would recommend trying once on your trip to at least check on some deals. In addition to the shops downtown, there are several shopping centers and malls along West Bay Road on 7 Mile Beach, which often times offer similar deals. So get out of the sun for a little bit on your visit to Cayman and shop 'til you drop!!