Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vacation Recap #7: Day 1 Excursions: Grand Cayman

I finally got my pictures from my camera onto my computer. I didn't take my phone to the different islands with me (call it paranoia), but I used a camera I got from an old roommate back in 2009. It's gone with me on all of my cruises, but only has 128MB of space (hence why I used my phone on the boat, which has 8GB of space).
The City of Georgetown, Grand Cayman

From My Breakfast Table on the Disney Wonder

I got to be on an island without my parents.

Okay. I was a bit too excited to be in another country alone.

And now, I'm on my way.

Grand Cayman was a beautiful island. We were there on a Sunday, which isn't a big business day for them, as it's a Christian nation (woot woot!), so they have an agreement with the cruise lines, where they only come every two weeks, rather than every Sunday. Unfortunately, most of the stores were closed, with the exception of a few jewelry stores (Diamonds International, Effy, Tanzanite International), and the Tortuga Rum Store, which I've also visited in Nassau. I'm not a huge fan of rum, but I bought some Salted rum-soaked turtles, which I've been sharing with my family. At Diamonds and Tanzanite International, I got charms for a charm bracelet that I'd started building back in Key West. Stop in any Diamonds International Store in several ports all over the world, and you can get a charm with the initial purchase of a bracelet.

There was more to our trip to Grand Cayman than shopping. In fact, the shopping came AFTER our excursion. I was more excited for this excursion than anything on the trip. We had to take a ferry from the Wonder to the island, as the island is surrournded by a reef, making the boat too big to make it that far into port. So, on the ferry, my sister and I had to get into Finding Nemo-esque shenanigans.

"Look at me! I'm touching the Butt!"

That's a really big butt.

It was about a 5-10 minute trip to the island, and getting on and off the boat was more fun than I could possibly admit (A moving bridge. Wahoo!).

Once we got onto dry land, we separated into our groups (My group was Ariel), and got onto our respective shuttles to the Dolphin Discovery and Cayman Turtle Farm, located right across the street from each other.

It was...cozy, to say the least.
We started out going to the turtles, which were all separated into different tanks based on age. In the mating (aka Party) tank, there was a beach, where the pregnant turtles buried their eggs. 

Teenage turtles were hanging out in other tanks. I asked one of the attendants how old turtles grow to be(I said I was pulling some Nemo-esque shenanigans!), and he told me the oldest turtle was around 80.

Waving Hello!

There were turtles everywhere. If you love them as much as I do, I would highly recommend making a visit to the Grand Cayman Turtle Farm.

I shall call him squishy, and he shall be mine.
 The baby turtles were all very adorable. The staff kept telling us to hold them like a hamburger...but DON'T Eat them! I've never had turtle, but there's something about eating reptiles that makes me go all squicky. The turtles did get a little uneasy about being held, and what you had to do to get them to calm down was rub their necks. Kiri had a talent for this. Her turtle was putty in her hands, and went all googly.

I'm holding a turtle!
My turtle was about as high strung as I've been known to be. He was getting antsy in that "Put me down! Put me down!" way, so I rubbed the underside of his neck, and he went NUTS. Even more wiggly than before, so back into the water he went. 

After turtles, we walked across the street for the big part of the excursion: Playing with Dolphins. 

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of pictures from this part of the excursion because we couldn't find someone to take pictures for us (and we weren't really at a place to do so), and the pictures THEY took were of questionable angle, and way to rich for my blood ($35 for ONE 8x10? No thank you!).

But, I did get a couple of our dolphin, Newton. He was adorable, and extremely soft. Did you know dolphins shed their skin twice a day?

Thanks for stopping by! 
Also, when dolphins "speak," the sound doesn't come from their mouths, but their blow holes! I had no idea! Seriously! I want to be a dolphin trainer for the day!

*Squeak* is Dolphin for "I Love You!"
There were also chickens walking all over the place. It was nutty how many chickens ran around like Council Bluffs has squirrels. One of our guides told us that the chickens really like to hang out around KFC (I believe it. Chickens are carnivores!).

I'd love to live on this island, but I would probably walk/bike everywhere, because gas prices were roundabouts $4.59. Eeps!

When we got back to shore, we stopped over at the Tortuga Rum Store, as my sis is a huge fan of their rum cakes. They had little samples, and I should've gotten a chocolate. It was so yummy! But, alas, I just got turtles (it was kind of a theme day).

She always has to pose with a pirate.

The ride back to the boat was uneventuful, and the first thing we did once we got back was change and look for lunch. We ended up at Beach Blanket Buffet, as all of the restaurants were closed by then.

While waiting for the ferry, we had to get another selfie.
I absolutely loved Grand Cayman, and would love to go back when the city's in full swing.

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