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WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU…

1 Apr

DEAR ISLAND LIFE…

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I’ll tell you what I like about this little place I’ve called home for the past few months…

I like that when I drive around town that I see the my friends and acquaintances in the roundabouts, driving past me and walking by.  We always give a friendly wave.

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I like that when I walk into a restaurant, bar, shop, I usually know at least 1 other person if not 20!

I like that my friends come from all places on Earth and they have very interesting stories.  This lends to a broader perspective of life and its ups and downs.

I like that I see my friends so often here and when someone needs something we just call out to the group and more often than not someone can help!

I like that it doesn’t take very long to become an expert tour guide in this town.

I like brunches on Sunday … that last all day!

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I like that when my friends from the States come to visit, we walk into a bar, I know said 20 people and my friend says, “What are you, the f*cking Mayor?!”

I like that I go to sleep and wake up with the sound of the waves crashing.

I like that there’s no cold weather.

I like to make fun of the cruise shippers.

I like the sticky toffee pudding at Calypso Grill.

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…and the curry cheese fries at Rackam’s

I like skinny dipping in the ocean at night.

I like scuba diving.

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I like dinners at friends’ houses.

I like the 3 blonde dogs up the street that hang out in their front yard, and in the road, to allow cars, bikes, and walkers to pass by their paramount post.

I like the roosters… as annoying as they can be at 3 am it’s constant reminder that I’m in the Caribbean.

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I like that the direction of the sea changes from day to day and completely baffles me.

I like driving in the Jeep  … even if it starts raining, it’s still warm rain.

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I like the starfish

… and the lion fish – they taste good.

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I like my secret pier.

I like my fellow runners on W. Bay Road in Seven Mile Beach in the mornings; they are my pals even though we’ve never met.

I like that when I meet someone new I get to play the little game in my head called “guess where that accent is from”.

I like that it’s mostly always sunny and warm and my skin devours it.

And even through the challenges that are presented I still really like my life and my friends here!

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Xoxo

Em

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Stingray City with Red Sail Sports and a Stinky Sighting!

31 Oct

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I recently took a trip to Stingray City with my mom while she was visiting in Grand Cayman.  This is a common tourist attraction here on the island and during high season I’ve heard that nearly 3,000 people will make their way to Stingray City daily!  We were fortunate to not have those kinds of crowds, but it wasn’t low season for the stingrays;  there were plenty in attendance.

Mom and I boarded The Spirit of Poseidon, a 65 foot Red Sail catamaran at the Safe Haven location where we were greeted by friendly crew, James, Jake, Jeffrey, and the other guy… sorry, his name didn’t start with a “J” so I can’t remember it.  We got a short, witty briefing from Jeffrey, who would later be our bartender, before setting out across the sound toward the sand bar that the stingrays call home.

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This 40 minute journey across the water is beautiful!  The water is every kind of blue you can imagine and the reggae tunes on board rounded out the perfect Caribbean scene.  We didn’t have a very large group so there was plenty of space on the boat for however one chose to ride.  There were sun bathers on the trampoline nets, those avoiding the sun by staying in the cabin , and some sitting along the sides with the wind in their hair.

Upon arriving at the sandbar we got another briefing, from the captain this time.  James told us about the sting rays and how to act with them, where their eyes, and mouths and stingers are, then he told us how to distinguish between the males and females.  After that, we all trickled down the swim steps and into the chest high water of the sand bar.

Emmy and christie at stingray

Standing in the water we could see the  shadowy dark circles approaching us.  It’s an odd feeling seeing these creatures close in on us.  Mom was a bit more squirmy than she thought she would be, clinging to me to get her feet off the sand.

We interacted with the rays for a while, petting them, kissing them – for 7 years good luck, and watching other people squirm – which is quite entertaining!  Then we got a visit from another famous islander…Stinky!  Stinky is the lone dolphin that lives around Grand Cayman.  You may remember I wrote about him in a previous post.  This was a treat because he came swimming through the group of us in the water and started playing with the anchor of our boat.  He isn’t the nicest to the poor stingrays though, he chases them and nips at them in a playful, yet bullying way.  Everyone was really careful to keep enough distance and definitely not touch Stinky.  He may be comfortable with humans, but he’s still over 400 lbs. and that is something you don’t want to mess with!

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After an absolutely perfect day at stingray city we boarded the boat again, the crew drew up the sails and we mad our way back across the sound and back to Safe Haven.  I have to say that Red Sail Cayman has very professional and experienced people who make these kinds of tours a really great experience.  When you have your next trip to Cayman take the stingray city tour with Reds Sail and maybe you’ll have the pleasure of being on James’ boat, and Jeff can make you his famous rum punch!!

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Thanks Red Sail and Thanks Jeffrey!

Xoxo

Em

Another rant about our awe-inspiring TSA agents. Hope I don’t get arrested for it…

20 May

I’m pretty confident in my midsection, but in front of 100 people in the security line at DIA at 6:30am?! C’mon.  I’d rather be flashing it on the beaches in Miami.

I recently got molested by a vertically challenged, tsa agent with daddy issues in a uniform 2 sizes too small who’s sexuality is questionable.  I’m not sure who should have been on the receiving end of a cash exchange for “services” , but I can say its been a minute since I’ve been felt up like that.

Last time was when I was in Germany pre-9/11 and being touched that much by a frauline was something new for me and would have been new for most Americans at that time!  Today we eagerly jump into clicking full body X-ray machines and then get groped more than high schoolers in the back of the bus on a field trip when the teacher wasn’t looking.

TSA, especially through Denver, is nothing more than grown up kids with fake badges, inferiority complexes and false senses of power. Those are ingredients for an “I’ll show you who’s boss now” situation.  I recently heard a comedian say that TSA is one of the only places he felt he could just walk in and be the manager.  The level of intelligence and competence of these people is ridiculous.

But be careful!!  If you are too outspoken or if you grope back, you’re in trouble!!  According to this site that talks about the mistreatment of the TSA agents, they are now considering outspokenness about contempt for the agents or the system to be an act of terrorism.  There’s even a story of a Colorado woman who grabbed and twisted, with both hands, the left breast of a TSA agent when she got frustrated with the security groping protocol.  Unfortunately this woman is facing a felony count of sexual harassment.  She’s 61 years old!  That would have been quite the scene to witness.

I wish I had some answers on how to deal with the  frustration I feel when I pass through the airport security line.  I get that security is necessary because bad people do exist…thanks terrorists!  And another special thanks to the underwear bomber in 2009 who was the one who prompted the full body x-ray machines to be installed in all US airports.  Awesome.  I do know that I refuse that machine at all costs; is that the only choice I still have?

Life really is a trip when the acts of a few completely damage the liberties of the rest!

Em