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Flowers Sea Swim in Grand Cayman!

 

Local folks and tourists participate in the Flowers Sea Swim on Seven Mile Beach. A fun event to raise money for a local Cayman charity!

Local folks and tourists participate in the Flowers Sea Swim on Seven Mile Beach. A fun event to raise money for a local Cayman charity!

 

On Monday, June 12th, starting at the Ritz-Carlton and finishing at Royal Palms, 1,000 swimmers will enter the beautiful crystal clear blue waters along Seven Mile Beach and compete in the Flowers One Mile Sea Swim.

The Sea Swim is one of Cayman’s biggest sporting events and is also known as the world’s richest race, with participants being eligible to win $100,000 in prizes. Even better, it’s also a fantastic fundraising event as all entry fees are donated to a local charity.  Proceeds from the 2016 Flowers Sea Swim benefitted the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

Competitors range from 8 to 80 years and are of varying abilities, locals and tourists alike.  All swimmers will receive a goody bag and have the opportunity to win some great prizes!

For those who aren’t confident in the water there is a Walk & Watch option whereby you walk the one mile on the beach, alongside the swimmers. This is a great way to share in the excitement, contribute to a worthy cause and still be eligible to win fantastic prizes!

No matter where you’re staying on Grand Cayman, come to Seven Mile Beach and participate in the swim.  It’s a great time and will help a worthy cause.

Link to register!

 

 




No Waiting in Customs with Grand Cayman’s Meet and Greet Service!

The Cayman Islands Aviation Authority (CIAA) now offers visitors to the island a “Meet & Greet” service.   This service helps you and those traveling in your party to avoid long lines in Immigration and Customs.  Many of our Grand Cayman Villas and Condos guests have availed themselves of this service and were glad they did!

CIAA offers the service for both arrivals and departures to the island.

For arrivals, a CIAA Customer Service Officer will be waiting for  you at the plane steps holding a sign with your name on it. The Customer Service Officer will then assist in fast tracking you through Immigration and Customs. After clearing your luggage in Customs, the officer will escort you to the taxi dispatch booth or to the rental car plaza to pick up your rental car and you are on your way to relax at your villa!

For departures a CIAA Customer Service Officer will meet you at the drop-off curbside. The Customer Service Officer will assist you with your luggage and provide an escort during check-in. (CIAA recommends checking in on-line if possible as this helps to speed up the process.) The officer will then assist in fast tracking you through the airport security checkpoint and all the way to your gate.

The cost of this service is $30.00 CI dollars or $36.85US dollars per traveller.  CIAA requires you submit your request for Meet and Greet service at least a 48-hours prior to arrival or departure.  They need longer than 48 hours notice for parties larger than 10 or more travelers.

Interested?  Complete the CIAA Meet and Greet Application Form and fax to 1-345-943-7071.

Information for Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman:  298 Owen Roberts Drive | P.O. Box 10098 |Grand Cayman KY1-1001|CAYMAN ISLANDS Main:+1.345.943.7070 | Facsimile:+1.345.943.7071| Email: CustomerService@caymanairports.com| Website: www.caymanairports.ky




FUNKY MONKEY – GRAND CAYMAN’S HIPPEST CLOTHING SHOP!

One of the favorite clothing shops of our Grand Cayman Villas and Condos guests is Funky Monkey.  The owners of Funky Monkey, Jody Lunt and her husband, Sean, opened their store about ten years ago and have done a great job stocking fun, hip styles that can’t be found anywhere else on the island.

They stock brands such as Analili, Elan, Banana Moon, Desigual, Johnnie O and Volcom to name a few, which are imported from Australia, France, Spain and the USA.   Analilli is a designer line of beautiful dresses, pants and tops in breezy bold fabrics  Their maxi dresses are gorgeous but also comfortable and the perfect option for any occassion.  Jody imports a limited number of each item, so you can rest assured that all your friends won’t be wearing the same pieces!

Analilli at Funky Monkey

Analilli at Funky Monkey

Funky Monkey’s bathing suits are also gorgeous.  The bikinis from Brazil are absoute works of art.  I admit that they aren’t for my body type, but my daughters who are in their twenties looked fantastic in every one they tried on.

Funky Monkey also sells yoga clothing and a limited selection of nice pajama sleepwear as well as a selection of men’s linen shirts, shorts, pants, dress shirts and hats.

Funky Monkey is also a great place to find unique gifts for the kids, house sitter and friends back home. They have some of the most helpful and friendly staff around who will happily assist whether you’re looking for something special or simply indulging in retail therapy. From the beach to the street, Funky Monkey has the entire family covered from head to toe!

Funky Monkey's latest offering of beautiful, beaded boho bags.

Funky Monkey’s latest offering of beautiful, beaded boho bags.

Funky Monkey is located in the Governor’s Square Shopping Center just a block away from the Westin Hotel on Seven Mile Beach.




A Private Chef on Grand Cayman for Those Who Prefer Glutten-Free, Vegan

CHEF BRITTA!

                                                       MEET CHEF BRITTA!

Interested in hiring a private chef on grand Cayman who specializes in local vegan cuisine?  Chef Britta Bush, owner of Saucha, will come to your villa and cook an amazing vegan meal for you and your guests.

Britt’s kitchen is 100% dairy and egg-free. She uses only the freshest ingredients from local farmers to create healthy fine dining. Her Grand Cayman farmers use their collected fresh water and pesticide-free nutritious soil to grow mangoes, dates, tomatoes, herbs, peppers, pumpkin, white guava and other exotics.  Britta takes them from their farms to your private villa table.

LOCAL GREENS AND HERBS ORGANICALLY GROWN ON GRAND CAYMAN

BRITTA’S LOCAL GREENS AND HERBS ORGANICALLY GROWN ON GRAND CAYMAN

 

Britta also brews her own kombucha in a variety of flavors.  Kombucha is an ancient fermented tea-based probiotic beverage.  Kombucha has been revered as a healing tonic for at least 3,000 years.  It is believed to provide healthful micronutrients and bacteria beneficial to digestion, detoxification and immunity.  Worldwide, people make and drink kombucha for the way it makes them feel, alive, healed and replenished.

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Many of our Grand Cayman Villas and Condos guests take advantage Britta’s Weekly Care Packages, where she will deliver a custom created menu of essential allergen-friendly snacks to your villa such as:
 Pesto Cashew Cheese 
Tomato Flax Cracker (made with locally grown mini-tomatoes)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
along with a selection of artisanal Kombucha

You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy Chef Britta’s culinary talents.  She will create a wonderful evening for you and your guests.  Oh, and by the way, we strongly recommend you request her Peanut Butter Banana Dream Torte for dessert.  It’s fabulous!

Check out Chef Britta and Saucha on Facebook.

 

Cheesy Kale Chips top off Pesto Quinoa with cashew cheese and a gorgeous marinated tomato & yellow squash marriage.

Cheesy Kale Chips top off Pesto Quinoa with cashew cheese and a gorgeous marinated tomato & yellow squash marriage.




A Great Suggestion for Day of Departure!

THE GEORGE TOWN YACHT CLUB AT NIGHT!

                        THE GEORGE TOWN YACHT CLUB AT NIGHT!

 

It’s your last day on Grand Cayman.  You’ve had a relaxing and fun week, but, like all good things, the vacation must now come to an end.   A long day of travel lies ahead.

Grand Cayman Villas and Condos has a pro tip for cutting down the long wait until boarding and avoiding the crowds in the Owen Roberts Airport.

We suggest you plan to arrive at the airport three hours ahead of your flight when the ticket desk first opens.  Getting to the airport early before the crowds begin to line up should enable you to check bags and obtain your boarding passes fairly quickly.   Turn in your rental car prior to ticketing.

Once you’ve turned in your rental car and have boarding passes in hand, shepherd your family or group outside and catch the shuttle to the George Town Yacht Club for cocktails and a relaxing lunch.

The George Town Yacht Club is only a few hundred feet directly across from the airport at the Barcadere Marina. It is literally a two minute drive. There is an outdoor as well as an indoor option for dining.  Indoor is lovely and airconditioned and outdoor is beach dining and has a nice view of the marina. Their menu offers a wide variety of selections that is sure to please everyone in the group no matter their age.  The service is pleasant and efficient and they are used to diners who need to be on time to catch their flights.

After lunch, the shuttle will take you back to the airport. It’s a good rule of thumb to allow 30-40 minutes to get through airport security depending upon the time of year.  Winter and Spring Break season are usually the heaviest.

Feel good that you’ve just spared yourself and your family two hours of boring wait time with hundreds of fellow travelers.  It will make the flight home seem so much shorter.

The shuttle runs back and forth from the airport to the Yacht Club all day.  You may call ahead to let them know of your plans.   Their number is 1-345-947-4842.  For more information on the George Town Yacht Club and their shuttle, check them out on Facebook.

THE YACHT CLUB SHUTTLE RUNS ALL DAY FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE CLUB

THE YACHT CLUB SHUTTLE RUNS ALL DAY FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE CLUB




What does “Cayman-Style” mean on the menu in Grand Cayman

 

Lobster Cayman Style

“Lobster Cayman Style”

A fresh catch from the Caribbean sauteed with scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes, and onions served up with side of fried plantains and red beans and rice.  The catch may be lobster, mahi mahi, red snapper, or even turtle.  That’s cooking “Cayman-style.”

After being colonized first by Jamaica then by British, Cayman Islands remained under British dependency since 1962. Traditional Cayman Islands cuisine is very tied to Jamaican cuisine and they also kept British influences in their cooking, but you can as well find a large variety of international dishes with a local twist.

If you’re visiting the North Side or East End of Grand Cayman, one of the best ways to experience authentic Cayman-style cooking is to have one of two local cooks, Stephanie McLean (chefstefcayman@gmail.com) or Rosie Paris at (terrypqueen@yahoo.com), come to your villa and cook it fresh for you and your family.  Both women have been cooking for our Grand Cayman Villas and Condos guests for years and receiving great reviews.  They will shop for the ingredients and arrive in the afternoon and get to work preparing a delicious dinner that every member of your villa will enjoy regardless of age.  They will also clean up afterward while you enjoy dessert.

Another great way to experience Grand Cayman!




Avoiding the Cruise Ship Crowds in Grand Cayman

 

Cruise ships docked in George Town Grand Cayman

Cruise ships docked in George Town Grand Cayman

Swimming with the stingrays at Grand Cayman’s Stingray City Sandbar is one of the most thrilling and fun things to do while vacationing on the island.  The stingrays are tame and used to mingling with humans.  It’s an experience you and your family won’t forget.

Conversely, if shopping is your thing, George Town is another great place to spend a few hours.  Kirk Freeport has an excellent selection of watches, jewelry, Herend collectibles, and china.  Guy Harvey’s Grill and Hard Rock Cafe are great places to have lunch.  If there are many cruise ships scheduled that day, the stores and restaurants may be difficult to navigate because of the crowds.

Tourism is an important industry for the residents of Grand Cayman and the island happily welcomes all visitors whether they come by plane or by boat.  However, there are times when the stingray sandbar as well as George Town become crowded with lots of cruise ship folks who are looking forward to enjoying their time on the island, as well.

Instead of a morning trip to the stingray sandbar, we recommend an afternoon snorkel trip.  Unless you schedule a private boat and the captain is able to avoid the crowds and take you to less populated snorkel sites and letting the crowds die down, an afternoon excursion will be better because the cruise ship travelers will be reporting back to their boats around 2pm and will need to leave the sandbar before then.

The Grand Cayman Port Authority keeps a daily schedule of cruise ship arrivals.  Simply click on the link and enter the month or day of interest.  We encourage our Our Grand Cayman Villas and Condos guests to take a look at the schedule before heading to George Town or Seven Mile Beach for the day.

Cayman is so much fun.  We want you to have a fantastic and relaxing vacation!

 

 

Swimming with the stingrays at the Stingray City Sandbar

Swimming with the stingrays at the Stingray City Sandbar

 




The Power of The Purse – Philanthropy on Grand Cayman

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On March 24th, The Power of the Purse, a philanthropic organization created to support the Cayman Islands Crisis Center, is hosting a luncheon and silent designer purse auction to raise money for the Center.

This year’s speaker is Jeanette Walls – inspirational speaker and author of the best-selling memoir, ‘The Glass Castle’; an Amazon ‘Top 10 Books of the Decade’ and inspiration for the Lionsgate movie adaption starring Academy Award Winners, Brie Larson and Naomi Watts.

The event will be held at the Ritz Carlton on Seven Mile Beach from 12 noon until 3pm.

Tickets CI $150 per person (enjoy complimentary glass of wine, canapes, lunch and special dessert buffet).

Contact Jennifer O’Leary at jennifer.oleary@scotiabank.com or call 1-345-815-4313

The Cayman Islands Crisis Center provides a safe shelter and hope for local women and children who are victims of abuse.




Breakfast at Over The Edge

over-the-edge-entrance

 

 

Over The Edge  is a casual little restaurant on North Side Road in Old Man Bay, Grand Cayman.  They’re open every day and serve breakfast every morning between 8-11am.  The outdoor deck at The Edge overlooks the Caribbean and offers a relaxing setting.

 

Breakfast at Over The Edge, Flava Magazine

Breakfast at Over The Edge, Flava Magazine

The menu features all the classics, from French toast and pancakes to hearty bacon and eggs, but for a Caribbean twist try the callaloo omelet, served with toast and potatoes. Callaloo is known as the West Indian spinach – and it’s a winning mix. Another good bet is the ackee and codfish, Jamaica’s national dish. This hearty breakfast combines the fruit of the ackee tree, which looks and tastes like scrambled eggs, with sautéed cod, Scotch bonnet peppers, spices and tomatoes. Both ring in under $8. Pair it with coffee or ramp it up with a Bloody Mary, Caesar or Mimosa, also reasonably priced at $7.  ( +1 345-947-9568)




ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD! CAYMAN NEIGHBORHOOD, THAT IS!

On the way to Stingray City Sandbar!

On the way to Stingray City Sandbar!

Silver Thatch Charters took out their first group of guests yesterday and what a fun day it was! Great weather, great company and a great boat!  Australian Captain George, picked up his group of ladies from the Kaibo Dock in Cayman Kai and they set out for Stingray City Sandbar.  Upon discovering that the Sandbar was overrun with Cruise people, George motored on to Starfish Point where the ladies could relax and enjoy themselves and stay as long as they liked.

A leisurely visit with the starfish at Grand Cayman's Starfish Point

A leisurely visit with the starfish at Grand Cayman’s Starfish Point

The ladies had a great time enjoying the sunshine while leisurely sitting in the shallow crystal clear water with a cold beverage surrounded by starfish.   When the ladies were ready, they hopped back on Silver Thatch and George headed for the stingrays.  George knew the crowds would be gone by the time they arrived.

George ended the charter with a cruise through Cayman’s fabulous mangrove forest.  The mangroves are the ecological heart of Grand Cayman.

The Mangrove Forest, Cayman's unique ecosystem

The Mangrove Forest, Cayman’s unique ecosystem

Silver Thatch Charters is part of our Grand Cayman Villas and Condos Silver Thatch Guest Services.  We provide a safe and fun private charter experience for our guests.  Our Australian Captain, George, takes great care of guests and knows all of the best spots for snorkeling.  George is also a certified dive master and the safety of guests is his utmost priority.

Guests of Grand Cayman Villas and Condos receive special discounts for booking a private charter with Silver Thatch Charters.   See the beauty of Caymanian ocean life in your own private boat and your own private captain.  Avoid the crowds.  It’s the best way to experience Grand Cayman and make memories that last a lifetime!