After five days in the hot Cayman sun I’m dark enough that Arizona police would likely arrest me on sight if I weren’t carrying proof of citizenship.
For our last day in the glorious Cayman Islands we piled into our rented Suzuki Grand Vitara, possibly the world’s slowest SUV, and headed out for some snorkeling amongst the rocks and coral surrounding Georgetown. The abundant sea life on display was typically wondrous and we were reminded again why divers flock to this ocean paradise.
The Grand Vitara, however, must surely have been created to make the Ford Focus seem sporty. It does 0-60 in something under an hour, and has no air conditioning vents in the rear, meaning the two people in the front are very comfortable, while all other passengers suffocate in stale heat. If you have an opportunity to rent a Grand Vitara at some point, don’t.
We planned on dinner at Lighthouse, one of the oldest and best known restaurants on Grand Cayman. It’s about a 40 minute drive from our hotel, on the east side of the island, but the food is spectacular and well worth the trip.
There’s just one main road between the Westin and Lighthouse, and I’ve been many times, so of course I got lost. Very lost. So lost, in fact, that after an hour of searching and stopping twice for directions (which were given by chuckling locals who both pointed out that you “can’t miss it”) we gave up and headed back to town.
This actually proved fortuitous as we ended up at Guy Harvey’s, a delightful restaurant overlooking the harbor in Georgetown. I’d never been here before, so it was quite a treat, and the food was every bit as good as Lighthouse. As groups are want to do on vacation, we all tried each other’s dishes. All agreed that my blackened mahi mahi was the best, though the tuna steak was a close 2nd.
The Westin didn’t have Oliver’s room ready when he checked in last weekend, so he and his girlfriend stowed their luggage, including Oliver’s sport coat, at the front desk while they went to wait at the beach bar. The sport coat failed to make it to the room with the rest of the luggage later that afternoon.
Oliver spent the next four days stopping by the front desk to ask if it had turned up. Every day he was turned away disappointed.
On our final night in town we asked to see the manager. Said manager asked us once again to describe the coat.
“It’s a black sports coat”, said I. “It looks just like a blue sports coat, except its black.”
“What kind of sports coat.”
“One with buttons. It will strongly resemble a suit if you took the pants away.”
“Is there anything else you can tell me that would be helpful?”
I had several suggestions. Oliver quickly shut me up and asked the manager to check once more.
The manager quickly returned and patronizingly explained that he himself had checked the luggage storage area and the coat was simply not there. Clearly, he stated, Oliver must have left it on the plane.
Oliver’s already pink face turned a menacing shade of red. I eagerly pulled up a chair to watch my friend strangle the life out of the front desk manager.
Oliver disappointed me by merely growling that he’d like to have a look himself. The manager rolled his eyes as he led him back to the luggage storage room.
Oliver returned seconds later wearing his sports coat. The manager had the good grace to appear embarrassed, but said nothing as he slinked off down the hall.
I bet he drives a Grand Vitara.
Minor aggravations aside, this was a nearly perfect week. The Caymans are unreasonably gorgeous. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s safe, the people are friendly, and the water is shockingly clear and beautiful. I can think of few better ways to end a day than lounging on Seven Mile Beach, drink in hand, watching the sun set over Grand Cayman’s crystalline waters.
This is paradise.