Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Holly - Tell about a favorite family vacation.

When I was a kid, we didn't go on a lot of vacations. We usually  made it to the beach maybe once a year for a week, but that was about it.  My parents, however, did try to get away by themselves, or with friends, once a year.  They have traveled to many different places in the world together.  When I was in 4th grade, they started taking Uncle Jarred and I along with them to Myrtle Beach every spring, and we continued this tradition until I was a senior in high school. Although these trips were a lot of fun, my favorite family vacation was when we went to Grand Cayman Island for the first time when I was a sophomore in high school.  My parents decided they would let Jarred and I tag along for their yearly "winter vacation", and I couldn't have been more happy. I mean, who doesn't want to go to a tropical caribbean island in the middle of winter!  The Cayman Islands are 3 small islands in the western caribbean, below Cuba.  Grand Cayman is the largest of the 3 islands, and that is where we stayed.  I remember flying over the caribbean for the first time, and being so amazed at the water.  It is pretty hard to describe it, but I hope that one day you will get to see it for yourselves girls!  It is NOTHING like that ocean at Ocean City, trust me =)

We flew to the Caymans in March, rented a little jeep tracker thing, and I had my first experience with driving on the different side of the road!  The Caymans is a British owned island, so they drive on the opposite side of the road that we do here in USA.  My parents rented this wonderful 3 bedroom condo right on the beach. It was in a private condo complex, so it wasn't a crowded hotel, or really anything extravagant- but it was pretty much perfect.  It was called The Cayman Reef Resort, and I loved everything about it the moment we arrived!  Here are a few pictures of it....
Here is a view from the ocean looking up at the condos.

Here is a view from the bottom of our condo out to the ocean.

We did many special things as family, but by far the 2 neatest things I was able to experience was to be able to swim with stingrays, and go parasailing.  We took a private catamaran out to a special sandbar in the middle of the caribbean sea and literally swam with, fed, and held live stingrays!  It was such a neat experience, one that I actually did AGAIN 2 years later when my wonderful parents took me and a bunch of my friends on a cruise, and we stopped at the Caymans for a day!

Here's Mommy, Deedle, and Uncle Jarred getting ready to get on the catamaran to go to stingray city.

Uncle Jarred wasn't so sure about all this, but he did it!  The fine specimen to the right was captain dexter, he owned the private boat we took. He was quite the character!!

I mentioned that I also went parasailing. You have seen this done many times at Ocean City...but I promise, there is maybe not anywhere else in the world that could be a more perfect spot to parasail than the Caymans!  You are about 300 or more feet above the water, and you can STILL see down to the bottom. I saw all kinds of fish, and huge sea turtles. It was such a neat experience!!
Here I go heading up into the sky!!

When we weren't doing fun adventure as a family, we spent the day being lazy on the beach and going snorkeling! The water is just so perfect!

I think this was my favorite family vacation (with my family growing up) because I realized how fortunate I was to be able to experience such an amazing place and such unique experiences!  I realized how much my parents loved my brother and I to take us along with them.  I am so grateful to them for all they have always done for Jarred and I, but I realized on this trip, what a true blessing it is to have such a close family.  I hope that Daddy and I will be able to allow you girls some fun traveling experiences, also, as you get older!   I am still trying to convince Nana and Deedle to take us back to the Caymans for would both love it!!

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