Cayman Islands, Day 2

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You can browse the photo album in a new window while reading the recap.

Saturday, December 5

I got up a bit early (but not too early) on Saturday morning to run two miles. This is standard day-before-the-marathon practice for me, especially when traveling. Feeling how hot it was, even before 8 a.m., confirmed that I would need to make an extra effort to stay cool and hydrated at the race on Sunday. It also gave me a chance to check out the area near our hotel.

Later that morning, Jenelle and I went out for a walk after enjoying free continental breakfast. We ventured to the beach across the street as well as a nearby grocery store.

Here’s the perfect time to talk about money in the Cayman Islands. All prices are given in Cayman Island dollars (which I’ll abbreviate as $CI from now on). The exchange rate between $CI and the US dollar is fixed at $1 CI = $1.25 US. The prices of everything are elevated, which is what you’d expect for an island in the Caribbean, but because of the exchange rate, it’s more expensive than you realize. For example, a combo meal at a Wendy’s cost $6.70. That’s a little more that we’d pay in the states. However, that’s $6.70 CI, which works out to about $8.37 US. If I paid for this with a US $20 bill, I’d get $9.30 CI back. How’s that for heavy math? 🙂

After returning to the hotel with our groceries, we boarded a bus for the Marriott (a few miles to the south) to pick up my race number. More on that in tomorrow’s entry. After lunch at Wendy’s, we went back to the hotel to relax a little bit before our main activity of the day.

SNORKELING! We booked a boat tour at Captain Marvin’s Watersports. There were three separate stops on the tour. We left around 1 p.m. and made our way to Stingray City, about a half hour boat ride off shore. The water was not even shoulder-deep, and string rays swam all around us. We were scared at first, but when we noticed all the people mingling about with the rays, we were pretty sure it was safe. Thanks to our waterproof camera, we got some great shots of the rays and of us holding them. Guides instructed us to kiss the ray to get seven years good luck. 🙂

The next two stops were both snorkeling places — Barrier Reef and Coral Gardens. Both of these gave us ample opportunties to don our own snorkels (which I bought before our honeymoon six years ago) and swim with the fishies. It was pretty neat, but little did I know that more exciting snorkeling was in store for us later on the trip.

Between the boat trip and dinner, we decided to go rent a car for the remainder of our trip. It would make things a lot easier for us, as Jenelle would need to easily get around while I was running the race on Sunday. We took the car to Breezes by the Bay, a restaurant in George Town (the closest thing to “downtown” in Grand Cayman), for the pre-race pasta party. We ended up sitting with a couple from Chicago, both of whom were running the half marathon. Another interesting note was that the brand of butter was “Wisconsin Gold”. A little taste of home.

We took it easy the rest of the night, as we would be getting up very early the next day.

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