Friday, August 28, 2020

Tori's Pretty Travels - Grand Cayman Island

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island
|| Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island ||

The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman Pool

Blue by Eric Ripert
|| Dining at Blue by Eric Ripert ||

Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman Island
|| Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island ||

Taikun at Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman - Bonzai Tree Dessert
|| Bonzai Tree Dessert at Taikun at Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman ||

Cayman history in George Town, Grand Cayman
|| Cayman history in Heroes Square in George Town, Grand Cayman ||

George Town, Grand Cayman
|| Strolling around in George Town ||

Observation Tower in Camana Bay
|| Observation Tower in Camana Bay ||

View from the Observation Tower in Camana Bay
|| View from the Observation Tower in Camana Bay ||

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island
|| Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island ||

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island
|| Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island ||

Pina Colada, Bar Jack, Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman
|| One of many Piña Coladas from Bar Jack ||


If you'e reading this then that means I'm relaxing on a beach with a Piña Colada in hand, my handsome hubs by my side, and enjoying some much needed - but safely distanced - R&R. 

In honor of the beach vacation we're currently on, I thought it would be fun to reminisce on one of my favorite trips in the recent past - travelling to Grand Cayman Island in 2019.

Let's jump in!

When did you go?

Spring of 2019

Why did you go? 

Let's set the scene - B and I were in the midst of what I can safely say were two of the worst years of my life. So much of our lives felt unstable.

Both of our careers were at turning points. 

We were unsure if Canada would be our forever home (Spoiler Alert: It sadly wasn't.)
 We were trying to create Plan A, Plan B, and even Plan C for what it would mean if Canada wasn't that home with only a gut instinct to guide us.

 Oh, and we were in the middle of planning our wedding, figuring our every detail, for what was a destination wedding for 90% of our guests, without a life-long Toronto network to help us make decisions and choose vendors. (Thank god a couple of our Toronto friends did have some really great recommendations!)

Frankly, we were both about to implode if we didn't take a break. So we both decided that we would have one very relaxing, very necessary trip the spring before our wedding. 

We decided on the Cayman Islands because we love the Caribbean and we've heard so many wonderful stories about the Caymans. We racked up so many points from all of our business travel that we were able to take this trip for a fraction of the cost - so that helped our decision too!

How did you get there? 

We flew direct from Pearson International Airport in Toronto to Owen Roberts International in Grand Cayman.

What made this trip special?

There was so much to love about Grand Cayman! 

We stayed at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman which was so lovely. The restaurants were delicious (more on that below), the room was gorgeous, and the staff were fantastic. We even have a Polaroid of ourselves from the wonderful man who drove us to and from the airport!

But most of all? The beach was perfection. 

It's said that the Seven Mile Beach is one of the best beaches in the world and I would 1000% agree with that. Soft, smooth, white sand with only a few shells. The water was crystal blue and warm. We spent most of our days sitting on beach chairs, reading books, enjoying cocktails, and taking a big, restful breath of relaxation. 

Plus, this was the last trip we took before B and I were married. So it's really special to remember our last trip before we became husband and wife 😻 

What was your best meal?

It's so hard to choose! We ate at so many wonderful places. 

We enjoyed Taikun, the sushi restaurant on-site. They made the Bonsai tree out of chocolate and cake that you see in the pictures above!

We ate breakfast everyday at Andiamo. I have never had fresher fruit or more interesting breakfast choices in any other destination. Truly one of the best hotel breakfasts I've ever had!

We enjoyed lunch daily at Bar Jack. Their shrimp tacos were excellent and they sure knew how to made one hell of a Piña Colada!

We enjoyed dinner at Andiamo one night, munching on pizzas and pasta. We enjoyed steaks at Seven, and we made a 35 minute walk down the beach to Coccoloba for an assortment of fantastic tacos and margaritas.

But I'd say the best of all would be when we ate at Blue by Eric Ripert. We saved quite a bit on the flights and accommodations so we decided we'd do one big dinner hurrah at Blue. 

I've never tasted better fish in my life! We chose one of the Tasting menus and enjoyed course after course of amuse-bouche, scallops, tuna, salmon, and so many other delicious bites. Then the desserts flowed as deliciously as the seafood with cookies and cake and bites upon bites.

This meal was the biggest splurge we've ever made and it was worth every penny! 

What was your best memory?

Sitting in the warm setting sun, with the sandy beach beneath me, the beautiful Caribbean sea in front of me, and my soon-to-be husband next to me. It's as simple and cheesy and beautiful as that 😄

What would you do differently?

I wouldn't recommend getting dolled up and then walking down the beach more than 10 minutes away to a nearby restaurant. The thought was romantic but walking in the sand and humidity when you're all done up just felt like I needed another shower once we got to the restaurant lol. 

So either skip the cute look and take the walk au naturel or take a taxi and skip the beach walk. 

We also spent some time in the George Town shopping district and I would have planned our town visit for a time of day when the least amount of cruise ships were at port. 

The shops were okay but I enjoyed more walking to Heroes Square and reading about the history of the Cayman Islands more than I did the shopping!

Would you go back?

Absolutely - in a heartbeat!

Thanks for stopping by!😀

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