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Blog Home > Archive (December, 2015)

When I first met Mrs. Nettie she was dancing. Mrs. Nettie loves to dance. She has the warmest personality and is the kind of person that you instantly fall in love with. She's always smiling and laughing and welcoming new people into her circle. 

Mrs. Nettie lives 3 miles from Christopher Columbus Condos and worked at CCC as a housekeeper for over 30 years. She is a staple on our beach and an admired figure in the community. In fact, she was honored with a Medal of Merit by the Order of the Cayman Islands during National Heroes Day 2013 for her long, meritorious service.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to hang out with Mrs. Nettie for a couple of hours on my last trip to the islands. She picked me up at CCC and we drove through West Bay to have treats at her house and stopped at a few places along the way. During this time I learned so much about her storied life.

Nurse Leila's HouseOriginally from Honduras, Mrs. Nettie came to Cayman when she was 16 years old by boat. She had been invited by a nurse on the island to come work as a midwife. A boat captain by the name of Alie helped her get a work permit, and from there Mrs. Nettie went to work with Nurse Leila in midwifery. She said in "them days the work permits were easy gettin'." As she started to tell me her stories of midwifery, she pulled up to a house and told me, "This is the house where I first lived and worked with Nurse Leila." Mrs. Nettie told me that Nurse Leila delivered over 1,000 Cayman babies and that she was featured on a Cayman stamp. I could tell that Mrs. Nettie had a great deal of respect for Nurse Leila and that she was proud to have worked for her. I also discovered that the house is currently being restored by The National Trust for the Cayman Islands.

Later Mrs. Nettie met and married Cecil Bush who was a captain of a huge ship. They traveled all over the world including trips from Philly to Nigeria for crude oil. She said the ship life was not glamorous like cruises, but that she did enjoy traveling the world. During one trip she said she was the only woman on the entire ship, and that all the men went out of their way to put up a beautiful Christmas tree just for Nettie.

Mrs. Nettie also lived in New York for awhile before returning to Grand Cayman. Upon her return she started working in the tourism industry. She was just reminiscing on working as a receptionist at the Galleon Beach Hotel when we pulled up to her house in West Bay. She got out of her car and introduced me to her parrot, Polly, and showed me her ackee tree which bears a red fruit that she said goes well with cod. I noticed she had Christmas lights up, and she mentioned that she turns them on every year on November 28th, her birthday.

We walked into her house and I was delighted to see a hammock hanging across the front room. She showed me around her cozy Cayman house, pulled out her National Award, pointed out photos from her past and then we settled back in the kitchen. Mrs. Nettie treated me to a homemade cake and Sunny Delight as she started to tell me about her days at Christopher Columbus Condos.

I could tell she really loved her time at CCC as she told me story after story. She told me about how she be-friended all of the guests and how many would ask for her upon their return. She told stories of cooking special dishes for guests, lending out her car to guests in need and even offering up her house to guests that missed their flight. But my favorite story was a story she told about a sweet girl who was staying at CCC through the Make a Wish Foundation.

The young girl's father had told Mrs. Nettie that extra dyes and strong scents often made her sick and asked Mrs. Nettie if she could wash their sheets with non-scented detergent. Mrs. Nettie went to a grocery store and bought the detergent for the young girl herself. She also told me how much she loved her perfume and makeup and said that she went the entire week without wearing perfume or lipstick just to make sure the little girl didn't get sick. At the end of their stay the father and daughter thanked her many times and both were very happy because the girl didn't get sick at all during her stay.

Mrs. Nettie laughingAs I sipped on my Sunny Delight Mrs. Nettie told me that she still drops by CCC for get-togethers and that she still receives Christmas cards and letters from past guests. Now retired, Mrs. Nettie walks 3 miles every morning and thanks God everyday for her 2 beautiful daughters and 2 grand-kids. She said, "They are the loves of my life. I work for them, and what I work hard for I'm going to give it all to them." She attends the John Gray Memorial Church of West Bay and is an active member of the congregation.

I asked why she loves Cayman, and she responded, "I don't wanna live no where else. This is the best place in the whole world."

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5 Perfect Island Cocktails

You get off the airplane at Owen Roberts International, take a short drive to Christopher Columbus Condos and dash to the white sandy beach. Your toes hit the sand and you take a deep relaxing breath as you take in the beauty of the Caribbean Sea. As you park yourself under one of our thatched huts you realize the only thing missing is the perfect island cocktail.

Here are 5 tropical drink recipes that you can easily whip up in your condo kitchen to get a drink in that hand!

1. Callie's Sparkling Pineapple Punch

Named after the gal that first made this for me, this drink is light, fruity and fun. You'll need: 1 fresh pineapple, 1/2 gallon of orange juice, 2 bananas, 1/8 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of sparkling water and your choice amount of vodka.

  1. Slice the pineapple and bananas. (Put a couple pieces of pineapple aside for garnish.)
  2. Blend the pineapple and banana into a liquid pulp
  3. Add sugar, orange juice, sparkling water and your choice amount of vodka.
  4. Blend, add ingredients to taste and then pour into a pitcher.

Enjoy with a group or store in the fridge for quick drinks later. Will serve 6-8 drinks.

2. Piña Colada with Fresh Coconut 

Pick up a couple of fresh coconuts from a local produce stand or market and get ready for the best Piña Colada! This recipe also calls for rum, so make sure to grab some of our locally brewed rum to make this ultra Caymanian. You'll need: A fresh coconut, 6 oz of pineapple juice, 2 cups of ice, couple of cherries and your choice amount of rum.

  1. Put your pineapple juice, ice and rum into a blender. Blend until nice and smooth.
  2. Poke a couple of holes in the eyes of your fresh coconut and pour out the coconut water into a bowl. Next, crack it all the way open and scrape some of the coconut meat into the bowl as well. Mix and then pour choice amount into the blender.
  3. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour cocktail into glasses, and add a cherry to the top to finish it off.

Depending on how much coconut water you add to the mixture this should make enough for 2-4 drinks.

3. Classic Strawberry Daiquiri

You can count on a strawberry daiquiri like a Cayman sunset. You'll need: 12 oz fresh strawberries, 2 limes, 4 tsp of powdered sugar, choice amount of rum, 4 cups of ice and whip cream.

  1. Add strawberries, powdered sugar, rum and ice to blender. Squeeze juice from limes into blender and blend all until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour drinks from blender into cocktail glass. Add whip cream to the top and garnish with a whole strawberry on the side of the glass.

You may want to bring out the cute little drink umbrella for this one! Should serve about 4 drinks.

4. Dark 'n Stormy with a Lime Twist

The Dark 'n Stormy has picked up in popularity lately. Dare I say it's taken everyone by storm? For each drink you'll need: 1 ginger beer, a shot of dark rum (or choice amount) and 1/2 lime.

  1. Mix 8 oz of ginger beer with choice amount of dark rum.
  2. Cut your 1/2 lime in half. Squeeze one of the wedges into drink and garnish with the other wedge.

Take your highball out on the balcony and enjoy a Cayman sunset.

5. Famous Cayman Mudslide

The Cayman Mudslide was invented and made famous by the Wreck Bar at Rum Point.   Actually, legend has it that the mudslide itself was invented there. The difference between an original "Cayman" mudslide and many commercial mudslides nowadays is that you don't add ice cream or whipped cream to the drink. In it's purest form the mudslide should only consist of vodka, Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream, chocolate syrup and ice.

  1. For this drink you will want equal parts vodka, Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream to your blender. I would suggest 1 oz of each liquor per glass/serving (more or less to your taste and tolerance). :)
  2. Then add about 2 cups of ice to the blender for each glass/serving needed as well. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Find clear glasses and line each with your chocolate syrup. Pour your lovely mudslide into each glass.

For extra fun you can add a swirl of chocolate to the top of each of your drinks.

A Few Extra Tips

If you have kiddos or adults along that would rather not drink alcohol, you can make any of these drinks (aside from the Mudslide of course) non-alcoholic by simply leaving out the liquor. You can also adjust the amounts of the ingredients to suit your own taste, and throw in some new ingredients if you get spunky. It's fun to experiment.

At the end of the day, though, whether it be the real deal or a mocktail, we hope you have a cold drink in hand as you simply enjoy the beauty of Grand Cayman island from our beachfront.

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