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You know what’s awesome about Cayman? It's even beautiful when it rains. Most of the time, our rain comes and goes in quick spurts (lasting no more than an hour), but every once in a while, we get a day when the sun doesn’t seem to want to shine. For those days we’ve made a list of things you can do and ways you can enjoy a day in Cayman rain or shine!

Visit the Cinema at Camana Bay.

On a rainy day, there is nothing better than sitting in a dark theater eating a big tub of popcorn. As the only movie theater in Grand Cayman, a trip to the Camana Bay Cinema is a unique experience that features all the latest films, a packed concession menu, and comfortable seating. The state-of-the-art theater offers a cozy place to relax with the family out of the rain.

After the film, take a stroll through Camana Bay. Though the area is mostly outdoors, there are plenty of local shops to duck into such as 3 Girls and A Kiln, Forever Summer, and West Indies Wine Company. Stop by Books & Books to pick up some new reading material or board game for a night in at your condo. There are also plenty of restaurants to stop by for a snack or a full meal.



Experience the National Gallery

Stay dry and view some beautiful pieces of art at the National Gallery. This cultural hub features artists from all over the world, showcasing some truly stunning examples of visual art. From traditional Cayman artwork to internationally recognized masterpieces, the National Gallery is sure to amaze. You can easily spend a couple of hours moving from exhibit to exhibit, taking a moment to appreciate each brushstroke and sketched line. You can also check their calendar to see what fun events they have coming up for your family to enjoy.

Tour the Distillery

Have you ever wanted to see how your favorite spirits were made? At the Cayman Spirits Company Distillery Tour, you can! The 30-minute tour of the 5,000 square foot facility will give you a taste of how some of Grand Cayman’s favorite rums and vodkas are produced. The best part is you get to taste all of the results at the end of the tour. If you find one you like, you can bring it home for a nice drink on the beach later.

Have a Night In

The best part about staying at Christopher Columbus Condos (besides the views, of course!) is the fact that every unit has a fully stocked kitchen, television, and comfortable furniture making it the perfect place for a relaxing night in. Many of the condos come with fun board games you can enjoy. Head down to Foster’s to pick up the ingredients for a delicious home-cooked meal or order delivery pizza from Gino’s and then gather round for a movie. There’s no better way to spend an evening.

Pamper Yourself

Just because it’s dreary outside, doesn’t mean you have to be, too. Rainy days are the perfect days to focus on relaxing and getting in some self-care. Consider getting a massage, visiting a salon for a full mani-pedi, or get stretching at one of Grand Cayman’s yoga studios. If you’d rather stay in your condo, consider a homemade face mask you can make with simple kitchen ingredients like sugar, coffee, and honey. Let the face mask do its job while you kick back with a book and a cup of tea.

Try Some Place New

With so many restaurants to choose from on Grand Cayman, there’s bound to be one you haven’t tried yet. Here are some of our places to add to your list:

  • Yoshi: One of the only places to get authentic Japanese cuisine on Grand Cayman, you can’t miss Yoshi if you enjoy sushi, hibachi, or other Japanese favorites.
  • Boggy Sand Caribbean Kitchen: Located a short drive from Christopher Columbus Condos, Boggy Sand is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their diverse menu offers a variety of American favorites, comfort foods, and Cayman dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for fish, pizza, a burger or a salad, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste buds. They even have vegetarian options!
  • Every Bloomin’ Thing: If you’ve never attended a traditional afternoon tea service, this could be your chance. The EBT Tea Room features an assortment of teas, sandwiches, and homemade pastries and scones making it the perfect place for lunch. Despite being the spot for a traditional tea, EBT prides itself on being a casual dining experience anyone can enjoy.
A delicious plate at Yoshi.

Go to the Beach Anyways

We aren’t here to tell you how to live your life, so if you’re feeling the beach, go for it! Hey, you’ll already be wet so what’s a little rain anyway? As any mom would tell you, just make sure swimming conditions are safe and no lightning is present.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

There’s no need to put your vacation on hold because of a little rain. Grand Cayman offers so many activities for visitors it would be impossible not to find something to keep you having fun while staying dry. Just remember to take a look outside after the rain has passed to see if you can spot a rainbow. It makes for the perfect photo. 😉

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If you’re like me, the only drawback to your trip to Grand Cayman is leaving furry family members at home. I’m not ashamed to admit that saying goodbye to my cats is cause for tears and daily requests for photos from the catsitter. Four-legged or not, my pets are important members of my household. If you have a big heart for animals like I do, you can show love to dogs and cats in need on the island through the Cayman Islands Humane Society.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society (CIHS) provides food, shelter, and care to homeless or abused dogs and cats, and also works to pair animals with loving and responsible owners. The shelter has a staff of 11, but can always use a helping hand from volunteers and support from donations. The current facility houses 37 dog kennels and a cat adoption room, which are kept very full due to the large number of animals in need.

How to help if you don’t live on island

  1. Volunteer to be a dog walker when you’re visiting
Dog walkers can come from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, though it’s best to walk in the early morning when it’s not too hot—paws and hot pavement don't mix. If you’ve got the time, staff will help pair you with a dog who likes to go for longer walks and socialize. Camana Bay and the beach are great places to get in a little exercise with your furry pal for the day!  
    2. Be a patron of the Thrift Shop and Book Loft
Proceeds from these shops support the shelter. Grab some beach reading or a unique souvenir and help feed a dog or cat in the process!
    3. Become an Associated Member for CI $40 a year
Memberships are a great way to not only support the work of CIHS but also keep updated with what’s happening at the shelter. Members receive a monthly newsletter with photos and updates. 
    4. Sponsor a cage for a puppy, kitten, dog, or cat for one year
These sponsorships are a great way to make a direct impact for an animal in need.
    5. Donate funds or supplies to the shelter
Monetary donations of any amount are always greatly appreciated and can be put to immediate use. Other donations such as food, treats, cat litter, etc., are also welcome—but you should give the shelter a call to see what they’re in the most need of before taking a trip to the store.
    6. Adopt a pet
The shelter does offer a service to fly a pet from the island, so if you fall in love with a particular fuzzy fellow you see on Facebook or meet while visiting, it is possible to bring them home. Dogs and cats are duty free when coming into the United States.
    7. Tell your friends! 
If you know any animal lovers who feel like Cayman is a home away from home, encourage them to support the Humane Society’s efforts as well. Share one of CIHS's Facebook posts or create your own. 
     

The Humane Society office is located at 153 North Sound Road in Georgetown near the airport, so it’s only a short ten minute drive from the condos. If you’re looking to brighten a sunny Cayman day even more by taking a dog for a walk or making a donation, get in touch with the Humane Society and volunteer!

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dasher reading reindeer gazetteCamana Bay has been hosting some very special guests the past couple of weeks - all of Santa's reindeer! On a recent visit, I noticed families looking for Santa's four legged friends (who were scattered throughout Camana Bay). The group I was with started looking, too. First we spotted Prancer on a bench. Then we found Donner by the Observation Tower and Blitzen by Karoo. Comet was hanging out by the Post Office. We discovered Dasher reading the Reindeer Gazette, and Dancer, Vixen and Cupid were all there, too. 

mom and kids walking across bridgeWhile we were looking, I spotted a reindeer on "The Island." As we were crossing the bridge to the small isle, I guessed out loud that it was Rudolph. A little girl in front of us looked back with sparkling excitement- “It is!” -and then ran ahead with pure joy.

Once we stepped foot on the island, we scurried up to check out Rudolph, who, we noticed, was missing his best asset - his red nose! There was a bench next to Rudolph, so we decided to take a load off and took a seat for awhile.

rudolph chilling outNext thing I know, a kid came up crying.

“Rudolph doesn’t have his nose!” she fearfully exclaimed and started to sniffle.

Without hesitation, I stepped in as Rudolph’s PR agent, explaining, "Don't worry! Rudolph's just on vacation.
He'll get his nose back soon. You see, he only needs it one day a year when he leads the sleigh."

She quickly accepted my explanation, smiled and then started hugging on Rudolph. She was assured that all was right in the world and a Christmas crisis was averted.

Rudolph without a noseNext, another family came up and was confused. "Which reindeer is this… we thought it was Rudolph?" the mom questioned.

I stepped in again, now a little more comfortable in my new "position."

"Oh, don’t worry folks. It’s Rudolph, he’s just on vacation. He’s got to take a load off because when he does work, he flies across the entire world in one night. He’ll have his nose back soon. It just needed a little maintenance."

The family went on to huddle around Rudolph for photos and Rudolph escaped yet another PR disaster. My friends and I laughed that I had officially became Rudolph's PR Agent as I continued to comfort other passerby.

Truth be told, while we were sitting there, a maintenance team for the Camana Bay decorations came up and inspected Rudolph, noting things that needed to be fixed. They assured us Rudolph would have his red nose soon.

comet in camana bayI went back the next day to snap a photo with Rudolph for this post and sure enough, Rudolph had his nose. Rudolph's a quiet one, but I like to think he was thankful that I swept in and saved his reputation.

He's still enjoying a much deserved vacation in the Cayman Islands, but soon enough, he'll be leading Santa's sleigh around the world!

Make sure to stop by Camana Bay and visit Rudolph and the other reindeer before their world tour starts!

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The Brooklyn Sign in Camana BayWhen you first walk into The Brooklyn, you'll instantly fall in love with the stylish interior. It's urban, hip and welcoming. The lighting is perfect, with large windows on the left of the main dining area letting in natural light and lights with over-sized lamp shades hanging at just the right height above the crowd. There are also beautiful wood tables, cool distressed bar stools, walls in trendy colors, an amazing tin-style ceiling and lights that spell out BRKLYN on the ceiling off to the right in the smaller dining area.

When I walked in with a group of friends, we were greeted by a friendly host and were seated at a corner table with an awesome street-style painting poised directly above the table. The subject in the painting oozed style and confidence.  We started off with a round of waters and then dove into the white wine and local beer selection.

We heard that pizzas were their thing, but the waiter assured us that the appetizers, pastas and entrees were just as delectable. I browsed the pizzas and saw specialty choices like the "Jammin'" pizza that featured jerk chicken and the "Fun Guy" that touted truffle roasted mushrooms as one of the toppings. They also had dependable favorites like Pepperoni, Four Cheese, Supreme and Meat Lovers.

Lights spelling out BrklynTheir pasta and entrees did look very appetizing, too. The pasta choices included the trusty Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chicken Alfredo and bolder choices like the Hearty Seafood Linguini that had four different seafood meats: clams, mussels, shrimp and salmon. Among the entrees there was a Roasted Chicken dish with mushroom marsala sauce, asparagus and mushroom truffle risotto (can you tell I'm obsessed with mushrooms?). I also spotted the Braised Beef Short Rib that came with garlic potatoes and a lemon and garlic-sautéed spinach.

I ended up going with the Jammin' chicken pizza. Two of the other ladies ordered the Orchard pizza and The Brooklyn Wedge salad to split. Another friend ordered the Goat Cheese salad and the final order was the chicken Brooklyn Sandwich. While we were waiting on our main dishes the waiter brought us bread poised perfectly in a terra cotta planter. The volume of the bread sat right atop the planter, and we all agreed it was a cute touch.

Jammin' Pizza from The BrooklynWhen the orders came, we were ready to dive in! The blend of BBQ sauce, jerk chicken, mango and veggies on my pizza was a wonderful medley for the taste buds. I'd rate the spice at about a medium, so if you like spicy food but can't handle super spicy then this will still definitely work for you. The small bits of mango really helped knock the spice down. I also bartered a piece of my pizza for a piece of the Orchard pizza. It was a savory pizza that included poached pear, prociutto, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and a truffle honey drizzle (where is an OMG emoticon face when you need one?). It was so rich and delicious. The keepers of the chicken Brooklyn Sandwich and Goat Cheese salad had nothing but great things to say as well.

After taking what seemed like our 50th photo of the food, I felt the need to confess that we were taking photos for the Christopher Columbus blog for fear of being judged for the eccentric amount of photography. The waiter laughed and said not to worry. We chatted for a bit, and I discovered that he had actually moved to the island to take advantage of the new job opportunities with the opening of The Brooklyn and of course to enjoy this island which he had fallen in love with. The manager came over to check up on us, and we struck up a conversation as well. He told us that he stayed at Christopher Columbus Condos on one of his first trip to the islands for his honeymoon! The small world adage is definitely true on this intimate island.

After our nice chat, the manager sent over a dessert pizza-pie that was sinfully good. It was made with Nutella, fire-roasted marshmallows, caramel and had graham cracker crust sprinkled on top. It seemed we didn't leave a single crumb behind. We left the Brooklyn feeling happy, trendy and full. We all agreed that it was an amazing meal and that we would enjoy the chance to visit again in the near future.

The Brooklyn is located on Market Street in Camana Bay. They also have outdoor seating if you're in the mood for enjoying the beautiful Cayman elements. Check out their website for their full menu and dining hours: www.thebrooklyncayman.com.

Comments 2 Rating: Rated 5 star by 1 people.

Camana Bay is a modern, walkable community with lots of shops, restaurants, recreational areas and even some residential opportunities. The newly developed island town (on the west side of Grand Cayman island near Seven Mile Beach) has been in the works for approximately 8 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

canvas tarp in Camana BayThe beautiful Caribbean inspired architecture and urban townscape are worth a visit alone. The commercial corridors are decorated with with multi-color lighting, lavish island landscaping, welcoming patios and courtyards, benches and water features. My favorite features, though, are the canvas tarps that are artistically stretched above the community in many shapes and colors and the exquisite main corridor that ends at the mouth of the bay.

view from observation towerWhen you visit the community you should come hungry and allow time for a meal, shopping and exploring. First, I suggest walking down the main corridor and appreciating the street view, then you'll want to make the 75 foot climb to the top of the seriously amazing Observation Tower. The views of Camana Bay and beyond are incredible, but the climb up is just as impressive as there is a mosaic mural (one of the largest of its kind in the world) that covers one of the walls for the entire climb up. If stairs aren't your thing, they also have an elevator that stops at each floor so that you can still enjoy the mosaic on the way up.

beet smoothie from JessesAfter a climb like that, it's time to reward yourself by indulging in some delicious cuisine. I suggest Waterfront for brunch. As its name implies it has awesome seating right on the waterfront. We went on a cheery Sunday morning and enjoyed ahhhmazing breakfast food and perfect mid-morning cocktails (extra-spicy bloody Mary and a mimosa made with grapefruit juice). Jesse's Juice Bar and Mizu are perfect lunch options. Really, the group I travel with has made several trips to Camana Bay just for Jesse's Juice Bar. They make healthy smoothies and can be conveniently accessed from one of the parking lots for quick "swing by's." Mizu has great sushi in a swanky little atmosphere. 

For dinner, try Karoo or Ortanique. Karoo has a Brie Burger that is to die for, but fair warning: It is huge! I also had a lemonade ginger cocktail that was made with fresh lemonade. Ortanique is also a culinary joy with desserts that are too good to be true including home made ice cream and warm bread pudding.

Books & Books shopAfter you've had your fill of food you can walk it off by visiting the local retail shops or strolling through the community. There's a cool independent bookstore appropriately called, Books & Books that is great for browsing. They also have regular events including a weekly children's story time. There's also a coffee shop that is conveniently joined to the shop.

If you're in the mood for clothes shopping, there are a couple of luxury shops - NKY Collection stores for men and women and The Jean Bar with premium denim. There are also several retailers that sell swimwear and resort-wear as well as several accessory shops and jewelers. 

If you're looking to chill out, there is a movie theater with regular showings as well as a multitude of special events to choose from on an ongoing basis. For example, every Wednesday night there's an event called Open Canvas where artists set up canvases and paint at will. It's fun to stroll by and see what they're creating. If you have kiddos with you, be sure to check out the water spouts which are popular play areas. With the holidays coming up you'll also want to make repeat visits to see the area transformed into one of the best decorated locations on the island. If you'd like more information about Camana Bay, they have a lively website that's updated daily:
www.camanabay.com

entrance to Camana Bay
   

tarp hanging over town
     

Mizu asian bistro
  sand angles swimsuit and resort shop
  creative tarps hanging over town
Comments 2 Rating: Rated 4.5 star by 1 people.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Grand Cayman! Christmas lights, holiday concerts, shopping and more are taking place across the island as Caymanians and Christmas vacationers alike are anticipating the big day.

Santa Spottings on Grand Cayman

Santa arrived by plane last Saturday at the airport park at Grand Cayman International airport and brought lots of joy to the kids on the island. Santa has also been making weekly appearances at Camana Bay on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Gardenia Court. We hear he'll be there every Thursday through December 18th. You can get your traditional Santa photos then! 

Even Santa needs a break! He's been sporting his island wear on Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on "The Island" in Camana Bay and is posing for Caribbean Style Santa Photos, too. Come join the fun on Saturdays through December 20th.

Camana Bay Christmas Events

Camana Bay has no lack in Christmas Spirit. This community is chalk full of holiday cheer and events. Aside from both Traditional and Caribbean Santa Photos, they're featuring a weekly Moonlight and Movies Christmas Series on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. in Gardenia Court. Show up early because you won't want to miss the snow that falls in Camana Bay every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Movies and snow run through December 23rd. There are a plethora of other events going on this Christmas season at Camana Bay so make sure to check out the calendar on their website for all the jolly details. Launch Camana Bay Holiday Calendar >>

Christmas at The Fort

Enjoy Christmas carols, tree lighting and all kinds of gifts at the newly renovated Fort George during Christmas at the Fort on Thursday, December 11th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and special performances by local artists! Event is FREE!

Christmas Decorations at Botanic Park

Nature and Christmas come together at the Botanic Park during the holiday season. See the already gorgeous park decorated for Christmas with a visit to their grounds.

Decorated Homes

Driving to see elaborately decorated homes on the island is a favorite holiday activity for many. The most popular homes are the Bodden sisters' home in the South Sound and the Crighton home and garden near Savannah. They go all out and have been decorating their homes for years. The Bodden sisters often greet people outside of their home, and I read in the Cayman Christmas Catalog that the Crighton family takes 6 weeks to decorate their home! 

Holiday Concerts

Many enjoy attending Christmas themed concerts at churches across the island. The East End United Church Hall will hold an "Old Fashion Treasured Christmas" on December 13th. Entry is $10 and the event includes skits, caroling, games, poems, memory gems, food and more. They suggest bringing a gift for the charity box. St. Ignatius will host a Candlelight Carol Service on December 17th with bands, choirs and readings for the season. Find more details on the Cayman Compass calendar.

Dashing Thru the Sand

Dashing Thru the Sand, one of our guest favorites, is an annual event that takes place the day after Christmas. It's a 1.5 mile walk/run on Seven Mile Beach. The fun starts at 7:30 a.m. Registration includes a t-shirt, breakfast at the end of the route and lots of prizes. The route starts just North of Hemingway's Restaurant at the Hyatt and runs North to Calico Jacks. Cost is CI$25. More details here.

Cayman Christmas Traditions

Aside from the many Christmas activities on Grand Cayman there are also some really cool traditions from times past. I found this great article on the Cayman Islands Tourism Association's website about Caymanian Christmas traditions. The Sand Yards sound particularly fun and interesting.

Comments 1 Rating: Rated 4.5 star by 1 people.
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