It was hard to leave Grand Cayman yesterday and return to frosty NYC. The weather was ridiculously good during the entire time I was there and the Caribbean sea always looked so inviting, with its different shades of blue. I knew I couldn't stay forever, but I wish I could have stayed for at least another week so I could attend the Parade of Lights.
The Parade of Lights, which will take place at 6 PM on Saturday, Dec. 12th, is a parade of boats decked out with lights and costumed crew. All sorts of boats enter and I'm sure the results are just fabulous. After all, check out the way the house pictured above is decorated for Christmas.
That house isn't too far away from Georgetown (Cayman's capital), and I find it amazing that this home is in the Caribbean at all. It looks like it belongs in an American suburb. Grand Cayman is very modern and is known for having the highest standard of living in the Caribbean. If you had any doubts, this house is a good example.
While that was the most lavish light display I saw, there were plenty of low key holiday lights adorning houses around the island. The hotels also did a great job decorating their grounds and trees with lights, especially the Westin Casuarina, where I was staying. The tree pictured to the left isn't at a hotel; it's located at Camana Bay, a newly built "towne center," aka an upscale condo development with stores, restaurants and recreation space. It's so modern and beautifully designed that it would stand out in most places in the U.S. and would probably blend in quite nicely in Miami. But it really stands alone in the Caribbean. The Cayman Jazz Fest took place on the Camana Bay grounds — I promise to write a post about that terrific event soon.
Before this trip, I had never been anywhere tropical so close to Christmas. So it felt a little incongruous to me to admire a Christmas tree while I was melting in the heat. But the Caymanians sure love Christmas. Overall, the island is very religious, which is typical of the Caribbean. In Cayman, bars and restaurants have to shut down by midnight on Saturdays to observe the Sunday Sabbath. While that might seem like bad news to a party-loving tourist, fear not as Cayman has far more nightlife options than most of the islands, which tend to be quite sleepy. And midnight isn't that early when you've started sipping your rum punches and Cayman Coladas around noon.