But no one wants to look at 700 photos so I tried to narrow them down to some of my favorites (which are still probably too many for one post, oh well).
We flew out of Reagan National Airport at 8am with Kristian's sister, her fiance, their 6 kids (they each have 3 kids) and two of the boys girlfriends. The flights were smooth and after a quick layover in Charlotte we arrived on the island around 1:30pm
*Secret- that is not my Bloody Mary, it's my SIL's, apparently my diet coke didn't look cool in the picture. I choose caffeine over alcohol at 7am everytime. No shame.
On our first flight together in 3 years.
We stayed at the Marriott Grand Cayman. It was a lovely hotel/resort. I would definitely recommend.
We had a view of the courtyard, which had a little river going through it, turtles included.
We were actually on the beach before we even got our rooms since we had to wait a couple hours, no point wasting prime sun/drinking time.
Isn't that water gorgeous? I can't get over how blue and clear it was.
The first night the whole group walked down the beach to another hotel that had a nice restaurant on the beach. We were all pretty exhausted from being up since 4am and traveling all day so as soon as dinner was over we went back to the room and crashed.
Day 2 was spent on the beach and included lots of laying out, swimming, snorkeling and drinking.
This was the first time I was able to successfully snorkel, it was pretty cool.
My husband however, is the snorkel master, he did it for hours.
We discovered the fish down there love bananas, if you threw some in the water they would surround you like piranhas, fortunately they didn't actually touch us. Well except for one of the girls who happened to be wearing a yellow bikini top, a fish mistook the string for a banana and tried to pull it off.
The second night the whole group took an hour long boat ride over to Rum Point for dinner. One the way home, after a few cocktails, most of the group was up dancing and doing a conga line on the boat. It was a fun night.
My sister-in-law and her new husband the night before they tied the knot.
The whole group of girls.
My in-laws flew down the day after we did, just in time for the boat ride.
Sunset from the boat.
Dinner on Rum Point.
During the day on Sunday we did much of the same as the day before, laying on the beach and swimming. We all had to head inside early to get ready for the main event of the trip...my sister-in-laws Wedding!
Here I am before the wedding with my two nieces (who are both taller than I am), they are the daughters of the bride and were both bridesmaids along with their new step-sister.
Now THESE are some wedding shoes. I should point out that barefoot my SIL is around 5'9 so throw these bad boys on and she's over 6 feet tall. I tried walking in them and felt like I was walking on stilts.
Kristian's older sister, the lovely bride.
Waiting for the wedding to start.
PSA- if you see a couple getting married on a public beach DON"T be the jackass hanging out behind them on the beach getting into all the pictures. Not cool.
After waiting a long 4 years I guess Joe was pretty excited. Also, I got a new brother-in-law!
The new Mr. and Mrs.
Kristian was not a groomsman and did not intend to match the groom. They both do look pretty damn handsome though.
After the ceremony we walked up to the courtyard for the reception in the area they roped off for us. It was a very casual cocktail reception with passed hors d'oeurves and a pasta station. There were about 25 of us there to celebrate. They did do the cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss but other than that it wasn't very formal. The reception ended around 8pm and we decided to all change and go for evening swim in the pool. I felt bad for anyone that had a room overlooking the pool if they were trying to go to bed early that night because we were a bit loud.
On our last full day there most of the group decided to go take a boat ride to "stingray city" where you get to snorkel with the stingrays. My MIL and I had no interest in that so we stayed back at the hotel, ate lunch together, shopped in the gift store and sat out on the beach. It was quite relaxing.
That night (our last night) I pretty much insisted on a date night alone with my husband. After being with the group for 4 days I wanted one dinner alone just he and I, especially since we don't get many of those at home.
It was nice to just be husband and wife and not daddy and mommy for a few days.
We started off at the beach bar in our hotel and after getting a recommendation from the bartender headed about a mile down the road to a nice seafood restaurant.
Can't beat that sunset.
We ate at a wonderful restaurant called the Lobster Pot. We had great seats on the deck overlooking the water.
After dinner we decided to skip the cab and walk about a mile back to our hotel, it was a great night for a walk and one of the things I like best about the Caymans is that it's very safe, none of the "don't leave your resort" talk that you hear about when going to Mexico or Jamaica. We left the hotel on our own several times without any issues.
Finally on Tuesday we woke up early, grabbed breakfast, made one last quick trip to the beach before heading to catch our 2:30pm flight.
Waiting at the Cayman airport.
Excited to get home to my little guy.
Sunset from the plane.
The trip was great. We both loved the Caymans, everyone was very friendly, it was clean and safe and beautiful. It's a very international country, we met people living there from all over the world including Ireland, Australia, Nepal and Jamaica. I definitely preferred it over Jamaica and in some ways over St. Lucia (though St. Lucia will always hold a special place in my heart because that was our honeymoon). It was fun traveling with a big group, everyone got along well. We were definitely that annoying group out on the beach being loud and having fun. Now we are trying to figure out were we want to go for our next Caribbean vacation!
**I definitely do not regret not taking Hunter. Though I missed him I don't think this would have been a good vacation for him based on our activities. And I know I would not have been able to relax or enjoy hanging out with the group as much if he were there. I'm thinking we may start him with an easy trip to the Outer Banks next year.