While it was a week ago today that my cousin Michelle got married in the Cayman Islands in which Nolin and I took a trip (just the two of us) to attend, I am still having a good time reliving the adventure. It was an experience that I will never have the ability to fully put into words but I am so grateful to have experienced.
As the wedding quickly approached, Nolin, Erin and I headed off the beach to try and get Nolin to take a nap so that he would be well rested for the evening’s activities. No such luck, Nolin was having a grand time playing in the room and crawling all over me like a jungle gym.
All of a sudden, it was time to leave for the wedding and I wasn’t exactly sure where the day had gone. Next thing I know, Nolin hasn’t slept, I am still trying to put food in his mouth while pulling up his pants and Erin is trying to make sure I have everything packed in the bag. We hurried out of the room (sans pacifier) and hopped in the limo with Michelle and my family. Nolin’s first Limo ride.
When we arrived, it was hot…it was Africa hot which didn’t bode well for a slightly overweight father who for some reason decided to where a long sleeve dress shirt and likes to sweat. The venue was amazing right over the water and rocks, so Nolin and I explored while we waited. Then wouldn’t you know it, Nolin fell asleep. Twenty minutes before the wedding. I flew this kid out of the country for a wedding and he fell asleep…awesome. He slept through the whole thing, only to wake up as Michelle and Don were pronounced man & wife. He was slightly startled but sat up and then started clapping. Timing = Perfect.
The remainder of the evening was absolutely perfect and I was so glad that my sister and I could be there to celebrate with Michelle & Don. We got back to the hotel and everyone decided to go hang out at the hotel pool. I decided not to call my cab driver friend to babysit, and instead I played responsible parent and put Nolin to sleep and hung out in the hotel room.
The following day was our day to explore. Erin, Nolin and I borrowed my cousin’s rental car and made our way to the other side of the island to see the Pedro St. James Castle. I am not sure why I thought I would be the best nominee to drive, but that is how it worked out. Again, they have American cars that drive on the wrong side of the road..not cool. Besides the slightly chaotic first left hand turn and then a missing direction in which we drove around the roundabout four times until we figured where we needed to go (Hey look kids, there’s Big Ben), we escaped unharmed.
We arrived at the castle and Erin’s first comment was castle’s in the Caymans look a lot different than Castle’s in Europe. As we learned, it wasn’t really a castle. It was a house that had a lot of history, burned down, was rebuilt to look like a castle as a tourist trap, and then they rebuilt the house over the castle.
They had a Pirates of the Carribean style movie that went along with it, in which there was lightening and mist during the rain storms. In one section they announced the abolition of slaves in the Caymans to which Nolin screamed “yeaahhh” and clapped. Again, Timing = Perfect.
We walked around the property for a while and were amazed at the views. Nolin met a new girlfriend who thought I was a local and Erin was a visitor and showed us some other areas of the property that we probably wouldn’t have experienced without her knowledge.
Sweating and hot, we finally wrapped up our educational portion of the trip and headed back to the hotel and the beach. Nolin slept for over two hours on the beach and woke up in time for one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen. A fantastic Italian dinner followed and then we headed back to prepare for our trip home in the morning.
We were told to give at least 2.5 hours to get through customs, so we got to the airport a little after 8am for our 11am flight. Five minutes later we were through customs and hanging out in the terminal of the Cayman airport. Helpful Travel Tip: There is not a lot to do in the terminal of the Cayman Airport.
Once again Nolin was beyond awesome on the plane ride and we made it to Tampa safely. Besides an angry customs agent we picked up our car and headed home with no troubles…much to the delight of a mother in waiting.
Nolin, your first International trip could have been rough since it was just with me, but you managed to make it a trip I will never forget and I thank you for that. It has almost been a year since you entered our lives and it looks like we are just getting started…