|Snapshots from Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands. July, 2012.|
The summer of 2012 was one of immense victory. We went on our first cruise together, which led us to a stop in the Cayman Islands. As you can see from the photos above, traveling to Cayman is an experience entirely made of shades of vivid blue. One of our dear friends happens to live there, so we were able to meet up with him and get a personal tour of his home and the best local food and activities. And then the victory: I willfully and knowingly accepted a proposition to get into the water with real, giant, horrible monsters of the deep. And I lived.
I'm terrified of the ocean. I was born and raised in Arizona so perhaps my fear of giant masses of water came from a lack of experience with it, but I'm inclined to say my fear just comes from wisdom because the ocean is expansively, undeniably horrible and scary. Even with this knowledge and practiced avoidance of water (my chances of dying via shark jaws decrease enormously if I stay the heck away from all bodies of water forever), we had this opportunity three summers ago to test our limits, face our fears and shake hands with sweet, slimy, docile sting rays. Who also happen to be the murderers of the great Steve Irwin. Yes, I might have respectfully brought that up a few times in between my bobbing shrieks while visiting Sting Ray City.
Of course, the reason why the rays were so incredibly friendly (read: tried to swallow us whole) was because our dear friend kept throwing little squids in the water around us and tucking them into my husband's swim shorts. We didn't find this out until later. Explains a lot. We'll get our revenge.
All of that psycho babble aside, the Cayman Islands were breathtaking. The food was delicious. Seaside smoothies are nothing to scoff at. The water was turquoise. And truly, I always swell with pride when I think of the feat we accomplished by swimming with the rays. That swell quickly deflates when I remember all of the aforementioned shrieking, but I like to focus on my initial bravery and not how I handled the fear later on.