Grand Cayman – New Year & Baby Moon

The Cayman Islands weren’t on our short list of places to visit but you become very limited on options when you have a very specific time frame to travel and are trying to avoid Zika. When we found out we were pregnant we immediately began thinking about where we could go on a “babymoon”, the last trip before we became a family of three.  We needed to travel over the holidays and wanted to go somewhere warm. We narrowed it down to the Caribbean where there were three islands that were Zika free. Of the three islands, the quickest for us to get to was the Cayman Islands so we made the plans to be there over New Year’s.

Seven Mile Beach – Calico Jacks

Most tourists end up staying on Seven Mile beach which is a stretch of white sand beach that is covered in hotels and condos. We ended up staying at a great Airbnb in Bodden town which is about halfway between Seven Mile beach and Rum Point, another popular tourist destination. You could drive around the whole island in about 2 hours so it was a good place for us to be so we could be close to Seven Mile but off of the beaten path.

Beach and Ocean View from our AirBnB


Baby Conch


Most of our vacation was spent relaxing, exploring the island, and eating at some great local restaurants. A few of our favorites were:

  • Heritage Café, a local joint serving fresh fish either Cayman style, coconut, or pineapple.
  • Kaibo Beach bar, a hipster restaurant and beach bar near Rum Point. They had a great view, food, and drinks.
  • Casa 43, a great Mexican restaurant near Seven Mile beach, they have a great tequila selection, awesome snapper ceviche.
  • Czech Inn, this restaurant is getting a call out because it was right across the street from our Airbnb, was byob, had fresh fish and jerk chicken, and we ended up eating her 4 times.
  • Rankins Jerk, a jerk shop in Bodden town where mostly locals visit. Great jerk chicken and worth the trip from Seven Mile for some local food.


Heritage Cafe – Photo courtesy of one of the locals

Dan ended up diving two days while we were there. The island has over 200 dive sites and some beautiful coral.




Another must do is to go to Stingray city, a sand bar off of the island where you can swim with stingrays and hold them! We took the sunset cruise out there which was good choice because you miss the cruise ship rush and get to sail back during a beautiful sunset. While we were on the island we saw 3-4 cruise ships a day and the locals said there could be up to 7 in the harbor at once.

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Being limited on the amount of scuba diving we could do since Dan was the only one diving, we were searching for other activities and found the Cayman Crystal Caves. They have over 100 caves and currently only 3 are open to the public. The best one is the last cave that has an underground lake.


See the tree frog? 

We ended up driving around the island exploring and stumbled across a set of concrete sculptures that someone has put up in their front yard.  Don’t forget to drive on the left hand side of the road! Also driving around you can appreciate all of the massive homes on the island. Apparently Grand Cayman doesn’t have property taxes so you can plant your money here in real estate.


Just one of the many luxury homes..

Top 5 things to do in Grand Cayman:

  1. Have a drink at Kaibo beach bar
  2. See the Cayman Crystal Caves
  3. Dive one of the 200+ dive sites
  4. Swim with the Stingrays
  5. Eat fresh fish and conch fritters or jerk chicken at a local joint



Mojito’s on the East End – Tukka Restaurant


Barcelona, Beaches and Monserrat

PANO_20150619_134137_64Day 4 in Barcelona was our first chance to spend time on the beach. We started the with a walk down to the beautiful Bogatell beach. A soft white sand beach located close to the city and only 5 minutes from our apartment. The beach was packed even on a weekday morning. Apparently due to the recession, many women in Spain can only afford half of the 2 piece bathing suit. Wha wha wee wha! Our first dip in the Mediterranean brought some warm but very salty water. We enjoyed it a ton and headed to lunch near our place on the Poblenou Ramble. Set menu, 3 course lunch with an included bottle wine, sets you back about $25, that will work!

The next day, we had a chance to do something that we didn’t initially plan on but ended up being the highlight of Barcelona. After reading up on the city, we read Monserrat monastery was not to beIMG_20150619_124008_25 missed so we decided to take the hour train ride to the base of the Pyrenees mountains to check it out. To get to the monastery a couple thousand feet above, you can either take a funicular or a cable car. We elected to take the cable car from the train, which was awesome. It provides great views, if you can take the heights, suspended 250 feet up! Really makes you appreciate how hard it was to build the fortified masterpiece.

Kristin and Dan from the base of Monserrat cable car.

The monastery itself is pretty sweet, built into the side of the mountain it’s the holiest place in Catalonia, Northern Spain. This is a view of the monastery from the adjacent mountain.


The grounds were excellently cared for with detail and a reverence for the surrounding mountains built into all aspects of the design.Our favorite part was that from the monastery there are a bunch of hikes all over the surrounding mountains. Because we are balling on a budget, we could’ve easily spent €24 to ride the funicular to get this view. Nope, we’re walking, 3 hrs roundtrip!


IMG_20150619_202627At the end of the day, we stopped by the monastery store to see what they offered. There was a bunch of local products made by the monks, and the surrounding villages. We ended up with this awesome bottle of Cava (Monk/Local Winery collaboration) and a monk made chocolate bar.

A great way to end the day and our time in Barcalona. Tomorrow, were off to Valencia!