A Private Paradise
When asked where to go in the Caribbean to just "flop" we invariably recommend Little Cayman. At least four couples from Jamin House have spent their honeymoon there this year and they were all well pleased.
The smallest and least developed of the three Cayman Islands, it is a coral atoll about 10 miles long and 1 mile wide, located 75 miles northeast of Grand Cayman and 5 miles west of Cayman Brac. The population is less than 50 and it has changed very little since being discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503. It remains a peaceful hideaway for divers, snorkels, sports fishermen and "floppers".
Most of the island interior is mangrove jungle which supports a nature preserve boasting the third largest bird sanctuary in the Caribbean. Snow egrets, a rookery of boobies and frigates, the endangered Cayman Parrot and the rare Whistling Duck can be seen and photographed at leisure.
Adorned with colorful conch shells and sea fans, the islands powder-soft beaches are so secluded, the only sounds you hear are the ripples of the waves and the constant gentle ocean roar. Since the reefs are so close to the surface and the waters have 200 ft visibility, snorkeling is just as spectacular as diving.
Divers of all levels come to explore Little Cayman's underwater world. It is home to the famous Bloody Bay Wall, starting at 10 feet and plunging vertically to 1,200 feet. Here divers can explore the unmatched beauty of Little Cayman's coral gardens, black coral trees, tropical fish and swaying sea plumes. As a diver with over 700 dives, I can attest to the magnificence of this adventure. I used to sail from Grand Cayman to Bloody Bay with a boatload of fellow dive masters who, somewhat jaded from diving in Grand Cayman, longed for the trip.
World-class bone fishing can be found both inside and outside the reefs. Light tackle spinning and fly fishing the shallow flats and inland lake for bone and tarpon is second to none. Beyond the reef the waters abound with big game fish - marlin, tuna, Wahoo, sailfish and dolphin Mahi-Mahi).
When we lived in the islands, the Southern Cross Club and Sam McCoy's Diving Lodge were the only accommodations available. Now Mr. Tibbets from the Brac has opened the Little Cayman Beach Resort which has all of the services and amenities of a deluxe resort. And the prices are not exorbitant.
So pack a small bag with a pair of shorts, swim suit, sneakers and sunscreen, hop aboard one of the daily flights from Houston and prepare to flop in paradise. As I have often said, if you are under 90 and have a stout heart, take a quick "resort course" in scuba diving and join one of the instructors who will guide you through the most incredible world you will ever see.
The April, 1997 Special Issue of Travel & Leisure magazine featured a tour of the Hill Country with a selection of 6 restaurants:
Hilltop Café - Fredericksburg
Chandler Inn - Blanco
Jamin House Cafe - Marble Falls
Grist Mill - New Braunfels
Huisache Grill - New Braunfels
Cooper's Old Time Barbeque - Llano
Try the others!
This is English?
As the first women on the Cayman Islands were probably slaves, early settlement brought about a mixing of the black and white races so that on present day it is not possible much less thinkable) to make any clear racial distinctions. The term "Negro" is rarely heard, particularly in reference to Caymanians. The terms black, brown, dark, light, white or caramel are used to describe people, with no discrimination implied. I know families that include all of the colors in their tree.
From this heritage has arisen a language rich in sayings which reflect the ways of life of the people. In May, land crabs swarm out of the bush for the sea, to mate and spawn, in such numbers that the expression "every crab from the bush" means "everybody". In the past, the usual evening entertainment was walking in groups along the unpaved roads, talking all the while. Thus "I heard it on the marl road" means "I heard a rumor". Sandy ground is always sought for graves, since the iron shore is too hard for digging, thus the expression "you'll be satisfied when you get a mouthful of sand" (when you're dead) arose. Others are:
As fast as lightning over Cuba.
Cow knows where weak fence is. (A bully is careful whom he tackles.)
He doesn't have his head for his hat alone. (He's smart.)
Greedy choke puppy. (Don't take more than your share.)
If you can't get Harry, you get his jacket. (Be satisfied with what you get.)
Walk the twelve steps. (Go to court.)
One hand washes the other. ( A favor is returned by a favor.)
Have fun with it!
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