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September 2006

September was a busy month.  Labor day weekend was the beginning of operations for the trains at Boulder City.  Roger was conductor for two of the three days.  That was also the start of Saturday work parties at Opportunity Villiage - it finally got "cool" enough for outside projects.  Later in the month, one Saturday started with an OV work party, progressed to a Jaguar Club fish fry - Joe caught the fish himself, and in the evening we went to a dinner party.  And, of course, we still participate in the British Auto Club - we had both of our cars in their annual car show.
And then it was off to the Cayman Islands.  The first day of driving was tense - they drive on the left - but we quickly got used to it.  We stayed on Grand Cayman at a time share (Morritt's Tortuga Club) on the east end of the island.  From the top floor looking at the island's "mountain" (the peak is 117' above sea level).
Toward the water, there is beach and coral reefs.  On the beach, the sand is a little crunchy but OK for bare feet, but in the water aqua socks are recommended (because of the coral).
Then off to explore the island.  On the south-west corner is Georgetown - where the cruise ships dock.  There are shops and restaurants - reminiscent of Ketchican Alaska.  We decided that the shops sell pretty much the same stuff, but with different names.  The multicolored stones were "Aurora" stones in Alaska, and "Cayman Topaz" here.
Up at the north-west corner is the turtle farm.  They have about 400 green turtles as breeders, and over 1,000 turtles total.  They told us that in the breeding waters, they have to control the temperature very carefully because a few degrres above optimum produces a preponderance of females, while a few degres below optimum results in more males.
And every where you go, there is lots of color, and unusual color combinations.  The house with the purple sides, purple walls, and purple flowers took our vote for the best "Easter Egg Colored House".
Mickey and Bonnie went for a spa treatment while Roger and Jamie took a guided hike across the middle of the island.  This was the day after some thunderstorms.  Look carefully how deep the water is (above Jamie's ankle) on this Mastic Trail "walking trail".  This was the situation for about a mile.  Also, note that Jamie is wearing coveralls.  Not because it was cold (it was actually about 100 degrees and close to 100 percent humidity) but because of poisonous plants - kind of like poison ivy with spikey leaves.
Part of the reason for the trip was to celebrate our anniversary, and for Mickey and Jamie to celebrate theirs.  We split the difference on the timing (one week after our, one week before theirs).  So a dinner out was in order.  We had a place called The Lighthouse recommended by some friends here in Las Vegas, and from several folks that we meet in Cayman.  IT WAS WONDERFUL.  We all had their seafood sampler plate, and then shared a tray of desserts.  We had several other nice dinners, but the Lighthouse was the best.  It was a five pound vacation for me as you can see.
Then the highlight of the trip - swimming with the sting rays.  From the Rum Point peninsula, we took a boat to about a mile off-shore to a sand bar where we could stand waist deep.  Chopped up squid was provided for us to feed the sting rays.  They would swim by you, gently rubbing your leg as they swam by.  Petting us for being such good providers? We decided that since we were providing fast food to them, that our legs could represent their "golden arches".  And no one got stung.
Next morning, off to the airport and to home.