Thanks so much for keeping up with these vacation recap posts! I really want them to be helpful and informative (or maybe just entertaining?), but I also selfishly have added a few extra pictures and stories for our own memory keeping. For this reason, I apologize for posts that are a bit longer than usual!
If you want to rewind and catch up starting with day #1, you can go back here.
After our rollercoaster of a Saturday that started off rocky but finished up with the most awesome beach day, we slept hard and geared up for a fun Sunday morning excursion out to Stingray City, the island’s most popular tourist attraction.
Since our excursion wasn’t until 11, the girls went on an extra long crab hunt with Jamie before we zipped down to Kaibo for our morning coffee.
Sadie had been a little restless two nights prior (which is probably why she was so cranky and overtired on Saturday), so we promised her Saturday night that she and Hadley could split the ice cream sandwich they’d been eyeing at the coffee shop if she slept well and kept her arms and legs to herself (instead of messing with Hadley for fun like she had a few nights already on this trip.) She responds pretty well to bribery like most kids do, so YOLO – here’s your ice cream sandwich at 9 a.m. 😉
At 11 a.m. we hopped on a glass-bottom boat right from the pier at our resort (we love love loved The Retreat at Rum Point!) and headed out on a 15 minute ride to Stingray City!
Stingray City is a large sandbar where dozens of friendly stingrays like to be, so visitors get a chance to hold them, feed them, and give them a little kiss. 😉
We’d prepped the girls for the experience and watched some videos ahead of time, but Hadley still screamed her highest pitched scream when one bolted for her to see if she had food. She enjoyed seeing them from a distance, but after a few minutes I swam her back to the boat and let her happily watch. We ended up doing the same thing with Sadie too! It actually worked out really well because the girls could sit on the back of the boat 20 feet from us and watch while Jamie and I had a ball!
Can you spot a few shadows in the water? Those are stingrays!
Hadley really liked the glass bottom boat, but Sadie was mostly fascinated with some “bunny” shells that one of the tour guides found and gave to her while she hung on the boat watching us. She became so possessive of those shells!
After the stingray portion, we boated to a nearby coral reef and spent about half an hour snorkeling.
Sadie hung back on the boat again with one of the guides while the three of us immensely enjoyed snorkeling! We couldn’t believe how well Hadley did. As long as she had on her swim vest, she was able to swim super well while holding my hand and snorkeling.
We wondered how we would be able to snorkel on this trip if we needed to watch our kids, but it really worked out. All Hadley had to do was hold our hand and swim with us, which was actually more fun than snorkeling on our own. She was so cute because whenever she would see a big fish or something colorful, she would bolt up from the water and start screaming with excitement about what she saw.
After our 2.5 hour excursion, the girls and I headed back to the condo to shower off and eat lunch. The girls ate through some groceries we’d bought days prior while Jamie went over to the beach restaurant and ordered us something to go.
The girls crashed hard for a nap that afternoon while Jamie and I ate and watched more of the Madeleine McCann Netflix thing.
We ate dinner that night on the beach a mile down the road at Kaibo. It was wonderful. Great food, beautiful surroundings, and the friendliest people.
At one point Jamie and I found ourselves sitting at our table talking while watching the girls play nearby with some other guests. We had other guests tell us constantly throughout the week how much we reminded them of their own families 10, 20, or 30+ years prior while vacationing with their young children, and how they encouraged us to soak up these moments as much as we could. While the reminders were nice, we really didn’t need them; I especially could feel how fleeting these moments of simplicity were and wanted to bottle them up with all my might.
On our last full day (Monday), we spent the morning a mile down the road at Starfish Point and then the afternoon over in West Bay at the Turtle Farm and Conservatory. It was an hour drive, but we liked exploring the island by car this way.
Starfish Point was pretty phenomenal. We saw starfish right away!
My one regret from the trip was not putting the girls in swimshirts over their suits. At this point in the trip I didn’t want them getting any more sun, so I put on t-shirts over their suits because of my own paranoia. They didn’t mind!
And this is where I kind of got a little emotional on the trip, because as I sat there in the peace and quiet, watching Jamie and Hadley snorkel and Sadie play so happily refilling her bucket with sand and water over and over, I thought about how I don’t know what tomorrow brings. Or the next day or the next day.
But I knew that for today, I was sitting on a quiet, gorgeous beach on the tip of an island, with the man I love so much, and the girls I get to explore the world with (and one that was kicking away so strongly in my belly). And nobody could take that moment away from me, and I was just so grateful and at peace because in that moment, life felt very, very good.
At 31 I’ve learned (and continue to learn) that reality can actually be very hard and that you never know when your life will flip upside down, but on this day, my world was right side up and good, and I just thanked God.
This is one of my top five favorite pictures from the trip because THIS IS SO SADIE ROSE. Marching to her own beat per her usual and being a total clown. This is how Sadie snorkels: on her belly, sticking her face in the water, and then coming up to make us laugh.
The Turtle excursion was neat. We had read mixed reviews about it online, but everyone we’d met all week said that we should definitely go, and I’m glad we did. While wading with baby turtles wasn’t the highlight of my trip, it was for Hadley. She tells everyone who asks that this was her absolute favorite part of the trip.
This place also gives you the chance to pay additional and snorkel in a man-made salt water lagoon with fish and turtles. We heavily debated this because Jamie was really interested, but we decided we’d had enough snorkeling and to save our moolah.
Monday night dinner was the best of the best of the best. I literally couldn’t think of a better way to end the trip. We headed back to Rum Point after the turtle experience, cleaned up, and walked next door to the weekly Monday night buffet on the beach that we’d made reservations prior.
We didn’t know anything about it besides that it was a big buffet, so we were pleasantly surprised by how formal it was!
The family picture below shows the one time all week that I blow dried my hair and swiped on mascara. MY KIND OF VACATION! 😉
Watching our last Cayman sunset. What an absolute treasure this island is!
This wraps up my recaps of our time spent on the island, but I still have lots of things I would love to share with you regarding things we bought before the trip, where we saved money vs. where we splurged, general family vacation planning tips, and more! Hope to share in the next few days. <3
What is your favorite beach/tropical vacation you’ve ever taken? We are tempted to plan another trip back here in the future, but we know there are other beautiful islands to explore as well!
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo