Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Good Bye and God Bless

I am now in the last 48 hours of our Cayman adventure.  Tomorrow is full of business meetings all day for the government insurance company I work with and then Thursday I fly out.  Katie and I started this adventure together on May 31, 2007 and it ends now with just one of us here to close up shop.  In the last few days we have sold our car and most of our stuff, and what we didn't sell and wanted to keep is already home or packed in my suitcases to return with me.

I will remember these last days mostly for an empty house and a lot of running around to close every last detail of our lives down here.  It has been a strange two weeks knowing that so much of what I was doing was the "last time" for Cayman.  Driving around today for the last time was both exciting and bittersweet.  You can't live somewhere for almost six years and not develop an attachment. Still, it is now on to the next phase of our lives and that phase is back home in Texas.  We will always have fond memories of our time in Cayman and as the birthplace of our daughter it will always have a pull on us to come back and visit to show her where she was born and the places we used to take her to.  

This blog is coming to an end and we want to thank everyone who followed us over the years.  In many ways this blog was not only our open letter home but also a document for later in life to look back on this time and remember.  For everyone who visited over the years, who talked to us on the phone or who just sent their love and prayers we are so grateful for all your support and look forward to seeing you a lot more now that we will be home.

Thank you all and God Bless!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Heroes Day

Today is National Heroes Day in the Cayman Islands and the holiday meant no meetings or consulting work for me and a chance to get in some snorkels.  This morning I headed over early to the Wreck of the Cali in George Town Harbor and got to see the tarpon coming in for their morning hangout.  From there I headed south from town over to Smith's Barcadere (locally known as Smith's Cove) and got to swim with some Rainbow Parrotfish and Caribbean squid.  With meetings most of Tuesday and Wednesday, today is my last day dedicated to getting in any final snorkels.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Goodbye to the Seven Mile Eagle Ray

The 1/2 mile competitive swims that we started doing last year always ran from Governor's Beach up to Seven Mile Public Beach.  We also used to do most of our training swims along that same Seven Mile Beach corridor.  Many of the times that we did those swims, we would see an Eagle Ray that likes to hang out off of Governor's Beach.  We saw him so often that we named him our Seven Mile Eagle Ray.  Eagle Rays differ from the more common Southern Sting Rays that we have down here because they are spotted and have much longer tails.  The only problem was that we never had the underwater camera with us when we would do those swims to get some shots of it.

Thursday afternoon I decided to swim the route with the camera and take some shots of the underwater landmarks that we would always see as we did the competitive swims.  I hoped of course to also see our Eagle Ray friend and get a few pictures.  Heading up to Seven Mile the Ray was nowhere in sight and I began to think that he would just have to be in our memories.  But on the swim back to Governors he came meandering along and I got some great shots.  It was nice of him to come out to say goodbye.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Final Snorkels

As I enter my last week in the Cayman Islands I am taking advantage of downtime between meetings for the insurance companies to get in some final snorkels.  Yesterday I hit Eden Rock and Devil's Grotto and today Sunset House with Seven Mile Beach on the agenda for the afternoon.  One of the big things I will miss is the opportunity to go swimming in an open water aquarium whenever I want.  Of course the ironic thing is that in the last year we snorkeled less and less almost taking it for granted.  That happens when you live somewhere for 5 and 1/2 years where you can always do something.  

Here are a few shots from yesterday: 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Official Time Posted

My official time for the 1.2 mile swim posted this evening at 41:54, the same as my watch time.  I was tied for 28th out of the water amongst the 51 swimmers who did the course.  Our official team time came in at 6 hours 35 minutes and 24 seconds.  Here is a photo of me in the transition run where I had to run from the beach exit of the swim to the bike racks in the parking lot on the other side of the resort, it was about a 100 meter run but it felt like a mile run after swimming.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Half Iron Man Team

In late December I was asked to join a team and do the swim portion for a Half Iron Man event in Cayman called the Mercury Man Triathlon.  Today was the big day.  The team splits the three events that make up the triathlon so I would swim a 1.2 mile course, followed by a teammate, Marcella, doing a 56 mile bike and then a third teammate, Marco, doing a 13.1 mile run.  Our team was called Run ZMC using the first initial of each of our last names and a takeoff on the 80's rap group.  With a 7 a.m. start time out in East End it was an early morning wake up and drive to be in the transition area by 5:30 a.m.  

My part was first and the water was very choppy and cold for Cayman.  I had not done a competitive swim on the eastern end of the island having always done them off seven mile so this was a new experience in terms of conditions.  The course was a huge triangle with two laps each .6 miles.  Here is a shot of all of us getting in the water, I am in the black and white shirt almost dead center of the photo.

It was hard to get a rhythm with the waves but I was able to get in with a group and we paced each other through the last 1/2 of the race. My unofficial finishing time was 41:54 when I got out of the water.  After getting out of the water I had a short run to the transition where I tagged our biker who then headed out onto the bike course.  I spent the rest of day volunteering at a water stop and cheering on my teammates.  We finished in a little over 6 and 1/2 hours.  Here we are before the start and then at the finish with our medals.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Arianna's First Snow

We woke up this morning to a blanket of snow.  It is the first time Arianna has seen or played in snow as we always missed it on previous trips home.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Heading Home

We are all back in Dallas-Fort Worth after a week and a half in Cayman as we transition to our new home in Texas.  We got the news that Katie got a job in Dallas and that necessitated us coming back sooner to get everything ready so she could start.  We are busy car shopping and basically getting our lives here organized for a few days.  Scott is heading back to Cayman on his own in a few days to close the house, complete the sale of the car, do the half ironman team event, hold one last garage sale of any remaining stuff we haven't sold and attend the graduation for ICCI.  He is also doing some consulting work for the insurance companies he works with.  It will mean two weeks apart, the longest since we met and will mean a lot of skype video calls.  Arianna is adjusting to the new reality of life where it is cold and after fighting the jacket is now telling us before we head out that she wants her jacket because it is too cold. 

The Cayman adventure for Katie and Arianna is at an end and will close for the whole family January 31.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Last month in Cayman and one more competitive swim

We are into our last month in Cayman and spending time with Katie's sister Melanie who is with us through next week.  We are selling the last of the stuff not coming home and basically trying to close out all our affairs here ahead of ICCI's graduation in a few weeks and our final departure on either the 30th or 31st.  The month did get a little more interesting as I have joined a team that is doing a Half Iron Man competition on the 20th.  I am doing the swim portion which is 1.2 miles long and precedes a 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.  I have set a long term goal of doing a half iron man completely by myself by the end of 2014 so starting 2013 doing just one part of it is a great beginning to that goal.  We are both training for the half marathon in March back in Dallas too so we are getting in runs when we can also.

Here are some shots we got of Arianna earlier this week with another of the Blue Iguana statues that is now on display at the National Gallery.


Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

We are back home in Cayman for the next few weeks to finish up our affairs here, sell our car and other stuff and finish packing to return home.  We also have some obligations to complete and a bucket list of a few things we want to do before we leave that will keep us busy.

As we ring in the new year later tonight we will say goodbye to a year that saw us decide to leave Cayman and return home and restart our lives back in the States.  We will say goodbye to a year that gave us exciting trips and also say goodbye to a year that saw us set and achieve fitness goals that put us on paths to even more goals for 2013.  For Katie and I, we finish the year with a better feeling about ourselves physically than we have had in a long time.  Our daughter continues to amaze each of us as she grows in leaps and bounds and 2012 saw her change dramatically.  She is a running, talking ball of energy and we cant wait to see what she does next.  We say goodbye to this year knowing that next year will bring tremendous changes to us all and that is both exciting and scary all at the same time.