Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Timber me shivers...or Shiver me timbers...something like that.

Hey guys! We haven't chatted in forever. It's been busy on this little island: 1) Apparently I may or may/not have a shitty gallbladder, but an ex-CFL football player is keen to remove it, 2) We took a fabulous "road" trip (in a 12 seater plane) to Little Cayman for some world class diving/palm tree climbing competitions, and 3) The pirates invaded Grand Cayman and took our Govenor, just in time for our buddy, Stacey Weber to arrive and witness Evan Lindsay in a dance-off. Whoa. Busy times.
Dancing pirate

1) What's a gallbladder good for anyway?

First off, for all of you who've known me for the last few years, you may recall, "Angry knee Kirstie." The Coles' Notes version: It was discovered that my knee cartilage was gross and diseased, I had 4 knee surgeries, 1 epic cartilage transplant, and remained in a heavily medicated stoned state, on crutches or a cane for approximately 18 months. Good times. This experience definitely motivated me to "seize the day," and search for a life in a warmer climate. I immediately noticed that my joints ached much more in colder weather, and like an old lady with a hip replacement, I was able to predict major snowstorms by the creaking in my right knee. No lie. I am happy to report that this warm weather is most certainly benefitting my joint health. When I arrived on the island in August, I was still taking 3 prescribed medications for pain and swelling. I've now managed to dwindle that number down to 0. ZERO! Whoo hoo! Isn't that great? At one point, I was taking dozens of pills every day and now I am taking none. Success. I'm more active - I take 2-3 walks a day, I do modified work-outs at the gym, and I swim in the pool. My knees have never felt better! So, I'm not gonna lie, I'm more than a little frustrated with the fact that I'm now experiencing some weird abdominal pain since my trip to the ER in September. I met with a surgeon - the first Caymanian to be drafted in the CFL - for real. I'm not exactly sure how he went from the Winnipeg Bluebombers to general surgeon; however, he explained that the pain I am experiencing may or may not be due to the fact that I have some yucky things growing on my gallbladder. Football surgeon would like to remove it. I kinda like my gallbladder though. We've had 35 solid years together. I'm NOT down for surgery right now. Not at all. So I choose to currently ignore it and talk about....

2) Little Cayman

Wow! Have you ever dreamed of laying in a hammock and sipping pina coladas on a small white sand island surrounded by the most magnificent coral reefs in the world? This is your place! With 2 super fun couples I've met through work, Ev and I hopped on a tiny little plane (Ev's knees were touching the pilot's back - "Excuse me sir - what does that button do?" haha). We flew
boarding our plane
 5000 feet above the ocean and landed on Little Cayman in 30 minutes - the airport was a tiny little building labelled "Gate 1A" haha! We then headed off to our own beach house, equipped with a crystal blue pool, floaty toys, paddle boards, and a magnificent view of the Caribbean. It was paradise with a capital "P." We awoke first thing every morning to meet our dive boat out front. The diving was incredible! At one point, we made our way through a narrow swim through at a depth of 50-60 feet and arrived out the other end to witness the wall dropping 6000 feet into the abyss. The colours of the fish and the coral was unbelievable. That moment is engrained in my mind forever. Happy place! We then returned to our beach house, drank pina coladas until we each passed out in a hammock, and awoke in time for happy hour(s) from 4-10pm. During one epic happy hour, my friend Barrett created some very happy margaritas - margaritas infused with courage. I felt so brave that I recommended a palm tree climbing competition. This is how it went. Obviously, I did not win. Oh dear.
it definitely seemed higher in my mind

our little piece of heaven on Little Cayman

That's Ev wrestling a shark 

I have to admit, prior to this trip, I was feeling a little low. I know you want to biatch slap me right now, but it sucks to feel unwell when you don't have your trusted doctor, family and friends around. I was homesick. This escape made me feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity that Evan and I are experiencing together. Life is good.

We had a really great weekend and feel super lucky to have already met such great friends. I can't wait to bring our Canadian friends here when they come to visit!

Happiest of happy hours!

sunset on our dock
3) Pirate's Week with a Weber - AARRGGGG!

Pirate's week is an annual festival in the Cayman Islands. It begins with an invasion of the pirates, the capturing of the Govenor, and ends a week later with the sentencing of the pirates and an elaborate fireworks show. There's live music, daily events, local food stands, and tons of pirates partying in the streets. Good times. Our buddy, Stacey, couldn't have chosen a better time to visit the island. On the final night of Pirates Week, we boarded the Jolly Roger (a pirate ship, obviously) in full pirate garb, for 3 hours of legit pirate partying. It was unreal. We AAARRRRGGGG'ed all night, sipping  chugging our rum punch as we watched an amazing firework display over the harbour. After the pirate ship party, we joined in on a proper Caribbean street party. As an awesome Jamaican band pumped the tunes from a stage, hundreds of people danced in the streets. For those of you who know Evan Lindsay's dance history (he danced ONCE...at our wedding. It was more of a "hug...and turn"), you will be as shocked as I was to learn that Evan had voluntary entered himself in his own Caribbean dance-off. I looked towards the stage and witnessed Evan dancing/squatting low to the ground (the goalie move?), encouraging a young Caymanian man to match his low profile. When it was apparent that Evan had achieved a lower status to the ground than his dance competitor, Evan stood tall and proud, hands outstretched in the air in a victory pose. People high-fived him and hugged him in congratulations. Who is this guy, and what did he do with my introverted husband? Stacey and I were still laughing hysterically 2 days later as we recalled Evan's epic dance moves. It was great having Stacey with us for a week and we look forward to many more visitors - hopefully these pictures will entice friends to visit as the temperature plummets back home!

Thar she blows! The Jolly Roger

Yo Ho Yo Ho we drank a bottle of rum

Awesome visit with our great buddy!

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