Monday, September 21, 2015

Home Sweet Home…for now :)

We bought a house!

Well, a condo, to be exact. We purchased the condo that we've been renting for over a year now.
The paint is wearing off and is an uninspiring sandy oatmeal colour. You know, like if someone put sand on your oatmeal.
The dated vertical blinds are falling haphazardly from the valance.
One of the ceiling fans works periodically. When it does work, it wobbles.
The countertop is a faded lilac/mauvy colour and is pulling away from the walls.
The light fixtures scream, "the 90's rocked, dude!"

It needs some work.


If you sit on the toilet, open the bathroom door, and look straight ahead, you can see the Caribbean Sea! You might even see a passing cruise ship. Wave! I kid you not.


Ev and I have worked hard, took some risks, and made some difficult decisions in order to to buy, build, and sell a handful of properties over the years. Our intention was usually to make a profit. Rarely have we built a house with the intent of living in it forever (forever is so so long). So I've always lived by the mantra: never form an emotional connection with your house. Do not, I repeat, do NOT get attached to a property. It's just a property. But…I have felt a little sad when our houses have sold, and I cherish the memories we made in each house. I mourn the loss of those dinners on the beautiful granite countertops, baths in the luxurious jetted tub, and parties at the wicked awesome basement bar. But it was always just a house. I'm gonna be honest with you right now, I LOVE this condo in Grand Cayman. LOVE it. That's an emotion, right? Damn. Yes, this condo needs some TLC, and I'm looking forward to some minor renovations, but after living in this condo for a year, I have formed…ugh…an emotional attachment. Boo, Kirstie, Boo!

Here is why:

1) The pool: our complex has one of the largest pools on the island. I usually spend about 3-4 evenings a week physio-ing, floating, or sipping a cocktail around the pool. It's about 10 feet away from the ocean, so when you lie on your back, you can hear the waves crashing. A beautiful barbecue area sits next to it so Ev can grill a steak while I float. It's pure bliss. Often, I'm the only one actually in the pool, so as I lie on my back, listening to the waves crash, inhaling the scent of BBQ, I imagine that I am Beyonce, casually swimming in my private seaside pool. "Jay Z, where's my cocktail?"

2) The patio: We are located on the ground floor and look directly out at the pool and the sea. To the right of our patio is a honeysuckle flower. When I was a kid, there was a picture of a honeysuckle in our bathroom. I often thought that honeysuckle was beautiful and wondered where one would find such a flower - and now I see it everyday! Tiny birds drink from that flower, so Biloxi can sit, stalk and  chatter away with excitement for hours. Biloxi has also started sunning himself on the patio, on his back, legs high in the air. Now that's relaxation. While Biloxi shamelessly flaunts all of his kitty parts, Evan and I enjoy spending our early evenings on the patio, listening to the palm trees rustle in the breeze, sipping a rum punch, and watching the sun go down. Ahhhh….my patio.

Biloxi! Have you no shame?

His and hers seating

Best spot to drink my morning tea

3) The people: We have lovely, interesting neighbours. Above and over from our unit is a couple from Italy. They have a dog named "Bella." When Bella barks, Michele, the tall, smiling Italian man says, "Bella!" in his thick Italian accent. I love it! My Canadian friend, Brenda, lives in the building next to us. It's so nice to walk over to her place for a chat or meet at the pool for a BBQ. Every evening, a British dad and his little girl go for a swim in the pool. I've watched this little girl grow from baby to a smart little person over the course of a year. The interaction between the little girl and her dad is priceless. I think it is awesome how this little girl will always have the memory of swimming with her dad at sunset each night. They swim, play, and discuss what they will have for dinner. The British accent makes any child's language, in my opinion, sound very advanced and mature, "Daddy, shall we have chippies with our sausage?"Haha.

4) The Path: a perfect little path runs around the complex - weaving in and out around the pool and the buildings, with a view of the ocean. It's an ideal distance to take Dundee for a 10 minute walk every morning. I love that little walk and it serves to "regulate" me before I get ready for my work day.

morning walk with my pooch

This path leads down to a shore dive site - throw on your equipment and go for a dive!

5) Location: Our condo is located in West Bay. When we first moved to the island, a few people advised us to avoid West Bay. It has a reputation for being a little "rough." There definitely are some areas of West Bay that I would not want to wander around at night, but overall, it's nothing different than what one sees in a lower socioeconomic area in any city. There are definitely some West Bay characters who are regularly swerving the streets on their bike, beer in hand  beers in hands, but you know, it gives the neighbourhood some flavour.  Many areas of West Bay are beautiful, with homes overlooking the ocean - our street included. I also love that we can get to seven mile beach in about 7 minutes (coincidence?) and we are rarely stuck in traffic, as we're usually going against the rush hour madness (there is actually rush hour madness here, for reals). I love our location, and I feel like it's a secret spot on the island that many islanders don't even know exists.

seven mile beach - 7 minutes away!

*I asked Ev what his favourite thing was about our condo and his response was, "The landscapers. I never have to mow the lawn again." OK. Typical boy response.

Yep, this condo makes my heart  happy. I don't know if it's our "forever" home. I doubt it. We'll move again, I'm pretty sure. But in the meantime, it definitely feels right, and I can't wait to start putting my stamp on it.

PS: Does, "We need thousands of dollars wired to our Cayman Islands account ASAP!" sound suspicious? Ya, It's not so easy to purchase a property here when your money is in Canada. Ev's been dealing with both our Canadian and Cayman bank for weeks to ensure the funds were wired from our Canadian account into our Cayman bank account. Overall, from the day we requested the wire from our Canadian bank until the day that we could it access it was an 8 day process. 8 freakin' days! I was positive that our money was being held hostage - I was just waiting for the ransom note. In the movies, wiring is instantaneous, no? It's not like some man is coming on a boat with a sack full of our money and we need to wait for him to clear customs. Ev says this was a "lesson in fortitude" for me. Fortitude shmortitude. Show me the money!


  1. Congrats! Sounds like a slice of heaven!

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  3. So glad you and Evan walked up to me when I was in the pool that day and asked about the complex. Neighbours have turned into friends. Happy for you both to have purchased, even though it wasn't a straight forward process!

  4. First off, congratulations on your purchase. I have spent plenty of time fixing up the condo that my wife and I purchased, and while it's been a lot of work, it's been very worth the trouble. We also traded a house in for our condo but have never regretted the decision because we love where we live and wouldn't trade it for the world!

    Garry @ Creative Fences And Decks