Saturday, February 03, 2007


Today is my first actual day in Miami.
I've been gone for the past 5 days on a cruise in ze Caribbean on the Carnival ship, Imagination. We arrived on Monday in Ft. Lauderdale w/ a transfer from Toronto's Pearson, my god-mum picked us up from the aeroporto and we took a small lunch before going to the Port of Miami. That's why today's really the first day.

Day 1/Jan29:
Day 2:
Day at Sea
Day 3:
Grand Cayman
Day 4:
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Day 5:
Day at Sea

Grand Cayman
Our cruise took us down to Grand Cayman to the city of Georgetown in le Cayman Islands! We took an island tour and I liked it! Though there wasn't that much to see. We didn't really get a chance to lie on the famous Seven Mile Beach (which is actually 5.5 miles, ask me later). The beach was beautiful! WHITE SANDS, plus the water looked so beautifully clean.

After that, we went to Hell. Literally! The city of Hell actually comes with its own post office so you can send postcards from Hell. It's kinda cheesy, but what else do tourists do? The name was derived from the local limestone deposits in the area which form up and create some very interesting rock crag formations which makes it look like you are in hell.

The next stop was my most favorite part of the trip. The Botswains Turtle Farm is a breeding farm for turtles. With a couple of varieties, but none that I can remember off the top of my head except for the green sea turtles which were the majority of the turtles in the tanks. The reason why this stop was my choisi favori is because I got to touch the turtles. I picked one out of the tank and, well... haha you had to be there... it freaked out. It kept trying to paddle away and slapping at my hands. These aren't the small turtles you normally think of either. The one I picked up was almost 2 feet at the longest diameter of the shell. Ah yeah!

We got to try out some of their local world-famous Tortuga Rum Cakes at the Tortuga Rum Company stores. It was just a little store with lots of rum products. So it was kinda meh.

We didn't really feel like exploring the shops in the area. There was definitely a lot to buy, but only if you have cash to burn. Grand Cayman is for the seriously rich and that's why all the high-end jewelry shops are there. Tax-free, and high-quality.

One interesting thing about the Caymans is that there is no property tax. If I have enough cash, I'd buy a property here. You just pay for the land + an initial 10% and then that's it. No more taxes to run you dry.

I'll post up pics later since I can't really upload on this comp. I'll post up my Jamaica experience tomorrow. I've been sick for today so... yeah, gotta crunch that cold for Super Bowl tomorrow. (I'm actually only a few blocks away from Dolphin Stadium. I'm wondering if I can hear the noise from here)

Ocho Rios/Jamaica
We took the Prospect Plantation / Jitney Estate Tour which is probably one of the oldest plantations in Jamaica. We got to smell some really interesting leaves, like Lime leaves and Pimento (which is apparently different than the Pimento that you're thinking of reading this). We also got to taste some fresh sugar cane and some coconut with brown sugar. They grow lots of different fruits and it took a while trying to go through all of them.

At the end, we visited the Jitney Estate which was the house overlooking the edge of the water in the plantation. It's been visited by historical figures such as Sir Winston Churchill and some others. The location itself wasn't that interesting, but our tour guide and drivers were absolutely hilarious. Jamaicans will make fun of EVERYTHING. Yeah, mon.

Next! DUNN'S RIVER FALLS. This is one of those places that movie directors like to use. If I remember correctly, the most famous one was an old James Bond movie with Sean Connery. I didn't really understand what it meant to climb the falls when they told us. I only realized that when you get there, you are literally climbing up against the current of the falls. It's absolutely wonderful and majestic. It's so beautiful! But I wasn't able to get a picture since I was too afraid of losing my camera. I probably would have too since I dunked into the water a couple of times and I lost my glasses. We had to "bargain" with some of the locals to get it for us.
It ended up costing 40$ for some guy to get it for us. Oh wellz =/

There wasn't that much to shop for in Jamaica. Mostly souvenirs and junks.

Cruise related tidbits
Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely MUST TRY weird dishes. And that's what I did!
I gotta say the choice of soups was the most interesting...

Asparagus Velouté - a creamy Asparagus soup
Not so good

Strawberry Bisque - I laughed when I saw this, but I was compelled to try it
It was pretty good! It tasted like a light strawberry shake.

Orange Sory - I wasn't all too surprised with this since trying the Strawberry Bisque
It wasn't that good at all, the bitter orange taste made it unsavory.

Kickass dishes?
Nothing really, except for the honey-glazed Confit Duck. Oh man. It was so soft and tender and the honey-glaze tasted like some Chinese style cha-siu sauce, but better than any I've tried. YUM!

I was really disappointed at the Chateaubriand on the last night. It was pretty dry. Boo-urns. I really was hoping for a blow my mind experience for this type of steak, but woefully disappointed.

I participated in some game-show style trivia. A three-way competition to answer questions. I managed to beat out two girls and winning myself a free bottle of champagne! I forgot to take a picture of it, doh!

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