Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Carpe diem - the time I actually seized the day!

Carpe Diem -- "seizing the day" looks so different with my mommy glasses on. Before those mommy glasses were prescribed, I had few moments, but this was Carpe Diem in its quintessential sense!

I had the amazing opportunity to fly to the Cayman Islands for virtually free -- I think I had to pay $30 in ticket fees, but I had free transportation through my redemption of mileage, free lodging as I was staying with family, and free meals as my family took care of that also! Being a young career woman, this was more than perfect for my budget!

After a week of a relaxing vacation on clean, sandy beaches with crystal clear, warm water, I was trying to squeeze everything out of this trip! My family had booked a flight back home on an early Sunday morning. My flight would leave in the evening. Frommers and Fodors (my handy trip advisers) mentioned that hitch hiking was popular and safe, and I had the grand idea of trying it out, since I had the entire Sunday left. Without my family's foreknowledge, I said goodbye and walked out to the parking lot and conversed with a local in business attire. She looked like a safe, young career woman, like myself. So I asked her if she would drive me back into the city, and I could find a way back to the airport from another person in the city. She replied that she was being dropped off, but her friend could drive me in. Her friend was not as sharply dressed, but I thought, what's the harm?!?

Heading back towards the city, with my backpack on my lap, the driver informed me that the city basically shuts down on Sunday, and I'd have nothing to do. So she suggested that I come visit her family, and I thought that would be great -- I'd get to know the culture, minus tourists! As we drove, we passed more "rural" areas, and I started to realize that this might not have been too smart. I actually contemplated having to jump out of the car while it was still moving -- then I'd look for a car with yellow license plates, as those were the rentals, and the vacationers could take me back to the airport. Alas, I didn't jump quickly enough, as we pulled into her boyfriend's home, which resembled a shack; she told me that she'd make lunch and then we'd visit her sister. They showed me in and turned on the tv for me. I had them speak in their language, sometimes very loudly, and intermittently my driver would yell from the kitchen,"Are you ok?" I pretended that I was ok and hoped that would be true! Not soon enough though, she finished making lunch, and we were off to visit her brother's house, because that was also close to her sisters. Her brother's house was much nicer, but I was a bit uncomfortable as she introduced me to her sister-in-law...as she was still in her nightgown and in her bed! But those Jamaicans (who were living in the Caymans) were incredibly hospitable. I suggested heading back to the airport, but she wanted to take me to her sister's house. So off we went. We actually had lunch with her sister, and I felt the most at ease there. But I was still anxious to get back to the airport. Finally my driver realized that I was getting anxious, so we arrived back at the airport and said our goodbyes. And I was ready to get back home, thankfully that I did get to experience the culture but even more that my endeavor to Seize the Day didn't get me kidnapped or killed!

Photo Credit: Image: taoty / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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