Friday, August 3, 2012

Last and First

Wow, serious flashback to this post, describing our last days in the States and our first days in Grand Cayman.  And here we are again, this time with the reverse.  Don't you love when things come full circle?

Our second to last day in Cayman we went to Spotts Beach with Walter.  We put our chairs in the shade, ate a picnic and took a little nap.  It was so nice.  I'm really glad we had time for some relaxation and fun that last week, in addition to the crazy to-do list!

I'm already missing these blue, blue waters...

That night we went to Ragazzi for dinner.  I love dinner dates with this guy.

We spent our final full day in Grand Cayman with Jenn and Nate, hanging out at their pool and eating a few meals together.  It was still so hard to believe that this was the last time we'd get to do that for a while.

The final day was a frenzy of chores, errands, and general running around.  Jenn drove us to the airport and Nate met us there to say goodbye.  I must admit a few tears were shed.  Oh how I love these people.  Thank goodness we kept it short and sweet, otherwise I would have been a real mess (and we would have missed our flight  - we made check in with literally one minute to spare).

We flew into Greenville, SC to surprise Brent's family.  His dad knew we were coming for 4th of July but no one else did.  It was so much fun to get to see everyone and meet our newest niece.  I wish the visit could have been longer, but we were also anxious to get home and start setting up the house.

Here's sweet Ellison - four months old

Girl's got good taste in watches

It was the perfect traditional 4th of July - hanging out by the pool, grilling burgers and hotdogs, watching fireworks from the driveway.

The many faces of Kru

Brent got sprayed in the eye with a water gun, which is why it looks a little funny here...

Can't wait to spend a whole week with the gang in Myrtle Beach this September!

We drove to Ohio with Brent's parents.  This was waiting at our house when we got there.  We have the best family!

Ohio did its best to make us feel like home - 100+ degree weather all week.  Our renter had turned off the power on her last day, and due to damage across the area from thunderstorms the week before, we weren't able to get it turned on for 5 days.  Oops.  Man oh man, not my favorite week.  But despite the heat, we got a lot done.  Some inside unpacking and A LOT of outside landscaping.

Now it's been almost a month since we returned.  Still some unpacking to do, but things are looking much more "settled."  Brent and I are adjusting well - some days it feels like we never left and the whole island adventure was just a dream.  I miss it incredibly, but we've also been so busy here I haven't had too much time to dwell on it.  When we tell people we just moved back from two years in Grand Cayman, the general response is "Why?!"  Haha, I really don't blame them.  I spent a lot of time wondering that too before the move.  But I think Brent and I are both feeling peace that this was the right thing for this time in our lives.  The future...who knows what it may hold :)

I don't plan to keep the blog going now that we are back in the States.  I realized that I pretty much put all the same pictures on Facebook, and my blog text was mostly just a few captions here and there.  It seemed a little redundant.  But you never know, maybe I'll stop by every now and then with some pictures and updates.  After all, life is still "grand," even in Cincinnati.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympics Party

Well, I'm going out of chronological order here, but this post is more relevant, and the pictures are ready :).  Last weekend we hosted an olympics party.  It was so fun to entertain at our house again.  Brent's still healing from his eye surgery, but was able to compete with everyone else.  I had lots and lots of help from family pulling this off!

Everyone had to wear red, white, and blue.  Go Team USA!

The torch and medals

Everyone made a dish from another country.  I loved the creativity!

Caprese Salad from Italy

Baklava from Greece

Cucumber Salad from Japan

Fried Meatballs from Albania

Plantains from Haiti

There was an Olympic trivia event, a flag match-up event, and a blindfolded relay.  We had three teams, so everything was a group competition.

The final challenge was seeing which team could eat the most from their box of Kellogg's Team USA cereal.  Not as easy as it sounds!

Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners

So proud of all our athletes!

Happy Olympics, everyone!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Octopus Tasting

I've been totally MIA on this blog.  Still more pictures to get through from our last days in Grand Cayman and first days back in Cincinnati, but they are on the waaay back burner for now.  More front and center is 1) unpacking, 2) getting caught up on KruBooks album orders, and 3) Brent's second eye surgery which took place today.  In other words, don't hold your breath.  

BUT Jenn did just write a great post about our last Blue Cilantro dining experience.  I didn't even take pictures, so you are getting a freebie with this one!  

Sneak peek - love this series of photos capturing my first taste of octopus!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Joelle and Dave Visit - Rum Point and Starfish Point

Note: This was written about a week ago, but I just now have internet to publish.  Sorry for the delay!

I have to say, I just got a pang of sadness uploading the pictures for this post.  Because the truth is, we are now back in Cincinnati, living the "grand" midwest life.  Brent and I moved back to the States on Tuesday, July 3rd.  We surprised his family in SC for the 4th of July, so I didn't want to write anything about our approaching return on the blog.  But now we are back in Ohio, busy unpacking, doing landscaping, and just getting acclimated with our city again (we are watching a Reds game as I type this).  Thank you Cincinnati for the 100+ degree heat.  I feel right at home.

I still have a few pictures left from Grand Cayman so there will be a couple more island posts.  Enjoy shots like these while they last!

We stopped at Seven Mile Beach one night before dinner for some beach portraits.  Love this beautiful couple! 

My favorite place on island (tied with Camana Bay)...Welcome to Rum Point!

Drinks, round 1 - you know your guests are in serious "vacation mode" when they open a tab at the bar :)

Ordering lunch

Blackened mahi sandwich and veggie panini ( I should add that Brent and I went back one last time before the move and ordered the fish and chips - A-MAZ-ING.  I asked Brent how he would describe them and he said "perfect.")

After Rum Point, we drove a little further out to Starfish Point.  We've only been to this remote spot once before...on a boat trip our first month in Grand Cayman.  The starfish were just as plentiful as I remembered.

Front and back

Joelle and Dave, thanks for being our last Cayman guests!  It was fun getting to do all our favorite things one last time with you.  

After J&D left, we had a little over a week to pack, ship our boxes, sell our car, and squeeze in a little bit of extra sun and fun as well.  It was a hectic time, but we survived.  A special thanks to Jenn and Nate for making our last couple days so memorable!  I probably still have a couple more Cayman pictures on my camera, so I'll do a few more posts to wrap up :)