(Commissioned by Dart Cayman to spend the day at Camana Bay for a feature article, published in the November 2017 issue of the Camana Bay Times.)
A mother’s day out with her nine-month-old daughter
There’s a huge amount to see and do at Camana Bay, so it’s tricky to decide on what to do first. However, with the Cayman Island’s tropical climate in mind, I decide to check out the Rise first, a new scenic pedestrian pathway that links the North Sound to Seven Mile Beach, before it gets too hot. Ella, my nine-month-old daughter, babbles away in her pushchair as we make our way along the path that rises 32 feet above sea level, offering views of both Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound. Foliage lines the path, with many of the plants native to the Cayman Islands. I note that it will be even more stunning in a few years once the greenery has truly become established.
Next, we head to the 75-foot high Observation Tower, which offers breathtaking views. Navigating the steps with a stroller is a definite no, so I take the elevator. I stop off
on a few floors to show Ella the colourful floor-to-ceiling mosaic mural that decorates the entire stairwell. She is mesmerised by the shimmering colours.
I grab a quick coffee from Café Del Sol, then head to the fountains on the Crescent. Ella watches the water dance some 30 feet up in the air. She’s still too young to enjoy playing in the fountains, but it won’t be long.
Ella and I next head to the Island, a palm tree-lined beach set amidst the Camana Bay Harbour. The soft white powdery sand is the ideal place for her to practise walking. Poof the Dragon, a colourful larger-than-life sculpture of a Blue Iguana, captures her eye. It forms part of the Blue Dragon Trail created by the National Gallery and the National Trust.
The scenic background makes for a wonderful photo opportunity and I grab my camera and take some pictures.
Time for lunch! With more than a dozen eateries in Camana Bay, there truly is something for everyone. I decide to check out the Town Centre’s latest offering — Pani Indian Kitchen. The restaurant features a vibrant décor designed to reflect India’s bustling street bazaars. I opt for the chicken tikka masala; tandoori chicken in a flavourful creamy tomato gravy, served with basmati rice.
It’s Wednesday, which means the Farmers & Artisans Market is in full swing. Held each week on the Paseo from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., the market is a showcase of all that is grown and made in the Cayman Islands. One of the highlights for me is all the wonderfully fresh, locally grown produce. The lively atmosphere of the market keeps Ella entertained as she takes in all the sights and sounds.
It’s time for a bit of retail therapy. As I stroll along the covered walkways and browse Camana Bay’s many shops, Ella nods off — peace and quiet at last! I check out some of my favourite stores, including The Cabana, a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Shop; Le Visage; NKY; Bedside Manor (which features an ever-growing range of items for little ones); and Bon Vivant. Finally, I head to Books & Books, a wonderful bookstore that is one of my favourite spots to while away an hour or so.
Next, I head to Gelato & Co. This welcoming eatery sells the most incredible handcrafted Italian ice creams, sorbets and desserts. I savour my chocolate gelato (and let Ella have her first taste of chocolate) on the Crescent while soaking up the view.
It’s been a long day, well for Ella at least, so we head on back to the car. But, while the Camana Bay adventure is at an end for her, the day is not quite finished for me. With a babysitter booked, my husband and I set off on the Flavour Tour, a guided dining adventure featuring many of Camana Bay’s signature restaurants. Held every Wednesday, the tour is a wonderful gastronomic treat and a great way to meet new friends. It’s the perfect way to finish off a wonderful day out.