Monday, May 3, 2010

Bringing Home Van Gogh

Today's post is composed under palm shade on a freshly raked, Grand Cayman Island beach.

My weeks goal is to not blister, wear a bra, or comb my hair.

We arrived on a Sunday.  Everything, including liquor stores, is closed on Sunday. Luckily we brought two bottles of our favorite chardonnay, which emptied way too quickly.

I stressed for months over this vacation.  The thought of wearing a bathing suit was overwhelming.  I vowed to lose 20 lbs but ended up gaining 5.

While going through the security check point, I was pulled over and assigned a "pat down."  The female  officer was instructed to check my "mid section."  ...Yep, nothing but fat.

An inspection of my carry on bag, turned up a shiny, slender, pink object which was cause for alarm.  A dusting and dismantlement was carried out by the lead supervisor and his team of rookies, despite the fact that I did my best to quietly assure everyone it was only a vibrator. 

The day before we left, my husband turned his beard into a goatee and long, side burns.  He now looks like a pirate.  A 20 lbs thinner pirate.

Our rental car is the same size as my office desk.  The speedometer registers in kilometers and the speed limit is miles per hour.  We are driving on the left side of the road while doing math in our heads.

We are staying in a remote part of the island which is known for its snorkeling.  Neither of us snorkels. My husband, a Pisces, is uncomfortable in the water.

Our condo is so big that I feel guilty we didn't bring more people.

A patio off the living room spills directly onto the beach. There is a sign taped to the door that warns us not to leave the condo unless it is "locked down."

The patio door can only be secured from the inside so, to get to the beach, we must exit through the front door, cross the parking lot, go around the corner, down the center corridor, up the steps, cross the pool, and walk back down the steps to the beach.

Less than 8 feet from our condo lives a friendly, local island family with a shipwrecked row boat, pit bull and a collection of free roaming roosters. The pit bull is tied to a "coop" and barks constantly.  He's got a lot to say, my best guess is that he wants me to know that "life is good"  "life is good on the beach"  "I like the beach" and "you look great in your bathing suit."

When we first arrived the beach was littered with debris that I'm told washed up from Cuba.

Litter drives me insane.  Thanks to the roosters, I woke at 6:00 am this morning and hit the beach with a a hand full of garbage bag.  Half way through my second bag, an islander told me I was doing his job.  Apparently, he doesn't work on Sundays and his workday starts at 11:00 am.  He was worried he'd been fired.  I assured him I was a guest but he's still not convinced. 

We attempted to swim in the water, which is a warm, turquoise blue but covered in turtle grass and coral.  We were advised not to step on the coral and to stay out of the grass (or was it the other way around).  The current is strong but playful.  So much so that I walked out not knowing my left boob was fully exposed. 

Last night, in an effort to score more wine, husband and I "accidentally" opened a door off the main lobby that I naturally assumed would be locked and discovered a private wine cellar.  It was the most exciting thing either of us had ever seen.

We both let out a long gasp, followed by a giggle and then, fearful we had stumbled upon Pandora's box, I quickly closed the door.  ME...the thirsty clepto, closed the door!!!

All I can tell you is it felt like a trap or some sort of test.  Turned out I was right, a few moments later the "keepers" arrived.  I don't remember much after that, other than the captain, his two buddy's and his wife, all French Canadians, agreed to grant us immunity if we agreed to take home a stray puppy they had found, and named Van Gogh.

He's adorable, in a puppy sort of way.

Green Monkey Tales © 2010 Shannon E. Kennedy
photo's courtesy of Google Image


  1. I'm SOOO JEALOUS. The discovery of the "pink" object and your left boob slipping out had me laughing. It looks gorgeous. Enjoy.

  2. Thanks Alicia! I will try my best :)

  3. First, we need pictures of the Pirate, vibrator, and boob. I mean, really, add those to a secret wine stash and all is good in the world. Tell Mark that I'm with him on the water. It doesn't do a thing for me, unless I'm nude in a hot tub. Leave the puppy or Miss Lucy and Kittay won't be happy. They have a good gig going and don't want anyone horning in. Whoring in might be a different story.

  4. Mark's brother is watching Miss Lucy and Kittay....I'm thinking he may need a puppy. turns out the dogs name is "Mango" not "Van Gogh" so all bets might be off. Pirate, boob, that order, coming right up. Just one Boob, right Sam?

  5. You are too funny! I agree - Miss Lucy might not be happy...but we also need a photo of the puppy! Have a great time!

  6. I'm guilty of not reading your seven sins post until now so I'm combining my response to include both:
    Your pennance for your sins is to take me with you next time you have a condo that's too big.... you apparently need someone to remind you when your boob is hanging out.... (I'm sure Sam or I would be glad to volunteer)....

  7. Oh yes, Chris. Glad to help out. I would even be a good friend and put it back in for her. Shannon, one boob or two...photographers choice. I'm flexible.

  8. fun life you live, I wonder when you find the time to write? Its good though. Even though I don't believe a Pisces that doesn't like water...or trap wine cellars and nice puppy dogs.

    Sounds like a dream your living in.

  9. JAYBIRD......dream state....YES, or more like I've created it. Seriously... for example, the puppy. Adorable, beyond words... and so needed. We were supposed to bring our dog.... I was feeling very tortured that we didn't. So we arrive and I'm way can I relax here! and then the lost puppy wanders in... I can linger forever if a puppy is near! we took the puppy that bad?

  10. Baby! This sounds wonderful!! I am so glad you are getting to do this.

    Smuggle that dog home!!

  11. What beautiful imagery, Shannon. Thanks for sharing with us. You visited my blog sometime ago and I clicked on the comment you left me to come to yours. I have been hooked ever since. You have a very moving story to tell and your words come alive on my screen. It's almost as if we were sitting under the shade of a tree and you were talking to me. I mention your blog as one of those that consistently offers top quality content in one of my posts:
    Have a wonderful day!

  12. Thank you Mansi.... I'm sitting in the Grand Caymans reading a novel that was recommended to me and has single handedly convinced me I can't write. I don't know how to relax, I am afraid of whats hiding in the reef in front of me, and beside me, to my left is poverty. I am focused on the sadness in the eyes of the pit bull that is tied to a clothes line. He's undernourished and I feel spoiled and plump.

  13. Your Friend FlickaMay 5, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    I agree that we need a photo of the pirate. My favorite line in your very funny post is about the dog barking "you look good in your bathing suit". Love it. Have a great time.

  14. Flicka....YOU know I wasn't going to hear it from the pirate! :)

  15. Love it! You made me smile thinking about explaining the pink object! I remember my mom having her (new) tampons ripped open by customs in Peru because they thought they looked suspicious in her suitcase. As a 12 yr old I was humiliated. That would be even better! Hope you have a lovely time despite it all and achieve all those goals! :)

  16. You won an award, visit me at

  17. It sounds like it was fabulous. The patio thing reminded me of when we bought our condo. They stressed how the parking space for our unit was mere steps from our patio door. Except, it can only be locked from the inside, so all I can do from the patio is LOOK at my car. ;)

    Sweet little puppy!

  18. Enjoy your vacation! Sounds fabulous!

    Stopping by to welcome you to SITS

  19. Oh, Lord.... I SO need a vacation!

    I came by to welcome you to SITS! We're happy to have you with us!


Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison