Grand Cayman – Botanical Gardens

We tendered into town on this island. Several gift shops selling souvenirs and craft items along with a café are located at the pier. Clean restrooms are available here, too. Outside the gates, you can find jewelry stores and other upscale shops plus a Margaritaville restaurant. We took an air-conditioned bus tour to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Gardens, which inhabits 65 acres. It took us about forty minutes to get there. We saw expensive homes, including a multi-million dollar mansion owned by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

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We passed a beautiful modern school, shopping strips, gas stations, and more wealthy homes. At the garden, labels defined the trees and plants in sectioned areas. It could have taken us all day to view the various displays. Our local guide took us down the sandy paths and described the plants.

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There is a small historic house on the grounds, and a gift shop that sells souvenirs and refreshments. We got stuck there when our bus broke down, and we had to wait twenty minutes or so for a replacement.

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This tranquil nature park is well worth the drive if you’re looking for something new to do during a repeat island visit.

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Next Port: Grand Cayman- Pedro St. James

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Playing Tourist in Florida

Happy Easter to my friends who celebrate the holiday! As with any celebration, it’s a day to relax and enjoy your family and friends. In our busy lives, it’s not so easy to take a day off. I like to take walks and enjoy visiting parks when the weather is suitable.

We were lucky to be in Naples, FL during perfect weather to tour the Naples Botanical Garden. We’ve seen many of the other attractions in the area, but this was a first time here. After paying the $12.95 admission fee at the ticket booth inside the gift shop, we emerged onto the garden path. Different ecological areas are nestled among the 170 acres. Created in 1993 by a group of inspired Naples residents, the garden boasts seven habitats, 2.5 miles of walking trails, and restored native preserves. New construction is planned for a welcome center, auditorium, café, and more.

A sculpture exhibit was going on the same time as our visit. Enjoy the photos and picture yourself in sunny South Florida.

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And here are my friends from Southwest Florida Romance Writers who gave me an excuse to go to Naples in the first place. I spoke to the group on “Social Networking for Writers.” You’ll see me at the far end in the first photo.

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As for other day off activities, we’ll often take a walk inside Sawgrass Mills Mall. Last week we went there to see Oz: The Great and Powerful. We liked this Disney movie despite the negative reviews. The storyline was clever and the scenery beautiful and creative. It reminded me of Avatar. We didn’t see it in 3-D but I would buy the DVD that way.

We discovered a new sushi bar inside the mall at a central location. Patrons sitting at the bar can watch sample dishes glide by on a conveyor belt.

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Another day, I met my friend Margaret, a former member of Florida Romance Writers. We dined with our husbands at La Bonne Crepe on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. I indulged in the baked brie with fruit and an iced tea.

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After lunch, we strolled by the New River to see the Water Taxi landing where a bunch of people waited for the boat. That’s one adventure I haven’t done yet.

Where do you go on your days off?