The ‘Skinny’ on Grand Cayman

Where does one start when introducing an island?

Whatever I can say would indeed only be an introduction. For like knowing a person, it takes time and shared experience before you can begin to understand the inner workings, and characteristics of a being. That’s what this island is; a living, breathing thing, fueled by the sun and sand. The ground is unlike any other. The air is warm, salty, and untamed. There is something strangely wild…yet familiar to me. To have a yearning for a land one has never set foot on is not uncommon to me. Such as it was with New York. I had dreams of her bare trees against a cloudy sky, and knew it was the exact city I longed for. Others who know what I speak of have a quickening inside when they hear of this. However, New York did not run off  sun and sand. She thrived on human energy. Every dream and longing, every talent and breath of each person coming together into one central place lit up her face. As long as humans keep dreaming, she will never die. Moments of complete alone-ness together bonded me forever to her…at least for a time. It was in the harshness of the rain, and cold, difficulties and extreme triumphs that she cradled me while I cried. The intimate moments of vulnerability and frustration where equally matched with a beauty unparalleled. New York will always remain a part of me. I find that she has changed me, and this has become apparent when I interact with a certain jaded-ness, and a strength that is gently “just there.” For I feel like I can do anything.

This feeling has turned into the pressure that I MUST always be doing SOMETHING. For what do we strive for, when there is nothing we must strive for…

except to simply BE?

And this is where I find myself. I am now in the company of another; a new island more wild and untamed than the last. It is not unlike an experience of entering the home of a new lover. She smells different, she moves different, and it will indeed take some time for us to understand each other. This time should not be rushed. Intimacy must be coaxed. I have now come to yearn for the gentle way in which she moves me. My past love was a roller coaster of emotion, excitement and struggle. But there is no struggle here, and there in lies the struggle.

Salty Kisses.

Date Night

There’s nothing like going on a fabulous date. Now I know we’ve all been on some bad ones. However, this summer I’m tipping my hat to another kind. There’s one little gem who will never fail you. She’ll never make you wait, and she’ll always leave you asking for a second encounter, then a third, until you’re absolutely smitten.

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I’m talking about natures perfect candy, gloriously packed with vitamins, fiber, and that certain sweetness that can even compliment meat, and just about any occasion. A date.

I grew up in Indio California. Snugly nestled near Palm Springs and Coachella Valley, it’s often a town one drives through to get to the coveted Orange County area that boasts of cooler weather and gorgeous beaches.  Indio does have its decent share of low riders, pit bulls, and palm trees, and wears a unique badge all its own; its is the “Date Capital of the World.”  (Sadly Indio stands in the shadow of its much cooler neighbor, Coachella for the Coachella Music Festival.) As one drives through the dusty dry valley, miles of date trees soak up the sun. I distinctly remember the way the sunset looked against the solid army of date trees. At certain times of year, they would be full of paper bags around each bulb to catch the fruit, like desert Christmas trees.

dates

As a kid however, I found these ugly brown things to be rather annoying. Boxes and boxes, endless mountains if dates were in our kitchen at certain times of year. And the desire for a big bowl of ice cream always sounded more appealing when my mom would say “No, if you want a snack, there’s plenty of dates.” At 8 years old I just couldn’t appreciate a date shake, and was always confused by the sign that read, “experience the love and sex life of a date,” (complete with a cartoon date waving at cars full of uninterested Mexicans.) I still don’t think I understand this. Like most kids, my palate began to change after a few years. After moving across the country, and the globe, the flavor of a date is still unparalleled in it’s carmel-like sweetness.

Try stuffing them with mint and manchego cheese, and wrapping them in prosciutto. Finish them off in the oven, and you will NOT be disappointed.

Much love from a date.

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