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So I recently celebrated my milestone birthday in spectacular style.. a celebration which lasted nearly 3 weeks and spanned two countries!

Firstly my lovely husband threw me a surprise party at our apartment and invited all the friends we have made so far in our relatively short time here in Cayman. It was a fantastic night and was so lovely to be made to feel so special. He even hired the wonderful local group Hi-Tide to perform for a couple of hours and the memory of watching everyone dance and relax out by the pool surrounded by fairy lights and live music will stay with me forever! My good friend Victoria was a star and made me not only a yummy birthday cake but also enough delicious desserts to rival the Ritz-Carlton!

The day before my birthday I was treated to lunch with the girls from work at Periwinkles at the Ritz-Carlton. Lovely, thank you girls for treating me!

Talking about the Ritz-Carlton, the next part of my birthday surprise was a night at this fantastic hotel in Grand Cayman followed by a spa day at the beautiful Silver Rain spa. (My husband also enjoyed the excuse to wear a fluffy white robe and have a facial, sshh.. don’t tell anyone!)

I then had the chance to play tourist for a week here in Cayman while my parents came on their first visit. Living somewhere like this you tend to take things slightly for granted and don’t really take time to appreciate just how wonderful it is to live in such a great place. We took in most of the tourist attractions but we have already planned numerous other things to do on their next visit as trying to fit in everything Cayman has to offer in one week is not easy!

Aside from eating at some of the great restaurants here on island, we also visited Pedro St.James – an old historic house in beautiful surroundings, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park – where I saw my first Blue Iguana and had a fantastic experience aboard the Atlantis submarine. This was one of the highlights for us all, as non-divers it is a brilliant way to see the world under the ocean and hear all about under water life in Cayman from the guide aboard, who had an amazing knowledge of his field.

One of the best parts of my parents’ visit was jet-skiing.. the memory of Chris, me and my parents zipping around the turquoise sea on Seven Mile Beach is one I will never forget!

My Dad summed up their love of this island by saying “It’s not often you visit somewhere on holiday for a week and end up wanting to buy a house there”!

The final leg of my “birthday extravaganza” took me, hubby and my parents to New York. From the moment we arrived in the buzzing city I remembered why I love NYC so much, however the cold temperatures took a little getting used to having been used to average temperatures of 80+ degrees for the last 10 months!

New York always has a special place in my heart as it was where we got engaged on my birthday 8 years ago (although that time it was snowing!).

We visited the 9/11 Memorial Site and having seen the area not long after 9/11 took place it is amazing to see how the area has been transformed. Listening to some of the relatives of the victims recount their memories of the day of the attacks was extremely humbling. They have created a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives.

We also saw “Avenue Q” the musical off-Broadway (second time we have seen it…amazing!), had hot chocolate (with a dash of liquor, for warmth of course!) on a roof-top bar with brilliant views of Manhattan, a lot of shopping and finally “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” on Broadway (fair play to my husband for letting me see this!) another fabulous show!

So back down to earth now, with a bump. My parents are safely back in the UK (the cat survived their absence!), we are safely back in warm, sunny Cayman (the fish survived our absence..thank you Victoria!) and I am now officially old…..

So if that was my 40th imagine what my 50th will be like?!! Arrrggghhhh………


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