To picture what Grand Cayman looked like before Camana Bay opened is almost an impossible task for me because it played a huge part in my childhood, starting when I was about 10 years old.
From the beginning Camana Bay supplied a little something for all ages and gave preteens like myself numerous fun-filled days. If you were going to have a birthday party, the cinema was THE place to be. I recall dozens of birthday parties over the years, watching animated movies while eating popcorn, Sour Punch Straws (which I’d try to use to drink my Sprite) and Gobstoppers candies, which I loved so much that I would sometimes go to the cinema just to buy them and leave.
When I became an official teenager and hit the big 1-3, my friends and I would try to race to the top of The Observation Tower: One would take the elevator, one would take the inner staircase and I would usually take the outer staircase to see who got there first. I often won the race.
When I was 14 years old, I could go out with my friends to the movies on Friday nights as well as on summer days; I would buy a caramel frappé from Café Del Sol and create silly video projects, filming in different locations in Camana Bay. Sometimes I got so much into my characters that people would just stare at me as if I were crazy.
It was at 14 when my parents finally allowed me to go out for dinner at Camana Bay with just my friends; my first non-parent-supervised dinner was at The Waterfront Urban Diner on a Saturday night. I had calamari and, I am pretty sure, pasta.
As teenagers, we often ran up our mobile phone bills using too much data, so my friends and I always liked Camana Bay because of its free Wi-Fi. The access to free Wi-Fi benefited in some physical activities, too. For example, when we played hide-and-seek around the development, we had a group chat where the hider would send riddles describing her hiding spot.
After high school when I was 18, I was accepted to the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I earned a place on the varsity football (called soccer in Canada) team. I was given a strict preseason fitness schedule to follow in order to get physically fit for the team. Almost every day last summer I visited Anytime Fitness, where you could find me perspiring and questioning what I had gotten myself into. This summer, you can find me there again, most likely soaking wet with sweat, and still questioning what I have gotten myself into.
As I have gotten older, my ways of interacting with Camana Bay have changed. I still go to the cinema sometimes, but not for birthday parties. Now that I’m a young woman, I’m not making silly videos projects at Camana Bay anymore and if people, particularly young men, are staring at me these days, it’s probably not because they think I’m crazy.
Of course the biggest change with how I interact with Camana Bay is, as an intern for Dart Real Estate and Camana Bay Times, that I now spend five full days a week working there. That doesn’t mean though that I still don’t enjoy just sitting out by the fountain on The Crescent, a drink or maybe some gelato in hand, taking in the beauty as I look out over the water.