Saturday, February 21, 2015

My First Visit to Margaritaville Grand Cayman

One of the most important goals I have in retirement is to drink a beer (or two?) in every Margaritaville property on earth. Currently they stretch from Sydney Australia to the three Airport Cafe's in San Juan Puerto Rico.  As the verse in "Tryin to Reason With Hurricane Season" goes, its a "mightly long airplane ride" to get to all of them.  But I will.

In July 2010 I was bored wondering what to do the following weekend so I decided to go to Grand Cayman island to have a beer at Margaritaville. I searched the Cayman Airways website and found a manageable airfare and bought the ticket.  I flew down there on July 8, 2010, and after clearing Cayman customs and immigration I walked from the airport to the cafe where I had a few beers but didn't get too drunk to karaoke.  After dinner I walked to my nearby hotel and crashed.  The next morning I awoke, walked to the airport, checked in and flew back to Tampa.  I was out of the country about 22 hours.

At US Customs in Tampa I was asked how long I'd been out of the country. I said "one day."

Customs said "What were you doing in the Cayman Islands for a day?"  

I said "I went to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe for a beer."

He said "You flew all the way to the cayman islands for a beer?"


"Ok, what were you really doing in the Cayman Islands?"

"I went to have a beer at Margaritaville."

"I need to see what's in your backpack."

I was carrying a simple backpack in which I carried my passport, a book to read, a change of clothes and a tooth brush.  Nothing more.

"That's all you took to the Cayman Island?"

"I was only there overnight."

"And what did you say you were doing there?"

"I went to have a beer at Margaritaville."

By now he figured something sinister was up but he couldn't figure out what. 

Finally to remove his angst I showed him evidence that I am a retired US government employee and said "Look, I used to be a Fed just like you are. My goal in retirement is to drink a beer in every Margaritaville cafe in the world and that's why I went to Grand Cayman for a night."

The Customs guy thought a second and said "I've been doing this job for 24 years and heard a lot of bullshit stories but yours sir is the most bullshit one I've ever heard.  Welcome home." 

I guess now if Jimmy ever mentions Tampa when singing Volcano he can say "Customs there they hassle Craig."