So in trying to plan such a short weekend I wanted to find activities that would show off Cayman and appeal to everyone’s interests. But you can’t win them all. I knew my Dad, being a history buff, would like Pedro St. James, a historic home and the birthplace of democracy in the Cayman Islands. What I forgot was that my little sister breaks out in hives when she’s even in the vicinity of a historic or educational site. The footstamping began in the parking lot when I asked her to put on another top rather than the beach cover up she had on. Caymanians are conservative people and this is an important site, I argued. I probably should have gave up then. I still think the whole place is right up my dad’s alley but I’m not sure if he fully enjoyed it since he was probably concerned with keeping the cat fighting daughters happy.
Lowdown: You are first brought into a seriously impressive multimedia theatre where you learn the history of the islands and then of Pedro St. James with sound effects, water features, a replica of the house and multiple screens in this money pumped multimedia theatre. Its an impressive show but in the end the story behind the house just isn’t all that exciting.
After the show the doors swing open and you can walk out to the truly stunning grounds. You can wander around the cactus garden, through the gazebos and finally up to the house itself. The house is three stories and unfortunately for our visit the top floor was roped off. Just walking around the house itself was my favorite part, it would be a nice model to follow for a modern house in the Caribbean, square shaped and surrounded on all four sides by porches.
On the way out there is a small building with exhibits on the history of the Cayman Islands and, inexplicably, a large stamp collection. I actually quite liked the stamps and was again interested to see the large integration of religion into the state; as the Virgin Mary and other religious figures were prominently featured on many stamps! At this point Olivia had been sitting on a bench since the show got out, refusing to venture anywhere else, so we bought her some ice cream as a reward for being so terrible and moved onto brighter and lighter activities, our brains a bit more full.
Cost: Admisson is $10USD per person, no discount for locals.
Time: There’s a 25 minute multimedia show in the theatre, then you’re free to walk around the house and tour a small exhibit. I would say an hour is perfect.
Overall: 2.5/5. There aren’t many historic sites in Cayman, so I‘m glad to have seen this one, but I think my score may be somewhat clouded by 1/3rd of the house being roped off, and by having a very grumpy whiner in the group. If you are a history or architecture lover and are not traveling with a toddler I would recommend this stop.