Our sand turtle tradition began when my mom and dad first started vacationing in Grand Cayman in the early 80s. They went with another couple, and one day, the two men built a large turtle out of sand. It was a great conversation starter with folks on the beach, and it soon became a vacation tradition. One year, their turtle even made the Cayman newspaper. The Cayman Islands have been known for their abundance of turtles since 1503, when Christopher Columbus approached Little Cayman and Cayman Brac and saw "two very small and low islands, full of tortoises, as was all the sea all about, insomuch that they looked like little rocks, for which reason these islands were called Las Tortugas."
When we started going with my parents to Grand Cayman, the kids were excited to continue the tradition. My dad even had t-shirts made for us.
This is a photo of my dad and Jim with David and Andrew in front of the turtle. I think it's 1987.
The turtle building has slowed a bit over the last few years. Seems like these days we favor beach sitting over shoveling. :) I think this may be the last time we built a turtle, with the group of 17 we took in 2009. The Casuarina trees don't seem to produce the little pine cones since the hurricanes, so he doesn't have a fancy shell. You can't see it in this photo, but they used coconuts for the eyes.
Cute little Matthew got lots of lookers when he said, "Wanna see our turtle? The eyes are coconuts." The college boys thought it wasn't a bad pick-up line. Lol.
Linking up with Jessica at The Mom Creative for Throwback Thursday Stories. #TBTStories. (No linkup today, but I'm sharing my story anyway.) :)