- After a grueling day of travel from dropping the dogs off, driving to Cincinnati, flying to Montego Bay and then riding on a bus for an hour and a half, we made it to Negril, Jamaica. We were given a warm welcome, regrouped in our room, explored the resort and enjoyed some Red Stripe and laughs before crashing.
- Sunday let the games begin. We enjoyed the beach, the pool, the beach again, some rain, eating copious amounts of buffet food and drinking copious amounts of pina coladas.
- Monday brought more of the same, plus lying on the beach at night to watch the stars. We did venture out though - to the Rockhouse Restaurant for a delicious dinner. The view was pretty lovely, knowing famous musicians had graced their presences in past times was pretty cool and the food was ah-may-zing. Coconut shrimp, yes, please! When we got back to our resort, there happened to be a giant fire ball shot up in the air from a bonfire the resort was throwing at the other end of the beach. It was very confusing, very cool and very, very weird.
- On Tuesday, we had a man down due to a migraine, so 3 of us just kind of lingered around the resort doing the same - drinking pina coladas, eating buffet food and lying on the beach in between rain storms.
- Wednesday was my birthday! It really didn't feel like my birthday. I mean, the days were so lazy and the nights were nonexistent while we were there since we couldn't seem to keep our eyes open past 9 p.m. But considering it was my birthday, we ventured out (not really an easy thing to do if feuding cab drivers make you uncomfortable). Our driver (he was very pleasant) took us to some craft markets where we bought some handmade things (I scored a cool soap dish made of coconut). Then we made our way over to Rick's Cafe to spend the afternoon and watch the sunset. We had a blast watching locals and tourists dive off the cliffs (some jumped from 50-80 feet!). At one point while we were watching, about 12 or so local boys jumped from the cliff at the same time. What a show! We ate fish tacos, drank red stripe and coronas and enjoyed the sunset. It was a pretty good birthday, although it was really hard for me to not be able to receive calls from my family and friends. That is definitely one thing I most enjoy about my day. But it IS fun to still be celebrating now that I'm back home :)
- Thursday was good, we enjoyed the beach and another lazy day. We walked as far as we could down the beach before sunset and were given a bigger glimpse of locals trying to make a buck or two.
- Friday was really fun. Considering it was supposed to be our last day, we went down the street to Margaritaville (don't judge) and enjoyed the most beautiful beach. I mean, that beach was turquoise, crystal clear and there was nothing but sun the whole time we were there. At our beach (Riu Negril), it was lovely. But rain clouds constantly moved in to our side of the bay and there were sea urchins everywhere. In fact, I stepped on one earlier in the week and had purple splinters in my feet for a few days. None of that was at the Margaritaville beach, which lies exactly in the middle of the seven mile beach (the most pristine). Just sand, clear water, good food and good times.
Some things I learned about Jamaica that I'd like to pass along to others who might be visiting include ::
- Everyone is very nice. Everyone at the resort, everyone at any restaurant, along the road, in the shops. Even if you don't want to buy something from a vendor (and believe me, they WILL try relentlessly) they are still nice. No problem, mon. No problem.
- Leaving the resort is indeed plausible. You can trust cab drivers - you can even trust them to come back and pick you up after you've paid in full. So many people warned us not to leave, but we're too adventurous and needed to get a real feel of a where we were! However, they will do anything possible to get your business. So be prepared to name a price and stick to your guns. Also, don't pay for the resort taxis. They mark the prices up substantially. There's always cab drivers waiting as close to the resort as they're allowed.
- Aloe works really well, so go ahead and buy it. None of us were burned (hooray!) but we know it works. We all applied it fresh from the plant after a day in the sun, watched any bit of red turn to brown and boom - no problem, mon. I also overheard some girls talk about having a blistery, sunburned chest that they covered in fresh aloe and the next day it was hardly burned at all!
- There are no clocks. You are on Jamaican time, mon. No worries.
I am utterly exhausted. I am surely hoping I can function well this week. We were delayed 10 hours getting home, so instead of arriving home late afternoon, we arrived home at 4 a.m. Sheesh! Whatever though, no problem!
Since my phone is basically broken, I only have instax pics to share with you this week. Hope you'll forgive me!
How were your weeks/weekends? I'd love to hear!
Well here we go - here's to a great week ahead!