Saturday, September 03, 2016

Jamaica Day 5

Today is our last day in Jamaica :( Tomorrow we head home. It's been a great trip, but if I'm honest with myself I'm ready to be home. I'm ready to sleep in my bed and pet my annoying fur babies. However, that didn't stop me from enjoying today. One thing I can say is that the days seem longer here - we seem to fit more in. So what happened today?

We woke up at 7:30, enjoyed the coffee placed by the butler elves and then headed down to the buffet for breakfast. We then meandered over to catch the bus to our River Walk. The drive over to the river was about an hour and half and it was opposite of the direction we went the other day. We drove through Negril and through Little London on our way. What I noticed most is that while the houses are small like in the other areas and it's obviously not as wealthy or comfortable as the US, these areas were cleaner. There was litter, but no more than you would see in the US - just patches here and there. People's yards were relatively clean and their houses well maintained. Some were larger and almost the size of a 2 bedroom starter home in the states, but most appeared to be the 1 room buildings that pepper the landscape here. I also noticed that the buildings here are all bright colors - colors we would cringe if our neighbor used in the US - pink, purple, green, and sometimes all on the same house.

The road was extremely bumpy - marked with pot holes and the closer to the river the bumpier it got. We saw a small boy coming back from the river with his cloths in a hamper and none on his bottom; it was super cute.

Once we got to the river; we were surprised to learn it was not a trail along the river, but you actually walked in the water. We knew you could get in the river; just didn't realize the walk was in the river... lol. I really wanted to take pictures on this excursion given I haven't gotten to really at all this trip; so I walked the trail and Jack joined the others in the water. Once they got past a certain point the guide said it would be ok for me to walk with my camera so I did -- it was fun. I wish I had brought the water proof camera and left mine, the pictures probably were not worth me missing out, but alas, a lesson learned for another day.

After the walk they served us lunch. It was fried chicken, but different than what we have. It had a Mango sauce over it and the flavor was sooo good. I loved it. We then headed back up what felt like a million stairs to the bus, where most of us napped to some degree on the way back to the resort.

Once back we came to the room and I took a much needed nap. We then got up, dressed and walked the beach while the sunset. It was a gorgeous night. We then went to the Japanese restaurant again, but we had a different cook and he was not anywhere near as good... the people we ate with were all tired as well so the conversation wasn't engaging. We left after dinner and went to the seafood restaurant for desert; they have a very good apple tart :)

Once we were so full we were about to enter a food coma we took a walk along the beach before coming back to face the reality of getting packed up for tomorrow. We leave the resort at 9 AM and should be back home around 10 PM tomorrow. We loose an hour and with the connection in Atlanta it can take a bit. I'm looking forward to getting there though; not necessarily work, but being home.

See you all soon :)

Friday, September 02, 2016

Jamaica Day 4

Day 4 in Jamaica; I could spend a lifetime here. Though I must admit the heat would probably get to me after a while. So what did we do today? mmmmmm...

Well, we got up at 7:30 and the coffee elf aka Kendrick the Butler had delivered coffee to the porch. I swear the coffee and the delivery of said coffee may be the best thing about Jamaica. We then got showers and ate room service in the room. Room service is another thing I could get used to... just saying.

We then headed down for our very first excursion off the resort - > horse back riding. The trip was about an hour and 1/2 and the driver was funny. I was once again stricken by the poverty in Jamaica, but the areas we went through today were not as bad. Another thing that struck me is how little respect the Jamaican people seem to have for the beauty around them. Trash is everywhere - if they cleaned up I bet the tourism would pick up even more. People like myself might leave the confines of the resorts and spend money in the cities... but with trash everywhere I would never feel comfortable.

We got to the horse back riding place and realized it is the same place for the ATVs so we ended up cancelling that trip we had planned for tomorrow - I don't want to ride ATVs over the same trails. The ride was fun though; a couple of good vistas, but mainly walking a trail through the forest. Our guide was Jr. and he was nice - the horse I rode was Royal and she was a princess through and through. Again I was stricken by the garbage - even at a tourist spot like this - garbage. The ride was about an hour long and I did enjoy it. We went up and down hills and the horse decided to gallop on me a few times, which was fun. She also randomly decided to eat, shit and pee - > which was interesting.

We walked with the horses through water and the areas by the sea were really pretty. Once we got back to the main staging area they allowed you to take the horse for a swim if you wanted to. Jack and I opted to stay dry, but I enjoyed watching and taking pictures. The area where you first get on the horses really is pretty and the breeze was perfect. I laid in the hammock for a bit and then wondered over to the bar area. In the bar area a couple -were feeding the stray cats so I really enjoyed that - The cats are really scared of people so I had trouble getting pictures earlier, but with them getting fed it was great. I enjoyed watching them - the were super cute.

We then rode back to the hotel and I may have taken a nap on the way back. Once in the room we changed for our private boat tour of the area. This was by far the best thing about the trip so far and well worth the extra money. We had a two hour tour on the boat - Jack and I love to be on the water and this was super special. We saw caves, drove the boat into a cave, saw bats, resorts built into the cliffs, saw Marguritaville, and walked up to Ricks Cafe. It was a magical night - the guys who took us out were fantastic.

It was funny - when we went up to Ricks Cafe they had two ladies on the boat with them - I think they were on mini-dates while working. I thought it was super funny. On the way back another boat signaled us and we had apparently run into their fishing line. Now keep in mind it's night by now and this boat has no lights so there is no way anyone could have knonw about the fishing line. They were talking in the native Jamaican language, except for the cuss words which were in English, and it was funny. That guy was obviously upset and saying the same thing over and over -- at first it alarmed me, but then I realized the staff had it well under control so then it was just funny -> a story for the trip to file away in the memory banks.

We got back to the resort and decided to forego the dinner reservations; instead we ate pizza in and I'm seriously considering calling it an early night. It was a great day and tomorrow will be as well. Sleep well my friends.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Jamaica Day 3

Today there isn't too much to write about; we took a very relaxing day. However, I do want the memories so here goes.

We woke up to coffee on the deck again - I could so get used to this. After a slow morning we meandered down for breakfast at the buffet. It is an outside area and I enjoyed the view of the ocean and the Egrets stalking for morning leftovers. They are such beautiful birds.

We then went down to the shop for a different, hopefully better, sunscreen. Came back to the room and got ready for the next item on our agenda. Jack went to try diving again and I went to our reserved spots on the beach. It is so nice - you have your own lounge chairs, umbrella and they bring you a cooler with drinks - Its pampering to the 9th degree. I sat back - read my book - got in the water a tiny bit and generally just relaxed. We are near the end of the property so I chatted with the security guard a little bit; he was friendly and checked up on me often. I think he may have been flirting a bit.

I then meandered back to the room and got into the pool - the way our deck is set up you can get in the pool, cool off, and then get right back on your lounge chair. I did this for a bit - reading as the day went on, but the heat and sun began to get the best of me. Jack came back right as I was about to call it and head into the AC.

We set for a bit and he told me about his diving or lack thereof; it didn't work for him today either. The instruction here is a bit rushed and I don't think we got what we paid for; hopefully we will get at least a partial refund. My jaw is still achy from yesterday's driving experience... Apparently diving is just not our thing -- ah well, there are always other things.

We ordered pizza to the room and chilled for a bit before heading out for a glass bottom boat ride at 4. Now I have to say this was disappointing. The guy who ran it, Price, was rude -- or at least he came across that way to me. Plus, they went to fast, you couldn't really see anything to make it out because of how fast they were traveling... I was extremely irritated with him - I hate rude people. He had me on edge from the beginning - this was my first really negative experience with a staff member here, so after 3 days I guess that is a pretty good track record.

We then came back to the room and alternated between reading and sleeping. Relaxation was the name of the day for sure.

Around 6:30 we got ready for dinner at the Italian place and the butler came to escort us down. The food was ok, but the view was great. We sat right on the water and got to really just enjoy being out in the fresh air. Very very nice. There was a man singing at the end of our meal, so we went for a walk and ended up dancing on the beach - it was as sweet as it sounds. We then meandered up to the swings and sat to listen to the music for a bit more before heading back for a late night hot tub/swim at the room.

I love having the pool right here - in /out no big deal. I love it. Now I am about to call it an early night; tomorrow we are up early for horse back riding :) See you then!

Jamaica Day 2 and Part of 3

I'm relaxed - I mean really relaxed and it feels amazing.  Yesterday after the post they showed us a new room and I was really undecided...