Jamaica Vacation: Day 1

We got hooked up with an awesome deal through Steph’s group fitness network. A week in Jamaica where she teaches a few classes and we get an all-inclusive week at an awesome resort. Definitely down with that.

The trip started off with an early flight. It was our first international flight (and my first time out of the country). We got to the Louisville Airport, which is normally really slow, 30 minutes before our flight. One problem, we had checked baggage. They wouldn’t let us check or baggage so close to departure for an international flight, so we had to be bumped to a later flight. Bummer. And apparently they charge for that with international flights.

Woops.

By 1PM, we arrived in Jamacia, only one hour after our original flight was scheduled to land. Customs was a breeze and we jumped on a bus that would take us 1 hour and 15 minutes across the island to our resort, Sunset at the Palms in Negril.

The bus ride was our first realization that we are in a 3rd world country… At first I thought this bus was probably less than 1 year old. The paint and interior looked great. Then, once the bus started to move, the axle under my feet felt like it was going to completely fall off if we went over a big enough bump. Then, we’re flying down the road at an unknown speed because the speedometer was not working on the bus.

It was pretty fun until we started going through small towns and villages. Here’s an idea of what we almost hit: children, parked cars, cars traveling the opposite direction at 60 mph, goats, rocks, trees and a guy wearing a chef’s hat and pushing a 50 gallon barrel that had been converted into a grill on wheels.

We also saw some really cool stuff and got some commentary from our bus driver, like a Jamaican grave digging, several old churches, and “very, very old” buildings that were constructed all the way back in the 1960s. There was sugar cane, locals, a Magaritaville bar, and several other National Geographic photo ops. It was awesome.

Once we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by the staff and our luggage was taken right over to a desk that was in an open-air office with dark, carved wood furniture and a very nice woman that had us sit down and checked us in. While we were handling business we were brought ice cold towels to help us cool down in the tropic heat and humidity and tropical punch that was out-of-this-world good.

After the business, we were escorted to our “tree house villa” where we will spend the week. At first glance, two American-raised 20-somethings thought, “well, it’s not quite like the pictures, but that’s ok.” Then, after a day of relaxing we returned to see that the room is actually really charming and reminds us of a Pottery Barn magazine. I’m a BIG fan. And it feels authentic. It doesn’t have that “Hilton does Jamaica” feeling. It screams home-grown.

The food is really good. I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I want to eat everything. It’s all free… so I don’t see any good reason not to. I will probably try everything on the menu at least once before we leave. Today’s lunch was Carribean Jerk Chicken and fries with a few tropical drinks to make the beach heat more tollerable. Stephanie had a locally-grown fruit plate and pan-seered snapper and mango chutney. Need I say more?

Dinner was really nice. We went to the Lotus Leaf, the super-fancy restaurant at the resort. We enjoyed a four-course meal that was really nice. It was a very fancy affair.

We’re taking LOTS of pictures but we’ll post the majority of them once we get back in town. Right now we’re operating from one of the two desktops that they have in the office that are for resident use.

Some aspirations for this trip:

  1. completely relax.
  2. read According to Plan by Graham Goldsworthy. Not the lightest reading, but definitely worth my time.
  3. enjoy the freedom Stephanie and I have while we don’t have kids.

We’ll see how that goes.

Daily banana-hammock count: 2.

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