DW and I had the best four days away!
We decided on Jamaica for our Anniversary trip because it was a short (2 hours) and straight flight- since we only wanted to be away for three nights, we didn’t want to waste our beach time traveling.
We landed in Jamaica and met some people from Trenton in the Sandals lounge while we were waiting for our shuttle to the resort. We knew lots of the same people and the husband actually roomed with one of DW’s cousins in college. Such a small world.
We stayed at the Sandals Montego Bay – which is the original Sandals. It was recently renovated and the resort was great. (We stayed at a Sandals in St. Lucia for our honeymoon and we really enjoyed all the benefits and convenience of an all-inclusive resort, so we knew we’d love to go to another one some day).
The chilled towel seemed a little “over-the-top” to me, because living in Florida, we’re used to the heat and humidity. :)
We walked over to see the main pool (which has the swim up bar) – it was definitely “lively” over there and DW was “assaulted” by a lady who qualified for the senior discount, but was still rocking her bikini --- She was soaking wet and just ran up to him and gave him a big full front-on hug. Obviously, she had been visiting the swim up bar quite frequently that day and we both stood there shocked, when she started laughing and said, “he was dry…” --- We headed back over to the “quiet” pool on our side of the resort, which was where we spent the rest of our pool time for the the trip. :) We have also decided that we’re pretty much introverts. A lot of people make new friends at Sandals- they go eat together, hang out on the beach or by the pool together, etc… Not us. We really just acted like we were the only people there…and that was perfect to me. The (quiet) pool was never crowded and the majority of the time that we spent floating around in it, there was no one besides us there.
more like a second lunch, since we had made late dinner reservations--- which was totally out of routine for us. We eat dinner early at home, but we’d decided we needed to make the most of our beach time and to do that, we needed to eat later dinners.
The first night our reservation was at 9:00. We were walking on the wild side, since that’s usually the time we’re getting ready for bed. Ha… We ate at the restaurant that’s on the beach and had the Jamaican version of a Steam pot.
Saturday morning, we got up early. We had breakfast first and then waited for our excursion group. We’d booked the Dunn River Falls Tour which left at 8:30 that morning. The bus picked us up, along with two other couples and we made our way down the Jamaican Heritage Trail (which is the main road along Jamaica’s coast) through several other small towns and bays.
We were about 10 miles from ending our hour and a half long journey over to Dunn River Falls when the van we were in got a flat tire. Anyone who knows DW in real life, will not be surprised to know he helped the driver it. I wish I had a picture of it, but I got out in such a hurry, I left my camera in the van. A memory for sure.
The park is government maintained and is really similar to what you’d find at one of our US State Parks…
Where the falls meets the ocean shore
We were assigned a tour guide and had the option of climbing the falls or just walking the trail. We decided to do the climb because we’d “brought our $100 and we wanted to do it all…” Plus, we’d bought me the swimmy shoes from resort gift shop.
Our tour guides- they walked up the falls bare footed- and they had callouses on the bottoms of their feet that a belt sander wouldn’t even touch.
The guides lead the group through the falls, and everyone locks hands to form a chain all the way up. Along the way, they stop at the different levels for photo ops, to slide off the rocks and to jump in the deep parts, too. It was really so much fun.
There’s like four different levels of the falls, and it takes each group an hour to climb from the beach to the top. (we could have done it faster without all of the photo-op stops, but it’s still a pretty good climb).
A videographer follows the group all the way up taking video of the climb and all the stops (which you can buy at the end). Our videographer was such a great guy- I liked him from the beginning – and liked him even more when we found out he is a Christian and an evangelist in Jamaica!
After that adventure, we had to make the hour and a half drive back to Montego Bay. I fell asleep and DW says he wishes he could have…the Jamaicans do nothing in a hurry- except drive…and their attitude about everything including red lights, is “No worries, mon!”
The resort is right across the road from the airport- we’d read some reviews that this really bothered some people- I loved it. It didn’t bother us at all.
Dinner was good, but since it was “white glove” service, it was LONG… Since we’re used to eating out with kids and inhaling our food as fast as we can before someone has a meltdown, we spent a good part of the dinner just trying to think of things to talk about…which made us laugh. I mean really, by this point, we know all of the other’s stories --- and since we were without cell service and internet we didn’t even have any facebook or instagram news to talk about. Ha.
After dinner that night, we hit the pool and hot tub again. The full moon was incredible and it was so much fun floating around in the dark – again, we were the only two people at the pool…obviously DW and I are pretty boring – it seemed like everything we wanted to do or everywhere we wanted to go, we were alone. We weren’t complaining, though. :)
Sunday we got up and had breakfast seated on the patio overlooking the beach. It was a great view and that morning we found the french toast, waffles and pancakes on the buffet, so it was already a great day.
We signed up for the snorkeling trip at 9:30 and you can’t imagine our introverted delight to find out it was just us and another couple on the whole boat. Every other time we’d seen the snorkeling boat go out it was packed, so it was a fun treat to have a “private tour.”
The boat had a glass bottom…
After our snorkeling trip, we caught the resort shuttle over to the Royal Caribbean Sandals, which was a 5 minute ride from our resort. That’s a really cool thing about Sandals, too- you can stay at one resort, but you can go to all of the other ones around to eat, swim, or beach… The RC Sandals has a private island, and we wanted to check it out.
I caught a hermit crab and decided we needed to have a crab race…
DW’s beat mine…dern it…
After our beach side second lunch, we hit the pool. On our way in, we’d seen this small pool in front of a wing of rooms – they were the coolest rooms and had patios and doors that opened right into the pool. We grabbed a float and floated around like one of them was our rooms for over an hour. It was fantastic and the highlight of my day…especially when one of the butlers came over and asked to bring us a daiquiri--- well, thank you, ma’am.
Our dinner reservation that night was at the Italian restaurant, and I couldn’t say or spell it if I tried. It was the best meal we had and the open air seating with a view of the full moon was perfect.
After dinner, we just laid by the pool on one of the lounging beds… one day, when we have a pool, we are SO having one of these beds by it. (Of course I had to lay on a towel, and tune out my inner germaphobe- but I’m so glad I did…they were so comfy)
We packed that night so that we could spend the next morning in the sun. We had an early breakfast and then grabbed a lounging bed by the pool. We walked the beach one more time and walked down to one of the water gazebos where they have weddings.
We spent the rest of the morning laying by the pool and floating in it. It was a little sad when our watches said 11:00, because it was time to get ready for our flight home. After our showers, we had some lunch at the beach grille and then said goodbye to Jamaica.
When we got to the airport, this ear piercing alarm was going off. Turns out, someone had pulled the fire alarm earlier and it had gotten stuck. It was AWFUL. Thankfully, our airline counter didn’t have a long line like some of the others, but the security line was terrible. The fire alarm had shut security down so it was backed way up. Finally they got the alarm to stop, just before I lost the last 10% of my hearing and the security line moved quickly, too. I didn’t even have to take my flip flops off- thank you, Jamaica – I did not want to stand on the dirty airport floor with my bare feet. (Although I did have my “washy-wash” ready). (AB calls it “Han-i-tizer”)
We got AB some half-off Havianas and then found a spot to wait until our flight boarded. A huge shout-out to my I-Pad and my honey who knows how to put movies on it. That passed the waiting and flight time so well this trip. I love that thing. We just need a head-phone splitter because me getting one ear bud and DW using the other doesn’t really work well for me…especially since my one ear was still ringing from the fire alarm. :)
We boarded the plane and I lucked out with a window seat on both flights. I should have offered to switch with DW, but I figure the FAA would want me to stay in my assigned seat – and who’s going to argue with that –especially when you have a window seat. :)
It was such a great trip… very much needed and very much enjoyed.
We missed our girls a ton, but thanks to my parents we didn’t worry about them for one minute while we were away. We knew they were having a great time with their Grammy & Pop.