Thursday, June 27, 2013

No Worries, Mon!

DW and I had the best four days away!

We flew out of Orlando on Friday and arrived early afternoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica! jam1

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. jam2

We stayed at the Sandals Montego Bay – which is the original Sandals.DSCN5728 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). DSCN5726

When we arrived, we were greeted with chilled towels and offered snacks and drinks while we waited for our luggage to be taken to our rooms. jam3

The chilled towel seemed a little “over-the-top” to me, because living in Florida, we’re used to the heat and humidity. :)

Since we were past guests of Sandals, we were given a room upgrade and were excited to find out that we’d been given an oceanfront honeymoon suite with a Jacuzzi.  DSCN5404

The view from our room was beautiful. DSCN5212

We changed into our swimsuits and hit the pool as soon as we got to our room. DSCN5208

I couldn’t quit smiling the whole afternoon! I was so excited to be in Jamaica – with DW – and just be laying in the sun. Anybody with small children can appreciate how amazing that is! :) DSCN5400

We spent some time that afternoon, checking out the resort. DSCN5689

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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. DSCN5401

We had a mid-afternoon snack at the beachside grille…DSCN5200

jam4more 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. DSCN5216We were walking on the wild side, since that’s usually the time we’re getting ready for bed. Ha… DSCN5217We ate at the restaurant that’s on the beach and had the Jamaican version of a Steam pot. DSCN5220

After dinner, we took a walk on the beach. DSCN5241One of the cabanas was lit upDSCN5233 and we laid on it for almost an hour just listening to the ocean. DSCN5234It was the best. DSCN5225

Saturday morning, we got up early. We had breakfast first and then waited for our excursion group. DSCN5247We’d booked the Dunn River Falls Tour which left at 8:30 that morning.DSCN5251 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. DSCN5265

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DSCN5390We 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.

Finally we made it to Dunn’s River Falls, which is one of only a hand full of (freshwater) waterfalls that dump directly into the ocean in the world. DSCN5313

The park is government maintained and is really similar to what you’d find at one of our US State Parks…

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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…” DSCN5333Plus, we’d bought me the swimmy shoes from resort gift shop. DSCN5312

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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. DSCN5347Along 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.

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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).

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DSCN5362A 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!

The falls were gorgeous and so much fun to climb! I was so glad we did it. DSCN5365

 

After that adventure, we had to make the hour and a half drive back to Montego Bay.DSCN5366 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!”

We got back to our resort and got some lunch and then grabbed some chairs on the beach. DSCN5447

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.

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We spent a few hours on the beach and then some time floating around in the pool. DSCN5393

We watched the sunset from our balcony.DSCN5410 It was pretty early there every night – like around 7:00 each day. DSCN5659

Dinner that evening was at the resort’s fanciest restaurant and we had to dress up for it – it was called the Oleander Room. DSCN5547

DSCN5413Dinner 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. DSCN5419

After dinner that night, we hit the pool and hot tub again. DSCN5422The 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.DSCN5672 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. DSCN5456Every other time we’d seen the snorkeling boat go out it was packed, so it was a fun treat to have a “private tour.” DSCN5454

The boat had a glass bottom…

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DSCN5467The water was so choppy that day- it made it really hard to swim, but it was still really fun to be snorkeling over a Jamaican coral reef in the middle of the ocean.DSCN5511

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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. DSCN5556

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We spent a few hours enjoying the island and there was literally maybe 20 people there with us… it was so quiet and wonderful… DSCN5572

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I caught a hermit crab and decided we needed to have a crab race…

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DW’s beat mine…dern it…

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After lunch on the island, we caught the boat back over to the resort. There we had some more lunch (one of us is slightly more picky than the other and didn’t eat much at the island buffet) :) – DSCN5635

DSCN5638After 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. DSCN5548We grabbed a float and floated around like one of them was our rooms for over an hour. DSCN5649It 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.

We headed back to our resort early afternoon and hung out on the beach for a while. DSCN5444

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Our dinner reservation that night was at the Italian restaurant, and I couldn’t say or spell it if I tried. DSCN5668It was the best meal we had and the open air seating with a view of the full moon was perfect.DSCN5663

DSCN5671 After dinner, we just laid by the pool on one of the lounging beds… DSCN5670one 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. DSCN5674We walked the beach one more time and walked down to one of the water gazebos where they have weddings. DSCN5683

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I wanted to get some pictures of the other pool, and since it was early, no one was there and DW felt safe from being assaulted by any cougar ladies again. :)DSCN5691

 

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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 DSCN5721and then said goodbye to Jamaica. DSCN5723

The airport shuttle picked us up around 1:00.DSCN5734

DSCN5735 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. DSCN5739It 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 had a $700.00 DQ blizzard in the airport. jamaicaIt was 7 American dollars, but STILL…for a SMALL blizzard? At least it was good, though.

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. :) 

We’d seen planes fly over the resort the whole time we were there and now it was our turn to head out and see it from the sky…DSCN5746

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.

Our trip was the perfect way to celebrate 10 years of marriage. jam6

 

~amw~

4 comments:

Immeasurably More Mama said...

What an amazing trip!!! I'm so glad y'all got away to celebrate 10 YEARS!!! Introverted and quiet is how we like to spend our kid-free time too :)

Carrie said...

What an amazing trip! I know y'all had a great time, though I'm dying over the image of a cougar attacking Devin. (So glad you shared that funny tid bit). Y'all are such good parents, I'm so glad you got to take a few days to refuel and spend some quality time ALONE together!

Mary said...

Congratulations on 10 years! May you have many more decades together. It is necessary for a marriage to take that "alone time" together...and it truly does strengthen you. Your trip looked amazing and all of the info about Sandals was great. DH and I have talked about going there one day...now I can show him what it's like.

Rebecca said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Looks like an amazing trip! And you look fabulous!!!