Jamaica Baby!!!!

I know, it took me long enough, right?  The day after we got home, the girls had their first day of school and then Tuesday morning Tony was off to Vancouver for work for the week.  The Stewart girls (Tony’s sister and nieces) showed up for a visit Tuesday afternoon and were here until this morning.  I tried to get this post done several times during the week and just never could find the time to finish.  It’s not perfect, but here it is…

I couldn’t think of a better way to tell about our trip to Negril, Jamaica than a day by day summary.  This post is ridiculously long, with more pictures than I normally post, but it was the best I could do.  I tried to give some helpful info about our trip for those who are planning a trip of their own.  I hope it helps, if it doesn’t,we recommend reading the reviews on Trip Advisor.

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Sunday, August 16th

We got into Montego Bay, Jamaica at around noon’ish.  Beaches has a nice, big comfortable office at the airport waiting for guest arrivals for either the Beaches or Sandals resorts.  Very nice set up, actually.  Couches and beautiful décor and drinks, that we didn’t have time to enjoy.  We we’re there for only a few minutes when they announced it was time for us to head out. The driver was not part of beaches, but contracted by them to get us there. The ride took 90 minutes, and the driver conveniently made a stop at a “beer joint” for a bathroom break. IMG_5313This was obviously something our driver and the folks at this place pre-arrange, but we didn’t miIMG_5333nd.  The “joint” was literally an outdoor stand (think a fireworks booth with an awning and a hole in the ground with a toilet over it in the back). While all the girls took a potty break, the lady at the counter immediately asked Tony on the sly if he wanted to buy weed (this was not the only time we were approached).  Tony found it very funny that she used the line,

“What happens in Jamaica stays in Jamaica, Mon!”  We passed on the getting high thing, but did try their overproof alcohol, that seriously burns going down and tastes something awful.  One drink and Tony’s next ½ hour ride was quite pleasant!!!

The resort is gorgeous and HUGE and full of color and beautiful flowers.  IMG_5631Tony gave the front desk guy $100 tip to try to get a IMG_5352decent room/location, (the resort frowns upon tipping, but Tony is the king of OVER tipping so we made a ton of friends among the staff.) It ended up taking 3 hours to get our room.  I can’t say they are the most organized in that respect.  I actually fell asleep in a lobby chair.  Thank goodness it was still early and we had a few hours to hit the beach before night.  We let the girls roam the property by themselves while we waited as long as they checked back every 15 minutes or so.  We decided that we would let them be a little more independent this trip and they really loved it.

The beach was amazing.  White sands and the clearest, bluest ocean you have ever seen, we were in heaven.  Floating in a perfectly calm ocean while the sun set comes highly recommended.IMG_5362 We played for a few hours until Zoe got stung by a jellyfish and we decided to call it a night.  If you goto to the Negril side of Jamaica, I would recommend investing in tons of OFF bug spray.  They have a crazy amount of sand bugs that apparently come out at night and right after a good rain, which occurs almost daily there.  I got bit so much this trip, that my legs looked like I had the chicken pox.  Luckily, I was the only one in the family to be bit.  WTF?

Monday, August 17th

Cabana Heaven!!!!! IMG_5407 We rented a cabana on the beach and it was WONDERFUL.  We were brought lunch and snacks and an unlimited supply of drinks in a cooler right nextIMG_5694 to us.  The girls ran between helping daddy with the sand castle and hitting the slides and the lazy river all day long.  The kid’s area is wonderful, with life guards all over the place.  Both girls can swim really well, so I wasn’t worried anyway, but it was nice that someone was keeping a close eye.  India is already swimming like a fish, and Zoe really improved her technique on that first day (mostly because all the pools we about 2 inches too deep for her to touch bottom).

I slept and read almost the entire day, I mean you can’t waste a good cabana and the pampering that was going on.  India and Tony rode and learned to handle a Hobie boat, but decided not to go it alone as there wasn’t much wind.IMG_5440

The girls both got their hair braided.  India got her entire head braided with tons and tons of different color beads and Zoe just did the top layer, otherwise she would’ve been there all night.IMG_5445 India’s hair took at least an hour and in the mean time Tony was approached again about purchasing a joint.  It’s crazy how often that occurred.  We’re too old to partake and have watched “Locked Up Abroad” enough to boIMG_5452th be scared shitless!  So again he declined.  The people are very nice and personable, but definitely persistent and NEVER take no for an answer if they are selling one of their many different souvenirs, jet ski rides, hair braiding etc…  It was pretty constant and it got old pretty fast.

Tuesday, August 18th

The plan today was to head out to the Chukka River to go tubing.  It took an hour and half to get there, after we were told at most it would take 45 minutes.  So the kids were not pleased about being in a van for that long.  It started to rain on the way up, but we didn’t think much of it, as it rains once a day in Jamaica anyway… we just figured it would stop soon.  By the time we got to the river the rain was OUT OF CONTROL.  The tour group thought we should wait around in hopes that it would stop raining… but no such luck.  We were back on the bus an hour later heading to the resort.  We did get some yummy Jamaican snacks while we were there, but it was a long waste of a day.

We ate at the fancy schmancy restaurant after the river disaster, it was okay, not as good asIMG_5530 we hoped. The restaurants overall were not that good.  They were okay and we were satisfied, but that’s about it.  There aren’t many options and the buffet just gets a bit old.

After dinner, we meIMG_5531t a stray kittie that became friends with the girls.  After every meal, India and Zoe would bring extra food over to make sure it got fed while we were there.  We learned later in the trip that we weren’t the only family falling for this little guys sad features!

Wednesday, August 19th

Today was our scheduled Catamaran Party Cruise, (I have no picture from the boat ride, I was scared something would happen to my precious camera!)  We got aboard and headed to an area with lots of caves and coral below for some serious snorkeling.  Neither of the girls had ever snorkeled so we were a bit worried about how they would do, but we worried for no reason at all.  They had a BLAST.  When the snorkeling was done, they had drinks and dancing on the boat.  Tony and I took advantage of the drinks and India went wild on the dance floor.  When we booked the tour, we were told that we would be heading to a beach and eating lunch there… we weren’t provided lunch, nor did we ever hit a beach.  We were a bit disappointed in that, but still had a decent time.

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The rest of the day we spent kicking it at the beach.  It was never busy, the whole trip.  We could always find chair away from crowds and for the most part, we’re by ourselves.  Such a wonderful, relaxing way to spend time as a family.IMG_5393

Thursday, August 20th

First thing in the morning we all went snorkeling again.  The waves were a bit more hectic than the day before, so Zoe didn’t have as much fun and I ended up taking her back to the boat early. Tony and India stayed out for a bit longer and really enjoyed themselves.IMG_5320 edit

For lunch, we finally changed our routine and hit the Japanese restaurant.  They cooked on the table, wIMG_5549hich the kids loved and the food was pure perfection.  Yummmmmmmy to the core and we were full and satisfied when we left.

After lunch, the girls headed over the kids club for the karaoke singing and the Jamaican dance class.  Tony and I ran to the bar to watch Usain Bolt race.  He kicked butt as usual and it was really cool to watch him win in the company of some die hard fans.  The bartender brought Tony some newspapers with Bolt on the cover breaking the record and winning the race.  He of course tipped her and good and gave her a GIGANTIC hug.

The BEST part of the day for Tony and I were the full body massages we got together.  We were in heaven, seriously!!!  They were a tad pricey, but man so so so so worth it.

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Friday, August 21st

Friday was another cabana day for us.  We spent theIMG_5762 entire day on the beach, Tony and India and random other families on the beach, built an amazing sand castle.  Zoe had to visit the nurse for an ear infection, which ended with contacting a local doctor to come to the resort for a prescription.  She was not feeling well at all and slept part of the day.  By the afternoon, she was bit better and headed to the lazy river with India.  Our cabana girl pampered us and took amazing care of our EVERY single possible need.  She was quite amazing and we couldn’t ask for a better person to spend the day with us.  If you ever vacation at this resort the Cabanas are highly recommended, both days that we rented one, we were incredibly pleased with the service.  The cost is $150 for the day, but they take care of anything and everything that you ask for.

Saturday, August 22nd

This, being our last day, we did a lot of nothing.  We woke up early found a great place next to the pool and hung out the entire day with the kids and enjoyed the sun.  We ate lunch there and drank like fish while India went around the lazy river 100 times and Zoe slept because her ear was still hurting.  It was a pretty calm and relaxing day.  After dinner, we unfortunately spent the rest of the night packing up the room and preparing for our departure early the next morning.

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Overall, we had a wonderful trip.  The girls were in heaven and we really enjoyed spending some quality time together before school started.  We had ups and downs, but the ups far outweighed the downs.  I don’t know that we would go back to that specific resort, but we would definitely look into one of the other Beaches or Sandals locations.

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