Well, on the 17th John and I packed up some bags and we left our children in the loving hands of a nanny and family, boarded an airplane (insanely early) and flew to Jamaica!
We were able to hang out there for 10 nights :) There is so much that I want to tell everyone about the trip but I would seriously be typing for the rest of the night! Let's hit some of my major thoughts on the trip instead :) We'll start with the positive (that way I don't seem so negative :)
*** Jamaica has INCREDIBLE weather in October! We only had one full day of sun I do believe. All the other days would start out sunny but by mid afternoon, they would be cloudy and/or rainy. Most people grumbled about this but I LOVED it. We did most of our activities in the morning and then afternoons and nights I spent watching rain bands on the ocean, 5 different beautiful rainbows (I even saw VIOLET!), amazing lightening (some going straight up), and I even saw a water spout! And being as pale as I am? The lack of sun was really no bother :)
Awesome rain bands and the water spout!!
A close up of the water spout.... I didn't have my good camera so my little one had to do the trick :(
*** I DID manage to get a tan, although most people won't be able to tell :)
*** 9 Mile Tour?? It's a MUST if you're in Jamaica. It's not too pricey and I personally think it was AWESOME. It starts with a bus ride up into the mountains, through all these little forgotten about towns. Before you know it, you can get off the bus and look over a cliff and it's just picturesque... beautiful valleys, high mountains, wow. Gorgeous. Then you enter into Bob Marley's birth and resting place and our Tour Guide there was FANTASTIC!!!! His name was Captain Crazy, and he was DAMN good at his job! After the tour we stopped at a local restaurant and had some of the best Jerk Chicken and Pork EVER. We could barely eat the resorts jerk food after that because we were spoiled by a local eatery :)
(Seriously, YouTube Captain Crazy Tour Guide and you'll see video's.... his laugh is very contagious :)
Me on the outlook of the valleys...
John was thrilled to be here :)
*** Mystic Mountain Tours was just as wonderful as well!!! We took a ski lift up into the mountains and then we raced in bobsleds down through the mountains! The bob sleds take you back up and then you Zip Line down through the mountains again!!! After sweating and flying through the trees on a wire, you get to take the beautiful ski lift trip back up and top the day off with a water slide and a pool that over looks Ocho Rios and the ocean! Expensive, but well worth the experience :) The zip line guys were also excellent at their jobs too ;) They really enjoy messin' with you as they drop you some 60 feet out of a tree! :)
Look ma! I'm up high and my fear of heights is being conquered!
Beginning of the bobsled ride :)
The "DROP" we all had to do to get done....
*** Climbing Dunn's River Falls? Very nice.... The water was amazingly refreshing and no one in our group fell! Woot!
*** The resort was good, not the best, but good :) I figured since I was on vacation, I would drink a little and be merry into the wee hours of the morning... BUT, alas... we must have went when an "older" crowd was there because the resort pretty much went to bed around 10:30 PM!! When we actually left our room for something after 11, I felt like we had to whisper! I think the younger crowd must go in the spring....
In the end though, I have mixed feelings about our little trip. Don't get me wrong, it was relaxing and we got to enjoy ourselves plenty. My feelings are more along the lines of the country we visited.
*** Riding up into the mountains is beautiful, but the poverty and sanitation problems you see is, in my opinion, heart wrenching. To travel and see it is completely different then to simply read about it. There were times I felt incredibly blessed to know that I have clean drinking water, a toilet to flush, and a house with windows and doors. Other times, I felt guilty for having all those things, in which I know I take for granted every single day. SOme people on "vacation" can put on their blinders so to speak and not notice, but I can't. Probably never will be able to either....
*** No matter how hard I tried, I can't let go of the feeling that I DON'T need to be waited on hand and foot. John reminded me over and over again that we payed a pretty penny for the trip and I should simply let people do there jobs, but I still feel like there is something wrong with me if I can't get up and walk my butt 6 steps to the bar for a drink.
So, will I go back? I really don't know. We met tons of people who are repeat visitors, but I might not be one of them. There is so much of the world left to see and feel and learn about that I can honestly say, it might not happen.
Would I go back in a different form? YES! Upon leaving Jamaica, I had a great desire to come back and volunteer in a developing country.... to come back NOT as a tourist, played to and taken care of but to put work and love into another country that is truly beautiful....
And last but not least... "Ya mon! No problem mon!" :)
Peace and hugs.... Dana