Remembering the Jamaican Vacation

When I was reading through past blog entries the other day, I realized I never wrote a second, more detailed post on my Jamaica vacation from May of last year. Looking back on it, I know exactly why that happened….at the time my internet connection was slow and unreliable, and I rarely had a chance to blog. Plus my boyfriend and I soon found out we had to move out of the place we were living; so looking for a new place and packing up to move soon took precedence over blogging about my trip and uploading photos.
But I feel bad I promised something I didn’t deliver.
So I figured I’d post it now—-better late than never.
My surface observations pretty much covered the main parts of my notable aspects Jamaica, though I do have a few additions to my previous list…..

9. They drive like MANIACS over there. Speeding, tailgating, taking narrow curves at lightning speed…..Seriously, I was in a car only twice my entire time there and each time I was strapped in and praying to all known deities as I held on for dear life. Our cab driver, during our return trip to the airport, nearly hit a couple on a moped! 😡
10. I swear the only cars that exist in Jamaica are Toyota. I don’t know why, but it seemed like if you had a car….you had a Toyota.
11. DON’T GO WANDERING BY YOURSELF. I cannot stress this enough. I never went anywhere without my boyfriend. He tried to run to a convenience store once by himself and he ran into some sketchy company. Luckily nothing happened, but it was enough to keep both of us from wanting to wander off alone. If you travel there, I recommend an all inclusive resort. Another sucky thing about not being in an all-inclusive was always having to find a place to eat each day (during one of these quests, we actually accidentally crashed an all-inclusive’s buffet!) If we ever went back; an all-inclusive is what we would certainly look at for accomodations.
12. If you try to pay the price listed in “American money” you’re overpaying. From what I could tell from checking the exchange rate, the price they listed in American money was always more than what the bill actually was in Jamaican money. But after looking around town, I couldn’t really blame them for trying to make an extra buck off of lazy tourists.
13. Buy at least one bracelet from a peddler on the beach, and wear it everytime you leave your hotel. It will help stave off the hordes of other peddlers trying to sell you more cheap jewelry. Besides, they make nifty souvenirs.
14. Jerk chicken is different at each place you try it from. I recommend trying it at a few different places, if you can. Also, be adventurous and try the mutton curry or the Jamaican breakfast! I did, 😛

Surface observations aside, I will say we had an excellent time and it wasn’t a vacation where we did much. We were on the beach everyday. We ate several times at Kuyaba, a local resort just up the beach from the place we stayed, the Traveller’s Beach Resort. Honestly, I wish we had stayed there. The décor was better, their bar/restaurant was better, and we had a blast there. Plus they had a parrot and a cockatoo there, both could talk. The cockatoo was really friendly, whereas the parrot……not so much. I got my camera a little too close to his cage for his liking and he lunged at it. I got a really cool photo in the process but I certainly learned to keep my distance after that.
Our room at Traveller’s Beach Resort wasn’t bad considering we got it through Living Social, but there were things that weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Like the pool side bar that was NEVER staffed by a bartender. Or the hot tub, which never worked. Or the restaurant, which always seemed to be out of half the food items on their menu. I still want to know how a restaurant can say they can’t make French toast……but they have eggs and bread……THOSE ARE THE MAIN INGREDIENTS OF FRENCH TOAST!!!!
Sigh.
Some of the coolest things in Jamaica are as follows: the sunsets, the dirty banana (a drink with rum, banana, and milk. Soooo good!), being able to see the fish swimming around me, the water, the wildlife, the bars, and snorkeling. I think I took more photos of sunsets and water in Jamaica than anywhere I have ever been. It was just that amazing. The plants were also really amazing and I couldn’t stop photographing them. I had tried to set up a photoshoot in Jamaica prior to leaving the USA, but I learned that photographers who photograph models in Jamaica certainly don’t live there. I didn’t mind it; I had fun being the photographer for a change.
The most amazing thing about the entire trip was probably the snorkeling. I had never been snorkeling before, and we decided to go do it. It was incredible. Luckily I had purchased a disposable waterproof camera to take photos in the water. I’m glad I did, it was amazing! The only bad thing was I got a REALLY nasty sunburn over the entire back of my body because we went snorkeling at around 1/2pm, and the sun was at its highest point in the sky during that time. Aloe was my best friend for the next couple days after that adventure, but I don’t regret the experience.
We also went to Rick’s Cafe, a really popular touristy bar which is right on a cliff. It’s supposed to be one of the top 10 bars in the world, so we decided to pay it a visit. We took a ferry boat ride to get there, which is much easier and cooler than taking a cab. It is worth the trip to see the cliff divers, but little—if anything—else. You can even dive off the cliff there too if you’re feeling really ballsy or suicidal…but the staff has a notice up that it is at your own risk. So if you die or drown….it’s not their fault! We did see a reggae performance while we were there too, which really set the atmosphere.
That about covers the Jamaica experience, so I’ll leave you with some photos to fantasize over. Enjoy!

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