Thursday, July 14, 2011

We're baaaack.

Jamaica was AWESOME! Like, totally awesome. Really, really awesome.

3.5 days was not enough. Since we're already positive we'll be making a return trip to Couples Swept Away, we know that we'll have to go for a week next time. Since the resort is all-inclusive, all the food/drinks/watersports were included in the price of our room. Definately worth every single penny.
Highlights:

Relaxation. o.m.g. I had literally NOTHING I had to do. Just the fact that there was no laundry, house cleaning, diaper changes, commuting to work, work, or daily stuff was just....awesome? (Sensing a theme here?)

Beach & ocean were pretty much my favorite part. It was calm, clear, & warm. I usually spend about 10 minutes tops in the ocean here because you can't see and I just don't like not being able to see. Plus, it's usually cold. And I'm scared of sharks. I spent so much time in the ocean there though. They had pool type floats and we would just lay there and read or relax. The sand was soft, powdery, & mostly clean of debris/shells. You could out where it's 30 feet deep and still see perfectly clear. Pretty sure it was a slice of heaven on earth.

Food = excellent. You had 1. The Palms that served a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My favorite things I ate there were curried conch, fresh fruits, and fried plantains. 2. Lemongrass (Thai) that was soooo good.  Thai pad noodles & chicken plus an array of appetizer samples. 3. Patois Patio with breakfast, lunch, and dinner that had a daily interchanging menu. My favorites there were the carrot soup (it may sound gross but I was sad they didn't make it another day), the breakfast smoothies, & banana stuffed french toast. 4. Feathers (gourmet food) that was good but honestly was my least favorite place we ate at. I guess I'm a pretty simple chick. 5. Seagrapes Cafe that had sweet potato chips with black bean hummus dip & spicy pumpkin jalepeno dip. Mmmmm. They were so so good. 6. Cabana Grill that served food pretty much all day/night. Burgers, chips, onion rings, nachos type stuff that was good to snack on. 

Watersports. Wide selection of stuff to do. They had windsurfing, snorkeling, sailing (Hobie Cats), water skiing, scuba & kayaking. The guys went scuba diving twice. They offer a class in the morning for the ability to take a single dive. Zac already has his diving certificate but Noah didn't. (Noah ended up getting his while he was there.) We didn't get to go snorkeling during the day because it ended up storming when we we're supposed to go but we did go night snorkeling. Sound scary? Ok, it was a little but I was actually way cooler with it than scary. You had 2 employees that took us out to a site they called "Mexico" and we got snorkel gear & flashlights, and they led us around the area for an hour. We saw squid, some electric rays, fishies, jellyfish (which took the liberty to sting me twice but they were pretty small so it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be), puffer fish, & an eel. I brought an underwater camera and took pictures hoping at least something little would show up but it didn't. I can say it was a really cool experience. Kayaked. We took a lesson on the Hobie Cats. The first experience was....frightening. At first it was fun. Then the wind stopped. Unfortunately, you can't sail without wind. We didn't care because we figured it would pick up. Nope...but there was a thunderstorm. First, pounding rain - then, lightning - then, a huge thunder boom. Minor freakout. Tried paddling...didn't work. The guys had to get a boat and come tow us in. HAHA. Lucikly, the second time we went out the wind didn't die and we had a nice enjoyeable sail.

Staff was so friendly & helpful. They really made our stay even more enjoyable. When we first got to the resort, they greeted us with cool towels and champagne. Not only did we get daily cleaning service but a nightly turndown of the bed & quick cleanup. A lot of people worry about the 'safety' factor in Jamaica due to the poverty/crime rates but we never had a single problem. The beach was patroled 24 hours a day by security guards who kept any vendors on the beach moving & not harrassing the guests.

Rooms & grounds were very pretty & clean. No complaints at all. They even rake the sand in the morning. We  had an ocean view room and I enjoyed waking up to the view in the morning. The resort is pretty big & was well kept.

Spa Charlene & I went to the spa and had a peppermint sea twist wrap. It was an ace bandage type material that was soaked in peppermint & seaweed. They wrapped us in it to the shoulders, put a plastic bag around us, & a hot towel. Sounds weird but it felt soo wonderful. While we relaxed, they massaged our scalps and then removed the wrap & gave us a mini massage. Relaxed? Um, yes. It was extra $$ but again worth every penny.

Catamaran cruise was a boatload (no pun intended) of fun. They pretty much serve Red Stripe & rum punch and take you swimming near caves. It doesn't really sound like a good idea does it? It probably isn't. Either way though, it was a blast. They had a slide towards the top of the boat that you can go off into the ocean. We did that multiple times. Fun, fun, fun. I really wish we had done it more than once. Swimming into the cave was kinda neat.

On top of that, we celebrated the anniversary part of the trip by donning wedding dresses & taking a mini-session on the beach. I'll be excited to share those later.

I wish I could say I had a favorite but I didn't. It was all my favorite. I don't think I've ever enjoyed myself so much on a vacation. I mean, I've had excellent vacations but this was just different from anything we've ever done. The only thing I didn't like was getting in and out of customs twice. Not fun. I'm working on getting the pictures editing & uploaded and will share those soon.

I am so thankful we had the opportunity to go and such a wonderful family willing to watch the kids.

:)

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