We left for STL about 3 pm. It was FREEZING! We drove through a snowstorm all the way there. Luke was in shorts and I was in leggings and flip flops! ACK! We drove about 45mph half the way there. We met Ashley and Dusty at Target to let Ash take my Shyann Belle for the week. She didn’t seem to care; she was ready to go on another car ride. We shopped in Target, running through the parking lot in our nearly bare feet. We had to stop at Home Depot to get Dusty an extra key for my car. As we were coming out some guy threw a snowball at me for wearing flip flops! Little did he know we were going to Jamaica :D We headed downtown to the Old Spaghetti Factory and then settled into Dusty’s place for the night to warm up. Ashley text me to let me know Shy was doing just fine there. Waking up at 5am tomorrow to get to the airport! WOOHOO!
|Just the resort being awesome.|
We were woken up at 615am. Someone turned the sun on! Since we slept all night with the balcony doors open, the curtains were open too! We tried to get another hour of sleep and then got up and headed to the beach for the day. We decided to just get juice at breakfast and ended up with a plate full of treats from the buffet. Then we parked ourselves right on the beach and tanned and swam. We watched little sand crabs digging their holes and toss sand around. The local shell guy floated in on his surfboard and tried to get some business. We moseyed over to the patio grill to have lunch, and then went to try to book a fishing trip for later on in the week. Right now, lying on the beach was all either of us wanted to do. Nothing like laying out at 8am to tan and not be too cold, or too hot, or sweat. :) While laying out, we were approached by the paparazzi. Apparently they have complimentary photo service, where the photographer runs around taking random photos, and dinner photos of you and at the end of your stay you can choose some pictures to take home. He snapped some pics of us on the beach, and then later caught me taking photos. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. I ended up falling asleep for about a 20 minute nap on the beach. We came back to the room while Luke showered and I took a much needed nap at about 330pm. I was awoken at around 430 by one of the staff bringing a bottle of champagne and cookies to the room. He knocked and came in and I was in bed sleeping. He told me “don worry, mon. I will put dis here, you rest”. Then he left. I got up to tell Lucas, and then ended up just getting ready for the evening. Dinner tonight was the beach party luau, so we got ourselves ready and headed down to the beach where all the chairs were set up. We picked a spot closest to the waves, and then dined on some yummy food! There were shrimp skewers (yummo!), braised oxtail (it was like roast beef!) corn on the cob (we think boiled in brown sugar or sugar cane), salads, pastas, and desserts of all kinds. The steel band started playing but we ended up wandering over to the vendors and let them talk us into buying from them. :) We got a painting for our bedroom, which is too large for our bags so I think we have to ship it home. I also got a scrapbook for me. It’s covered in banana leaves and it’s SO PRETTY. We came back to the room to sit on the balcony and listen to the steel pan band. Little did we know there were fire breathers and limbo and dancers down there entertaining everyone. Luke did go back down there to get a plate of midnight snack, but I was too sleepy to wait up.
Ordered breakfast in bed just to say we did. We got coffee, tea, fruits, and juice. The coffee here is amazing. They call it Blue Mountain Coffee…it’s very expensive! Today we ended up going on the glass bottom boat tour. We found out yesterday that since we stalled in getting refreshed on our scuba diving, they were going to charge us $100 extra to take a silly refresher course, so we chose to just not dive at all on this trip. We decided this was okay, since relaxing on the beach sounded like tons of fun anyway. After going on the glass bottom boat, we ended up being relieved that we aren’t going diving. Sure the diving would be fun, but there wasn’t much color there and the reefs are really damaged from the hurricanes. The tour was really fun, we went all along the coast up towards Ocho Rios. We saw a shipwreck along the way, and even spotted an Eagle Ray! We got to see all sorts of villas and resorts, including Mick Jagger’s beach house “allegedly”. We didn’t go all the way up to Ocho Rios, but we were able to see the cruise ship docked there. It towered over a 20 story building in front of it! We saw Reggae Beach, and some other private beaches and some beautiful scenery. When we got back, we took off to the beach. We decided to go wind-sailing so we strapped on our life jackets and got in line. It’s a small catamaran that you hold onto the straps of the netting and let the pilot steer. It was all wind powered, and I got the wet side first! I was SOAKED in about 2 seconds! I couldn’t even see what was in front of me because I was getting pummeled with water! Luke was trying to get me to see the jumping fish and I yelled “I CAN’T SEE NUFFIN!” We went waaay out, and then the watersports guy switched sides, and then Luke got to get wet. I think the watersports guy was trying to get him back for me, because he tilted the catamaran way up high. So high I started sliding down towards Lucas whose back was by then touching the water. I was practically standing up! Then the watersports guy made a really sharp turn in, to get him one last time. That was so much fun! While on the beach, we had gone for a swim. I got out there after Luke, and when I got to him he said “OMG, I think I stepped on a brain coral!” A few seconds later he yelled “OH WATCH OUT!” I ducked and started to take off in a panic, and he said “whoa that was a big wave”. I yelled “Don’t scare me like that! I thought it was a shark!” The couple in the water near us started giggling like crazy. Luke was getting a pretty big kick out of it too! I couldn’t stop laughing at all for a solid 5 minutes. On the way back to the room, Luke HAD to buy a hat made of palm leaf “for the fishing trip” he says. It looks pretty touristy to me. I picked up a treat for someone, and we went up to get ready for dinner. Tonight was 1 of our 2 private dinners we set up. We got to the desk and sat outside of the lobby at about 6ish and waited to be taken to our table. We were taken to the beach, to find 3 tables set up along the beach, all with a candle lit path to the table. We were in the middle, but the other tables were far away that it still felt private. Besides, no one else was there til towards the end so it made it better. We were given our own personal menu with our names on it, and introduced to our personal waiter Adrian. He was very fun, and talked to us a lot about his culture. He kept saying “respect” after we would thank him, and he told us that means “you are welcome” and basically, you respected me and I respect you for that. Then I taught him “right on” and he loved it and used it all night! We got Cajun chicken slivers for appetizer, cream of sweet potato and ginger soup, SURF AND TURF for dinner, and an assortment of desserts. Afterwards we took off to the room to enjoy the night view from our balcony. We spent as much time on the balcony as we did the beach all week.
Woke up at 545am to get some sunrise photos. There was one other couple out there, so we got our coffee and lots of pictures and stayed right there. I found a few more shells. We ate breakfast and then took photos of 8 rivers since we forgot the camera last night. I also took some shots of the piano bar, even though it was closed. It was really pretty in there but we never went in. Most every time we walked by there was bad karaoke going on ;) . We went back to soak up our friend the Sun, and our bird buddy was back again stalking crabs. Luke decided we needed to take off from our chairs and run into the ocean and dive in. I didn’t but he sure looked funny! We raced each other out towards Bayside and back. When I was back in my chair resting from that workout, a cute little crab came right up to my chair and let me take his picture really close. He told me his name was Henry and that I needed to watch and see how awesome he was at throwing the sand out of his hole that gets raked into it each day. So I watched him politely. He was very good! Later on, we saw a couple who had gotten married getting their beach photos, so I took a photo of them. AWWW! It started to rain again, so we went to the gift shop to finish our shopping. After we loaded up, we went back to the beach and sat with Janessa and Lee for a few minutes and talked about going over to Tower Isle, to tour it after all the nakeds were gone. We didn’t have enough time before needing to head up to the room for my getting ready purposes. Before heading up though, we found out that the other guy that had planned to deep sea fish with us backed out. Lucas was very sad. He did say he’d probably try the local fisherman which was a lot cheaper anyway. We finished getting ready for our second private dinner, and we chose to go barefoot and really casual. We got down to the lobby to wait on our private dinner, and were lead to the beach to find a MASSIVE candle lit heart shape around our table to make it extra special (I found out later on Luke had a couple more surprises up his sleeve). While standing there, me clapping and being silly about a heart shape, a couple came by and took a photo of it. The husband turned around and said, “We got a private dinner the other day but we didn’t get THAT!” and the woman covered and said, “Well you know, different people have different styles”. As the other couple walked and way she whispered “oooh they are jealous!” and laughed. We took off our shoes, and met our waiter Armanda. He looked just like a young Eddie Murphy if you ask me. We were the only ones out there this time. We had a champagne toast to our 10 year anniversary and because we had been there once before, we were allowed to tweak our menu and added salad. So because it was lobster night, Armanda brought us 3 different types of lobster to have at our meal, which was surf surf surf and turf, I guess. We had so much lobster we didn’t have room for the steak! We were able to pick our favorite desserts from the week, and I got that yummy pudding at Bayside, and Luke picked the caramel custard. They gave us a free bottle of the resort private label of wine, and I decided I needed to take that back home. We decided to take the rest of the champagne to the room so Armanda offered to take it up there for us. I had to pee, and I asked Luke to get me the famous Bob Marley shot, everyone talks about. So I tried it out when I got back…not the best, certainly not the worst thing I’ve had. We walked up to our room, Armanda right behind, and Luke opened the door. I walked in to find flower petals ALL OVER the floor and the bed, and candles lit, and the turn down service lady had some super cheesy music on, ha-ha! The bed had the cute kissing swans I forgot to get a picture of the first day, plus a heart shape out of the towels. Armanda said “Oh my goodness look at this!” while I said “Lucas what the crap is this! What did you do! You did this!?” He just grinned and said, “Well. It’s for our anniversary!”
We got up at 545am, set our bags out, put on our suits and took off after making a coffee. We swam for about 20 minutes, took our sad face pictures and ran back up to get ready. We were down at the lobby at 7 and had time to grab a little bit to eat before leaving. The fruit and pastry part was the only thing open, so not much to fill up on. We got on our bus about 730 and took off to Montego Bay. We got there about 930 and had to wait til 945 for our ticket counter to open up. We got through to security and silly me, thinking about last time we took a bottle home it got shattered and made our clothes smell, had put the wine in my carry on. Of course she took it, and I told her “That’s fine, you are just tossing away my memory, but do what you have to do” I tried not to pout too much since it was my fault. I’m sure if I tried to give her some dollars, she’d have let me keep it but it was too late. We found out gate and then played around in the duty free shops, before finding Margaritaville for lunch. It was overpriced and not so good for me but I did write my name on the railing like everyone else did. We went and waited to get on our plane. We had Carmen the Parrot this time on our plane. We took off about 10 minutes earlier than scheduled at 1235. We watched Jamaica disappear out the window and headed over Cuba. We then flew over Miami, and cut across Florida, and ended up over Valdosta, GA and all I could think about was Fried Green Tomatoes. “Ruth invited Idgie to the weddin', but Idgie never did write back. No, but she did drive all night to Valdosta, Georgia, to watch from afar. And she swore she'd never see Ruth again.” :) We flew over Alabama, Tennessee, and Illinois before seeing our pretty little STL city in the window. It didn’t look as big from up there! We had a pretty rough landing, only because of the strong crosswinds. When we touched down at about 425, it felt like we were going to turn sideways! Either way, we made it back in to the country, only for them to take forever in customs and they had to take Luke’s beloved palm hat. They said because it COULD carry parasites, but he was heartbroken by then. We got through customs and waited for days for Ashley to figure out where we were. The airline sent her to the wrong place, and then she was in the wrong terminal looking for us. We finally found her, and Shy didn’t recognize us for half a second, then it was all over. She wouldn’t stay off us! We crammed our suitcases in, and got to my car after many U-turns and parking garage circles. We took off for home, and made it to Rolla at 8pm. I’d like to say we crashed right then and there, but I had to go grocery shopping since I had cleaned out the kitchen before leaving. I finally crawled into my own bed at 10pm. Who knew laying on the beach for 7 days would be so exhausting!?