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Jamaican Me Hungry

Alrighty, last Jamaican recap post. Let’s talk about the FOOD!

I was a bit apprehensive about the food, because I have heard stories of resort food not being the greatest or making you sick (like in Cuba). Just about how it’s cooked differently and can be bland tasting, and the sauces sometimes aren’t great (and this was a concern for me because I eat things for the sauce a lot of the time). This was not the case in Jamaica at all, and the food for the most part was amazing. And you can drink the tap water! That was a huge relief. I had no worries food-wise, and I was never hungry. Usually I was way too full.

The Buffets

Though we had unlimited a la cartes at our resort, we sometimes went to the buffet for dinner if we wanted to save time, or if we didn’t want to be too full (because the a la cartes left me feeling so full I thought I might actually explode). And we did the buffet for breakfast every day and usually lunch also. Good times in the buffet.

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(I need to take a second and just mention how much I loved all the adults on the trip, as they were usually more intoxicated than we were and they were absolutely hilarious.)

The selection in the buffet was insane. They had an entire section dedicated to CHEESE (we found Dawn and Leanne in the buffet after the catamaran trip eating plates of just cheese with the buffet tongs – they know how to do it right). The buffets basically had every food imaginable, including pizza, assorted meats, fries, sushi, fish, and a pasta bar. I discovered the pasta bar late into the trip and that’s pretty much all I ate for lunch and dinner for the last three days because it was SO GOOD, I couldn’t get enough.

I apologize for my buffet pictures because I tended to just load my plate up with random stuff and it just looks like a mess.

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That would be a giant salad of random goodness, pizza, curried potatoes, some pasta, and roasted vegetables.

This is an example of a lunch salad bar. I would maybe start with a salad (heavy on the cheese)…

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And then load my plate up with random goods.

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Bean salad, tomatoes and mozzarella, ham, steak, cheese, pizza, rice, fish. That was probably x2. I need to mention also that they had the BEST bread. Ohh how I wish I was still eating that bread. So good.

And after I found the pasta bar…

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That is a mess… This one is better.

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Ah, that bread!

For breakfast nearly every morning I had a perfectly made omelette…

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And I really enjoyed their bacon and hashbrowns. LOVED the hashbrowns. They also had cereal, pancakes, french toast, fruit, ham, scrambled eggs, potatoes, yogurt, and you could get your eggs done however you wanted. They also had assorted juices and a smoothie bar, and their frozen banana with milk smoothie was definitely my favourite there.

The only thing I would usually steer clear of was the breakfast ham and the hotdogs…both were just not made how I was accustomed to and I wasn’t really a fan.

For dessert I usually was too full to have anything besides fruit.

On the third beach, Sunset Cove, there was a little shack that served authentic jerk chicken which was pretty amazing…

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Served with seafood rice. You had to be careful while eating your chicken though, because they just chopped up an entire piece of chicken with a large knife and it included the bones.

Also, in the sports bar they served hamburgers, hotdogs, quesadillas, pizza and nachos until 7am every single night. It was fabulous. The quesadillas were the BEST.

The a la Cartes

We went out for several group a la carte dinners.

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This was in Poseidon, the seafood restaurant by the third beach. We started with the salad bar and soup here, and then for my appetizer I had muscles…

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With shrimp as my main course.

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I had several rounds of the salad bar, so by the time I was done my dinner I was so full I thought I might die, so I couldn’t even do the dessert thing.

The next restaurant I really enjoyed was the Mexican restaurant (though several people said it was their least favourite, but I don’t think they really liked Mexican to begin with). Our table had chips, salsa, and guacamole on it for everyone, and I wanted more of it so I also got it as my appetizer.

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I had soup as well. And for my main I chose fajitas, because I just love them.

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I thought they were really good, so props to the chef.

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I was also able to manage dessert here…

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I do not remember what that is, but I do remember that it was good.

And my favourite a la carte restaurant was Reggaetoni, the Italian restaurant. We started with the salad bar… 

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Again, lots of cheese…

For my appy I had the bruschetta…

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And for my main I chose the spaghetti bolognese, and HOLY. I was blown away.

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It was amaaaazing. I loved every last bite of that thing.

I was again too full for dessert, so I just had some fruit, but I got a pic of Joanna’s and it looks pretty delicious…

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That’s it for the a la cartes for me, but they also had a Indian, Asian, and a steakhouse and I heard they were all really good.

Also, just want to mention the airplane food, because we flew Canjet and I’m pretty sure it’s the only airline that still actually serves meals. Our breakfast on the way there was not good (in my opinion), but lunch on the way back was pretty decent!

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That pasta was not too shabby at all, and continued my three-day pasta binge. I also really enjoyed the bean salad.

Welp, that’s it! Jamaica recaps be over, mon! I hope you enjoyed. If you missed any of my others you can check them out here.

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Jamaica: Our Amazing Resort

Hello friends! Hopefully you are not sick of hearing about Jamaica just yet, because I am not quite done talking about it. I still have a few things I would like to recap. Selfishly, I really want a record of our entire vacation.

So I already mentioned this, but we stayed at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton in Lucea, Jamaica (about 45 minutes from Montego Bay) our resort was beautiful. Really, really beautiful. Everyone did really say that it was the most beautiful resort they had been to. It was HUGE (almost too big, it took us about three days to figure out where everything was) and there were so many things to do.

When we pulled up on Thursday afternoon I’m pretty sure all of our mouths dropped open in shock because of our lobby.

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This was pretty much our view as soon as we got off the bus (and the staff immediately greeted us with rum punch, yes yes). The reception is to the right of this photo, and there is a seating area to the left. The entire lobby is open concept, which definitely gave it the awe-factor, because you could look straight out to the ocean. I was in absolute AWE. Sherrie told me she wanted to videotape my reaction as I got off the bus because I was agog as two gogs.

The lobby served as the perfect meeting place for all of us throughout the trip.

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Since you got to most of the a la carte restaurants, the buffets, the sports bar, and the disco from it.

And it had interesting things in it, such as a fake fancy dinner table…

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There were no actual rooms in the lobby or main resort area, our rooms were all in separate villas, which had about 20 rooms each.

When you walked inside the villa, this is the sight that greeted you:

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Beauty beauty, right?

I shared a room with Sherrie and Joanna, and here is what it looked like:

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And we also had a pullout couch, since there was three of us.

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I was the only one who slept on it though (It was extreeeeemely uncomfortable, so I only did it for one night and we rotated beds the rest of the time). And every room had its own balcony.

But we spent so little time in our room, so let’s talk beaches! Our resort had three beaches, and all of them had unique things that made them fun.

Here is beach number one:

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We didn’t swim a lot here because we preferred the other beaches for swimming-purposes (or I did at least, because they had my very fave deep-water swimming), but this was the beach where Dawn and Mark were married. And it did have some good amenities. Like tree forts…

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And palm trees!

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I love a good palm tree.

It also had the most comfortable hammocks of all time.

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I liked to wrap myself up in the hammock like a burrito.

Beach number two, the adult beach or Coral Beach, was probably my favourite, because it had the BEST swimming.

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It was a bit tricky to get in and out of the water because there was a bit of a drop off, but once you were in there it was worth it.

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We hung out in there for hours and hours. And it was close to the bar, so that was a plus.

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(If you can spot Dawn and Emily in this photo, they are trying to get closer to the villa because there was a HUGE domestic happening on the balcony and it was pretty entertaining.)

Coral Beach was good for building inappropriate sand castles also.

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And we saw some dynamite sunsets from there…

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AND there was a coral reef to the side also, so the snorkeling was pretty good.

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Beach number three, called Sunset Cove, was my second favourite, it was a good leisurely time over there.

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And we made little crabby friends over on this beach.

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This beach was where you could rent all the water stuff, like snorkel equipment, mini catamarans, paddle boats, and kayaks (for free!).

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We made friends with some of the Jamaicans who hung out around the boat. They were funny.

The snorkeling was pretty good here also!

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Lots o’ pretty fishies…

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And scary sea urchins (Emily was screaming when she saw them, because she had a bad experience with one…)

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Those are not a fun time if you happen to fall upon one.

The beaches weren’t miles long like Cuba beaches, but they were perfect for swimming and snorkeling, which I think is the most important, so I will take it.

We rented kayaks from this beach and went on a little adventure…

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Which was extremely fun, except my kayak partner Blake was not the most sober during our excursion and tipped us over about four times. One time we landed on a patch of coral and I got a little bit cut up… But in his defense, we were in a one-person kayak, so it may have had something to do with that.

While we were out on the kayaks we stumbled across a little private rock beach, so we did some exploring…

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I really loved that there were so many things to do and discover right at our resort! I still feel like we didn’t have enough time there.

Alright, pool time. I didn’t spend as much time in the pools as I did on the beach, because you can’t swim in the ocean just anywhere. But the main pool definitely lured me in with its gorgeousness…

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The main pool was HUGE!

It was an infinity pool, so you had to kind of jump over a ledge to get to the main area…

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And there was no graceful way to get over that thing, let me tell you. Especially not in your bathing suit. You had to kinda launch yourself onto it, and then just fall over to the other side. It was funny to watch people trying to navigate this.

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This pool also lured me in with its swim-up bar…

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The main pool also had a pretty happening bar off to the side of it that played upbeat music all day long. And a beach volleyball court! We definitely had a few games.

In addition to the main pool, there was the adult pool, right by the adult beach.

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But I didn’t really go in that one at all, though it looked very nice.

And then the spa pool. 

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(The ladies with Uncle Steve)

There were a ton of restaurants around the resort, including Mexican, Italian, Indian, a steakhouse, seafood, Carribbean, Asian, and several buffets. But I will save those for the food post.

And as for the night life, we had the sports bar, which was right off the lobby and where we would all usually meet after dinner until something else opened.

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They had foosball tables, pool, and ping pong in there so it was a fun time. They also had unlimited nachos and popcorn all night long and the most amazing chicken quesadillas. Sometimes I would order them late at night and have a double dinner (so about those pants being snug…)

For dancing, the disco was definitely best.

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And it was open until 7am, so pretty much a constant party in there.

Then there was the Infinity Bar, which turned into a club the night of Dawn’s wedding, but was usually more loungey.

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With live music!

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That pretty much covers the amenities, or at least our hangouts.

I highly recommend this resort! It is the only resort I’ve been to, true, so I can’t recommend any others, but I really loved ours! I will leave you with some other random pics from around there.

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Go there!

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Dawn and Mark’s Jamaican Wedding

Time to talk about the reason we were all in Jamaica, Dawn’s and Mark’s wedding, mon!

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The wedding was on the Saturday after we arrived, and on our first night we had an impromptu bachelorette party for Dawn, in the same pink shirts we all wore at her actual bachelorette party in Ottawa.

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The wedding didn’t start until 4:00, so I hung out at the beach all morning with Sherrie until it was time for the bridesmaids to get ready in Dawn’s sensual suite.

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We stayed under a palm tree in the shade as I didn’t want to be a lobster in my bridesmaid dress, and Sherrie had gotten burnt in the sun the day before.

Dawn’s mom’s best friend Illona offered to do all of our hair for the big day, which was GREAT because I suck at doing my own hair. I also have very thin and fine hair (like it dries absolutely straight naturally, which is good because it is easy, but it always looks the same), and the girls all know this and let me get my hair done last, which was very nice of them. I was really afraid of it falling out.

All of our hair turned out beautifully (and stayed beautiful all night long), and I loved the colour of our dresses. We popped against the white of Dawn’s beautiful wedding dress.

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So Dawn brought enough glasses for the entire wedding party. And she had a beautiful pair of mustache glasses for herself to wear.

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But back to Dawn’s dress. It was gorgeous. I loved the style on her and the detail and the beading. She was absolutely stunning in it. Troy really liked it also.

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Of course Troy was invited to the wedding (but we lost him the night of the wedding, sadly, and we checked the Lost and Found every day but he never turned up).

Once we were ready, it was ceremony time. Sherrie was a diligent photographer during this, so all photo credit goes to her for these pics. The ceremony was right on the ocean, and with the breeze it never felt too hot. It was just such a gorgeous setting. Paradise and a half!

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It was a BEAUTIFUL and touching ceremony. Dawn and Mark wrote their own vows and they were funny and heartfelt and romantic all at the same time. I am pretty sure everyone had tears in their eyes. I certainly did, especially when my little Dawnald was speaking.

It was really funny when they received their marriage license, because it was huge…

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Dawn and Mark were all “YEAH MON! We won the lottery!”

We took a TON of pictures.

Nice ones…

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And of course funny ones…

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And then we went over to the spa and took more…

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And a beautiful pic of us girls with the hot couple…

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Which is probably my favourite.

Dinner and the reception took place in the Asian restaurant, but we ate from the Italian menu, which was my favourite menu of all the restaurants on the resort. It was SO, SO good. We started with potato and leek soup…

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And for my main I chose the beef.

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Which was amazing. I loved it. Cleaned my entire plate.

Dessert wasn’t bad either.

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We did the speeches during dinner, and the bridesmaids planned a special rap for Dawn to the theme of “Fresh Prince of Belair” (which I downloaded the music for). I think Dawn enjoyed it, it was pretty funny.

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Dawn and Mark had a beautiful first dance…

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Lovers.

By the time we did the bridal party dance, the cake-cutting, the father-daughter dance, and the mother-son dance, it was time to clear out of the restaurant and move onto the dance party.

But first we dropped by Dawn and Mark’s room to quickly grab our things that we had left in there, and we noticed that their suite had been changed into a romantic retreat and the resort staff had filled up their jacuzzi with water and rose petals. So Dawn helpfully tied Mark’s shirt into a knot so it wouldn’t get wet…

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And then he got in.

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And then we all hit up the Infinity Bar, which was having a “White Party” that night (perfect theme).

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And when that place finally closed we went to the disco, which is open until 7am. And things got a little crazy…

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Maaaan it was a fun wedding. We had a really great time. I was so glad to be a part of it, and had so much fun with all the guests the rest of the time on the resort. Destination weddings are really where it’s at.

I am also happy to report there were no embarrassing piggyback moments. Wins all around.

 

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