Tag Archives: jamaica

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.

IMG_0029

(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.

IMG_4345

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)…

IMG_4297

And then load my plate up with random goods.

IMG_4216

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…

IMG_4327

That is a mess… This one is better.

IMG_4374

Ah, that bread!

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

IMG_4368

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…

IMG_4236

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.

group-dinner

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…

IMG_4306

With shrimp as my main course.

IMG_4310

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.

IMG_4244

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

IMG_4252

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

IMG_4242

I was also able to manage dessert here…

IMG_4260

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… 

IMG_4355

Again, lots of cheese…

For my appy I had the bruschetta…

IMG_4357

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

IMG_4362

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…

IMG_4366

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!

IMG_4390

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.

Follow

Jamaica: The Shenanigans

I’ve definitely talked about some of our shenanigans in Jamaica already, but there are some things I haven’t mentioned yet that don’t really fall into other categories, so this is just some of the random adventures we got into (and I am almost done recapping, all that is left is Jamaican food!).

The first night was probably the messiest, as our flight was at 6 in the morning and no one seemed to get a lot of sleep. We pretty much just started drinking as soon as we arrived in the afternoon, and after dinner in the buffet we went to the disco to get our dance on.

73537_10100458169213229_547610381_n

I loved the inflatable parrot that made an appearance. A man stole it from us and then somehow a girl had it and Dawn saw her in the bathroom and approached her saying “Excuse me, I believe you have my parrot.” So thankfully we were able to get it back. It came around with us for the first few days.

We had some other inflatables as well…

inflatables

Which were good times in the pool for sure.

Anyway, the first night we were all hot and sweaty from dancing after the disco, and we decided around midnight that we wanted to go swimming. So, we went in the pool. Fully clothed.

pool

We were probably in there for about half an hour or so, and then we got kicked out. But no worries, we just made our way down to the beach and jumped in the ocean.

IMG_0040

Still fully clothed. There was some dangerous coral on the first beach and we kept bumping into it in the dark and screaming. My legs got cut up pretty badly and the next day I had a MASSIVE mystery bruise on the back of my thigh. But it was so funny, and definitely one of my favourite trip memories.

Another super fun beach thing we did on our very last night was the sparkler party.

sparkler-boys

sparkle-girls

We brought the sparklers from Ontario (don’t tell anyone from customs, we didn’t), and we were going to break them out on the night of Dawn and Mark’s wedding but then didn’t get around to it. It’s okay though, they were the perfect ending to our trip.

lindsey-sparkle

sparkler-love

Something I haven’t really gotten into yet was how much we loved the staff at the resort.

server-friend

server-love

Seriously, loved them. They were all so friendly and nice and helpful and HILARIOUS (except for two, the girl who worked at the front desk in the lobby, and Clyde in the sports bar – though fair enough, someone did hit him in the face with nacho cheese so he may not have liked us. Also Clyde, if you ever read this, we know you have Troy.)

Anyway, we pretty much had favourite servers everywhere we went. Keisha in the Mexican restaurant could not get enough of Troy. She just loved him. She made him take off his pants.

250740_10100458169747159_1099524542_n

IMG_0063

And then she brought him his own Bloody Mary.

troy-bloody-mary

Which we stuck his face in.

The male server in the Mexican restaurant was a big fan of Troy as well.

troy-friends

And of course the glasses.

62376_10100458169687279_1593320388_n

But all the servers really loved the glasses.

server

And I liked their vests.

vests

Thumbs up!

Sherrie’s favourite bartender made the BEST pink drinks, and he was the only bartender on the resort who knew how to make it just right. We stopped by his restaurant on our last night to say goodbye, and then we ordered 12 pink drinks from him to go.

fave-server

Sherrie liked them so much she got him to write down the ingredients for her so she can make them at home.

And I’m pretty sure all the bartenders now know how to make Uncle Steve’s. Uncle Steve kept bringing us these bright green drinks the night of the wedding, so we called them “Uncle Steve’s”, and eventually you could just go up to the bar and ask for an Uncle Steve and they would make the green drink for you. Uncle Steve’s for everybody.

uncle-steve

That is Uncle Steve.

My favourite bartender worked at the swim-up bar, his name was Martin.

martin

And he told me I was his favourite tourist as well.

453

He was a good time.

I should probably also mention that I was kind of proposed to… By this man:

jug-jugs-proposal

He let me wear his bling, and then he pointed to my wedding finger and said “I think you need some more jewelry right there,” and told me that he would have a ring for me the next day. The funniest thing about this was my friends told him my name was “Jug-Jugs,” so he was all “You come back here tomorrow and pick up your ring, Jug-Jugs!” He was very nice, but I avoided that area of the beach the next day.

All the males we encountered who worked on the resort extremely respectful though. They would call us “pretty girls,” and sometimes they would invite us to some hip club in Negril (obviously we did not take them up on that offer) but they were never inappropriate with us.

Though there was one guy who kept telling me he had a “surprise” for me every time I walked by him. I have a feeling the “surprise” may have been inappropriate, so I avoided the area where he was working after the first few times that happened. I like surprises usually, but not of that nature.

I feel like our very favourite trolley driver was an angel sent from heaven.

peach-trolley

His name was Peach! And he drove us all around the day of Dawn and Mark’s wedding. We LOVED him.

peach1

And we asked him if he could take us on a safari (because of his hat). Whenever we got on the trolley we would call it Peach’s Safari.

In other random adventure news, I had never drank out of a coconut before, so on our very last full day there Sherrie went on a coconut hunt and got one of the maintenance guys to cut down one for me as a surprise.

coconut

It was so nice of her, I was excited. THAT was a good surprise, and the kind that I like.

Sometimes we liked to tie up the shirts of random people on the resort…

shirt-knot

And in Negril someone found a women’s tank top lying around so we made Mark wear it, and then of course we tied it up for him.

pick-up

And there are a few wedding pictures that I saw recently and would like to share.

Like our attempt at a jumping shot…

bridal-party-jump

And the groomsmen horsey ride…

horseys

And Dawn and Mark’s wedding workout.

wedding-workout

I died laughing when I saw that picture. I didn’t even know that happened.

There was another picture from Negril that I forgot even existed.

beach-jump

That guy was one of the beach break-dancers, and absolutely wins at jumping on the beach. I’m sure he has a lot of practice.

On our last day we hit up a Jamaican market to check things out on the souvenir front, and I met this lovely man.

bambi-1

He was the sweetest man of all time, and he was carving beautiful mugs out of bamboo. I bought one from him that says “YEA MON” and then he carved my name in it for me. I liked him.

bambi

It was quite an experience in that market, let me tell you. I have never been harassed to buy things so much in my life.

And that is pretty much it. I just have one last thing to share. Dawn’s carry-on bag.

IMG_4196

It is my favourite.

Follow

WE’RE ON A BOAT! (The Catamaran Adventure)

Our next Jamaican off-resort adventure was the catamaran trip!

catamaran-girls

And I am pretty sure this day was the highlight of my entire trip. It was soo much fun.

We all piled onto the bus from our resort and headed to Montego Bay, about a 45 minute drive. Our bus driver was hilarious. Jussssst hilaaarious. His name was Richard, so of course we called him Big Dick.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And we just loved him. He gave us a little tour on the way there, and told us stories, and pointed out landmarks to us. Big Dick was a fun time, and he told us about his two daughters and his house, and finally we were all “Big Dick, can we go to your house?!” But we had strangers on our bus from another resort and they did not think this was a good idea and said we should probably put that idea to a vote… (and they would have voted that idea down)

Obviously Big Dick was not allowed to take us to his house, but he thought this was very funny so it made him laugh hard, and that was our goal.

Anyway, eventually we ended up at the beach, where our boat the Sea Dreamer awaited us. Dawn was all ready with her captain’s hat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And so was Mark.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They are a dream team.

When the crew was making announcements about boat safety and stuff, they mentioned that the bar was going to be closed until we were done snorkeling. We were outraged. Dawn immediately stormed over to the bar to complain, it was the first time I had seen her even remotely anxious about anything the entire trip. But the bartenders were all “We be jokin’, mon! The bar is always open here!” and poured us all a round of drinks. Yes Yes. We were all appeased (by the way, “Yeah mon” is not a stereotype. Everyone I met who lived in Jamaica said it at least three times a sentence. It replaced “Yes.”)

The crew of the Sea Dreamer was awesome, and of course we made friends…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That guy kept bringing us drinks so we liked him a lot.

At one point the crew had a little acrobatics competition, so that was pretty entertaining to watch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We were on the boat sailing around for about an hour or so, drinking, talking, having a good time befriending our crew, and then we reached the reef where we would be snorkeling. So we put on our all gear and jumped into the turquoise water. Check out the pretty fishies!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And this is where we noticed the man who would become our very favourite crew member. Of all time. I cannot for the life of me remember his name (it could be Simon? I wanna say Simon), but he was amazing. He stayed with us the entire time, and he brought fun things up to the surface for us.

Like sea cucumbers!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I looooved the sea cucumber.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And he also brought us Emily’s nemesis, dun dun dunnnnnn…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The big bad sea urchin (though this one was not quite as scary as the ones on our resort…)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Actually I thought it was kind of cute… But yes, it was prickly. And it was suctioning itself to my hand! Such a weird sensation.

After our snorkel adventure with our new best friend whose name is possibly Simon, we docked at Margaritaville Part 2!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

margaritaville1

I like to include random people in my photos. They like it.

I thought Margaritaville was a one time deal, but apparently it is a chain. This is the Montego Bay Margaritaville. And it didn’t really have a beach, but it sure did have a slide!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

QUITE the slide. We all took a turn on that thing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think that is Leanne making an appearance. That thing was crazy.

There were other water activities, like another crazy slippery water slide, and a water trampoline, so we hung out there for about an hour or so and did the water thangs until it was time to head back to the Sea Dreamer.

Upon our arrival back on the boat, Dawn convinced some man to let her wear his shirt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We were dying. I want that shirt. I love that song!

And Simon (I’m just gonna call him Simon), decided that he wanted to give Emily a leg massage, because her legs must have been tired from our excursion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Emily was all “Nooo, you don’t have to massage my legs!” but he was a persistent little minx, and he convinced her for about 10 minutes. So she caved.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think he LIKED it! Look how happy he is!

And then he was just offering us all leg massages. Jenny was up next.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And while that was happening we chatted with him about his life and asked him what his favourite thing is about his job and how old he is, and how long he has been working on the boat. It was 20 questions for sure.

Then he offered me a leg massage, and I politely declined, but again, persistent. So I finally gave in and ohhhhh sweet baby Jesus and all things holy, it was the best leg massage I have ever had (I don’t think I have had very many though…) That man knew what he was doing. Probably massages all the ladies, all the time.

I thought Simon was just super nice and really liked giving leg massages, but when I walked back to the bar to get a drink I saw this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And I died laughing. Leg massages for everyone!

And then I looked over to where the captain was, and Julie was driving the boat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With the help of Captain Beardo!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And I died laughing again.

And then I broke out the glasses my parents got me for Christmas, for exactly this purpose.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They were a big hit. And I don’t know who that man is, but he also snuck in our group picture.

catamaran-group

He is a surprise behind Jenny and Joanna.

Oh man how I loved the catamaran. When we got back to the beach it was dark, so we all made our way over to our bus yelling “Big Dick!” (so our bus diver could find us). And we all safely got on.

And then our friend Simon showed up!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We thought he was coming to say goodbye, but he was just bringing Dawn back to us because we had accidentally left her in the beach bathroom.

And Big Dick drove us back to our resort, and we sang the ENTIRE. TIME. We sang “I’ve Got Friends In Low Places”, and “Don’t Stop Believing”, and we sang the Canadian national anthem, and then because there were Americans on our bus and we didn’t want to leave them out we sang the American national anthem. And then we sang Ludicris “What’s Your Fantasy.” Basically every song we knew the words to, country songs, hip hop songs, rock songs, we sang them. At the top of our lungs. The entire drive. I will never, ever forget this. I don’t think Big Dick will either. He told us we were his favourite group that he had ever had. But maybe he says that to everyone, who knows. I’m going to pretend he doesn’t.

But I will just say…Best day!!!!! Best day ever!

Follow

Margaritaville and Rick’s Cafe (also known as Rum Punch Pong Day)

I wanna take a break from the resort shenanigans and talk about our Jamaican excursions. First up is Negril!

Negril was about a 40 minute drive from our resort. I think. On the way there I was honestly having too much fun on the bus to pay attention, and on the way back I fell asleep (perhaps “passed out” would be more accurate). But it was on the opposite side of Montego Bay from us.

Dawn and her fam actually booked a tour and went separately in the morning, but our friend Khaki (we call him that because he wears khakis a lot) hired a bus to take the rest of us, because it was cheaper, not as long, and there were certain things we wanted to do that the tour may have held us back from. Like if wanted to spend longer on the beach, for example, we didn’t want to be locked into the tour.

So about 1:30pm last Monday we all piled into the bus for our Negril adventure.

IMG_0209

IMG_0206

(That is Mark’s brother Luke and his wife Jenny. Luke looks so much like Mark, right?)

Joanna was our co-bus driver/tour guide.

jo

I told our driver that Joanna was also a bus driver back in Ontario, and she needed to sit at the front with him so she could gain experience studying his sweet bus driving skills. And then someone else told him Joanna was a stripper, and, well, that story was better so we just went with that.

We passed some Jamaican towns.

lucea

lucea1

And we waved at the residents as we passed and they waved back.

And then we pulled up to Margaritaville! Yeahhhh!

IMG_0210

margaritaville

Margaritaville was super aweosme. The beach was absolutely stunning. Crystal clear turquoise water and miles wide (according to Google four miles wide, but the residents say seven).

IMG_0216

IMG_0222

Beeeeyoooootiful.

And here is how Margaritaville looked from the water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We set up shop on the beach and immediately made American friends.

IMG_0236

Perhaps you have already discovered this by reading my blog, but my friends and I will pretty much talk to anyone.

The guy to the right of me came over right away and said “Just so you know, I don’t work here, I’m a tourist!” and then he picked me up, maybe to prove it?

IMG_0226

Well alllllright then. This does not usually happen to me because I am not small. Usually we get people to pick Joanna up. But it was pretty funny. He liked the glasses.

IMG_0229

They were really beautiful on him.

We made lots of new friends actually, like with the lifeguard…

IMG_0227

IMG_0268

IMG_0270

He was a good time. He seemed to be a big fan of us.

And then we found some beach break dancers…

IMG_0238

And they were VERY entertaining, so we chatted with them for a bit.

IMG_0242

And then we swam out to the water trampoline and jumped around and then swam in that amaaaaazing ocean for a while.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(those are our friends, not strangers)

The boys found starfish!

IMG_0231

They were cute. I wanted to take one home with me but I didn’t want it to die, so I was able to stop myself.

So it needs to be said, everyone had a day when they were the most drunk. This day was mine. And I don’t want to point fingers here, but I owe it to beach rum punch pong. Like beer pong, but with rum punch. Sherrie and I played a game with the Carnagan brothers, and we lost (so I don’t know why THEY look so grumpy in this picture).

IMG_0249

Luke, Dave, Mark – Dave is actually married to our good friend Leanne! That is how Mark and Dawn originally met (and Leanne is in the above picture in the lifeguard chair).

In hindsight, the rum punch pong was not the best idea for me. I think I just got carried away with the idea of rum punch pong on the beach in Margaritaville, because rum punch and I are not usually friends. I have had a bad experience before. But I am competitive, so I was not about to pass up a game. And I was certainly not about to pass up free drinks (we would have had to pay for them here otherwise.) Sherrie and I did start to split them, because it was just too much. But by that point I believe it was too late for me. Also, I had been drinking beer on the bus, and you know what they say…beer before liquor…

But it was all good!

After a while a very sunburnt man came over and wanted to play with us.

IMG_0250

But we told him no. He needed to get out of the sun.

And then another man came over, and we assumed he wanted to play, but then it turned out that he just wanted to dance.

IMG_0258

So, we did.

And then it was getting close to sunset time, so we had to leave Margaritaville, sadly. Our next stop was Rick’s Cafe, the most beautiful spot in Jamaica to watch the sunset.

And we met up with our friennnnnnds! (our actual friends, they were on the last stop of their tour)

IMG_0282

I was so happy to see them!

In addition to the beautiful sunset, Rick’s Cafe is known for cliff jumping.

IMG_0275

All the boys did it, and I reallllly wanted to, but Sherrie told me I was too intoxicated so I wasn’t allowed. So I watched from afar. Stupid rum punch.

But it was nice to hang with the girls in the glorious setting.

IMG_0280

I am not sure who the girl is between Julie and Joanna, but we were makin’ new friends, as you can already tell (edit: this is a lie. That is Mark’s friend’s fiance Sarah and I do know who she is, I just didn’t recognize her in this pic and totally forgot we met up with her there…whooops. I was going to delete this whole paragraph but ah, it’s funny so I’m leaving it in.)

And then came the beautiful sunset, so it was time for all the lovers to have romantic sunset pictures.

IMG_0293

Lovers.

IMG_0294

Lovers!!!

And here is my romantic sunset picture with my lover.

IMG_0291

I loved that server. And I am pretty sure she loved me.

Alright, here is my actual romantic sunset picture with my lovers Julie and Sherrie.

IMG_0297

It really was a beautiful, beautiful sunset.

IMG_0300
I’m glad I have this picture because I can barely remember it.

And then we headed back to the resort and partied some more. The End (for now…)

Follow

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.

grand-palladium-lobby

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.

lobby-meeting

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…

fake-fancy-dinner

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:

villa

Beauty beauty, right?

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

room

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

room1

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:

main-beach1

resort

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…

beach-bed

main-beach

And palm trees!

palm-tree

I love a good palm tree.

It also had the most comfortable hammocks of all time.

hammock

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.

swimmers

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.

beach-hangin

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

adult-beach

adult-beach1

(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.

sand-castles

And we saw some dynamite sunsets from there…

adult-beach2

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

snorklers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

third-beach

And we made little crabby friends over on this beach.

crab-friend

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

beach3

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

The snorkeling was pretty good here also!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lots o’ pretty fishies…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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…

infinity-pool2

grand-palladium1

infinity-pool1

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…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

pool-friends

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

swim-up-bar

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.

adult-pool

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

And then the spa pool. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(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.

sports-bar

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.

dance

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.

infinity-bar

With live music!

steel-drums

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.

group
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

resort1

resort2

grand-palladium (1)
Go there!

Follow

Dawn and Mark’s Jamaican Wedding

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

wedding

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.

bachelorette

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.

beach

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.

bridal-party

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

mustache

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.

troy-dress

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!

signing

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…

license

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

We took a TON of pictures.

Nice ones…

wedding-party

bridal-party1
And of course funny ones…

funny

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

spa

spa1

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

spa2

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…

potato-leek

And for my main I chose the beef.

beef

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

Dessert wasn’t bad either.

dessert

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.

fresh-prince

Dawn and Mark had a beautiful first dance…

first-dance

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…

knot1

And then he got in.

knot

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

infinity-bar

infinity-bar1
And when that place finally closed we went to the disco, which is open until 7am. And things got a little crazy…

184621_10100512354874247_1327563022_n

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.

 

Follow