Soon, but not soon enough, we will be headed to our favorite island retreat for the 10th time! Jamaica, our island love. What is it that keeps us coming back when there are so many other options in the Caribbean? For one, it is the laid back atmosphere. No one putting on airs here. At least not in the resorts we have visited and we have visited quite a few. Swim suits are great equalizers as you understand that bodies are bodies and we all just want the same same things; Rest, relaxation, great food, clean, comfortable accommodations and access to maybe some interesting activities and sports. Jamaica offers them all and more!
Over the years we have stayed anywhere from Runaway Bay to Montego Bay ( MoBay) but our favorite laid back local is Negril. Negril, with its famous seven mile beach that you can freely walk checking out the myriad all inclusive resorts that Jamaica is for. You walk the beach to stop at jerk huts and sample jerk chicken washed down by a ice cold Jamaican Red Stripe Beer. You walk the beach to visit surf side bars like Margaritaville or any number of simple palm leaf huts serving Red Stripe. You walk the beach to browse the wares the locals have created spread out on blankets under swaying palm trees. Wares such as carved wooden bowls,( I have several!) Jamaican themed clothing, shell necklaces and earrings. Everything in a laid back Jamaican ” no worries mon” style. Yes, oh my, yes, there is Ganja! Many people equate Jamaica with marijuana, but until 2016, marijuana was still illegal to possess. That doesn’t mean it was not widely used and sold but it was definitely not legal. Marijuana has been decriminalized and one can posses up to two ounces without penalty. That’s good to know if you are a user.
Jamaica, where the people are friendly, kind and always ready for a chat. If you know me, I can chat up a brick wall and enjoy it, so I truly love talking to the resort staff from the guys who sweep the beach to the housekeepers to the resort manager and even the owners. Talking to the kitchen staff who turn out amazing food 24 hours a day warms my heart for some not so strange reason. But, we are there to relax, be warmed by the sun, lulled to sleep by the surf, star gaze and enjoy all the water sports. So, let me take you to my Jamaica!
Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay is where the adventure begins. A thoroughly modern airport with a very efficient Customs department that gets you sailing on your way in no time. Head over to the counter that has Advertisements for your resort to check in and they will get you on the bus for your destination. First thing first, hit the lobby bar and grab that first cold one whether it be iced tea or a rum punch then register, head to your room, change into your swim suit and head to the beach! You can unpack later. Much later. “Welcome to Jamaica mon!”
So, how about some pictures of our beloved island retreat? Here goes!
The first thing that strikes you is the wild perfusion of stunning flowers! This is a tree that has these wispy pink blooms that last only one day but are replaced overnight. Soft, silky and not nearly as delicate as they seem.
The flowers are incredible! Every where you turn there is another shrub, bush or tree covered with stunning color!
Yellow flowers are my favorite and I am never disappointed in what I find.
Heady aromas fill the air
This is an Ackee tree with its national treasure fruit. Ackee and salt cod are scrambled together to create Jamaica’s national dish. If you did not know better you would think the scrambled Ackee were scrambled eggs. Bright yellow, soft with a mild mellow flavor.
Just me out for a stroll among the flora!
Banana trees are every where on the resorts and they are picked and served in the restaurants. We tourists stand and stare while the hotel workers harvest this fruit that we take for granted back home.
The resort meals are fantastic, whether you are enjoying a casual outdoor cafe delight like this curried goat with rice and peas or a “patty” that is Jamaican fast food. Evening meals are as sumptuous as any served in a 4 star restaurant.
But it is the beach that draws me. As lovely as it is to walk the beach during the day, nothing compares to the beach at sunset or after the moon rises.
Moon rise over the Carribean. Romantic and peaceful.
Dan dives twice a day every day. He is very accomplished!
This lighthouse at the end of Negril has been around since the days of pirate ships. Now, it sees lots of Catamarans but it also guides tourist ships in and out of harbor.
But it is the beach that draws me back time and time again. Whether it is broad daylight and the Egrets are fishing…….
Welcome to my Jamaica! I hope you enjoyed the tour. Later this week I will be posting two recipes that are part of every day life in Jamaica. Rice and Peas, then Chicken in Coconut Milk.
Thanks for stopping by today my friends. My wish for you this day is a day filled with sunshine, warm breezes, salt air and making memories to last a life time where ever you are.
Hugs and much love from me,