S: JAMAICA 2011
1: Kenwood did it once again! This year they sent us to Jamaica! We have wanted to visit this tiny island forever and our wish came true. | Our goals for visiting Jamaica were simple: see how Jamaicans live, eat patties, explore the country, relax on the beach, and spend time together. Goals met! | This year was fun because of the friends that we made last year. We hung out with our friends Robert and Nadia Heale from Spokane Washington everyday. | We knew that we could relax and have fun because our kids were safe. Courtney Barker, and Grandma Fern took turns as the nanny.
2: We stayed at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort, just 35 minutes from Montego Bay. The hotel was pretty but the Jamaican people were more than pretty cool! This hotel boasts being the largest resort in Jamaica. It was built in two years and has an enormous pool, seven themed restaurants, a spa, and three beaches for lounging.
3: To fly to Jamaica we took a red eye flight from Salt Lake to Atlanta. After a 3 hour lay over, the flight to Montego Bay was a short 2 1/2 hours. John booked an upgraded room so we had two balconies with amazing views! In order for the power to work in the room you had to have the room key inserted in the power box. This prevented utilities from being wasted. Our fridge was stocked daily with drinks. We did give the red stripes to the workers.
5: John's favorite place at the hotel was the spa. He experienced his first, and second massage by a masseuse. The spa facilities also offered a sauna, steam room, hot tubs, pool, and work out equipment. This was a great place to hang out when it was raining. We swam and relaxed under a huge open air patio.
6: Jamaica is a beautiful place. Everything is green and alive. We visited for eight days with three of the days having rain all day. No worries, Mon, it was still warm and pleasant. The flowers were amazing! So many different varieties and colors.
9: The Beach! We spent many hours at the beach relaxing, swimming, kayaking, sailing, and reading. Four books were finished by Vickie alone. Our favorite part of the beach was the jerk chicken shack. After working hard at napping we were able to have spicy jerk chicken, paella with mussels and shrimp, and a very tasty punch made with orange juice, pineapple juice, and strawberry syrup, on the rocks. This might just become a Mueller household favorite!
12: We spent one of our days in Jamaica on a road trip to the city of Lucea and Negril. Here we were able to get a real taste of Jamaican life and see some amazing country. Our driver, Manner made sure that we got patties, tasted coconut water from a green coconut, and chomped on sugar cane from a street vendor.
20: Jamaica was first governed by Spanish rule. Next came the British. Jamaica became independent in 1962. Queen Elizabeth came for the event and her ship docked in the city of Lucea. It is still a big deal that she visited this city first. Jamaicans seem to still love the Queen and England.
22: Unique things about Jamaica are that when building a house you can build as you have the funds. Many houses are started and then finished as the money is raised. This can take years and years. Driving is crazy in Jamaica. Skinny winding roads and fast aggressive driving is not a good mix. Jamaica has the most churches per capita in the world. We were told all churches start at 9:00 in the morning. Not sure if true! Bus tours are much longer than they tell you. Some homes are actually Railroad cars that can be moved if needed.
23: Cats ran around on our beach at the hotel. Big litter box or snack beggars? Desserts are almost never crunchy and almost always soufflé or cake like. Scotch Bonnet hot sauce was explained as a possible murder weapon. Hotel employees work six days a week, twelve hour days. All schools have uniforms. Your uniform color is based on where the school is located. All Jamaican children looked darling! Seven mile beach is said to be the most beautiful beach in Jamaica. Best of all, in Jamaica, there is never a problem. Only situations!