Saturday, August 3, 2013

JAMAICA ~ anniversary adventure

It's hard to believe that our ten year wedding anniversary will be in March!  We decided to return to our honeymoon destination to celebrate a little early :)  You might enjoy listening to THIS to get the full experience :)  We snapped over 400+ pics so please excuse enjoy the picture overload!  We highly recommend Couples Swept Away!!  It is an all inclusive resort located on 19 acres of Jamaica's famous seven mile beach.  They have THE BEST customer service and breathtaking scenery!  We did our fair share of eating, relaxing and enjoying time focused on one another (which doesn't happen often at home)!

The day after our wedding we barely missed our flight.  It was such a bummer!  We were determined not to do so this time so we missed an entire night of rest to ensure our crazy early arrival!  After 4th of July festivities concluded we completed the kids' usual bedtime routine, kissed them goodnight and headed toward DFW.  We enjoyed an I35 Ihop midnight snack (including plenty of caffeine!) and arrived at the airport a couple of hours earlier than necessary.  Jarrod gave me a hard time about over packing but I was proud of myself for limiting a week's worth of things to just one bag :)

{On our way to the airport}

After two flights and one layover in North Carolina we stepped foot in Montego Bay.  We were exhausted yet thrilled to be back :)  The airport had changed drastically over the past decade.  In 2004 it was very small and quaint.  It is now full of well known eateries, gift shops and VIP waiting areas.  We couldn't believe it was the same place!!  Immediately after clearing through customs we were warmly welcomed by the nice people of Couples resorts.  We loved touring the countryside on the hour commute to Negril.  The steering wheel is located on right hand side of the vehicle and they drive on the left hand side of the road.  Super strange to witness!!  We arrived at our resort mid afternoon and got checked in.  We stayed in a gorgeous garden veranda suite.  It was almost identical to last time except for the added TV and stocked mini fridge.  Our spacious back porch view was dreamy.  Lots of lush plants, exotic flowers and palm trees of all shapes and sizes.

The first thing we did was get comfy and head out the door to put our toes in the sand :)

{Our perfect view!}

That evening we enjoyed dinner at the main restaurant, The Palms.  They offer a buffet style meal featuring locally grown fresh fruit (tons of pineapple and banana in particular), seafood pasta and a variety mouthwatering dishes galore.  We totally stuffed ourselves silly at least three times per day ;)

{A chef at The Palms ~ he is the watermelon artist!}

We enjoyed breakfast at The Palms each day.  Jarrod's favorite food was the personalized omelettes he had made.  My favorite was the banana foster.  Yum!  Jarrod has actually made it a few times since we have returned home and it is delicious :)

It didn't take us long to figure out how much the resort had grown!!  It seemed that everyone had discovered our favorite place :)  They had started construction ten years ago but we were blown away with all of the new additions.  There were easily double the number of guests there this time.  The workers told us that summer is their least busy time of year.  December is actually by far their busiest time!

On our first full day (Saturday) we decided to take full advantage of the BEAUTIFUL Caribbean.  We floated for hours and enjoyed the gentle breeze and sunny skies.....

....that is, until the storm clouds rolled in daily!!

Little did we realize this is their rainy season.  Shortly after lunchtime everyday the rain came.  The beaches cleared and everyone took cover for awhile.  It presented the perfect opportunity for a nap :)

Here is something we saw while laying on the beach.  We were surprised at how many locals were allowed to openly solicit goods along the beach.  We remembered this being strictly discouraged last time.  We were repetitively offered music CDs, jewelry, jet ski rides, horseback rides, shells and, of course, weed.  We actually purchased beautiful shells for the kiddos from the same kind man we purchased one from on our honeymoon!

 I purchased some cute coconut earrings from this local {they are holding up 'ones' for "one love"}

On Sunday evening we went on a sunset catamaran cruise.  It was definitely one of the most fun things we did :)  We got a tour of the area and went swimming in a cave.

We floated past Rick's Cafe and watched the locals dive off the cliffs.  Incredibly fascinating to see!

Gorgeous lighthouse (check out the amazing water!)

That evening we were invited to the repeat guest dinner.  We enjoyed visiting with the resort general manager and other outstanding staff directors.

Monday was lobster night!!  I assure you that we did not leave hungry ;)

Each night the resort offered great entertainment on the stage in The Palms.  We loved the live reggae music and even did a little dancing!

Did I mention the abundance of delicious food?!?  One day we enjoyed a sushi snack at Sea Grapes Cafe.  Cabana Grill was also open throughout the day and offered snack foods such as nachos, sandwiches and wraps.

On our last full day on the resort we enjoyed a glass bottom boat tour.  We saw lots of tiger striped fish and star fish.

That evening we enjoyed dinner at Feathers, the fancy reservation only restaurant.  It had changed locations on the resort since our last stay but was just as delicious and elegant as we remembered :)

Jarrod's roasted cauliflower & white bean chowder (smiley face!) soup

Caribbean sunsets are the BEST!!


A few more fun paradise pics:

We are so thankful for recent advances in technology and were able to communicate with the kiddos each day via Face Time.  We even got to briefly walk the iPad around the resort to show them where we were.

Headed home!  We were excited to be reunited with our babes but we were sad that our second honeymoon was over so fast.  We sure hope it's not another ten years before our next visit :)

No comments:

Post a Comment