Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Jamaican Story...Part 1

(Um, Blogger and Photobucket are on something, because trying to get the pictures on this thing and get this posted has taken every bit of strength and tenacity I could muster up, because I was going to either cry in utter defeat or delete all my accounts!)  Whoosah!

Main picture (My sister, me, bestie)  2nd picture from top is Mary!

I do have a recipe for you. This is one of my very own recipes. Really. But first, I want to tell you the story of my Jamaica vacation. I went to Jamaica in 2001 as a graduation gift to myself after finishing law school. In fact, I returned on a Wednesday and graduated that following Sunday, with a sprained ankle.

This trip had been planned in advance and me, my friend Mary, my sister and her best friend saved our money and were excited about going to Jamaica and getting our groove back. My sister and her best friend were meeting us in Atlanta and we were driving from Montgomery to Atlanta. No problem. When we got to check in, we had to stand in a massive line. Ridiculous and this was before the security changes. When we got to the desk, they were saying they were tremendously overbooked. What the hell? The plane held only 150 passengers, but it was booked for 300 passengers, true story. My sister was waiting for us at the gate and we were still in check in trying to get our tickets for a flight that was overbooked. The agents were too laid back for me and if one more of them had said “no worries” it was going to be cosmic. I was like, “Look, my sister and her best friend are waiting for me. I have the tickets and transportation and hotel information. They can’t get on the plane without me and this overbook shit ain’t gonna work. So figure it out.” We were sent to the gate, but when we got there we weren’t able to go on our original flight we had to get the next plane. And my goodness, if you haven’t seen folks have meltdowns and temper tantrums in the airport, believe me it is a sight that you will not soon forget. The supervisor was like I should have made everyone responsible for their own tickets and such. I blank stared her ass. My sister would lose her name if she didn’t know it already. They were trying to get us not to travel all together. No ma’am. You all f’ed up. Anyway, we all got on the 1 pm flight, but what was sad was a soon-to-be-bride had to get off the plane with her dress and take a later flight. I remember thinking, “I know they didn’t ask the bride to get off the plane for our asses.” They did. (It wasn’t our fault!)

We were all put in 1st class on Air Jamaica. Yes, we took the poor bride’s seat and we were bumped up to 1st class. I guess I did raise a lot of hell. Anyway, first class was amazing. We had drinks before folks boarded. Warm towels to wash our hands. And after take-off, we had the best meal. It was angel hair pasta with steak and a mixed green salad with Olive Oil vinaigrette and I had a slice of apple pie. But it was the “spaghetti steak” that haunted me long after I had returned home. (And I promise to post the recipe this week, but this Jamaica story must be told).

If you have ever been to Jamaica and your flight takes you to Montego Bay, you have to drive to the other parts of the island, the further out you are the longer the car ride is. We were in Ocho Rios, which was a two hour car ride. Several folks gave up their seats to fly that day because by the time they got to their destination they had already lost a day. We got to Montego Bay quickly and then I realized their airport wasn’t like Atlanta’s airport. Where was the tunnel thingy? Why we got to walk down stairs? Omygoodness! It is hot as hell. You cannot be cute sweating. Going through customs was long and hot. Seriously, I was almost really over this vacation. Then we had to go outside and look for our transportation folks and their sign. Did I mention someone had left the gates of Hell open in Montego Bay? When we saw our transportation, it was a mini-van and we had to share it with another couple. For my friend, Mary, this was her first flight anywhere and first time out of the country. So, she was suffering from stuffed ears. So I was constantly yelling at her to pop her damn ears. “Pop your ears, Mary! Shit!” I was tired of folks repeating things over and over to her. She would get all indignant because she didn’t understand what folks were saying. Our driver seemed to not care about doing sharp curves or anything but trying to get us to our respective destinations. Halfway though, we had to make a mandatory stop so folks could use the restroom and get food. Seemingly, all drivers stop here. We didn’t eat and frankly we were just ready to get to the hotel. As my sister continues to remind me, I spent the trip talking to the guy half of the couple who was traveling with us. We talked and talked. Hell, I forgot ole girl was even in the vehicle. Oh well. They soon were dropped off at their neighboring hotel and we were taken to ours.

We stayed at a resort that wasn’t on the beach, but was all inclusive and had lush gardens. The view driving to the resort was beautiful. Check-in was unremarkable, but we had to have transport to our suite. Which was a one bedroom, two story townhouse with a wading pool. We had a living room, kitchen, dining room and a large kingsize bedroom with shower. We had a rollaway bed also in the bedroom because um, that is where the air conditioning was and 3 of us piled into that king size bed and Mary had her own rollaway bed. Cozy. Seriously, we felt duped about the air conditioning, but the space was immense and we sucked it up. Only thing I truly despised about the room was the workers routinely just walked the hell into the suite, whether we had a do not disturb sign out or not. Ugh! I did go off one morning, because we weren’t early birds and them coming in was messing with my sleep.

The first night we were determined to get a good dinner and rest so we could enjoy the next day. So off to dinner we went. We had a choice of several different restaurants at the resort, but we chose an Asian restaurant for our first dinner in Jamaica. The food was okay. We discovered what they considered a salad was actually cabbage, but the balsamic dressing was amazing. My sister loved the ice cream for dessert; she loved it so she had it every night at the different restaurants. The rest of us couldn’t deal with the “ice cream” because to me, it tasted like frozen sour milk. Ugh! My sister and her bestie had made friends so they were already making plans for the evening. However, Mary and I headed to bed, because we were tired and were ready for tomorrow, which was a Sunday. The hotel had this mandatory meeting guests were to attend and of course I nominated my sister and her bestie to attend. Why did I wake them up too early? It was hilarious they were like I had bumped my damn head waking them up when it was still dark and scaring them awake at that. I blame the fact we were in the master bedroom with the door closed and no real windows. What? But what was truly hilarious was Mary was up watching television and it was on some Cine.max channel and at that time of the morning you know the sex stuff was on and we stopped laughing about me waking them up, but we were like, “Mary, what the hell you watching? You watching po.rn up in here?” She was like I don’t even know what the hell was on television. Yeah, right. We still laugh about that night.

The next morning my sister and her bestie went to the meeting and then we all headed to breakfast. And this is where I fell in love with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. It was hotter than hades outside, but the smooth, fragrant and full bodied coffee was magnificent and I had it every morning I was in Jamaica. We decided to make Sunday a recuperating day and not plan too much. Plus, it was hot. No really it was hot. The air conditioning was not part of the dining experience or social areas, so we tended to stay in our room until the sun went down. For lunch, we all went to the grill near the swim up pool. My sister’s bestie went first and she came back all upset. You see, our hotel had a lot of steps and you had to walk to get anywhere. Poor Mary got lost several times. But the Bestie fell on the way back to the room with her food. She managed to save her hamburger. All of us laughed. Just for the record all of us fell at least once while there. I managed to get my food and not fall on the way back. However, later I decided to explore the grounds, because it really was beautiful. On my way back to get a nap I fell. I didn’t trip on anything, literally I just fell. One minute I was walking and thinking I look cute in my long form fitting dress and in a flash of light, I was on my damn hands and knees. And what is really crazy is I wasn’t worried about whether I had hurt myself, I was more concerned about whether I had ruined my damn dress falling. So I jumped back up quickly, looked around to see if anyone saw my tumble and realized my dress was just fine. However, my ankle felt like shyte. Literally, I was 20 feet from the entrance to our suite. I immediately went up to the bedroom and took a nap. My sister and the bestie came back from the beach. They seemed to have had a great time except my sister was walking and somehow or other she walked right into a damn pole. The vision still makes me laugh, because you can’t be cute if you walk right into a pole.

I told them about me falling and then we got ready for the night of dinner and then we were going to a Jamaican club. My sister and the bestie had met guys to hang with and me and Mary just wanted to go and dance. Only problem was my damn ankle. I looked down at the thing and it was huge and I knew shit was going downhill. I pushed on and helped with hair and make-up and then off to dinner we went. No one in my party believed I really hurt my ankle that bad until it was time for me to put on some shoes and I couldn’t. That is when shyte got real. When we got to the dining room, the Maître D told me I needed to put on shoes and I said, “How? Look at my damn ankle?” I managed to eat and go to Karaoke. But after that, the pain set in and there was no way I was going to the club. Mary was happy we didn’t have to go, but I was disappointed. When I got to the room, which took forever with my ankle, I had to call for the nurse. The nurse was the activities coordinator during the day and nurse at night, so it is true about Jamaicans having several jobs. She said they didn’t have a wrap for my ankle but would order one and she gave me some 800 milligram ibuprofen to take for the pain. Lordy, I just knew my vacation was ruined.

So imagine 3 grown women in a king size bed with me having to elevate my ankle. A mess. However, I didn’t let it ruin my vacation. I got up the next morning went to the infirmary got my wrap and then went and got a massage before heading to Dunn’s River Falls. I was upset I couldn’t do the climb, but I did put that damn ankle in the cooling waters and it felt great. My sister and her bestie had me laughing about the folks slipping and falling as they were climbing the falls and if I had the picture that was taken of those two on the fall…let’s just say it is good for blackmail purposes.

The rest of our vacation was pretty uneventful. My sister got us bags on top of bags of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee to take home. You know I had some Appleton rum to take back and silly souvenirs. Our return trip home was pretty uneventful. There were no delays, just a lot of waiting at the airport that should have been called hellport because it was so hot. As much as I enjoyed the vacation nothing felt sweeter to my ears than when the customs agent welcomed me back to America. Really. Sometimes we as American’s are jaded and take a lot of things for granted, but being on a Caribbean island where you see the disparity you realized how truly blessed you are.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.