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03 June 2010 @ 10:37 pm
Jamaica!  
This past weekend I skipped out on not-ARRG to go to a wedding in Jamaica.

The trip down went pretty smoothly. We drove down to Chicago and then my brother and his girlfriend drove us to Midway. Then we flew to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Montego Bay. It was raining like crazy in Montego Bay, so we had a slight delay before being able to taxi to the gate. It was full dark by the time they packed us onto the bus. The bus was FULL and unairconditioned and the road was wet and full of potholes, but I cared less than I might have since I purchased some very high octane rum drinks before we left. Woo! I was tipsy by the end of the 45 minute ride. :D The evening was devoted to settling in and visiting with family and learning that one should NOT eat in the late night "Sports Bar."


Friday, we got up for the "orientation", met up with folks, and explored the resort a bit. It was still rainy and overcast, so we didn't spend too much time in the water, but we did walk along the (shockingly deserted) beach before going on a shopping expedition. The "craft" offerings were disappointing, but there was the usual tourist schwag and, most importantly, cheap RUM! I got a blue mountain coffee flavored cream rum and Mr S got an aged rum and an overproof white rum. We ended the Tour at Rick's Cafe where there was cliffdiving (including a crazy bastard who would dive from the big tree overhanging the cove) and a really spectacular sunset view.

           

Dinner Friday night was fantastic. There was a special wedding rehearsal dinner including jerk chicken that was simply out of this world. It was too hot for many of the guests, which means it made me a happy muffin.

Saturday, we slept in, lazed about, did some swimming, and then got ready for the wedding. The weather was pretty good, but oh so hot and humid! There was then a short break and then the reception. Compared to the night before, the entree was disappointing, but the steak tartar with pesto appetizer was actually quite good.


Sunday was our last real day in Jamaica and we got in some more adventure on a zipline tour! Five ziplines through the Jamaican rainforest, including sampling of fresh Jamaican pineapple and coconut water. Very fun, I highly recommend it. I took a video on one of the zips - I think my finger was too close to the lens, but I was not really watching what I was shooting, just enjoying the zip and trying not to drop the camera into the jungle!



Dinner was at a Mexican themed restaurant at the resort. It was actually sort of disappointing since we had wanted to go to the Indian place (which was inexplicably closed) and I think the Mexican at Laredos is way better. Particularly sad was the "Scotch Bonnet" soup. I was hoping for a solid zing, but it was not even really spicy. Sadness...

Monday we got up early and began the long journey home. Ooof. Again, a packed bus with no air, a stop downtown for the bus driver to drop off some of his buddies, the check in process was... inefficient at best, the stoopid Jamaican TSA took away my tiny folding scissors, even after demonstrating that they could not even cut latex gloves. Grrr. I also hit the end of my ability to deal with signage while at the airport. Yikes. One of the guides told us that they have compulsory education through high school, but still, the spelling and egregious misuse of apostrophes was truly amazing. (It burns us, precious... all those apostrophes, they buuurn us....)  Once we hit the States, we discovered that the storm in Chicago had delayed all flights going into O'Hare. Further delays from storms in Philly meant we did not get in until midnight. Also, fair warning - Cincinnatti is not a real big city airport. It was all locked up tight at 8:30PM - not even a bar or fast food place to be seen and they closed up FAST. One minute everything was open, then all of a sudden it all went dark. We finally found a newsstand that was closed but willing to sell us some Lunchables for our gourmet dinner. :P Danny picked us back up at O'Hare after midnight and then we made the drive back to Madison, arriving around 3AM. Oi. Mr S did the driving, but still, work on Tuesday sucked.
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former_callixte on June 4th, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
It sounds like you had a grand time---lucky you! The last I heard the big city (I don't know which one-Kingston? forgive me, blame the meds heh, convenient) was a war zone.

Anyways, I'm glad you had some fun foods! And too bad your trip back was full of fail. But you made it back. Yay! And you have another nifty stamp in your passport, you lucky devil!!!
eithni: greeneithni on June 4th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
Kingston was a mess, but that's on the other side of the island. The hotel staff was trying to insulate the tourists as much as possible, but it was no immediate concern.
Gwyneth: fish chatgwyneth1362 on June 4th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
The zipline tour looks cool.
Trent the Uncatchableknappenp on June 4th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
I like the noise! ZZZzzzzzzzzzow!
EllieSamelliesam on June 4th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
My sister and BIL did the ziplines last year and had an absolute blast. It's on My List.
Eliane/Jennifergflower on June 6th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
Lovely trip, it looks like! The zipline video looked really neat. What were you sitting on? I'm less familiar than I feel I should be with the whole zipline concept.

The guy at customs/re-security in Cincinnati took my elementary-school curve-tipped scissors, even after O'Hare had ignored them in my carry-on ten days earlier. And people say I don't need to be so careful not to bring metal knitting needles in my carry-on. I'm careful because of this kind of inconsistency...I really, really don't need my work lost as my knitting unravels due to having had to surrender the needles!

I sort of like the Cincinnati airport; it's quiet, smallish, communication is decent, it's easy to get around in, and has a decent food court (during the day) with one of those Cincinnati chili places. You would hate it (as chili goes, it's pretty bad) but I actually kind of like it over spaghetti. More places should involve noodles in their particular chili traditions.
eithni: greeneithni on June 6th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
Glad to hear I didn't miss anything with the chili place - I had been actually sort of disappointed, even knowing it was unlikely they would serve anything I would consider "spicy."

Zip lines vary - this one you were in a strapping harness (think rock climbing) that clipped to the line and the pulley. There were handles on the pulley that you could hold onto or use to change the direction you were looking.

Yeah, I'd taken those scissors through so many airports, I can't even count, including O'Hare and La Guardia, for Pete's sake...