One Love and Many Drinks: A Jamaican Adventure

You are all probably a little confused as to why I wrote a blog for the first day of the Jamaica trip and then went off the grid for a week.   Basically, I was having way too much fun to be bothered to use my brain for a prolonged period of time to write anything.  I swear, the sandwiches had nothing to do with it.  Now that I’m home and I have a week’s worth of activities and debauchery to catch up on, we are going to have to make these blogs a little more short and sweet than usual.  I will also be utilizing more visual aids.  Because (1) I’m lazy, and (2) we had about six go-pros on this trip so I have more pictures at my disposal.  I’m currently in the throws of a prolonged hangover from the week-long party in Jamaica, so forgive my brevity and lack of wit in these upcoming blogs.  Either that or I’ve contracted zika…but given my alcohol intake while abroad I think we can safely assume the former.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Today was the team’s first full day in Jamaica and it was a whopper.   Visiting Bob Marley’s childhood house was an important stop for several members of the group despite the very long and tedious journey from Negril.   The plan was to visit Nine Mile, the village where Bob grew up and is laid to rest, followed by Dunn’ River falls and some tubing on the white river.  Our driver, Eardley, informed us that there is no possible way we could squeeze all these into one day, and he was right.  But we figured it was worth a shot.  So we loaded up the car bar with champagne, vodka, rum, mixers and red stripe for our journey and set off at 7am on our over-zealous itinerary.

The car bar strikes again.
The car bar strikes again.

At our first pee stop we popped a few bottles of champagne and the car bar was officially open for the day.  It was a long and winding road up into the mountains to get to Nine Mile.  Once we arrived we bought tickets for the tour and hit the bar while we waited.  Half the group partook in some disgusting shots with rum floaters that were lit on fire and slurped through a straw.  The sandwiches and red stripes were flowing freely, as this was Bob country.  The tour took us through Bob’s childhood home, as well as his mausoleum.  Our guide was one of Bob’s first cousins, or so he claimed, and that was good enough for me. There were a few couples and families also on our the tour.  Most of them hated us because we were the loud and obnoxious Americans who showed up BYOB and BOYSandwich and enjoyed ourselves way too much.  Why on earth you would show up to this place with children is completely beyond me.  I refuse to let the questionable parental decisions of others hinder my good time, so no restraint was given.  After the tour, we were all feeling the “one love” motto of Jamaica.

We loaded back into the car bar and make some drinks for the journey to Dunn’s River Falls, which is perhaps the most iconic of all Jamaican tourist spots.  This is where things get a little fuzzy for me…because I hit the car bar hard on that drive.  It probably took a while to get there, but it sure didn’t feel like it.  We arrived and bought tickets and were introduced to our guide.  I don’t remember his name.  We were given a key to a locker, which I lost and found in my beach bag about three days later.  Once we were equipped with our water shoes, we began the journey up the falls.  The way it works is you all hold hands in a single file line and slowly hike up the falls.  There are spots where you can slide down, jump off, and dunk under the waterfall.  Our guide who’s name I don’t remember told me I was too drunk to climb the falls.  I was.  But I obviously disagreed and insisted, at which point I ate shit and jammed my finger into a rock.  I was down, but not out.   Half of us were shit faced and falling all over the place.  Once again, we were universally hated by the others in our tour group.  Being loud, drunk and obnoxious on vacation is nothing new for me.  I’m sure there are many more details, but you’ve have to ask one more the more sober members of our group for them.  There are a ton of absurd video clips from our trip up the falls, but since I’m too cheap and lazy to upgrade my wordpress account to allow for videos, all I have to offer you are pictures….

After Dunn’s River falls we stopped for food at a “Jerk Center” on the side of the road.  There are about a million of them in Jamaica, and they all serve the same delicious shit.  I passed out in the car while the rest of the group ate.  Seriously.  The journey home was the longest ride of my fucking life.  It was a solid four and a half hours at least.  We arrived back at the villa and went to bed, preparing ourselves for another long day tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I’m sure you are all thinking that yesterday sounded aggressive for a group of ten American’s in Jamaica.  But you ain’t seen nothing yet.  Today can best be summed up in three parts: (1) partying on seven mile beach, (2) partying at Rick’s cafe, (3) partying at a reggae beach party.  We woke up and had breakfast cooked for us by our awesome chef.  Mike and I had a morning massage in the caves at our villa, as did Stina and Max.  The ocean crashed beneath us as our thirteen hour journey from the day before was massaged away.

By the end of the trip, everyone in the group would have a massage in the cave, but that was all we had time for today before we got the party started.  Let’s be honest, the party started before we even left the villas.  Eardley picked us up a little before noon and we headed to Margaritaville in Negril on “seven mile beach” for some fun in the sun.  Margaritaville is known for being horrendously touristy, but lets not forget that we are horrendous tourists.  So bring on the ocean trampolines and overpriced cheeseburgers!  We had a cabana rented and spent the next few hours playing in the turquoise ocean so warm it felt like bath water, while we drank beers and enjoyed lunch.  It was exactly the kind of chilled out  beach day that comes to mind when you think of Jamaica.

Once the team was thoroughly warmed up, it was time for our next stop of the day: Rick’s Cafe.  Rick’s is one of the most famous (or infamous) bars in the world, on the cliffs of Negril, known for it’s beautiful sunsets and cliff jumping.  We reserved the best cabana in the house (duh) which had an awesome view of the sunset and the jumpers.   Most of the group took a jump.  I elected to watch from the safety of my cabana and comfort of my vodka, as I tend to wind up with injuries when I combine booze and adrenaline.

After Rick’s we went back to the villa for dinner.  It was time to game up for stop #3 of the day: the Different Strokes Retro beach party.  I’m not a complete psychopath – my original itinerary had us spending a chill night at the villa.  However, the property manager informed us this morning that this beach party only happens once every six months in Negril, so how could we pass that up?  Most of the group was dead, but everyone rallied like pro’s.  We got to the party around 10:30pm.  Little did we know that we were about four hours too early.  We also paid extra for “VIP” tickets which included “all you can drink”.  However the “all you can drink” consisted of vodka & ting or rum and coke only.  It was basically a rip off for dumb shit tourists like us.  We also realized later in the night that we probably could have easily snuck in our own booze…but live and learn.  Since our group basically opened the party, we took over the dance floor and acted like total morons for a few hours.  It felt like everyone else at the party spent most of the night staring at us.  Although my boyfriend was dressed like the Jamaican flag, so who can blame them?   Body shots happened.  Lots of dancing happened.  Little by little our group went home in waves.  Mike and I waited until about 2:30am for the “turn up” that never came to pass.  I think my version of “turning up” and the Rasta version are two very different things.  We headed home, completely exhausted.  My last thoughts before I went to sleep was how the hell I was going to survive the boat party tomorrow…

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