Monday, February 05, 2007


I just got back from a week in Jamaica. Yesterday morning I was swimming in the warm waters of the Caribbean and strolling down Negril Beach on the island of Jamaica. Debbie and I had airline vouchers left over from our trip to Costa Rica last year and we had to use them before they expired so we chose what we thought would be an exotic and tropical place to visit. Jamaica reminded me of other areas of the tropical zone in south and central America that we have visited in the past. There were a few notable differences, however. English is the primary language and very few speak Spanish. The Jamaicans do speak "Patua" a form of English that was really hard for me to understand. It shortens words and phrases, uses words from French and Spanish and the pronunciation of regular English words are morphed as well. The people are very black and tall. They are very kicked back and friendly, but also are eager for you to spend those American dollars on any kind of service that they might provide. (I was offered "weed" many times ) We flew into Montego Bay on the northern coast of Jamaica. From there were were driven by van along a narrow and winding road along the coast to Negril Beach where the resort we were staying at was located. We stayed at the Sandals Resort which is an all inclusive resort (food, drinks and most activities are included). Our room opened up onto the beach and we spent most of our time just hanging out at this beach and eating at the several restaurants at the resort. We did participate in several water sport activities such as sailing, kayaking, water skiing, snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving. I became certified for scuba diving while I was there. Deb did dive twice, but did not yet obtain certification (ask her about it). The water is warm and clear, but not quite as good as the waters off the coast of Belize. One day we did leave the resort and paid a local Jamaican to drive us up into the mountains to a river where they let you hike and play in the stream. The mountains were beautiful and covered in the classical jungle of tropical regions. It rained twice during out stay, but we got plenty of sun and the sunsets were spectacular. Overall the trip was a little tame for me and I would have liked some adventures that were more physically challenging, but it was so relaxing to feel the warm sun and swim in the clear waters of the Caribbean. It was also good for Deb and I to be with each other without interruptions of daily family life for several days. It was hard to have to come home so soon, but we are glad to be back nevertheless and be with our kids.