Our First Trip to Jamaica, Day One

Published on 09.09.12

Considering that we’ve been back in the states for over a week you could say this post isn’t late - just on Jamaican time. Or “Island Time” if you’ve ever been to a tropical islandy location. Yeah, they all move to their own beat, if you know what I mean.

Suffice to say the week before and after have been just as much as a whirlwind as the week we were there. Our plane flew out that Monday, but because my parents both work Ashely’s parents said they would watch our kids. Small catch - they live in Indiana. So we had to drive up to Indiana the day before and fly out of Indianapolis.

We got to the airport at the butt-crack of dawn, made it through security and settled in to wait. The first flight took us to Atlanta where we spent our 4 hour layover riding the shuttle between different sections of the airport and looking for…well I don’t know what we were looking for. Just something to keep us from being bored. Finally we landed in Jamaica - at one of the smallest airports I’ve ever seen. And we live in Knoxville so you know this was small. Or maybe just short - no towering ceilings or anything. Anyway.

Going through immigration we had our first little scare. “Where are you guys staying?” the officer said. “Jewel Runaway Bay Resort,” we answered, smiling happily. “There’s no resort by that name, tell me where you’re staying,” he shot back. “Umm…that’s what it’s called,” we say still trying to smile. “No, I don’t recognize that resort,” he says again. Getting a little panicked, we mention that it used to be a Breezes resort and after asking the officer next to him he finally realizes which one we’re talking about. Whew. So we finally get through and head out to the bus area.

After much confusion (finding your “official and free” transport is a chore when there’s lots of drivers trying to steal you away) we finally got on the right bus and headed on our way. The bus driver was awesome, giving us all sorts of cool info about Jamaica and how things worked there.

The first thing you should know is that everything is “around the corner.” “Our first resort stop should only be 10 minutes,” away he says as we start out. In reality it’s over an hour and a half before we get there. He laughs as he says, “Never ask a Jamaican for directions. They’ll always tell you it’s right around the corner.” This guy is a lifesaver already.

The second thing you should know is that everything is “no problem, mon!” “There are no problems here, only situations,” he says as a car trying to pass on the other road comes speeding at us head on. We found out this happens about every 10 minutes and everyone just moves out of each other’s way, honks happily and keeps going.

We left Ashley’s parents house at around 4:30 am and don’t get to our resort until 5:00 pm so we’re obviously exhausted by the time we get there. And then more fun.

You see, trying to plan a trip for your 4 kids to Grandma’s house and a trip for the two of you to Jamaica is a lot to deal with. And I totally forgot to print out all our itinerary and reservation information. I had most of it on the phone, but one thing I didn’t count on was the resort needing to see our Groupon deal sheet again. I had already sent it in by email when booking the time and from what I remembered they just needed the same Credit Card and some ID.

Turns out they wanted that Groupon deal sheet. So after about 15 minutes of searching around we finally got to it online and printed it out. We head up to our room only to be greeted by a bunch of water leaking from the bathroom.

“No Problem, Mon,” we say and they smile and hook us up with a room overlooking one of the pools. Very awesome.

We explored a bit, grabbed some dinner at the amazing buffet setup on the beach and then looked at some local crafts they had for sale. Except we didn’t have our wallets and so every conversation became exhausting because they all try to sell you stuff. And they’re good at it. If you looked at anything they basically grabbed you and would just keep talking.

But this was just the pre-cursor. The next day we’d really find out how good the craftsmen were at selling their goods. Oh my. We’d also begin to see how wide the gap was between the luxury of our resort and how most people live there.

Next time we’ll tell you about walking up a waterfall, nearly getting hustled and being pegged for the “Bob Marley types.” Day Two comes soon.

  • Waiting for the plane to leave

    Waiting for the plane to leave

  • Beautiful beaches

    Beautiful beaches

  • Massive foliage

    Massive foliage

  • Poolside