I'm finishing off this week sans our usual She Was a Bird flourish of Photo Friday, as I wanted to show you a couple photos from our honeymoon! We went to Jamaica the Monday after our Saturday wedding, and came back home 7 days later! I am really glad we went, and we had a ball, but as I've told several friends, I could have kissed the ground I missed America so bad by the last day!
We left BNA for Miami's International Airport in the afternoon, had a short plane trip down to the tip of Florida, and posted up at Bacardi's Mojito bar for the three hour lay over. The plane arrived in Jamaica around eight that night, and we took a cab from the airport in Montego Bay (yes! Just like "Kokomo!" We saw Key Largo, and then were in Montego! Baby, why don't we go?) to the Decameron in Runaway Bay, St. Ann Parish. The cab driver was a tall man in his fifties' named Clive who spent the entire forty five minute ride describing various cultural and physical landmarks of Jamaican history in fluent, liltingly accented English, practically without taking a breath. Dude really knew his Jamaican country side! Unfortunately, it was pitch black with no illumination for the most part of his tour, and we had to imagine "up there, the home of Usain Bolt" and " on this spot, where Bob Marley was born".
The nightscapes were punctuated with tiny bars, the size of a small storage shed, the doorless doorframe of which gave view to space for maybe three people and a handhewn configuration of shelves and bottles behind a tiny counter. "ROLEX CLUB", one hand painted sign read. "PRETTY LADYS PLACE", another. I didn't get any pictures, but they looked almost exactly like this, but illuminated at night by a single fluorescent light. "Eeen JahMAYcah, is all kin' of people...you got de black, de Chiiinese. De Indian, and de white man. Eeen JahMAYcah... it's nottabout de color of de skin...but de color of the money," Clive opined, as we bounced along down one of Jamaica's main highways, on the left side like British roadways, large commercial trucks passing on the right. He talked about various cultural groups, how they came to the islands, and which groups had been most successful in terms who lived in the residential areas, and who lived in the "innah CIT.TEE." I wish I could remember more, but I was so tired and on edge at this point it was hard to retain information.
We rolled into the resort, tipped Clive heavily, and checked into our room. Each room was in its own little cabin type thing, like a nicer (but less kitsch, sadly) version of the Cave City concrete teepees in Kentucky and California. I loved being "separate" from the other vacationers while still being "around people". I always hate walking down hotel hallways in a dripping bathing suit or in the middle of the night on an ice run!
The beach, naturally, was the main attraction, and we got up every day to go sit on the shore like it was a paying job. The all-inclusiveness included drinks, but the quality of those drinks largely depended on the bartender (who might also be a dancer in the night show, or head chef at the evening's meal). We sat with the waves at our feet and drank frozen pina coladas and talked about all the marine life we hoped to see!
On Tuesday, walking through the commissary type area for breakfast, we realized we were possibly the only Americans on the entire resort! Most people were from the UK, and the dining room was a patchwork quilt of accents from Northern England, Southern England, and everywhere in between. I heard a little German, a little maaaybe Dutch, and one, very vociferous fan of a butt-shaking, built Jamaican dancer, who kept shaking the national team jersey he was wearing, and yelling "COLOMBIA! CO-LOM-BI-AAAA" in much the way Tony Montana does in Scarface at the stage. The resort people were very friendly and only a little mean in their teasing of us poor tourists. Once, when getting beach towels, one enormous man greeted us with an aggressive, insistent, "WA GWAN? Waaaa gwaaan, mon? Wa gwan?", sounding like Terry Crews as a Martian. Turns out, that's the Jamaican "What's up?". We heard this many other times over the course of the trip (along with "Ya, mon", almost as one word, and peppered throughout conversation the same as a Valley Girl might say "like"), but this was hands down the most intimidating time.
Here, a fellow vacationer from New Zealand took our photo. Matthew: "I bet our accents sound totally insane to you." Kiwi: "Yaah, theeey DO-oooOO." Well, at least it was mutual.
Before I left for vacation, I took some of the money I received from my bridal shower and dropped about eighty bucks at Target. Folks, you know I don't own any clothes that are both a) cotton and b) not swishy little cocktail dresses (ie ANYTHING suitable for beach wear), so I did some much needed wardrobe shopping. Luckily, September is the end of the line for Target beachwear, and with deeply discounted shorts and tops and shoes and everything else, I was able to make out like a bandit. All of my pictures seem to show me in swimsuit and shorts or skirt, but I had dresses and t shirt and everything! My poor dad, who has always been mildly against my "creative" attitude towards personal self-expression through dress, kept commenting over these pictures, "You look so grown up! You should get clothes from there more often! No joke, you look nice!" I'll take whatever compliments I can get, though! See how blue the water is?
Here, Matthew poses with a skeleton we bought from a guy on the beach who was carving them. He had flaming hearts with the Harley Davidson logo flying above them right next to Rastafarians smoking next to maps of Jamaica, in terms of his figural work. I felt bad because when we started the bargaining process, he mentioned that he usually gets $70 for a carving. Um, in estate sale or flea market terms, that means you usually get $35, and you would take $20, so I offered $25...oops. He wasn't mean but he was obviously one, not taking twenty five bucks for his work and two, deeply disappointed at this opening negotiation. Over the course of several trips to the Jetty Bar (next to which he was set up), we talked him down to $30, and heck, look at the thing. It was worth it! We named him "Skullford".
Here I am playing Trivial Pursuit on the beach. YES, I WON. What did you think?! Bibi put up a pretty good fight, but I emerged victorious. Matthew was amazed I knew that the Green Bay Packers were the most winning team of the 1960's super bowls. My dad lectures me about everything, and Vince Lombardi was no exception! This is day 5 down there, and thanks to SPF 50 sunscreen, I still look pretty pale:
Matthew, doing his best Jack Lord impersonation. He looked so freakin' cute on a beach.
The food was so strange here! I decided to go pesceterian for the trip, and the best thing I had was at the "rsvp only" menu-based restaurant upstairs of the buffet-style commissary. The "Jamaican Run Down" included scallops, shrimp, crab, and snapper all in a curry-like sauce, and it was a-w-e-s-o-m-e. We also had lobster tail one night, all we could eat (which was a lot)! The weirdest thing I saw on the buffet is a two way tie for "braised cow foot" (nope) and "curried goat" (HECK no), the latter of which is a local delicacy! Poor goats. There was brown sugar cane granules to put in your coffee at every meal, but the hilarious part? It's distributed in Jamaica, but imported from Brazil. Dang! And I thought I had a local product on my hands.
Did you or a friend go on a neat destination honeymoon? Have you been to Jamaica? What was your experience of that country? Let's talk!
That's all for this week! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on this life-event heavy posting schedule. Next week, nothin' but vintage stuff, je te promets! Have a great weekend, and I'll see you on the other side. Til then!