Every year my family unites for our annual family vacation, where travel somewhere new together. This year, we didn’t exactly go anywhere new, but it’s always nice to go somewhere familiar. This time we went back to my grandmother’s homeland, Jamaica. We stayed at the Grand Palladium Resort & Spa in Point Lucea.
Going back to Jamaica meant I get to indulge in all the food I grew up eating from my grandmother’s cooking and my Aunt Clarice’s summer cookout dishes. I was able to have all my favorites whenever I wanted them, including jerk chicken, fried dumplings, curried chicken/goat, etc. I was in heaven! I haven’t been able to eat those dishes that often since moving to Cleveland, with the insufficient access to the foods. My nieces always wanted Chinese and Italian restaurants at our resort, but I believed we could eat those foods any time we wanted them in America.
My sister (Michelle), nieces (India and Simone), and I had jam-packed afternoons throughout the week of doing various activities. We began at Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios that provides different adventures throughout the rainforest. The location was 2 hours away from where we were staying, which meant we had to make the most of this activity even though all that could go wrong, went wrong, (bus arrived late, forgetting essential items on the bus, the bus not picking people up to go to Dunn’s River, and so many more headaches). We went ziplining with five different courses throughout the rainforest. I have to say, ziplining surely has “advanced” since I first went back in 2005 in Costa Rica where I had to manage the speed with my damn hand. Now they have handles, and the instructors handle your speed. I always ended up dangling in the middle of the course for being too anxious! Yes, less work, more time to enjoy the view while screaming my head off.
Growing up one of my favorite films was Cool Runnings, a movie about the first Jamaican bobsled team to enter the Winter Olympics. Mystic Mountain paid tribute to the team by allowing tourist pretend they’re bobsledders in the rainforest. The bobsledding was extremely fun and so fast and now I filled my void of being bobsledders.
Who said I don’t like nature? Um, I think this trip proves I can handle the wilderness occasionally. I went horseback riding with the girls. Milo was my horse! We had a rocky relationship at the beginning of the course due to my anxiety and confusion by all the tips by the instructors. I believed as time passed Milo and I were doing very well and were very in sync. However, the instructor felt differently and mainly stayed by us helping us go uphill and the duration of the path. Towards the end of the time at the horse farm, we were able to go horseback riding into the ocean for about 5 minutes in a circle. I wish I had the pictures to share with you all because my horse decided it was a great time to use the bathroom while my oldest niece had to deal with the aftermath of the poop. Eek!
Simone, my youngest niece, decided to do some boat cruising in the ocean while we were on the beach. We went paddle boarding and kayaking. Padding boarding we did exceptionally well and were able to take in the beauty of the clean aqua ocean and get away from it all. It was fun, but my legs were exhausted from all the paddling. Simone expressed how she had taken lessons on kayaking at school which meant she was a pro. Well, those lessons didn’t come into play as we managed to continually ride into the marked off area where vacationers were swimming. We almost hit people so many times. No matter how many times people pushed us back into our area, we were back in the forbidden zone. It was like we were in the mob!
We Be Jammin'
Our resort provided us with nightly entertainment of different performances, where Simone and I acted like we were judges on Jamaica’s Got Talent. We were not impressed with so many of the dancers. Although night one’s Michael Jackson show was by far the best. Fake MJ needed to go back to YouTube and study more of Michael’s iconic moves because I believe he had more than 3. Get with it, fake MJ.
Our resort threw a foam pool party while playing all the cheesy party songs. It was fun for about 20 mins then I was ready to just chill out on the side.
One of our last nights, India, Michelle and I decided we needed to go out on the town. Here’s where I realized that I’m too damn old to be partying the way I used to 1. I wanted to take a nap on the party bus (why couldn’t they turn off the lights and whisper?). 2. After a minute into a song of whining, my legs would get cramped, and I’d have to do the stanky leg to feel better. 3. When I found out we were stuck at the club until 2 am, I panicked because I wanted to be back in bed by that time. But we had a great time dancing, drinking rum punch slushes and I even made out with a very cute boy. Win/Win for me. But hands down my favorite part was seeing a random chef hop onto our bus and asked if we wanted jerk chicken at 2:30 am.
Overall, we had a great time with family bonding time, and I look forward to our next Pierre adventure.