A tale of two adventures

As evidenced by my previous post, I took quite the beating yesterday. I feel like I've been run over by a truck and thrown into a washing machine. It is not pretty. As it stands, it hurts just to turn my head... Enough of my whining.

Today, we were supposed to rent jetskis and go fishing.... We got a late start. That made jetskiing out-of-the-question. So, Nate excitedly arranged for a fishing trip. I had no idea my brother liked fishing so much. When the "fishing boat" arrived, I decided the trip would go on with out me .. if i could help it. This so-called fishing boat was nothing more than a wooden dingy with a outboard motor. I am adventurous gal, but the thought of sitting in the sun getting tossed around on the water in my current physical condition was not a welcome one. Despite claims that it would only be a 2-3 trip, I resisted and stayed on terra firma. What the boys failed to realize that in Jamaica any amount of time need to be mulitple by 2. "I'll pick you up in 15 minutes" translates to "I'll pick you up in 30 minutes". This would make the trip 4-6 hours... no way on God's green earth I was going to do that... So, I bid the boys "goodbye" and continued my day. What exciting things did I do? Nothing... absolutely...nothing. It was beautiful.

My day went as follows:
1.) Read book
2.) Nap in hammock for 2.5 hours
3.) Swim in water
4.) Walk along the beach where I had a gaggle of vendors try to sell me everything from a boat ride to fresh coconuts.
5.) Shower
6.) Nap in air-conditioned bedroom

It was blissful and exactly what I needed. It was the kind of day you imagine when you think of going on a tropical vacation. The boys had an entirely different day...

They went on the quintessential "two-hour" tour. They were gone for what felt like forever... which I did not mind at all. Because the boys are the most convoluted storytellers, all I could get from the three of them was..."out in boat for a while"... "drank beers"... "captain could steer boat and roll spliff at the same time".... "didn't catch anything at first".... "caught shark".... WAIT! Caught shark?! That part of the story caught my attention.

The undramatized version of the story is that they hooked the shark. It tired itself out. They brought it onboard. At which point, they clubbed it to death. They then proceeded to pass it off as "marlin" so as not to scare other tourists. They sold some of the meat to some old hippie that lives on the other side of Negril. The captain kept the jaws and teeth and the guys brought home some steaks and the fins. In short, they got to get in touch with their inner hunters. I wish I had taken a photo of their looks of satisfaction....

On a separate note, clubbed to death shark does not taste very good.

Sports Illustrated photo (j/k!) taken by Rob

The Best View

Here's the Boys' Adventure as told in photos by Rob
Eddie posing on the boat

The Shark..oops! I mean marlin

Captain Duke & Zafire

This is what became of the shark

Rob doing his fish impression


Splish, splash, splish, splash....OUCH!

Today, we went to Mayfield Falls. Mayfield Falls is about 1.5 hrs away from Negril. Instead of opting for a Tour Company to pick us up and take us there, we hired a driver. Roy picked us up around 10AM... He pulled up in his immaculate, hermetically-sealed Toyota Van. Everything was covered in plastic. I wanted to laugh and ask if he was part filipino. He was so boisterous and charming. Taxi drivers in Jamaica are DEFINITELY not like drivers in the U.S. In Jamaica, they are part driver, part tour guide... and roundtrips are the norm. They don't just drop you off and take off. They patiently wait for you to finish up your business...And it isn't surprising for them to pick up a friend a two "to come along for the ride" since they're going the same way. In our case, we brought a gardener from the resort halfway to his home. The cost for this trip was Roy ribbing and teasing him the whole time. With Roy's colorful commentary and our cooler full of Red Stripes, the road trip was one of the most entertaining road trips I've been on... minus a DC Shopping Trip with Cicely & Heather.... Add in the rollercoaster ride caused by the "roads" and we were really having a good time. (Roads = dirt paths through sugarcane fields with HUGE potholes). Trips like these make me lust after a 4x4 truck..

We arrived at our destination ready to go.

This is how a travel website describes it:
A series of waterfalls with 22 bathing offering a natural Jacuzzi in a charming riverbed that runs through farming country in a magnificent valley surrounded by serrated peaks. Walk through the bottle-green water beneath luxuriant hanging greenery and amid the sprouts of bamboo to the highest of the Falls, which tumbles about 50 feet.

Upon arrival, we had to sign a waiver and pay a small fee of $10 USD. It was very hot and humid. We were assigned a guide, Ron & a videographer, Val. (Yes, I said videographer... with an entrance fee of $10, they have to make money somehow.) Quickly, we got our bathing gear on and left the rest of our stuff in our assigned hut/picnic area. Before we started our trek through the river and waterfalls, Ron reminded us to be careful and that the rocks were very slippery. (This turned out to be a key piece of info that I did not heed as well as I should have...) Then, we were off.

I cannot adequately describe how amazing an adventure it was. The forest around us was so lush and the water felt so good in contrast to the hot and humid air. I think my photos will give a better description of how it all looked. Ron did an amazing job of pointing out different places to sit and enjoy the water. The trip went back and forth between sitting in pools, wading through the water and jumping off rocks into deeper pools. I couldn't have asked for more.... except maybe skip my "little mishap".

As with most of my adventures, there is always some little snafu. Luckily, this time I didn't land in the emergency room. When they say the rocks were slippery, they weren't kidding. Ron brought us to one of the first jumping/diving points. There was an outcropping of rocks next to a tree. Ron did a dive off of the rocks into the cool, deep water to demonstrate. My brother, Nate followed him up with a huge canonball. I was up next. I was leaning against the tree. When I shifted my weight to get ready to jump, my feet slid out from under me. Next thing you know it was bonk, bonk, bonk... SPLASH! All I could think is that I didn't want to smack my head on a rock. I was completely stunned. I couldn't decide whether or not I want to try to jump off again or call it quits then and there. I did neither. Instead, I perservered on and had a great time. Needless to say, Ron our guide was worried and decided to hold my hand like an invalid or a small child. The best part is that my little bobble got caught on film. I even own a copy of the DVD they provided... and someday if I'm bored I might even post it on this blog...hahahah... yeah right...
Evidence of my little mishap...

Fortunately, the rest of the trip went a lot more smoothly. I think the ibuprofen and Red Stripe helped alot. We stopped and bought fruit from a Rastafari named Bashi (Pete). He let us sample some breadfruit and showed some young cannabis plants he had growing... Sorry to disappoint, but despite generous offers, I did not partake in any ganja smoking. Roy also took us to this really good jerk chicken place in Savanna-La-Mar... It was such a local hangout that they didn't even bother to give it a name... All is all it was a good day... Now, I'm just going to put some ice on my back.. and I should be all set...

Photos of Mayfield Falls
Four Monkeys hanging on a tree - Eddie, Nate, Me & Rob.

Basking in the last waterfall

"You're the man!!" - Rob (talking to our guide)

Eddie becomes one with the water

"I am loving this!"

Nate actually smiling & giving a Jamaican Thumbs Up

Our new Rastafari friend, Bashi

Landscape of the lush mountainside

Young cannabis plant

Best Jerk Chicken restaurant in Savanna-La-Mar


Day One in the Sun

Here's a more in-depth recap of the events thus far....

When we arrived last night, the resort arranged to have dinner already waiting for us. This, by the way, is a very nice touch. After a day of traveling and not-so-good airline/airport food, the baked chicken and side of rice wtih corn was the best meal any of us had ever had. No one bothered to unpack. We all simply turned on the air-conditioning in our rooms and passed out. I think perhaps the Red Stripes on the 1.25 hr bus ride from Montego Bay to Negril also aided and abetted in the early night.

Today was our first full day in Jamaica. When we woke up, we got a look at our accomodations. We are staying at Crystal Waters Villas. It's a small resort on 7-mile beach in Negril. Don't let the name mislead you. By Villas they mean quaint little cottages on the beach, not grandiose palazzo. The resort is comprised of approximately 9 cottages. The largest is a four-bedroom cottage on the beach. We have rented a two bedroom, two bath cottage. The place is very homey with a full kicthen, dining room and living room with cable TV... not that we plan to watch that much TV.

We decided to go snorkeling...or rather Nate, Rob, & I went snorkeling. Eddie went along for the ride. We went on Captain Mike's Glass Bottom boat. It was amazing... we cheated and didn't exactly swim. We used life vests to keep ourselves afloat on the surface of the water. I was a little paranoid after my adventure in Hanauma Bay and a Honolulu Emergency Room. Rob had the Underwater camera while we were snorkeling. Here are a few of our pics...
Captain Mike's Glass Bottom Boat

Eddie & Nate

Fish on the reef

"What are you looing at?" - Yellow fish

I'm on the move

Nate giving a thumbs up. Me adjusting my mask

I'm just waiting to get back onto the boat

We're off to the Jungle tonight... not the actual jungle, but a club/bar... This should be interesting... I'm going to need a nap.. and so will you after reading this post....

Welcome to Jamaica:)

Got here in one piece... It was a long day yesterday... and entertaining as well. All I gotta say Negril is having a porn convention.. Who would have thought? Which made yesterday's flight from LAX really interesting.... Jenna Jameson was on our flight.. In the flesh so to speak... fully clothed of course. I'll take more about our plane trip later...
Nate & Eddie (our friend from L.A.) at the Miami Airport.

Rob & I at the Miami Airport... This is what staying up all night to pack looks like...

We're overwhelmed with the sites and sounds here. The food is fantastic so far. It is hot and humid, but we are on the beach and the seabreezes cool things off quite a bit. I have had lots of Red Stripe...I even had one in honor of my Jamaican friend, Gary's birthday....(Biggups to Gary!)

Here's our rough itinerary:
Today (Thursday) : Snorkeling & Jetskiing, The Jungle Bar for dancehall
Friday: Visit to Mayfield Falls & Negril Cliffs
Saturday: Snorkeling & Horseback Riding
Sunday: Local Mango Festival & visit to Appleton Rum Estate
Monday: ATV Safari & Swinging from tree to tree (will explain later)

God, I love actually taking a REAL vacation..

Gotta go! THe water and sun are calling me:)

updated 05.26.06
I'm sure everyone's dying to hear the Jenna Jameson story. First, I did not get any photos of her clothed or otherwise... please don't ask.... But, if you don't believe me, I have three male traveling companions that are ABSOLUTELY certain it was her.
Okay... Here's the story:
Eddie, Rob & I were completely comatose on the 5 hr. flight from LA to Miami. We all stayed up all night packing. We were woken up by the obnoxious guy in front of us. He was bragging about all the places he had been to.. blah.. blah.. and about how South Beach in Miami had the most colorful-painted building in the world... or maybe just the U.S... It took all that I had not to correct him. He went on and on about how he would be in Miami the following week for another "shoot". I really was not evasdropping. Anyone within a 8 row radius heard him. He was your typical L.A. name-dropper. I put my ipod back on and ignored him. As we were deplaning in Miami, he yells towards the back of the plane, "WHERE ARE MY PORN STARS?! I know you're back there... Wake up! wake up!" At which point, he orders a guy to carry his enormous camera bag. All the three of could think was what an @ss. I looked towards the back and see a couple of women that look possibly like porn material. However, chicks that have tons of plastic surgery is not unusual for L.A. nor does it make one a porn star. I thought nothing of it....That it until we got off the plane and Rob & Eddie were laughing saying that it was Jenna Jameson that was sitting in the back of the plane in coach... Who would have thought?! I didn't believe them until she walked passed me in the Ladies' Room. I knew it was her because I seen enough Maxim & FHM Magazines to recognize her immediately. She had on a ton of make-up and was A LOT skinnier than one can image. I was little surprised that she was traveling in Coach and not First Class. Rob reminded me that if she is flying to Jamaica on someone else's dime she'll go however they choose...especially if it's for "business". One of her traveling companions told Rob & I that they were going to Negril for "work" and then a bunch as in about 30-50 were meeting up for a convention/get-togther in at a resort in Negril. It just goes to show you that you never know who you'll run into in L.A. or leaving it.

2nd Attempt at being a Travel blogger

So, I failed miserably at chronicling my trip to Europe last fall. When trying to blog on the road, one must consider several factors... 1.) internet accessiblity, 2. ) cost of said accessibility, 3.) personal stamina after a day of non-stop sight-seeing and traipsing around time. I of course did not factor any of the above. Between trying to decipher a German keyboard, being exhausted and mental stimutlated beyond description, and the ridiculous cost of internet access in some cities, I failed miserably. It was a wonderful experience and I am DEFINITELY going back for more trips to Europe. I highly recommend Trafalgar Tours, but a 9 country race over the course of 10 days is not for the faint of heart. Next time, I plan to start training... Which brings me to this trip.... A trip of an entirely different theme and flavor...


Yes, indeed, this is my first real vacation in a long time... which is not the same as going on trips... Trips = sightseeing = running around needing a vacation afterwards... I have no itinerary, no real plans... Just looking forward to some sun, tropical rain... and some outdoor adventure... I'll be going with Rob, my brother Nate, and our friend Eddie...

We're staying in Negril at a Villa for 6 days....

It'll be good times... I will post more info.... I promise...hahhaha... Now, if only I could narrow down my wardrobe...