Thursday, December 28, 2017

Our Honeymoon in Jamaica

We had the absolute best time on our honeymoon in Negril, Jamaica. As I had previously mentioned, our best friends got married earlier this year and waited to go on their honeymoon so that we could all go together. Not going to lie, at first I was a little hesitant about this, but now that it's all said and done, I am so glad that we decided to make it a "friendsmoon". We had plenty of our alone time but it was nice to also have friends to enjoy all the activities with!

Here's a recap of our trip and I'm warning you now, it's going to be a long post!

We spent most of the day traveling. Our flight left St. Louis at 6:30 a.m. and we had a layover in Chicago for a couple hours before finally boarding the plane to Jamaica. Once we arrived, we had about an hour and a half drive to our resort. We stayed at Sandals Negril and I loved it! It seemed like everyone we met was also on their honeymoon so I'm not sure if it's always like that or if it's just because 10/07/17 was the most popular wedding date of the year.

After we got checked in, we were all starving so we went to Sundowner for dinner since they didn't require reservations. We all ordered their beef medallion and mashed potatoes and it was so good! When Michael and I went to Mexico last year, one of the things I wasn't a fan of was the food. That was not the case in Jamaica. Pretty much everything we ate was delicious.

We ended the night at the Piano Bar shooting pool and playing jenga. Jenga was our go-to on most nights. I'm not sure why we found this game to be so fun, but we had a great time with it.

We were told that the room service breakfast was better than any of the food we would get at the resort restaurants so we gave it a try on Tuesday morning. They made a pretty good omlet, but the french toast was pretty bland. After breakfast, we went to the beach for a little bit, and then to the concierge desk to book our adventures for the week.

The bars at the resort don't open until 10:00 a.m. so we spent most of our mornings at the beach and then moved to the swim up bar in the main pool around 10:00 and spent most of our days there. As far as their alcoholic beverages go...they are STRONG. Some so strong I couldn't even drink them. It took me a while to find a drink I liked but my drinks of choice for the week were Purple Rain, Iceberg, and a good ole Red Stripe Light.

The "Playmakers" did a great job of keeping things at the resort fun. They seemed to really like that both me and my girlfriend's names are Emily and we were quickly dubbed "The Emily's". I secretly loved that they knew us and would always yell for us when they saw us out and about. Not too long after we got settled at the swim-up bar, the Playmakers started water aerobics so Emily and I joined in for a quick little workout. It was funny. A little bit later, they started a game of Zumi, Zumi and Michael, Emily, and I all gave it a try. Michael had never played before and has no rhythm so he was terrible and quit after two rounds. Luckily, Emily and I used to play Zumi, Zumi a lot in college so we were pretty good. Whoever broke the song had to take a shot so I was glad to have only lost one time!

We took a break from the pool and ate lunch at the Beach Bistro. I had a cheeseburger and the rest of the gang tried the jerk chicken. Both were big hits. Later in the afternoon, we decided to ride the water tube and it was awesome! We ended up riding it like 4 times during our stay. The second time we rode it on Tuesday, Emily made a comment to the driver that the boys were "thrill-seekers" and wanted an extreme ride. And that is just what we got! I was sure we were going to fly off at some point, but we all managed to hold on.

After tubing, we got a couple games of beach volleyball in (Michael and I kicked Bradley and Emily's butt every time. :)) and then headed back to the pool. They were starting a game of volleyball in the pool and the boys and Emily all joined in. I stayed back and watched since I bruised my hand pretty good during our sand volleyball adventure (here we are nearly three months later and it still hurts).

We hung out a little bit more and then headed up to our rooms to get ready for dinner. We played a couple games of croquet as we were waiting on our reservations.  Dinner was at Kimonos which was a hibachi grill. It was such a neat experience! They let you try everything that they make, rather than you choosing one things. We tried chicken, steak, shimp, and fish. Okay, I didn't try the shrimp or fish, but everyone else did. The chicken, steak, and rice were really good though!

We ordered room service again for breakfast and then met up with our pals to head to Negril Hills Golf Club to play nine holes. Originally, Emily and I were going to stay back at the resort and get massages while the boys played golf, but we decided it'd be more fun (and cheaper) to tag along for the golf outing.

Once we arrived, we rented our cart/clubs and found out that it was a requirement for each cart to have a caddy. The boys didn't like this too much, but we loaded up and headed to the first hole anyways. I'd say after about three holes, all four of us were over it. The grass was so thick it really made it difficult to make good contact with the ball. Michael and I had a pretty cool caddy, but Emily and Bradley's was a little over bearing and tried to tell him what club to use and how to hit a little too much. Did I mention how hot it was?! Gosh it was miserably hot too. Ultimately, we finished our nine holes and quickly hopped in our cab to head back to the resort. We desperately needed to get back to our pool and swim-up bar! Positives were that the views were amazing, we can all say we played golf in Jamaica, and we made funny memories with our best friends.

We grabbed lunch at the Beach Bistro again and the rest of the afternoon was spent floating in an inner-tube that the resort had out in the ocean. We chatted the afternoon away and eventually decided it was time to go get cleaned up. I don't think we realized how much we had all had to drink until after we got out of our floating device, but we were all feeling good as we went back to get ready for dinner!

Side note: there was a place called Bella Napoli that served personal pizzas at all times of the day. We discovered this on Wednesday, and each had a pizza every day as an afternoon snack (fatties!). Their four cheese pizza was phenomenal! All of our dinner reservations were later in the evening so we had to have something to snack on, right?!

After we all got ready, we had a little time to kill before dinner so we squeezed in a quick couple games of Jenga, and then went to Cucina Romana for dinner. It was an Italian restaurant and the food was pretty darn delicious. Apparently the resort was having a "white party" that night which we were unaware of. We were the only people in the restaurant that weren't wearing white. Totally missed the memo!

We all grabbed breakfast the Bayside buffet and then went to the beach to soak up some sun (and some zzz's for the boys). Emily and I decided to take a stroll down the beach and walked maybe a mile or so down to other resorts. The scenery was gorgeous.

We were able to talk the guys into taking out the kayaks before we went to the pool. I loved how many free activities there were at the resort. We also made sure to ride our water tube again. I'm telling you, we loved that thing! We spent some time at the pool and then grabbed lunch.

We had a catamaran booze cruise booked for the afternoon. It as our only outing other than golf and it was probably the highlight of the trip. The catamaran picked us up at the resort around mid-afternoon. We all grabbed a drink, the DJ started playing, and soon we were off. Our first stop was Rick's Cafe. Since there was no where to dock, we all had to jump off the catamaran and swim over to the ladder to get up to the restaurant. It was kinda fun!

We were told that Rick's Cafe was a "must do" when in Jamaica so I was glad this stop was on our cruise agenda. It is a restaurant with cliff diving and actually was pretty neat. I'm personally not one for heights so I wasn't sure if I would jump off a cliff or not. Bradley was unsure as well. Both Michael and Emily said they definitely were doing it and after some peer pressure, all four of us stepped up to the lowest cliff. Emily ended up backing out, but the rest of us all took the dive. I'm glad I did it, but it wasn't something I needed to do more than once, that's for sure. Michael ended up jumping off the high cliff as well. That daredevil.

A couple of the Pepsi representatives cornered Emily and I to do the Pepsi challenge. This consisted of chugging a cup of Pepsi as fast as we could. We were told we would get a tshirt for it, but they lied. Only the person who chugged it the fastest got a tshirt. So disappointing!

Soon it was time to swim back to the boat and head to our next destination, Margaritaville! Once we arrived, everyone on the boat participated in a "Survivor Challenge". We split up into two teams and had to complete a series of challenges including building a hut, tug of war, and a dance off. Our team lost, but we still had fun. Next, dinner was served. We ate on the beach at sunset and the views were amazing! Finally it was time to load back on the boat and head back to the resort. It was dark by this time, and the party on the boat ride home was so much fun!

Once we arrived back at Sandals, we once again went to the Piano bar for a couple more drinks and some Jenga before calling it a night. It was such a fun day!

We were all exhausted on Friday. All the guys wanted to do was go to the room and take a nap. Lame. We of course told them that wasn't an option so they napped on the beach for a while instead. We did our usual morning at the beach and took advantage of the free snorkeling that the resort offered. It was fun although we didn't really see a whole lot.

After lunch we of course had to take our daily water tube ride and then headed to the pool for a while. They had a ping pong game that we participated in where one person was blindfolded and their spouse had to direct them towards the ping pong balls that were floating in the pool. The couple who collected the most ping pong balls won. Neither of us won but it was kinda fun to play.

We were all pretty worn down by the end of the afternoon, so we grabbed our pizzas and went up to the room to play some cards. We played spades for a while and then decided to attend the party on the beach. They had a buffet set up and were playing some games for entertainment. By this point, we were all too tired to really enjoy it, so we just ate and then went to bed.

We all packed up and headed home on Saturday. It was a long day of traveling and we were all glad to be back home when it was all said and done. Overall our trip was so much fun and I cannot wait to take another one soon!


Emily Ann

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