Jamaica mon…what a great kickoff stop! (2008)

Free at last…after my last day working (for a while), I fled the country for Jamaica and had an amazing time with Colin.  I thought a fun trip was in order to kick off the next year of my life and celebrate my new adventure.  This was the perfect start to my world wide adventure…but I realized it was a little too nice.  After staying at a five star beach side resort, I know I will not be staying in a place like this for the next year (unless friends come out to visit me and want to treat me….hint hint).

Before arriving in Jamaica – I seriously thought all the “mon” talk you hear about Jamaica had to be an exaggeration, but it really was true.  As we checked in to the resort, the check in girl kept saying “no problem mon” or  “we can do that mon”.  It was really natural for them and fun to listen to as it put me at such a relaxing state of mind.

Five days in Montego Bay was full of fun in the sun.  I was even able to find volleyball players to play some pick up beach volleyball (which is something I hope to find more of along the way, but know may not be too easy).  We made full use of our all inclusive bracelets and made sure to try all the local drinks.  One of my favorites was a “dirty banana” – some mix of ripe bananas, few rums, and a few other liquors.  It was a super yummy breakfast drink when the swim up bar opened at 10am!

For those of you who know me well, you know I love Benihana (or Something’s Fishy for Santa Barbara Alums).  There’s something about hibachi cooking and Sake Bombs that keeps me coming back for more.  To my surprise, one of the restaurants at the resort was like Benihana so we made sure to go there one night and I was able to get my Sake Bomb fix.  It started with a couple Bombs with Colin.  He quickly learned I have some skills with the Bombs and kept trying to beat me (which he did).  Then a few older men on the other side of the table wanted to join our Sake Bomb challenge and were shocked when I kept beating them too (but I slowed down on the last one so the oldest man could win in front of his family).  Sake Bombs can make friends anywhere in the world!

One fun side note, I love following March Madness and betting in a pool or two.  The finals occurred during our trip, and we found a bar to watch it and while watching the finals, I realized I won the whole basketball pool!  Little did I know that Dave, the older man from Sake Bombs, was sitting behind us watching the game and heard us and called me Sake Megan.  He didn’t want to do any more as he wanted to stay a winner at the bombs.  Anyways – as for the basketball pool – I don’t know if I have some skill or just a lot of luck, as I won the office pool in 2006 as well.  Crazy as I don’t follow college basketball that much, so luck must be on my side.  In case you didn`t watch, it was an exciting last few minutes and Kansas came back to tie the game and force overtime before finally beating Memphis and allowing me to win the pool.  The winnings couldn`t have come at a better time and will be a treat for me in the next year…maybe will pay for me to get scuba certified or something fun.

Otherwise, we filled our days at the pool, beach, snorkeling, on a booze cruise and climbing Dunn`s Falls near Ocho Rios.  If you ever saw the movie Cocktail (with Tom Cruise and Elizabeth Shue), this was the waterfall they were at.  Pretty nice…

For now, I`ll be in New York for a week trying to tie up loose ends, then off to California for a week before my final week in New York.  I have a lot to do to get ready for the big departure around May 1st.

If you want to see more photos, please copy and paste link into your internet browser to see my Jamaican photo highlights in Snapfish:

http://www1.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=186680992/a=13210121/t_=13210121

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