Thursday, May 5, 2016

Get Up, Stand Up: 4 Days in Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica
April 2016
All photos unfiltered.

Say this about northeast winters, they're quite motivating. Even though this past East Coast winter was atypically warm, by the time April rolls around and you haven't seen all a full sun in six months and your pigmentation looks like the middle of an Oreo, you get quite motivated to find a beach.

Debating on destinations for a quick weekend trip is always a process. My girlfriend, Mindy, and I settled on Jamaica because it checked all the items on her list: hot weather, nice beach, exotic, all-inclusive, cost-efficient, adults only, and good food. It hit my checklist, too: new passport stamp.

This was my first all-inclusive resort. If you've read any of these blogs before, you know I am typically not a fan of the stay-in-one-place-for-the-whole-trip because it takes away from local exploration. I was concerned I'd get antsy staying in one place. To quote some Bob Marley songs (you'll hear more Marley in Jamaica than in a freshmen dorm at a Colorado art school), I was going into the all-inclusive with "Positive Vibration," but it did not "Satisfy My Soul"....

This is a not so glamorous shot of the main area at Couples Negril. There's a large pool in the center of the resort, accompanied by pool bar. The clientele averaged late 40's. That's my superficial guest. 
So alcohol is obviously one of the big reasons why people do all-inclusive, and before you arrive you can fill out a form of what types of alcohol you want in your room. We just started checking off boxes thinking they'd be small airplane-sized bottles. We were wrong. Considering there's alcohol everywhere else at the resort - all this booze was practically untouched. Practically because we took a shot of Lord Kingsley, the local rum. Realizing that tastes like doo doo, the rest was left alone. I'd like to think ten years ago we would've destroyed this. Not that I condone drinking alcohol. 

Jamaican Jerk burger or something. I don't remember. Mainly because it didn't taste memorable. But it made the blog because it's the first thing I ate. #CoolStoryBro
First sunset. Not bad.
No filter. Every night the sunsets were spectacular.
When we arrived it was overcast with the occasional drizzle. Mindy needed some serious R&R, I needed some serious wandering time. My lack of attention span hits overdrive when I'm on vacation. I can only sit and read GQ for so long. Justin Bieber being on the cover didn't help. #ButHeDoesHaveSomeGoodNewSongs
Still, it's nice to float around in the ocean. High salt content in case you're wondering. Don't go around swimming with your eyes open.
One of the best things about Couples Negril, and why we chose them, was that they offered several free activities, which includes paddleboarding. Mindy had never gone, but she was a natural. This was able to diffuse my restlessness for a few hours.
Then it was back to the beach. This is technically not Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica's famous beach, but instead the private beach attached to Couples Negril. There was a nude beach right next to us. We almost went. #Almost
There was also kayaking available for free. We jumped off and went for a nice swim and float. Mindy promptly lost her sunglasses. On the bright side, the water was warm. Oh wait - everything was bright for Mindy because she didn't have sunglasses. Ha!
So kayaking allowed for this.
Add "hammocking" allowed for wakeboarding. Problem with the wake rides were that they were so short. There was never a line to sign up, in fact, there wasn't really a line for any of the activities. I was surprised at how few people took advantage of these water activities. Everyone was busy reading the next Agatha Christie novel. #ThatWasAnAgeJoke
Each ride was so short. They'd drive up the coast a few football fields, then just turn around. Let me go longer if nobody's in line!
Tried our hand at sailing these tiny Hobie cats. I've been sailing a few times before and know that I'm not good at it. Trying to judge and control the boat with wind is a doomed outcome for me. I tried kitesurfing very briefly in Belize (check the blog!) and immediately knew I sucked. This was no different. The picture isn't the closest, but you can tell how bored Mindy is. We were going like 5 mph. Granted, the dude warned us not to go to the left otherwise it would take us hours to come back in. That was not a risk I was willing to take.
This was not a pose. This was a candid still from the ridiculousness of what shitty sailors Mindy and I are. Okay fine. How shitty a sailor I am. Whatever. Check out the GoPro video at the bottom.
And pause for green smoothies. As mentioned before, the food and drink here was pretty legit. This smoothie felt great for my system considering the other garbage I was stuffing into my body over the course of the trip.

We also went on a snorkel tour about a quick 15-minute boat ride away from the resort. The coral was nice. This is the most action-packed picture I got... which is super amazing if you like yellow fish with blue eyes.
Also included on the tour is a sunset catamaran tour you take to some cliffs about a 30-minute ride away. Of course, there's a bar on the boat...
A cave you can swim into.
The only excursion we purchased was a ride to Rick's Cafe, a famous local tourist spot renown for cliff jumping. Y'all know I had to do that. 
The cliff is about 40-feet. They suggest you tip a couple dollars before jumping, but it's not something they monitor very closely. After jumping into the water though, there's a couple con artists down at the bottom that suggest you take a swim into the cave to check out some cool shit. To quote Admiral Akbar, "It's a trap!" They corner you there and force you to pay money to get back out. Not cool, fellas.
Solid crowd for solid view.
Q: What do you think this is?
A: Whatever you say is right! #CuzIDontRemember
Do you want to play another round???
Much respect to the bobsled team paraphernalia all over the airport, including a Bobsled Team restaurant which has "Cool Runnings" continuously on loop. How tired of the movie would you get? Never! Doug E. Doug was the shizzle! "Jamaica... we have a bobsled team!"
Ain't no "water" around here.
I tried to avoid having too many couples photos that would make you want to vomit, but alas, this seemed like a perfect ending. Here's my deal with the all-inclusive - you can try to make it as active as possible, but you really are still going to be trapped at the resort for most of the time, unless you start taking all these excursions. But if you're spending all this cash on excursions - why are you doing the all-inclusive? We packed in as much activity as possible - beach and pool volleyball not pictured - but it still felt like I was on a cruise that was stationary. I much prefer the freedom to roam where you please. That said, if I were to be stuck at any resort at any location - I can certainly think of worse places to be than Negril. The company didn't hurt...

GoPro Video link:


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  3. Beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tour! :)

  4. Beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tour! :)

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