Jammin’ in Jamaica

Three weeks ago my family and I had the pleasure of going to Jamaica for spring break. I know, I know, cue the tomatoes of jealousy. But hear me out.

Yes, it was warmer and sunnier than back home in New Jersey. Much warmer. Like 80’s every day.

Yes, it was relaxing. Very relaxing. Like smell the coconut suntan oil and melt into the lounge chair relaxing.

You can get all that from any old tropical island.

What I love most about Jamaica is the people. This was our second trip to this beautiful island and the people of Jamaica are simply amazing. Their happy-go-lucky attitudes, friendly smiles and fun-loving nature are absolutely contagious.

The first day we were there it rained for a good portion of the day. The afternoon shower, if there is one, usually only lasts for an hour or so. That day, it started at 12:01 and continued till 7:00 pm. No problem, mon. They brought us fruity drinks while we soaked in the outdoor hot tubs in the pouring rain. (Vacation tip – bring covered Tervis cups – keeps rain out and drinks cold).

Another day, the afternoon shower never came, so the temperature and humidity were nearly unbearable. One of the workers at the resort came by to collect used towels and cups. I told him I felt bad for him that he had to work when it was so hot out. He laughed and said, “The sun is good. We love the sun, we hate the rain…and work…well, it’s good to work.” He continued down the beach humming. It doesn’t get much happier than that I think.

They’re so friendly, as a matter of fact, that many of them remembered us from the last time. Now, I kind of expect this from the people that work at Beaches Resort – it’s one of the things they’re known for. But, there’s a man (not affiliated with the resort) that walks the beach every day selling handmade bracelets. He sold us four of them last year. When he saw me this time, he said, “Miss Marlo, your boys have gotten so big.” You could’ve knocked me over with a fistful of sand. I asked him how he remembered my name and he said it was because I was named after That Girl, which made me laugh. So, I actually felt bad that I didn’t know his name. Many of the vendors who walk the beach selling wares and renting jet skis have nicknames like The Captain, Scoobie Doo, and Rasta Man. But I wanted to know what his given name was, so I asked him, and he told me it was Clifton.

Now, I can say I have a friend named Clifton who lives in Jamaica. Respect, mon.

We were so relaxed and having such a good time that somehow, I even let my boys go cliff diving at Rick’s Cafe. Off the thirty-five foot cliff, no less. I guess I just figured it was a once in a lifetime thing to do and I didn’t want to hold them back. Luckily, they survived and so did I.

And after having gone to Jamaica twice now, I think I finally understand that song by Bob Marley, Three Little Birds. All day long, little birds about the size of humming birds dart among the tops of the palm trees. I can’t believe I didn’t notice this the first time I was there. (I blame the rum.)

So, what’s the best place you ever vacationed and why?