FRIDAY JULY 9th
The day was long and I did not pick Kathy up from work until 4:00. At that point it was off to D.F.W. and the Hyatt Hotel for the night.
SATURDAY JULY 10th
Check in at the terminal at 5:30 and try to find coffee. Both are done by 6:00. The plane leaves on time and it is on to Jamaica, but first making a quick stop in the Grand Caymans to drop off some people and on to Mo-Bay. Arrive at 11:30, clear customs and get on the bus to Sandals Ocho Rios. The bus ride takes about 2 hours and we get there at about 2:30 and get Champagne and find out that we have been upgraded from Deluxe to Grande Luxe Oceanfront. What a surprise! It is raining so we cannot go to the beach but the bar is open so we get the first of many Pina Colatas with rum. That night we went to the Saint Ann Restaurant and enjoy a fine meal with a nice bottle of Oakville Blush Wine (a Jamaican wine that we both grew to really like). I had Rack of lamb and Kathy had Striper with Banana sauce. We loved both and the coffee after the meal was very nice. The rain had stopped so we walked the gardens and listened to the wonderful chorus of tree frogs. Went to bed early as we were both very tired from the trip.
SUNDAY JULY 11th
Woke up at about 8:00, made coffee and went down stairs to get some breakfast rolls and brought them back to the room. Had breakfast in bed with the French windows open and watched and listened to the sea over breakfast. That was wonderful. Heaven could not get much better. The sun was out and the rain was far away so the rest of the day was “fun in the sun”. Lunch at noon in the St. Ann which we both had soup and salad. This noon time lunch would remain the same all week. We fell in love with the soups that are made there. On the menu we found that week was, Conch Soup, French Mushroom, Clam Chowder, Cream of Cauliflower, Pumpkin Soup, Chicken Broth, and Black Bean Soup. That afternoon we went back to the beach and later ended up at the swim-up bar pool for a couple of hours. About 4:00 we went to the body shop and got our 20 minute massage and then went back to the room to rest a while. That night we had reservations at Valentines for dinner. Kathy had soup, pasta, and Pesce al Cartoccio and then a desert. I had a very nice salad, pasta dish of some sort and then Shrimp Scampi. “WONDERFUL” We enjoyed a very nice Jamaican Red Wine with our meal. The waiter was Philmore and he was just great. After the meal while we were drinking coffee we asked him to give out compliments to the chef and shortly there after the chef came to our table and we had a very nice talk with him. After the meal we were invited to come back to and we would not need reservations. They would just seat us if we came early (by 6:00). This we did not do as we had many other restaurants to go to during the week. We finished the meal at about 10:15 and at that point we went to the Amphitheater to hear a talented band who could put any song to a Ragae beat.
Once again the rains have come to Ocho Rios and instead of just sitting around we took the shopping trip that is offered by Sandals. The cost is $15 per couple and will take about three hours. The first stop is at a group of what best can be called shacks. The people there are very high pressure and got on my nerves very fast and I what out. We stayed about 1/2 hour and we are on our way to the next two places. The first place did have the best prices and we should have brought more there and saved some money. For me this is very BORING, but Kathy loves it and is trying to talk down the prices. It must be a girl thing. During the P.M. the skies cleared and it was on to the beach for the afternoon. That night we ate at the Reef Terrace Grill and this was the night for Lobster. We also got a side order of Jerk chicken, which we had for the first time. We loved both. The waiter we had that night was Karl whom we had the first night at St. Ann and he did remember us. He was so good that I did slip him a tip. After the meal we went down to the shore to listen to a Steel Drum Band. Loved it, and it was an excellent show.
TUESDAY JULY 13th
Great weather and its off to the beach for a day in the sun. P.M. to Dunn’s River Falls and the time of our lives. One of the best times I have ever had. When we got back we sat in the hot tub to rest our sore muscles. That night we went to Sandals Dunn’s River and ate at The International Room and again it was wonderful. Kathy had Shrimp with Kiwi Sauce, French Onion Soup, and Muscles Rockefeller. I had some sort of seafood sampler plate, French Onion Soup, and New York-New York (New York Stripe) we both had desert and coffee and were back at S.O.R. by 10:00.
WEDNESDAY JULY 14th
By this time we were both very tired from doing a lot and to be quite honest drinking a lot of wine at night which we are not used to. We took this day off and just laid around the room. It helped since it rained off and on all day. In the P.M. Kathy got a facial and I got a full body massage (60 minutes for $40). That night we returned to Saint Ann for dinner. Kathy had Chicken Curry and I got Pork Loin with Fruit Sauce. This time we did not have wine but drank Iced Tea like a good person from Texas would do. After the meal we went down to the Arizona and got Mango Margarita Pie for desert.
THURSDAY JULY 15th
The best day yet. Sunshine all day. Laid by the beach in the morning and moved to the garden pool for the afternoon and had it all to ourselves. I fell asleep on a floating raft and must have slept for 1/2 hour or so. We went back to the shore at about 2:30 and got on a snorkeling trip at 3:00. Kathy did not go. Dinner that night was to have been the Italian Restaurant at Sandals Dunn’s River but when we got there it was changed to poolside buffet. The food was displayed very artistically with ice carvings. That night was also toga night so a lot of fun was had by all. This was very nice, but not what we wanted. Back at S.O.R. by 8:00 and watched a movie on HBO.
FRIDAY JULY 16th
We wake up once again to rainy skies but they soon clear and we hit the beach for the last full day in paradise. I would go snorkeling again at about 11:00. Lunch today is Jerk Chicken with Pina Colata while we laid in our chairs with the Caribbean under us on the shore. The last meal we had was back at S.D.R. and to eat at Kimmos. It was a very nice meal but the show was much better the food. On the way over we sat on the bus with Jeff Saturday of the NFL Indianapolis Colts. Very nice man who was enjoying the last days before be was to begin two-a-days with the Colts. I wished him good luck till he plays the Dallas Cowboys. During our stay at S.O.R. we met the head chef Karl Miller from Detroit, and Robert Mayes from San Antonio. Both men went out of there way to answer all of our questions about Sandals here and other locations in the Caribbean. We will go back to Sandals again because they just do it right.
As they say “Yeah Mon, no problem”.
SATURDAY JULY 17th
This is the worst day. Time to go home. Kathy and I were eating breakfast at the open-air part of St. Ann, watching a cruise ship go by wishing this could go on forever. This was truly a holiday. The trip going home was much better as it was a nonstop flight. We got back to Dallas/Fort Worth at about 4:00 and drove home by 6:30.