Trip Reports

True Paradise Part 1 of 3

When my boyfriend told me that he was taking me to Jamaica for my birthday, I just about screamed. I had gone last year with my best friend and I didn’t have a good time. I asked him where we were staying and he told me that the only thing he would tell me is that we were going to be staying in Negril. The closer it got to time for us to leave it seemed like everything that could go wrong did. It seemed like everybody wanted me to come in for interviews (I have been trying to change jobs). The passports weren’t back in time and my honey had to drive all the way to New Orleans to get an acceptable birth certificate. Now mind you it was 48 hours before we were to leave and all I kept thinking was, “this can’t be happening”. We were so stressed out and everything was getting on our nerves. We needed this vacation and we need it like yesterday. The day before it was time to leave I was so antsy that I couldn’t sleep. Finally, it was time. We got started around six that morning and I was running around with the camcorder recording all of our steps and rushing him along. I usually make all the arrangements for our travel and since he’d done it as a surprise for me, I was a very nervous about the accommodations. Our ride to the airport was uneventful as was our check-in and boarding.

We arrived in Montego Bay at about three o’clock and we were starving. We found our way over to the shuttle that would be taking us to Negril to our Hotel. We had to wait for an hour before boarding and nobody told me that we had an hour and a half ride to our resort. I got so carsick or should I say van sick from the winding roads and fast speeds that all I wanted to do was puke and lay down. I was so glad when our driver Barrington took pity on me and stopped at little roadside café. My Puddin’ (nickname for my sweetie) had a Red Stripe and I had a Pepsi and some jerk chicken. After that short break we continued on to the resort. I was totally impressed. When we stepped off the van at Couples Swept Away, a gentleman walked up to us and handed a cool, wet face towel. It was very refreshing and much needed. We didn’t have to touch our luggage again until we got into the room. After we did the check in thing, it was explained to us that we would have to attend guest orientation at ten the next morning. When we got to the room I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. I was shocked and amazed when I walked into that room. Three of the walls were all windows, there was a king sized bed, a fully stocked bar, a refrigerator with soda, water, ice, juice and beer. We had a living room that was literally outside with a ceiling fan, couch and chair.

When we walked down three steps about 20 feet in front us was the beach and ten feet to the right of us was a bar. (Talk about drinking and drowning) I couldn’t stop kissing my Puddin’ because this was the most romantic place I had ever seen. We strolled down the beach, took a few pictures, came back and unpacked our clothes and decided to find food. We really didn’t know what to do with the rest of our day. After all it was almost six o’clock by this time and we had been up and going since early that morning so we opted to try and find something for dinner and turn in and start over fresh the next day. We decided to go across the street to the sports bar for pizza or something, we didn’t care, just wanted to put something in our stomachs and go to sleep at this point. I decided that I would try something to drink. Hey, with the AI package what is there to lose, if I didn’t like it I could get something else, right? Well, I started with a strawberry daiquiri, it was good but I could get those at home right, so I decided to venture out a little more and got a Purple Rain. All I will say about it, was that it is a pretty color. After eating jerk pizza and few drinks I was ready to kick back and relax and get ready for the next day.

We got back to the room, showered and into our PJ’s and my Puddin’ said, “Something’s missing…. A TV!” We did not have a TV in our room. I laughed for about ten good minutes, I should have taken a picture of the expression on his face. He looked so lost and confused. He likes to sleep with the TV on. I told him that I could find another way to entertain him so that he wouldn’t miss his TV so much and the games began. If anybody had ever told me that I would be doing some of the things that I did in JA I would have told them that they were crazy or drunk. It started out relatively quiet and normal. My Puddin’ and I got up around seven, showered, dressed and headed out to orientation. We noticed the day before how the staff at Couple’s was very friendly and willing to help us out in any way possible. While we were on our tour of the grounds, our guide was explaining all of the different activities that we could participate in that were included in our package and we were so excited about being able to go snorkeling, getting a massage and doing the paddle boats that we forgot that we didn’t get a chance to eat.

Our guide Leethan was gorgeous (Taye Diggs didn’t have nothing on him). He took us to the main dining area and was explaining to us that every Thursday they have a Staff and Guest’s talent show. We got there Wednesday evening and now this was Thursday morning. He told us that if any of us were interested that we should sign up for the talent show. I love to sing but have always been afraid to sing in front of people. I decided that since my birthday was Saturday and I would be turning thirty-eight, that I should stop being afraid to do things and just step out and let the chips fall where they may, besides nobody here knows me. So, I signed up. Leethan told me to be back there for rehearsal at two and we would decide which song I would sing. I started getting nervous right then. So, as we are leaving the dining room I see a lady who braids hair (Janet) and I tell here that I would like to have my hair braided. An hour and a half later I have a new slant to my eyes and my head hurts like crazy. I look at it as, no pain; no gain and I don’t have to comb my hair for the next week at least. We decided to go Parasailing, now get this, I am deathly afraid of heights and I can’t believe that I agreed to do this and here I go again with the theory that I am turning thirty-eight and at this point feeling like I have nothing to lose (other then my life) being that I’m over the hill and all. We go to sign up and the sky gets real dark and I’m sitting there watching this storm brewing. The wind starts picking up and we decide to wait for this little adventure. Yeah, I am a chicken, I was glad to cancel out at this point because Cosman (the guide who books parasailing and jet skiing) told me that the line is about 500 feet long and I would be at least 300 feet in the air.

By this time it’s time for me to get ready for rehearsal anyway. I was really nervous by the time I got there and the bartender gave me this very potent and tasty red drink. I drank it and I must say I was feeling no pain. I was talking with some of the other guests that were participating and in the midst of saying, “nobody knows any of us here” I discovered that one of the other guests was there from Memphis and we run in similar circles. Now, that shot my theory to hell. We decided to do the thang anyway and she agreed to do my backup. Rehearsal was smooth and I wasn’t nervous at all. How could I be after two rum punches?

About the author