What a FUN trip! We've been lucky through the last few years to earn trips through our business. Lucky to see lots of fun places and do fun things. But I do have to say that this trip was one of the FUNNEST we've been on. We didn't actually earn this one, but one of our friends who is also a blind guy earned it and gave it to us (we've helped him get to several of his trips in the past). He actually had earned 2 trips for 2 people and couldn't go - so some friends of ours (Mindy and Jesse Smith) bought his other trip from him. And then our best friends Trent & Melissa also went because Melissa's brother owns the Blind Guy franchise in Idaho Falls and he gave the trip to them. So it was so fun!
- Tuesday - flew with the Smith's from Cedar City to SLC, SLC to Atlanta. Then they set us up in a nice Hilton hotel for the night. We went to dinner at the hotel and to bed.
- Wednesday - Cory started the day by getting his head shaved by "Smitty" at a little barber shop in our hotel. Then we met up with the Cheney's who had flown to Atlanta on a different flight. We ate at the airport and we hopped on our plane headed for Montego Bay, Jamaica. When we got to the airport it was POURING rain - absolute downpour. But we got on the bus headed for our resort in Ocho Rios and it wasn't too bad. We stopped for a bathroom break (the bus ride to the resort was over 2 hours long!!!!) and I got stuck in the bathroom. I had a hard time locking the bathroom door, and then once I got it locked it was STUCK. I was totally freaked out that I was going to be left in this stinky bathroom and not get to enjoy my vacation. But I ended up kind of breaking the door to get out....When we got to the resort we claimed our luggage and headed to our "villas". We didn't have a great view of the ocean, but we did have a semi-private pool and a cool little (it was small....) villa. The Smith's and the Cheney's villas were right by ours. The villas are all over the resort property and you actually get driven around in this little cart things - it was fun! (I'll have to get pictures from the Cheney's of the carts - I never got any taken...) That afternoon we went down to the beach and then got ready for the welcome dinner. We had an "interesting" waitress for dinner that night....she was devastated that none of us would drink any rum - she acted like we were totally odd. That night we also went swimming in our pool. There was a big hot tub down from our rooms - but it wasn't hot - so that was a bummer.
- Thursday - We had breakfast and then headed out to do the zip line tour. Cory and I had already done this particular zip line when we went to Jamaica 2 years ago on our cruise. We'd had such a fun time we thought we'd try it again. It was a lot of fun! However - it was hotter than I remember being in a long time. And I'm pretty sure that I sweat more than I have ever sweat - it wasn't very attractive....After the zip line it did start raining. Later that day we went to the beach. We rode around on the aqua trikes (like paddle boats), had one of the resort employees take us out sailing on these little hobie cat boats and played around on the beach. That night we had dinner and then later Mindy and Jesse participated in the married couple game. Lots of embarrassing questions, but it sure made all of us laugh! I can't remember if we swam some that night or not....
- Friday - We got up and hoped to go snorkeling in the morning - but the snorkel trips were all full when we got down to the sign-up desk. Instead Trent and Cory took a sailing lesson and I sat on the beach relaxing. Melissa was feeling sick, and the Smith's were getting massages. Then we headed to one of the 100 pools (seriously - the resort had 100 pools!) and chatted with a bunch of our blind guy friends. It was fun to swim up to the bar and drink yummy frozen drinks (once again - the bar-tenders thought we were crazy for not having alcohol!) Later we had a yummy lunch and then went into the town to go shopping. Some of our blind guy friends arranged to go on a shopping trip with a Jamaican and we went to see where they shop for just normal, every-day things. We definitely stuck out like a sore thumb - but it was nice to see things other than the touristy things we normally see on vacation. Then we also went shopping at a big tourist spot too (the one we'd shopped at on the cruise). Then we headed back to the resort and planned to have a nice formal dinner. We didn't get to the restaurant we wanted to on time so we ended up at another one which wasn't as good....but it was still fun. We always had good laughs if nothing else.
- Saturday - This morning the boys were going to go golfing, but since we hadn't gotten to go snorkeling yet they skipped golf and we headed out snorkeling (minus Melissa - poor girl felt sick a bunch of the trip!). They took us out in a glass bottom boat and we snorkeled for around an hour. I wished we'd gotten to do it for longer (I really enjoy snorkeling!) - but we did have fun. Right before we were getting out to go back to shore I saw one of the coolest fish I have ever seen - it was only about 4 inches long (all of the fish were really small!) and dark blue/black. Then it had these gorgeous GLOWING blue dots all over it - they looked like little light-bulbs. It was so awesome! After snorkeling we dried off and jumped in a van to go back to the spot we'd gone to the zip-line earlier in the week (it's called Chukka Farms). There we went dune-buggy riding. It had rained off and on through the trip so we were excited to get a little muddy. What we hadn't planned on was getting COVERED in mud - there was mud and sticks in places we didn't even know we had places! In our mouths and there wasn't a place on our body not covered in brown goo. Then after the ride was over we ended at a place to go cliff diving into the ocean. I had said before that I wasn't going to do it - but once we were so dirty it actually looked refreshing. So we all plunged into the ocean. Cory's swimming suit didn't quite make it back with him as he swam to the surface - but he did recover it... (and everyone got a good laugh). I was freaked out - but pretty proud of myself for doing it. We tried getting the dirt off of us (we were so dirty though that I think we're STILL finding dirt in places!) - and then headed back. The dune buggies were extra fun because we also had 2 other couples that we're friends with from The Blind Guy (the Ripley's in Tri-Cities, WA and the Bagley's in Kalispel, MT). We all agreed that the ride might have been one of our funner excursions we've done on our trips. After the ride we headed back to the pool by our room. We swam for hours and Cory and the guys entertained us with what we refer to as the "SPECIAL" Olympics. I don't have any pictures of that either - so I'm hoping Trent and Melissa send pictures soon (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). All 3 guys were exhausted after all of the splashing, diving, running on water, splashing as much water OUT of the pool as possible, and other "events". The girls watched, got splashed, and laughed harder than we've laughed before - it was a riot! That night we had our group "beach party" for the group we were traveling with. LOTS of fun! The food stations were gorgeous, food yummy, and drinks....alcoholic. Yeah - alcoholic. We asked as we walked in if the drinks had rum or any other alcohol in them and the waitress said right to my face - NO. So we all enjoyed one (and some people more than one). They taste like grapefruit juice and didn't smell at all like alcohol. (earlier in the week we'd also been given drinks with rum in them - but noticed it before we drank them - THEY smelled like rum). But after a little while Mindy said, "Um, you guys - I think these have rum in them...." So we stopped another waiter and he said, "Yeah - they have rum in them". Nice. So the table full of non-drinking Mormons had all 'enjoyed' some "I Love Sunshine" drinks. Luckily we hadn't had enough to be very affected - but we were ticked that they had lied to us. (the only thing I noticed was that my lips felt numb, and my face felt flushed). After that we were even more careful about what we were drinking. We danced some - but it was HOT and HUMID. We were so hot that we decided to take a little swim in the ocean.....nice and refreshing.
- Sunday - Time to head home. These trips always come to a close WAY too soon! We always say that we are going to extend the next trip, but we haven't to this point. I think next time around we'll definitely have to stick around longer - it seems like just as soon as you're fully in "VACATION MODE" it's time to come home. We flew from Jamaica to Atlanta, Atlanta to SLC, and SLC to Cedar. LONG DAY!