The first place I look...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jamaican Me Happy in Montego Bay

Our excursion here was thru Explorer Jamaica Transportation and another Tripadvisor tip led us to them....and oh-so glad they did!  Our driver, Tony picked us up from the cruise ship terminal where our family loaded up into a 12 passenger van--just perfect to see the sights on our own.  We decided that we wanted to SEE Jamaica our way and on our time schedule and Tony was happy to lend his services.  We first drove out to the Rose Hall Great House, while on our way Tony told us her story and about how she killed 3 husbands to acquire all of her beautiful estate.  The house itself it breathtaking and sits at the top of the mountain overlooking the beach and the ocean below.  We saw amazing landscaping (some being worked on by a local man with a "stinky cigarette" said the youngest) and an almond tree loaded with almonds the size of my PALM.  Crazy.  We marveled at the beauty of the estate and then headed into town for some souvenir shopping, a tour of the downtown part of the city, and then back up to the top of another hill to look out over the bay to see our ship docked and dwarfing everything around it.  The downtown area was much different than expected and simply put, there were people everywhere, not one of the standing still (I guess it was just too HOT).  Tony then drove us over to the Old Fort Craft Market where a handful of women sell their handmade crafts to tourists. I was a bit overwhelmed as all the women wanted you to pay attention to them and as I was trying to differentiate between this painting and that, I look over and my sweet husband is holding with a smiling baby girl.  Of course, my girls come running to me, now begging to take the baby home with us. GOSH..if only they knew!  I did wish I could help them all, buy something from everyone, but instead asked God to use my money to do good in the life of the women whose crafts I chose.  Tony then gathered us up and we headed over to Margaritaville for a Margarita of course, some live music, and water fun.  Brady was the only one brave enough to ride the slide from the top of the building and curving into the ocean where water trampolines and floating slides and climbing walls awaited for anyone ready to play.  Unfortunately the margarita wasn't that good and our bill was $40 for 7 drinks (no food), but Margaritaville IS priced for its atmosphere after all.  By this time we are hot and tired and ready for a right on cue Tony is there to take us back the the cruise terminal.  On our way the children noticied other children their age on the side of the road selling clumps of some kind of fruit.  When they asked Tony about it, he motioned to a boy to bring us some.
This is a guniep...we all gave it a try (AND NO ONE LIKED IT!)...the taste wasn't bad it was just trying to get past the slimy coating on the fruit inside the green hull.  But another adventure down, we headed back to the ship...knowing that we would watch the Olympic running events just a little closer having just been right in the heart of where the Jamaican people were.  Tony was such a wonderfully nice man--he made us feel safe, showed us the beauty of the city, and even gave us hugs before we left.  I recommend Explorer Jamaica Transportation and encourage you to plan your own day like we did to ensure that you soak up all the sides of this amazing place.

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