Monday, March 24, 2014

Jamaica, need I say more?

I know, I know. I am slowly getting through our vacation we went on over a month ago. After this post I have just one more, then I will move on.

Jamaica, Jamaica. There is so much to say. Where to begin? Well, I had heard good and bad things about this island before we ventured on our trip. Because of this, when booking our excursions, we decided to go through the ship. This was our most expensive day by far. But, it was my favorite. Definitely the most tropical of the islands. Being from Arizona, I go all gushy at the sight of green.

We decided to do the Dunn River Falls, and the Mystic Mountain Bobsled tours.

First, the falls. This was highly recommended by many. The falls were beautiful, the water not too cold. You have to bring river shoes to wear, or purchase some there for $7. The falls were very easy to navigate. This was my family’s only complaint. I think they wanted something a bit more challenging, and they didn’t like the hand holding… but who really likes holding hands with strangers? By the end we all had a great time and it was well worth it. The guides were very energetic, fun for the kids. Though, one of our guides got in a screaming match with someone on the phone just before our tour started. There were some colorful words said on his part, at least I think so, I don’t speak Jamaican. I have no idea what was going on on the other end, but it must have been heated. I would have been annoyed if his hand gesturing wasn’t so animated. It was really quite fascinating watching a man, stand facing the ocean, yelling at the top of his lungs. 

Anyway, you can bring your own water camera, or buy their CD. They do take lots of pictures and are annoyed when you don’t buy their product. I used a disposable water camera. I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN. You will see, the pictures turned out terrible. You can also see some lousy pics on this post due to this bad product.

We were warned in advance about walking through the market on our way back to the bus. The venders are known to be pushy. Some were, but a lot were really nice. We stopped and talked to a few. And yes, we did spend more than we had planned on. There was only one shady individual I had to steer my kids away from. I had prepared my kids for this particular situation in advance. Honestly, I think it was good for them. When traveling anywhere you need to be aware of your surrounding’s and any danger, yet I don’t want my kids to be afraid of leaving their comfort zones. I know people who are scared to travel anywhere outside of their own little bubble. I don’t want my kids to feel this way. They would seriously be missing out on some amazing experiences. And who are we kidding… Phoenix can be a pretty dangerous place too.

Mystic Mountain was AMAZINGLY beautiful. We had to ride a sky-tram/ski-lift to the top of the mountain. I hate heights so I was a bit ill at this part. It is very high and the lift didn’t feel safe. My family, on the other hand, loved it!

Once on the top there are more pricey shops and the bobsled/rollercoaster. You get to control your own speed so even the littles have a good time on this one. There was also a zip-line through the trees that looked really cool, but again, expensive. I do wish we had booked it for Travis. Who knows when we will be back?

I met a really sweet woman who made baskets. I love baskets, though I never know what to do with them once I bring them home. I think it’s an art, basket placement.

Here are my do’s and don’t of Jamaica…

Do your research. Know where it is safe to go and where it isn’t.
Do: get in with the locals. Be friendly, but be safe.
Do: Bring the kids to Mystic Mountain. Bobsled deserves two thumbs up!
Do: Bring lots of spending money to shop and tip, tip and tip.
Do: Bring a good waterproof camera if  you don’t plan on buying their pics.
Do: Prepare your kids. Always, with anywhere you go, discuss safety and a plan incase someone gets separated.


Don’t go out on your own.
Don’t believe anyone who wants to give you something for free and tell your kids not to except anything either.
Don’t loose sight of your kiddos. Keep them close.

Don’t feel pressured to give anyone money if you don’t feel they earned it, or you want their product.

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