Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday in Negril

We woke up with very sore feet from dancing on the beach all night Tuesday, so a three hour boat trip and a little swimming was welcomed warmly by our group!! We met at a hotel called Kuyaba and had a free breakfast before our catamaran came to pick us up.
This is the bar at Kuyaba. I can only imagine how much fun I could have in those swings after a couple drinks!!!!There were some birds at Kuyaba. Charlie was my favorite. He talked and ate nuts out of our hands and waved at us. He's waving in this picture.When the catamaran arrived, our group claimed the back end of the boat where there was a bench seat long enough for all of us. Matt, Liz, Dave, Kelly, Ryan and me all went on this excursion together. It was one of the most fun things we did on our trip.We all had a set price to pay for the catamaran that included the three hour ride, all the booze we could drink (Actually it was just rum punch and Red Stripe), snorkeling, and cliff diving on the west end of Negril. They did take us snorkeling pretty early in the trip which I thought was smart since we were all drinking :-) The water where they took us snorkeling was absolutely amazing. It was very deep, but you could see the bottom everywhere.
I tried jumping in without a life jacket at first, but I realized very quickly that I needed one to keep me from running into the coral reefs. The current was really strong out there, but once I figured out that you're supposed to put the life jacket around your waist instead of around your neck, I was swimmin like a fish!!! If you put it around your neck, you can't put your head in the water....made it a little hard to see anything :-)The coral reefs were beautiful and we saw all kinds of crazy fish. There were a lot of black sea urchins too. They were a little scary. It took me a little while to get used to the snorkel and the mask. My claustrophobia was kicking in at first and I had a hard time, but once I got the hang of it, I loved it!! There is no way I could ever go scuba diving....I know that for sure!!!They opened up the sail so it was nice and full and we just let the wind carry us for awhile. This is just about the time that Kelly started to get nice and red :-)There was a big net similar to a hammock at the front end of the boat that everyone took turns hanging out in. It was a great place to go after you got nice and hot sitting in the sun because the water would splash up underneath you if you hit a big wave. I did a lot of screaming and bouncing around while I was in there!!Of course, no booze cruise would be complete without some music, and of course they hooked us up with some good reggae. Ryan and I were shakin' our booties the whole three hours :-) This was right before we got to the cliffs on the west end of Negril. That's where a lot of the tourists go to cliff dive. The catamaran stopped at Rick's Cafe for us to cliff dive. It was so beautiful around the cliffs. I think Ryan and I would like to stay in that area if we ever go back to Negril.If you look closely in the picture above, you can see Ryan diving off of the cliff right above the big boy in black :-)Then if you look really closely in the water to the right of the stairs, you can see Ryan waving at me after he jumped. Once I saw that he was safe, I put the camera down and jumped in. I swam over and joined the fun. Ryan ended up jumping off of the higher cliff which was apporximately 40 feet. The other one he dove off of was 25. I jumped from that one, but that's my limit. Even that 25 feet was scary to me!!!After we all spent some time up on the cliffs, we went back to the boat to play on the slide. You would have thought we were all about ten years old we were so excited!! Dancin' fool!!!!
There goes Kelly!!Ryan had to be a show off and go on his back...head first!!!

A friend of ours named Kevin took these consecutive pictures of everyone going down the slide with his fancy camera. My pictures were boring because I'm just sitting on my butt, so you get to see Ryan's trip down the slide!! Dancin' fool's wife :-)This is T. J. and Ashley who we met at our hotel. They went on the booze cruise with us, to all the Hookah shows, and were also there for Matt and TeShannah's wedding.After the girls finally got hot enough, I got them talked into playing in the net with me. It was a blast!!!This is a group of small villas on the cliffs that I thought looked like it would be a good place to stay sometime. They all have stairs carved into the cliffs that allow access to the water, and there are several shallow areas where you could wade very easily. I really don't think I'd miss the beach that much.This was definitely the day we all got most of our sun for the week. Between the sun and the booze and the swimming, we were all ready for naps by the time we got back to our hotel.This fellow was our first mate, and I feel awful, but I forget his name. He helped the captain of the boat with all kinds of things and helped us with all of our snorkeling gear. He was pretty much the "go to guy" for anything we needed while we were on the catamaran. He surprised me when I asked him to get my picture with him...he just scooped me right up off my feet!!

When we got back to the hotel, a few of us decided we were hungry and wanted to go back to Miss Sonia's for some Jamaican Patties again. We were disappointed when we first got there because our host from the night before, Elkin, wasn't there. But shortly after we sat down, he showed up.

While we were waiting on our food, we spotted this cute little lizard poking around in the trees next to us. Ryan kept trying to get him to flare out the little yellow thing under his neck, but instead of making him mad, Ryan just made him leave. Still got a decent picture anyway!!!
This is Liz, Elkin, and me with Dave in the background at Miss Sonia's before our patties were done. We really enjoyed talking with Elkin again. I did feel kind of bad though, because we were such big fans of the food that we told Elkin we would be back a few times during the week, and we never made it back after that second trip. Our goal was to try to get ox tail for dinner one night, but you had to order it ahead of time. Like, a few days ahead of time. So, we told them we wanted two ox tails, one for Ryan and myself, and one for Matt and Liz, and then we never went back to eat them. I hope they didn't go to waste. Surely someone around there would have eaten them if we didn't. Who knows. I guess that's one goal I did not accomplish while in Negril. So, if for no other reason, I'll have to go back for the ox tail. They had this note hanging up that said "What is Life" In the picture below, you can read what it says a lot better then the one up top. Elkin explained to us that his family reads that list every day basically to keep their priorities straight and to keep them from feeling sorry for themselves. We all thought that was pretty cool.
After another wonderful meal at Miss Sonia's, Ryan and I went back to our room and took a nap. We were both completely exhausted. We had a couple hours before the next Hookah show was supposed to start, so we took advantage and slept those hours away.
When we woke up from our nap, we decided to go to Merrill's for dinner. It was one of the freebie places on the meal tickets we had purchased. Their food was really good. I got chicken in sauce with carrots on top, salad, which is more like cole slaw because it's made of mostly cabbage, a wheat roll, and rice and peas as they call it. I thought it was rice and red beans. So, now I'm confused as to whether they just call red beans peas, or if those things that I thought were red beans are actually some weird kind of pea. Either way, they tasted delicious!!!
After dinner at Merrill's, we headed back over to Risky Business to catch Ekoostik Hookah again. It was another fun show, but a lot of us were worn out from that booze cruise we took that day. You could tell a big difference in the size of the crowd too. In fact, I think Dave, Kelly, Ryan and I were the only ones who made it through both the cruise and the show!! John Mullins from the band even posted a comment about not taking booze cruises the same day as a Hookah show next time because everyone was hurting so badly that night. Most of them missed out completely!!
Since we were all so exhausted, we hung out on the balcony for a lot of the show. It was much less crowded up there, and we had a ledge to lean on with a great view of the stage.I quit drinking alcohol after we got back from Miss Sonia's and stuck to water for the rest of the night. Check out their water bottles. It's spelled just like it sounds when the Jamaicans say it:


WATA!!!!!! Isn't that funny?????


*Jen* said...

The booze cruise looks like so much fun. Did you enjoy Rick's Cafe? I have seen that place before on the travel channel. There were these men climbing up trees, doing tricks and diving into the water. It was crazy!

Chad and I are seriously considering going to Jamaica for our 10 year anniversary next summer. What do you think?

alli-gal said...

I think you would love Jamaica, but just do a lot of research before you go so you know what to expect. It gets frustrating dealing with the locals sometimes, but you have to understand that it is just their way of life.

Some of our friends had a hard time accepting that and got upset with people approaching them constantly. Ryan and I, on the other hand, had heard so many horror stories that I think we were expecting the worst. Turned out that we were pleasantly surprised.

Oh yeah, and Rick's Cafe is a cool place to hang out, but the food is WAY over rated compared to the local authentic restaurants. Awesome place to watch a sunset, but nearly anywhere in negril is. Especially on the cliffs.

And, if you're not too set on having a beachfront hotel, i would highly recommend staying on the cliffs if you go to Negril. It was the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen in my life!!!

If you do go, let me know. I have a huge list of pointers from some of our fellow Hookahheads who have been there several times before. We found it to be very helpful!!

Andrea said...

Awesome pictures, especially those action shots on the slide! What a great vacation! I love the blue water and sky! Looks like an awesome trip!

Jen, check out the Bahamas too - it's so beautiful there and the locals aren't as crazy there - approaching you on the beach & stuff.

s-hooks said...

Wata! LOL

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