Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I'm Learning in Jamaica

1. That you can chew pure sugar cane and it will pour sugary sweetness into your mouth. But you only chew swallowing. This is thanks to our bus driver (we were the only ones on the bus from the airport to our resort in Negril) who pulled over to buy some for us to try when my husband asked what it was the people were selling on the corner.

2. That my daughter, who has always been a great sleeper and early riser right along with my husband, may be turning to the dark side and becoming a night person like me! She started out getting up early, but these last two nights she has suddenly been finding excuse after excuse to stay up late...wanting to read books and listen to music. Hilariously, she has also figured out that telling us "I'm stinky!" or "I go poopy!" sometimes warrants a diaper check and has used this to get out of bed. She's also tried this when she's done with dinner and ready to go do something else, but after the second time she pulled this trick, we figured out that she KNOWS this will make us act and so now we are ignoring this excuse LOL!

3. That if there is something on the buffet line called the "Bubble and Squeak," it's essentially a potato pancake. No idea why it is called this interesting name.

4. That a man walking by on the beach will offer to sell you marijuana right in front of your two-year-old daughter. This happened to my husband when he took our daughter for an early morning stroll on the beach. He refused the man's offer, of course.

5. That it's a good thing you brought enough swimsuits for you and your daughter to wear a different one practically every day because it's so humid the wet ones you hang up will never dry out.

6. That upgrading your room to concierge level is awesome because you have a mini fridge in the room stocked with Cokes, Diet Cokes, Sprite, water, juice, ginger ale, and Jamaican beer, and it's refilled every day...and it's all included-no extra charge.

7. That maybe planning a trip to the Caribbean in September/hurricane season wasn't the best idea, now that Tropical Depression 16 aka soon-to-be Tropical Storm Nicole has been dumping loads of rain directly on Jamaica for 20 hours, even though it's 200 miles away from the "center" of the storm and not even ON the projected storm path. Move on storm!

8. That you should've taken your family portraits on the beach the first day, since now it may rain for the rest of your time here. So much for the Christmas card picture...

9. That champagne flavored with peach and blackberry schnapps is kind of delish.

10. That your daughter is going to be a terror at concerts in her teens, considering she spent all evening trying to bum rush the stage during Bert and Ernie's Island Adventure Stage Show! I felt like security trying to get her off the stairs to the stage--she couldn't understand why she couldn't go up there to be with her Sesame Street pals. Thank goodness the gang all came down into the audience at the end of the show and danced with all the little kids and she got hugs from everyone and danced with Ernie!

11. That Arnold Schwarzenegger had reason to be frustrated in Kindergarten Cop when he had to keep explaining to the one kid, "IT'S NOT A TOOM-AH!" I've spent all day the last several days telling my daughter, "IT'S NOT BROKEN!" as she declares EVERYTHING-the TV, the phone, my iPod, the computer, a closed door, you name it-"IT'S BWOKEN!" if it does not appear to be doing what she thinks it's supposed to/wants it to do!

12. That generally, when a resort throws a talent show and the guests are supposed to provide the talent, it should be called Beaches Guests Don't Got Talent. One kid did a cheer no one could hear, one clogged, one sang Don't Stop Believing by Journey and forgot the words halfway through (luckily for her, everyone from Generation X sang along FOR her-poor thing)...two adults sang a semi-nice version of I Can't Help Falling in Love With You, and a guy did a drum solo with the band. I'd say it was a toss up between the duet and the drummer, but we didn't stay to see who was declared the most talented of the talent-less.

13. That I cannot go without sunblock for two hours. Evidence: the sunburn I got on my shoulders on our first morning here. I have no excuse...even though it was overcast, I should know better. Have used 90 SPF ever since...well, until the rain started, anyway.

14. That my kid, like her father, is not going to be prone to sunburn--she's just going to turn beautifully brown. Lucky!! Using 90 SPF on her too.

15. That even when you have internet access in Jamaica, and will not let you watch episodes of Castle online since you are "outside the United States and its territories." Seriously?!

16. That the Jamaican people, while generally lovely and friendly, all seem to suffer the same deficiency: giving incomplete instructions. We took our daughter to play in the toddler pool at the kids' camp and decided to leave her there for a bit since she was having fun. The nannies told us to bring them a change of clothes and diapers for her. We walk to room, obtain said items, and return to camp. Then, they tell us they also need us to bring our own wipes, causing a return trip to our room. At the airport, one customs person told me I could put my daughter on my customs/immigration form. Another told me she had to have her own form, but I only needed to fill out the front top section. A third told me I had to fill in the whole thing, both sides, top and bottom. @^#&$*@!

17. That I'm not the thinnest mama here rocking the bikini (a couple of anorexic looking moms have me wondering how they ever produced a baby from their skinny bods!), but I'm definitely fine to do so. Others not so much.

18. That one upside to staying at a family resort is NO NAKED PEOPLE. When we went to Sandals (a couples resort) just down the beach four years ago, we had some people going topless and we kayaked by the Hedonism resort and got the full frontal from another guy who seemed to be waving us over ("Paddle faster!" I said to my hubby.) I'm not against nakedness per se (good nakedness), but the kind of people who generally go naked at these resorts? NOT THE KIND YOU EVER WANT TO SEE NAKED. It's never the hot people, just the delusionally uninhibited.

I'm sure I've learned more in these past few days, but I should sign off for now. I have a hot breakfast date with my husband, daughter, and the Sesame Street gang. Anyone know a good "Stop Raining" Dance?


  1. Here on the east coast of the US we are getting more rain than Hurricane Floyd dumped on least my AC is off and we're saving some money!

  2. Kristen, hope you guys are hanging in there. My daughter has certainly enjoyed our trip (thank goodness for seeing the Sesame Street gang everyday), and it's had its moments for us, but it was not the super awesome vacation I had planned in my head. On the up side, of course, we're safe and okay. Some of the folks who work here at the resort couldn't make it home for a day or two and some lost houses, so it's hard to complain, although I have a little...the resort did not seem to have a good emergency plan in case, which makes me grateful the situation wasn't worse. Hope you are all safe and drying out now! It's STILL raining here!

  3. Yikes! Glad you & your family are safe! Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. I can't tell you how much each and every word of kindness and support means to us. :)