JAMAICA | {travel} | june 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If you're considering a trip down south to the sun, sand and palm trees, I strongly suggest you consider visiting Jamaica.

Once you go, you know!

While organizing our destination wedding and even when we landed, I saw those five words everywhere - on google searches and then wall-to-wall billboards at the Montego Bay International Airport. I never thought much of it really. It was just another catchy tourism slogan. During our very first day on the beach, I saw it again. This time stretched across the back of a mans army green t-shirt. I started to wonder, what do they {people responsible for the intriguing phrase} really mean? Is it the sandy beaches, the island itself, the people? I wondered if we would know before we left Jamaica.

Our time in Jamaica was the most memorable experience of my life, and I've heard those exact words from a few other people that went with us too. It was not only unforgettable because we got married there and shared that special day with both of our families and friends, but we came away from this trip with so much more.

The Jamaicans have a saying. One you will often hear during a one-potato, two-potato type handshake ending with a thumb rub or elbow knock.

Peace.  Love.  Unity.  Respect.

Four words. Each one with the power to change how you look at life. Definitely words to live by.

Tom and I came back from our destination wedding in Jamaica united as one, more in love and happier (didn't think that was even possible) than we have ever been and with so much respect for the people we met almost 4,000 kilometers away. Thank you Jamaica!

Jamaica is a beautiful island and there is plenty to see and do, but it is the people that make Jamaica worth visiting. They are like no other. Life is about the people you meet and what you can learn from them. The people of Jamaica have a genuine, kind hearted spirit and offer a smile to every stranger they meet. They have music and rhythm in their blood and transcendent happiness in their souls.

...they are people you can definitely learn something from - even if it's just learning to smile above everything else.

Reverend Gordan announced during our wedding ceremony that Tom has a civic duty to bring his Bride back to Jamaica every year - he read my mind!

We've been and now we know!

We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall in Montego Bay. The resort was remarkable and the service was second to none. You can click the previous link to read all about its fabulousness! One of the nice features about the Iberostar Grand is that it is actually three resorts in one. You can eat, drink and take part in all of the activities at the two sister resorts (Iberostar Rose Hall Suites and Iberostar Rose Hall Beach) located next door to the Grand. That gives you a total of at least twelve speciality restaurants (not counting the buffet restaurants) - I'm not even sure its possible to eat that many times in seven days - and countless bars. There is also an evening show at each of the resorts - that's three shows to choose from. We honestly couldn't find a thing to complain about.

The following three images were taken at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites, which is located next door to the Grand.

The Suites also has an infinity pool.

The morning of our departure ranks very high on my list of favourite moments. I know, that even sounds strange as I write it. But, there's a really good reason. During the trip, my father got up every morning at 6am and went for a walk on the beach - we used to do that together during family vacations in Florida. I decided on our last morning to join him and take my camera. As soon as I stepped out on the beach, I knew I should have done it every morning. The pastel colors that often follow a sunrise were powerful and beautiful. It was a fabulous morning. Spending a tranquil morning with my Dad and our cameras was the perfect way to end an amazing vacation.

At the very end of the beach (next door to the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach resort) there were huts occupied by locals selling wooden carvings, handmade jewelry and other local merchandise.

There were also locals who set-up shop on the water.

This man, like many Jamaicans, greeted us with a smile as we walked down the beach. I never got his name, but he told us that he lives on the ocean and it was the only place he wanted to be. Now that's what I call an entrepreneur mixing business and pleasure.


Anonymous June 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM  

I knew from a very early age that you had a natural ability as a photographer. It was not just the fact that you enjoyed it but that you had an ability that you cant learn a natural vision that is just there. Everyone can learn photography and become very good at it. But when you combine hard work in learning the techniques and a unrelenting passion to do it and then the natural ability - that is a winning combination.

I agree every single word you wrote and it was a great pleasure to be there and experience it with you. The memory will stay with me forever.

You know you may have a new career ahead of you - WRITING. Could a book be in the works. Hmmmm !!!!

Graham - The old guy in the pics.

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