jamaica part 1: the arrival.

by Janetha on February 14, 2010

in meals,moves

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! i am back! and i typed this on my way home, enjoy:

friends!! daaaang, i’ve missed you.  did you miss me? it feels like i’ve been gone for so much longer than a week. 

right now i am flying high in the sky en route to texas from jamaica.  we have a 2 hour layover there and then it is back to my salty city in utah.  i thought i would make myself useful and type up my first trip recap post during this long flight.  don’t worry, i already took a two hour nap.

FIRST i have to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of my lovely guest posters! ahhh, that whole shabang went off much better than i initially imagined it would! thanks to everyone who wrote a post and thanks to those of you who read/commented on them. hopefully you all enjoyed those while i was gone.

SO.  lots to recap! i will start at the beginning, since starting at the end would probably not make much sense, judging from the way i felt when i saw that backward episode of seinfeld.. you know the one.

for those of you just tuning in, i’ve been in jamaica for the past week or so.  i went there with my bosses and my co-workers. there were 16 of us total (8 of us from my company+our spouses/significant others).. each year, my bosses treat us to a trip as their way of saying “thanks for all your hard work” and i gladly accept their thank you, and take a trip to somewhere tropical.

friday, february 5th.

well i just decided to not even go to sleep on thursday night.  not sure that was the brightest idea i ever had, but i wanted to make sure i was awake to leave  for the airport at the lovely hour of 3:30 AM.

typical airport fare~ americano + perfect oatmeal.. which i perfected even more by adding maple almond butter+vanilla protein powder.

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flight #1 was pretty painless. flying doesn’t really bother me and i sure am glad i’m not the hyperventilating type when it comes to being in the air. my claustrophobia is enough for me to handle as it is.  it was pretty sweet to watch the sun rise bouncing off the clouds.

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we had a quick plane change in dallas and then it was off to jamaica.  i snoozed on this guy most of the time~

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once we landed in montego bay we made our way through customs and i was NOT deported, thank goodness. we hitched a ride to the resort we stayed at: iberostar rose hall suites for those of you who are interested.

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for the record, i started out in leggings, that tank top dress, a hoodie, scarf and boots.  it was cold in utah. by the time i got on the bus to get from the airport to the resort, i stripped down to nearly nothing and quickly swapped those boots out for flip flops for the remainder of the trip!

i am just going off my photos to determine what to talk about next. apparently the thing worth noting about the iberostar lobby is the bench with bum indented seats..

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moving on.

i always like to see what hotel rooms are like so i will just go ahead and assume you want to see the same, so here is a plethora of photos of our suite.

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bathroom.. shower, tub, double sink.

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kitchenish area.. coffee maker, fridge, etc..   IMG_6159

that i promptly stocked with some likely suspects:

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the bedroom area..

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which stepped down into the living area:

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and then out onto the balcony..

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here is the view from the balcony. can’t complain.

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we changed into clothes more appropriate for our new found home and went off to explore the surroundings.

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and of course.. find some FOOD.  it was about 4 PM which meant neither lunch nor dinner were being served at the moment.  we found a snack bar on the beach and i made myself a plate of randomness to tide me over..

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the thing about all inclusive resorts is that you waste a lot of food the first day~ since you are trying a bunch of new things out and aren’t sure what you will like.  i ended up loooving that chicken, the broccoli and the mushrooms. the  mini sandwich, chips and guac and whatever that unmemorable pile in the top right was ended up getting wasted. ah well, ya win some ya lose some.

our first evening there, sleep deprivation had set in completely once i hit the awake-for-more-than-40-hours mark.  i felt like i was either 5 sheets to the wind from alcohol consumption or hopped up on a combo of illegal narcotics including but not limited to at least two hallucinogens.  needless to say, we called it an early night.

saturday, february 6.

i think it can go without saying, but i will say it anyway, we slept IN on saturday morning.  ‘twas incredible.  around 10 AM we moseyed down to the breakfast buffet which luckily went from 7 AM to 11:30 AM.  my kind of breakfast. 

breakfast was another experiment.  not sure what i wanted or what i would like.  my first breakfast, and basically every breakfast for the rest of the week, looked something like this:

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coffee (which, P.S., was AMAZING), an egg white omelette with ham, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions, some sort of delicious cheese, a slice of french toast with sugar free jam and a pancake with peanut butter.

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i ended up loving it all except the flap jack. that was quickly nixed from the breakfast lineup but all other candidates stuck around and made my morning plate more often than not.

want to know what else i ate nearly every morning?

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CEREAL. and not just one. i usually mixed a small bowl of ALL the cereals. it was like my “breakfast dessert” nearly every morning :)

after breakfast we decided to take a gander at the workout facility. crappy photos but you get the idea. the gym was SO nice and new.

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they even had a full service bar for post-workout drinks and fresh melon. i know i just love to pump some iron and then eat melon, don’t you?

instead of actually working out, we opted to go to the beach, because i  hate working out after i’ve gorged myself on cereal and, well, we were in jamaica.

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good times on the beach! i didn’t take my camera with me but right after this photo, marshall and i rented a kayak and paddled ourselves off into the horizon. good thing the world is not flat or we may have fallen off the edge. 

all that paddling worked up an appetite so we took a break for lunch.  this is the only day that i took photos of most of my food so i will go ahead and bore you with all of it on this recap and then the other recaps will be more fun and less all-inclusive-food-filled.. mmmkay?

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gee, that isn’t a very attractive lunch, is it?  but it tasted fantastic.  i was pleasantly surprised that all the food i was sampling ended up being delicious! i even emailed my mom expressing my excitement for all the healthy options.

on my plate there are some mushrooms, carrots, bbq beef, chicken salad, some round, unidentifiable item at 6 o’clock and then some jerk chicken, which became the star of the show when it came to lunches at iberostar.

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spicy, tender, juicy, perfect chicken.

i also had a lot.. and i mean a LOT of cheese this past week. there was a booth at every meal devoted entirely to cheese. i was in dairy heaven.

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my desserts were typically melon and cheese. i was so glad the melon and pineapple were so flavorful because i’ve been missing those fresh fruits back home.

the rest of the day was spent hanging out with everyone on the beach~ good times had by all. 

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did i mention they had an ice cream cart by the pool? i ate a LOT of these:

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at least we had to get up and walk from the beach to the ice cream cart in order to get some ice cream. i mean, much better than having it brought to me by one of the cocktail waitresses, right? right.

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after the beach, i decided it would be a good idea to get some exercise so i changed into my running clothes and ran 2 miles in 17 minutes & 30 seconds then called it good. something is better than nothing, right?

saturday night a small group of us ended up taking a cab into town and dining at margaritaville, much to my dismay.  if there is anything i hate more than dining at a chain restaurant it is dining at a chain restaurant while on vacation.  that is just something that should NEVER be done. ugh.

i am not even going to humor you guys with photos of the food. it was that bad.  i had a burger that had similar qualities of a hockey puck and i never received my drink, which i ordered 4 different times, and of course was charged for the drink (that i never got) in the end.  i think i am going to go ahead and delete that whole margaritaville experience from my memory riiiight now.

well that wraps up the first two days of the trip!  stay tuned for recap number two. superbowl sunday: i had NO idea what i was in for ;)

Qs~

1. what have you been up to while i was gone? anything worth mentioning?! AHH i missed you guys! 

2. do you dine at chain restaurants? or are you like me and you avoid them like the plague?

xo. janetha b.

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Erica February 15, 2010 at 5:50 am

ah! SO glad to hear you’re back! Everything looks amazing- what a room! I am so so excited to get down there- two weeks!! LOVE the fresh fruit on islands….I am so looking forward to it. You look fabulous in your kini girl! I mostly avoid chain restaurants too!

Therese February 15, 2010 at 6:05 am

OMG enough beating around the bush already…I wanna hear the engagement story!! I got all sentimental after hearing your news and watched the video our friend took of our engagement. TEAR!

Love you girl…can’t wait to hear more!

Emily (The Experimentarian) February 15, 2010 at 6:13 am

MMM–jerk chicken, fruit, cheese! That hotel and beach look gorgeous and SO much fun! I missed you and I know everyone else did too. So glad you’re back! I can’t wait to see the rest of the pics and hear all about it! AND when things settle down, D and I want to take you guys out to dinner so I can meet marshall :) Love you mama! xoxo

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine February 15, 2010 at 6:19 am

Sounds like such a great trip already! I can’t wait to hear about THE ENGAGEMENT! The only chain restaurants I frequent are Cosi, Bonefish and the Cheesecake Factory…and the last one only for dessert :)

Allie (Protein Girl) February 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

Church attendance would skyrocket if pews had bum carve-outs! Welcome home. P.S. The cereal atrocity cracks me up.

jenngirl February 15, 2010 at 6:36 am

Ahh I love your recap so far! I’m REALLY excited for part 2 though ;) And you have so many of the same thoughts I would have…trying out the food bars, enjoying treats like cereal at b-fast. haha love it!

1. I met a BOY!

2. Ugh, my friends drug me to Margaritaville in New Orleans and it was awful. I really don’t like Chain restaurants, but I do like Bonefish, and Chili’s is as OKAY option..

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) February 15, 2010 at 8:11 am

Love the recap! You and the boy look adooorable, I am jealous x1283719237 about the wonderful start of your trip! Ice cream stands, kayaking and beach-laying- sounds like perfection compared to the snow & cold up here in Canadia!

1. Nothing too new, just regular ol’ school, working on eating healthy and spending V-day with the boyf =D

2. Ugh, no chains for me, thanks. Unless it is my once-a-year trip to A&W ;)

xo
K

Sara February 15, 2010 at 8:16 am

I love seeing pictures of different hotels, I think to get some ideas for anytime I decide to remodel the casa. That view looks amazing! Hurry up and get to the rest :) can’t wait!

Ouch, a chain on the first night… I guess it’s good you were there for a week. I think chain restaurants are only necessary when there is no energy to think of a better option, on vaca or at home.

Amy B February 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

Welcome home :) I missed your updates! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!

MelissaNibbles February 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

Welcome home! You look beautiful and so happy!

RhodeyGirlTests February 15, 2010 at 11:19 am

can’t wait to hear more!!!

adrienmelaine February 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

Jealous.
Happy you’re back- love the pictures- I can’t wait for part 2-3-4.. and to hear about diamonds

Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) February 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I’m so excited that you are back! And I cannot wait to see and hear more! That resort looks absolutely gorgeous and so much fun!

Kelly February 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Welcome back! I’m a new-er reader, and I did a couple of your workouts last week…they were awesome!
Glad you had a blast!

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) February 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Missed you sooooo much! But loved the guesties sooooo much too- I really looked forward to them (as you can tell from my comments!). No idea that this was the annual work trip- rad!

Butt chairs had a bit tooooo much detail if you know what I mean. I think I would have to disinfect myself after sitting there.

Never heard of margaritaville. Thank goodness by the sounds of it. I avoid chains but some are better than others eg Roy’s.

Glad you are breaking the trip down into bite sized (Doh!) pieces- so fun to look forward to the next one!

elise February 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

welcome back and again – CONGRATSSSSSSSSS!!

BroccoliHut February 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm

SO glad to have you back!! We all missed you mucho:)

simplyshaka February 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Um, are y’all hiring? I could totally live in SLC in exchange for a tropical trip each yr! LOL

Pics look gorgeous and you look amazing in the pics—can’t wait to read about your engagement, see beautiful scenary of Jamaica (ok ok and jerk chicken)

I have the Jamaican Bobsled Team song from Cool Runnings in my head now :)

ksgoodeats February 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Hahah – bum indented seats! I love! CEREAL!!! You’re right, cereal is breakfast dessert. Your hotel looks gorg! I can’t wait for part two!

barbara February 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm

To this day i miss the Jerk Chicken..le sigh. glad you had fun!

Susan February 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm

You’re back!!!! Blogworld has missed you, but I enjoyed the guest postage. Your Jamaica pics look awesome. I’m totally with you on the beach being the number one priority! And the hotel is beautiful. It looks (and sounds!) like you and Marshall had a blast and I can’t wait for recap part dos ; )

Andrea@WellnessNotes February 15, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Welcome back!!!! :) The photos look amazing!!! And congrats again on the engagement! How exciting!

Lara (Thinspired) February 16, 2010 at 11:59 am

Ok, seriously, your boss was responsible for this trip and that incredible view?! Can I come work for your company?! ;)

Funny about the chain restaurants…I am really weird in that I kind of like them :) I don’t know why…I think it’s because I know what to expect when I go, and I like to know what’s coming! Hehe. But I totally understand people hating chain restaurants, and I DO like the experience when I go to a non-chain place.

BTW, you look totally rockin’ in your bikini :)

jqlee February 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Welcome back girl! Looks like you guys had such a good time. Your room is awesome! that view from your balcony must have been amazing to wake up to everyday. And how sweet is that gym? And I love all-inclusive resort foods. You can eat as healthy or unhealthy as you want :) I ate soooo much dang fresh fruit on my vacay.

I tend to avoid chain restaurants. Their foods are usually the worst for you. I try not to eat out that much in general but there are FAR better tasting and healthier restaurants than chain places. I don’t waste my time with their crappy foods. Although, SOME chains are pretty good though like some steak houses (Weber Grill, Ruth’s Chris, Smith and Wollensky, etc.)

Bekah February 17, 2010 at 6:13 am

Oooh man I missed you Janetha! I love everything about this post.
1. Thanks again for all the organization and planning you put in with the Valentine exchange, it was so much fun, and thanks also for allowing us to bombard your blog with guests post. I genuinely tried to read/comment/check out each blog the first couple days.. and then my laptop crashed and slowly my google reader was looking the highest its ever looked. :( Still using my roomies’ laptops which they are being SO Nice about! I can’t forget about blogging!

2. Your vacay looks so much fun, and i had no idea it was a work trip, how cool is that. you and marshall are so adorable, and i want to meet you both one day. Your starbucks oats look like mine! And with my drink of choice. Americanooo yummoo.

3. I usually avoid all inclusive trips AND chain restaurants, but it looks like it was actually pretty good food, and you did well. Delicious! And hehe I remember going to sooome sort of chain restaurant when in jamaica ONCE the entire time we were there.. yeah worst experience ever.

Glad you’re back!! XOXOXO

Jessica February 17, 2010 at 8:32 am

Welcome back lovely!! I’m behind on your posts….but wanted to say that you are looking just like one GORGEOUS, RADIANT, FIT, FAB, TAN, ENGAGED MAMA!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for you :)

I think i’d be all over that breakfast! When I was in cancun at an all inclusive two summers ago….my go-to breakfast was toast w/ pb, fruit and maybe a little cereal toooo! And the ICE CREAM CONES! Ahh, they get ya on the beach everytime! Good stuff!!

Sorry Margaritaville was so lame–i had it with my mom at an airport once and loved it!! hahahah

1. I’ve been livin’ ma life on the weekends and working my brain during the weeks with SCHOOL WORK. It’s never ending! For real.
2. I’ll do chain if i have to, and there are a few I know that are supaaa yummy (like panera!), but there’s plenty that i would prefer to avoid! esp. the places with a SIDE DINNER SALAD as the only veg entree!!!!!!

hayleycepeda February 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I know I am 5 million years behind on your blog, but I wanted to say that I LOVE your trip pics and recap!! You look absolutely fantastic and I LOOOOVE the location!! Better yet, congratulations on your engagement!! That is SO EXCITING!!! What a great place to do it. You guys are going to be so happy…not that you aren’t already! :)

danica February 19, 2010 at 10:50 am

Welcome back girlie, I’ve missed you (even if I am forever late in reading/catching up) :)

1. I LOVE those butt benches.
2. I LOVE the view from your suite – it’s AMAZING!
3. You and Marshall are freakin adorable in all the pics.

Can’t wait to catch up on the rest…I guess one good thing about reading later is I get to read them all at once :D

Love ya,

Danica

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