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Thread: Rastagirl is Back From Jamaica!

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    Default Rastagirl is Back From Jamaica!

    Rastagirl is back from Jamaica...........

    And boy was it hard to get back on the plane to come home. My husband had to drag me. :lol:

    First, I must warn you this will probably be a long post, cause there was one great memory after another the entire vacation. I have never had so much fun in my life. I was in heaven from the moment our plane touched down.

    Jamaica is like no place on earth. :lol: It is absolutely beautiful!! The Jamaican people are the best! I met some of the most loving, easy going, fun and genuinely good-from-the-heart people I have ever met. I had some really good chats with the Jamaican ladies running their souvenier booths on the beach. We shared stories about being Moms. The first day we were there, my husband and I ventured down the beach past our resort to check out the souveniers, and while my husband talked with the men and watched them play dominos, one of the ladies told me I looked stressed from the long plane ride and she proceeded to bring out an aloe vera plant. She broke off a stem, squeezed pure aloe vera gel in her hands and gave me a half hour massage standing on the beach. I have truly never been so relaxed in my life. It was perfect. I had nowhere to be, nowhere to hurry off to. All I had to do was stand on the beach staring at the Caribbean blues and greens and RELAX!! ( I came back a few days later and paid her $20 for my massage.)

    One of the highlights of my trip was the toys I gave away to the kids. I had been saving some money my mom gave me for my birthday, and decided that I have way too many things, that I didn't need anything for this birthday. I wanted to share some of my money with the Jamaican people. Before I left home, I bought a bunch of toys for kids of all ages....Hot Wheel cars, bright colored hair ribbons and barettes, stuffed animals, balls, frisbees, bubbles, small baby dolls, the snap necklaces that glow in the dark, etc. My husband wanted to know where I was going to find kids when we were staying at an all-adult resort. I just smiled and said, "watch me". Every time I had the chance, I invited one of the workers from the resort to come to my room and I would lay out the toys on our bed and let them pick out toys for their kids. Our maid (who cleaned our room spotlessly) had 5 kids and 2 grandkids. She picked out the cutest little stuffed dog that barked when you squeezed his ear to give to her 4 year old daughter who was very sick. She gave me a big hug before she left and said it would bring her much joy to see her daughter smile when she saw the toy. I fell asleep that night thinking of the children getting their toys.

    (At this point, I feel I must share that the most difficult part of the trip was driving from the airport to the resort and seeing the extreme poverty, firsthand. It broke my heart. :cry: I feel I am changed because of what I saw. I have always donated to my favorite charity, Food For the Poor, but found out while in Jamaica, that I can designate that my money go directly to Jamaica Food For the Poor. That is what I will be doing now.)

    Now, I'll share a few of the highlights of our very special 25th Anniversary. When we arrived at the resort at 7:30 pm, after a long day of travel, we were told that the resort was overbooked and Corporate had given our room away. Needless to say, my husband was very upset. I remained a bit more calm, having already adopted the 'no problem' attitude. We were assured that we had a room, it was not their nicest, but it had a comfortable bed, and after 2 days, we would be upgraded to an ocean-view, 24 hour room service, full mini bar room. We agreed since our original room we booked did not have these amenities. We got to our room, changed and went off to explore the resort and find a restaurant to have our Anniversary dinner. We found the barefoot-on-the-beach restaurant, where we had white glove service all with our toes in the sand, 10 feet from the ocean. It was incredible!

    After dinner, we returned to our room and found candles lit all around the room, rose petals in the shape of a heart on our huge, four-poster bed, a swan-shaped towel on the bed surrounded by tropical flowers, a bucket of chilled champagne and glasses, and a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries and the yummiest whipped cream flowers with chocolate scrolled writing on the plate that said 'Happy 25th Anniversary'. It was beautiful. A memory I will have forever.

    When we were moved to our other room on Friday morning, we were really in for a treat. We were on the top floor (3rd) in the building closest to the ocean.....about 30 feet away. The view was incredible. I think I spent at least 3 or 4 hours a day just sitting on our patio with my feet up, staring at the Caribbean, watching the fisihing boats or a storm come rolling in. It was so relaxing. And having room service absolutely spoiled me. Not that there wasn't enough food throughout the resort. There were buffets every day with so many different kinds of food. One night they had an all Jamaican buffet that was every kind of Jamaican food you could imagine. My husband and I tried just about everything (except I passed on the curried goat).

    Okay, we've covered the people, the food, the beauty, the relaxation. Now the music. I was in Reggae heaven!!!! 8) The Jamaican's know their music and their dance. Man can they dance!! They had great shows every night, but our favorite was 'Reggae Love'. It was a history of Jamaica and it's music and it was very moving. I got a chance to meet a young woman who danced a beautiful ballet to one of my favorite songs, "No Woman, No Cry" (By Bob Marley, for those not familiar). She came to my table after the show, so I could tell her how moving it was. She told me that after the show, most of the dancers would go down to the Piano Bar and dance until 1:30 a.m. She invited me to come dance with them. And boy did I have fun. They like their music loud and they can dance on and on for hours. I could only dance one of two songs and then had to sit on a bar stool or in the jacuzzi and driink 2 or 3 glasses of water. They went from Reggae to Hip Hop, we were dancing to Kanye West and Shakira. It was a blast.

    I even danced down the steps to the beach and danced my heart out next to the Caribbean for every person with Lupus. I told Lupus "you cannot take away all of our dreams, you cannot destroy our spirit, you cannot break us! We are bigger than you, we are stronger than you, and WE Will PREVAIL!! Never give up hope on your dreams, they may be sidelined for this moment in time, but there is always the next moment, and that one could be yours.

    I'll try to finish up here with a few more fantastic memories......

    Winning 2nd place in a dance contest at the Manager's cocktail party (I won a bottle of my favorite Jamaican rum, Appleton Estate).

    My husband sailing us on a Hobie Cat for 2 hours and taking us past Hedonism resort (the nude beach) and getting mooned by the guests.

    Two huge pelicans following us as we sailed, just ahead of our sailboat they would fly straight up and turn and dive straight into the ocean and come up with bills full of fish.

    Dinner at the Japanese restaurant, Munsana, at the resort. We were at a table with 3 other couples and our Jamaican chef, Wayne, was fantastic. He sang Bob Marley tunes with us, taught us how to cook 'Blackinese', and made us all laugh. The food was some of the best I have ever had.

    A very romantic Couples Massage for my husband and I.

    Sitting at the restaurant, Margaritaville, with our feet up on the railing, a margarita in hand, staring at the Caribbean, listening to Jimmy Buffet songs. (We sat there for 3 hours!)

    Okay, I just saw how long this post is and realized I must finish. Obviously, I could go on and on about this trip, mostly because there was just one great memory after another all through our vacation.

    JAMAICA IS A TRUE PARADISE AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT EVERYONE EXPERIENCE IT IN THEIR LIFETIME, IF POSSIBLE!! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

    On my return home, I come back with a renewed spirit, a peace of mind I have never had, and a joy that fills my soul with delight.

    I have permanently adopted a new attitude: NO PROBLEM - NO WORRIES. And while the world around me stresses on......I believe with all my heart that ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!!!!

    Thanks for letting me share with you and for all your well wishes and encouragement. You guys are the best!

    Most Fondly,

    Lori (Rastagirl) :P

    p.s. You should see me in my Rasta hat with the dreadlocks. I now truly feel like a 'Rastagirl'.

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    Rastagirl -
    Sooo happy for you!! Yes, a dream come true for you!! I have been to Jamaica as well (I actally stayed at Hedonism one night!!). I stayed next door to Hedonism at the Tree House in Negril. Its beautiful there but, yes, very poor. They make a living off of those massages you got. And relaxed?? OMG - the first day at breakfast, I thought the waitress had gone home!! But she soon sauntered out with the eggs.....It was such a culture shock!!
    What an amazing and giving person you are with the toys....how wonderful is that? You seem to be quite a woman...You probably made those kids year! God is happy, for sure.
    Im glad you had a great time, Im glad you told lupus where to "go" and Im glad you are home safely...
    Take Care
    Lauri
    For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

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    Thanks, Lauri..........

    I saw 'The Treehouse' on our way to Sandals. It looks like a fun place. I'll bet there are great views from the rooms up so high.

    What was your stay at Hedonism like? My husband and I ventured down there one night and they had a great show and fantastic food, but then afterwards everyone disappeared to the nude hot tub and beach and visitors weren't permitted. We could hear them all partying, but we just found a hammock and cuddled up by the ocean. It was all good!

    I checked my mailbox today, and my postcard from Jamaica arrived. I always send myself a postcard from where I'm vacationing, so I get a little 'reminder' when I get back home. I always write something poignant and inspirational............

    This time it said: Soon Come Back, Mon! Jamaica, my dream come true!

    No Worries,

    Lori :lol:

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    Fantastic, Lauri! THanks for sharing all your memories. You sound like such a special person....sharing toys with this children - that's wonderful. My husband be-friended a fellow-musician (my husband is a jazz musician) when we were in Jamaica. The guy drove a tour van and he became our personal guide while we were there. We saw parts of Jamaica that many tourists never see. It was very poor - we met some of his family and saw local schools. Many of the people seemed happy and very devoted to family. But the health care was terrible, and living conditions pretty meager. I was good of you to pay attention to all of that, particularly when you were there to celebrate your anniversary. Glad it was so special!

    Jody
    "If you trust Google more than you trust your doctor than maybe it's time to switch doctors."

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    Ah Lori, your post brought back wonderful memories...I can almost smell the island air...

    Many years ago we took a "surprise" trip to Jamaica. Some friends had booked it, but their grandmother became ill and they didn't want to leave town. So on a THURSDAY we agreed to take over their trip which left on that SUNDAY. It was February, and seemed like a good idea at the time... :roll:

    It was - you're so right about the poverty, I've never seen such. On an island tour, it was 4 tourists in a van with a Jamaican guide, we went to one hill and looked out - on one side the slum, tin three sided shacks jumbling down the hill. On the other - cruise boats in the harbor. Amazing juxtaposition.

    The food was amazing. THe people all so friendly, and the sweet air blowing in from the sea....

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip - and so glad you brought me memories of our trip!

    (I send myself postcards too - fun isn't it?)
    ~"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe." (Dalai Lama)

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    What a holiday...I envisioned, made me feel I as if was there...

    Ocean, sand, tropics, music..love...heaven on earth...

    Have you heard this song...and did you do the belly rub dance..

    I say: Pass the dutchie on the left hand side.
    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side.
    It a gonna burn, give me the music make me jump and prance.
    It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance.

    It was a cool and lovely, breezy afternoon
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    you could feel it 'cause it was the month of June
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    so I left my gate and went out for a walk
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    As I pass the dreadlocks' camp I heard them say
    (how does it feel when you've got no food?)

    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side.
    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side.
    it a gonna burn, give me the music make me jump and prance.
    It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance.


    Thank you for sharing...
    Oluwa
    I have Lupus. So *^#@! what.

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    Lauri;
    I am so glad to hear that your dream vacation was a dream come true. My husband and I have been to Jamaica three times (on each trip, we take books for the schools) and absolutely love it there. However, like you, my husband is very affected by the poverty and has to reconcile the fact that we are staying in a five star resort while the indigenous people live in abject poverty. However, after making long lasting friendships with the people who work there, we've learned that, were it not for tourism, the poverty would be 100 times worse. We've remained in contact with several families that we met on our trips.
    I have always been a big fan of reggae and Bob Marley is my favorite. "No Woman, No Cry" is a legend and I can just imagine how beautiful a ballet must have been to that song.
    While there, we were "adopted" by a Jamaican family and taken to a wedding party. You are so right about them liking their music LOUD and dancing ALL NIGHT LONG! My sister-in-law eventually married a cousin of the family that "adopted" us! So, we are tied to Jamaica in several ways
    :lol:
    I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear you so happy! You are right, we should never give up on our dreams, even if they've been deffered. Congratulations on your 25th anniversary and congratulations on have a dream come true!

    Peace and Blessings
    Saysusie
    Look For The Good and Praise It!

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    oluwa -
    I forgot about that song!! I love it!!
    Lauri
    For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

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    Lori, I am inspired. I told my HubbyMan that I wanted to go somewhere like Jamaica for our 30th anniversary. We have been married for 27years and havent gone anywhere. He and I figure if we start to plan on this now it surely will have to happen.

    Thank you for inspiring me and my sweet hunka HubbyMan!!!

    Kasey

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