UIB Travels: Jamaica (Part I)

#UnicorninBrooklyn on Rock Star Villa grounds. #Wanterlust
On Rock Star Villa grounds. #Wanderlust
Jamaica, Jamaica…. Jamaica, Jamaica!  My second time in this country did NOT disappoint!
I visited Jamaica (or JA) about 6 years ago with my sister and cousins.  We stayed at the underwhelming Sunset Beach Resort & Spa in Montego Bay. The accommodations were lackluster, the beach was man-made (which I just learned from a native that I met on the plane en route to JA for my second visit), the food was nothing to write home about, and the drinks were watered down – but hey, you get what you pay for right?
While there we ventured to Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios (“Ochie” as the natives call it), Margaritaville (in Montego Bay or “Mo Bay” as the natives call it), Rick’s Cafe (yes I jumped off the 30 foot cliff) and 7-Mile Beach – both in Negril.  While the trip was enjoyable it does not compare to my second visit to JA.
My second trip was planned approximately 3 weeks before I left.  I needed to get away and fast.  I wanted an escape in which I could relax and indulge in a little fun.  Little did I know that my quickly planned getaway would turn into THE most amazing trip of my life to date.  
Time stood still;  I lost track of time and days while there.  The sun was my watch (I’d left my Michael Kors wristwatch on my nightstand in Bed Stuy).  Although I usually had my phone on me (to capture videos, take pics, and to save notes in my memo when I didn’t have my pen and pad handy) I seldom looked at the time.  Do you know how refreshing it was to be completely disconnected from the outside world?  No annoying text messages.  No phone calls.  No e-mails.  I connected to Wi-Fi only when on Rock Star Villa (the Bed & Breakfast that I stayed at – details below) grounds, which was either early in the morning or in the evening (after returning home from a day of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and fun).  
I experienced an overwhelming sense of freedom and peace while there and fell in love with it.  This trip far exceeded my expectations and inadvertently turned me into a new travel junkie.  I am now actively planning my next adventure – stay tuned!

Now, onto the recap (Part I)!

Before I get started can we just give it up for the Samsung Galaxy S3? This phone ROCKS! ALL of my pics and videos were taken on it. *Applauds loudly*

Since the recap (Part II) will be extremely detailed and lengthy, I wanted to post something quick to share my experience and to answer a few questions that you may have had after following my journey on Instagram (the pics are accessible on the right hand side of my page) – thus this recap (Part I) post.

Q&A’s

How long did I stay? Seven days, six nights.  However, It felt like a month though because I squeezed so much into my trip.

Did I smoke (or as my father asked me “Did you roll any blunts?” – LOL)?  Ummm, do Jamaicans speak patois? HELL YES!

Where did I stay? My first night in JA I stayed in Portland (with my friend’s family).  Every night after I stayed in St. Elizabeth (specifically Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth) at my good friend’s villa/B&B, Rock Star. Websitehttp://rockstarbandb.wix.com/rockstarbandb Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Rock-Star-Bed-Breakfast/191213104404459?ref=stream & Instagram: http://instagram.com/rockstarbandb 

What did I do? The better question is what DIDN’T I DO?  Drank coconuts, received a massage from rastas in the mountains, was blessed as I had 130 degree Farenheit water poured on me, swam  in crystal clear river water, went to a bar in the middle of the mo’phuckin ocean, ate the freshest foods, fed a cow, saw crocodiles, viewed the sea from more than 1,750 above sea level, walked underneath bamboo, learned how Appleton rum was made, chased peacocks, went swimming in the ocean, climbed a coral reef, smoked trees while aqua water washed ashore on my feet, played REAL football on Treasure beach, saw prostitutes in Kingston, forged lifelong bonds with friends, rode on the back of a motorbike, experienced nirvana, and realized my purpose – to write. Details of these adventures to follow in recap Part II.

What did I eat? Mostly fresh fish (red snapper, parrot fish, lion fish, and saltfish; ackee & saltfish, callaloo & saltfish, and cabbage & saltfish), jerk chicken, curry goat, rice & peas, steamed veggies (okra, cabbage, carrots, peppers), festival, fried dumplings, green bananas, plantains, yam, potato, cous cous, freshly picked cocoa, sugarcane, and LOTS of fruits (some of which include soursop, apples, cantaloupe, bananas, watermelon and papaya), tamarind, coconut, shrimp patties and a freshly baked cake (prepared by the hostess of the villa).

What did I wear?  I made it a point to always wear a bikini underneath my attire because I never knew what I would get into once I left the villa and wanted to be prepared.  The daytime temperatures remained in the high 80’s (without any humidity) so I was pretty much comfortable in anything lightweight.  I wore rompers, shorts, skirts, pants, dresses, and cotton shirts to stay cool.  I carried a lightweight cardigan with me for the evenings (the island breezes lowered the nighttime temperatures to high 60’s – lower 70’s).  On my feet, sandals and flip flops.  Although I bought sneakers with me (I flew into Kingston wearing them), I didn’t wear them because I wanted my feet to breathe.

How did I pack?  Like most other woman – WAAAAY too much!  My ticket to the world; my passport, hair products (gel, shampoo, curling cream, and conditioner), Headwraps (which turned into my saving grace because I didn’t have the time to style my hair on most days), flip flops, crossbody bags, wristlets, a beach bag, bikinis, body splashes, standard toiletries (deodorant, toothpaste & toothbrush), costume jewelry, makeup (I damn near bought my entire caboodle, but only wound up using a little mascara, lip gloss and blush), a wireless phone charger (to keep my phone juiced up while out and about), and of course the most important duo of my trip; my small spiral notepad and blue ballpoint pen. 

Which parts/areas of Jamaica did I visit?  Kingston, New Kingston, Portland, Alligator Pond, Manchester, Manchioneal, Treasure Beach, Mandeville, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon, West Moreland, Black River, Accompong, and St. Thomas.

Why the candid shots (mostly)? I DESPISE “cheesy” pics because they are the epitome of cliche.  I wanted you to see me in action enjoying myself as if you were right there beside me or behind me.

What were the highlights of my trip? Bath Fountain, Treasure Beach Tour (wild dolphins, pelican bar, & black river), Lover’s Leap, Walking Down Bamboo Avenue & The Appleton Estates Rum Factory Tour – in that order.

What did I learn? I learned that all the little things I used to stress don’t really matter.  Amazing things can happen when you stop existing and start living!

I hope to post Part II next week (I’m still working on it as I want to ensure I give you a vividly descriptive story).  For now I hope you enjoyed this quick recap.

#UnicorninBrooklyn wearing my new fav tee. Purchased @ Callaloo Butik in St. Elizabeth. It reads "Jamaica One Love Island"
Rocking my new tee. Purchased @ Callaloo Butik in St. Elizabeth. It reads “Jamaica One Love Island”

Until next time friends!

– PenniePenz

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6 thoughts on “UIB Travels: Jamaica (Part I)

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