A Jamaican Vacation

We’re home.

No more “Yeah, mon” or “No problem, mon” or “It’s only 10 AM but I’m gonna start drinking now, mon.”

Instead, we came home to cold weather, dry air and such heartbreaking news about the tragedy in Connecticut. My heart goes out to anyone and everyone whose lives have been affected.

All tragedy aside, we really did have such an amazing vacation and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend 6 full days in the sun, with a tropical drink in one hand, a good book in the other and seriously, no problems, mon.


The weather was beautiful the entire time we were there and was basically a constant 84 degrees (even at night!). Obviously, it’s a lot more humid than Colorado, but I’m actually not the type to mind a little (or a lot) of humidity.


Every night I would sarcastically ask Joey, “What do you think we’re gonna do all day tomorrow?” because we basically woke up at the super-late-for-us hour of 9 AM, grabbed breakfast and parked it on the beach all.day.long.


I guess we occasionally moved it to one of the two pools. One of which had a swim up bar, where we watched at man in his 70’s get completely annihilated and then didn’t see him drink an alcoholic beverage for the remainder of the trip.


We stayed in Negril, which is about an hour away from Montego Bay, at the ClubHotel RIU Negril and I would definitely recommend the resort. It was all-inclusive so we made sure to take advantage everything the resort had to offer.




Um, mostly the alcohol. But there was food a-plenty and some kayaking as well. There were a couple of buffets and 3 fancier multi-course restaurants, which were included in the price of the resort. I won’t say it was the best food I’ve ever eaten, but I didn’t really have any complaints though.


We were able to try all 3 restaurants and I was pretty impressed. Or was under the influence of too much wine and whatever this green drink was.


But really, I was most impressed by the jerk chicken shack that opened up everyday right on the beach and served the most deliciously tender and slightly spicy chicken. Which we served up with rice and beans and a good ladle-full of barbecue sauce. We may have each devoured a plate almost every single day.



I also contracted a mild, okay severe, obsession with jack fruit. If you’ve never had or seen jack fruit, it looks like a watermelon with this pokey-looking outside and the inside is bright yellow with big chucks of fruit that you have to remove a giant seed from and pull out with your hands, which get all sticky in the process.


So worth it, though because that tropical flavor and odd texture are so so addicting. Not that I would know anything about that though.


The resort had an entertainment team that put on nightly dance shows, all of which we watched and loved. One night they did a Michael Jackson show and their Thriller number was awesome plus they ended the show with my all-time favorite MJ song, “Will You Be There?” Yeah, from Free Willy… That’s everyone’s favorite, right?


They also led aerobics classes, beach volleyball games, poolside contests and nighttime dancing. I wouldn’t know anything about those last two activities though…


I think our favorite part of of the trip was the excursion we went on to Rick’s Cafe, which is a restaurant bar with cliff diving!


We stopped on the way for snorkeling and to swim into a cave where part of Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. Once we got to Rick’s, we ordered food and drinks, then watched a wedding where the bride and groom said “I do” and then jumped from the 40 ft. cliff into the ocean below, still in their wedding clothes!


Then Joey and I both jumped off that same cliff! I’m terrified of heights and have never done anything like that before. I think the extra strong rum punch I had helped me gain the courage to do it. Total vacation highlight!




As for the beach and the Jamaican landscape, it was gorgeous! The water was so warm, clear and calm. Watching the sunset over the ocean and seeing the sea floor littered with tiny starfish is something I’ll never forget.




Actually, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the whole vacation.

Are you more of a sight seeing or R&R vacationer?

Have you ever been to the Caribbean?

What’s your favorite vacation memory?

Thanksgiving Weekend: Top 15 Moments

What day is it??

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been off of work for the past 4 1/2 days and I’ve lost all sense of time.  I kinda feel like I’m back in school and have been on Thanksgiving break.  And I kinda like that feeling.  In other words, I’m not ready to go back to work tomorrow.  Anyone else?

I feel like so much family, food and fun went on this weekend, so I won’t bore you with a play by play.  Instead let’s recap the top 15 moments.  In no particular order:

1. Thanksgiving prep on Wednesday.

I made clover rolls on Wednesday evening and finished them off on Thursday morning, but they came together really easily and relatively quickly.  Relatively, because when you’re working with yeast and it has to rise, it can’t ever be that quick.

2. Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot.

On Wednesday night we got an email from the race director saying he had gone out to California and personally driven the race shirts back to Colorado only to discover that the design had never been printed on them!  So yes, there were a few minor races glitches and the wind blowing against us for the entire 3rd mile wasn’t my favorite, but otherwise it was a nice little race.

3. Realizing we forgot to make a dish 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave for Thanksgiving #1.

As we were running through the list of things we needed to bring in the car before leaving, I basically screamed “the brussel sprouts!!”  Luckily, we had chopped them up the night before and it took all of 10 minutes to finish the dish.  Gotta love doing those kinds of things on important holidays 🙂

4. Thanksgiving meal #1.

Joey’s mom aced the turkey this year!  I’m not a huge fan of turkey and honestly it’s my least favorite thing on the Thanksgiving table, but it was so good that it was the first thing I cleared from my plate.  Oh look, brussel sprouts.

5. Getting to eat the clover rolls.

Mmm, buttery.

These turned out great.  There’s nothing like warm, fresh, homemade bread, is there?  Okay, I promise to stop talking about the rolls now.

6. Spending time with Joey’s side of the family.

I could basically sum it up by saying there was (too much) football, moonshine, slow-motion watching of a certain TV commercial and that awesome Kraft turkey.

7. Thanksgiving #2.

Joey’s plate always looks the best.  Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be right without mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and a home-cooked meal made by my mom.  I have such fond memories of my mom cooking on Thanksgiving.  Our celebrations might have been small, but they were always special to me.

I’m happy to report that not a thing has changed.  Except there’s a few more people and I love my mom’s stuffing even more.  I didn’t even think that was possible.

8. Spending time with my family.

Okay, so maybe my nephew was bouncing off the walls and driving my brother insane and Andi didn’t want to stop barking and the men decided to watch Monster’s Inc. by themselves, but I love spending time with that crazy bunch.  After my brother and co. left we settled down to watch Casino Royale because my family is all into James Bond after seeing Skyfall last weekend.  It was such a relaxing, albeit slightly violent, end to a great Thanksgiving.

9. Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It was as silly and embarrassing as ever!  I just love those cheesy Broadway performances and all the awkward lip-syncing.  Why can’t the artists on the floats actually sing their songs??  Also, I’m kind of scared for the future of music after listening to some of those younger singers.

10. Christmas ornament painting.

Joey and I did this once a few years ago and haven’t done it since, despite thinking it was tons of fun.  Turns out getting lost in concentration while painting intricate lines and shapes and listening to weird conversations going on around you really is that fun.  Plus I’m super excited to see how these turn out.  I may have also got a parking ticket while we were painting.  Definitely not a top moment.

11.  Putting up our Christmas tree.

I tried to convince Joey that while he might be allergic to real trees, I’m allergic to fake ones.  It didn’t work, so fake tree it is.  Anything decked out in pretty lights can’t be that bad though, right?

12. Impulse buy.

We were at the mall for an hour yesterday and I managed to buy two things… for myself.  Wow, I really suck at this Christmas giving thing.  Anyways, See’s lollypops totally remind me of my childhood and upon seeing them at the mall, I instantly knew I needed a box.  Life is so much happier now.

13. This sky.

Oh my god.

There was no shortage of pictures of this sunset on Instagram yesterday.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought it was breathtaking.

14. Dinner with friends at Steuben’s in Denver.

I truly think Denver is such a cool town.  Maybe one day I’ll live there, we’ll see.  For now, I’m totally content to visit its swanky restaurants every now and then.  Steuben’s is like an upscale diner with classic but fancied-up comfort food.  And also $10 cocktails.  Apparently.

15. Sunday morning cinnamon rolls.

I used this Alton Brown recipe and did everything but bake them last weekend.  After the second rise, I wrapped the dish in aluminum foil and plastic wrap and stuck them in the freezer.  I took them out and put them in the fridge on Thursday night so they could thaw and then all I had to do was bake them this morning.  They turned out perfectly!  I totally recommend this recipe.

Okay, I guess that was in a particular chronological order.  So I guess that makes it Sunday night.  How depressing!  I truly hope you all had an equally long, relaxing and fun holiday weekend.


How was your Thanksgiving celebration?

What else did you do this weekend?

Do you watch the Thanksgiving parade?