I’m back from Jamaica! Actually, I got back to Canada very early yesterday morning, but then went to the Raptors game and then to Dad’s for dinner before finally making it to my own bed.

The trip was fantastic. Very refreshing and relaxing. It was such a different type of travel from what I’ve gotten used to. Everything was provided, and life was very easy for a week. It was also quite an adjustment to travel with a group. At times it was challenging, because I have a frequent need to be alone and have space. But, I found that once I explained it to the group, they didn’t worry about me when I went to sit on the balcony and read by myself or walk off down the beach on my own. The upside of traveling with a group of five other people is the abundance of inside jokes we developed. There was the Indian way of saying “Fat Fat,” Rani’s vast collection of “bicknees” and of course, the Lionel Richie song that begins with, “Halal, is it meat you’re looking for?” We had nicknames for everyone on the resort. I’ll never forget Obnoxor spewing fumes of carbon obnoxide, Angor, The French Connection, The Awkward Russians, U2, Lonely Indian Guy, Girl on Fire, Saskatoon, Amanda Hug ‘n Kiss, and so many others. We were collectively known as the Girl with the Five Guys.

The resort was small, with only 120 rooms or so. They still managed to provide great entertainment, delicious food, and comfortable accommodations. All rooms had a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea, which for the first few days, was as calm and clear as a swimming pool. We were also facing roughly west, so there was a beautiful sunset almost every night. We were a bit worried when we saw how small the beach was, but because the resort is also small, we never felt crowded. We never felt like we needed to fight for a spot on the beach, or get up extra early to ensure a good spot to suntan. I particularly enjoyed the floating trampoline, and spent many hours sleeping on it in the sun.

The staff was friendly and service-oriented, and worked hard to make our experience a good one. Every night there was some kind of show, usually with audience participation. I got up on stage for the Battle of the Sexes. I was surprised to get a chance to improvise, when my team was asked to transform me into a woman. It was extra easy to get into the character of Shenille, a “professional entertainer” from New York because I was decked out a pink wig, purple glitter pants, a silver bra, lipstick, and high heel shoes. Unfortunately, there’s a video of this out there somewhere.

New Years Eve was a lot of fun. After counting down to midnight, we all jumped up on stage and danced with the band. When the show was over, a few of us stripped down to our underwear and jumped into the ocean. After showering off, we partied at the disco until 4am.The weather was… interesting. We had three days of brilliant sun and warmth, with calm breezes and clear water. The temperature was typically about 27-30C every day. In other words, perfect. Then the tropical depression moved in, whipping the sea into a frenzy. It tore apart our seafront and beach overnight, and for two days we were unable to use it. We wouldn’t want to anyway, since it was filled with fragments of the wooden fence, and it was pretty cold too. We didn’t let it spoil our fun though. We spent that time eating, drinking, playing horseshoes, basketball, board games, dominoes, cards, generally goofing off, or whatever else came to mind. The day we left, the sky and sea were clear again.

I attained a new level of photographic laziness on this trip. Not only did I only bring my tiny Canon point and shoot, leaving my 5D at home, but I also left the Canon point and shoot in the hotel room most of the time. It seemed like too much bother to carry it around. One of the other guys on the trip had the same point and shoot, so when I felt like taking a picture, I just used his. I’ll have to wait for him to upload the photos before I share them. Here are the ones from my cam.

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