Jamaica Jet Lag Journal: Much Respect, Mon
I had no concept of just how happy I would be in Jamaica. I booked the trip for a friend’s great big party and I don’t know that I ever would have otherwise. Jamaica is just not on my bucket list. But the easygoing spirit of the locals and the beauty of the turquoise water and rocky cliffs really made me swoon. I took two days off of work, flew into Montego Bay, and took a taxi for an hour and a half to arrive at The Rockhouse in Negril. The driver pointed out every single hotel we passed, and they were all – every one of them except for Round Hill, site of How Stella Got Her Groove Back – giant, all-inclusive factories. I was so pleased at the tiny hotel I pulled into – all of 30 rooms with an outdoor check-in desk and meandering pathways to various huts. It reminded me so much of the Papaya Playa Project in Tulum. Four long, full days and three nights made me feel like I was away for the entirety of a week. I felt so free and so refreshed, and had some awesome tan lines to boot.
The turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea were so enticing. All day and all night, I just wanted to be swimming. You can see straight down to the bottom, so there’s nothing “fishy” going on down there that you don’t know about. The Rockhouse is situated on cliffs overlooking the water, and the easiest way in is to jump. Of course, the longer you stand and stare, the harder it is to do it. We watched one girl stand on the edge and freak out about everything that was swimming below her. “Ewww, is that an eel?!” Yes. “Yikes, is that a reef?” Yes. Just jump. Come on, girl. JUMP! The food was delicious – a little bit spicy and all the yummier for being in the sun and the water. Breakfast and lunch consisted of an IV of rum punch and Red Stripe beers interspersed with a few meals here and there. Jerk chicken was of course delicious, but our best meal was at the scary-looking little tin shack called Presley’s. Best Friend Tara called ahead (that’s her, the blonde) and asked for jerk lobster, so Presley got in his boat that morning, caught it fresh, and we each ate three jerk lobster tails.One of my favorite dishes was rasta pasta, linguine in a garlic sauce with callaloo, the local green. Callaloo is somewhat equivalent to our kale or spinach, but really can’t compare. And even breakfast was served with jerk spices. Not a bad breakfast view, right?The veggies and fruits that are used as entree ingredients and cocktail garnishes at The Rockhouse are grown right across the street in their organic garden. I took a tour of it with Bally, one of the staff members who runs the grounds, who showed us – and fed us – all the fresh cherry tomatoes, bitter herbs, plums, callaloo leaves, and sorrel flowers. The pink sorrel looks like the hibiscus blooms in syrup that I have in a jar and drop into champagne, but it tastes sour like a kiwi.
More to come tomorrow on this beautiful getaway, including sunsets, dinner parties, and spa treatments!