My friend got married in Jamaica on Friday. That is why I went there. If she hadn’t gotten married there, I don’t know if I ever would have made it there. And that would have been a shame, because now that I’ve been, I definitely wouldn’t mind going back.
The journey began on Thursday around 7am in Newark, where we breezed through security and enjoyed a leisurely sit down breakfast at the terminal. Each seat was equipped with an iPad which you used to place and pay for your order. Then you could surf the web while waiting for your food instead of attempting conversation with your travel companions. I wonder if it made us old fashioned to remove the screens from their holders, lay them flat on the table face down, and actually look at each other. The technology was questionable anyway because after all of the food arrived, Chris had to flag down a waiter to get the tea he ordered, which had never showed up.
As we were boarding the plane, the gate agents told Chris that he was upgraded to Business First. He flies a lot for work and has a moderate silver status, thus he often gets upgraded when flying to more “touristy” rather than “businessy” destinations. However, he couldn’t take me with him because there was only one Business First seat available. So, he declined his upgrade and sat in the middle seat of row 29 next to me for the four hour flight. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
Our first look at Jamaica was through our driver, Kevin. We had set up a private airport transfer through the hotel’s recommended company, which was only a little bit more expensive than a taxi or shared shuttle, but turned out to be worth it. Kevin called us the day before we left to confirm our flight times and was waiting for us when we came out of customs, holding a big sign with our name on it. He led us to a cool, air-conditioned van and helped us with our bags before setting off to our resort. Along the way, he was so incredibly pleasant, pointing out areas of town we might be interested in and telling us all about reggae music. There were times, too, when he would let a silence fall. Not a long or awkward one, just enough for us to take in the views out our window. It felt like a cousin had picked us up at the airport and was showing us around a hometown we knew but hadn’t been back to in a while. That is pretty much how everyone treated us- not customers, clients, tourists, or even guests, but like family.
Later on in the trip, we took an excursion out to the countryside (that I will detail in another post) which let us take in lush greens, rolling hills, and stunning waterfalls.
“You have a beautiful home,” one of the guests on the tour said to our guide.
The guide just looked at him quizzically.
“Jamaica, your home,” the guest said, “it is beautiful.”
“Ohhh,” the guide replied, “Jamaica is everybody’s home.”
More Jamaica posts are on their way in the next week or so, stay tuned!