Saturday, December 24, 2011

Daylight Come And We Don't Want To Go Home

We are packing and getting ready to leave hot and sunny Jamaica to go back to cold and snowy Michigan.  As much as we love it here, we do want to head back home.  Well, before we head to the airport to wait for our 4+ hour flight, let me give a little recap of yesterday's activities.

We started off by heading down to the coffee shop.  Alyssa had a little headache the day before (probably due to the fact that she's a caffeine addict and went one morning without her coffee).  She ordered a Cold White Satin and I had a Jamaican Coffee.  Alyssa took one sip and said," This is the best coffee I have ever had."  And I would have to admit, my cup was also the best I have ever had.  Maybe being down in paradise makes things seem nicer, or it was the splash of rum added to the joe.  Well either way, it was good.

Alyssa's Cold White Satin

After our coffee, we headed for the beach.  We just lounged half the day away and even fell asleep on on one of the beach beds that was steps away from the ocean.

We also went kayaking again.  This time we got a little more adventurous and went out past one of the shelves.  When we looked down, the seafloor dropped straight down and all we could see was black water.  Alyssa got a little scared so we headed back to shore over the coral reef beds.  I even managed to get my kayak wedged on top of part of the coral and was able to push myself off before the waves knocked me over.

We didn't bring our cameras with us because we figured we had enough pictures from the days prior and just wanted to go have fun without worrying about them going missing.  Luckily, the resort has photographers that wander the beaches and snap photos of couples.  We went down to the photo shop later in the evening and purchased a few photos to take home with us.

Here are a few of the pictures.

Look how clear that water is

Relaxing in the bright blue waters of Jamaica

Jazzed up for dinner

We decided to have a lazy day to cap off our honeymoon.  We did get dressed up and go out to a lobster buffet dinner which was delicious.  Then we sat out on our balcony for several hours just talking and enjoying the beautiful weather.

We ordered some late night room service (hamburgers and nachos) and called it a night.

Now we're all packed and ready to go.  Just going to wander the resort until checkout time.  Hope to be in the States around 7:30 to 8:00.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bird's Eye View

I'm just going to do a recap of yesterday's fun since we were too tired last night to post.

We started the day off by hitting the workout facility on the far end of the resort.  Alyssa did some cardio work on the elliptical while I did my arms and chest workout.

Afterwards we went down to the beach to look for starfish.  A couple we had met told us that we could pick them up out of the water and that they would barely move.  So that's what we did.

Alyssa holding a starfish.

We also shot some video of us picking us the starfish on our GoPro underwater camera, but for some reason I can't upload it on the wifi here at the resort.

After playing with the starfish, we went down to the water sports entertainment center.  This is where you can do things like go on glass-bottomed boats, scuba dive, etc.  Scuba diving was out of our price range so we decided to go parasailing, and I'm so glad we did.  It was a rush being lifted off the boat, it was even more of a rush when the boat crew dunked us in the ocean before lifting us up in the air.  The view was amazing.

Getting dunked in the ocean before lifting off

We were so high in the air

The boat crew was very funny and got some pretty good pictures of us.  We also took the GoPro camera with us and have some pretty cool footage of the whole ride.

Once back ashore we decided to try out some kayaking.  We raced from one side of the resort to the other and then rode some waves.  It was a lot of fun and a good workout too.

We spent the rest of the day laying around the beach and playing with some fish over by one of the seawalls.

When the day was winding down, we got ready for dinner.  We had a little time to kill so we went around the resort taking pictures.  Here are a few.

Alyssa was very happy when a member of the resort staff came up to her and told her she looked like a princess.  Then he told me I looked good too because he didn't want me to feel left out.

Fountain with restaurants and shopping center behind

Part of the beach where we found all the starfish

She made a heart out of the palm tree branches

We made our way over to dinner at the Hibachi Grill.  It's the best restaurant to go to on the resort and the only one you need a reservation for to eat at.

Our grill-master for the night

The staff twirl their spatulas, sind, dance, and tell jokes during the entire meal.  We were laughing all the way through dinner.  Our favorite joke was when he asked us if we wanted boneless chicken, we said yes, then he cracked a few eggs on the grill.  He just laughed and said, "Look, boneless chicken."

We started with cocktails and spicy soup.  then we watched the show until the meal was ready.  It had beef, chicken, shrimp, rice, and veggies and was absolutely delicious.

After dinner, we were both exhausted from the busy day and called it a night.  We both love it here and wish that today was not our last full day here, but we're going to enjoy it and get ready to head back to the States tomorrow.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good Morning, Paradise

Gorgeous view from our balcony this morning

We got a good nights sleep and were excited to start the day.  It's pretty easy to get up in the morning when you're in such a beautiful place.

Little lizard outside our hotel

First, we headed for World Cafe for breakfast.  We were greeted at the door with mimosas.  Seems like we are given champagne everywhere we go.  We had a quick buffet breakfast and headed for the beach.

Alyssa told me that she wanted a day where we could just lay on the beach all day and do nothing else, so that's exactly what we did.  We got down to the beach around 10:30am and didn't leave until 3:30pm.  We definitely got a lot of sun.  We went to the pool for a little while after that.  There was a float up lounge/bar in the pool so we hung out there for a bit and mingled with another couple from Jacksonville, FL.

Well, it's not a good trip until something embarrassing happens.  As we were leaving the pool we had to cross the grass to get to the sidewalk by the beach.  We were jumping from tile to tile across the lawn.  Alyssa jumped over to the sidewalk and then heard a thud beside her.  Yep, when I jumped my wet feet slipped out from under me and and I landed flat on my back.  To make things worse, there apparently was a baseball umpire staying at the resort because just as I hit my back a man across the pool repeatedly yelled out, "Safe" waving his arms back and forth in front of him.  Alyssa was laughing and all I could do was laugh as well.  Looking back, it is pretty funny.

We walked out on one of the seawalls that protruded out from the beach.  There was a little bench at the end that we sat on for a while and just watched the waves roll in.  We watched some crabs shuffle around the rocks below.  One actually crawled into a styrofoam cup to hide from us.  Just as we were leaving Alyssa spotted something.  deep in between two giant rocks that were part of the seawall was a piece of paper.  I reached down and grabbed it.  It was a slightly weathered $50 bill.  We've had some really good luck ever since we had that flight debacle on Monday.

We went back to the room, took a nap, and got ready for dinner.  The resort has numerous international restaurants to choose from.  We went to the Jamaican restaurant last night, so we decided on Italian tonight.  The food was great.  Bruschetta, tomato mozzarella caprese, and spicy tomato penne for Alyssa and calamari, ceasar salad, and linguine for myself.

All dressed up for dinner.

After dinner, we did some sidewalk shopping.  Alyssa picked out a painting that was made by a local artist and paid for it with the cash we found in the seawall.  We still had some cash left after the purchase so we tried out our luck at the little casino.  We jumped on a black jack machine and played for a long time.  We broke even, so we were both pretty happy.  Then we played a little pool in the gaming center.

Alyssa is definitely a pool shark.

When we got back to our room, Alyssa made herself a nice bubble-bath while I got this post together.

Alyssa's bubble-bath in the giant garden tub

Today was a ton of fun and we hope to have even more tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jamaica Mon

Well after yesterday's debacle we finally were off on our honeymoon.

We arrived nearly 2 hours early for our flight just to make sure there weren't any more issues.  We left Detroit for Atlanta and landed in just over an hour and a half.  The flight went by smoothly and we finally started to think that nothing else could possibly go wrong with our trip.

Just before take-off from Detroit. Not really sure what she's doing.

Good Bye Detroit

Well, we were wrong.  We were in line to board our connecting flight in Atlanta to Montego Bay when we approached the boarding pass scanner.  The man scanned both Alyssa's and my boarding passes.  The scanner flashed red and the man double checked the machine with a confused look.  He told us that the machine thought that we had already boarded the plane so he just told us to continue onto the plane and find our seats.

We got to our seats to find an elderly couple sitting in them.  We checked our seat numbers and they were indeed the same numbers; we got our seats double-booked on a packed plane.  They were a nice couple so we said we would figure out what the issue was and let them stay seated.  We made our way to the front of the plane (which is really hard in an airplane aisle full of jerks that won't move out of the way) to inform the flight attendants of our problem.  They started checking the seat charts to see where or if they could squeeze us in.  As they checked, the Captain of the flight came over and chatted with us.  He said he would make sure we stayed on the flight and headed up to the cockpit.  The flight attendants did find us a seat at the Captain's request.  They ushered us up to 1st class just as the doors were closing.

We couldn't believe it.  We got to sit in giant, Lazy Boy-sized seats with complimentary breakfast and drinks.  Yeah, that's right, it was all FREE.  We spent the rest of the two and a half hour flight thanking the attendants and talking to each other about how we couldn't believe that the crew would be generous enough to upgrade of seats.  When we landed the Captain came over to us.  I shook his hand and thanked him.  He said it was no big deal and told us to enjoy our honeymoon.  Well, thanks to him and his crew, our trip had went from a frustrating mess to more than what we could have asked for.

That's what the Florida Keys look like from 37,000 feet. (Click the picture to enlarge)
Alyssa eating her complimentary breakfast

We made our way to Secret's: Wild Orchid Resort.  When we arrived, the resort staff greeted us with champagne, checked us in, and escorted us to our room.  We were already feeling on top of the world after being treated so nicely by the Delta Airlines crew that we didn't think anything could make our trip even better.

We were wrong again.  Since we had to reschedule our trip back one day we were able to get an upgraded room at no extra cost.  Once again, the upgrade was FREE.  Well, needless to say; we are just excited to be here and are having a blast.

Well I've already typed a ton so I'm going to let pictures take over for the rest of this post.  More posts to follow in the next few days.

It was raining a little on our way to the resort, but it cleared up pretty quickly.

Secret's: Wild Orchid

Our amazing room

View from our room

Yes, we do have a bath tub on our balcony

The pool and the ocean behind it

Well, I've already spent too much time on this tonight.  So, off to bed.  More fun in the morning.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Off To Paradise...Or Not?

We spent the weekend packing and cleaning the house for our upcoming trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica.  We drove down late Sunday night after I got out of work to stay at my dad's house (which is about halfway between Big Rapids and Detroit Metro Airport).

Hitting the road

We got up at 5:30am and made our way down to the airport. We arrived about 45 minutes before our flight was supposed to take off.  We got in the line that we were told to get in just to find out we needed to be in a different line. We moved to the new line and waited for what seemed to be forever just to find out that we were in the right line at first and had to go back to that line. We scanned our passports at the kiosk just to find out that we had missed the boarding pass deadline by literally 1 minute. This is when everything got crazy.  We went up to the desk to ask them for help.  We stood at the desk for a over half an hour while the people behind the desk kept explaining to us that we couldn't get on the flight that was still on the ground and would have to wait overnight and lose a night of our honeymoon trip.  To top it all off, we even got to watch the plane we were supposed to be on take off a half an hour after we got to the help desk. I haven't been on many flights, but it's hard for me to believe that we wouldn't have been able to get on that flight with over a half an hour before take-off, but maybe I'm wrong.

After several hours of back and forth between the airlines and the resort customer service (over the phone) we were finally able to get our tickets and honeymoon dates changed.  We are both very grateful that they both worked with us to get it fixed, even though it was extremely frustrating and could have been easily avoided.

Alyssa taking a nap after our 4 hour ordeal at the airport

So, we are parking out at the Holiday Inn for the night and taking off for the airport at 4:30am tomorrow. I just hope we don't have any more issues this trip.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our First Thanksgiving

Well, it's already mid-December but since I just started this blog I'm going to post about our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple.

Notice the disappointed look on my face.
To be honest, I really didn't do anything to prepare the dinner other than stay out of her way while she got everything ready.  I assumed my position on the couch and watched my Lions lose to the Packers.  Even though the game was hard to stomach, it was a little easier to move on since dinner was ready just as the final whistle blew.


I knew my wife was a good cook, so I wasn't nervous about our first big meal together; but I was very surprised at just how good our dinner was.  It was by far the best Thanksgiving dinner I have ever had (sorry Mom). 

The turkey may look a little burnt, but it was just right

Here's a list of our eats:

  • Brown sugar and maple glazed turkey
  • Green bean casserole
  • Cheesy potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Deviled eggs
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Chocolate mousse pie

Thanksgiving Feast capped off with a little wine.
As Alyssa put it, "That's pure goodness right there"
Digging in.

 After dinner we both relaxed in our own separate ways.

Alyssa rested her feet in her new foot bath/massager while, more than likely, creeping on facebook.

While I did what I do every Thanksgiving and wallowed in my gluttony-filled shame on the floor.

 Overall, it was unfortunate we couldn't be with our families during the holiday, but it was an amazing Thanksgiving and I am truly thankful for my wife and my newly married life.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Post

Well, to be honest I am completely new to blogging so I'm not quite sure how this experiment is going to work.  I just wanted to chronicle some of the big moments in my life and figured this would be a cool way to do so.