Jamaican Honeymoon in Negril | Travel Couple | Adventurous Honeymooning | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography
Jamaica – Day 4 ~ 8:00 am, local time
We woke again at sunrise, as the dark turned to light. The breeze from the fans and the sea swirled all around us, stirring us awake. We’ve adapted to a different sleeping schedule here, one that is dictated by the rising and setting of the sun rather than binge watching and rolling over in bed. You get more out of the day living this way.
We started the morning with breakfast at a local restaurant called Sips n’ Bites. It was one of the many colorful open places that lined West End Road with a chalkboard out front that listed their offerings. As Heather and I looked over the menu, a woman came outside to tell us that they only had a couple of the items. It was refreshing to know that they wouldn’t just serve us any old stuff laying around. I stayed within the familiar, ordering curried chicken while Heather tried to order something vegetarian. When our plates came they were heavy with Jamaican staples: festival, their version of a zeppoli; an unripe banana; sautéed greens reminiscent of kale; fried plantains; and rice and beans drizzled with coconut oil. My curried chicken was authentic and succulent while Heather was served something that looked like scrambled eggs. Tougher in consistency, we asked the waitress what it was and she responded that it was either cod, cat, or conk fish and it left our palates puzzled. We later found out it was ackee and salted fish, an acquired taste that we had not yet acquired. It was no problem as we washed it down with the freshest squeezed orange juice that I’ve ever tasted.
We saddled back onto the Vespa and headed towards Pam, Rick, and Steve to do some snorkeling. Right before we boarded the yellow and black boat, a storm passed through, throwing rain sideways beneath all the thatched roofs. After the sky cleared and the sun poked back through the clouds, we were well on our way to the coral reefs with our local guides. Gently coasting on the Caribbean, we peered through the six fiberglass windows on the bottom of the boat, watching sea urchins and starfish live beneath the sea. Once we dropped into the water, I rotated my head to the left and right like a security camera, trying to spot the exotic fish in their natural habitat. I’d been snorkeling in the Caribbean before and didn’t really see anything I haven’t seen before, when a sort of omniscient peace washed over me. It wasn’t about spotting the Moby Dick of the Caribbean anymore, it was just about swimming along, undisturbed, watching life as it unfolded whether I was there or not. I could’ve stayed there all day.
Instead, we coasted back to Rick, Pam, and Steve’s resort, the treehouse, before we made our way to Rick’s Café. Heather and I stopped at another local jerk chicken joint and I had my first favorite food item - jerk sauce - its sweet at the front like mole but packs a much bigger punch after a few seconds. When I’m at a new restaurant, I always sample the sauces on the table before the food arrives. We ordered a light pineapple cole slaw that made the ¼ pound containers from delis back home feel like a heavy glob of old cabbage and mayonnaise. The service was slow but warm-hearted, and I will take a delicious slow meal over a fast fake one anytime. By the time we got to Rick’s the sun had set and the cliff jumping suspended for the day. I wasn’t going to jump anyway, as I had far too many red stripes and pulls from joints to desire to plunge into the water from a fifty foot cliff.
We ended the night at a patio bar called LTC with a bartender called Jason, AKA Big Red AKA Porn Star. He’d gotten that last nickname working at another resort where he’d dance and eventually take his clothes off. He said it was just in his nature, then cackled to himself as if he was a schoolgirl revealing an embarrassing secret. In the comfort of a warm bartender, the company of family, and the cool of a Jamaican night, our minds had no other choice but to enjoy ourselves. It truly is the Jamaican way.