Four Seasons In One Day

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JAMAICA!!  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

What a stunning country with such warm, loveable people 🙂

Lana and I had such a magical time.

Some of these photos were on Facebook or Instagram, but most have never been posted.  Here are just a few of our favorite places/moments from our wonderful vacation.

Was a little worried before take-off, as it was storming quite badly…

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Finally, after a bit of a wait, up and away…

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Above:  leaving Atlanta, Georgia — 2nd flight of three.

Below:  between Atlanta and Montego Bay, we flew through/over several more hellacious storms,

but they created spectacular views.

Here, we are flying above a storm system, looking across at rising thunderheads…

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Better weather (below):  passing over a part of Cuba (lower right side) and the beautiful blue-green Carribean sea.

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Finally, we arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  Here is a shot of the Rose Hall area from the plane when it was overcast…

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Passport check/customs was….quite an experience :-/

and it only took THIRTY-NINE FUCKING YEARS,

but here is my first passport stamp!

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I want tons of these stamps before I die.  REALLY.

First things first — when you enter a new country, gotta get down with the new currency and exchange rates.  The money, like everything else in Jamaica, was beautiful…

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Driving was a bit insane.  Steering wheel was on the RIGHT, traffic is on the LEFT side of the road.  And there seemed to be only two speeds in this country:  “really fast” and “complete stop”…

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We were so glad to arrive (safely) at our destination — The Half Moon Resort.

If you are even just THINKING about visiting Jamaica, you need to give this amazing place a look.  It is located on a private estate of 400 acres, with over 2 miles of it right on the beach/Carribean.  It is respected and loved by people the world over, and many celebrities visit.  Everyone from Kenny Rogers to Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J to John Legend.  The property is gorgeous, the staff are friendly and amazing, and the activities on site are varied and exciting.

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Lobby entrance, above.

Below, photos of the villa/suite that Lana and I stayed in 🙂 …

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Above:  the doors on the left opened

to our own private balcony…

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To the left on the balcony:  table, chairs, umbrella, pool below (not shown here).

But to the RIGHT on the balcony:

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CARRIBEAN SEA!!!!

This (above) was the view we had from the back of our balcony/villa…nothing but beach/ocean.  We were RIGHT on the water.

POW!

We got settled in with a little room service, and look who came on the trip with us — FUCKLES!!

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Everyone knows I don’t go on ANY adventure without my friend Fuckles, the traveling gnome.  He came packed and ready for a rip-roaring good time at the beach.

Our first morning was spent taking in the view.  Lana stood on the balcony in her hotel bathrobe for like 30 minutes — just staring in disbelief as she tried to wake up…

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The view from our living room area on a misty morning (cruise ship in the distance).  Loved these windows.

The best part of sleeping in the villa?  ALL the windows WIDE OPEN all night long, lying in the bed with the cool, fresh sea breeze on your skin and the sound of the ocean waves in your ears.  ❤

Below:  standing in the sea, looking back at our villa…

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And here (below) was the view from our living room area

when the clouds/mist cleared away…

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So much awesome.

Here are some more shots of the lovely property known as Half Moon…

the first is the view from the other side of our balcony:

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Below:  every morning, breakfast right by the sea at the Seagrape Terrace.

The food was as great as the view (pretty damn great)…

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One of the most exciting times we had on the island was our interaction with the four beautiful dolphins in Dolphin Cove.

Now I have to say, I usually have qualms with activities that keep animals in any type of “captivity” (zoos, circuses, Sea World, etc).  But these lovely sea animals are NOT kept in a tank or pool at Half Moon — they live in their natural habitat, the ocean — and they seemed genuinely well-treated, loved, and respected.  The trainers and care-givers of the dolphins are also very informative and let you know what is acceptable and safe for the dolphins as you swim with them, and what is not.  They cared very much for their happiness and comfort, and I wanted Lana to have a deep appreciation for these beautiful creatures.  Dolphins are the sweetest beings, and as humans, we should all be doing everything we can to keep their habitats clean, safe, and naturally balanced…

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Lana + Dolphin = True Love

When in Montego Bay, most of your time has to be spent on the beach, of course…

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Lana seemed to be obsessed with burying herself in the sand.

She was constantly slinging sand and flailing around like a mad woman…

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Sand mermaid.

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Above:  when in Jamaica, do as the Jamaicans do.  #RedStripe

Below:  nights in Jamaica…dinner outdoors by the sea.

Lana and I particularly enjoyed the Italian restaurant Il Giardino…

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Above:  I’m so glad a photographer took this photo of Lana and I.  It was such a great night.

Other local daytime activies (below) — visiting the nearby shopping village…

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Above:  SO many amazing goods/gifts, including Jerk seasoning, jackass corn, frames, baskets, scarves/wraps, a vase, Craven A’s, Jamaican rum, dolls, and of course…Jamaican COFFEE 🙂  SO GOOD! 🙂

Below:  another great adventure — visiting the historic (and reportedly haunted) Rose Hall Great House.

The grand home once belonged to sugar plantation owner Annee (Annie) Palmer.  Because she murdered all three of her husbands and regularly tortured slaves for entertainment purposes, Annee became known as the “White Witch” of Rose Hall.  Country star Johnny Cash owned a Jamaican home close to the Rose Hall Great House, and he was fascinated by its dark history…which is why he wrote the song “The Ballad of Annie Palmer”.

A lovely, mysterious place…

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Through the front entrance:  a beautiful view of the sea from high on the great hill.

Wonderful antique work and furnishings throughout…

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Above:  Annie’s bedroom.  She was reportedly murdered here, by one of her slave lovers.

Below:  the balcony where Annie would stand and watch slaves be tortured in the back yard for entertainment.

  (Wow, what a happy place :-/ )…

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And there’s even a “dungeon”.  Oy.

Lana being brave enough to enter…

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Yeah.  It was pretty dismal in there.

Below:  we were cheered up by these adorable Jamaican school children, who were on a field trip…

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Each time the children passed Lana and I, they’d smile and point and yell,  “Sisters!”

So cute. 🙂

This (below) was our lovely tour guide.  Here, she is showing us the national fruit of Jamaica, the ACKEE, which grows on the property…

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And here is the final resting place of Ms. Annie Palmer (which is also on the property)…

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Above:  Lana and I, still looking SUPER WHITE in this photo, even though this is actually TAN for us :-/  My hair was several shades lighter by this day, though.  #JamaicanSun

Below:  Half Moon beach barbecue under the stars, next to the sea 🙂

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The resort makes sure everyone feels like family and has the true “Jamaican experience”.

Below:  MORE BEACHING.

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Lana is like a cat.  Naps, naps, naps.

If she’s not napping, she’s photo-bombing…

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That’s my girl. 🙂

Later, like mermaids,

under the sea….

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Above:  DON’T TOUCH THAT THING (Sea Urchin) :-/

Below:  Lana throwing the fierce sign on the Carribean floor…

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Above — one of the photos Lana took of me.  Below is another, at sunset.

She’s actually quite the photographer.

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Our last night was sad.

Never wanted leave.  😦

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It was like paradise.  And we are not rich.  Hell, I’m a poor single mother, so if I can make this happen, anyone can.  It just takes some hard work and and the belief that you can do it.

Thank you, people of Jamaica and Half Moon Resort, for making our stay absolutely perfect.

Time for me to get back to work on some photography and poetry, if I can finally get a handle on some heavy issues I’m dealing with in my personal life.  Hopefully I’ll have some more creations and inspiration to share soon.

Until next time,

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Jenn

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