Hi.

Welcome to my blog! I document my experiences in travel including drinks, fashion, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Ocho Rios, Jamaica Mon!!

A year and a half ago a dear friend of mine, Morgan B., asked me to be one of her bridesmaids and of course I said yes! A few months later, I got a note in the mail saying I was invited to her wedding in Ocho Rios, Jamaica...how was I going to say no to being a bridesmaid in Jamaica? So a few months later, I asked my "Wifey/BFF" if she was interested in being my date to Blackie's wedding and of course she said yes!

So on June 24, 2010 we jumped on our plane and headed south to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Six hours later we made it to Montego Bay...but not yet to the resort. We had a 2 hour bus ride from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios. On our way there, our bus driver decided to stop at a gift shop area right next to the highway. Luckily for us, they were selling drinks and wifey and I had some Jamaican Rum Punch which was delicious and made our trip much shorter. Finally we arrived at our hotel, Riu Resorts in Ocho Rios. When you walk in you see a gorgeous reception area with the view of the beach. We had to wait in line a little but we were given another drink to ease the wait. Checking in was a breeze..just how we liked it but the walk to the room wasn't. Everyone was out and about and hiding underneath any roof area the hotel offered since it was raining. Yup! You read right...raining. Unfortunately, it rained all four days we were there but we made the best of it!

My wifey and I were so excited to get into our room that we were not expecting what we saw: used bed, dirty sheets, cigarette stubs, and our mini bar was all used up. We had to call the front desk four times until we got someone to finally clean the room...It was a bit disappointing to know that you pay so much for a fun and exciting trip to get to your room and see it's not taken cared of.  After all of that mini-turmoil we got a chance to check out the buffet and hit the bar! Delicious drinks and some pretty entertaining "entertainment"...it was around the world night: skinny, super built, black Jamaican men dancing in skin tight leggings and shirts...told you it was entertaining!

The next morning I headed over to their gym to get a workout in since I am training for the Chicago Half Marathon. It was a bit confusing trying to get there but I made it...when I walked in saw that it had all the basics for a good workout, but unfortunately a lot of the machines were outdated. After my morning workout, I headed back to the room to shower and get ready to have some breakfast before laying out at the pool with some delicious pina coladas! After a few coladas it was time to get ready for the wedding and take pictures with the bride!

Shots with future Mrs. Brill
We took some shots and saw our gorgeous friend slowly get ready and wished her the best on her new endeavor as a Mrs. Brill! She looked gorgeous! The Maid of Honor and myself could not hold our tears back as we saw her come down the aisle and take her vows. It was a gorgeous moment and I am blessed to say I saw it. I am so happy for Morgan!
Posing before walking down the aisle.

The dinner, the music, the drinks and the cake was absolutely fantastic! Great simple small wedding...exactly her style.

Morgan Black and Ryan Brill taking their vows
After a perfect wedding, it was time to pass out and get ready for our morning hike up through Dunn's River.  A few of us woke up hungover (are you surprised?) but we were all ready to head over to the river and enjoy our last day in Jamaica. We got on our tour bus and headed to the river. It is about a 3 mile hike from the beach to the beginning of the river/falls. Warning: you will be tricked into buying $10 pair of water shoes, recommendation, purchase your own prior to your trip to Jamaica or say no and walk on in. Once you walk into the park, you can rent the water shoes for $5.

Once our group was ready to go, we started our hike up the river. The river was cold and it's current strong enough to give you a good work out of your core and legs. It was a group of 20 of us holding hands in a perfectly straight formed line and climbing on slimy rocks that sometimes led to a few of us falling (jaja). We had three tour guides: one that was video taping us and making us say (JAMAICA MON! I'M FEELING HOT HOT HOT!) and do silly things in front of the camera, another one that took pictures of us, and another one that actually told us where to go. Dunn's falls has some small natural pools that you can sit at and relax after a long hour hike up the river; that's exactly what we did after we were done.

Our last night in Ocho Rios, my wifey and I decided to get a couples massage and sip on champagne while listening to the waves hit the shore. It was the perfect way to relax our muscles after that hike in the morning! We then headed to dinner where we had some delicious steak dinner and once again had plenty of drinks. After a long day and night, it was time to go back to the room to pack. We decided to put an alarm at 6am and if there was sun we were going to go layout and take advantage of the sun for a couple of hours prior to leaving Jamaica...and lucky for us there was sun!

We finally got into the ocean and enjoyed a morning dip with some sunshine before heading back to the windy city. Thanks again Blackie for allowing me to be part of one of the most important events in your life. It was actually at this wedding when I realized I should start blogging...and here I am. Love ya!

Best Countries To Eat! or so they say...

Castles in Kalamazoo, MI?