Friday, June 12, 2009


Sadly, our Jamaican vacation came and went waaaaayyy to quickly! We had an absolute blast, and I would whole heartedly recommend that anyone visit RIU Ocho Rios! Here's a view of the hotel:

I know. Such a shack! We made it to Jamaica around 2 on Sunday, and finally made it to the restort around 4:30. It was almost surreal - on the left side of the road were beautiful beaches and resorts, and then you looked on the right side and saw shacks that were falling apart but that people obviously were living in. Definitely made us aware of how blessed we are.

Most of our days went like this: We woke up in time to make it to breakfast by 9, where we enjoyed some of the best french toast and donuts you've ever had. After eating, we mozied down to the pool to put on our sun tanning lotion, where we then spent around an hour laying out in the pool.

After this it was time for a Super Conga break (a mix of orange juice, pinapple, grendaine and banana - yum!) and then headed down to the beach for Bocce Ball.

What is Bocce Ball? Two teams are battling against each other to be the first to get 7 points. You throw a small white ball out in the sand, and then you having two heavy balls you're tossing to try to get closest to the white ball. You get a point for every one of your balls that is closer than the other team's closest one. Hopefully that makes sense. We were a little confused the first day we played it, but by the end of the week we were pros. Here's an action shot:

See the man and son beside us? They were from England, and we lost to them 5 times over the course of the week. He looks innocent, but Jordan was a tough cookie to beat. And he was only 10!! We had a lot of fun razzing him. And everything he said sounded funnier because he had a high, English accent.

Here's an after shot:
Notice Cody is frowning, but he was not the most talented Bocce Ball player on our team :)

After losing Bocce Ball (or posisbly winning some horseshoes, depending on the day, it was time to go get a Diet Coke and lay out some more.

We ate lunch around 2, and were back on the beach at 3:30 for another game. An intesteing aspect of traveling world wide is you never know what type of swimsuits other foreigners will wear. We played games against "The Germans" (who we lated learned they were from Russia) and the man wore the same swimsuit every day - a teeny speedo and a sleeveless shirt. And boy howdy, he wore that shirt a few too many time. You could smell him even if you were up-wind. Gag! I think he used it as a distraction tactic...

After the second round of games, it was time for little pool time and then we headed up to the room to get ready for dinner. Here's a picture of our who group:

And then a few more of my mom, Bamps and Bami,
And Bami, my mom and me.

One of the coolest things we got to do on the trip was visit Mystic Mountain. They had a 15 minute ride to the top of the rain forest, and once up there we got to ride the Jamaican bobsled and do a zipline canopy tour. The bobsled was so much fun! It was a small roller coaster, and you got to control how fast you went. I'll try to upload the pictures we bought later.

Here's a picture of our whole group before we left to go ziplining:
This was one of the neatest experiences! Not just because we were in the Jamaican rain forest, but how often does someone get to say they went zip lining with all 17 members of their family?

We had 3 guides that made the tour even more fun. Before they hook you up on your first line, they give you a few instructions, but they're so fast you don't quite hear everything too well. And then all of a sudden you're thrown on the line and the tree is quickly approaching and all you can think is "OH MY GOSH HOW DID THEY TELL ME I WAS SUPPOSED TO STOP!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

Of course, the guide stops you just in time to save you from the tree, but when 10 other people are standing around yelling at you to stop, well it was a little scary that first time! We also had a surprise stop on the canopy tour which was a 40 foot drop straight down. They hook you up to the rope and you're just hanging there, and out of no where the guide just lets you fall. Of course, you know there's a floor down there and the guide to catch you, but oh my goodness! The guys were all screaming higher than the girls!

I don't have the pictures of it yet, but on the very last day Cody and I went with my parents to swim with the dolphins. We first paid our entrance into the park and wanted to see what swimming with the dolphins would be like before we paid for it, but no one was there at the opening of the park so we went ahead and paid to upgrade to swim with them. We only paid to swim with one, but we got three!

Sadly I can only remember Rose's name, not the other 2 guy dolphins. We had such a blast dancing with the dolphins and learning everything they could do. We also go to do the trick where you lay flat and they come and push on your feet and push you out of the water. I was the first one to do it and wasn't quite prepared for how high they were going to push me up, but it was such a great experience! One cool fact we learned was about dolphins and their use of echo location (I already knew that) What I didn't know was if a pregnant woman went swimming with a dolphin, they would be able to hear the baby's heart beat and see the baby through their echo location. Isn't that cool?!

That is pretty much a wrap up of our fabulous week. We spent all of this week re-adjusting to the working world, and thinking all day - it's 10:00... normally I would be getting ice cream at this time... man, I sure wish I was laying out by the pool right now... It's so hard to say goodbye to a vacation!

If you want to see more pictures, you can go here:

We can't even begin to describe how much fun we had and what a needed break it was! And who would have thought.. we learned that Jamaica is a predominantly non-Christian country... so Cody and I definitely know now where the Lord is calling us to do missions :) All of you are more than welcome to come and visit us for a mission trip!

I'm sure I'll be writing more about our vacation in the coming weeks, but for now I'm headed to bed. Keep checking back in, I've got some great blogs coming up! Hope you have a great week!


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