Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jamaica - Part 1

On July 11, 2006, Gregg and I got married at Couples Tower Island in Ocho Rios Jamaica.

During our week there we met many great couples and in the five years since then, we've stayed in touch with some of them. Our plan back then was to meet at the same resort every five years and I'm happy to say that three of the couples made it in July of 2011.

This time around was a lot different for me because instead of bringing my $250 point-and-shoot camera, I had my new Canon 60D and three of my favorite lenses: my 18-200 everyday lens, my 10-22 wide angle and my newest lens addition, the 50mm 1.4.

As usual, the wide angle shot was just perfect for the big landscape type shots. Specifically, I couldn't stop taking pictures of the resort and the island (Tower Island).

Clearly the resort is gorgeous, but what makes it so special are the people there... Both guests and staff. By the time we left after a week, I think it's safe to say we were pretty good friends with at least 12 couples (and Gregg knew everyone's name, where they live, what they do for a living and how many kids the have). Five years ago we met two of the three other couples in the picture below (from left to right, Kevin & Denise and Bryan & Alicia) and the other couple (Terry & Kurt) know Kevin & Denise from a different trip. The goal is that we're going to try to all meet up at the same resort every five years. Seems we'll pick up new Couples friends along the way to add to this plan.

We met Kevin & Denise a few days before our actual wedding. Since we didn't bring anyone else with us on our wedding trip we needed witnesses to sign or marriage license. Kevin & Denise were nice to agree to do this for us so we didn't have to ask staff to be our witnesses.

It was very exciting to find out that our new friends, Debbie & Jeff, got engaged at Couples pretty much right before we met them. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen a more excited bride-to-be. :) I was more than happy to take some engagement pictures for them.

Bryan & Alicia got married right before they went to Jamaica 5 years ago & so they were fellow honeymooners. This year, we were all celebrating our 5th anniversary. Their present to each other was an escape from their two young children... both born after we met them. Their first child can be considered a Jamaican. ;)

This was Terry, my favorite bartender this trip. Of course, they're all really friendly (and make great tropical drinks) but on my first day there, I told Terry what I was in the mood for and he made me a really great drink that he called Terry's Ting. I'm sure I drank at least 30 of those over the course of the week. Ting is a Jamaican lightly carbonated citrus drink that goes REALLY well with Vodka, lime juice and a little seltzer water. Really well. It's super light and extremely refreshing on a hot day. This picture was taken on our last night there, as he was making me one last Terry's Ting.

It's fair to say that everyone we encountered at the resort was very nice and accommodating and it's easy to see why couples go back year after year (I think Terry & Kurt said they were there 7 times in the last 4 years!).

This guy was definitely a curiosity. He had this big surfboard and would come floating over early in the morning & he'd pretty much hang out all day near the beach selling his shells. I tried to get a good picture of him all week and finally I got the nerve to ask him to pose for me.

My plan was to post just one blog on our trip to Jamaica but just now I decided to split it up. So... stay tuned.


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