Happy New Year! I hope you all brought in 2019 safely and had the time of your lives. In 2018, while I was freezing at a breakfast party in New York, I made a mental note to never do that to my toes again so I decided to head to the tropics.
The first time I went to Jamaica was in 2012 for Dream Weekend and the following three visits were carnival related. Realizing I had never truly gotten to check out the island, this was my chance.
We landed in Montego Bay, to take in the beaches and relaxation. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Jamaica did not have many public beaches and unless you were staying at a resort, you had to pay to access a beach [gasp].
The first stop was Scotchies, a restaurant known for their jerk meats, then we headed out for the night. Luckily for us, Margaritaville had ladies night on Thursday night, so women got in free until 12am with both tourists and locals in attendance.
Friday morning, we headed to Sandy Bay, Jamaica for lobster at Pachie’s Seafood. I am now craving lobster and festival regularly but whatever, pray for me. We walked in and I was able to choose two lobsters for myself, totaling $14USD. The chef cleaned my meat with lime, seasoned it and grilled it for me. It was so delicious.
On Friday night, we were invited to a private foam party. BABY!! This was the first time I got to witness “dancehall culture” live and direct. I was in awe yet understood from a cultural perspective,[I even learned some dances] and thoroughly enjoyed myself. We headed to Taboo after which is a strip club in town. Pier 1 was supposed to be on the roaster but three parties in one day might have killed me,
After enjoying Mobay and briefly stopping through Ocho Rios, we headed to Kingston via highway on the Knutsford Express bus. For those of you who plan to do this, the bus is $30usd for the trip, extremely comfortable and has wifi. All you need is about 3 hours and you will be in Kingston in no time.
We were picked up, headed to our apartment to shower and change and caught a bite to eat before we partied again for the evening. That Saturday night, we headed to Strictly 2K, a dancehall party dedicated to playing early 2000s to 2009s hits, although they played some songs through 2013. Sunday was the same, more partying and staying up until the sunrise. We didn’t get in the house until 7am on both days. In short, anytime of year you decide to visit Kingston, there will be parties going on throughout the week to attend.
We discussed the idea of going rafting so Monday afternoon, we got our driver to take us to Portland to check out the Blue Lagoon and Monkey Island. The drive is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. I had about four naps while on the way and back but it was certainly worth it. A taxi may charge upwards of $170usd to go there so if booking a day tour is possible, look into it. It may be cheaper.
After much relaxation and exploring, it was time to prepare for New Years Day. My friends and I decided to attend Sunnation Breakfast Party and Frenchmen’s Climax. Like carnival time, the breakfast party is HOT! That sun is almost unbearable, but Sunnation set up several cabanas, fans and shaded areas for patrons to keep cool. I especially loved that there were MUAs in the ladies restroom to assist with touching up make-up so that ladies could continue looking gorgeous throughout the afternoon. Breakfast was equally delicious and bartenders handed out drinks quickly. Once we left Sunnation, we headed to Fort Clarence beach, because I wanted lobster [smile].
Frenchmen Climax was the highlight of our day, as we walked in to elaborate decor, decadent food and beautiful people. Ball gowns, custom cocktail dresses and worldly music. This party is very couple heavy though so wining on the people man will be limited if you don’t bring your own.
Overall, I felt extremely safe and enjoyed my time in Jamaica. That said, I was with a Jamaican friend at all times, that helped with negotiating food prices from vendors, buying fruit on the side of the road and getting into parties.
Would you travel during the New Year? How did you celebrate your holiday?
Yours in Mas,