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Trip Start Feb 23, 2007
Trip End Mar 02, 2007

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Flag of Jamaica  ,
Friday, February 23, 2007

Our homecoming began with our flight on Air Jamaica out of Newark, NJ, on time and uneventful. We arrived in Montego Bay around 5:20 pm. after going through immigration, retrieved our bags and sailed through customs, we were on our way outside to meet our representative from Dhana Car Rental to take us to pick up the rental car. We found him easily, just as we arranged, loaded up then we took a 15 minute drive to the rental place. The rental process was smooth and before you knew it we were in the car and heading for Negril. The drive was long, we were tired but we were finally in Jamaica, so all was good. We arrived at our hotel, Bar B Barn, checked in, was given the cell phone we pre arranged to rent and within 10 minutes, we were shown to our room. It was late, so unpacking would wait until the morning, food was needed and we knew just where to find it so off we went. After driving to Best in the West jerk stand seeking jerk chicken, we were sadly disappointed to find they did not have enough chicken ready for four people (we were traveling with a couple who were JA virgins, as well as our son), so we declined partaking of any of it and moved on to feed our need. After driving up and down the boulevard, we finally lucked up on a little place called Montana's Cafe who could accomodate us at the late hour. We had a couple of Red Stripes, Guinness and fruit juices while we waited for our food, then we were served a healthy plate of rice and peas plus mouth watering jerk chicken. In no time at all plates were cleaned, beliies full and sleep was calling, so we drove back to the hotel, said our good nights and turned in for our first nights sleep back home.

I arose early the morning and began the chore of unpacking, so I could enjoy the rest of my time without being encumbered by such trivial things as clothes (me a clotheshorse, I can't believe I said that LOL) by then our son and my husband had awakened and they were again ready for food then off to visit the family. It was a surprise to them that we were even in Jamaica, so this homecoming had an element of mystery surrounding it. We dressed, prepared the backpack for the days needs, then off to find the breakfast buffet. We did not have far to look, it was set up right at the entrance to the bar, so we filled up on fresh fruit, coffee, and a mix of Jamaican and American fare. After breakfast we drove to Sav to see my husband's cousins before we heading into the hills. As we drove, all the familiar sights and smells came rushing before me, the sweet smell of ganja permeating the air mixed with the ritual trash burning, reggae spilling out of every car or shop, cars zooming past stuffed with people trying to get to their various destinations....I was home. We pulled up in our cousins yard, beeping the horn to signal our arrival, as they came out to see who it was a slow smile and a loud hoop gave way as they saw who it was. We spent a few hours, laughing and talking enjoying just being with one another. Soon we needed to be on our way as we still had about a 90 minute or so drive to his parents home. The drive was filled wtih many stops as we greeted old friends along the way, until we reached our final destination, as we drove up, his mom and sister came running out of the house, they were shocked to say the least, we had just talked with them the day before with no mention that we we right in their backyard. It was a homecoming that brought all the emotions to the surface, a beloved son returning home, reuniting grandparent to the first and only grandchild, a getting reaquinted with me their daughter in law. Our first full day in Jamaica was spent in the company of those who love us and whom we love in return.

As the sun began to set we decided to head back into Negril to change and have dinner, it had been a long day plus we has newbies with us who were not accustomed to being in the country all day, so we said our good byes and were on our way.  The drive back was quiet, only myself and my husband were awoke or so we thought, our son was quietly in his car seat surveying the land, he's a tough likkle one...never wants to miss anything. The riddims were good, and we talked over the day and made plans to have dinner at 3 Dives tonight.  While we were getting dressed our bredren, Damien linked us so we waited until he arrived so he could join us for dinner. It was a lovely evening, so we walked out to the gate to wait for Damien, 23-7 was nearby blasting some nice music so we danced while waiting.  Damien arrived, he does taxi and tours, so he had his bus that could accomodate all of us comfortably.  We catch up, it's been two years since we've seen him as well,our friends discover that he was one of the catalysts in me meeting my husband, so I tell the story while we ride to the restaurant.  We arrive at 3 Dives...it is full but not crowded, so we find a large table and seat ourselves.A few minutes later the waitress comes over to take our order, we throughly confuse her we all our complicated ordering (newbies, I tell ya) so her tip will be well earned. My husband spots one of the chefs in the kitchen as a former classmate of his, so he comes over to chat with us for a bit before his kitchen duties call him back. Everyone is engaged in conversation all over the place, we ourselves are having an intense discussion on the differences between men and women that we don't notice almost 90 minutes have gone by and we still have nothing more than our drinks.  Ok now we are yardies, we know the runnings but this is a bit much even for 3 Dives, we call over the waitress to inquire about our food but of course she gives us the standard speil about it "soon come" so we go back to our conversation to patiently wait a little longer.  We are finally at the point of getting ready to pay for our drinks and leave when here comes our meals.  We have worked up an appetite, so everyone digs in, Island Bwoy Jr. is so tired he falls asleep without eating, so we take turns eating while holding him (no we didn't bring the stroller...too cumbersome, bad enough we needed the car seat ).  The food was great as expected, both Island Bwoy and I had the steamed fish, totally sated we are in need of a bed, so pay the bill, load up in the bus and make our way home.  We make tentative plans to hang out with Damien in a day or so, wish our friends a pleasant night and we prepare the pickney for bed, before we knock out too.  
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