J A M A I C A // anniversary vacation

This was our first trip to Jamaica and we absolutely fell in love with this beautiful country! Jamaicans are LOVELY and welcoming, and our resort was perfect.

We flew out of Charlotte Thursday morning. The girls stayed with my mom the first night, and for the remainder of the nights, my mother-in-law had Charlotte here at the house and my mom and dad had Camille down at their lakehouse. 

We arrived into Jamaica after a 2.5 hour flight, went through customs, and then they have you wait outdoors for your resort transportation right next to a bar. We bought two drinks, Red Stripe beer for Ian and a pina colada for me -- $24 later (before tip), we were so ready to get to our all-inclusive resort :) 

We stayed at Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay which was only about a 20-25 minute trip from the airport. Super close. We honeymooned at a Secrets resort in Dominican Republic so we knew we liked this brand of all-inclusive resort.

We did choose two upgrades: the Preferred Club upgrade which gets you your own (quieter, more relaxing) pool along with the butler service and a few more amenities, and also a swim-out room. This means that from our bottom-floor room, we could walk out and take a few steps down right into the pool water. It's not the main pool, it's more like a small strip of a pool that only the swim-out suites have access to. This was awesome for post-dinner dips because we didn't have to walk across the resort grounds, we could just suit up and we were right there. 

Right after getting settled, we made our way to the pool and relaxed, read, and sipped some beverages!

That night we had dinner at Portofino, the Italian restaurant. It was delicious! 

The next morning, we snuck in a short workout at the gym and hung with the resident parrots on our way back to the room.

Please don't mind my socks, ha! I left mine at home and borrowed a pair from Ian.

I read The Castaways which I blogged about yesterday

Every day at lunchtime, there was a gentleman who would man a jerk chicken cart. He cooked it right on the spot and people lined up for a paper plate of spicy goodness!

That evening we ate at the Jamaican restaurant on property and then went to the piano bar where they were having an outdoor show. 

Cheesy kiss shot, but the resort photographer captured this one below.

I wore a new Lilly top (this one) and their adorable Georgia May palazzo pants (these). A go-to summer outfit. 

The next morning, I hit the pool with my book after we had breakfast and Ian went back to the gym. (You can see the swim-out rooms there on the left)

I saw Ian heading my way from the gym and then I saw that he spotted a beach volleyball game going on. I knew he wouldn't be able to hold back. Next thing I knew, he was taking off his shirt and tennis shoes and was playing along.

PSA: I bought this Neutrogena SPF 50+ sunscreen stick on Amazon before our trip (HERE) and it was awesome. Perfect for flying since it wasn't liquid. Went on smoothly and we loved it. They were selling sunscreen at our resort for $23, so I was way happy that I remembered to pack ours! 

For the third evening there, we went to the Asian restaurant. I wore a new inexpensive TJ Maxx top, my $12 Charming Charlie earrings, and my new white jeans!

This photo from Snapchat shows the earrings the best:

Breakfast was always a highlight of the day. They had the most insanely delicious banana milkshakes that we had each morning. 

Sunday was our anniversary, so I wore my new favorite suit. Twenty bucks HERE on Amazon. 

That morning, we went snorkeling which was AMAZING. We were prepared to book an excursion off-site but decided to try the free one that was offered by the resort. It was perfect. We snorkled in waters that went about 25 feet deep and saw tons of different fish and sea creatures, swam over coral reefs full of sea life, and I got to hold a jellyfish (!!!) and sea urchin (!!!). 

We decided that would be the day that we tried the "signature" drink of the area, called the Bob Marley. Frozen goodness in red, yellow, green. Fun for the photo opp, but really sweet!

Later that evening, we got ready for dinner and had a drink out on the patio. I wore another new dress, Lilly again, I can't stop!

For our last dinner on the fourth night we dined at Bordeaux which is their French restaurant. The restaurants had these fun lit menus ... so smart. 

Another gratuitous smooch shot captured by the photographer. :) 

Towards the end of the trip, I asked Ian if we were vacationing again if he would go to Secrets again in Dominican Republic (where we honeymooned - blogged HERE), Paradisus Playa Del Carmen (where we went two years ago - blogged HERE), or Secrets in Jamaica ... and he said without even hesitating that he'd go back to Jamaica as his first choice! I think I agree ... although it's a toss-up for me with the Dominican Republic resort.

Six years married -- cheers to many more!

from http://ift.tt/2rtoIOy

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