"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
I going to open this post with a sincere thank you to my big sister for such an amazing week. You've provided us with such a perfect model of giving, I can only hope that one day I may bestow such a gift to another.
Take a deep breath.....Inhale the surroundings....and exhale the stress...
And thus began our long awaited and much anticipated Jamaican vacation.
That being said.. statistically on the top 100 list of most stressful experiences in life.. vacation comes in at #42.. smack in the middle of 'Christmas' (#43) and 'Change in Eating Habits' (#41) .. which ironically enough, were both played a major role in said vacation. Now, I'm fairly confident the author of that list never factored in the "international, post 9/11, holiday travel with a 2 and 4 year old" multiplier in his/her highly scientific stress study.. In doing so, my math has 'vacation' being promoted into the top twenty...somewhere betweeeeeen... foreclosure and pregnancy.
OK, so I fabricated a little comical drama for the lead in to make the obligatory vacation blog post a bit more fresh.. sue me. Honestly though, Mika and Jasper did great. They slept amazingly well considering they had to share a hard as granite day bed cushion, were in strange surroundings, and were relentlessly serenaded by tree frogs throughout the night.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. We spent a week at the Eight Rivers Villa, Prospect Plantation near Ocho Rios (click on the link, go to "The Villas" and chose "Eight Rivers". )
360 video below
A truly visceral experience in the sense that the week evoked an elemental level of relaxation unlike any vacation I've been on. It may of been the thick prehistoric like jungle surrounding, the sound of the surf, the smell of good food, or the feeling of never wanting... But what made it really special was that we were there with family. (my side at least! ... poor wife). The Horn's of Marshall, my sister, my brother and is family and my dad. Along with Bob (My sister's beau) and his family...14 of us in all.
Is it possible to get too relaxed? I don't know.. all I can say is I felt as if I had been lobotomized the entire first week back at work.
The villas, (there were 2 actually) came fully staffed with cooks, maids and rum punch toting butlers. But the sweet old ladies of the kitchen were something special.. "There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all" best sums up Lorna and Madge. ( I can't believe I didn't get a picture of them.../palm to forehead x 10) They cooked from their hearts and smiled from their souls. Angels of cheer.
Ahh hell, I could go on for pages relating all the experiences of the week but I think I just let the pictures tell you the rest of the story.
(click on each to enlarge)